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Category - Friday Faith Builder

Friday Faith Builder

By Pastor Lisa Holliday

If your family has Christian faith in its background, the seasons of Thanksgiving and Christmas might be wonderful opportunities to share stories of faith from past generations with your children.   Some of these ideas can be used even if you are the first generation of Christians in your family! Consider one or more of the following options:

*Encourage each family member to share why he/she loves God.  Ask each person to share his/her own story of growing in God’s love.

*Create a family tree together. Include names and dates as well as a word or two describing the faith of each person.

*Ask each person his/her favorite Bible verse.  Using a family Bible or a new one purchased for this purpose, invite each family member to highlight their special verse and write their name beside it.

*Purchase a new light colored tablecloth, some paint and some permanent markers.  Encourage each person to paint their hand, place it on the tablecloth, then write their name beside it and something they want to praise God for.  Bring out the cloth each year and add to the list of people and praise God!

Blessings to you and yours as you pass on your faith!

Friday Faith Builder

By Pastor Lisa Holliday

As you look ahead to Thanksgiving, enjoy some family time as you prepare for the festivities!  Create a family Thanksgiving chain.  Cut several pieces of colored construction paper into strips.  Every day from now until Thanksgiving, invite each family member to write (or draw a picture of) something he or she is thankful to God for on one strip of paper.  Use tape or a stapler to connect the strips of paper into a chain. Display the chain where everyone can see it on a regular basis.  Continue adding to it through the holiday season.

(You can also adapt this idea by creating a “Thankful Turkey” using different colored feathers or a “Thankful Tree” using different colored leaves.)

If you prefer to wait until Thanksgiving to enjoy a family activity, you might want to purchase a white tablecloth and some colorful permanent markers.  Ask each person at the table to trace his/her hand.  Then ask each person to write his/her name by the handprint and list a few blessings from the year. Consider adding to this throughout the years.

No matter how you celebrate Thanksgiving Day, spend time together in prayer as a family thanking God for the blessings you have been given.

Friday Faith Builder

By Lisa Holliday

Each week at our KiDS COR staff meeting, one of our team members leads us in a devotion.  During one of these devotions, our team discussed the season of Thanksgiving.  We talked about the importance of both “thanks” and “giving” and enjoyed a simple activity around these words.  I thought you might enjoy reading a part of the devotion and experiencing the activity with your family!

The author of the devotion wrote:

“When my youngest was four, we started a little tradition that has helped my children focus not only on being grateful, but on giving as well.  I print off two bare trees for each child.  We call them our “Thanks” and “Giving” trees.  Every evening starting any date in November we choose, we put one paper leaf on each tree.  On one leaf we write something for which we are thankful and put it on our “Thanks” tree.  On the other leaf, we write something we have done to serve someone and place it on our “Giving” tree.  Serving can be as simple as smiling at someone, sharing a toy or writing a kind note to a loved one.”

This season, focus on Thanksgiving—both parts of the word—and fill your trees with leaves of gratitude and giving!

Friday Faith Builder

By Pastor Lisa Holliday

A few years ago, when I was leading worship for our three and four year olds in Tree House Park, I was once again taught by a child.  Along with singing, dancing, puppets, learning Bible words and praying, we also collected offering, as we do each week.

I reminded the children that the money would be used to help children whose tummies were hungry have food to eat.

One little girl raised her hand and said, “I know some boys and girls whose tummies aren’t hungry anymore!”

I responded by saying, “You do—that’s wonderful.  How did they get food to eat?”

She replied, “We gave them potatoes!”

Thankfully, I remembered the church had held our potato drop the day before—a day when people could come out and prepare potatoes to be given away to those in need.

I asked her if she had helped in the potato drop and she said, “Yes—I washed them!”

And she was three years old.

Whatever age your child is, consider scheduling “serving time” on your family calendar. You can find many family opportunities through FaithWorks here at Resurrection.  GROW night on Tuesday offers a family serve opportunity once a month. Watch for mission projects through KiDS COR. Look around your neighborhood, community, and school and see who needs an extra hand.  Go and serve—and let your child lead the way.  Blessings to you!

Friday Faith Builder

By Lisa Holliday

At a children’s ministry conference the KiDSCOR team attended a couple of years ago, we learned some meaningful statistics about kids, families and the impact that family life has on a kid’s long-term relationship with the church. As our kids grow into teens and young adults, the time, energy and intentionality we as parents invested into their faith development in childhood can strongly influence their continued growth as a Christian.

As you read through these, consider one way your family might focus more intentionally on growing your faith.

According to Josh Denhart, founder and creator of KidMin,

            *75% of kids leave the church between the ages of 18-29

But why did 25% stay?

            *Families ate a meal together at least 5 days of the week.

*Kids served WITH their families in a ministry.

*Kids were entrusted with responsibility in ministry at an early age.

*Kids had at least one or more faith-focused adult in their lives other than

their parents.

*Kids had at least one spiritual experience in their home during the week.

As a mom of three teens, I can promise you this was not done AT ALL perfectly in our home when our kids were younger. Just ask them!  However in the midst of laundry piles, dance and sports, family arguments, forgotten lunches and frazzled bedtimes, we tried our best to be intentional about sharing faith.  I am continuing to learn I cannot control their choices or make their decisions, but I can do what I can do.  And I hope we can do this—or even part of this– as parents, together. God bless you on this parenting journey!

Friday Faith Builder

By Pastor Lisa Holliday

If you have a pet at home or have ever journeyed to the zoo, you know that we can learn a great deal from animals.  In 1933, the National PTA Congress stated that, “children trained to extend justice, kindness and mercy to animals become more just, kind and considerate in their relations to each other.” Maybe the answer to peace on earth can be found from spending time with God’s creatures.

How can elephants, monkeys, dogs and chickens help us develop the above Christ-like characteristics?  Take a look at this list:

Acting like a monkey may help your kids share! Certain types of monkeys share food, elephants comfort their friends and dolphins do favors for other dolphins.

Exposure to animals might mean fewer sick days.  Petting dogs and cats reduce stress, which in turn leads to a higher immune system.  This action also helps kids calm which helps them be more kind and patient with themselves and others.

When kids help save animals, they are helping honor God!  God commissioned people to care for the creatures of the world. When kids care for animals, they are following God’s plan and caring for His creation.

Pay attention to your tone of voice.  People can become better communicators by learning to use a quieter, calmer tone with animals—as well as people.  Neither animals nor people appreciate being yelled at.

Get kids involved and raise kinder kids!  The best way for children to learn kindness and compassion is to see it modeled and then practice it themselves.  Volunteer at an animal shelter, care for a pet or sponsor an endangered creature.

In her article “Five Ways Animals Can Teach Kindness,” Allison Ellis says, “If all else fails, go chase balls and make new friends at the park, or simply cuddle up as a pack when the day is done.  Everyone can use a little bit of that sort of kindness.”  Amen to that for us all!

Friday Faith Builder

By Pastor Lisa Holliday

The air is cooler, the apples are crisp, the pumpkins are ripe and the leaves are falling! Sometimes when the air begins to get cooler, we spend more time inside with our screens and less outside with God’s beauty!  This month, take an evening or an hour a week, turn off the screens and turn on the LEAVES!

Brightly colored leaves are items God provides us that offer hours of fun family play!  Leaves are free and are an open-ended material, which means kids can play with them in many different ways!  How might your family enjoy the beautiful creation and gift of leaves?

Here are some fun ideas:

*Have fun with a little yardwork as family by raking leaves into big piles! Encourage every   family to enjoy jumping into the piles! (You might have to re-rake, but it’s worth it!)

*Go on a leaf hunt and collect as many sizes, shapes and colors of leaves as you can!

*Use the leaves you find to have a leaf race!  Ask each family member to choose a leaf then using a straw, see who can blow it across a table the fastest.

*Lie on the ground and make “leaf angels” with your body!

*Paint one side of a leaf and press it on paper.  You can also create leaf people or animals by choosing leaves as arms, legs, bodies, tails, etc. and taping them to paper!

God desires for us to enjoy and celebrate the incredible world He created!  Gather some leaves and play!

Friday Faith Builder

Is your fall family schedule overflowing yet?  Are you ready for all the activities coming up? This season can often be stressful and overwhelming. Everyone is getting used to the return of a bit more structure and routine. Sports, dance, and music lessons are starting back up.  Homework will add extra pressure and the need for increased time management.

As you are planning your family calendar for the fall, be sure and include some time for faith and fun!  As parents, we are the most important people in the development of our child’s faith, and the priority we place on it in the home teaches our kids about the priority our faith needs to take in our lives.

Do the best you can to eat at least one meal together each day.  Work on your child’s GPS each week. (This is a family faith-building resource your child will receive regularly in KiDS COR and it is also available on line.)  Use the family activity in the adult GPS one afternoon or evening a week.  Pray for and with one another each day.  Serve others. Encourage each other with uplifting and positive words.

Begin with one or two faith-builders each week.  Pray and ask God to guide you as you lead your family.  Enjoy growing in your faith together!

Friday Faith Builder

By Lisa Holliday

 

“Sing. Sing a song. Sing out loud. Sing out strong. Don’t worry if it’s not good enough for anyone else to hear.  Just sing.  Sing a song!”

I hope some of you remember that popular song from a few decades back! J

Music is a very important part of our culture.  Music connects us across generations (at least sometimes!).  Music is a universal language. Music can lift our spirits and give voice to that which has no words. Of course, the Bible is also filled with songs and encouragement to sing!

Have you ever chosen a song to represent your family?  Gather your family and ask them to bring some of their favorite music.  Listen to some songs.  Bring some up that you have enjoyed as favorites over the years.  Take a familiar tune and write your own lyrics if you want to.  Maybe you have a hymn or a praise song that speaks strongly. Can you find one that describes your family well?

Enjoy it by using it as a family prayer before meals, whistling or humming it in a crowd, soothing a sick child, dancing to it, or using it as background music to a slide show of family pictures. When you are separated, use that special song to bring you back together in your minds and hearts.  And always thank God for your family and your song!

Friday Faith Builder

We know that eating family meals together is one important one of staying connected, but what do we do on days when the timing just don’t allow it? Below is a list of some additional ways to share fun and meaningful time together and with God.  Choose one each day or one each week—whatever works best for you and yours!  Or even better, create one of your own! Pray and ask God to bless your time together!

*Listen to praise and worship music in the car.  Find out everyone’s favorite song and why.

*Pray for people in the homes, office buildings and stores you pass while driving from one activity to the next.

*When you hear a siren or pass a fire station, pray for those involved in the accidents, including the emergency workers.

*Bless a neighbor by bringing them treats you baked earlier in the week.

*Decorate cards or create crafts on a day you have some time, then take a moment to share with those in a local nursing home.

*Read a passage of Scripture—the Psalms are a great “go-to”—and give thanks to God for something or someone.

*Pause, take a deep breath, and thank God for the gift of this day.