Archive for September, 2013

The Rise of Fall

Key Verse: “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him”
(James 1:5)

Our hope is for our kids to know that: God gives us wisdom

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child 1 Kings 2:1-4; 3:3-28) David wanted his son Solomon to worship God as he took over the throne. Solomon did just that and continued to worship God during his reign. One day God asked Solomon to ask for whatever he wanted. Solomon could have asked for riches and fame, or to be strong and powerful, but instead he asked for wisdom. This pleased God, so in addition to wisdom Solomon received power, riches, and fame as well. We can see the best example of Solomon’s wisdom in the story of the two women who fought over a baby. Solomon demonstrated creative wisdom and the people who witnessed it and heard about it knew that God gave him wisdom.   

Share:
(This is an opportunity for you to ask some questions and to share your thoughts) Parents: Discuss a time you needed God’s wisdom—but didn’t ask. Maybe you were trying to decide if you should change jobs, or maybe you weren’t sure how to handle a confrontation with a friend. What did you choose to do in the situation? What were the results? Share how you think asking God for wisdom might have affected the situation. Then ask your children to talk about challenges they’re facing this week in which they need to ask God for wisdom. Spend time as a family praying and asking God for wisdom for each situation.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
Create a “Family Book of Wise Sayings.” Purchase a blank journal book, and then gather the family to think about some of the wise sayings your family believes in. Place the book in the living room, and invite family members to add to the book anytime they come across a wise saying that they think the family should heed. Every so often, review the book’s wise sayings during dinner, and discuss any new sayings that have been added.

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The Rise of Fall

Key Verse: “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him”
(James 1:5)

Our hope is for our kids to know that: A self centered attitude hurts God and others

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child 2 Samuel 15:1-12; 17:1-12; 18:1-8) Absalom was one of David’s sons. Before this story takes place however, David would not see Absalom because Absalom killed Amnon, who was also David’s son. After a few years David finally forgave Absalom, however David was unaware that Absalom was trying to win converts to join him so that he could overthrow David and become King himself. When David heard of this, he was planning to flee Jerusalem, however since Absalom did not attack David right away, David was able to form an army and fight Absalom.  

Share:
(This is an opportunity for you to ask some questions and to share your thoughts) Parents: Talk about a time self-centered attitudes played a role in your family. What happened? Then encourage your children to think about ways they’ve seen family members demonstrate love, rather than self-centeredness, toward one another—by taking out the trash, shoveling the walk without being asked, putting away clean dishes, or taking time to give a brother or sister encouragement, for example. Give a rousing family cheer for each person as stories are told about him or her. Be sure no one is left out. Then talk with your children about how self-centered attitudes hurt God and others.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
Give paper, pens, and $500 of play money to every member of your family and announce its Extremely Early Christmas Shopping Day. The goal: Go to a local mall, and “buy” Christmas presents for everyone in your family. The rules: 1) nothing can actually be purchased. 2) You can’t pick out anything for yourself 3) You can’t spend more than $500 total (all gifts) 4) You must agree on a time limit. When finished discuss the experience over pizza or ice cream.

The Rise of Fall

Key Verse: “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him”
(James 1:5)

Our hope is for our kids to know that: Being kind honors God and others.

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child 2 Samuel 12:1-7; Psalm 51:1-12) Here we see the prophet Nathan confronting David about a wrong that he has done. This sin that David had committed resulted in consequences. David had killed one of his soldiers so that he could take that soldier’s wife as his own. This sin devastated David and his kingdom, but we read in Psalms that David expressed his remorse and repentance because he realized that sin separates us from God. This separation does not last because Jesus reunites us with God through his death and resurrection.

Share:
(This is an opportunity for you to ask some questions and to share your thoughts) Parents: Talk about a time you hurt someone else and then had to ask that person for forgiveness. Share how that person responded and how you felt afterward. Then talk about a time you hurt someone and were unable or unwilling to ask that person for forgiveness. Share what your relationship with that person is like now and how not asking for forgiveness has impacted you. Talk with your children about the effects of not confessing sins to God. Discuss how God is willing to forgive us when we confess our sins to him. Emphasize that no matter the sins we commit; God will forgive us and give us a clean start.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
Take a trip to the park as a family, and look for things that remind you of God’s forgiveness. As you find things, take pictures of them. You may take pictures of people, flowers, rocks, or anything that reminds you of God’s forgiveness. As a family, talk about what things you took pictures of and why they remind you of God’s forgiveness.

 

The Rise of Fall

Key Verse: “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him”
(James 1:5)

Our hope is for our kids to know that: Being kind honors God and others.

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child 2 Samuel 9) It was typical for a new King to seek out anyone in the previous Kings family and execute them, so that they would no longer be a threat. David was different. He wanted to honor his friend Jonathan, who saved his life. So he sought out anyone in Jonathan’s family and found Mephiboseth, Jonathan’s son. When he was a child, Mephiboseth was crippled when he fell while fleeing with his nurse after Jonathan and Saul had been killed in battle. He was likely hiding in fear as to what David would do to him. However, David showed kindness to him, much more than what was normal for that time. David showed that love and mercy were important qualities to him, and to God.

Share:
(This is an opportunity for you to ask some questions and to share your thoughts) Parents: Talk about a time someone unexpectedly showed kindness to you. Share how that kindness impacted you and your relationship with that person. Then ask your children to tell about times people have shown them special kindness—help with a difficult subject at school, willingness to teach a new skill, or a hug when needed, for example. Then talk about why God wants us to be kind to others and why showing kindness is so important.

 Activity/Challenge for Families:
Gather your family around the table, and have family members take turns sharing specific acts of kindness that they would like someone to show them. Create an “Acts of Kindness” list for each person, and tape it to the living room wall. Then have everyone secretly select one act of kindness from each person’s list to fulfill on the coming week. At the end of the week, gather everyone together and discuss how showing kindness can bring the family close together. Encourage family members to continue performing acts of kindness for one another in the weeks to come.