Archive for October, 2014

Lot and Abram Divide the Land

Our hope is for our kids to know that: God wants us to put others first

Key Verse:
“Do to others as you would have them do to you”
Luke 6:31

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Genesis 13) Abram and Lot were headed north back to the land God had promised to Abram’s descendants. It is here that we read Abram and Lot were very wealthy, and a single area could not contain both camps. The solution would be for them to split up. Abram decided to let Lot choose, which was something Abram did not have to do. Culturally Abram was more powerful and wealthy as well as a respected leader. He should have had his pick, and he should have taken the better land. However, Abram put Lot above himself and Lot chose the better land. It would have been appropriate for Lot to do the right thing and give Abram the better land, but Lot only thought of himself. Abram wanted to keep peace with his nephew and his family, so he was willing to give up what was rightly his for the benefit of both parties.

Share:
Tell kids what Luke 6:31 means to you. Then allow your children to tell you what they think the verse means. Invite your children to think of an act of kindness they’d love to receive, such as breakfast in bed, someone else cleaning their room, or someone sharing their favorite tech gadget or toy. After they’ve thought of something, have them tell what it is and why they’d appreciate someone doing that for them. Then challenge each family member to do that thing for someone else in your family this week.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
Talk with your family, and declare a “Get Along Zone” somewhere in your house for a week—the kitchen table, the family room, the car—a place where you all agree that everyone will honestly cooperate to resolve disagreements. At the end of the week, evaluate: How well did it work? Was it positive? Do you want to renew for another week?

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People Build a Towel at Babel

Our hope is for our kids to know that: We put God first 

Key Verse:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength”
Deuteronomy 6:5

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Genesis 11:1-9) God had saved Noah and his family from the flood, and so the re-population of the earth began. A few generations later, mankind began to lose their focus on God. They wanted to gain recognition from something that they could do, some great accomplishment to boast about. The result was the building of a tower. They decided to build a tower to show so everyone could see how great they were. In a way, they were trying to be “gods” themselves. God saw that this would lead them further away from him, so to help mankind and save them from themselves, he confused their language. Everyone would find someone who spoke their language and form community. We need God for everything because our identity is in Christ. We can do great things because of Him.

Share:
Talk with your family about things or people you naturally put first in what you do. It could be family members, your health, your job, being successful, or anything else important to you. Then have your kids share what they put first when making their choices. Discuss ways you can put God first and include him as you make decisions.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
With a stack of plastic cups or containers, create as intricate a tower as you can. Then invite your family to work together to do the same thing. Designate a parent as the Foreman to supervise construction, but require everyone to be absolutely silent as the Foreman “tells” someone in your family how to begin construction. That person will then “tell” (without talking) another family member until the last person actually starts building the tower. Repeat the process for as many cups or containers as you have available. When the tower is built, talk about it using some questions like these: How well does a project go when you can’t communicate? What about our activity is like what the people building the tower of Babel did? Prepare to repeat your activity, but pray first this time—dedicating your tower to God. Then talk to each other as you build your tower again. What went better the second time you built your tower? What did you like about dedicating your efforts to God?

God Floods the Earth

Our hope is for our kids to know that: We can count on God’s promises 

Key Verse:
“The Lord is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made’”
Psalm 145:13

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Genesis 7-8; 9:8-16) Noah had completed the task of building the ark, and now it was time for the rain to come. God had promised to keep Noah and his family safe and that is what He did. After the rain ceased, Noah had to wait until dry land appeared again, which took nearly a year. It was then that God made another promise, signified by the rainbow. The rainbow will always remind us of God’s promise to Noah and the fact that God always keeps his promises!

Share:
Talk about one kept or unkept promise that you’ve experienced. Perhaps your parent promised to take you on a trip and it never happened. What emotions do you remember from that experience? Or perhaps your child promised to clean his room, and before you could check, your child kept the promise. How did that make you feel—happy, proud, satisfied? Then have your kids share examples of promises they’ve experienced. It’s incredible that God keeps all his promises when we live in a world where promises are often broken. Invite each family member to complete the following sentence: “I’m glad God keeps his promises because…”

Activity/Challenge for Families:
Keeping promises is a great habit to form. It allows people to trust you and helps you become a person of integrity. This week, place a jar on your kitchen table. Announce that it’s “Promise-Keeping Week,” and every time someone in your family breaks a promise, that person has to put a quarter into the jar. How many quarters do you think will accumulate in a week? When the week has ended, give the money to a worthy cause, and ask God to help you keep promises always.

Noah Builds the Ark

Our hope is for our kids to know that: God wants us to obey

Key Verse:
“Peter and the other apostles replied: ‘We must obey God rather than men!’” 

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Genesis 6:5-22) Noah was righteous and found favor with God at a time God was sorry he made man. The assumption is usually that God saw that man was so wicked that he decided to wipe them all off the earth. But if we truly look at the character and nature of God, we see a compassionate God who sees man stuck in a world of sin. Sin had taken over the earth and God had compassion over man. So God instructed Noah to build a huge Ark, so that through Noah and his family mankind can start again.  

Share:
Talk with your family about the reasons for rules. Invite your kids to come up with a list of rules in your house that they don’t completely understand. Then, one rule at a time, explain why you created each rule and how they keep your kids from potential harm or simply help your kids find their way to what’s best for them. God’s rules are meant to do the same—to keep us safe and lead us to what’s best for our lives.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
This week determine as a family to obey the people who have authority over you, such as teachers and bosses. Brainstorm ways you can obey without complaining, and help each other practice obedience this week. That means keeping a good attitude about what’s asked of you and following rules. At the end of the week, talk as a family about how successful each member was in obeying. Discuss the benefits of obeying with a positive attitude.