What is Family Time? 

We want to be INTENTIONAL this year by investing to build stronger and healthier families. Each month we will have different thoughts and ideas to help parents in shepherding the hearts of their children in the ways of the Lord.

Christmas Family Time 

Here we are in December, and one of my favorite times of the whole year! I think like most of us, we look forward to celebrating the Christmas holiday and creating memories with our families. That building of anticipation that Christmas holds for all of us is such a special time. The problem is that it is also the busiest time of the year, and before we know it, time gets away from us and we realize that instead of celebrating the birth of our Savior, we have been running around stressed out from all the holiday activities, worrying about gifts and shopping, and we’re exhausted.

Since we are ending our year of “Intentional” Theme at the end of the year, I thought it would be fitting to end 2022 by being INTENTIONAL about celebrating Christmas this year by going old school and building an Advent Chain with “Acts of Kindness,” along with the story of Jesus. It will help us to take time each day to remember WHAT and WHY we celebrate Christmas.  I know that the time you read this we may already be into the Season, but that doesn’t mean we cannot do it. Start today!

It is very simple …just cut out strips of paper for as many days until Christmas and on one side write out the Scripture and on the other side, acts of kindness or service. Here is a link for the scriptures: https://encouragingmomsathome.com/25-christmas-bible-verses/  

There are many different acts of kindness or service that you can choose from. Here are a few to get you started:
1.  Leave a friendly note where someone will find it.
2.  Make a card for a school staff member/ neighbor/ teacher.
3.  Tell a stranger to have a nice day.
4.  Invite someone dinner.
5.  Donate food to a local food pantry.

Let’s make this a Christmas Season INTENTIONAL and something extra special to remember!  

Merry Christmas!

Fall Family Time 

We have had a lovely summer holiday, and now we are back in school and back to our normal routines. I hope you had a great summer with your family and created lots of memories with those that you have invited into your home and hearts.

Pastor Larry and Matthew have recently been preaching on Intentional Declarations, and I thought it would be a great way to start off this new school year by sitting down and making some personal family declarations for ourselves. These are Declarations that we are making to the Lord and to our family. Here are a just few to start you off:

1. We will start and end our day with prayer. Praying for and with your children is one of the most powerful things you can do as a parent. Setting an example of prioritizing time with Him. Brainstorm with your family about fun ways you can make this possible. I use to do “Drive Time” devotion in the car on the way to school and then said a prayer over our kids before we dropped them off. Before you pray, asks them if they have anything that they want you to pray specifically for as a family. And always be ready to share how God answered those prayers.

2. We will take the first 30 minutes when we get home to engage in conversation without technology.  We will turn off our phones so we are present in the moment. Many times our children/spouses are excited when we first get home and it is so important to show them how much we value them by being off our phones/ technology and engaging them. This goes also for our preteens/teens with their phones as well. No texting when they are walking through the door of your home but engaged in the family that is right in front of them.

3. We will sit down for a meal together (again with no phones or TV). I know that we have touched on this before but it is worth repeating. Taking the time to sit and share a meal as a family is a fundamental way to connect with each other. As our own children were growing up we have had so many sweet conversations, planning of vacations or getaways and laughing moments around the dinner/kitchen table. You will be amazed at the difference in your family by just eating together and engaging in fellowship.

4. We will think the best of each other-by speaking with respect and love and grace. Too many times we jump to conclusions and end up thinking the worst of each other. Having a heart after Jesus helps us to show respect, love and grace in our words and actions towards each other. And that goes for everyone! How mom and dad speak to each other will train up their children in how to speak to their siblings, friends and others who may be in authority in their lives.

5. We will read God’s Word together.  Remember, we are intentionally working to build and strengthen the spiritual and natural environment in our home (Proverbs 14:1).   To build and strengthen your home will work hand and hand with your relationship with Jesus. His Word is our guiding force and we are to daily fill up with Him so that He can pour out His Spirit our in our homes.

6. We will remember the Sabbath and keep it Holy. All of the 10 commandments should be something that we know and keep in our home, but sadly, this one is oftentimes neglected. Make it one of your declarations to go to church every Sunday. Giving Jesus this one day of the week to worship Him in a corporate setting, connecting with your church family and serving along side of each other will help and sustain your family. I can look back at my own life and see how my church family has help to mold and shape me to become all that God wants me to be.

7. We will make our home a refuge - for comfort and strength and support, and a Lighthouse - for others, that we might shine the love of Jesus. Making these declarations in your home will produce a refuge and lighthouse to not only your family, but for many others also. Instead of a house filled with chaos and arguing, it will be a place of support and strength because you have declared “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord!” in actions, in words and in love. It will be a house that is filled with such joy that even the angels are eagerly watching all that you do! (1 Peter 1:12).

So here we go Family! Let’s sit down around that kitchen table and start making your own declarations.

Summer Family Time 

For this Summer, June – August, here’s a Family Time idea you could plan for and do once each month that goes along with not only our Church Theme for 2022,
“Intentional,” but also with our theme from the Ladies event we just had entitled “Welcome Her.” How fun would it be to host a family in our homes once a month during the Summer time. You know, “hospitality” is peppered throughout the Bible and opening our homes to others and showing loving kindness to a family who
may need extra consideration is something we all could do. Summer schedules are typically less structured which gives us the freedom to do things a little different.

It could be a dinner party, an outdoor BBQ, movie on the lawn…endless ideas. Allow your children to participate in the planning. First, pray and ask the Lord to
help you decide what family you would like to invite…maybe a family in the same season of life that you are in. The children can help plan the menu, the activities or entertainment. Not only are you enjoying time together as a family but you are modeling to your children the gift of hospitality. 1 Peter 4:9-10, “Offer hospitality
to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

Loving others is not only a command but it is a reflection of our Lord. Romans 12:9-13, “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong.
Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honoring in each other … When God’s people are in need, be ready to
help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.
” Being Jesus hands and feet to bring joy into others lives is one of the greatest things we could ever do, for as we do it unto the least of these, Jesus said, we are doing it unto Him. So as you prepare, you could talk about different stories in the Bible such as The Good
Samaritan, Jesus feeding the 5000 or Jesus washing the Disciples feet. I believe this could be a start of a new family tradition. Bringing others into our home is personal and means so much because it teaches the importance of blessing others the way the Lord has poured out His blessings on us.

April Family Time 

This month we would love for our families to focus on Family Time Devotion. Today we live in a world where there are so many things competing for our family time together. Which is why it’s so important, as a Family, to daily schedule a Family Time Devotion where you open the Word of God together.  If you want your kids to read their Bibles daily when they’re adults, start them with that habit when they’re young.
Every child is unique and their interests are going to vary throughout different ages and stages. So we want to suggest several different ways to excited your kids about the Word of God.
  • Bible Infographics. These are short on words, but are a very visual and a great way to grasp information. Harvest House produces these, OR you can speak with Pastor Jeff about some of his resources.
  • Reading a Bible story out loud to your child and then have them draw a picture representing the story.  If you Google “Susan Evans 31 Days of Drawing Through the Bible” it will give you everything you need.
  • Act out Bible Stories. After reading a Bible Story, allow them time to put together a reenactment of that story. Have fun with this! Put on special performances for Grandparents…they will love it.
  • Watch some great Christian kid’s videos about the Bible story you just read. Redeem TV is free and has some great Christian Kid’s Programing.  JellyTelly is another great resource.  It’s a paid subscription, but it does have some great 5 Minute Family Devotions and videos.
  • Answer your child’s big questions about faith and God and find books to help. It is a great time of life to capitalize on their curiosity and instill a love for God’s Word within your child. Again, there are some great resources available with a little research.  For Example: The Awesome Book of Bible Answers for Kids by Josh McDowell
  • For older children, do your research and find good books to help them get excited about reading the Bible. Examples are: Christian Heroes Then & Now by Janet & Geoff Benge / The Trailblazer by Dave & Neta Jackson
Whatever you do, make this time special! Maybe set up a tent or a certain place in your house where you will do your Jesus time together. Maybe set up a specific time so your kids can look forward to it every day.  Perhaps you have your devotion time with dessert after dinner. Whatever you do, ask the Holy Spirit to help you be creative so that your time with Him will be memorable and impactful to your kids and to you.
2 Timothy 3:15, “You have been taught the Holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus.”  
Our prayer is that as you daily commit to your Family Time Devotion, that it will spark in your children a love and desire for God’s Word that will become a flame that burns within them for the rest of their lives.
Paul, concludes his letter to Timothy by saying “Timothy, guard what God has entrusted to you.”
Our children have been entrusted to us by God, so let us take that which has been entrusted to us and give them all the tools and techniques they need to make reading the Bible a habit, that they will grow in their love for God’s Word and always want to read it and know it!

"If you want to change the world, go home and love your family"

-Mother Teresa

Family Time Archives