Lent: 40 days of balance

By | March 23, 2014

 

All of us are busy, running to and fro in our daily activities. Family, church, our jobs; these things consume our time. In all this many times we feel burned out, tired and stressed. Many times we feel that the weight of the world is on our shoulders as we attempt to balance our lives. Sometimes we feel that we cannot take even one more step as circumstances and life have drained us. God knew that we would find ourselves in these situations and directed us in His word that when we find ourselves in these situations that we should stop, sit down and relax.

 

Exodus 14:13 tells us to stand still, and see the salvation of God. Here the word is telling us that we need not to be anxious; instead we need to be calm, confident , and trustful in our God as we sit still and await His divine presence and power as He works in our lives.

 

God wants to fulfill all of our tomorrows, and give us strength for today.  He wants to bring a new tomorrow, renewing our strength. He wants us to live life, and live it in abundance. God intends a wonderful fruitful life for us. The key to that is stopping, and sitting still; waiting on Him to carry out His will in our lives.

 

It is not only hard to be still, but it is difficult to find the time to be still, as being still goes against our natural grain. Our natural tendencies are pedal to the medal, full speed ahead. But here in His Word, God is instructing us to us to put on brakes and be still. Being still before God is not inactivity, it is wisdom.

 

When we sit still and trust God, it will silence the enemy as he knows God is our rescue. As we put our trust and faith in God, tomorrow will come. As we sit quietly and wait on Him, He will keep our heart at rest, averting feelings of fear, stress and despair. When we are broken, we cannot find rest, and hope is nowhere to be found. Our hope is found in the grace of God by Christ Jesus. He can heal a broken heart when nothing else can.

 

As we begin the 40 days of balance  let’s encourage each other to intentionally focus on what Jesus said the greatest commandment is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30).  How can we focus on balance of our Heart, Soul, Mind and Strength as a family?

 

Family Devotion: God Gave the Ten Commandments

By | March 17, 2014

 

10 Commandments pic copyOn Sunday our Base Camp,  Climb and Summit children studied how God had redeemed His people from slavery in Egypt. People who have been redeemed demonstrate their love for the Redeemer thorough obedience. By giving the Ten Commandments, God showed His standard for holiness. But the people could not obey the commandments perfectly; God used the law to show that people needed a Savior. God provided that Savior ultimately through the person of Jesus Christ.  God made a covenant with His people: If you obey Me, you will be My people. (Exodus 19:5-6) But the people did not obey God. They sinned against God, and Moses asked God to forgive them. Moses acted as their mediator, or advocate, before God. When we sin, Jesus is our Mediator. Through Jesus, we are forgiven of our sins. God is pleased with us because He looks at Jesus, who never sinned.

 

 

Family Devotion:

Supplies Needed: Bible, timer/sand timer

Open your Bible to Exodus 20. Quiz your children on how many commandments they can remember before the timer stops. Try again until they can say all ten.

Ask: Who thinks they can keep all Ten Commandments?

Read Exodus 19:5-6.

Say: God promised the Israelites if you obey My commandments you will be My people among all the other nations. But the Israelites did not obey. In fact, the idol they made specifically broke the second commandment. God had said, “Do not make an idol.”

Read Exodus 32:7-14.
Ask: What did Moses ask God to do?

Say: Moses interceded for the Israelites. Moses acted as a mediator between God and the Israelites. Jesus did they same for us. He never sinned, yet, He took on our sin so we wouldn’t have to be punished. When God looks at us, we are forgiven because of Jesus.

Thank God for giving us Jesus our mediator. God shows us love and compassion.

Family Devotion: The Israelites Crossed the Red Sea

By | March 10, 2014

Last week the children After being slaves the circumstances that faced the Israelites as they crossed the Red Sea. After being slaves in Egypt for hundreds of years, the Israelite people were finally free. It sure didn’t take them long after they left Egypt to start complaining about their circumstances! Think of a time you have faced difficult circumstances and you didn’t respond the way you should have. What could you have done differently?

Trapped between a great expanse of water and an approaching army, Moses again—by God’s help—led the Israelite people to victory. God used Moses to part the waters, allowing His people to walk through on dry ground. Imagine the scene.  God created a way for the Israelite people to escape the harsh treatment of the Egyptian taskmasters. Just as God provided a way of salvation for His people from Egypt, He does the same for His people today. God provided physical salvation for the Israelites, but today, He offers spiritual salvation through the person of Jesus Christ.

red sea copy

 

Family Devotion:

Supplies Needed: Bible, paper, pencil, “I Am Yahweh” song from Family App

Gather your family and discuss different plans to escape from your house in case of a fire. Walk from room to room planning an exit. Think about what items you would take before leaving. Perform a drill to see if it works. Write the plan out so everyone remembers the escape route.

Read Exodus 13:21; 14:8-27.

Say: The Israelites were between an approaching Egyptian army and the Red Sea. You could say they were between a “rock and a hard place.” When the Israelites looked both directions they saw no way out and became terrified and cried out to God.

Ask: What did God do for the Israelites?

Say: God miraculously delivered the Israelites from the Egyptians. He not only delivered them, but wiped out the entire army of Pharaoh! When it seemed like there was no way to be delivered from sin, God sent His Son, Jesus. Jesus was sent to rescue us from our sin and wipe away it all—an even more miraculous deliverance.

Make up your own deliverance song or sing “I Am Yahweh.” Read Exodus 15:1-3 together as a family. Praise God for delivering you from sin.

March talk.pray.do: Balance

By | March 3, 2014

talk-pray-do-logo-MED-web

 

talk

  • What is the best thing about our family?
  • What do you think makes a happy family?
  • Tell each person in the family why you are glad they are part of our family
  • What three words describe our family?

 

pray

Children love to hear you say what you think about them. Your words are powerful in the shaping of their hearts. As you tuck them in spend a few minutes telling them what you see in their heart. Things like honesty, friendship, love, forgiveness, and loyalty. Remind them that these things are so much more important than what they look like on the outside. Pray together and ask God to protect their heart. Pray that they grow up with a loving heart that follows after God.

do

This month use the family take home kit to have a game night playing the classic egg and spoon race…a game about balance.  Add obstacles in the course and talk with your children about how it was more difficult to see the finish line and focus on balancing the egg.  Share how God is always with us, even in the midst of imbalances and obstacles.

Feel free to use other variations as well: use your mouth to hold the spoon as you race through an obstacle, use a raw egg; add obstacles to the playing area; require players to march, skip, side-step, etc.  Be creative, but most importantly have fun and enjoy your family.

As we begin the 40 days of balance  we in Kids Community encourage your family to check out  check out the lists of examples on the Vista 40 Days page, which may inspire you!  We encourage you to share your experiences over these 40 Days on your site’s Facebook page, or on your Twitter or Instagram accounts (#40Days #VistaStories). We’d love to have a compilation of steps toward balance that we can share to inspire one another.

How will your family intentionally focus on what Jesus said the greatest commandment is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30).

Connect with us: Share your Family Night photos on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter @vistachurches @vistadublin @vistaworthington  #talkpraydo #vistafamilies

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