November: talk. pray . do

By | October 29, 2014


In Deuteronomy 6: 5-7 we find what Jesus called, “the first and greatest commandment.”  Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your strength.  these commandments that I give to you today are to be upon your hearts.  Impress them on your children and when you sit at home….”

God commands parents to impress the truths of the Bible on the hearts of their children.  We do this by spending time talking about God’s word and sharing our faith with them as we live our lives day by day.  An important part of obeying God’s company in this passage is being very intention about setting time aside at home to read the Scripture, pray and focus our attention on the God that loves us so much that he sent His Son to die for us.

This time together will also deepen and strengthen family relationships and provide an opportunity to take the lead in passion on faith to your children.  As your family’s faith grows at home, it will lead to great worship and service as you seek to follow God’s greatest commission to go and make disciples of all nations.


TALKAsk your child… feel free to skip questions or add new ones as age appropriate

  • Why do we need to be thankful?
  • Read Psalm 100
    • How is God described in the passage?
    • What does this passage say we should do as a result of what we know?
    • What are some ways that we as a family can offer up thanksgiving to God?
    • Why is it hard to be thankful when we know that God is good & gives us everything we need?

PRAY:  A powerful way to pray as a family is to follow the A.C.T.S model

  • A – Adoration: telling God how wonderful He is
  • C – Confession: admitting our sins to God
  • T – Thanksgiving: expressing our gratitude to God
  • S – Supplication: asking God for things we need

You may choose to pray through one or all of these sections. Invite anyone who wants to pray to do so.

Adoration – Psalm 100 is written as a prayer of adoration to God. As a family try praying this passage out loud.

Confession – knowing that God is perfect and that we are not, we need to confess to God what we have done wrong. This helps prepare our hearts to give Thanksgiving to God. Its important that a parent begin this time of confession. Kids need to see parents set the example how to humbly admit and confess.

Thanksgiving – take time as a family to first thank God for who He is. Have the children pray one word prayers of thanksgiving for who God is like – “holy”, “loving” “merciful”, etc.

Supplication – God invites us to share our needs and requests to Him. Like a loving Father, He loves us. Ask God for things we need.


  • Create a Family Thankful Journal this month (provided materials)
  • Discuss as a family what are some things we are thankful to God for


Digging deeper:  Its really easy to become cynical and discouraged. Conversely its hard to be thankful and grateful at times. 

  • Open your Bible to the concordance in the back or do an internet search at  Look up “thanksgiving” “thankful” and “thankfulness”  Take some time to look at some of the passages.  What do you notice about these verses?
  • How would you describe someone with a grateful or thankful heart or attitude to God verses someone who was not?
  • How would you describe yourself in this area? Would you be a thankful person?
  • If a TV reality show followed you around, how would you be described?
  • What are some practical things you can apply to your daily life to live a life of gratitude?




God Made a Covenant with David

By | October 26, 2014

In the Bible, the words “promise” and “covenant” are synonymous with each other. A promise is a commitment given by someone and received by someone else. All promises are con- sidered binding by the one who made them, meaning that the promise giver is expected to fulfill that promise. The promises of God are sacred, and several references give evidence of that—2 Samuel 22:31 says “the promise of the Lord proves true; Psalm 12:6 says “the promises of the Lord are promises that are pure.”

The promises of God cover a vast array of themes—longevity, posterity, deliverance, and restora- tion are just a few examples. In spite of all the different promises from God, they all seem to point to one all-important promise—salvation. The people of God were sustained by the promises of restoration and preservation until the ultimate promise was fulfilled in Jesus. “The promise of the life which is in Jesus Christ” (2Timothy 1:1) is the culmination of all promises by God.

Jesus Christ is the promise of God.


Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 5.00.09 PMLast week we learned about a special friendship. David and Jonathan, King Saul’s son, were the best of friends. This was a big deal be- cause Saul was jealous of David and trying to kill him. David and Jonathan’s friendship was so strong because they were both committed to honoring God and doing the right thing no matter what it took. God used Jonathan’s friendship to protect David from the anger of Saul.



Why is it important to develop godly friendships? Friendships are an important part of our lives; they can either help us or hurt us. Having godly friends can help you be committed to God and to do the right thing no matter what it takes.


Scripture Reading:   2 Samuel 7


Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 10.58.41 PM

For a fun song that gives an overview of 2 Samuel, go online and search YouTube for “The Fabulous Bentley Brothers – 2 Samuel” by Buck Denver from What’s in the Bible.


Talk About It

      1. In the beginning of the chapter, David looked at his beautiful home and made a decision. What was his decision? He saw that he lived in a great cedar home, but that God was being worshipped in a tent. David wanted to build a great temple to the Lord.
      2. What did God tell Nathan to tell David? The Lord said that He did not need a house of cedar; if He needed a house of cedar, He would have had the leaders in the past build it for Him.
      3. God then made some incredible promises to David. Look at verse 16—what three things did God promise to David? God promised David a house, a kingdom, and a throne that would last forever.
      4. What did this promise mean? No one is sitting on David’s throne now. Did God not keep His promise? God was not speaking of David’s rule on earth over Israel. God was making David a promise that one of his descendants would be King of Kings and Lord of Lords! 1,000 years later, King Jesus would arrive from the line of David!
      5. Read Luke 1:29–33. What are the similarities between 2 Samuel 7 and Luke 1? All God’s promises to David were fulfilled God gave Jesus the throne of David that would reign forever.
      6. God has kept every promise He has ever made. How does that make you feel knowing God keeps all His promises all the time?



Use your prayer time thanking God for His many promises to you, and that you can depend on God to keep them. Ask God to help you remember His unfailing promises when you are tempted or sad or happy


2 Samuel 7 God Made a Covenant with David – Vista Dublin lesson (10/26/14)   Vista Worthington lesson (11/9/14)

Praying with Your Children

By | October 20, 2014

No matter how old your children are, it’s never too late to begin praying with them. Here are a few ideas to help you get started.


Newspaper Prayer. Try this idea at the beginning of the day as you’re eating breakfast. Have each family member take a portion of the newspaper and circle items that he or she feels need to be prayed for. Then ask family members to pray for the things they circled.

Sentence Prayer. You can help your children pray aloud by giving them a sentence to complete, such as:

 “Lord, I thank you for . . . ”

 “Lord, forgive me for . . . ”

 “Lord, help my friend . . .”

 “Lord, help me be more . . .”

 “Lord, help me to let go of . . .”

 “Lord, give me the courage to . . .”

 “Lord, one of the fears I need help with is . . .”

Highs and Lows. Ask your children what their “highs” were from the day, and then ask them about their “lows” from the day. Share your highs and lows as well, and then pray about them together.

Prayer Journal. Share your prayer requests with the other members of your family, and then record them in a prayer journal. One person can pray for all the requests you’ve listed for the day. The next time you pray together, look over the requests you listed previously, and update any changes and answers. This is a good way to see how God has been active in your prayer lives.

A.C.T.S. Prayer. This well-known form of prayer is easy to remember:

 A stands for adoration. Begin the prayer by simply adoring God for who He is.

 C stands for confession. Spend some time confessing your sins.

 T stands for thanksgiving. Take time to thank God for the blessings He has given to you and your family.

 S stands for supplication. Lift up specific areas of your life in which you need God to provide for your needs.

Remember that prayer is just a conversation with God. Let your children hear you talking with God about your day, your concerns, and your joys, and then ask them to do the same.

A True Friend

By | October 19, 2014

“The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice” (Proverbs 12:15).The book of Proverbs quite often contrasts good counsel with bad counsel. There are numerous examples in the Bible of both types. Eve was given bad advice when Satan told her to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Eve chose to listen to the bad advice, and as a result was kicked out of the garden. King Rehoboam received both good and bad advice. He chose to listen to the bad advice, and ended up splitting the kingdom. Commander Naaman received good ad- vice from his servant. Because Naaman chose to listen to his servant’s advice, which he didn’t even like, Naaman was healed from his leprosy.Not only is listening to good advice important, but we need to be sure that we also give good ad- vice. Our advice should be encouraging, supportive, and most importantly, according to God’s Word. When you give such advice, that makes you a friend indeed!


Last week was an exciting lesson on God’s great power. The Phil- istine army had a champion named Goliath challenging the Israelite army. He stood over 9 feet tall, and the Israelite army was terrified, in- cluding King Saul. David came to the camp to bring his brothers food. He could not understand why the Israelites were so scared. David said he would fight Goliath. Saul offered David his armor, but David refused to wear it. He went against Goliath with a slingshot and five stones. David killed Goliath with just one stone.Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 4.59.44 PM To whom did David give the glory for killing the giant? “This day the LORD will hand you over to me…and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel.” (I Samuel 17:46)

Scripture Reading  This is the most important part of family worship. If you don’t have time to do anything else, be sure to do this section.

I Samuel 18:1–12 19:1–10 20:1–42Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 5.00.09 PM

For a quick review of the book of I Samuel, go online and search YouTube for “Books of the Bible – 1 Samuel” by Buck Denver from What’s in the Bible


Talk About It

  1. David was a young man that God had chosen to be the next king. He defeated Goliath.Who was Jonathan? He was Saul’s son and David’s best friend.
  2. What did Jonathan think when David told him that Saul wanted to kill him? He didn’t be-lieve it; he thought his father, Saul, talked with him about everything.
  3. What promise did Jonathan make to David? He promised he would find out whether or not Saul wanted to kill David.
  4. What was Jonathan and David’s plan to find out if Saul wanted to kill David? The plan was that David would not attend a special feast. If Saul was angry, then David was in danger. Jonathan would shoot an arrow. If he said that the arrow was close, David knew he was safe. If Jonathan said the arrow was beyond, David knew he was in danger.
  5. What happened when Jonathan told Saul that David was not coming to the feast? Saul was so angry that he tried to kill Jonathan, his own son. Jonathan got word to David. They said a tearful goodbye, and David escaped.

6. What made David and Jonathan’s friendship so strong? They were both committed to honoring God and doing the right thing no matter what. Friendships can be good or bad; they can protect us or they can hurt us. What kind of friends do you have? Talk about the impor- tance of building godly friendships.


Adoration: Praise God for his protection.

Confession: Ask God to forgive you for the times you were jealous of someone like Saul was of David.

Thanksgiving: Thank God for good friends that help you do the right thing.

Supplication: Ask God to give you more friends like David and Jonathan; ask God to protect you from temptation and spiritual attack.


Do  Family Night: Activity


  • 3×5 card for each person
  • Tape
  • MarkersChoosing good friends is important, but being a good friend is also important. One way of being a good friend is to be friendly and show kindness. Today we will practice being kind.Together discuss some character traits that make a good friend.

Tape a 3×5 index card on the back of each person.

Have each family member write something they appreciate about each person on the card on his/her back.

After everyone has had time to write something on each person’s card, take off the cards and have each person read his/her card out loud.

Everyone will have a list of things that people appreciate about them.

Missional Family, Missional Kids

By | October 18, 2014

Even though spell check wants to correct me, the word “missional” has meaning and is important to understand. It may sound like a Christian or social-justice buzz word, but  its meaning is rooted in scripture and modeled by Christ. To be missional is to be actively on mission to further the name of Jesus everywhere and anywhere one goes. How does this apply to the family? To kids?

Families can be missional in a variety of ways:

  • Know your neighbors: invite them for meals, plan neighborhood parties, host cook-outs and playgroups, help the elderly, new moms, and anyone else who may need to see the light of Christ through you and your family
  • Involve yourself in the schools your children attend: this goes beyond the obligatory volunteer duties. Know and pray for the teachers and administrators, host playdates for your children, even consider starting a Bible study or community group for kids! This will allow you to know more parents and widen your sphere of influence.
  • Participate in community activities: The more you know the culture of your community, the more you know how to live life with others. If you don’t know what is going on in your own community, you might not have anything in common with a fellow member of the community and therefore not earn the trust it takes to share the gospel with someone.
  • Help those in need both physically and spiritually in your city: Jesus calls us to care for the poor. Kids need to see this in action. There are numerous opportunities to do this regularly by supporting food banks, soup kitchens, and other networks that are safe for you to volunteer at with your children.
  • Pray actively for people groups around the world who have not heard the gospel and support missionaries financially. Involve kids in raising money.

Kids will follow this pattern as they grow in their own faith. They will naturally want to be on mission as they watch their parents be intentional with the spheres of influence given to them. This is why it is so important to not only live on mission for the gospel, but to involve children every step of the way. It starts with the family and it ends with kingdom-minded kids. –Lifeway- Family Ministry 101 

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