Category: family unity

Daniel Was Rescued from the Lions

By | August 22, 2015

dan 6You have probably been to a zoo, gone inside the cat house, and seen a lion. You were not able to pet the lion. In fact, there was some kind of fence or wall that separated you from the lion, because lions are dangerous wild animals. The lion is one of the largest animals in the cat kingdom, second only to the tiger. A male lion can reach eight feet in length and can weigh up to 500 pounds. A lion’s roar can be heard five miles away. Lions may not eat for several days, but when they do, they tend to eat all of their prey. They are able to take down animals that are much larger than themselves.

In ancient Egypt, the lion was respected and feared. Anyone with the ability to hunt a lion was considered to be very brave and was often rewarded by the Pharaoh. Lions were a large part of Egyptian activities, and many Egyptian gods were portrayed as hybrids of the lion, meaning the image of the god had some part that was a lion and some part that was a different animal.

Review: Last week, we learned about how God crashed King Belshazzar’s party. Belshazzar was having a feast, and he invited all the top officials in his kingdom. They were all giving praise to the gods of gold, silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone. In the middle of the party, a hand appeared out of nowhere and started writing on the wall. Although all the wise men of the kingdom tried, the only one who could interpret the writing was Daniel. He explained that there were three words used to describe Belshazzar: numbered, weighed, and divided.

What was the meaning behind the three words? Belshazzar’s days were numbered; he was measured against God’s standard and was found lacking; his kingdom would be divided.

Scripture Reading: Daniel 6

Memory Verse: Daniel 6:27: “He rescues and He saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.”

 

Family Activity:

Post the words Character and Consequences on a wall as headings for two columns.

Under the Character column, post the names: Satraps/Administrators, King Darius, Daniel. Leave space after each name to post the characteristics of that person.

Explain that a characteristic is a distinguishing feature or quality of a person. A consequence is the result or outcome of something that happened earlier. As you go through the story, post the appropriate character traits and consequences under each name.

After the story is complete, place the word “God” under the Characteristics column. Go through and write your own characteristics of God and the consequences that result.

Explain that God’s plan was for Jesus to live in our hearts. It’s up to us whether or not we open the door and let Jesus in to help us live a right life in God’s eyes.

 

Pray:

  • Pick one or two character traits you think God would like to see in your life, and ask God to help you develop those traits
  • Thank God that He is faithful, and that He protects those who are faithful to Him.

Lesson: August 23rd

Daniel and His Friends Obeyed God

By | July 25, 2015

dan 1YAHWEH: THE LORD

The book of Daniel was written during the time that the nation of Israel was in exile. It would have been a common belief among the Babylonians that Israel’s defeat was an indication that they served a weak god. The Jews may have had such thoughts themselves as they were living in exile. They may have thought that God had not kept His promises to them.

God used the lives of four teenagers to prove that not only is He the one true God, but that He had not forgotten about His people or His promises to them. The account of Daniel and his faithfulness proves the sovereignty (one who has supreme power and authority) of Israel’s God. Daniel and his friends trusted the Lord, and He showed Himself able to protect and deliver them.

As a result, His power is made known to and proclaimed by the nations of the world. Our Memory Verse for this unit sounds like it could have been the words of Daniel giving praise to God, but these words were actually stated by a pagan king of Babylon.

 

Review: In the last lesson we learned how the nation of Judah was conquered by the Babylonians. God took His prophet Ezekiel to a valley where he was instructed to prophesize to dead bones—telling them that God would breathe life into them again.

What was God promising His people who were now in exile through this prophecy? God would put His Spirit back in them and they would be made new. He would settle them back into their own land.

Scripture Reading: Daniel 1

Memory Verse: Daniel 6:27: “He rescues and He saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.”

 

Family Activity:

Supplies: paper, pencil or pen

To help review the lesson, divide into two teams and play a game of Tic-tac-toe. One team will be “X” and the other team will be “O”. Using the review questions below, ask one team a question. If the team gets the right answer, they can put either an “X” or an “O” in a spot on the board:

 

  • Why did God have to punish the Jewish people? They chose to worship false gods.
  • How did God punish the Jewish people? They were captured and taken into slavery.
  • What kind of men did the king want Ashpenaz to look for? Ones who were handsome and smart.
  • Why didn’t Daniel want to eat the king’s food? Much of the food was used for idol worship and God had specifically told the Israelites not to eat certain foods.
  • What did Daniel ask that he be fed instead of the king’s food? Vegetables and water.
  • Why did Ashpenaz not want to give Daniel vegetables? He was afraid that Daniel would not look very good and the king would be upset.
  • For how many days was the official to test Daniel and his friends? Ten days.
  • How did God bless Daniel and his friends for taking a stand for what was right? They looked even better than those who had eaten the king’s food.
  • How much better were Daniel and his friends than all the magicians in wisdom and understanding? Ten times better.
  • What special gift did God give to Daniel? The ability to understand dreams and visions.
  • Why did the Babylonians change the names of Daniel and his friends? They wanted them to forget about their home land and their God, and to worship the false gods.

Pray: Ask God to help develop you into people who please Him no matter what. Give thanks to God that He is able to protect and deliver us from the enemy’s temptations.

 

Lesson: July 26th

Staying Connected To Your Kids

By | July 10, 2015

Want to know one of the most effective ways to stay connected to your kids?

Have fun with them! Laugh! Play! Create! Explore!

God has given you not just a child to raise but another human being to enjoy, get to know, learn from and best of all, LOVE.

We want to help get your creative juices flowing so we’ve come up with a few hangout ideas for you and your kid. Yes, that was singular. Kid. These ideas are meant to be experienced one-on-one. It’s great having siblings and being a member of a family, but every now and then nothing is better than being the only child and having mom or dad’s undivided attention.

So, are you ready to have some fun with your kid? Are you ready to break away from the same ol’ same ol’ and make a memory? Well, what are you waiting for? Go have some fun and let us know what is your favorite way to connect with you children.

 

Toddlers

  • Dance in the living room to music together.
  • Go outside and explore.
  • Draw with sidewalk chalk.
  • Blow bubbles.
  • Cuddle up and read books and look at pictures together.

 

Preschool

  • Go to a park or playground and play hide-n-seek.
  • Go get ice cream or make sundaes at home. (Don’t forget the sprinkles!)
  • Have a “fancy” dinner or tea party.
  • Go to your local airport and watch airplanes take off and land.
  • Make a fort in the living room with cushions and blankets and “camp out.” If it’s a warm night, go in the backyard.

 

Elementary

  • Let your child pick out a couple of new board games and have a game night.
  • Ride bikes together. (And if you’re not chicken, try to skateboard.)
  • Try doing an art project or craft together.
  • Make dinner together.
  • Have a good old fashion pillow fight!

 

Middle School

  • Watch YouTube together (Good Mythical Morning, See Ya Reel Soon, and StampyLongNose are highly recommended.)
  • Curl up in the bed and read together.
  • Let your child teach you how to play his favorite video game.
  • Go to a concert and jam out together.

 

High School

  • Walk around the mall and window shop, or set a budget your kid can spend on something “just because.”
  • Go out to eat at your kid’s favorite restaurant.
  • Get your nails done and go to Starbucks. (Hey dad, you’re missing out if you’ve never had a pedicure.)
  • Throw the football, baseball, or try some ultimate Frisbee.
  • Put on your team’s colors, and go to a high school, college, or pro game

 

 

Nahum, Prophet to Ninevah | Nahum 1–3

By | June 6, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 9.13.53 AMSometimes when people read the Old Testament prophets, they develop a false view of God. They read about God’s judgment, not only for the people of Israel, but also for other nations. They may think God is quick-tem- pered and always watching in order to punish, when the exact opposite is true. The Bible tells us that God is pa- tient and slow to anger (Numbers 14:18; Psalm 103:8; Psalm 145:8; Nahum 1:3). God did send words of judgment through His prophets, but there was always time for repentance. For example, Noah was told about the earth’s coming destruction, but judgment did not come for 120 years. God told Moses that the Canaanites were wicked people, but they did not receive judgment for 400 years. The Northern Kingdom had 210 years before their exile, and the Southern Kingdom, Judah, did not experience God’s full judgment for over a century.

God is holy (Isaiah 6:3). He is unable to tolerate sin, yet He shows patience for the purpose of bringing people to repentance.


 

Review:  Last week we learned about the prophet Habakkuk. He had a conversation with God about why God was allowing Judah to go unpunished for their sin. When God told Habakkuk that Judah would be punished with the invasion of Babylon, Habakkuk was shocked that God would use such a wicked nation. In the final chapter, Habakkuk’s words change from questions to praise.

What lesson did Habakkuk learn from his conversation with God? Habakkuk learned to trust God no matter what the circumstances, even when he did not understand.

Scripture Reading:  Nahum 1–3


 

TALK

The prophet Nahum was a prophet to the Assyrian capital city, Ninevah. His prophecy came over a century later than Jonah’s first proclamation of judgment on this city.

  1. What does Nahum say is the reason Ninevah is being judged? (1:2–3) The guilty will not be unpunished. Although Ninevah repented when Jonah was sent to them, they had returned to their old sinful ways, and they were a constant problem for Judah.
  2. What things happen in verses 4–5? The sea and rivers dry up; blossoms fade; mountains quake; earth trembles. Just as God caused the Red Sea to part for Moses and the people of Israel, God can do with the sea as He wishes. Without water the flowers and trees would dry up and die. God brings the flood, and He also brings the drought. When God cuts off the water supply, plant life dies. God is in control of everything; He is

    all powerful.

  3. What does God promise in verse 7? The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust
    in Him. Do you trust in God? Have you asked Jesus to come into your life? The Bible tells us that we will be judged by God. He wants us to come to Him and let Him be in charge of our lives. He wants us to be in Heav- en with Him. There is only one way to do this. We must ask Jesus to come into our life and believe that He died and rose again to pay the punishment for our wrongs. We must trust in Him.

The book of Nahum is about God’s judgment against Ninevah, but there is much more to the book. It talks about God’s patience and compassion. He does not take pleasure in sending judgment on anyone, even if they are not following His ways. God always did and still does make a way of salvation for anyone who turns to Him.


PRAY

John 3:16 is a very familiar verse, but it is a wonderful summary of the main message of the Bible; the message of God’s salvation offered to all. Read or recite the verse together. Use your prayer time in praise and thanksgiving to God for His precious gift.

 


DO

Directions: Have two family members role play the following:

Instruct family member #1 to tap the other person on the shoulder with their finger over and over. Have family member #2 (the one whose shoulder is being tapped) ask family member #1 to stop. Family member #1 should say he or she is sorry, but then after stopping for only a second, start tapping again. Have the family members repeat this process a few times. Finally have them stop. Talk about whether the person who was tapping was really sorry. Why do you think the person played by family member #1 wasn’t really sorry, even though he or she apologized? Explain how our actions show whether or not we are really sorry. Discuss how God is a forgiving and patient God, but there is a point when God chooses to bring correction to those He loves.

 

Lesson: June 7th

Be unconditional: investing in your teen takes time

By | June 5, 2015

You are your teenager’s biggest influence.

It’s statistically true, even if some days it feels hard to believe. The investments you make in your son or daughter will shape him or her for life.

No pressure, right?

According to Psychology Today:
“Parents vastly underestimate how closely they are observed and how constantly they are evaluated by their child. The child tends to idealize the parents, the adolescent tends to criticize the parents, and the young adult tends to rationalize the parenting received.”

It’s no wonder why parenting can wear us out. Toss in teen insecurities with our crazy schedules and we may begin to doubt our effectiveness as parents altogether.

Hang in there. You are able to make a difference, one moment at a time.

Become the go-to person for creating and making the most of family time together.

Here are some tips for creating the space to connect.

5 Routines of Family Time

  1. Daily: You can only give so many great bursts of energy and attention each day, so make sure your family gets one of those bursts. Aim for eating at least one daily meal together. Ask open-ended questions as you chat, like “What has you excited or concerned today?” or “What’s a question you’d like me to give you a clear and honest answer about?” Prioritize starting or ending your day in prayer. Never give up on this!
  2. Weekly: Arrange a regular “family” night or morning time that you all agree to honor. Give each member of the family the chance to rotate ownership of any choices that may be involved, like watching a movie, playing a game, or eating together.
  3. Monthly: Find something special to do each month, be it repeating activities you’ve enjoyed in the past or trying new ones. Ask local friends for ideas, and encourage your teen to likewise brainstorm among his/her own peers to deepen ownership of the final plans. It’s not always necessary for this to be an outing as much as a special time together.
  4. Quarterly: Every season requires new investments in who you each are and how you all live. Pick a day each quarter to spend all day investing in your home or yard, and then discuss what might be needed for every person to contribute as they can.
  5. Yearly: It’s healthy to plan a yearly event with each one of your kids, especially if there is a large age span between them. Teens may have special interests that can’t be explored with their younger siblings through typical family outings, such as rock climbing or a ski trip. Plan a unique outing that considers the uniqueness of your teen, even if it takes months to plan. As always, involve your son or daughter in the process.

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