Bulletin Inserts: February 2015
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Heritage Builders Weekly Parenting Tips
WEEK 1: Not Just Wood and Stone
Idols come in all shapes and sizes. Have kids bring "a favorite thing" to this activity and a Bible. Ask each one to demonstrate what the "favorite thing" is that was brought to the table. Your job as facilitator is to demonstrate that an object has no spirit or soul. It's completely unable to demonstrate feelings or actions towards the one who "loves" it. You might ask the following: How much time do you spend using this item? What kind of joy/satisfaction does it bring you? How long do you think it will last? How much time do you spend reading your Bible, praying, being in fellowship with other Christians each week? How does that compare to the time you spend with your favorite things? Share: Idols of the Old Testament days were typically inanimate objects made of stone, wood, or metal. But today's idols come in all shapes and sizes. The Babylonians had many gods, and their worship of these gods included terrible things such as child sacrifice. They had a god for every desire. What are some of today's idols? Money: we strive to gain as much as possible even when it hurts our families or those around us. Money becomes more important than anything. Material possessions: We love new toys, games, books, movies, cars, etc. But sometimes, those things get more of our attention than God. When that happens, they become idols. Read Isaiah 46:1-11. Share: Isaiah tells us, "Who shapes a god and casts an idol, which can profit him nothing?" We think of idols as statues of wood or stone, but in reality an idol is anything natural that is given sacred value and power. If your answer to any of the following is anything other than God, check out who you are worshiping. Who created me? Whom do I ultimately trust? Whom do I look to for ultimate truth? Whom do I look to for security and happiness? Who is in charge of my future? Read Colossians 3:5-6. Share: God comforts us. God loves us. Idols can't. Let us commit to think about and give our love to God, not idols. When we love God and not idols, we are keeping the second commandment. Teach the slogan: "You shall not make for yourself an idol."
WEEK 2: "Fictionary"
God's name represents His character, personage, nature, reputation, and role. You'll need a dictionary, pieces of paper, pencils, and a Bible. Open by playing a game of "fictionary" with your family. Have someone choose an unfamiliar word from the dictionary and write it on a piece of paper. Then have other family members secretly write a definition for that word (it can be a serious attempt, humorous guess, or anything that might seem believable). Have the person who chose the word also write the real definition on a similar sheet of paper. Then have the person who chose the word mix up the papers and randomly read each definition. Ask family members to each vote on one definition they think is correct. Award one point to the definition writer for each vote his or her fake definition received. Also, award one point to each person who chose the right definition. If no one guesses the correct answer, award two points to the person who chose the word. Be sure to choose words that no one will know. You can also simply play the boxed version of this game called Balderdash. After a number of rounds, ask: What was the purpose of this game? What did you discover about the words we used in this game? If we put your name on a sheet of paper and asked you to write a definition, what would you write? Have a volunteer read the following names of God: God the Father, God over all the kingdoms of the earth, God my Savior, The God who sees me, Alpha & Omega, Holy and Righteous One, Counselor, Teacher, the Good Shepherd. Invite family members to share other names for God. Then read aloud Exodus 20:7 and Matthew 5:34. Ask: What do these passages tell us about the importance of names? (God's name is something to respect; we shouldn't misuse words or names.) Share: We learned in our game that words have meanings - and that sometimes those meanings can surprise us. God's name has a significant meaning and He wants us to treat His name respectfully. Teach the third commandment slogan: "You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God."
Week 3: Toss Carefully
We need to treat God's name with respect, for it represents God who is holy. You'll need eggs, a checkbook, and a Bible. Take your family outdoors and enjoy an "egg toss" activity. Have them take turns carefully tossing a raw egg to one another. Have fun with this and encourage family members to toss the egg as far as possible without breaking it. You may prefer to use a water balloon. After playing for a while, ask: What was special about the way you had to play the game? (We had to toss carefully; we had to be gentle.) What would happen (or did happen) if you were careless with the egg? (It would break, make a mess.) Write each of your kids a check and sign it in front of them. You may need to explain to young ones that a check can be turned in for "real money" at a bank. If possible, choose to write checks that you really want to give to your kids. You could do this as a creative allowance activity, or simply offer a "bonus" to your kids at this time. Then ask: What would be a wrong way to treat the check I just gave you? (Writing on it; tearing it; losing it.) Share: Just as we handled the egg with respect, and as we'll handle the checks with respect, we should handle God's name with respect. When we are foolish and use God's name in bad ways, it's kind of like tossing an egg carelessly or tearing up a valuable check. It shows disrespect for God when we use His name in a wrong way. Read aloud Psalm 99:3. Share: When we use God's name, let's use it in a respectful manner, such as to praise Him or to talk to Him in prayer. Teach the life slogan: "You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God." Close in prayer, thanking God for His blessings, and asking for mindfulness of using God's name with respect and honor. He deserves all of our honor and praise.
Week 4: In the Air
A time of rest helps us to refocus on God and brings purpose to all our weekly activity - to serve Him. You'll need a Bible, balloons, markers, small stone per child, paper and pencils. Have each one create a list of responsibilities during a typical week, then help them categorize into school, social, church, family, chores, etc. Give each person 3 or more balloons and have them do the following: Prioritize to see which category takes up the most of their day or week. Place a small stone in one of the balloons, then blow it up and mark on it the thing they spend the most time on. Have them blow up the rest of their balloons and label them according to the next items on the list. Make sure one of them is a "God" balloon. One at a time, have them toss all their balloons in the air and try to keep them from touching the ground. Then ask: Was it easy to focus on one balloon when you had to keep so many in the air? How did you have to deal with the top priority balloon (the one with the stone)? Now have them keep their "God" balloons in the air for 2 minutes. Ask: How easy is it to keep one in the air and why? Read Genesis 2:2-3; Exodus 20:8-11 and 31:12-17 and consider: Why is God so serious in telling us that He wants us to rest? (We are His people and we are to do as God has done; He rested on the seventh day of Creation.) Share: By observing the Sabbath and "resting" from the many busy things we do, we set ourselves apart and show God we choose to serve Him. Also, when we take time out to rest and think about our relationship with God, other people see that we serve God. They learn that we value our church day and want to keep it holy, as the Bible asks us to do. Teach the fourth commandment slogan: "Remember the Sabbath Day by keeping it holy."
Questions? Please feel free to contact Heritage Builders Church Bulletin Insert Administrator- Jim Weidmann.
Email - JimWeidmann@gmail.com • Call - 1(303) 638-1744