How to practice kind words? Chutes and Ladders anyone?

kind, caring word cloud

You’ve heard the old rhyme about sticks and stones, and words not wounding?

Not true!

Our words do matter; to others, and to God!

God really cares about the words that we use and how we use them. How do we talk about this issue with our household? Join us for some discussion!

Start the conversation in the car, or around the family dinner table, or wherever your family is gathered together. Spread the questions out over several sessions. Ask these questions even if you missed the video showing!

Have some family time discussion…

  • Do you find it easy or hard, to use kind words with someone you know well? What about with someone who is a stranger? With someone you dislike? Someone who is giving you a hard time?
  • Have you ever heard the expression: “Kill them with kindness” — what do you suppose it means?
  • Do you feel that there is a difference between acting kindly and true kindness that comes from the heart? How would the two look different?
  • The Bible has lots to say about how we should use our words. Take turns looking up a verse and talking about what it means to you: Luke 6:45, Proverbs 15:1, Proverbs 15:4, Proverbs 16:24, Psalm 19:14, and Ephesians 4:29.
  • Several of these verses were from the book of Proverbs. Proverbs is a book full of short instructions on living wisely. Watch this short video about Proverbs. (If reading this in an email, you can watch this video on YouTube.)
  • The Bible tells us that our words are important to God. Why do you suppose God cares about what we say?
    Jesus taught that “A person’s mouth says everything that is in their heart” (Luke 6:45). God listens to what we say; it tells him what is in our innermost selves. God loves us. So of course God would care about us. And, since God loves everyone, he cares about the effect our words could have on other people.
  • Chutes-and-Ladders game boardIn class on Sunday we played a version of Chutes and Ladders. If your child didn’t bring home a game board, get two here. (This will download a Word doc to your downloads folder.)
  • Play this game at home. Use small items as game pieces and toss a dice to play a round.

    Have fun while practicing using kind words!

     

    This summer, we hope you’ll join us on our movie adventure and also, continue the learning at home.

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    Photo credits:
    A created word cloud by moi. Shared at flickr under a Creative Commons license. I also created the game board.

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    How to help kids learn the language of faith?

    Psalm 78:4b

    The words on this photo say it all. Everyone can be involved — parents, aunts, uncles, caregivers, grandparents… all of the significant adults in the life of a child.

    The language of faith can be taught by your example.

    Start with a simple word:

    Praise.”

     
    As you are outside this summer, express wonder and thanksgiving for the beauty of God’s creation. You are teaching praise! Marvel at the clouds, rain, rocks, sunsets, flowers, you name it! Get into the habit by trying to praise God in this manner, out loud, at least once a day.

    Nature - sunsets, clouds, flowers, rocks

    What are other ways to praise God?

    Clive and Ian in the Wonder-Blimp of KnowledgeThis past Sunday, in our summer video series, with Clive & Ian (in the Wonder-Blimp of Knowledge) our big question was: How do we show respect to God through praise?

    • As you sit down for supper, praise God for good foods. (Try some of these table graces.)
    • When you engage in prayer time, start off my praising God. Tell God how awesome you think that he is. ( “We adore you God!” or “God, you are truly amazing!”)
    • This coming Sunday (July 3) a hymn we will sing in church is America, the Beautiful. Singing is a great way to praise God. Lift your voices in practice! (Sing along?)
    • Look for the ways writers in the Bible praised God. (Psalm 19:1, Psalm 150, or Hebrews 13:15) …Or…
    • On Sunday we watched a second video of a mime troupe showing us physical ways to praise God that are also biblical. Watch the video below. What do you think of their suggestions as ways to praise God? Which ones can you try out? (The table below the video lists the seven ways to praise God.)

    (If reading this in an email, you may need to watch the video at this link.)

    Hebrew word Pronounced Meaning Bible reference
    TOWDAH  to-DA to sacrifice Psalm 50:23
    YADAH yah-DA to lift your hands Psalm 134:2
    BAROUCH BAR-ou to bow Psalm 95:6
    SHABACH Sha-BACH to shout Ezra 3:11
    ZAMAR ZAH-mar to play an instrument 1 Chron. 15:16
    HALAL Ha-LELL to rave and boast Psalm 44:8
    TEHILLAH Te-HEAL-a all of the above! Psalm 34:1 (the word praise here is in Hebrew, Tehillah)
    How will you help your child(re) learn the language of faith?

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    Photo credits:
    I created the collage with a Bible verse from the photo “Sunset meadow hike” by woodleywonderworks, who licensed this photo on Flickr under a Creative Commons License. (Photo has been cropped and words added.)
    Other photos are from my archives with the exception of the Clive and Ian photo, which is from the producer of our video Clive & Ian’s Wonder-Blimp of Knowledge, under a fair use category.

    Are you seeing ads? They are not from me! They are placed by WordPress, who otherwise offers a free platform from which to share lots of good-ness. If you see an inappropriate ad, please report it to support@wordpress.com. Include the URL, the date/time the ad appeared, and a screenshot of the ad.

    How to tell God he matters to you?

    Here it is — the first official Dinner Table Talk Guide! This is designed to be used in conjunction with our summer movie series, but if your kids missed class this past weekend (or, if you don’t have any kids in your household) don’t let that stop you! Use this guide to help your family cultivate a growing faith — bring love and joy to yourselves and to the world around you.

    Our questions from this week’s lesson centered on showing respect to God, specifically through prayer.

    God is our awesome creator, he is loving and powerful! We want to show him respect, but how?

    By not ignoring God.

    God puts an offer out there to always be available for conversation with us. Prayer is what we call talking and listening to God. When we pray we open ourself to God, sharing the parts of our life that matter most to us. We are saying, God you rank high in my book!

    It is important to note that God lets us choose whether we decide to join in dialogue with him, or not. Getting to know God takes initiative on our part! What are some ways to help us in our prayers?

    a child with a purple balloonIn our lesson we used balloons to pray! What a fun way to “lift” prayers to God.

    We also reviewed a “recipe” to follow when praying. We’ve heard this one before — applying the acronym ACTS.

     
    (I want to stress that a formula for prayer is not a requirement, but it can help one to stay focused. I find using ACTS beneficial, as it is too easy for me to be distracted whenever I pray; utilizing ACTS keeps me on track.)

    What are some other ways to help us talk to God?
    • Invite God to your activities. The next time you are about to start an enjoyable venture, invite God to savor the experience with you. For example, before jumping into the pool, pray: Be with us, Jesus. Come and share this refreshing swim along side of us. We’re so grateful that You created water for us to enjoy!
    • Practice praying in silence. (It’s how most people pray!) Make the amount of time spent in silence appropriate to your kids’ ages. You may want to start out with just 15 seconds of silence.
    • Get out the crayons. Prayers don’t always have to be words. Provide coloring tools and have your child draw a picture of things for which they are thankful.
    What prayer methods can you share?

    See these past discussions on ways to mix up your prayer life:
    https://familyfaithcompanion.org/2010/08/19/why-we-pray-a-friendship-needs-feeding/
    https://familyfaithcompanion.org/2010/08/04/making-prayer-a-part-of-every-day-life/
    https://familyfaithcompanion.org/2010/08/12/more-creative-ways-to-pray/
    What is Breath Prayer

    a blue line


    Photo credits:
    Purple balloon by Thomas Rydberg, who licensed this photo on Flickr under a Creative Commons License.

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    How to never underestimate the power of table talk?

    It is time once again for our annual Sunday’s Cool summer movie series at FUMC!

    As in previous years, this summer’s film series launches a way for you to share your faith with your kids. How?

    By making a way for you to harness the power of table talk.

    the power of table talkOur videos shown during Sunday’s Cool classes will help kids discover some answers to various questions that will be raised, but it’s up to you to continue the discussion with your household.

    Whether it’s around the table or while you are together in the car, you can do this!

    And I’ll help by providing starter questions.

     
    Why is this type of conversation important?

    It models the spiritual discipline of talking.

    Yes! That’s a spiritual discipline! You see, God has a habit of showing up in the types of activities which John Wesley termed “the Means of Grace.”

    Wesley taught that we can’t earn God’s grace (God’s loving kindness), but we don’t want to sit around waiting to hopefully experience it! We are to engage in certain activities — means of grace; things like worship, reading scripture, prayer, acts of mercy, and “Christian conversation” AKA Table Talk!

    A bunch of questions about God to be addressed in our video series

    Each week in Sunday’s Cool, we’ll address questions with the help of Clive & Ian and their Wonder-Blimp of Knowledge. If you sign up to receive emails when I post to this blog, then after each class you’ll find in your inbox a set of discussion helps.

    Clive & Ian in the Wonder-Blimp

    Won’t you join us with Clive and Ian as they go on adventures in search of answers by soaring in their Wonder-Blimp of Knowledge! Make sure you don’t underestimate the power of Table Talk!

    a blue line


    Photo credits:
    Altered table photo from a Public Domain image. Other photos are from the producer of our video Clive & Ian’s Wonder-Blimp of Knowledge, under a fair use category.

    Are you seeing ads? They are not from me! They are placed by WordPress, who otherwise offers a free platform from which to share lots of good-ness. If you see an inappropriate ad, please report it to support@wordpress.com. Include the URL, the date/time the ad appeared, and a screenshot of the ad.

    What do respectful actions look like? Does God care?

    Another wonderful adventure in the Wonder-Blimp!

    Clive & Ian (and Monkey) in the Wonder-Blimp

    Our question for today was:

    How do we show God respect through our actions?

    Use the discussion questions below to encourage a dialog with the Bible! Start the conversation in the car on the way home from church, or around the family dinner table, or wherever your family is gathered together. Ask these questions even if you missed the video showing!

    Have some family time discussion…

    • Here’s a quiz. You see the following actions. What would you say is true about the person who is doing these actions?
      • Scowls at everyone.
      • Greets everyone with a smile.
      • Drops litter on the ground.
      • Holds the door for the person behind them.
    • Why are our actions important to God?
    • In our daily life, how we can show respect to the people around us? (Hint: Read the “Golden Rule” in Matthew 7:12.)
    • What would that look like at the dinner table at home? At recess on the playground? In the classroom? In the car?
    • How can we remember to act that way? Can we come up with a family code word that will mean: “change your behavior to be more loving”? How about “Matthew 7:12” or just “7-12?”
    • We often mess up. (We are only human!) What can we do when we flub up? (Ask for forgiveness and for help in being more loving.)

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    Photo credits:
    Photos from the producer of our video Clive & Ian’s Wonder-Blimp of Knowledge, under a fair use category.

    Are you seeing ads? They are not from me! They are placed by WordPress, who otherwise offers a free platform from which to share lots of good-ness. If you see an inappropriate ad, please report it to support@wordpress.com. Include the URL, the date/time the ad appeared, and a screenshot of the ad.

    Do helpful words, matter to God?

    word cloud

    You’ve heard the old rhyme about sticks and stones, and words not wounding?

    So not true.

    Our words do matter; to others, and to God!

    God really cares about the words that we use and how we use them.

    How do we know?

    Join us for some discussion! Start the conversation in the car on the way home from church, or around the family dinner table, or wherever your family is gathered together. Spread the questions out over several sessions. Ask these questions even if you missed the video showing!

    Have some family time discussion…

    • Do you find it easy or hard, to use kind words with someone you know well? What about with someone you dislike? With someone who is giving you a hard time?
    • Have you ever heard the expression: “Kill them with kindness” — what do you suppose it means?
    • Do you feel that there is a difference between acting kindly and true kindness that comes from the heart? How would the two look different?
    • The Bible has lots to say about how we should use our words. Take turns looking up a verse and talking about what it means to you: Luke 6:45, Proverbs 15:1, Proverbs 15:4, Proverbs 16:24, Psalm 19:14, and Ephesians 4:29.
    • Several of these verses were from the book of Proverbs. Proverbs is a book full of short instructions on living wisely. Watch this short video about Proverbs. (If reading this in an email, you can watch this video on YouTube.)
  • The Bible tells us that our words are important to God. Why do you suppose God cares about what we say?
    Jesus taught that “A person’s mouth says everything that is in their heart” (Luke 6:45). God listens to what we say; it tells him what is in our innermost selves. God loves us. So of course God would care about us. And, since God loves everyone, he’d care about the effect our words would have on other people.
  • In class on Sunday we played a version of Chutes and Ladders. If your child didn’t bring home a game board, get two here. (This will download a Word doc to your downloads folder.) Use some coins as game pieces and toss a dice to play a quick round.
  • Bonus question: Would you attend a dance party on the Wonder-Blimp?
  • -------

    This summer, we hope you’ll join us on our movie adventure and also, continue the learning at home.


    Photo credits:
    A created word cloud by moi. Shared at flickr under a Creative Commons license.

    Are you seeing ads? They are not from me! They are placed by WordPress, who otherwise offers a free platform from which to share lots of good-ness. If you see an inappropriate ad, please report it to support@wordpress.com. Include the URL, the date/time the ad appeared, and a screenshot of the ad.

    My authentic self is flawed. How can God love me?

    I have often wondered how God could possible love me. When it comes to handling my life – I flub up. Often. I’m flawed!

    Yet God still loves me.

    One of the greatest things we can teach each other is that God loves us no matter what we do. I need constant reminders. And you?

    A love note from God

    In our adventures with Clive and Ian’s Wonder-Blimp, today’s query was:

    Does God Love Me When I Do Bad Things?

    Use the questions below to continue the discussion. Start the conversation in the car on the way home from church, or around the family dinner table, or wherever your family is gathered together. Ask these questions even if you missed today’s video showing!

    Have some family time discussion…

    • Have everyone share one thing that they noticed that the person on their left, did “right” today. (Allow all replies!)
    • Do we always do the right thing – all the time? What happens when we do something “bad”? (There are usually consequences!)
    • Do you suppose that there is anything that you can do that will make God love you less?
    • How can I be assured that God loves me?
    • God can be pretty hard to understand! We can only say, “Thank You God” for what Jesus did for us – dying for our sins. Jesus’ death and resurrection has brought hope to everyone!
    • Read in the Bible, the story of Peter disowning Jesus (Luke 22:54-62). Did Jesus stop loving Peter? (No!)
    • Sometimes we are like Peter. When we do wrong things, it’s like we turn our backs on Jesus. But through Jesus we have been forgiven and brought into right relationship with God.
    • Buck Denver starts to tell us about commasBonus Question: Why do you suppose we need speed bumps (AKA: commas) in our sentences? What if every time we saw a comma, we were reminded that God loves us?

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    This summer, we hope you’ll join us on our movie adventure and also, continue the learning at home.


    Photo credits:
    Photos from the producer of our video Clive & Ian’s Wonder-Blimp of Knowledge, under a fair use category.

    Are you seeing ads? They are not from me! They are placed by WordPress, who otherwise offers a free platform from which to share lots of good-ness. If you see an inappropriate ad, please report it to support@wordpress.com. Include the URL, the date/time the ad appeared, and a screenshot of the ad.

    Do I stop listening when you stop reading?

    Buck Denver talks to Clive and Ian in the Wonder-BlimpEach week this summer we’ve been at the movies.We join Buck Denver as he asks Clive and Ian to investigate big questions about God and about our relationship with God.

    Clive and Ian's Wonder-Blimp of KnowledgeThe cool thing is… Clive and Ian find the answers using their Wonder-Blimp of Knowledge! Wouldn’t it be fun to have a Wonder-Blimp? Where would you fly your Airship of Intelligence?

    You can explore past questions here.

    Our question for today was:

    How do we show respect to God by listening to him?

    Use the questions below to continue the discussion. Start the conversation in the car on the way home from church, or around the family dinner table, or wherever your family is gathered together.

    Ask these questions even if you missed the video showing!

    Have some family time discussion…

    • Would you say that you are good at listening? All the time? Sometimes? (Test everyone’s listening skills by playing a game of Telephone!)
    • Sometimes listening is really hard! Why do you suppose it is important to listen?
    • How does listening to someone show them respect – how does it say, “You’re important to me?”
    • What about listening to God – how can we do that?
    • What things could keep us from listening to God? (Lots of possible answers – getting busy with other activities, placing more emphasis on them than on our relationship to God…)
    • Reading the Bible counts as “listening” to God. Do we read the Bible? How do you suppose we can make Bible-reading a regular activity? (When we make reading the Bible important to us, it shows our respect for God!)
    • Do you suppose that listening stops as soon as the reading is finished? Or does listening in this case mean not just hearing, but putting what we’ve learned into action?
    • We practiced putting a Bible verse “into our hearts.” Review what we did here.
    • Bonus question: Should Clive and Ian install a tire swing or shag carpeting in the Wonder-Blimp?

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    This summer, we hope you’ll join us on our movie adventure and also, continue the learning at home.


    Photo credits:
    Photos from the producer of our video Clive & Ian’s Wonder-Blimp of Knowledge, under a fair use category.

    Are you seeing ads? They are not from me! They are placed by WordPress, who otherwise offers a free platform from which to share lots of good-ness. If you see an inappropriate ad, please report it to support@wordpress.com. Include the URL, the date/time the ad appeared, and a screenshot of the ad.

    What Should I do When I’m Afraid?

    Monkey pilots Clive and Ian's Wonder-BlimpEach week this summer we’ve joined Clive and Ian in their Wonder-Blimp of Knowledge (expertly piloted by Monkey).

    We’ve been using the Wonder-Blimp to search for answers to big questions about God, and about our relationship with God.

     
    Our question for today was:

    What should I do when I’m afraid?

    What a good question! (Surely you’ve experienced fear!) Use these thought-provoking questions to continue the discussion. Start the conversation in the car on the way home from church, or around the family dinner table, or wherever your family is gathered together.

    Ask these questions even if you missed the video showing!

    Have some family time discussion…

    • Have everyone share about a time when you felt afraid. (Parents too! Share about something that you used to fear when you were a child.)
    • What can you do when you are afraid?
    • How can God help us with our fears?
    • In a Bible, look up Philippians 4:6 in the New Testament. What does this verse tell us that we can do with our fears?
    • Give everyone a blob of Play-Doh and have them form whatever they would like to pray about. Place everyone’s objects in the center of the table and use them to pray.
    • Dr. Schniff reminded us that God is more powerful than whatever it is that you are afraid of, and God is always with us! Can you think of any Bible stories where God showed his power when people were afraid? (Try Mark 4:35-41 or Daniel 6:16-23.)
    • Bonus question: Do you suppose Monkey ever gets tired of piloting the Wonder-Blimp?

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    This summer, we hope you’ll join us on our movie adventure and also, continue the learning at home.


    Photo credits:
    Photos from the producer of our video Clive & Ian’s Wonder-Blimp of Knowledge, under a fair use category.

    Are you seeing ads? They are not from me! They are placed by WordPress, who otherwise offers a free platform from which to share lots of good-ness. If you see an inappropriate ad, please report it to support@wordpress.com. Include the URL, the date/time the ad appeared, and a screenshot of the ad.