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.

    -------


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

    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 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?

    -----


    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.

    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 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.

    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?

    -------

    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.

    How to Respect God through Praise?

    Last week at Vacation Bible Camp we learned that God is powerful! He has the power to comfort, and to heal, and to forgive me! I don’t know about you but knowing that sometimes makes me want to shout for joy!

    Base Camp SIng and Play on day 1

    Did you know that when you praise God, you are showing him respect? This week at our summer video series we joined Clive and Ian in their Wonder-Blimp of Knowledge. We looked for the answer to a big question:

    How Do We Show Respect to God Through Praise?

    Use the following provocative questions to jumpstart 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…

    • What are some ways that God is amazing?
    • When I think about all of those ways God is amazing, I feel like shouting for joy! Brainstorm together a cheer; something that you can spontaneously shout out that will have special meaning for your family. For our family I like: Hulbert’s hurrah El Haggadol !  (El Haggadol is the Hebrew name for God which means “The Great God.” Check out other names for God.)
    • Sunday school lady helped us to see that when we don’t respect God, that’s like saying, “I don’t think you are important God. I don’t need you in my life.” How does praising God show respect for God?
    • What is a novel way that I can praise God this coming week?
    • We watched second video of a mime troupe showing us ways to praise God. Watch the video below. What do you think of their suggestions as ways to praise God? Which ones can you try out? The Bible tells us how to praise God! Look up each of the Bible references to see. (See the list below the video.)

    (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 Psalms 50:23
    YADAH yah-DA to lift your hands 2 Chronicles 20:19-21
    BAROUCH BAR-ou to bow Psalms 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 Psalms 44:8
    TEHILLAH Te-HEAL-a all of the above! Psalm 22:3

    -------

    This summer, we hope you’ll join us on our movie adventure at FUMC. In the meantime… continue the learning at home!


    Photo credits:
    Photo from VBC is from my archives.
    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.

    Is God as powerful as a superhero?

    Buck Denver at the news deskThis summer we’re off to the movies, searching for answers to big questions about God. Buck Denver had his newscast interrupted today with an important question:

     

    Is God as Powerful as a Superhero?

    What a great question! But is God as powerful as a superhero? I don’t know, those Incredibles did some amazing stuff. And Superman, well he’s “more powerful than a locomotive.” Is God as powerful as those champions?

    Clive and Ian's Wonder-Blimp of KnowledgeWe turned once again to Clive and Ian’s Wonder-Blimp of Knowledge to help us with this query.

    Now it’s your turn! Use the discussion questions below. Start the conversation in the car on the way home from church! Continue around the family dinner table, or wherever your family is gathered together.

    You can ask these questions even if you missed the video showing on Sunday!
    You can also access other sets of big questions.

    Have some family time discussion…

    • A character from the video, Dr. SchniffThe famous Dr. Schniff was consulted. He told us about some strong creatures! A Rhinoceros Beetle can lift an object 850 times it’s own body weight! (Which is like the strongest person being able to lift the steel frame of the Statue of Liberty!) How much can you lift? Try it out at home and calculate the amount compared to your own body weight – practice some math
    • Rhinoceros beetleHow does God’s power compare to the Rhinoceros Beetle?
    • What is different about God compared to say Superman or The Incredibles? (God is real! And he loves us.)
    • What are some ways that we can know about God’s power? (We can read Bible stories where God’s power was exhibited. For example in this Moses story.)
    • What are other ways we can experience God’s power? (By paying attention to God’s wonderful creation.)
    • What evidence of God’s power have you seen recently? Start keeping a list!
    • Question: Do you suppose ants ever go on vacation?

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


    Photo credits:
    Rhinoceros Beetle by Geoff Gallice via Flickr, who licensed this photo under a Creative Commons License. Downloaded from Wikimedia Commons; modified by cropping photo.
    Other 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.

    How to respect God by virtue of prayer?

    Clive & Ian & Monkey, in the Wonder-BlimpThis summer we’re off to the movies, joining Clive and Ian’s Wonder-Blimp of Knowledge as we search for answers to big questions about God.

    Last week we explored the big question of who created the universe. We learned that God did! We celebrated how amazing God is!

    This week we added a twist to our series: we asked a question about ourselves and our relationship to God!

    God desires a close, personal, connection with us. But to be near to God, who is after all pretty extraordinary, requires us to treat God with respect! Thus our question for today was:

    How Do We Show Respect to God Through Our Prayer?

    Use the discussion questions below to talk about what your kids learned. Start the conversation in the car on the way home from church. Continue around the family dinner table, or wherever your family is gathered together.

    You can ask these questions even if you missed the video showing!

    Have some family time discussion…

      Buck Denver starts off the show talking about respect

    • What does it mean to respect someone? [An answer: Respecting someone means that you treat them as if they had great value. You look up to them!]
    • Name some people whom you respect. Adults should answer as well!
    • What are some ways that you show those people respect? [Possible answers: You spend time with them, give them gifts, do things for them, you listen to them, or you tell them you like (or love) them…]
    • How do you get a close relationship with someone – like if you have a really good friend – how did you become close friends? [Answers: You spent time together, talking and listening.]
    • Do you suppose these sound like good ways to get closer to God?
    • Sunday school LadySunday school lady helped us to see that if we are not respecting God we ignore him or say, “I don’t need your help.” What are other ways to show respect to God through prayer? [Possible answers: when we treat our relationship to God seriously we don’t joke around when we talk to God; we listen when other people are praying aloud, we tell God all about our lives and our worries and our joys; we are honest with God about what is on our heart.]
    • How can taking something seriously, be a way to show respect?
    • What is a way to pray that uses the acronym: ACTS? [Answer: Each letter in ACTS stands for a type of prayer you lift up to God – Adoration, Confession, Thanks, and Supplication (or perhaps: “Send in help!”)]
    • Bonus question: What do you think Clive and Ian should paint on the side of the blimp?

    Adults: Here’s an important video from the creator of our series, Phil Vischer. Phil has a message about how we can show love and respect to God as a family. (If you are reading in an email you may need to click over to YouTube.)

    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.

    Who created the universe?

    Clive and Ian's Wonder-Blimp of KnowledgeThis summer we’re off to the movies, joining Clive and Ian’s Wonder-Blimp of Knowledge as we search for answers to big questions about God.

    Buck Denver is interrupted by a special news alertOur video started off with our old friend Buck Denver giving us a news report. But then Buck was interrupted by an emergency video call.

     
    A kid had a question about God!

    It was a really big question: Who Created the Universe?

    Use the discussion questions below to talk about what your kids learned. 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. (If you missed the video showing on Sunday, you can watch it below.)

    • So, who made the universe?
    • What is something that God created? (Easy answer: everything!)
    • What did God think of his creation? (Hint: Genesis 1:31)
    • What is one thing in God’s creation that amazes you?
    • What does God’s creation tell us about God?
    • God created and is still creating through the process of evolution. What are some ways we can be more aware of God’s wonderful creation?
    • Bonus question: I wonder if kangaroos like being so bouncy?

    Parents and caregivers: want to get a feel for our first video? Click below to watch. (If you are reading this in an email, you may need to watch on YouTube.)

    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.