MONTHLY ARCHIVES: July 2013

Conversation Starters: He Disciplines the One He Loves

Posted on July 31, 2013 by Teeny

“Don’t be deceived:  God is not mocked.  For whatever a man sows he will also reap, because the one who sows to his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirt.” Galatians 6:7-8

How can you keep this conversation going at home?  Try bouncing some of these questions around at the dinner table, as you’re driving your kids to school or an activity or even while you’re shopping together:

For Preschoolers
What are some of the rules we have in our house?
Why do we have those rules?  Are they because we don’t want you to have any fun, or because we don’t want you to get hurt?

For Children
What do you think would happen if you were never punished when you did something wrong?
Do you think if we (your parents) loved you more, we wouldn’t discipline you as much?  Why or Why not?

For Students
Talk with your teenager about the worst trouble you ever got into.  What did you learn from it?  How did your own parents discipline you?


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Conversation Starters: Our Calling to His Purpose

Posted on July 24, 2013 by Teeny

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

How can you keep this conversation going at home?  Try bouncing some of these questions around at the dinner table, as you’re driving your kids to school or an activity, or even while you’re shopping together:

For Preschoolers
What do you want to be when you grow up?

How can you show people you love God in that job?

For Children
In addition to the above questions, ask, How do you think you can tell if this is something God wants you to do with your life?

For Students
When you work on a group project, hod do you decide which idea to go with?

Is it sometimes hard to admit someone else might have a better idea than you?  What do you do about it?


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Crafts With Teeny: Earring Holder

Posted on July 19, 2013 by Teeny

This one’s for the girls!

This month’s craft is a homemade earring and jewelry holder. It is very easy to make and a lot cheaper than most earring holders!

Supplies:
– Old frame ($3 Goodwill)
– Paint (optional)
– Burlap
– Glue
– Fabric Rosettes

1. Paint the frame whatever color and design you want. Make sure to let it dry completely (overnight is best).

2. Paint a design or letter on the burlap to add extra decorations! You can also use screen or chicken wire to hang the earrings. Let it dry completely. 

3. While everything is drying you can make your fabric rosettes by cutting extra fabric into strips (2” wide) and then rolling and twisting them into a rose or flower shape. You can add a little glue each time you go around to hold it in place. It’s easiest if you tie a knot at the end of the fabric strip and then start twisting from there. Make sure to keep some extra fabric at the end to fold it over the back and glue it. 

4. I used a glue gun to attach the burlap to the back of the picture frame. You’ll want to make it as tight as you can so that the burlap will hold the earrings. 

5. Finish off the earring holder by gluing your fabric rosettes to the frame and then hang your earrings! 

Enjoy making your new earring holder! Send us a picture if you make one with your campers!


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Conversation Starters: Our Caretaker

Posted on July 17, 2013 by Teeny

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”  Deuteronomey 31:8

How can you keep this conversation going at home?  Try bouncing some of these questions around at the dinner table, as you’re driving your kids to school or an activity, or even while you’re shopping together.

For Preschoolers:
Play a game of “Follow the Leader” or “Simon Says” with your preschooler.  Use the experience to talk about how you as a parent would never give your child something to do that was impossible or that would hurt them.  Talk about how God is the same way.

For Children:
Have you ever tried to put a model together without a plan or a picture to go by?  Was it frustrating?  Why?

For Students:
Do you think God is concerned about every detail of our lives or just the “big stuff”?  What makes you say so?  If it is just the “big stuff”, then what counts as “big stuff”?

If God is concerned about every detail, then do you trust Him with every detail?  Why or why not?


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Dads: Make Every Day Count

Posted on July 10, 2013 by Phil

Legendary football coach Vince Lombardi was well-known for a lot of things, most notably his passion for teamwork, commitment and success. Lombardi was driven to succeed, and he knew that winning required hard work and sacrifice.

“I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour,” Lombardi said, “the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.”

As a father, my wife and children dominate the list of the things that I hold dear, and I will gladly lay exhausted on the field of battle for the cause of protecting and serving my family. I worked with at-risk kids for more than 20 years, and I’ve seen the positive role that dads play in the lives of their children. I’ve also witnessed firsthand the devastation that can occur when a child has no father figure in his or her life.

Assessing victory or defeat on the football field is relatively straightforward. It’s simply a matter of knowing the rules and how to keep score. Fatherhood is different. There is no off-season. No signing bonuses. No referees.

Yet victory is still possible.

One of the most effective parenting game plans is to simply take advantage of everyday opportunities to love our children and instill the right values in them. To be the best dad we can be is to make every day count.

So, where do we begin? We start with five key behaviors of a healthy, thriving family. These five behaviors demonstrate that small daily investments can make a big impact in a child’s life. They are prayer, laughter, time, conversation and dinner. Let’s look at each one:

Prayer: More than just praying for our children, prayer allows us to model for them the importance of taking our requests to a loving and gracious God. A few years ago, when I was without a job and our housing situation became unstable, our entire family sought the Lord together every day, and God provided for us in amazing ways. We continue to seek the Lord as a family (we have three young kids) to this day. Family prayer has drawn us closer to each other and to God.

Laughter: Modern science tells us that laughter has many benefits. It can increase blood flow, reduce stress and even help suppress pain. Laughter also has a profound impact on social interactions: Laughter connects us with others. Having fun as a family strengthens your relationships with your children and helps create positive memories. One of the regular ways we have fun is by watching our family videos. We make popcorn, laugh and reconnect as a family while we recall some of our favorite times together.

Time: We all have to choose how to occupy our limited free time, but you will never regret spending extra time with your children. (Watching TV together is not enough!) Ask yourself: Is the time we spend together as a family positive? Does it draw us closer together, or are we simply in the same home at the same time? In our home, Friday evenings are our regular family time. The kids look forward to it and each pick out a game for us to play. I also set aside one-on-one time with each of my kids. We call them “Date Nights With Dad,” which include activities like fishing, an evening at the park (with ice cream to follow, of course!) or a wagon ride around the neighborhood. Most of them involve little or no money – just lots of time together. Regular date nights also pave the way for a deeper and trusting relationship as our children grow.

Conversation: Talking is not always the same as conversing. A lot of family communication centers on superficial aspects of our lives such as managing daily schedules and whether or not we are keeping up with our regular duties (chores, homework, etc.). Do you ever set aside time to learn more about your children, to exchange ideas and opinions free from the regular interruptions of life? Can you name the “one thing” that gives meaning to your child’s life? Most parents can’t. Dads, if we don’t ask these questions – and actively listen to the answers – then we may never know our children’s fears and dreams.

Dinner: Researchers have found that family members who eat dinner together at least four times a week exhibit improved communication, healthier eating habits, higher grades and fewer problems with at-risk behaviors. The key to family dinners is keeping them free from distractions. Unplug from the world and pay attention to each other. One of the ways my family does this is by having everyone around the table share his or her “highs” (best thing of the day) and “lows” (low point of the day). Use dinnertime to engage in some of the other thriving family behaviors: time, prayer and conversation (and maybe even some laughter).

If your family is lacking in these behaviors, don’t despair. We all fall short as parents, but it’s never too late to start. No matter the ages of your children, begin today to take advantage of everyday interactions.

Maybe your children are grown and out of the house. You can still pray with them and for them, even if it’s over the phone. Invite them to dinner if they live nearby. Take the time to have a conversation about something other than the weather; maybe you’ll even get to share a few laughs.

It’s time to make every day count.

by Roy Baldwin To read the complete article, visit Focus on the Family…

Copyright © 2012 Focus on the Family.


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Conversation Starters: Obedience to Him

Posted on July 3, 2013 by Teeny

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”  Matthew 7:21

Conversation Starters
How can you keep this conversation going at home?  Try bouncing some of these questions around at the dinner table, as you’re driving your kids to school or an activity, or even while you’re shopping together:

For Preschoolers
What are some rules that keep you safe?
Why do we have rules like this?
What are some of God’s rules?  Did God give us rules to keep us from having fun, or because He loves us?

For Children
What are some rules you know we should follow?
Why should we obey these rules?
Is there more to being a Christian than just following rules?  What else?

For Students
Why are relationships important?
How do rules protect relationships?
Honestly, how would you feel about a parent who had no rules or expectations for his children?


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