Browsing Tag

Family Bible Time

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: Refrigerator-Door Kids

It hurt down deep in my heart when a grandmother was telling me recently about her adopted grandchild. He’s a teenager now and all the things he loves to eat are the things you’d find in the door of the refrigerator. He loves butter and jars of peppers and ketchup and salad dressing and jelly. 

Enquiring a little further, I found that the reason for his acquired tastes for the “fridge-door-foods” is that those jar foods were pretty much how he stayed alive during the early years of his life. Rescued from a home where the parents were addicted to drugs and neglectful of the child’s needs, the young child had eaten what he could reach—the stuff in the bottom of the refrigerator door. 

While this is tragic and happens all too often, it occurs to me that we may have refrigerator-door-fed kids in a spiritual sense, too. Maybe there are those, even within our churches, who are spiritually malnourished; kids growing up in homes where there’s no significant provision made for a meaty diet of rich and soul-saving spiritual nutrition. If there’s no family Bible time, only sporadic prayers offered before meals, and no attention given to preparation for Bible classes on Sunday morning and Wednesday night, children are left to ingest only what’s available in other homes they may visit or the precious little that occurs in Sunday School. ( Bible class teachers are extremely limited in the time they are given with students.) When there are no Bible classes in the daily school, and the Deuteronomy 6:4-6 kind of parental teaching conversations are rare, then kids are going to make poor ethical and social decisions using underdeveloped and malnourished spiritual muscles. They’re learning from that to which they have access: usually television, peers, and school—a combination that, generally, fails at instilling spiritual values that can navigate to and through a life of faith that leads to heaven. Occasionally, someone else steps in with needed sustenance and children avoid spiritual disease and disaster, but, more often than not, spiritual refrigerator-door-kids don’t grow into faithful and godly adults. More often than not, their chances for heaven, as they emerge into adulthood, are just not great. 

Of course, there are exceptions. And, yes, of course, a well-fed child can grow up and walk away from the good stuff, making choices to eliminate the substantial teachings of the Word and to substitute the ear-tickling subjectivism that permeates religion in our world today. But just because our babies could grow up and eat junk when they go away to college, would we just surrender their health, early on, and allow them to eat only the stuff in the door? 

Quick take-away today: 

Try this weekly family Bible time routine, for a month, for a more purposeful spiritual diet at your house:  

Sunday: Souls….Think of someone your family knows who needs to know the Lord and have the children write out an invitation to an event at your congregation, an encouraging note, or a passage of scripture. Then pray, as a family, for this soul or family of souls. Work your way toward asking for a Bible study. Let the kids be a part of evangelism. 

Monday: Memorization…Have the children learn one passage of scripture during this family time. Keep working till you can say it together. Be sure they know what it means. Start with verses for the steps of salvation. Be sure to ask them to repeat this verse throughout the week. 

Tuesday: Test…make a game of testing your childrens’ memories about a familiar Bible account. Take turns asking each one a question (age-level appropriate) and keep score. Have a small prize for the winner. (…like the winner gets to stay up 15 minutes later and have strawberry milk!)

Wednesday: Worship…Have the children take turns choosing songs of praise and sing for fifteen minutes. Then repeat the memory verse and have one of them lead a closing prayer. 

Thursday…Think. Begin at the beginning of the Bible at creation and relate the account of the first couple of days of creation. Have them think of an example of something you saw that very day that had its beginning right there on day one or two or three. Have them think of something you ate that would not have existed without that part of the creation. Have them think of those who do not use these blessings to His glory. What are some ways we do use these blessings for our God’s glory? Can they think of someone in Scripture who used these blessings in a bad way?  (…like Esau and the pottage or like the rich fool who built bigger barns.) Each Thursday of the month, introduce new material and present scenarios for thought.

Friday: Foundations—Take your “What We Want Them to Know” list (https://thecolleyhouse.org/?s=what+I+want+them+to+know )and cover one thing on that list from some Biblical account. Hammer down the point at hand. Repeat your week’s memory verse. 

Saturday: Service Day—Read a New Testament passage about salt or light or service or humility or feet washing (so many to pick from) and choose a service project ( a nursing home visit, making cards, making cookies for visitors, picking flowers for a lonely person, going to read the Bible to a blind person or making thank you letters for teachers, etc…). Pray for those you re serving.

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Family Bible Time: The Next Generation…

You never know where the results of Family Bible Time might show up or how many years later they may surface. You millennial parents who are so diligent to be doing it every night, be encouraged! The dividends will be for your family, for other families, for this lifetime and for eternity. This little letter made my week. Patrick was on Caleb’s basketball team, in his Sunday School class, and in his third grade Challenge class in Jasper, Alabama. He had great parents, a wonderful grandmother  and a righteous great-grandmother with whom we worshipped there. We were blessed to have him in our home lots of times and he was a great example of courtesy and good behavior all around. He’s now Dr. Wilson, a dentist, in Florence, Alabama and the father of Colt, age 2 and Mae, 3 months. (They’re in the photo.) Caleb and Patrick are now 34 years old.  This memory of Patrick’s was not about any great thing that we did, of course. It was just a few minutes each day, but God’s word makes It’s own impact on little lives.  (Remember, don’t skip nights and do make Bible time lots of fun…. And, especially, remember that true success is living your life and going to heaven!) I share with Patrick’s permission.

 

Hi Mrs Cindy. Something that might make you smile. I can remember many years ago staying at y’alls house in Jasper and the nightly bible lesson time. I can remember doing it in Caleb’s room sometimes,or the living room. I even remember once in y’alls carport after getting in late from somewhere (who knows where?) Anyways…it’s just fascinating to me that the discipline you guys had to do that every single night would impact me all these years later, to the point that we have bible lesson time every single night, no matter where we are. Colt can make it to Romans so far ?

So good for y’all that you were not only impacting your children, but it’s now impacting mine as well. Also, I really enjoy listening to Caleb’s Q and A on their livestream. Hope you guys are doing well. Tell everyone we say hello.
Patrick

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: The Bakers and the Kings

I spent an evening recently in the home of a young family that was the “real deal” for our Lord in a little town called Maud, Texas. It was a town that seemed to revolve around its young people and their collective education. This young family was no exception. Their little home school was obviously a huge success, both academically and spiritually. It was pretty cool to hear impressive vocabularies and watch a little early elementary-school chef. I even heard about their community supported lemonade stand from which all the proceeds went to the small local library for children’s books. There was creativity bulging from little conversations and good manners characterized every exchange. It was a lot of fun to share soup and cornbread at their table. 

With their parents, I talked about doctrine and morality and zeal for Him and I knew that those children’s chances of being around the throne one day were unusually good. Maybe it’s really not about chance, at all. Maybe it’s more about the propensity for success when parents are fully engaged in heaven from goal to gold, from purpose to priorities to practice.

 

 

It’s no wonder that something like this project could come from such a home. I sat there with my mouth open as I witnessed a three-year-old who really does know all of the kings of Israel and those of Judah—and the stories, for the most part, behind them. So here it is—one of the best Bible songs I’ve ever heard. It’s a song that puts knowledge that most Christian adults have never even approached, into children. It does so in a format that will cause them to keep the knowledge for life. 

I want to share this with you now, especially if you are a family-Bible-time kind of mom. You can thank the Andy Baker Family of Maud, Texas. Fellow family-Bible-time-mom, Kathryn, is the teacher and homemaker that “makes” this home so warm and Christ-centered. Dad, Andy Baker is the talent behind the songs’ compositions.  Here’s the link to some great family time in the Old Testament. Kathryn tells me we can feel free to sing and share with credit. (Actually, she didn’t even say “with credit”. But I’m saying it!)

https://www.bibleclassworkshop.com/shopcontent.asp?type=Kings-of-the-Divided-Kingdom

And, for good measure, here’s their rendition of Psalm 1:

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Q and A: Family Bible Time for Ages 6-12

Question: Okay, I have a couple of questions about Family Bible Time. I know how you would do a family night with the younger kids…but what about Ariel’s age 10 going on 16?  I guess if you could just give me examples of what you and Glenn did, that would be helpful.  Also, did you give a prize EVERY night or just sometimes?  I have given her candy if she recites 5-10 verses depending upon circumstances. I could see where we could play games while listening to Hannah’s 100 in the background – repetition does work it’s magic.  It makes me laugh because if I come across a passage that we’ve learned through your family, I sing it while I’m reading it 🙂

Answer: Well, for Ariel’s age, I think your reading Discovery and the Beginners Evidences Correspondence course from Apologetics Press (Apologeticspress.org) would be a good start at Bible time. if you read a section and talk about it and then have her fill in some of the questions (a very limited amount) or work a puzzle from discovery before the next night, that would be a start. Then I would recommend (for your husband’s benefit) studying “Headed to the Office” (colleybooks.org) as a family. You could tell Ariel that you were putting it in her head so that she could start knowing, even now, what kind of man she was going to look for in a husband one day. I think also, for her age, playing Bible Twenty Questions (let me know if you don’t know how to play Twenty Questions) would be a good thing…and Bible charades. (Don’t have a prize every night…maybe once every two weeks.) Have one night where you have found a faithful missionary to whom Ariel can compose a letter to ask questions about the culture and work and send her small contribution. Let her write for the Bible time. Have another night each week when you find a passage or Psalm about someone who was very grateful (the leper or Mary and Martha) and let her write thank you notes to all the people who have given her gifts or blessed her life in other ways. Have Digger Doug nights, where you watch an episode of Digger Dug’s Underground together (apologeticspress.org). Have a night where she reads aloud a chapter of Ruth from the Easy-to-Read version. Do this for four nights and then on the fifth and sixth nights, get her to make a flip chart (just use a school notebook) of pictures of the story. Then on the seventh night, let her tell you the story using her flip chart. One night have her go outside and pick a flower and then find what Jesus said about flowers in the Sermon on the Mount. One night let her tell you all the things salt is good for…look online. This lesson goes on and on. Then let her find what Jesus said about salt in the Sermon on the Mount. One night, let her find a Bible lands map of the Holy land online and print it off. Then on the following nights you can read through the missionary journeys of Paul in the book of Acts and let her draw the arrows and tiny pictures of what happened in these places as you read through his journeys. Light a candle in your dark house and read by candlelight what Jesus said about candles in the Sermon on the Mount. We also loved certain stories from “The Book of Virtues.” We would read a story out loud to the kids and then let them find verses that taught the same lesson from the Bible. When we studied Genesis together, we put a roll of white paper all around the wall of one of our rooms and each night we let the kids draw what we had read about that night, till we had a whole timeline of Genesis starting with creation and ending with Joseph’s family down in Goshen. Sometimes they would paste things on the time line, like a miniature “coat of many colors” they had cut out of striped fabric or kernels of corn to fill in the shape of a number 7 to signify Joseph’s solution about saving up the corn during the seven lean years. Tell Ariel to let me know when she can sing the whole book of James and I will send her something I want her to have. Be sure to video some of her memory work, so she will know you think it is very important.  Sometimes we just went around the room and quoted verses. You had to quote a verse that began with any word that was in the person’s verse who went directly before you. To make it competitive, sometimes we would challenge dad to quote a verse before or after any verse that we could quote. Sometimes we went through the books of the Bible and challenged each other to say one verse in each book. For sheer fun, we challenged each other to say all of the books of the Bible in one breath. One of us, who is particularly long-winded, can say them through twice in one breath. And, finally, some of our favorite nights were under the stars or in our little living room or in our van…just singing praises. We just went from one person to the next choosing the song…pretty much favorite times we remember. Every time we ended with prayer…still do.  This is a start. Let me know if you need more, but I’m pretty sure they will come to you naturally and you will quickly become a Deuteronomy 6 “all day long” mom. Much love to you and all moms who are molding hearts and lives for eternity!

P.S. There’s also a three week guide for Family Bible Time in the back of the book “Picking Melons and Mates” that’s great for jump-starting your daily time together. It’s an easy DIY kind of outline. You can get it here: https://thecolleyhouse.org/store#!/Children/c/3290196/offset=0&sort=normal

 

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Mama’s Kiss #46: Write Letters to a Children’s Home

As you know, if you’ve been reading, for quite some time, I’ve occasionally been running little installments called “Mama’s K.I.S.S.” I know that lots of readers could give many more and far more creative ideas than I can offer, but these installments are just a few tried and true and mostly old-fashioned ideas for putting service hearts in our kids.  This is number 46 of a list of one hundred ways we train our kids to serve. K.I.S.S. is an acronym for “Kids In Service Suggestions”.

This one is simple and obvious. Perhaps your congregation already allows your children to interact with residents at a children’s home, either by collecting needed supplies, saving money in those collection cans, or helping with the Christmas shopping for children who have been placed in homes due to either the death of parents or circumstances in which care is no longer provided by parents. I hope, if your church does this, you will not pass up the chance to make sure your children are busy with these projects. But even if your children participate in group projects, it’s still a great idea to get your children personally involved with children who are disadvantaged because of absent parents. Perhaps your family could schedule a visit to such a home. There are many of these around the nation that are sponsored by members of churches of Christ. (One great facility in our area is the North Alabama Christian Children’s Home, directed by Don Williams: http://nacch.com. Another great one is Pine Vale in Corinth, MS and you can reach them at amy.collum@pinevalech.com. or randy.collum@pinevalech.com. Or, if you are in Oklahoma: tiptonchildrenshome@yahoo.com.) Most of these homes welcome visitors and your children could meet and become pen pals with children who would love to hear from them throughout the year. You could compose letters to these children during your family Bible time and then, upon learning their preferences, personalities, and birthdays, your children might send packages or gift cards with the permission of the house parents. Memorizing James 1:27 along with this project is a great idea.

There are multiple benefits gained by this connection for both your children and those in the system. Appreciation for blessings, opportunities to be selfless, and accountability to friends in need  are some of the benefits your children will encounter.  I was in the second grade when our class in my Christian school first visited a children’s home. I was assigned the writing of the letter to thank them for their hospitality to us. I still remember some of the contents of that letter. The children we met that day and the simple fact that they did not have any present parents made a huge impact on my young heart. It was a sobering thought to my seven-year-old self that there were other seven-year-olds who might never know their moms and dads. It was a small and hard part of coming to understand human suffering, but it was good for my young and impressionable second-grade self. Twelve years later, one of those children I met in that home attended Freed-Hardeman University with me and we talked, as college students, about the death of her parents. Ten more years passed and I helped my own children buy Christmas gifts for children in that same home. This Christmas, I loved getting the chance, once again to buy those black and white Nikes that were on the list of a thirteen-year-old whose parents are AWOL. I can hardly wait till Ezra and Colleyanna are old enough to learn the joy this brings. I know there were many opportunities  that passed our family by–things we should have done, and didn’t– and certainly we are not any great examples of benevolence. We should have shared more of His bounty than we ever did. But I am convinced, because of the impact of even these small gifts on me and on our children, that even the smallest hand in benevolence builds character.  I’m sad that there will always be these opportunities (John 12:8), but I’m thankful for the good that can be done in multiple generations of families when these perennial opportunities are presented and grasped.

 

Today’s Recipe: Green Lime Punch

Janice Knight

Super simple!  Use a half gallon, (or nowadays, two of those little round tubs) lime sherbet, and pour a half gallon ginger ale (or sprite, for sweeter) over sherbet in a punch bowl.  Stir and chop up the sherbet.  It’s a hit every time.

 

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: Guest Writer/Resource for Teachers

It’s the melon time of year in the deep south. It’s also the beginning flurry for many a homeschooling mom and it’s the start of a new quarter for most of our Bible classes in our congregations. Today I want to share a resource that was so patiently forwarded to me by Renee Hunter. It’s an adaptation of the book “Picking Melons and Mates” and I think it’s creation was too time intensive and creative NOT to share. She’s graciously agreed to make it yours and so…here it is. Teachers like Renee just keep on investing time for eternity. This is a four week curriculum, designed for girls ages 8-12. It would take about a month if you did it at home in short increments of Family Bible Time. If you do it in 30 minute Bible class increments, you could easily spend a whole quarter.  When you look at the four topics below, you will be taken aback by the importance of the material she was putting in their hearts.  She did it with sweet girls who loved getting together. Good stuff. All you need is the Picking Melons book (https://thecolleyhouse.org/store#!/Picking-Melons-and-Mates/p/14051571/category=3290196), the following, and a few supplies that are obvious as you go…. Oh, and a few tender hearts. (Be sure and get the lap book and homework links at the very bottom!) Thanks very much, Renee, for this great resource for teachers. What a blessing!)

LESSON1: PICK OR PICK
Decorate front of lapbook with verse and title “Choosing in Christ” Read:
“Picking Melons and Mates” by Cindy Colley, through p.11. Activity 1 (Day 1 #2 and #3)
Use concordance and dictionary as needed.

unnamed-7 unnamed-9

Complete wisdom scripture lapbook activity: Put glue on three sides of the Bible picture to make a pocket. You will slide the “Wisdom Scripture” paper into the pocket. Have the children write down their favorite wisdom verses.

Complete character lapbook activity: Look again at the wisdom verses and
write down characteristics of wise people on the paper with an owl. Glue in lapbook.

Activity 2 (Day 3 #1 and 2) Discuss
Banana split break Activity 3 (Day 18 #1) Discuss

Activity 4 (Day 18 #2)
Complete Fruit of the Spirit lapbook activity: Use dictionary to look up the words. Glue the pear in the lap-

book. Have the children glue or write the words around their pear. Activity 5 (Day 19 #1)
Discuss

Put title of lesson 1 on page 1 of the lapbook “Pick or Pick”

Homework

Memorize the fruit of the spirit

LESSON 2: APPEARANCES
Recite Fruit of the Spirit homework
(love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, selfcontrol)
Read: “Picking Melons and Mates” by Cindy Colley, through p.1217
Activity 1 (Day 5 #3)
Activity 2 (Day 6 #3)
Discuss
Activity 3 (Day 6 #4)
Break into groups and discuss
Complete lapbook verse 7 activity: Glue scroll in lapbook. Have the children write the verse on the scroll.
Activity 4 (Day 10 #1 and 2)
Discuss. Use concordance as needed.

unnamed-2

Complete “darkness” lapbook activity: Glue three sides of the “darkness” paper to make a pocket. Have the children write down the verses that talk about darkness on the lined paper. They will slide this into the pocket.

 

Activity 5 (Day 12 #1) Discuss
Activity 6 (Day 13 #1) Discuss

Activity 7 (Day 13 #3)

Complete lapbook activity: Cut out the hearts and staple on one side to make a book. Glue the last page down on the lapbook. On the pages of the book have the children write down ways they can follow Jesus.

Put title of lesson 2 on page 2 of the lapbook “Appearances” Homework: memorize 1 Samuel 16:7

LESSON 3: CONSEQUENCES OF CHOICES

Recite memory verse homework

1 Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Read: “Picking Melons and Mates” by Cindy Colley, through p.1823 Activity 1 (Day 6 #2)
Discuss
Activity 2 (Day 5 #4)

Discuss
Activity 3 (Day 19 #2)
Break into three groups and discuss
Activity 4 (Day 9 #1)
Discuss
Activity 5 (Day 16 #1)
Discuss
Activity 6 (Day 20 #2)
Discuss
Activity 7
Read Ephesians 1:314

 

Complete lapbook activity “Being in Christ”: Glue the “in Christ” and “out of Christ” papers on the lapbook. Have the children make a path using yarn leading to each paper. One will be wide and one will be narrow. Have the children glue or write the words around the correct path.

unnamed-4

Put title of lesson 3 on page 3 of the lapbook “Consequences”

Homework: memorize “Matthew 7:1314”

LESSON 4: WISE PICKER
Recite memory verse homework
Matthew 7:1314

Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

Read: “Picking Melons and Mates” by Cindy Colley, p.24 to end Activity 1 (Day 4 #1)
Discuss
Activity 2 (Day 4 #2)

Discuss
Activity 3 (Day 5 #1 and 2) Discuss
Activity 4 (Day 8 #1, 2, and 3) Discuss
Activity 5 (Day 9 #3)

Discuss and complete “prayer” lapbook activity: Staple the hands together on one side. Glue the back one onto the lapbook. Have the children write a reminder to pray for wisdom on the inside of the hands.

Activity 6 (Day 11 #1 and 2) Discuss
Activity 7 (Day 14 #1) Discuss

Activity 8 (Day 14 #2)

Discuss and complete “wise man/foolish man” lapbook activity: Staple the booklet together. Glue the last page on the lapbook.

Activity 9 (Day 17 #1, 2, and 4)

Discuss and complete “vine connected” lapbook activity: Glue the Bible and the pic- ture of Jesus on the lapbook. Connect the two together using a vine. Staple the vine to the lapbook.

Put title of lesson 4 on page 4 of the lapbook “Wise Picker” Make watermelon charm bracelets.

unnamed-10

unnamed-8unnamed