Following Jesus (email 4-26-2012)


As parents the best way to pass the faith on to our kids, is to be followers of Jesus ourselves. Jesus promises in Matthew 11 that he will make our burden light as we learn to follow him.

Play “Follow the Leader” and “Simon Says” with your kids. Use these games to talk about following Jesus.

Learn to follow Jesus by spending time in His Word.

How to Lead by Following

A reading from I am a Follower by Leonard Sweet

   What does this dancing guy on a hillside have to do with following Jesus? A lot more than you think.
   Take a look at what’s happening here in this moving parable. Look closer. Remind you a little of that crowd on the hillside passing out loaves and fishes? Jesus set the story in motion, but his disciples passed the food. If they hadn’t, the crowd wouldn’t have eaten—or been fed.
   Like all life’s decisions, dances begin with a motion, then someone passes the motion, and the motion goes forward with a yes from all. The way of the dance may start with an unconventional and unique way of moving. But the truth is, without someone to stand up and join in—to be a “first follower”—no true dance is born.
   If dancing is your life, then whose beat do you feel moving with the rhythms of your body? First followers feel the Jesus way, share the Jesus truth, and live the Jesus life. And they pass the Jesus dance on to others.
   So who is that first follower? Who is that risk taker willing to stand beside that unexpected innovator and be a dancing fool? Would it be you? Would you lay down your coat and get up and dance for Jesus? In front of everybody else? Knowing you’d be following a way of living different from everyone else, knowing you’d be taking on a new identity as a mover and a shaker, knowing your newest friend may well alienate you from the rest? A first follower is a way paver, a true disciple, and a life sharer. A first follower chooses a way to go even when no one else is going there. A first follower recognizes the truth even when no one sees the beauty of an ordinary dance. A first follower knows that to dance from the soul means to embody the dance itself.
   We are the followers. He is the dance. Feel the rhythm, pass the motion, make some music. Get up and dance.  (I Am A Follower, pp. 3-4)

Be the First Follower

Passing on the faith to our children means we need to be the ‘First Followers.’ We are the guy or gal who joins the dance when no one else has joined—and by doing so our children and others will join the dance, and become followers as well.

Being the first follower takes courage—but its worth it! Eternally worth it.

______________________________________________________________

Families in Faith is a Free email resource.  We will send an
email every week offering tips, suggestions, training, and encouragement to parents as
they work to pass the faith on to their children.

Please share this email with others.  You can also encourage
others to sign up for Families in Faith online by having them text the word “families”
to 22828 or go to www.familiesinfaith.org 

Created by Dr. Joel Dietrich


Minister to Families and Children
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church
8304 Old Keene Mill Rd  –  Springfield, VA  22152

©2012, all rights reserved

Leave a Comment…Share Your Thoughts

M&Ms and Jesus (email 4/12/2012)


Sharing Jesus with our kids can be done in many different ways. Some times the best way is using everyday things to connect to Jesus. Take M&Ms for example…

M&Ms are great for this one—with a little creativity you can tell the story of Easter and Jesus using a bag of M&Ms. Try this idea out today – AND let this be an example and motivator to come up with your own ideas for using everyday things to teach your children about Jesus.

Download the poem “Easter’s Sweet Story” by Joel Dietrich here.

Easter’s Sweet Story

— by Dr. Joel Dietrich

These candies tell a story, the best you will hear
About Jesus – His death so we could draw near

Notice the colors all 6 in our story
Telling of Jesus – His death, life and glory

The letter is more than what you might see
Turn it over to see an M, W, 3 and ELet’s start with brown the color of the cross
To which Jesus was nailed – where his life was lostThe red for His blood shed on Calvary
For your sins and mine that we might be freeThe M stands for Messiah who died in our place
Forgiving our sins through the gift of God’s Grace

The 3 counts the days Jesus spent in the grave
Refusing to stay, He rises to save

The E stands for Easter and God’s Eternal Plan
God brought us salvation by the death of one Man.

The Yellow and Orange tell of Easter’s sunrise
New life and it’s freedom replacing the cries

Green shows new life as clearly as Spring
That comes with the promise of the resurrected King

Blue is for Baptism’s claim of new life
Conquering sin with all of its strife

The W is for Worship and worthy is He
Of praise, adoration, submission, and glee

Finish the story with the candy’s sweet taste
Feeling God’s love and holy embrace

Web Links and Other Ideas

Teach like Jesus taught – from kid’s ministry ideas

Christian Object Lessons – from creative Bible Study.com

Erika Dawson – Christian Blogger with ideas for Families

Digital Kids Initiative –
All things dealing with raising kids who are digital natives. Ideas, stats, articles, sharing and more.

______________________________________________________________

Families in Faith is a Free email resource.  We will send an email every week offering tips, suggestions, training, and encouragement to parents as they work to pass the faith on to their children.

Please share this email with others.  You can also encourage others to sign up for Families in Faith online by having them text the word “families” to 22828 or go to www.familiesinfaith.org 

  Created by Dr. Joel Dietrich


Minister to Families and Children
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church
8304 Old Keene Mill Rd  –  Springfield, VA  22152

©2012, all rights reserved

M&Ms and Jesus


A great way to pass the faith on to your children is to tell the story of Jesus using everyday items.  Here is a poem written to teach the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection using a bag of M&Ms.  Give it a try today –

Also please post any ideas you’ve heard of or tried at home that use everyday objects to teach a lesson.  We could all use some ideas for bringing God into our everyday lives.

M&M poem  Click here to download PDF of poem

Leave a Comment – Share Your Thoughts

Using Proverbs to Teach Wisdom (email 3/29/2012)


Wisdom is the ability to discern or judge what is true, right, and lasting. How can you teach your child wisdom–Godly wisdom?

Wisdom is the ability to discern or judge what is true, right, and lasting. Wisdom is common sense and good judgment. In the words of Henry David Thoreau, “It is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things.”

Wouldn’t children who discern what is true and right, who practice common sense and good judgment, and who avoid doing desperate things be wonderful?

How do you teach your children wisdom? We start with God’s word, and the book of Proverbs. Find ways to use the proverbs in your house, and create a plan for teaching your children Godly wisdom.

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www.thewisdomdeck.com (The Wisdom Deck)

The video and web site above are referenced in the training video. You can find the Wisdom Deck and all sorts of tools and ideas for using the Deck in your home.

Web Links for Further Training and Connections

Download this PDF for training on the Proverbs and teaching Biblical Wisdom to your children.

Web Site– Teaching your children Wisdom from the Word

e-book – Proverbs for Parenting: A Topical Guide for Child Raising from the Book of Proverbs New International Version

Proverbs for Parenting - eBook

Book – What the Bible Says About Parenting: God’s Plan for Rearing Your Child

______________________________________________________________

Families in Faith is a Free email resource.  We will send an email every week offering tips, suggestions, training, and encouragement to parents as they work to pass the faith on to their children.

Please share this email with others.  You can also encourage others to sign up for Families in Faith online by having them text the word “families” to 22828 or go to www.familiesinfaith.org 

  Created by Dr. Joel Dietrich
Minister to Families and Children
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church
8304 Old Keene Mill Rd  –  Springfield, VA  22152

©2012, all rights reserved

Resurrection Eggs (email 3/22/2012)


Resurrection Eggs are a wonderful way to teach your children the story of the last week of Jesus’ life. Fill each egg with something to represent various parts of the story from Palm Sunday through the death and resurrection of Jesus.

How you use the eggs is up to you and your family. You can hide them and do a traditional Easter egg hunt. You can open one every day for the 12 days leading up to Easter. You can create the eggs together and talk about each element as it connects to the story.

You can download a PDF of these ideas here.

Resurrection Eggs are plastic Easter Eggs filled with simple everyday items that help tell the story of Jesus from Palm Sunday through His death and Resurrection. You can use as many eggs or as few eggs as you like, depending on the depth and breadth of the story you plan to tell.

Each egg contains a simple object and a scripture verse that helps tell the story.
Families can number the eggs, then hide them like a traditional Easter Egg hunt. You can open one egg per day as you work your way through Lent. You can open all the eggs and help your children put them in order. Use your imagination and be creative…there’s no limit to how many eggs, what’s in the eggs, or how you use the eggs!

1 – Perfume sample or cotton ball with perfume on it. – Mary anoints Jesus’ feet. (John 12:3)
2 – Palm branch/leaf or a blade of grass. – Jesus’ triumphant entry. (Matthew 21:8)
3 – Bread – Last Supper and institution of Holy Communion. (Matthew 26:26)
4 – Praying Hands – Jesus prays in the Garden of Gethsemane – (Mark 14:32)
5 – 3 Dimes – 30 pieces of silver that Jesus was sold for. (Matthew 26:14-15)
6 – Rope or string – Used to bind Jesus (Matthew 27:2)
7 – Soap – Pilate washed his hands of the matter. (Matthew 27:24)
8 – Rooster or feather – Jesus predicts that Peter will deny Him 3 times. (Matthew 26:33)
9 – Thorn – Jesus is forced to wear a crown of thorns. (John 19:2)
10 – Purple or scarlet cloth – Robe put on Jesus. (Matthew 27:28)
11 – Toothpick or twig cross – Jesus is forced to carry His own cross. (John 19:17)
12 – Dice – Soldiers cast lots for Jesus clothes. (John 19:24)
13 – Sponge with Vinegar – What Jesus was given to drink. (Matthew 27:34)
14 – Spear, or needle – Jesus was pierced in the side to confirm death. (John 19:33-34)
15 – Cloves/spices – Spices that the women were bringing to anoint Jesus body on Sunday. (Mark 16:1)
16 – Rock – A large stone was placed in front of the tomb. (John 20:1)
17 – Empty Egg – the tomb was empty! (Matthew 28:5-6)
18 – Linen fabric – Used to wrap Jesus body – was left in the tomb after Jesus rose again. (John 20:63-7)
19 – Nail – Thomas doubts and wants to see the nail marks in Jesus’ hands. (John 20:25-29)
20 – Fish – Jesus eats fish with disciples on Road to Emmaus. (Luke 24:41-43)
21 – Cotton Ball – Jesus ascended into heaven in the clouds, and will return in the same way. (Acts 1:11)

Web Links for Further Training and Connections


FamilyLife®
– Creator of Resurrection Eggs®

______________________________________________________________

Families in Faith is a Free email resource.  We will send an email every week offering tips, suggestions, training, and encouragement to parents as they work to pass the faith on to their children.

Please share this email with others.  You can also encourage others to sign up for Families in Faith online by having them text the word “families” to 22828 or go to www.familiesinfaith.org 

  Created by Dr. Joel Dietrich
Minister to Families and Children
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church
8304 Old Keene Mill Rd  –  Springfield, VA  22152

©2012, all rights reserved

The name Resurrection Eggs® is a registered trademark of FamilyLife®. While we offer helpful suggestions here on creating your own eggs to tell the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection, endorsement is not implied nor is any infringement intended. Resurrection Eggs® (the product) can be purchased directly from FamilyLife.com.

Resurrection Eggs


Watch the Video for information and ideas about “Resurrection Eggs.”  Download the PDF for all the information and scripture references.

Click here for Resurrection Eggs  PDF – includes 21 ideas for things to put into resurrection eggs along with scripture references.

The name Resurrection Eggs® is a registered trademark of FamilyLife®. While we offer helpful suggestions here on creating your own eggs to tell the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection, endorsement is not implied nor is any infringement intended. Resurrection Eggs® (the product) can be purchased directly from FamilyLife.com.

Leave a Comment – Share Your Thoughts

Worship with Children (email 3/15/2012)


Have you ever been frustrated with your kids behavior at church?
How do you teach them about worship?

Here are some ideas for the various ages and stages of children for engaging them into the worship service of the congregation.

Share your stories and ideas for how you have helped your children engage in worship. Click the “Leave a Comment” link at the upper left of this post.

Look here for more ideas:

Faith at Home website – Check out this web resource for ideas and encouragement as you bring your children to worship – it may not be easy, but it is crucial for passing on the faith – And its Biblical!!!

Is it easy to bring our children to church on Sunday? No. Do most of us have routines or traditions that celebrate Sunday as special? Not really. Does it make a difference for our children’s faith if we do? Yes!  (read more)

This church took the welcoming challenge! This church in Canada has taken on the challenge of helping parents bring children to worship.  Explore the ideas and training they have developed over the years.

Web Links for Further Training

The Essential Role of Family in World Evangelism

Taking Your Children to Church – From Catholicmom.comMy First Hymnal from CPH
Biblical Proof that Kids Belong in Church

Book Review of Concordia Publishing House’s new book “My First Hymnal” 

______________________________________________________________

Families in Faith is a Free email resource.  We will send an email every week offering tips, suggestions, training, and encouragement to parents as they work to pass the faith on to their children.

Please share this email with others.  You can also encourage others to sign up for Families in Faith online by having them text the word “families” to 22828 or go to www.familiesinfaith.org 

  Created by Dr. Joel Dietrich
Minister to Families and Children
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church
8304 Old Keene Mill Rd  –  Springfield, VA  22152

©2012, all rights reserved

Godparents

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Are you a godparent or sponsor?  What do you do in this role to help pass the faith on?  Share what you do to connect with the godchildren in your life.

Prayers for my Godchild – Download this PDF for prayer ideas –  You can also use these prayers to create a photo album of your godchild as a gift for their confirmation.

Leave a Comment – Share Your Thoughts

Prayers for my Godchildren (email 3/8/2012)

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Are you a godparent? What do you do for your godchild to help them as they grow in the faith? What plans do you have to guide them towards Jesus and heaven as their home? This video explains the concept and role of godparents (sponsors).

Prayers for your godchild

Created by Connie Denninger

Download a PDF of prayer ideas for godparents to pray for their godchild.
(click the image to download the PDF; the basic text is provided below)

I pray that you KNOW that
  you are a special person.
Precious, cherished and most of all—loved.
You are His child.

I pray you BELIEVE you can
  achieve your goals-
with the Lord’s help.

I pray you DARE to dive off the high board,
ride with the top down
and dance like there is no on watching—-
because He has created joy.

I pray you FIND the best in others-
choosing to focus on strengths rather
than weaknesses- because He sees good in you.

I pray you CELEBRATE what you have
each morning and are fortunate enough
to learn something new each day.
His created world is amazing.

I pray you PROMISE only what you can deliver,
then deliver more than you promise,
because He keeps His promises.

I pray you KEEP that childlike sense
of wonder alive in you.
God delights in you.

I pray you DISCOVER your creative spirit
and are never afraid to color
outside the lines-
the creator of the universe lives in newness.

I pray you TRUST with the innocence
of a baby and the wisdom of an aged sage-
for He knows all things for your good.

I pray you CHOOSE to love life with
optimism and joy-
for He has redeemed your soul.

I pray you EMBRACE the unknown
and meet each new experience with anticipation-
for He walks each step of the way with you.

I pray you have COURAGE to be yourself
and not a copy of others-
He designed only one you.

I pray you DELIGHT in the wonder of nature-
His world is new each dawn.

I pray you TREASURE your friendships
and choose friends that bring out the best in you-
and find your riches in Him.

I pray you LOVE someone so much it takes
your breath away-
He loves you and gave His Son for you.

I pray that you KNOW you are a special person.
Precious, cherished and most of all—loved.
You are His child.

I pray you REMEMBER that when you need
a place of comfort, or a heart that cares
about your happiness,
His love is ever present and wider than the universe.

Resources for further training and ideas.

The Godparent Book:  Ideas and Activities for Godparents and their Godchildren


A Word to My Sponsor:  Celebrating the Life of Your Godchild


Godparenting:  Nurturing the Next Generation


Water, Come Down!  The Day You Were Baptized.

______________________________________________________________

Families in Faith is a Free email resource.  We will send an email every week offering tips, suggestions, training, and encouragement to parents as they work to pass the faith on to their children.

Please share this email with others.  You can also encourage others to sign up for Families in Faith online by having them text the word “families” to 22828 or go to www.familiesinfaith.org 

  Created by Dr. Joel Dietrich
Minister to Families and Children
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church
8304 Old Keene Mill Rd  –  Springfield, VA  22152

©2012, all rights reserved

Create Your Own Prayer Flip Chart

Prayers for my Children – email 03/01/2012

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Praying for your children is one of the greatest responsibilities and joys of a Christian parent. Here is a simple project you can do at home to create a flip chart with 31 ideas, straight out of Scripture, for praying for your children.

Here’s what you need to do this….

Download the instructions for making the “Prayers for my Children” flip-chart by clicking here:

Prayers for my Children - prayer flip chart

______________________________________________________________

Families in Faith is a Free email resource.  We will send an email every week offering tips, suggestions, training, and encouragement to parents as they work to pass the faith on to their children.

Please share this email with others.  You can also encourage others to sign up for Families in Faith online by having them text the word “families” to 22828 or go to www.familiesinfaith.org 

  Created by Dr. Joel Dietrich
Minister to Families and Children
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church
8304 Old Keene Mill Rd  –  Springfield, VA  22152

©2012, all rights reserved