Pop Culture and Faith – Music (5/17/2012)

Have you ever considered using popular culture to make connections to your faith as you teach your children about Jesus? Music is a big part of our daily lives both as humans and as Christians. Music is all around us and is used to tell a story, convey an emotion, or teach a lesson. Music also helps create memories. All of this means that music is a wonderful tool for passing on the faith.

Connect with your kids about the music they are listening to. Talk about the lyrics, the content, the theme, and the emotions. Use this as an opening to talk about Jesus and living for Him.

Bonus Activities for Families

with devotional thoughts
Name that Tune

Try playing “Name that Tune” with your kids – Make the connection to music and memory. Throw in some church songs to see how they are remembering theology and God’s story through music.

Name that Band

Turn on the radio in the car and see who can guess the band first. Use this as a way to listen to music together. Share with your kids Music and Groups from your youth.

Play a singing game

Use your imagination to change the lyrics of popular children’s songs to connect with Bible stories. For example: Instead of “The Farmer in the Dell,” “The Disciples in the Dell.” Or “London Bridges Falling Down” to “The Walls of Jericho are Falling Down.”

Some Questions to Spark Discussion

* What is the song about?

* What words jump out at you?

* What emotions or feelings are being expressed?

* Does the music project the same feelings as the words?

* As Christians, how do you react to this song?

* What are the Christian teachings in this song?

* Do you agree with the message of this song? Why or why not?

Web Resources for Families

www.hollywoodjesus.com

Use this site for reviews and even ideas for Christian Connections to Popular Music.

www.billboard.com

Billboard.com has all the information on what songs are popular in various genres of music and with various segments of the population.  Use this to find out what “kids are listening to these days.”

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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

Pop Culture and Faith – Television (5/10/2012)

Have you ever considered using popular culture to make connections to your faith as you teach your children about Jesus? Television is a big part of the American Culture. On average kids watch TV for 28 hours peer week – yet they only have meaningful conversations with their parents for a few minutes per week. Learn to engage your children in conversation about the television shows they are watching. Work to create connections between the programs and our faith.

There are 4 things to be looking for as you watch TV – Themes, Quotes, Characters, and Opposites.

Check out this video for ideas and methods for engaging your children in conversations about God that connect to TV shows.

Stats on TV

Used in this week’s Video

NOTE: These stats are a few years old – today TV watching is actually down but “Screen Time” is up. Screen time includes TV, Computers, Phones, Tablets, etc.
Television Statistics
According to the A.C. Nielsen Co., the average American watches more than 4 hours of TV each day (or 28 hours/week, or 2 months of nonstop TV-watching per year). In a 65-year life, that person will have spent 9 years glued to the tube.

I. FAMILY LIFE
  • Percentage of households that possess at least one television: 99
  • Number of TV sets in the average U.S. household: 2.24
  • Percentage of U.S. homes with three or more TV sets: 66
  • Number of hours per day that TV is on in an average U.S. home: 6 hours, 47 minutes
  • Percentage of Americans that regularly watch television while eating dinner: 66
  • Number of hours of TV watched annually by Americans: 250 billion
  • Value of that time assuming an average wage of S5/hour: S1.25 trillion
  • Percentage of Americans who pay for cable TV: 56
  • Number of videos rented daily in the U.S.: 6 million
  • Number of public library items checked out daily: 3 million
  • Percentage of Americans who say they watch too much TV: 49
II CHILDREN
  • Approximate number of studies examining TV’s effects on children: 4,000
  • Number of minutes per week that parents spend in meaningful
  • conversation with their children: 3.5
  • Number of minutes per week that the average child watches television: 1,680
  • Percentage of day care centers that use TV during a typical day: 70
  • Percentage of parents who would like to limit their children’s TV watching: 73
  • Percentage of 4-6 year-olds who, when asked to choose between watching TV
  • and spending time with their fathers, preferred television: 54
  • Hours per year the average American youth spends in school: 900 hours
  • Hours per year the average American youth watches television: 1500
III VIOLENCE
  • Number of murders seen on TV by the time an average child finishes elementary school: 8,000
  • Number of violent acts seen on TV by age 18: 200,000
  • Percentage of Americans who believe TV violence helps precipitate real life mayhem: 79
IV. COMMERCIALISM
  • Number of 30-second TV commercials seen in a year by an average child: 20,000
  • Number of TV commercials seen by the average person by age 65: 2 million
  • Percentage of survey participants (1993) who said that TV commercials
  • aimed at children make them too materialistic: 92
  • Rank of food products/fast-food restaurants among TV advertisements to kids: 1
  • Total spending by 100 leading TV advertisers in 1993: $15 billion
V. GENERAL
  • Percentage of local TV news broadcast time devoted to advertising: 30
  • Percentage devoted to stories about crime, disaster and war: 53.8
  • Percentage devoted to public service announcements: 0.7
  • Percentage of Americans who can name The Three Stooges: 59
  • Percentage who can name at least three justices of the U.S. Supreme Court: 17

Compiled by TV-Free America
1322 18th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036

Web Resources for Families

http://www.seedsfamilyworship.net/family-worship-activities/ 

Family Worship is a powerful tool for passing on the faith.  Check out this web site for ideas and resources for Family Worship.

http://www.faithathome.com/

Faith at home offers lots of advice, books, and ideas for parents as they work to teach the faith.

______________________________________________________________

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

Pop Culture and Your Faith – Movies 5-3-2012

Have you ever considered using popular culture to make connections to your faith as you teach your children about Jesus? Movies are a big part of our American culture. Movies also can be used to make spiritual connections.

There are 4 things to be looking for when you watch a movie – Themes, Quotes, Characters, and Opposites.

Check out this preview to a few of this summer’s blockbusters… get some ideas before you go to the movies about how to talk about Jesus after the movie.

Really like the idea? Here are some book resources to help develop your skills.

Web Resources

www.hollywoodjesus.com

HollywoodJesus.com is perhaps the best resource for ideas and connections between Movies, Music, TV and more with Jesus and your faith.

www.rottentomatoes.com

Rotten Tomatoes is a place to get all sorts of reviews – it also has a nice collection of quotes that you can use to make faith connections.

______________________________________________________________

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

Debunking a cultural myth (email 4/19/2012)

  • Do parents lose their influence as their kids get older?
  • Can parents shape the religious lives and attitudes of their children?
  • –Or, is that something that everyone has to choose for themselves?
  • Should parents should “stay out of it” and let children choose their own path?

Our culture tells us that parents should ‘stay out of it’ and let children choose their own path. Even the popular TV show Mike and Molly make such claims. Is that true? Should parents ‘stay out of it’? If we stay out of it, why should we think that things will work out the way we want them to?

here’s the Mike and Molly Video Clip (discussed in Joel’s video)

Are you the second Generation?

A study conducted in 1980 called “Young Adolescents and Their Parents” surveyed 8000 young Americans. They found that only 10% of church families discussed faith with any regularity. A whopping 43% NEVER talked about God at home.

Chances are you grew up in this era. Which means you did not grow up with the model of faith development at home. You probably didn’t have family devotions on a regular basis. You probably didn’t pray too often with your family, and you probably didn’t read the Bible at home.

It is not surprising therefore to see the next generation—today’s parents—not know what to do when it comes to faith at home. We were raised to believe that at church is where matters of God and faith happen. The role of moms and dads was to get their kids to church and in church programs. It only made sense then that churches grew their programs for kids, youth, and young adults.

Mark Holmen in his book Impress Faith on Your Kids, says, “I do not believe we have bad parents today. I don’t think you want to be a bad parent. Yet when it comes to doing what we need to do to lead our kids to life, through faith in Christ, I don’t think parents have any idea how important their actions and behaviors are.” (page 35)

There is good news and bad news in that thought. As parents we have the influence – good news! But we get what we are – nerve racking news.

If we want our kids to live for Jesus—loving Him with all of their heart, and loving others as they love themselves…. —well, then, that’s exactly what we need to be.

  • If you want your child to read the Bible more – then you need to read the Bible more
  • If you want your child to pray more – then you need to pray more
  • If you want your child to show compassion and mercy – then you need to show compassion and mercy
  • If you want God to be number one in your child’s life – then God needs to be number one in your life.
  • The opposite is also true… if you want your kids to have a shallow faith, a faith that doesn’t impact or inform their lives, a faith that crumbles under pressure and is easily swayed… then be that way yourself.
  • Want to know what you will get from your kids? Look in the mirror, and that will likely be an accurate predictor.

Quotes on parental influence

“Your home is the single most powerful arena on earth to change a life for God.”

Bruce Wilkinson – The Prayer of Jabez – page 32

“The Bible is unmistakably clear that it is the parents’ job to disciple their children.”

 Steve Wright – Rethink – page 146

“All of the different approaches to studying parental influences in the religious socialization pro­cess converge on a single conclu­sion: Parents play an extremely important role in the developing religious attitudes and practices of their offspring. In fact, few re­searchers would quarrel with the conclusion that parents are the most important influence in this regard.”

 Bob Altemeyer and Bruce Hunsberger – Amazing Conversions – page 226

“The responsibility for raising spiritual champions, according to the Bible, belongs to the parents. The spiritual nurture of children is supposed to take place in the home. Organizations and people from outside the home might support those efforts, but the responsibility is squarely laid at the feet of the family. This is not a job for specialists. It is a job for parents.”

George Barna – Revolutionary Parenting – pages 11-12

______________________________________________________________

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

Shema – Remind Yourself (11-23-2011)

Mezuzah

A Mezuzah is part of Jewish tradition connecting with the Shema. In a very literal sense when the Shema passage tells families to “Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:9) the Mezuzah fulfilled this command.

Traditionally the Mezuzah was designed to contain a small scroll. Written on the scroll were the words of the Shema Israel. These were put on the door frames on houses. Sometimes they would be put on every door frame within the house accept for bathrooms and closets (too small to be considered a room).

I like Mezuzahs just for the visual reminder that they provide. You can put one on the inside or outside of your house as a daily reminder every time we leave or return home that our job today is to teach our children about Jesus. You don’t even need the scroll on the inside, since you don’t take the scroll out and read it. The decorative Mezuzah is enough to remind us that Jesus should be a part of our day.

You can buy a Mezuzah online or if you are so inclined make your own.

Here are some links for purchasing a Mezuzah online.
Shopping Links for Mezuzahs
Amazon – Mezuzah

Here are some links on further teachings about Mezuzahs.
Wikipedia article on Mezuzahs
Jewish teachings on Mezuzah

How to remind yourself in the 21st Century

Families today have many ways they remind themselves of important dates, information, and activities. Think about what you use in your daily life to help remember stuff.
1 – Smart phones – with calendars, text reminders, and updates
2 – Post It notes – little yellow pieces of paper that stick to anything – we use them for all kinds of reminders
3 – Family Calendars – keeping the family organized through scheduling
4 – Text messages and emails – we often send each other texts and emails to remember things
5 – Signs and Art around the house – Do you have Christian art or symbols hanging in your home? Where could you place such ‘art’ in order for it to remind you of your parental duty?This task that God has given parents to pass on the faith is so important that God tells us to remind ourselves. To use whatever means necessary to make sure we don’t forget, or miss opportunities to teach our children about Him.Think about ways you can create reminders in your life. Teaching your children about God is the most important thing you will ever do – Don’t forget! Remind yourself everyday to share the Gospel with your kids, leading them towards Jesus and heaven as their home.

Articles for extra training and encouragement

The importance of Intergenerational Relationships (stickyfaith)
Silence is NOT Golden – Why we need to talk about our faith at Home (stickyfaith)
Parents can help over scheduled (stressed) teens
Conversations with your kids about Internet safety

Families in Faith can come to your inbox as 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.poplc.org/familiesinfaith

Created by Dr. Joel Dietrich

Minister to Families and Children
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church
8304 Old Keene Mill Rd – Springfield, VA 22152
©2011 all rights reserved
Shema - The Rhythm of Life (11-17-2011)

Shema – The Rhythm of Life (11-17-2011)

shema-rhythm-life-11-17-11_banner


The Rhythm of Life

Time in the Car

How much time do you spend in the car with your children?  Why not make the most of these opportunities?

1 – Talk about your day – What went well, what do we need to pray about?
2 – Use a tool like “Faith Talk Cards” (See Below) to initiate conversations you might not normally have.
3 – Let your kids play one of their songs, then after the song is over discuss the Lyrics.

Sports and Other Activities

Are your kids involved in sports of other activities?

1 – Talk beforehand about what it means to be a follower of Jesus and an athlete or participant.
2 – Talk afterwards about the event and how God was involved or could be involved in the future.

Watching TV or Going to the Movies

Do you watch TV or go to the movies with your kids?

1 – Ask “Where did you see Jesus in this movie or TV show?”  For help on finding Spiritual connections to movies go to  www.hollywoodjesus.com
2 – Use the Wisdom Deck (See Below) to come up with Biblical Wisdom that might have helped the characters.
3 – Discuss on following Jesus leads us in our decisions about what Movies and TV shows we will watch.
4 – Find Christian shows or Movies to enjoy together.

Vacations and Holidays

Do you go on vacations or do special things on holidays?

1 – Remember that our example and model is what our kids learn from the most.  Its hard to teach our children to honor the Sabbath if we skip church for vacations or holidays.
2 – If you really want your kids to learn the importance of worship – make sure to make it a part of your vacations and holidays.  Either find a local church where ever you happen to be, or plan a special family worship experience.

Morning Routine

Do you have time in the morning when everyone is getting ready for school and work?

1 – Make sure to begin your day with Jesus.  Pray together and ask God to be a part of your day.
2 – Ask your children what’s going on in their lives during the day.  Tell them about your day.  Then pray for each other.
3 – Share a family devotion or read the Bible together over breakfast.

Bed Time Routine

Do you have some time with your family before going to bed at night?

1 – Family Devotions! There is nothing we can do to up the odds more that our kids will fall in love with Jesus then doing family devotions.  They don’t have to be long or fancy – just get together to read the Bible and talk about your faith.
2 – Pray together
3 – When kids are clean and all snuggled in their beds, its often a great time to talk with them.  Talk about your day – what went well, what didn’t go so well.  Talk about being a follower of Jesus and how great it is to know and love Him, and to be blessed by Him.
4 – Every night you should bless your children.  Put your hand on their head, look them in the eyes and speak the words of the Benediction.  “May the Lord bless you and keep you, may the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you, May He look upon you with favor and give you peace.  Amen.”

 


Resources

Need help making the most of your family’s time?  Try these resources that can be used throughout the Rhythm of Life.  (Click the image for Web Site Links)

 

This web site is designed for Parents who are working to pass on the faith to their children.  Join in the discussion – share your ideas, and thoughts, and stories.  What’s working in your family?  Look at the other ideas posted and add comments.  This web site will grow as the community adds input… so please visit the site, and add to 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.poplc.org/familiesinfaith

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