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.

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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

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.

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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

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

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
Shrove Tuesday & Ash Wednesday video 02-16-2012

Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday (2/16/2012)

The Season of Epiphany is coming to a close as we celebrate Mardi Gras and then Ash Wednesday – the beginning of Lent.  Mardi Gras means “Fat Tuesday” – both are names for “Shrove Tuesday”  a traditional day of repentance and remembrance as one prepares for Lent.  Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent 40 days before Easter (46 days, but Sundays are not counted in the 40).

Family Confession

Here is an idea for a short confession and absolution for families.

(Adapted from Luther’s Small Catechism)

Confession has 2 parts – First we confess our sins, then we receive absolution, that is, forgiveness from God himself.

Start by thinking of the sins you know you have committed. Times when you were mean or hurtful. Moments of rudeness or a short temper. Times when you neglected your family and friends. Occasions when you did not love God with your whole heart, or your neighbor as yourself.

With those in mind, say “I, a poor sinner, plead guilty to all my sins. I am sorry for the things I have done, and for the things I didn’t do that I should have. I ask for forgiveness, not because I deserve it, but because of Jesus – His life and death earned it.”

Parents speak God’s forgiveness
“You are forgiven. By God’s Grace and His command I announce to you the forgiveness of all of your sins. God has taken them away from you as far as the East is from the West. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”

Use this or something similar to conclude your pancake dinner on Shrove Tuesday.

Web Sites for Further Training

Shrove Tuesday

What is Ash Wednesday?

History of Ash Wednesday

Mardi Gras

What is Shrove Tuesday?

Worshiping with Children – Ash Wednesday

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 Miracles of Jesus (2-2-2012)


As we work to teach our children about Jesus we can use the wonder and power that come with His miracles. Jesus’ miracles prove to us that He is God, and that He loves us and is on a mission to restore His creation. Miracles still happen today – spend some time with your kids looking for God’s miracles in the world and in your life.

Liar, Lunatic, or Lord
~ C.S. Lewis

The idea of Jesus being a liar, lunatic, or Lord comes from C.S. Lewis. He does an amazing job putting forth this concept in his book “Mere Christianity”. The video below is a reading from the book on this concept.

Web Sites for Further Training

The Miracles of Jesus
– a list with Bible references of the recorded miracles of Jesus

Chronological look at Jesus’ Miracles as recorded in the 4 Gospels.

Lesson for kids
– Jesus’ miracle of turning water into wine.

Childrensministry.com
– Teaching children to pray for miracles.

The Miracles of Jesus
– Map with locations of where Jesus performed the various Miracles recorded in the Gospels.

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

Jesus fulfills the Law (1-19-2012)

 Hearts in Hands - giving away


This week a new Youtube video went Viral – nothing new there, but this one had an interesting message about Jesus and Religion. The first time it was forwarded to me there were just under 2 million hits, later this week when I got it sent to me again there were more than 15 million views. Perhaps you saw this video as well. Below is the original video, and then a Lutheran Pastors response. I recommend watching both – they fit into this weeks discussion on Jesus coming to fulfill the law and the prophets.

Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus || Spoken Word
 

Freestylin’: Jesus = Religion

Web Sites for Further Training

3rd Use of the Law from the Book of Concord

Teaching on the continued use of the Old Testament Law today
Written using Hebrew names (Yeshua for Jesus, Elohim for God, etc.) – the author quotes the New Testament to show the continued use for the law.

Families in Faith is a Free email and web-based (www.familiesinfaith.org) 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 🙂

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

©2011 – All rights reserved

The Beatitudes (1-12-2012)

Families in Faith – 1-12-12 The Beatitudes

This weeks video starts down the path of learning about the life, ministry, and teachings of Jesus and how we can and should teach our children about Him. We learn today about the Beatitudes – a seemingly backwards list of people who will be blessed. Find ways you can teach your children about this list of expectations and blessings for those who follow Jesus.

Biblewise.com

From Biblewise.com comes the following teaching on the beatitudes.

(The following texts and ideas are based on the King James version of the Bible and “The Message” by Eugene H. Peterson.)

“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

When your spirits are low, when you feel at the end of your rope, shut out self-pity and listen to God for good ideas, instead. Putting your personal plans aside in favor of God’s plan brings you a refreshing heaven-like result, right now.

“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.”

Sometimes we feel sad because of a bad experience, a poor test grade, a failure in a sports event. At the time, such things may seem so important. But at that very moment, you are comforted by God’s unconditional love for you. Find this comfort in your ability to try again, correct a mistake, rejoice in another’s victory.

“Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.”

Don’t knock meekness – it can mean self-knowledge, understanding who you are and what you can do. And with that understanding, you can realize you already have an inheritance of everything you need as God’s intelligent, talented, joyful heir.

“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”

Your appetite should be for spirituality, for living a Christ-based life, rather than for a wish-list of material stuff. Your reward is a life over-flowing with all the good you can use.

“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.”

Those who are merciful care about others – their needs, their hopes. And in reaching out, you will find your own good dreams fulfilled.

“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.”

Today, “pure in heart” means purity of mind and body – freedom from impure debasing thoughts and activities, sometimes attractive to young people. When you get your inside world right, you will see God’s hand at work in your outside world.

“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”

You can be an example to others on how to be cooperative, non-combatant, even-tempered. Rather than putting fighting or competition first, you will be surrounded by equally talented and loving family members – all part of God’s eternal family.

“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven….Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you….Rejoice…for great is your reward I heaven.”

Commitment to God is sometimes not appreciated – even scoffed at, but don’t let this deter you. Lies about you, bullying, and put-downs show that others are uncomfortable with their mean ways. But you are in good company – Jesus and those who preceded him and followed him were treated the same way. Be happy you have chosen the very best way and you will find that others will follow you! Your reward is not put off to some future heaven; enjoy heaven right here and now!

Don’t postpone the blessings! Your discussion with your family is highly important in making these teachings come alive.

Web sites for further training

Wikipedia article on the Beatitudes

What the Beatitudes Teach

Other Web Sites for Christian Parents 

Christian Iphone apps – A nice compilation of iphone/ipad apps

Christian Answers – A Web site for answers to common questions

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