Family, Faith and Fun Challenge Day 10

For today’s activity, you will need six or more plastic or paper cups, several rubber bands and pieces of twine and a small object to place on top of the tower. We aren’t giving you the solution, so good luck!

Tuesday, December 29, Day 10

Bible Reading: Luke 5:17-39

Memory Verse: “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

Interesting Facts:

  • The fact that four men had to carry the man to see Jesus shows us that he was not able to walk or crawl there or help them move him in any way.
  • Houses at that time had flat roofs and a ladder or steps that went to the roof. The way the passage is worded makes us think this house had a clay roof the men had to dig through to be able to lower their friend down to Jesus. 

Thoughts to Share: How long do you think the man’s friends had to work to get him to Jesus? They didn’t want their friend to suffer anymore. They knew their best hope was to get their friend to Jesus and pray Jesus would heal him. They had to figure out a way to carry their friend to where Jesus was teaching. Then they probably tried to get through the crowd for a time. Once they had the idea about the roof, they still had to figure out a way to get their friend on the roof, make a hole and lower him to Jesus without anyone getting hurt. 

All of that thinking, planning and working took perseverance. Perseverance is a big word that means to keep trying even when things get hard. It takes perseverance to be a Christian. It can be hard to obey God sometimes, especially if the people around us are making it as hard as possible. God wants us to have perseverance.

Family Fun Instructions: One way to have more perseverance is to practice doing hard things until you successfully complete them. Today, you will work together to do something hard, but fun. You might get frustrated trying to figure out how to do it. You will have to be patient with each other when you are trying different ways to finish the task.

Inside the box you will find pieces of string, 5 rubber bands, six drinking cups and a plastic Christmas eraser. Your job is to stack the cups into a tower and place the eraser on top. The only rule is you cannot touch the cups or the eraser with your hands! You must figure out a way to use the strings and rubber bands to move the cups and the eraser. Good luck!

Parenting Tips: Here you will find tips for raising kids who have perseverance. If you can help your kids have perseverance , they will do better in school, in jobs, in relationships and as a Christian. It can take perseverance to teach your kids how to have perseverance! We did not include a solution for the activity today, because it is something your family can keep working on until you find the solution. It may take minutes, hours, days or even longer. Continuing to work on it can help all of you have more perseverance.

Family, Faith and Fun Challenge Day 9

Hopefully your children are beginning to better understand the over arching story of the Bible. Knowing it will help them share their faith with others. This challenge was originally accompanied with scarves cut out of fleece fabric and fringed at both ends. Older children can help cut the fringe, while younger ones can tie the knots at the end of each fringe. Feel free to substitute another service project for this one. You can find lost of ideas here.

Monday, December 28, Day 9

Bible Reading: Matthew 5:1-16, 43-48, Matthew 6:1-4, Luke 10:25-28

Memory Verse: “And he answered, ‘You should love the Lord your God with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and your neighbor as yourself.’” Luke 10:27

Interesting Facts:

  • No one knows the exact spot where Jesus taught the Sermon on the Mount, but people have a couple of places they think it could have been.
  • Jesus did not preach the Sermon on the Mount like preachers preach today. He would have probably been seated, talking to his Apostles, but in a voice so that the others could hear him.

Thoughts to Share: Jesus taught about a lot of things while he was here on Earth. Many of them have to do with our relationship with God and our relationship with other people. Jesus summed up his teachings in two important commands. 1. Love God with all of your heart, soul, strength and mind. 2. Love your neighbor as yourself. Today we are going to think about that second command.

What does it mean to love other people like you love yourself? It means two things. 1. That we don’t do the bad things to people we wouldn’t want done to us. 2. That we try to intentionally do good things for people that we would want someone to do for us. Can you list examples of both? What are some specific things you can say or do to other people (even your “enemies” as we learned from these verses) that would help you obey this command?

Family Fun Instructions: One of the ways we can love other people is to notice when they have a need, do nice things for them and/or share what we have with others who may not have any at all. Today you will make fleece scarves. Each scarf has a fringe at both ends. You can work together as a family to tie knots at the end of each piece of fringe. As you knot the scarves, think of someone who may not have a scarf and be cold. Can you give them a finished scarf and tell them God loves them? It is a great way to love other people and tell them something important about God.

Parenting Tips: God wants your kids to grow up to help other people and teach them about Jesus. Here you will find some tips for serving with your kids. Encouraging your children to help others and teach them about Jesus will also help your kids find purpose and meaning for their lives.

Family, Faith and Fun Challenge Day 8

If you have fallen behind on the challenge, today is a great day to catch up on the ones you have missed. This activity works best with a white board or chalk board, a plastic baggie with a white board marker or a pencil and paper if needed.

Sunday, December 27, Day 8

Bible Reading: Luke 3:21-23

Memory Verse: “When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized, too.” Luke 3:21a

Interesting Facts:

  • The word that is translated baptism means being immersed in water. When a person is immersed in water, their entire body is underwater.
  • Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River, the same river the Israelites had to cross to enter the Promised Land.

Thoughts to Share: Even though Jesus never sinned when he was on Earth, he set the example for something God wants us to do today to become a Christian. When we are old enough to understand that we have sinned and need God’s forgiveness, we should study about becoming a Christian. Before anyone is baptized, they need to repent of their sins. Repenting means more than just saying you are sorry. Repenting means you will try to not commit those sins again. Before we are baptized we also say that we believe Jesus is God’s son and we want to make him the Lord of our life. Then we are immersed in water. God forgives us of our sins, gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit and we are then called a Christian. 

Family Fun Instructions: When God forgives us of our sins, He erases them completely. It is as if they never happened! It is like writing something on a white board and then erasing it. Use a white board or a white board plastic packet and a special marker to use on it. Find the clues for Christmas Pictionary. As you erase a clue for the next person to take a turn, remember how God erases our sins when we repent and are baptized. (After becoming a Christian, Christians can just pray when they repent and ask God for His forgiveness.)

Parenting Tips: Here, you will find tips for teaching your kids how to (repent) apologize well. These tips work with God and with people. Helping your kids practice repenting and apologizing well to people when they make a mistake, can make it easier for them to repent when they sin.

Family, Faith and Fun Challenge Day 7

This challenge requires two jigsaw puzzles or you can make your own. On your primary puzzle, write a character trait from the list below on a piece. It’s okay if there are blank pieces left. Then take eight pieces from a different puzzle and write negative character traits on the back of each. Mix those pieces in with the primary puzzle. You will present your family with the combined puzzle to use.

Saturday, December 26, Day 7

Bible Reading: Luke 2:41-52

Bible Verse: “Jesus became wiser and stronger. He also became more pleasing to God and to people.” Luke 2:52

Interesting Facts:

  • Jews were required to travel to the Temple in Jerusalem three times a year for feasts.
  • Twelve years old was when Jewish boys in the time of Jesus started taking personal responsibility for their religious health and life.

Thoughts to Share: This is the only story we have about Jesus interacting with others when he was young. We learn two important things from this story. Jesus was already learning a lot about what was in the Bible that had been written down by then, our Old Testament. (The New Testament was written after Jesus went back to Heaven.) We also learn in the last verse, that Jesus did not just grow physically. He grew mentally, emotionally and spiritually. He had what we call good character. We learn later that Jesus never sinned. That means he had the character traits God wants His people to possess.

Family Fun Activity: You have in front of you a jigsaw puzzle. Take out all of the pieces and turn them upside down so you can’t see the picture. You will see that some pieces have words on the back of them. What you can’t see is that your puzzle box has some pieces that don’t belong in your puzzle! The pieces that belong in your puzzle have the character traits God wants His people to have or they have no writing on them at all. The pieces of the puzzle that have character traits that God doesn’t want His people to have written on them, don’t belong in your puzzle! Without looking at the picture, can you find the right pieces to your puzzle and put it together properly?!

Parenting Tips: Below, you will find a list of character traits mentioned in the Bible. Which ones do you and your kids already have? Which ones do each one of you need to practice more? Think of ways to encourage each other to have more godly character traits.

Godly Character Traits

While Christianity is ultimately about the heart, there are observable character traits that Christians should possess. In a Christian, these character traits should be an outward sign of a heart that loves and worships God. This list does not include every character trait, but is a good list to use when working with young people.

Commitment – Luke 9:62 – Being dedicated to God

Contentment – Philippians 4:11-12 – A state of satisfaction

Courage – Psalm 27:14 – Strength in the face of pain, fear or grief

Diligence – Proverbs 12:24 – Careful & persistent work or effort

Discernment – Hebrews 5:14 – Ability to judge well

Encouragement – Hebrews 10:25 – Giving others support, confidence or hope

Faithfulness – Romans 10:17 – Being faithful or devoted

Forgiveness – Mark 11:25 – Forgiving others

Generosity – Acts 20:35 – Giving freely without expecting anything in return

Gentleness – Titus 3:2 – Being kind and tender

Goodness – Romans 12:9 – Being morally good or virtuous

Gratefulness – 1 Thessalonians 5:18 – Being thankful or appreciative

Honesty – Proverbs 10:9 – Telling the truth

Hospitable – Hebrews 13:2 – Welcoming others into your home

Humility – 1 Peter 5:5 – Modest view of one’s own importance

Joyful – Proverbs 17:22 – Expressing great joy

Kindness – Ephesians 4:32 – Treating others with tenderness

Love – 1 Corinthians 13:3 – Unconditional love for others

Obedience – John 14:15 – Following God’s commands and directions

Patience – Galatians 6:9 – Accepting delays or problems without anger

Peacemaker – Matthew 5:9 – Encouraging harmony between people

Perseverance – Galatians 6:9 – Continuing to work towards goals despite problems

Purity – 1 Timothy 4:12 – Free from contamination by the world

Respectful – 1 Peter 2:17 – Showing deference or respect

Responsibility – Colossians 3:23 – Doing well what is expected, without being reminded

Self-control – Galatians 5:24-25 – Controlling negative impulses and doing what is right

Servant Heart – 1 Peter 4:10 – Willingness to love and serve others

Stewardship – 1 Peter 4:10 – Taking good care of things that have been placed under our care

Wisdom – James 1:5 – Using knowledge appropriately

Family, Faith and Fun Challenge Day 6

If your kids received books or kits for Christmas, they would be great to use for the activity today!

Friday, December 25, Day 6

Bible Reading: Luke 2:8-40

Memory Verse: “Anna came up to Jesus’ family at that moment. She gave thanks to God. And she spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the time when Jerusalem would be set free.” Luke 2:38

Interesting Facts:

  • No one knows for sure how many wisemen came to visit Jesus. There were probably more than three, as they usually travelled in larger groups.
  • The gifts the wisemen gave Jesus were gifts normally given to royalty. Frankincense and myrrh were used for medicine and burying people in that time.
  • New parents and parents of first born sons were required to go to the Temple to make sacrifices. The sacrifice Mary and Joseph made tells us they were poor.
  • Anna was one of the women prophets named in the Bible.

Thoughts to Share: Today’s story was about a lot of people who had been waiting for Jesus, the Messiah, to come to earth. When they found out he had been born, they felt pure joy! Joy is better than happiness. Happiness is felt when everything happens like we want it to happen. Joy is a deeper contentment that comes from trusting God. We can experience joy even when things are not going well in our lives. The people in this story had some special things God wanted them to do. God wanted them to celebrate the birth of Jesus and then tell others the Messiah had arrived. God still wants us to be joyful about Jesus and tell others about him. 

Family Fun Instructions: God gives each of us at least one gift or talent that can be a way we will be especially good at telling others about Jesus. We have to find that talent and then work to become really skilled at it. Then we need to look for ways we can use our talent to serve others and teach them about Jesus. Here is a gifts quiz. There is not a grade given, but you can use your answers to help you figure out what gifts God may have given you. Each person in the family should answer the questions. Then other family members can help figure out what gifts each person may have.

You may have some books, kits or other items around your house that will help you explore possible gifts God may have given you. These will give you a chance to try or read about some things to see if you can begin to figure out what your special gift or talent from God might be. If these don’t reveal your talent, keep looking. Everyone has at least one gift from God and if you keep trying new things, you will eventually find your gift. In the meantime, you can have a lot of fun trying new things!

Parenting Tips: Here, as mentioned earlier, you will find a gift survey. Answering the questions, may give you some clues as to which gifts God gave each one of you. Once you find each person’s gift, help them find ways to learn how to do it well. Then help them find ways to use their gifts to serve God.