Family, Faith and Fun Challenge Day 12

Have you missed any days in the challenge? There’s still time to go back and complete those challenges!

Thursday, December 31, Day 12

Bible Reading: Luke 23:26-56

Bible Verse: “The people had gathered to watch this sight. When they saw what happened, they felt very sad. Then they went away.” Luke 23:48

Interesting Facts: 

  • Gall was a painkiller made from a plant. 
  • Lots could be sticks or stones similar to dice. They were regularly used during this time period to make decisions.

Thoughts to Share: Even though Jesus had spent time trying to explain to the Apostles what would happen to him, they didn’t really understand it. So when Jesus died, they were very sad. They thought Jesus had died and they would never see him again. They may have even wondered what they would do now that Jesus was dead. They were sad and probably very, very confused. Yet, we know Jesus would rise from the dead in a few days. We also know the Church would soon begin and people could be baptized for the forgiveness of their sins and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 

There was a lot of hope for the Apostles and other followers of Jesus. They might have thought they would be sad for many years about the death of Jesus. But they were wrong! In a few days, they would feel real joy. Soon Jesus would help them understand many of the things that were confusing them. They just needed to have hope.

Family Fun Instructions: Here, you will find some optical illusions. They are like playing cards with colored designs on them. You are supposed to guess what percentage of each card is covered by each color. The optical illusion is that the colors are drawn in such a way that it is almost impossible to guess correctly! They can make your brain confused…just like the brains of the Apostles must have felt confused after the death of Jesus. Yet once you understand the illusion, it is much easier to do it. God wants you to understand that even though your life may be hard, there is always hope for Christians. Why? Because of what happened after Jesus died. We will talk about that tomorrow.

Just remember that no matter how bad things get, Christians have the hope of spending forever with God in Heaven. And that Hope can make you stronger in good times and bad. In the meantime, see if you can figure out the optical illusion and then follow the instructions here to make your own optical illusions.

Parenting Tips: Here you will find tips for raising a hope filled child. Understanding the hope they have in Jesus, will help your kids be strong in bad times. It will keep them from viewing themselves as lifelong victims. Helping your kids have hope can make it easier for them to endure difficulties the rest of their lives.

Family, Faith and Fun Challenge Day 11

For today’s challenge, you will need four containers your kids can decorate.

Wednesday, December 30, Day 11

Bible Reading: Luke 11:1-13

Memory Verse: “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you.” Luke 11:9

Interesting Facts: 

  • Many of the Jews during the time of Jesus would use verses from Psalms as some of their prayers.
  • Jesus prayed constantly while he was on Earth. We only have the exact words to a couple of his prayers in the Bible.

Thoughts to Share: The Bible tells us Jesus spent a lot of time praying to God when he was here on Earth. Jesus taught that God wants us to pray about everything to Him. There are some important things to remember about prayer. The most important is that God knows what is best for us. Sometimes that means He will say “no” or “wait” to our prayer requests. We have to trust God even if we don’t always understand why He didn’t give us exactly what we wanted. 

Another thing to remember about prayer is that prayer is not just about us asking God for everything we want. There are other things God wants us to pray to Him. One of those things is adoration. Adoration is a long word that means God wants to hear what we think about Him. Of course, God is amazing, so there are a lot of great words and phrases you can pray to God. God also wants us to use prayer to confess our sins to Him. He also wants us to thank Him for all of the blessings He gives us. There is an easy way to remember all of the things you can pray about. Just remember the word ACTS….A stands for adoration, C stands for confessing our sins, T stands for thanking God and S stands for supplication, which is a fancy word for asking God to help us.

The final thing to remember about prayer is that God wants us to pray to Him even if we are mad at Him or confused about Him. The book of Psalms is also a book of prayers that let us know people like King David prayed to God even when they were mad, scared or confused. When we read Psalms, it is easy to see that God wants to hear what we are thinking and feeling. He loves us and wants to help us.

Family Fun Instructions: Find or make four containers you can decorate. Decorate one for each of the four types of things you can pray about adoration, confession, thanks, and supplication (prayer requests). After they are decorated, fold them into boxes. Then make slips of paper and write ideas of things you can pray about in each area. Place the ideas into the box for that category. The next time you pray, you can pull out slips of paper to help you think of things to pray.

Parenting Tips: Here, you will find parenting tips for helping children pray. Your kids should learn how to pray and eventually pray throughout the day without you having to remind them. The more you pray with them and encourage them to pray on their own, the more likely they will be to pray to God regularly for the rest of their lives.

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.