Christian Parents as Story Tellers

Christian Parents as Story Tellers - Parenting Like Hannah
The Art of Story Telling by John Walsh

If you frequent libraries and bookstores, chances are you and your children have enjoyed a story teller. A good story teller can transport you and your child to all sorts of fictional places. Often you leave feeling as if you have actually experienced the event.

I couldn’t wait to read The Art of Story Telling by John Walsh. Walsh is a Christian story teller who discovered something amazing. The Bible is full of wonderful true stories. In fact, about 75% of the Bible is comprised of stories (the rest is poetry and instructions).

Historically, Christian story tellers have taken Bible stories and added their own touches of assumed sights, sounds and emotions. Walsh spent a lot of time studying storytelling, especially as done by many missionaries. He found the Bible stories were wonderful almost exactly as written (he sometimes deletes details like long lists of names). More importantly, God gave us the stories that have the power to change lives.

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Devotional Ideas for the Hectic Family

Devotional Ideas for the Hectic Family - Parenting Like Hannah
Object for an “As You Go” devotional

When our daughter was younger, we were determined to have family devotionals. We would start having them at a certain time and inevitably within a week or so, something would happen to make the time slot we had chosen unworkable in the future. Or we would actually finish a family devotional book and not be able to find something new we liked. Or my husband would have to go out of town, making it a mommy and one child devo. Or it seemed like we weren’t at home from morning until bed time for several days in a row.

There are so many seemingly valid reasons why we don’t have family devotionals in our homes. I think part of the problem is it just sounds intimidating. We think we have to do this big formal thing with everyone in the family present, and it must resemble those “fancy” Bible studies we get at Church.

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Family Devotional Help

Family Devotional Help - Parenting Like HannahOne of the most important things you can do for your child’s spiritual development is to have regular family devotionals and discussions about godly principles. Many parents are intimidated when they consider family devotionals. Even if they could make the time commitment, what should they study with their children?

Whit’s End Mealtime Devotions: 90 Faith-Building Ideas Your Kids Will Eat Up! (Adventures in Odyssey Books) by Crystal Bowman and Tricia Goyer provides help for the family beginning the habit of daily devotionals. The book contains 90 devotions easy enough for even the most nervous devotional leader to use.

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Resurrection Cookies

Resurrection Cookies - Parenting Like Hannah
Photo byAmanderson2

Resurrection Cookies are a great way to review the story of Jesus’ death with your children. I got the recipe from one of my neighbors years ago and suspect it is one of those that has been passed around all over the country. I would love to credit the inventor, but have no idea who that would be. We did this every year the Saturday night before Easter as one of our family traditions when our daughter was younger.

You will need a Bible, preferably an NIrV version for younger children. Preheat the oven to 300* and make sure it has reached 300* before you start cooking. Your bowl and beaters need to be grease free for this to work well. We have used pasteurized egg whites and they work fine although it is more difficult to keep the yolk out of the whites. It is best to do this right before the children go to bed, but aren’t so sleepy they won’t enjoy it. It can take up to thirty minutes at night and about five or ten minutes the next morning.

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Family Devotional Time

Family Devotional Time - Parenting Like Hannah
Photo by Ian Bailey-Mortimer
If you ask Christian parents one thing they wish they had done with their children, the answer for many would be family devotionals. The idea of your family sitting around the fire reading and sharing from God’s words seems like the ideal of the godly family.

Our lives are filled with obligations, extra curricular activities and church ministries. We are often hard pressed to find the time to eat together. Work and sleep schedules may mean your child doesn’t even see a parent for a day or so because she is sleeping when the parent leaves and returns from the office. Honestly some weeks are so hectic in our house, I feel we have accomplished something spiritual if we are able to find our Bibles in time to take them to church! The idea of a family devotional time seems to be an unrealistic goal left over from a time when life was slower.

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