Wednesday, August 29, 2007

One of the difficult things about family devotions is trying to find a story/subject that you can make interesting for the entire age span. In our family, our youngest is 7 and our oldest is 20. If you include Mike and me, our oldest is 54 (Mike!), and there is no reason why devotions shouldn't be interesting for us as well. I keep hoping to find a book called, "Fascinating Devotions for the Entire Family."

Well, I didn't find that book, but I did pick up this book at the thrift shop last week. It is called, "Object Lessons from Pebbles and Paper Clips" by Joanne De Jonge. This link to Amazon was the cheapest I could find other than eBay.

I bought this book because Mike regularly gets called on at a moment's notice to teach a class or share a devotional, and this book has plenty of lessons that you can use for 5 minutes or 50 minutes.

My favorite lesson is the "Light Your Candle" (p 91) lesson: Before your family comes in for devotions, place 5 plain unlit white candles around the room. Don't hide them, but just place them so they would "fit in" with the rest of your room. When your children come in see how long it takes for them to find all 5 candles. (It didn't take my children long only because I have no knick knacks and the candles were obvious!) Read the lesson in the book and make the point that in our sinful world we need to make sure our candles are lit in order to be seen as lights for Jesus.

Now have your children close their eyes and you turn out the lights. Now open your eyes and notice how dark and sinful the world is. Do you see the candles? No, of course not. Close their eyes again while you light the candles. Open all eyes and talk about how the candles stand out against the dark when they are lit. Yes, there are so many different points you can make about this lesson which is why I think it is my favorite.

Be sure to do this devotional on an evening when you have plenty of time to talk with your children. What does it mean to be a "lit" candle? What can we do to let our lights shine for Jesus?

My children's favorite devotional is when my hubby made chocolate brownies and told them they could eat them but that he had to warn them that he mixed a little bit of dirt in the brownies. Just a little bit, he warned. No one would eat it. The lesson is that we should not be watching movies that are just a little bad, or reading books that are just a little offensive. (Actually, he really didn't put dirt in the brownies, but we had a hard time convincing my children!)

Last night for dinner we had another favorite (to eat, not to chop!) dinner. I made Garden Bars because I have a fridge full of fresh veggies that I need to use. I used the crescent rolls to make the crust, but I have to tell you there is no nutritional value in the crust. I have made a great tasting whole wheat flour crust, but I have to find the recipe again. It was in an issue of Keepers At Home. Anyhow, for the "white" part I used one container of Tofutti cream cheese with 2 Tblp Tofutti sour cream. For seasonings I used half of a spinach dry mix and 2 tsp Good Seasonings salad mix. This is enough to make 3 cookie sheets of bars. I topped the Garden Bars with black olives, red and yellow peppers, broccoli, celery, green onions, and carrots. I usually put twice as many veggies as you see above, but yesterday was very busy and I just wore out of chopping! Usually the girls help me chop, but even they were done for. Anyhow, it was delicious!

This morning Ruthie and I discussed the Psalm 119:11, "I will hide Thy Word in my heart that I might not sin against Thee." We were discussing the purpose of AWANA at our church. I wanted to let her know that the purpose of AWANA is not to see how many dollars or candy we can collect but learning to hide God's Word in our hearts. Such a simple verse, but it has given me a lot to think about this morning.

Only a few more days until school starts. I've decided that the problem with my children is that they never get bored! It would be nice if we got bored so that we could look forward to schoolwork. Even though I am probably the most relaxed Mom about schoolwork, there is still a certain amount to do. So I am concentrating this week on being thankful for the minds of my children. They are all different but intelligent and exciting!

Many blessings ~ Kathie

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