Sabbath Matters

SabbathWe started a new series at Christ Community Church on the Sabbath. You can listen along on our website, but we’d love to have you join us in person sometime!

Here’s a humorous, but very serious, ‘test‘ as to whether or not you need Sabbath in your life from Pete Scazzero.

This post encourages us to think about our children’s need for rest and that, as parents, we are not powerless to the demands of society for them. It also share the important lesson that Rhodes Scholar and Basketball player Clay Christiansen learned about the Sabbath: “life is just one series of extenuating circumstances not to do what is right.”

Also, Sabbath takes practice. Take it from this chaplain!

Look forward to more posts on the Sabbath in the weeks to come. Until then, may you enter into God’s rest.

Advent Devotionals

We invite you to take the time this season to slow down from the hustle and bustle. There are lots of free devotionals that can help you do just that:

A downloadable weekly family devotional to go along with lighting your Advent Wreath Candles from The High Calling.

A downloadable Advent Paper Chain calendar to do with kids from KidsCorner (ReFrame Media).

A downloadable daily devotional and prayer guide (taken from Seeking God’s Face) for adults.

Sign up to get the short, daily Today devotional emailed to you directly. This year’s theme: “Waiting in Expectation.”

Or, join the CRC’s Office of Social Justice & World Renew for daily emailed devotionals having to do with “Displacement & Belonging.”

Sunday Follow up: Kids and the More ‘Adult’ Parts of Scripture

On Sunday, guest preacher and church member Peter Sinclair shared a personal example of a rather common occurrence: parents’ desire and tendency to shield their kids from the violent/mature stories in Scripture. It caused a little bit of discussion after, and even during, the service…

On the blog, we’ve linked to a couple of different pieces on reading the Bible with children. You may remember this one on reading the ‘Sad Psalms’ (Laments) with your kids.

We’ve also made you aware of children’s story book Bibles, such as the one talked about in “Kiddos and the Bible”— a reflection that makes some good points about the drawbacks about simplifying and cleaning up biblical stories too much.

But what do you think about these sorts of stories for Sunday morning worship? “Kiddos and the Bible” led to further reflection by preaching professor Scott: “More on Those R-Rated Texts.” He shares what might be the good news to be found in those mature storylines and why they might be ‘just right’ for Sunday morning.

When Your Kid is on the Field

For most families, organized sports make up a lot of our free time. More and more, it’s becoming a year round cycle as kids move from one team to another, one seasonal sport to another. little league

We’ve also all heard the stories in the news about parents kicked out of ice rinks and off the field for their bad behaviour. How does our faith and Christian life intersect our children’s hobbies?

Jose shares “5 godly lessons from sports” and parenting.

Dan reflects on the bad example he set for his daughter while jeering from the sidelines.

Tina has collected a few different pieces on Families and Sports including a mom’s thoughts on how sports have had a positive impact on her family, what to do about sporting events on Sundays, a reflection on the spiritual growth of one child through his participation in Little League, and sports as a way to bring God glory.

 

Photo by Rob Zand. Used with permission. Sourced by Flickr.

Kids and TV

Kid watching TVToday we’re sharing three links to help parents with deciding what, when, and how to shape TV time.

The first comes from the Washington Post and can be used for any technology that requires a screen: “Screen-time tips for parents.”

The Banner, a Christian magazine, offers five links to websites that will help parents review content for video games, movies, music, books and smart phone/tablet apps.

Especially in Christian circles, I hear plenty of pontificating on the evils of American entertainment, but as a parent, what I need most is realistic advice for the world I live in. Most of us are not going to burn our TVs. Most of us need a positive and practical model for how to raise “media wise” kids. That model should address not just the content of what we show our kids, but also the form it comes in and how it’s made. That’s why media literacy matters.

-Andrea Palpant Dilley

Read Andrea’s guide to media literacy for parents on Christianity Today‘s website.

Photo by Gustavo Gomez. Used with permission. Sourced by Flickr.

Got the Parenting Blues?

I forced down a sob when I said the words, ‘This parenting thing is so hard.’

Been there, felt that? Kristen shares more in, “When Parenting Knocks the Breath Out of You.”

As a single parent sometimes easily overrun by decisions and judgement calls needed to be made, I try my best to parent beyond me.

Let Guy share more of his journey as a single father with you in, “Parenting beyond Me.”

Every time I ask the kids if they want to go to church with me and they say no, it’s hard not to become upset or even angry. At them, for not wanting to go. At Jason, for making it easier for them to say no. At the Church, for not being absolutely irresistible to them. At me, for not being a better example of why we should go to services.

Alise shares about the struggles of faith and seeking when only one parent believes in Jesus in “Christian Parenting When Only One Parent is Christian.”

Finally, find some encouragement as a parent (or as a child looking to avoid being like your parents) from the genealogy of Jesus found in Matthew. It’s “An Unlikely Source of Reminder” that

Children do not always follow in the ways of their parents.

Parents don’t always guide their children into their ways.

 

This post is for parents and is meant to encourage them in various circumstances, including single parenting.

Family Devotions

We know it’s important. We also know it can be hard to make family devotions both relevant/meaningful and enjoyable.

Here’s a good place to begin: A Quick Guide to Family Worship

If you’re looking for some new material, here’s a new series on the Psalms for families with members of all ages from the Reformed tradition.

Finding yourself a little discouraged because you aren’t doing family devotions or worship? Take courage and try out some of these alternatives.

This post is for parents as they lead their families in devotions and worship.