Ideas for Easy Family Devotions

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Ideas for Easy Family Devotions with Kids.

In raising our 14 kids I can’t say we’ve always been consistent in family devotion times with the kids. It actually got much harder as the kids got older and had so many out of the home commitments. But before we got to that stage, we had fairly consistent family Bible times.

In the next couple of posts I plan to share some of the things we did that proved successful but not overwhelming to accomplish, as well as some of the resources we developed that can be picked up and used without prep time on Dad or Mom’s part. Rick was a dad who had a physically intensive job so he would come home very tired and not at his creative best, so something that did not require a lot of preparation was important for that reason. Perhaps you find yourself in a similar situation.

Family Devotions don’t have to be in-depth, or extremely time-consuming. They don’t have to follow a particular formula, and you don’t have to have visuals and activities planned out to accompany your time together in order to “make it work”.  What is important, really, is that you try to set aside some time to simply lead your family in listening to God’s word and discussing it together. If you want to do more, great! But, if you cannot- don’t lose heart! Do what you can. Little is MUCH when God is in it!

Here are Easy Ideas and Resources for Family Devotions:

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How to Teach Your Children to Spend Time in the Word

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How can you instill the practice of studying God’s Word into your children? Well, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. But, let me share with you what we did with our own children….

From the time our children were babes in the bassinet, we played Bible audios for them at sleep times. It would be a comfort to them and help them to settle down to turn on their Bible CD’s. Pretty early on, Rick recorded audios for them and explained difficult words and meanings to them which was actually teaching them how to meditate on God’s Word. This also served to show the kids that God’s Word was practical and interesting to listen to.

We read Bible stories to our little people and had a Friday night Bible quiz each week asking questions from our reading during the week. We would reward them for answering questions, and it encouraged them to be attentive during reading times- to want to “pay attention on purpose.”

Continue reading How to Teach Your Children to Spend Time in the Word

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More Ideas for Easy Family Devotions

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Family devotion time doesn’t need to be complicated. I remember little Matt when he was about 3 or 4; he would get his pillow and stretch out on his back underneath the coffee table every night with his feet up in the air touching the bottom of the table top. We never let our kids disrupt family time by running around being loud, but expected them to listen quietly. Matt, listening quietly, would fall asleep every time! Sweet memories. It’s okay. They’ll pick up a whole lot more than you think even if it appears that they aren’t being real attentive.

So, continuing with suggestions for easy Family Bible Times, let me share with you several more ways we spent time together as a family learning about God. (Miss Part 1? Read it here)

Continue reading More Ideas for Easy Family Devotions

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Josh’s Story – Losing a Child to Leukemia

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I realize the title of this post is not a pleasant one. It’s not something we like to think about. But, for many, it’s a reality. 20 years ago it was our reality.

This month marks the 20th anniversary of the home-going of our 17-year old son, Josh. I thought I would share this post with you in hopes to encourage someone who may be going through a similar situation.

God is ALWAYS good. God sees the big picture. We are so limited in our understanding of life. This I know, with all my heart, that God only allows things to happen that conform us to his image and that work for the ultimate good. Although this was extremely crushing to go through, I KNOW that God views all that happens to us in light of eternity. 

This post is much longer than usual, but I found it difficult to divide the story up into pieces. I pray God continues to use Josh’s story for His good purposes….

It was about 11:15 on a warm, sunny September morning when my telephone rang. It was Gene from the doctor’s office. He asked me if Rick was home, and I said no, he was at work. He told me he had some bad news and perhaps I should sit down. I told him I was sitting, and he proceeded to tell me that Josh’s test results had come back, and although he wasn’t positive, it appeared that Josh had leukemia. At that very moment, my life changed drastically, although I couldn’t comprehend how much just then. I was stunned. I don’t remember too much else that he said, except that I should get in touch with Rick and have him call Gene. He would schedule us with an oncologist that afternoon to confirm the diagnosis.

Continue reading Josh’s Story – Losing a Child to Leukemia

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Savor the Season- Part 4

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This series of posts is excerpted from the book,  Yes, They’re All Ours and were written by Rick Boyer in 1996…..

If you’re like me, you can think of a million things you’d like to have time to do. Worthwhile things, too. I’d like to learn to play a musical instrument, be more involved in politics, be more active in my church, and read a lot of good books. (Some of which have been on my shelf for years). Many times, I’ve thought how I could improve myself if I only had time. But God reminds me that He is improving me through the very common responsibilities that I think are keeping me from my chosen pursuits.

God knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows what challenges, responsibilities and opportunities to bring into our lives as He builds a life curriculum for each of us. It is when we kick against the pricks and are constantly looking for something else more fulfilling that we miss fulfillment. I used to think that I was wasting my potential by not being in a full-time ministerial position. These days, I’m coming to see that there’s no more important ministry than the stewardship of little lives. We moms and dads hold the keys to future generations. We mustn’t get bogged down in the daily grind and forget to smell the roses, on one hand, and revel in the prospect of future achievement on the other.

There will be different seasons in the lives of our children, we’ve found. There was a time when we were living in our little yellow house in Concord and had two, then three, then four little boys. I was young and eager, wanting to get into full-time ministry work and leaving no stone unturned looking for God’s big opportunity for me. I was eager to get into the Lord’s work and out of painting. My wife stuck close to her home and children while my eyes were on the ends of the earth.

Continue reading Savor the Season- Part 4

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Savor the Season – Part 3

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This series of posts is excerpted from the book,  Yes, They’re All Ours and were written by Rick Boyer in 1996…..

In the early days of our parenthood, it sometimes seemed that life would go on forever as it was going then. We’d never have any money, we’d never have a child who was old enough to babysit, we’d never have air conditioning. I was so tense as a young man that I made life harder for myself and those around me.

I’ve heard Marilyn say that when she had three children, life was tougher than it was with eight because when she had only three, there were no big helpers. Two were in diapers, and Rickey was a bundle of energy. Now, of course, we have some good help trained and that is a blessing, but the extra needs of the family are felt, too. It takes a tremendous expenditure of time, finances and effort to do what we do.

But by now we know that it won’t always be this way. There may be tougher times with a sick child or persecution such as when we were in court over home education. And there will almost certainly be easier times, too, when more of our children are mature teens and ready to carry their own weight and somebody else’s, too. All we know for sure is that everything that comes to pass, passes.

Continue reading Savor the Season – Part 3

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Savor the Season- Part 2

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In the last post, we were talking about the ups and downs of parenthood- the good and the bad times, and I mentioned that one of my favorite passages of Scripture is Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. It’s a good reminder that good times and bad times come and go and that we need to be prepared to experience some of each.

In honor of those in the trenches of parenthood and especially those younger than my wife and myself, I’d like to offer some thoughts on this passage as it might apply to parents……

Ecclesiastes 3, verse 1: To every thing there is a season, and time to every purpose under the heaven.” God connects times with purposes. He doesn’t promise to tell us what the purpose is while we’re in the time, and He may not tell us before we enter Heaven. But remember in the tough seasons, and the peaceful times as well, that God has His purposes. Especially in the season of pressure, use minimal energy trying to discern God’s reasons. (He may not want you to know them yet.) Learn to rest in the fact that your Father never wastes suffering.

Verse 2a: “A time to be born, and a time to die”. You were a newborn yourself and it wasn’t so long ago. The time will come when you will be called away from this planet. Between those two times, there are many seasons. The one you’re in will end and another will begin. Remember that life has a beginning and an end, and let that humble and motivate you. Your children are your bequest to a needy world you’ll be leaving.
Verse 2b: “A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.” There are times to sow good seed in the hearts of your children. The time you spend reading his or her favorite Bible story for the umpteenth time isn’t wasted. There is also a time for pulling weeds. Be alert to pluck up unworthy attitudes or false philosophies the enemy tries to sow in your wheat.

Continue reading Savor the Season- Part 2

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Savor the Season- Part 1

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This series of posts is excerpted from the book,  Yes, They’re All Ours and were written by Rick Boyer in 1996…..

If anybody ever invents a time machine, I want the first one off the assembly line. I’ll have a thousand things I want to do. I’ll explore history and find out what really happened on a number of occasions. I’ll return to my childhood and try to make peace with some of the painful things that happened to me and revisit the happy times at Granddad’s farm with my cousins. But the very first thing I’d do, is go back to when my children were little.

Oh, what I’d give to see my big boys small again. I used to get bored sometimes with pulling them in the wagon or pushing them on the swings, but I’d give a lot to be able to do it again. I don’t think I’d ever tire of it. To carry them on my shoulders again; to tickle them ‘til they screamed. To have nobody around who knew that Dad wasn’t perfect, that is, except Mom. To be able to hug and kiss my boys without embarrassing them.

Continue reading Savor the Season- Part 1

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Building Loving Relationships Within Your Family- Part 4

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Encourage Communication 

When we talk about building loving relationships in our family- it’s not just the relationship between siblings that need nurturing. The relationship between parent and child is so important, as well as easily damaged. It takes careful attention to cultivate it so it will grow.

 

When we experience problems within the family, our natural tendency is to shove it under the rug, so to speak, and hope it’s just a stage someone is going through and it will go away. Instead, we need to train ourselves to run toward our problems, not away from them.

Continue reading Building Loving Relationships Within Your Family- Part 4

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Building Loving Relationships Within Your Family- Part 3

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Spend time together

The way society tends to do things is everyone participates in activities with kids his own age and although a family lives together in the same house, their social spheres are totally separate from one another. I remember this as a child. My sister, who was eight years older than I was, lived in our house, but our paths often never crossed.

One day I asked each of my children why they were glad they were homeschooled. I love what my son Matt said. “I got to really know my family, instead of just meeting up with them in the evening.”

Continue reading Building Loving Relationships Within Your Family- Part 3

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