The Gift of Tradition

This time of year is rich with traditions for our family.  Little things that began as something fun to do have grown into involved events that require pre-planning and preparation.  This afternoon my daughter and I will sit down and plan out the McClain 2012 Gingerbread House.  We’ll test out a new recipe this year and even incorporate some new materials to increase our landscaping around our little construction project.  We’ll create a shopping list, decide on what goodies we want to munch on as we build and even choose our dinner menu for the evening.  It’s not just an activity… it’s an event.

Traditions are fun in our home.  They build memories to be relived for years to come.  These will be the “Remember when…” moments of the future.  So I look at them with excitement.  I treat them as precious.

Are they perfect?  Rarely.  But the unexpected hiccups only flavor the experiences from one year to the next.  Look for opportunities to celebrate old traditions and create new ones for your family.

Parent Connections – fpKIDS

Preschool (2yrs to PreK)

This weekend we offer a special production for our preschooler friends.  Focusing on the parable of the Lost Coin, (Luke 15:8-10) Jesus tells the story of a woman who loses her coin.  A wonderful story to communicate our importance to Jesus.  We want your preschooler to know they are more important to Jesus than the coin was to the woman.  That He would search high and low to find us.  And when He finds us, we become a light for Him!

Matthew 5:16 says, “Let Your Light Shine!” (paraphrased).  Because Jesus is the Light, we want to be a light for Him.  So, we want to let our light shine so others can see it.  Using creative activities and hands-on crafts, we want our young ones to know that as they are a light for Jesus more people will come to know Him.

Create a Rhythm this weekend by playing this fun game with your preschooler.  Take some pennies and hide them around the room, grab a flashlight, turn out the lights and form a ‘search party’.  Search around finding all the coins.  Then sit down together, read Luke 15:8-10  and talk about how Jesus searches for us, just like the woman searched for her lost coin.

Fight for the Heart by praying for your preschooler.  That he/she would discover Christ at a young age and choose to be a light for Him.

Elementary (Kindergarten to 5th grade)

This weekend we offer a special live production for our elementary friends Kindergarten thru 5th grade.  LOST! The Island of Perdido is a story of a young man’s salvation whose life has had a hard road. He sets off on an adventure after hearing an amazing legend.  The legend tells that if you come to the Island of Perdido (lost), and drink of the water of the living stream, the Hombre Eterno (man who never dies) will come find you and give you eternal life.  Louis sees this as an opportunity to make money, if he can just capture that water, he can offer “eternal life” to everyone, and people would pay anything to live forever so he can save his family.  Little does he know he’s in for an adventure beyond his wildest dreams.

You don’t want to miss this exciting adventure as we teach your elementary child how they can know Christ and become a light for Him.

Widen the Circle so your sons and daughters have other voices that will help shape and determine the direction of their lives.  This weekend reach out to the volunteer in your child’s room.  When you pick them up find out the name of your child’s Small Group Leader.  Then commit to praying this week for that volunteer and the relationship they develop with your child.  Pray for the relationships you can leverage to Widen the Circle for your child.

Create a Rhythm by tapping into the power of quality moments together, and build a sense of purpose through your everyday experiences.  Take advantage of the drive to school this week.  Talk about ways that you and your child can be a light so others can see Jesus.

Parent Connection – fpKIDS

November 5 & 6

Preschool (2yrs to PreK)

Through the month of November we will focus your preschooler on this key question:

“Who can help you?”

God made people who help me.

We’ll take a look at the story of Naomi and Ruth in the book of Ruth.  What an incredible story that shows us how God meets our needs through the helping hands of others.  God made people who help us!

Make it Personal by allowing your kids to see how you strive to grow.  Take some time when you tuck your child into bed and name all the people that helped you that day.

Elementary (Kindergarten to 3rd grade)

Generosity—making someone’s day by giving something away

We know that God is the Giver of all good things. So many times we think that our ability to be generous is connected to our riches. We are afraid to give because we don’t know if we have enough, and we think generosity is for those who have more than we do to give. But the cool thing about generosity is that we’re not generous because we are rich, we are rich because we are generous. When we choose to give generously to others, we are blessed with everything that really matters in life.

Make it Personal by allowing your kids to see how you strive to grow.  Together memorize the scripture verse for this month. 

“Be rich in good deeds … be generous and willing to share.” 1 Timothy 6:18, NIV

Create a Rhythm by building a sense of purpose through your everyday activities.  Choose a regular weekly activity (i.e. Sonic run, Icee stop, snacks from the vending machine) and don’t do them this week.  Then take the money you would normally spend on that activity and add it to your Rice Bowl!  Emphasize how simply skipping a Sonic drink can help feed a child!

Club 45 (4th & 5th grade)

Why have an attitude of gratitude?

This week we hone in on Luke 17:11-19.  Because of all that God has done for us, we should respond with an attitude of gratitude.

Create a Rhythm by building a sense of purpose through your everyday activities.  During dinner, grab a piece of paper and create an A-Z acrostic.  For each letter of the alphabet, identify something or someone for which you are grateful.  See how far you get!

Parent Connections – fpKIDS

Preschool (2yrs to PreK)

At this young age God wants your preschooler to know that God wants me to do something important.  God has a plan for each of us and that plan is important.  This weekend we’ll focus on 1 Samuel 16:1-13 where Samuel has an important task… to find the new King of Israel.  Samuel is looking for a King but the person he finds is not who he expects.  Knowing that God can help him do anything, Samuel sets out to accomplish this important task.

Make it Personal by reading 1 Samuel 16:1-13 today.  The classic adage “Don’t judge a book by its cover” is a fitting phrase for this story.  Sometimes the things God asks us to do can be difficult.  But God can help us do anything.

Create a Rhythm by practicing the Memory Verse with your preschooler.  Use these simple motions.

I (point your thumbs at yourself)

Can Do (pump your fist in the air 2x)

All Things (spread your arms out as far as you can)

Through Christ (point up to the sky)

Philippians 4:13 (make a book with your hands)

Elementary (Kindergarten to 3rd grade)

Knowledge is discovering something new so you can be better at what you do.  We’re focusing your child on Luke 3:21-23 where Jesus is baptized.  As Jesus grew “in wisdom & stature and in favor with God and man” a critical step in his life was the day he was baptized.  This weekend we’ll creatively retell of this moment in history when Christ comes forward and begins his public ministry.

We want to grow as Jesus grew because when we discover what God says, it helps us trust Him moreMake it Personal and ready Luke 3.  Talk to your child about the day you were baptized and what that meant to you.  This conversation might spark some interest in baptism.  If your child is ready to explore this step you can click here for more information.

Parent Connection – fpKIDS

Preschool (2 yrs to PreK)

The Details…

Basic Truth: God Loves Me
Key Question: Why should you do what God says?
Bottom Line: God knows what’s best for me.
Memory Verse: “God’s way is perfect.” Psalm 18:30, NIrV
Bible Story Focus: It’s never too late to choose God’s way. • Jonah 1:17-3:3

…Unpacked

Last week Jonah was swallowed by the giant fish.  This week we learn that even in the belly of the whale, it’s not too late for Jonah.  God said, “Go”.  Jonah said, “No!”  Will he change his mind now?

Create A Rhythm this weekend.  Play a game of “Gotcha” with your preschooler.  Have your child stand against the wall (‘The Shore), while you stand in the middle of the room (‘The Ocean’).  They pretend they are ‘Jonah’ crossing the ocean.  You are the great big fish.  Jonah has to try to cross get across the ocean without getting caught by the great big fish!

Then grab your child’s bible, find the story of Jonah and the Whale and share some special storytime together.  Ask them the question, “Why should you do what God says?”  Teach them, “God knows what’s best for me!”

Elementary (Kindergarten to 3rd Grade)

The Details…

Virtue: Grace—getting something great that you don’t deserve.
Memory Verse: “God’s grace has saved you because of your faith in Christ. Your salvation doesn’t come from anything you do. It is God’s gift.” Ephesians 2:8, NIrV
Bible Story: Pop Rocks (the lost son) • Luke 15:11-24
Bottom Line: God will always love me more than I can imagine

…Unpacked

The story of the Prodigal Son is a beautiful example of the grace and love our Father has for His children.  Reading through Luke 15: 11-24, it’s easy for the reader to see that heart of the Father is always pointed toward His children. Even when the hearts of His children are not pointed toward Him.

Make It Personal this weekend and read Luke 15:11-24.  Consider this thought.

Has there ever been, and will there ever be a time in your child’s life where God would say, “Leave me for a while so you can experience life without me.  In fact, if you live without me then you’ll only appreciate my Grace more upon your return.”

Can you imagine God leading your child away from Him?!?  No.  I can’t either.

It’s clear in Luke 15, the Father never wanted his son to leave.  However, He patiently waited because He understood the value of the wrestle his son needed to go through in order to desire deeper intimacy with Him.

Parents, I don’t believe there is ever a time God would lead your child away from His presence.  I don’t believe there is ever a time God would ask your child to walk away from Him.  However, in the seasons when your child might choose to walk away, the Father’s heart toward them never changes.  And when they decide to return, His arms are open wide.

Create A Rhythm this week.  Grab the GodTime card your child brings home from church.  Elevate the importance of God’s word in your home by spending 15 minutes together completing a GodTime activity.

Parent Connection: fpKIDS

 

Preschool

Basic Truth: God loves me.
Key Question: Why should you do what God says?
Bottom Line: God knows what’s best for me.
Memory Verse: “God’s way is perfect.” Psalm 18:30, NIrV
Bible Story Focus: I should obey God.Ÿ Joshua and Caleb Spy • Numbers 13-14

Unpacked:
One of the most pivotal verbs in scripture is Faith.  And faith is simply believing God will do what He says He will do.  There are many accounts in scripture where people either trusted God to do what He promised… or they didn’t.

God places a high value on faith.  Our willingness to see beyond what makes sense to us and stand on His Promises.  The kind of faith Joshua and Caleb displayed when they returned from spying out the land of Canaan, God’s Promised Land for the Israelites.

Imagine the End by focusing your energy & efforts on the issues that will make a lasting impact.  Imagine a teenager that has an uncanny faith in the promises of God.  One who’s faith has a tremendous impact on those around them.  Now, imagine that is your child.

Don’t underestimate the value of teaching your preschool child to obey God today because God’s way is perfect.  God always knows what’s best for me!

Create a Rhythm this month by tapping into the power of quality moments together, and build a sense of purpose through your everyday experiences.  Watch for opportunities you can ask your preschooler the question, “Why should I do what God says?”  Because… God knows what’s best for me!

Check out this video to learn more about our focus for Preschool in August.  Then, watch for your Small Talk this weekend for some fun activities to do with your preschooler.

Elementary

Virtue: Grace—getting something great that you don’t deserve.
Memory Verse: “God’s grace has saved you because of your faith in Christ. Your salvation doesn’t come from anything you do. It is God’s gift.” Ephesians 2:8, NIrV
Bible Story: Sheep Tracks (the lost sheep and the lost coin) • Luke 15:1-10
Bottom Line: Jesus came to rescue everyone.

Unpacked:
This week we focus your child on a couple parables Jesus told about “the Lost Sheep” & “the Lost Coin”.  From these parables, Jesus paints a picture of the Father and the extents to which He will go in order to demonstrate His love for us.  According to these stories… He will stop at nothing to have a relationship with us.  His grace is undeserved.

I love how the character of our Heavenly Father is displayed in these stories.  I’m reminded that my kids are created in His likeness (Gen 1:26).  This tells me they were fashioned with His Character.  A character of generous, extravagant, stop-at-nothing Grace.

Create A Rhythm this weekend by tapping into the power of everyday experiences.  Have dinner around the dinner table.  Read the stories of the Lost Sheep & Lost Coin in Luke 15:1-10.  Jesus came to rescue everyone.  How much does He want to use you to find those that are lost?

Take 10 minutes next week and watch this month’s video to learn more about the virtue Grace.