Celebrate the Fourth of July

Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
John 8:36

Another holiday is another opportunity to teach your children.  Try to always have a centerpiece that represents the holiday so you can be reminded to talk about it at meal times.

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While we may not agree with everything happening in our country right now, we still need to celebrate with our children the fact God has allowed us to live in a free country and that many brave soldiers have fought physical and spiritual battles to ensure we have freedom.

Conversation:

Explain that we have physical freedom in our country to go where we want to go and do what we want to do.   Soldiers gave up their lives so we could live in a free country.  Tell your children about America’s history.  Watch these informative Early American Series videos and then retell the stories in your own words to your younger children; be animated and use visuals if possible.  Older children might enjoy watching the videos.

Be sure and emphasis that we have the highest form of freedom, spiritual freedom, because Christ died on the cross to set us free from the punishment for sin and free from the power of sin which is freedom to make wise choices.  Since Christ’s death and resurrection, many soldiers for Christ have fought spiritual battles against the enemy, Satan, so we can know the message of salvation.

Prayer:

Thank you, God, for the freedom we have in our country to go where we want to go and do what we want to do.  Thank you, Jesus, for dying on the Cross so we can be free from the punishment and power of sin.  Thank you for the soldiers who fight for freedom.

Crafts:

Printable color by number American Flag

Printable ‘Pray for Your Leaders’ coloring page

Activities:

Start a tradition of each 4th of July reading the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere and/or The Declaration of Independence and playing patriotic music all day.

Watch patriotic movies
Our favorite is the old Disney classic Johnny Tremain [DVD] (1957)

Here’s a great site with lots of info and ideas http://powerofmoms.com

Sing:
I’m in the Lord’s Army – video

March to patriotic music holding flags you made or purchased.

Patriotic Music:

http://www.patrioticon.org/patriotic-soundfiles.htm

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Making Glad Dads

On Father’s Day and every day we need to teach our children to be grateful for their fathers, listen to their instruction, and make ‘Glad Dads’.

…children take pride in their fathers
Proverbs 17:6

My son, hear the instruction of your father…
Proverbs 1:8

A person who loves wisdom makes his father happy…
Proverbs 29:3

Bible Lessons:

Proverbs 29:3 Are you doing those things that please your Dad?  The Bible says the best way to make your dad happy is to be wise – to do and say those things that please God – to choose to do the right thing.  We can ask God to help us make our  ‘dad glad’.

John 8:26-28 Jesus said, “I do always those things that please the Father:  His Father is God.  Jesus always pleased God.  Jesus said that He only talked about the things He had heard His Father talk about.  He said He did nothing but what His Father had taught Him to do.  God is our Father too and we should always please Him.  But God, who is our Heavenly Father, has given us an earthly Father.  We please God when we listen to our dads just as Jesus listened to his Dad.

Luke 15:11-22 There was a young man who didn’t listen to his dad.  He decided he wanted to leave his dad so he asked for all the money that belonged to him and he left.  When the son got far away, he began to do bad things in bad places with bad people.  Soon he had spent all his money and had nothing to eat and no where to go but back home to his father. He went home and told his dad that he was sorry for all the bad things he had done.  His dad was glad he came home; he forgave him for everything.

Ephesians 6:1-2 God tells children to obey their parents and to honor their father and mother.  This will please God and it will please your dad.  Obeying your parents means doing what they say to do.  Honoring your parents means to have respect for them – like when your dad is talking, be quiet until he has finished – or when your dad says something, don’t argue with him.  Obeying and honoring your parents will please your dad and it will please God.

Philippians 2:13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey him and the power to do what pleases him. Jesus did always those things that pleased His Father.  How can we always do those things that please God and our dad?  The Bible says that God will work in us to do those things that please Him.  Sometimes when you find it hard to do the things that please God or your dad, remember that God promises to help you do the right things if you ask Him.

Prayer: God, thank you for my dad.  Help me to listen to him and obey.
Thank you that my dad takes care of me.  God, please take care of my dad and help him with all the things he has to do.

Suggested Activities:

  1. Make a poster for the fridge with one of the Bible verse and a picture of dad and pictures of some things he does.
  2. Play ‘Follow the Leader’ with dad being the leader.
  3. Play ‘Dad Says’ like ‘Simon Says’.
  4. Show things that belong to dad. Cover the items, sneak one item away, and let child guess what is missing.
  5. Make hand prints on a plaque for dad.
  6. Greet Dad with hugs and kisses at the door when he comes home from work.
  7. Make a thank you card for dad.  List, draw, or find pictures of things dad does and thank him for doing them.
  8. Color one of these pages from Ministry-to-Children.com
  9. Bake cookies for Dad in shapes of things he uses such as a car, tie, hat, ball, tools, etc.
  10. Talk about ways to make a ‘Glad Dad’
    1. come when he calls
    2. listen when he talks
    3. hear and obey his instructions

Songs:

God Made My Daddy (listen)

(lyrics) God made my daddy; he helps me do so many things.
I love my daddy; he takes care of me
or
God is my Father; He helps me do so many things.
I love my Father; He takes care of me.”

Glad for Dad (listen)
(lyrics)I’m glad today; I’m glad today.
For my Dad, I’m glad today.
God, please help me make my Dad glad

Books
We’re Very Good Friends, My Father and I
The Prodigal Son (Arch Books)
Just Me and My Dad (Little Critter)

If your child does not have an earthly father, emphasize his relationship with his Heavenly Father and share Psalm 68:5 “A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy habitation”

(This post is one of the 52 lessons in my book, Here a Little, There a Little)

 

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Tell Your Children about Memorial Day

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 God made a decree many years ago that we set up memorials to help our children know about the things that happened in the past:

Joshua 4:6-7
We will use these stones to build a memorial. In the future, your children will ask, “What do these stones mean to you?” Then you can tell them, ‘They remind us that the Jordan River stopped flowing when the Ark of the Lord’s covenant went across.” These stones will stand as a permanent memorial among the people of Israel.”

 

During this Memorial Day weekend be sure to talk to your children about the reason for the celebration. Help them know it is more than just grilling out or going to the beach.

Memorial Day originally began in 1868 as a day to decorate the graves of soldiers who died in the Civil War. In more recent years our government passed a resolution that Memorial Day be observed on the last Monday of May as an occasion to remember and honor the men and women who died in all wars.

Talk about the picture below with your children.  Tell them that brave men fought and died so we could have freedom.

Home of the free because of the brave

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Sing With Your Children!

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Isaiah 61 says that Jesus came to give us a song of praise in place of sorrow.

He has put a new song in my mouth– Psalm 40:3

Psalm 118:15 says glad songs of salvation are in the tents of the righteous.

God puts a song in our heart and we need to sing it!! He desires our songs of praise to Him, but He also designed music for our good – to promote our wellness, to help us manage stress, to encourage us to express our feelings, to help enhance our memory, and to help us improve communication.

It is easy to sing when things are going great but Scripture gives us examples of ways God used music in difficult times. In 2 Chronicles 20, God instructed the singers to lead the way as the army marched toward the enemy which lead to their ultimate victory. In 1 Samuel 16:23 David’s harp playing soothed the troubled spirit of the king.

With all this in mind, we should sing often with our children. Don’t worry if you are like me and can’t carry a tune . . . God nor your children will care. It will bless God, your children, and you. God has designed children to give Him the best praise and you as their parent get to have a part in that as you guide them to sing. (Psalm 8:2 Nursing infants gurgle choruses about you; toddlers shout the songs that drown out enemy talk, and silence atheist babble.)

Here’s a link to a site that gives links to 25 foundational hymns to sing with your children.

All of the Kid’s Sing Praise Albums were a favorite when my children were young.  They are all on YouTube.

There are so many new songs available now.  Just look for them or make up your own!

Here are a few examples of songs that you can sing to familiar tunes.

Blow, Blow, Blow the Wind (Psalm 147:18)

(tune of Row, Row, Row Your Boat)

Blow, blow, blow the wind

Gently through the trees

God causes His wind to blow

How I like the breeze

A Helper I Will Be(1 Corinthians 3:9)

(tune of The Farmer in the Dell)

A helper I will be

A helper I will be

I will help my mommy

A helper I will be

Be Ready to Share (1 Timothy 6:18)

(tune of 3 Blind Mice)

Be ready to share

Be ready to share

It’s more fun when we share our toys

So let’s share with the girls and the boys

Be ready to share

Be ready to share

It is Better to Give Than Receive (Ephesians 4:28, 2Cor. 9:7)

(tune of Mary Had a Little Lamb)

It is better to give than receive

Give than receive

Give than receive

It is better to give than receive

Giving makes us glad

Brush Your Teeth

(tune of Row, Row Your Boat)

Brush, Brush, Brush your teeth

Brush your teeth each day

Then you’ll have a pretty smile

And healthy teeth to stay

Keep music flowing in your tent. 🙂

 

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The Far-Reaching Affects of Godly Moms

I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you. 2 Timothy 1:5

and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 3:15

On this Mother’s Day I want to honor the two moms that have had a profound impact on our family – my own mom and the mom of my husband.

Billy’s mom had an intense love for the Word. Billy remembers her always pouring over the Scriptures. She was even my Sunday School teacher as a child.

One of my best memories of my mom is that she always prayed with me at night when she tucked me in. We prayed together for years for my dad to be saved until God miraculously answered and we saw Dad eventually become the men’s Bible teacher in our church!

Our being blessed with such Godly moms has had a profound impact on our family. Those of you who know my husband know what an intense love for the Word he has and how God has gifted him as a Bible teacher. His mom’s love for God has definitely been passed down to him.

My mom’s faithfully praying with me produced my desire for prayer and influenced me to have pray each night with our children and now our grandchildren.

And now we get to observe our moms’ legacies continue on in our adult children as they share the Word and pray with their children each night.

Our family has been extremely blessed by our mothers.  If you did not have a mother like ours, let go of your hope of a better past and purpose to be the mom who has a far-reaching affect on your family for many years into the future.

Here are some previous Train Up the Child Mother’s Day blog posts.  Take some time to read these and be encouraged in your awesome privilege and responsibility as Mom:

Scriptures to Encourage Moms

Be a Joyful Mom – Even If the Job is Hard (And it Is)

Learn from Mothers in the Bible and in History

God Wants You to Have a Happy Mother’s Day

What Makes a Happy Mother

A Prayer for Mothers

We Have This Moment as Mom to Make a Memory

 

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