Sunday, December 4, 2016

Day 4: The gift of Clothes

Ephesians 6:13-17 “Take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith…and the helmet of salvation…”

Do you have a favorite piece of clothing? Clothes can help us feel comforted when we are sad or tired. Clothes can be fun. We can dress up as superheroes or princesses or construction workers and play games. You can wear shirts with your favorite movie character or your name on them. Do you have a dress or a hat that is your favorite color? We can use clothes to tell people things about ourselves. Clothes bring us protection, they bring us comfort, and they can allow us to have fun.
Have you looked at the trees this winter? Where are their leaves? What will happen to those trees in the springtime? God clothes the trees! He makes their leaves grow so they can soak up the sunshine and the water and food they need. God takes care of those trees. Does God love you more than trees or flowers? Yes! Why? God loves you more than the flowers or trees because He made you in His image, God gave you value and worth and wants to protect you. He wants to protect you because He made you and He loves you.
God is the giver of all things. God made the clothes Adam and Eve wore from animal fur and animal skins (Genesis 3:21). What do clothes do? Clothes can keep us warm or allow us to be cool. Clothes can keep you safe from getting scratched when you go hiking or keep you from getting sunburned on the beach. God wanted to protect Adam and Eve and one of the ways He did that was to make them clothes.
Clothes are what people see when we walk into a room. They are what people notice first. When you see another boy or girl wearing a shirt with your favorite superhero on it do you get excited? Do you know what God cares about more than what we put on our bodies? He cares about how we dress our hearts, He cares about the attitude that other people see in us. God wants you to protect yourself with Him. He wants you to know what the Bible says so that you can love people well and follow His rules. He wants you to know Him so you can live with Him forever. He wants people to see how you love God and how you love others before they see that you have a really cool t-shirt!

Continue the conversation:
Play dress up
Go play in the snow talk about the articles of clothing needed to protect you from wet and cold.
Make paper dolls

Have your kids help you with the laundry. The goal isn’t the laundry but the conversations and relationship. What behaviors do you want to clothe yourself in? Pray and thank God for taking care of your family and for giving you clothes to wear!

Read Along:

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Advent Day 3: The gift of Life

Psalm 139:13-14 “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

When the world was first made there were no people, no mommies and daddies and no kids running around playing. In the beginning God gave life to a man named Adam and a woman named Eve (Gen 2). Who made you? God made you! Are you a boy or a girl? God created you just the way He wanted you! (Gen 1:27). The Bible tells us that God created you inside your mommy.  Wiggle your fingers, God made those! Stomp your feet, God made those! Can you hear your breath? Be very quiet and listen! God gave you breath! (Job 33:4) He makes your heart beat, your feet dance, your eyes blink and your lungs take in air! Can you count how many hairs you have? God knows exactly how many you have without counting because He put each one of them on your head (Lk 12:7).
Do you ever create things? Do you build towers with blocks? Or make cookies out of flour, water and sugar? Or use paint to make a beautiful picture? You are a creator because God is a creator. God made you in His image. When you look in a mirror you see your reflection, you see an image of yourself. It is not really you but it is like a picture. You are a picture of God! (Gen 1:27)
When is your birthday? Before God created you He planned what day you would be born. What did you do today? Do you know what you are going to do tomorrow? God knows. He knows what you will eat and where you will go but even more amazing God knows how you will feel. He knows what will make you laugh and what will make you jump up and down with excitement. God knows what will make you sad and who will make you mad. When God created you He knew what your life would look like!
God gave you life and He loves you. His love for you gives you value and worth. It makes you special and important. You are not special because you run the fastest. You are not important because you are smart. You are not loved because of how well you listen and obey mommy and daddy. You are special and loved because God chose to create you out of nothing --- to form your heart and your toes, to make your hair curl or your nose wrinkle --- because He loves you.  What a gift that God decided He wanted to watch you run and play; He wanted to hear your laugh; and He wanted you to learn that He could take away your sadness. He wanted to give you life so that He could live with you. Who do you live with? God created your mommy and daddy, your brother and sister and your grandparents. He gave their lungs breath and their brain ideas. Just like you are glad to live with your family and eat with them and play with them that is how God feels about giving you life so that He can be with you!

Continue the Conversation:
Play tag outside or do something physical

Count your fingers and toes. Ask your babies where their ears are, their noses. Pray and thank God for creating your body.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Advent Day 2: The gift of Creation

Hebrews 11:3 "For by faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God."

Do all the flowers in your yard look the same? What about the trees? They all have brown trunks and green on top but is it the same color brown? Is it the same color green? Do the shapes of the leaves and the trees look different? Have you ever noticed how even the rocks are different colors? When you wake up in the morning are the clouds always white? Sometimes the sky is painted orange, pink, purple, fiery red and yellow! Do you go on trips with your family and see the landscape change? There are hills to roll down, mountains to climb, flat fields to run through. Lakes and oceans to jump in and swim and creeks to wade through!
Genesis tells us that God created the heavens and the earth. He created them to give Himself glory, even creation shows how special God is. The world is like a big painting showing us how amazing the painter is. Is your favorite color pink? God painted those bright pink clouds in the sky just for you! Do you love to climb things? God built those mountains for you to climb! God wants you to see Him when you look at the world and He wants you to enjoy Him as you enjoy playing on His earth.  The books of Acts tells us he created the seasons. What if it was always winter? Always cold, and gray? Maybe you would love it because you love playing in the snow! But you would never see beautiful colors painted in the sky or feel cold, wet mud squish between your toes after a rainstorm!
God shows us His creativity by using different colors in the trees and flowers. Do you like the feel of rough tree bark or smooth stones? Do you like the warmth of summer or the cold of winter? God uses the summer to bring forth fruit on trees, vegetables in the ground and new life in the animal kingdom. God uses the winter to give plants and trees rest so they can work again in the spring. Winter gives you a new playground with sledding and snowman building and ice skating. God created that change. God created the world as a gift for you to play in and work in, for you rest in and see Him in.
The world around us reminds us how small we are compared to the vast ocean. It reminds us that God loves us so much more than a tiny pebble in your driveway. God painted colors in the flowers to bring you joy that would make you smile. He created new mountains and fields and lakes for you to explore and find Him. Find the creator. Find joy, and peace and see with your own eyes how lovely a gift was given to you. Only someone who loved you would create such a beautiful gift for you to play in and live!

Continue the conversation:

Go for a walk outside and talk about what God created. Ask your kids what colors they see and where their favorite place to play in nature is!

Read Along: