how to make a family prayer list

family prayer listHave you every heard of a “prayer list”?

Think about it. As moms, lists are part of our daily life. Whether to the grocery store or packing for vacation, they make our thoughts more organized and time more productive.

A prayer list enables us to see and feel our prayer requests that normally go in and out of our minds or off of our lips.

What if our family had a “prayer list”?

Where would it be?

What could it look like?

Here are some suggestions for dedicated spaces for a family prayer list:

a white board or chalk board that’s visible in the home. If someone has a need or thinks of someone with a need, they can write it down.

a notebook kept near the family dinner table. When the family sits down for dinner, it can be reviewed.

– if our family was very spread out over states, we could start a dedicated secret Facebook page just for prayer requests.

The great thing about prayer journals or lists is that we can show how God hears prayer,

answers them –

or sometimes doesn’t answer them. Or

We can tangibly show how our faith is to be put into action. Sometimes static words said out loud can go in and out of ears. With prayers in black and white, they can’t be ignored or pushed aside.

What can your family start praying for today? 

How does your family pray together?

Have you ever experienced a specific answer to prayer that was a witness to your children? 

a simple way kids can make an eternal difference

how to invite someone to churchIs there any doubt?

Our world needs God. The reality of the statement seems to become more obvious everyday.

Murder, immorality and brazen selfishness have become so commonplace that it’s hard not to become desensitized to it. 

Instead, my prayer is that we become motivated by it. Motivated to become bolder in our faith. Motivated to pray to be more burdened for those who don’t know Christ.

The hope offered through Jesus is good news. It is desperately needed news. We need to share it — at every opportunity

It can see, awkward to invite a complete stranger to church. But we and our kids have plenty of people in our everyday lives who we can share our faith with and invite to church.

Personally, I’ve found that sharing Christ with people we already are in relationship with is often more natural and effective.

I pray that we’ll be looking for those opportunities to naturally share what God is doing in our lives. And then encourage them to learn more by coming to church with us.

What if they don’t come? Sometimes they won’t. What if they do come? It could be life-changing. We can’t control how someone reacts or responds to us sharing our faith. Our job is simply to present the opportunity.

The best way to challenge and encourage our kids to do this is to do it ourselves. I admit that I haven’t always been deliberate about this in the past. I’m determined to change that. In fact, I asked someone to come to church with me just last week. And I told my kids about it.

As moms, we have to show the way — sharing our brokenness and our need for a Savior when God presents those opportunities.

Clearly, that kind of openness is attractive:  My daughter brought a friend to church with her a couple of times. On a Saturday night even! (our church has a Saturday evening service).

The last time her friend came she approached our Pastor and said, “I’ve only been here twice, but you are REAL. I just wanted to tell you I think you are awesome.”

Later, she told me how much she was learning and how much she loved our Pastor’s willingness to tell it like it is.

She liked that there is no sugarcoating. No pretending to “have it all together.” Just honesty and God’s truth.

“It makes me want to come back again.”

So who can you invite to church, Mom? Who can you encourage your child to invite?

God may use a simple invitation to make an eternal difference. 

signature_MELINDA

kids and faith

 

free lunchbox notes printable

lunchbox notesToday we want to offer you an EASY, PEASY, LEMON SQUEEZY way to bless your kids with bold faith with our free lunchbox notes! 

Don’t we all need reminders? Think of these as quick little pick-me-ups for when our kids need a little boost.

Kids have small places that they see everyday — whether it’s their lunch boxes or backpacks.

Print these out and tuck them inside to surprise just when they need a little encouragement the most.

Use this FREE printable to encourage and challenge your child in any way you wish.

We’ll email these Lunchbox Notes to you FREE when you subscribe to our blog below!

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finding family movies with a message

family friendly movies with a messageFinding family friendly movies with a message that everyone can enjoy isn’t easy.

Over the years, however, we’ve found that it’s worth the search. Even when it can seem like looking for a needle in a very icky haystack.

When we can share experiences together as a family, it’s always a good thing. When an experience can inspire productive dialogue, that’s golden.

There are fantastic movies out there. Here are a few websites to find all of the information you need as a parent to make a good choice:

The Dove Foundation

Plugged In Online

The Catholic News Service

But let’s talk about the unusual ones. The ones that keep our families talking long after the screen goes dim. Here are just a few of movies that have sparked conversation, emotional responses and great debate.

{Kathy} For little kids, “Veggie Tales” are always our favorite. So many of the songs are still lodged in my brain. All of the scenarios are presented in Biblical context. Those were easy!

“Sandlot”: A movie about fear of the unknown. Kids play baseball together, but find themselves in a sketchy situation when their baseball falls into the “wrong” lot.

“How To Train Your Dragon:” Here we see a journey of self-acceptance, family relationships and expectations.

“Princess Bride”: Just hilarious. Sweet. Funny and quotable for the rest of your life.”As you wish” will forever be used in your family.

“Second Hand Lions”: This is a great movie with a great plot line and unique characters. It showcases how different generations have so much to offer kids — if they’d just listen.

“Penelope”: Do you want a film that takes on prejudice and discrimination with a twist? It may feel like a funny, little quirky movie. But watch out for the dig in your soul as she journeys through tough times.

For those older kids, 13 and up…..

{Melinda}  A couple of years back, I bought a movie called “To Save A Life.” It’s a faith-based film centering on teenagers.

The initial response from my teenagers was skepticism. “Mom, no offense, but sometimes those Christian films for teens are kind of lame and unrealistic.” (She’s not wrong.) And my son basically shrugged his shoulders and said, “Sure. I’ll watch it.”

Ten minutes into the movie, the whole family was riveted. It sensitively and realistically tackled some very real and difficult issues that teens are facing everyday — suicide, teen pregnancy and peer pressure. It didn’t sugarcoat anything. Everything was laid out on the table and dealt with honestly.

My teens responded. It resulted in some spontaneous dialogue about the difficulties of being a modern teen. They shared the struggles and the stress it makes them feel. “It’s real,” my daughter said. “That’s what it’s really like. Maybe not everything was exactly my experience, but I can relate to a lot of it. It inspires me to be true to my faith even though it’s hard.”

We’ve watched it numerous times since then.

{Kathy} A very, very powerful movie that showcases the pro-life message in a stunning story is “Bella”.  The film has themes of self-forgiveness, reconciliation and redemption. Teenagers appreciate this kind of drama. It opens up all sorts of dialogue about unplanned pregnancy and what that can mean to a young woman — and a man. 

We hope this encourages you to seek movies that not only entertain, but challenge your families. The choices that we make for family time can be just the stepping stones we need to open up conversation and show that God is very, very relevant in the media today. 

What are your favorite family friendly movies?

What’s been a movie that your family has revisited several times?