Archive for February 2013

Creating and Capturing a Teachable Moment: Discernment

There are two types of teachable moments…when you create them and when you capture them.  
This example encompasses both, so I thought I would share to help explain the different ways of parenting with Scripture through teachable moments. 

We were on our way to Life Group a few months ago and I thought to grab a copy of my book on the way out the door so we could focus on a topic as our family devotional in the car.  We often have “devotions on wheels” if we are going somewhere as a family in the evening and know we’ll be rushed when we get home.  The travel time allows for a more relaxed, leisurely discussion.  Spending time on a topic is a way of creating a teachable moment.  We are going through Parenting with Scripture alphabetically (one topic every week or two) and had come to the topic of Discernment.  We chatted through the definition, discussion questions, and action ideas as we drove along.  Creating teachable moments is wonderful because it allows for a positive and pro-active approach to God’s Word! 

At Life Group, my daughter asked if she and a friend could go play outside.  Noticing she had a cookie in her hand and thinking that I had seen her with one earlier, the following discussion ensued.
Me:  “That’s fine, but no more cookies, please.”
Daughter:  “Oh, this is my first cookie.”
Daughter’s friend:  “No, that’s your second cookie.”
Daughter (blushing)…says her friend’s name in an embarrassed tone. 

Ding, ding, ding, ding….a Teachable Moment to capture!!!  I raised my eyebrows at her but decided that was not the appropriate time or place to have the discussion and made a mental note to follow up later.  I’m so thankful that God gave us His Word on Discernment earlier that afternoon because I probably wouldn’t have thought to take that angle otherwise.  As we pulled into the driveway that evening, I told my daughter to head up to her room and that she was in time out until I came up to visit with her.  The time-out gave me a chance to write some Bible references from the topic Discernment and Honesty.  In discussing the situation, she said that she was just kidding about only having had one cookie and that lots of kids joke about things like that.  Hmmmmm….I wasn’t so sure if that was true or if she was adding another lie to keep from getting in trouble.  Either way, because we had created the teachable moment with Discernment earlier, it was a natural fit to carry that discussion on into this specific situation.  We discussed how Discerning means to “see clearly” the situation and make an appropriate choice.  Was her choice to lie or tease about the cookie a good choice?  No, that was not showing good discernment and we discussed why.   I then gave her the list of four verse references and asked her to look them all up and then write her favorite one on a note-card to think and pray about and memorize if she wished.  I was also clear to distinguish that the Bible verses were NOT her punishment.  Her consequence was to lose her ipod for a period of time.  I don’t ever want my children to look upon God’s Word negatively.  Therefore, whenever we use Scripture reactively, as in this case of capturing a teachable moment (rather than proactively when we have created  a teachable moment), we talk about how God’s Word is a blessing and a “lamp unto our feet.”  Instead of beating them over the head with it regarding the issue at hand, we try to look at in light of how it will help us in future situations. 

Be on the lookout for creating and capturing teachable moments in your own family!  As Deuteronomy 6:6-7 says, we can parent with Scripture any time and any place!  “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”

Comments Off on Creating and Capturing a Teachable Moment: Discernment   Posted In:     |    Written By: Kara Durbin
read more>>  

Parenting with Scripture through President’s Day

President’s Day is a good time to stop and remember that our nation’s leaders need our prayers.  Here are a few resources that may be helpful to your family, both today and in the future.   

To be honest, our family is not great about remember to pray for our leaders.  In an effort to help give us a creative and tangible way to do this for the future, we are going to make these prayer cards.
Leaders & President Prayer Cards and Game Take some spare change and tape the coins individually to index cards.  You can make as many as you wish.  On the other side of the index cards, write ways to pray for our leaders.  Brainstorm as a family to think of ideas such as health, wisdom, growing walk with the Lord, wise counsel, safety, strong family, etc.  For younger children, hide them and pray for each item as the child finds them.  If your family has older children or teens, they may prefer to pass around the cards as the items are lifted up in prayer.   When finished, put the cards in a safe place so you can pull them out for ideas whenever you wish to pray for the leaders of our country. 
Wise Council

Older children, teens, and adults:  Visit browse to see the many prayer resources included on this site.  You may wish to join the prayer team to receive e-mails as reminders and with specific ideas for how to pray.

Children:  This article has fun, active, and hands-on ideas written for 6-9 year olds.  I think it will also work well for younger and older kiddos.

Comments Off on Parenting with Scripture through President’s Day   Posted In:     |    Written By: Kara Durbin
read more>>  

Happy Valentine’s Week – Love Scriptures

A fun family devotional time or dinner table discussion for Valentine’s Day:
(Take Action ideas for young and old included.)

See how many verses you can think of that have to do with love.  
Tip:  If your children are little or your family is not familiar enough with God’s Word to think of these verses from memory, write the verses below on paper hearts.  Put them in a bag, pass the bag around, and let each family member pick a heart and share the verse as the bag goes around the table. 

A few that might come to mind are…

God is love.  1 John 4:16b

We love because he first loved us.  1 John 4:19

The entire law is summed up in a single command:  Love your neighbor as yourself.  Galatians 5:14

Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.  1 John 4:19

The Love Chapter – 1 Corinthians 13

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16

Is love a noun or a verb?
Hint: Consider 1 John 4:19 and John 3:16. 

What are some ways you can show love?
Infinite ways.  If your child(ren) needs prompting for ideas, ask him to think about ways at home, ways with friends, etc.
Parents, be share ways applicable to your lives too and remind your child(ren) that God’s word is for ALL ages…we never outgrow it!

Can you think of any Bible stories that have to do with showing love?
Good Samaritan, God sending Jesus, the Miracles of Jesus, etc…

Take Action Ideas: 
– Each family member could pick a way to show love the next day and then share it at dinner that day.
– Child could add a favorite “Love” Scripture to a Valentine’s craft to give to someone he loves.
– Child could add a favorite verse to Valentine cards for friends. 
– Family or child could memorize a “Love” Scripture together for Valentine’s week.  Child could write and/or decorate the verse to hang on the fridge as a reminder.

*More verses, discussion questions, and Take Action ideas under the topic of Love in Parenting with Scripture: A Topical Guide for Teachable Moments.

Comments Off on Happy Valentine’s Week – Love Scriptures   Posted In:     |    Written By: Kara Durbin
read more>>  

Jesus Loves Me “Snow” Much & Other Wintry Fun!

I’m a sucker for themed crafts and activities.  These are some of our favorite wintry fun ideas that our family has enjoyed from they time the kids were itty bitty through elementary school. 

Jesus Loves Me “Snow” Much!
Use a paintbrush to paint the child’s foot white with non-toxic washable paint.  Then, help the child make the footprint on blue paper.  Once dry, decorate the snowman and write, “Jesus Loves Me ”Snow” Much!”   Don’t forget to add the year, as this will be a keepsake to pull out every winter.  You might want to make extras to mail to grandparents or other loved ones, changing it to “Jesus Loves You ”Snow” Much!”  

Make icicles!  Draw a jagged lines across the middle a white piece of paper.  Cut out multiples of these and use both halves.  Tape them so that they hang along shelves and window frames to look like icicles have formed inside.

Snow Scene with Frosty: Cut out an outline of a snowman on white paper.  Let the child glue the snowman to a dark blue or black piece of paper and color the snowman and paper.  Then, rub the side of white chalk back and forth across the paper to create snow.

Iceberg Cookies
2 egg whites
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup granulated sugar
brown paper lunch bags

Beat egg whites, salt, cream of tartar, and vanilla to form soft peaks (don’t overbeat…it will still be foamy).
Gradually add sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Scrape sides of bowl frequently.  Place several paper bags on a baking sheet.  Drop spoonfuls of the mixture on the brown paper.  Bake in 250 oven for 25 minutes.  Cool completely before serving. 

Snowflake Tortillas
Fold a tortilla into fourths and let your child take several bites out of the edges.  Unfold, spread butter, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, and bake for 8-10 minutes on 350. 

Action Rhyme:  BRRRR  w/motions
Brrrr…. It’s cold outside.  (Hug yourself and shiver)
Brrrr…..It’s cold outside.  (Hug yourself and shiver)
Put on your mittens and your nice warm hat (Pretend to put on mittens and hat)
‘Cause, Brrrr…It’s cold outside.  (Hug yourself and shiver)

Pin the nose on the snowman:  Make a snowman face on a white paper plate or circle of white paper.  Draw a snowman face without the nose.  Cut out some orange triangles (carrots), and see who can stick the nose the closest to where it belongs… blind folded, of course!  

Have a snowball fight!  Toss balled up socks at each other.  Or, be more civilized and toss them into laundry baskets at varying lengths from you. 

2   Posted In:     |    Written By: Kara Durbin
read more>>  

Want weekly tips on Parenting with Scripture?

Enter your email address to follow this blog and
receive notifications of new posts by email.