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Make time for family and teach

The Nativity: Jesus Christ, Our Savior’s Birth

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Make time for family and teach

The Nativity: Jesus Christ, Our Savior’s Birth


PREPARATION:
1- Down load the family chart HERE which is editable/fill-in so you can keep track of which family member has participated how and when. It’s a great way to keep track of assignments during family time and family home evening
Chart for Family time
 
2- Read through the lesson ahead of time, as well as provide support to all participating so they can be prepared. It may be helpful to young children or those needing extra guidance, to be ready with their part of the Family Time-Family Home Evening (FHE) Lesson so everyone can feel needed and successful.
 
3- Print of any pictures, coloring pages, etc., that you will be using during the lesson.
 
4- Here’s a big secret I’ve used with raising 5 kids and having Family Home Evenings.  Of course a treat is NOT necessary, but it IS a great help.  My biggest trick…ssshhhh…. keep a hidden purchased bag of candy or cookies that everyone likes as a backup, just in case there isn’t time to make a dessert.  I know it isn’t necessary to have something, but it’s easy to use it as an excuse for some reason sometimes. Having a treat, some fruit, something everyone likes, goes a long way in getting everyone together 🙂
 
5- Most important! Remember that not everyone is going to be cooperative and supportive all of the time.  But keep at it.  This is one of the most valuable and long-lasting ways you can spend your time with your family. Let discussions and conversations flow naturally. It will bring a spirit of cooperation, love and long lasting relationships like nothing else can.
 

LESSON TIME:

The Nativity: Jesus Christ, Our Savior’s Birth
1- Begin with a SONG: (you can sing along with just the music or the music and voices, as you click on the tabs provided)
The Nativity Song   Children’s’ SongBook  Click on the song title and choose music, or music and vocal
 
2- Opening PRAYER:   Take turns, or whoever is most comfortable saying a prayer
 
3- Ask this QUESTION:
1- Why do we need a Savior, or Jesus Christ? 
2- Why was it important that He was born and came to earth anyway?
 
4- Watch this video 

 
4 – SCRIPTURES: Luke 2:1-7 King James Version

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Cæsar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judæa, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

 

5- Show this Video:

Mary taught her son Jesus to pray as parents do. She knew he, and all her children had much to accomplish here on earth.  Of course our Savior had the greatest mission of ALL.  We must try every day to follow Him and be like Him.
“(Mary)…kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19)

Jesus learned to work alongside Joseph to be a carpenter  (Mark 6:3) 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jesus learned and studied many subjects including the scriptures. He understood them so well, that he taught the most knowledgeable men gathering in the temple as they did in the day to discuss and learn the scriptures. 
Luke 2:
40 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.

41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover.

42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.

43 And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it.

44 But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among theirkinsfolk and acquaintance.

45 And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.

46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Luke 2: 52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature (took care of his body, and in favour with God and man.
Notice this verse includes: spiritual, physical, mental and emotional

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jesus took on His mission of teaching of His Father, God, Heavenly Father – who is the same for us, living a perfect life and being the example in all ways; so that we can go back to live with Him and our Father again.
Because He chose to be selfless, overcome the temptations of the world and loves us, He atoned for our sins, died and was resurrected and lives.  He gives us the opportunity to repent, change and be like Him more every day because of His GREAT LOVE for every single one of us – You and me.  He knows each person by name, individually. All He asks is that we follow His example and do the very best we can. 
1- I have given you an example, John 13:15.
2- I am the way, the truth, and the life, John 14:6.
Discuss the two scriptures and these two statements:
Through Jesus’ Atonement and Resurrection, those who repent of their sins and obey God’s commandments can live eternally with Jesus and the Father
Jesus Christ is the greatest being to be born on this earth. His life is the perfect example of how all mankind should live.
 
8- Closing Listening to one, or both of these songs, is a wonderful way to end this lesson.

 

 
8- Closing PRAYER 
9- Treat of choice
10 –  I hope you will visit the 25 Ways, 25 Days #LightTheWorld 2017 and consider participating in the  #LightTheWorld   with me and all of us at A Mother’s Shadow.  Even if it’s already begun, that’s OK!  Jump in, or catch up.  It’s a wonderful experience that will change your family forever. 
Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2017
Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today

Make time for family and teach

Squanto, a True Hero!

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Make time for family and teach

Squanto, A true hero who saved the pilrams

SQUANTO, A TRUE HERO

The purpose of Family Time-Family Home Evening (FHE) Lessons are to give your family the opportunity to be together: learn God’s commandments, His Gospel, strengthen family relationships, open communication and have the tools to teach important values and morals.   I’ll explain as I fly a kite HERE 

 

TOPIC:

This lesson is teaching that God has an important purpose for each of us in our life, though we may not understand it as things happen or events occur.  Our goal is to align our will with His so that we can fulfill our mission that Heavenly Father has for us and not become bitter but better.  Squanto is a tremendous example of this in how he lived his life.

 

PREPARATION:

1- Down load the family chart of your choice and lesson materials HERE

Using the chart, keep track of which family member has participated how and when; it keeps everyone involved.

Chart for Family time

 

2- Read through the lesson ahead of time, as well as provide support to all participating so they can be prepared. It may be helpful to young children or those needing extra guidance, to be ready with their part of the Family Time-Family Home Evening (FHE) Lesson so everyone can feel needed and successful.

 

3- Here’s a big secret I’ve used with raising 5 kids and having Family Home Evenings.  Of course a treat is NOT necessary, but it IS a great help.  My biggest trick…ssshhhh…. keep a hidden purchased bag of candy or cookies that everyone likes as a backup, just in case there isn’t time to make a dessert which I have an idea for you at the bottom of this post.  I know it isn’t necessary to have something, but it’s easy to use it as an excuse for some reason sometimes. Having a treat, some fruit, something everyone likes, goes a long way in getting everyone together 🙂

 

4- Most important! Remember that not everyone is going to be cooperative and supportive all of the time.  But keep at it.  This is one of the most valuable and long-lasting ways you can spend your time with your family. Let discussions and conversations flow naturally. It will bring a spirit of cooperation, love and long lasting relationships like nothing else can.

 

LESSON TIME:

SQUANTO, A TRUE HERO!

Display the picture of Squanto

Family Time - Family Home Evening Lessons (FHE)

A true story of how turning hard experiences into positive ways to help others. Trusting God and His ways in our life.

Adapt this lesson in accordance to your family’s needs, so each individual is able to grasp the importance of trusting in God, His purpose and will in our life, even when we do not always understand why things may happen when we are doing our best to be good.  God’s mission for us is greater than we can imagine, just like Squanto’s was!

 

1- Begin with a SONG: (you can sing along with just the music or the music and voices, as you click on the tabs provided)

When Faith Endures, Children’s’ SongBook  Click on the song title and choose music, or music and vocal

 

2- Opening PRAYER:   Take turns, or whoever is most comfortable saying a prayer

 

3- Ask this QUESTION:

Do you ever wonder why hard things happen to you, or other people, when you are doing all you can to be good? Does God have a plan for you in this life?

 

4- Person in charge of the STORY: (give whichever version, or adapt to combine)

I have a post with much more information and details about Squanto you can read about HERE if you’d like.  However, remember to give only information that is age appropriate and in a manner that is teaching and beneficial to this particular lesson. 

 

Younger Version

Squanto was a Patuxet from the Wampanoag tribe. He lived a long time ago in the area of Massachusetts (USA).

In  about 1614 some Englishmen  wanted to make money so they sailed across the ocean to where Squanto and his people were living.

These Englishmen tricked Squanto and other young Indian braves onto their ship and sailed to far away Spain.  Squanto and the others did not want to go.

The ship landed in Spain where the Englishmen gathered people together and started to sell the Indian braves to anyone who had money to buy them.

Some stories say that local Monks heard what was happening to the kidnapped Indians and hurried to help.

Squanto was one who was rescued by kind strangers, who then helped him get to England, hoping he could get on a ship that would take him back home. 

He did get to England and was hired on to work as a stable boy. He learned English and he learned about God. Squanto longed to see his family again, and he prayed to know God’s purpose for his life.

In the year 1618 Squanto finally found a ship set to sail to America. Squanto had learned to speak English so well, he was able to work as a translator on the ship, in exchange for his passage.

Upon his return to America he was sorry to find that all of his friends and family had died from disease.  He was so sad he was all alone. 

Meanwhile, the Pilgrims had left their home, boarded the Mayflower, to travel to cross the ocean to the new world,  in order to freely worship God.

Once the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, they found an empty village that once had been home to Squanto and his family.

The Pilgrims did not know how to grow crops in the new world, because they had landed in a much colder climate than they had planned.  Many Pilgrims died. Those who survived wondered what they were going to do.  The Pilgrims prayed hard for help.

Indians from a near-by village tried to help, however the Pilgrims and the Indians could not understand each other because they didn’t speak the same language.  One of the Indian braves knew Squanto and his story. He knew that Squanto would be able to communicate with them. He set out to find Squanto.

When the Indian brave found Squanto, the brave related the story of the Pilgrims and their dire circumstances.

Squanto wanted to help because he could speak the Pilgrims language, which was a miracle!  

He and the other Indians taught the Pilgrims how to plant corn by adding a fish with the kernel of corn to help it grow.   Squanto also taught the Pilgrims how to fish, and hunt, so that they would not starve. 

God’s hand had played a significant role in Squanto’s life.  He had traveled across the ocean, he had learned the customs, culture and language of Europe.  When the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, Squanto was able to save them from certain death.  

 

 

Older Version

Squanto was a Patuxet from the Wampanoag tribe.

The year was 1614 when Captain Hunter and his crew sailed across the ocean from England to where Squanto and his people were living near modern day Plymouth Massachusetts, USA.

The Captain and his crew had traded with Squanto and the tribes-people before; however this time, they tricked Squanto and other young Indian braves onto their ship and took them to far away Spain.

Once in Spain, Captain Hunter began selling the Indians as slaves.

Several accounts say that local Monks heard what was happening to the kidnapped Indians and hurried to take custody of all they were able; Squanto was one they were able to rescue.

Those who were kind, helped him make his way to England in hopes of finding a ship traveling to his home land.

Squanto was hired on to work as a stable boy when he arrived in England.  While there he learned English, about Christianity and the European culture.

Squanto always prayed that he would see his family again.  He also wanted to understand God’s purpose for his life.

Five years later, in 1619, a trading ship departed for the new world. Squanto’s linguistic capabilities enabled him to work as the  translator aboard ship in exchange for his passage.

Once home, Squanto found that his family and friends had tragically fell victim to a deadly illness.  All that was left was a vacant village that he knew as a young man.   

Squanto was so sad. It is said that he was so distraught that he left to live alone in the forest.   However, it was not long before he joined with another group of Indians living in the area. 

It was about this same time, that a group of religious settlers, that we know as the Pilgrims, were transiting the Atlantic Ocean escaping religious persecution and seeking freedom from oppression.  

The Mayflower landed in 1620 at Plymouth, Massachusetts (USA).  Upon arrival, the settlers were grateful to find an empty village to find shelter from the cold and the elements on Plymouth Rock. 

Having experienced much tribulation in their journey over the ocean, landing hundreds of miles north of their intended destination, the Pilgrims encountered much colder weather and harsher conditions than they had anticipated.  Many of the settlers died, in fact only fifty percent of the Pilgrims survived to this point.  

The Pilgrims who survived, wondered what they were going to do. 

Could they make it in this new land? 

Accounts speak of fervent prayer being offered up unto God for relief and assistance to preserve them.

Indians in the area recognized the new-comers desperate situation.  However, they were unable to communicate, adding to a certain level of distraught. 

Squanto devastated that his family and friends were gone despite his years of praying while trying to return to them; still prayed to understand God’s purpose for him.

When Squanto heard about the Pilgrims, he was anxious to help. 

He spoke English, which was a miracle!

Squanto and the other Indians taught the Pilgrims how to plant crops so they would survive.  How to fish,  hunt, and live off of the land so that they would not starve. 

God had a plan for Squanto, which included him learning English and the culture of the Euorpeans so that he could save the Pilgrims.  

It was crucial that the Pilgrims survived in their new home as they were the infancy and beginning of America becoming a country.  A land of religious freedom and so much more.  

 

 

(Person in charge of this would be prepared to read from their scriptures or from online)

5- SCRIPTURE: (see younger and older version below for more helps)

King James Version – Psalms 7:1

 Lord my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me:

Questions to ask after reading the appropriate version of the scripture below (younger or older):

1- Is our life always going to be what we plan?

2- Will bad things happen to good people?

 

Young Version

King James Version – Psalms 7:1

Lord my God, in thee do I put my trust.

Sometimes we have bad things happen to us even when we are doing our best. 

Sometimes people are cruel, or natural disasters happen. 

Sometimes those we love get very sick, are hurt, or are taken from us.

Even though these hard things happen sometimes, it is always true that God is there to help us feel His love, to help us not be mad or sad.  He will fill us up inside with happiness and comfort if we keep His commandments and follow Jesus’s example. 

 

Older Version

King James Version

King James Version – Psalms 7:1

 Lord my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me.

There are times when we are worried, and afraid because of what is happening in our life, or in the world that is our of our control.  

However, we look to God and trust in Him, no matter what others may do, we can still have peace, happiness and joy in our life as we keep the commandments and follow Christ’s example the best we can every day.

Even in times of loneliness, sorrow and wondering why our life is taking the turn it is when we are doing our best, God will bring hope, and light to our soul because he knows us individually and loves us.  

 

 

6- Person in charge of this, should have it copied off in advance, with colored pencils or crayons ready –

ACTIVITY:

 

Use this version of the provided coloring page for younger children.

Family Time - Family Home Evening Lessons (FHE)

A true story of how turning hard experiences into positive ways to help others. Trusting God and His ways in our life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or use this version of the coloring page for teens and adults.

 

Family Time - Family Home Evening Lessons (FHE)

A true story of how turning hard experiences into positive ways to help others. Trusting God and His ways in our life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7- The person in charge of the Activity would arrange to have the items / supplies ready before Family Time-Family Home Evening (FHE) begins.

ACTIVITY for this lesson are 2 different Native American Games to choose from, or do both!

 

GAMES

Apache Game Foot Toss Ball: To play this game, you needed a stone. To set up play, you balanced the stone on your toes. This game had a choice. You could either play to see how far you could toss or how high you could toss the stone with your toes. Kids used light stones, adults used heavy stones, and they completed with each other. Your family could use small bean bags or even folded up socks for this game

 

Ojibwa Game Butterfly Hide and Seek:  Children were taught never to hurt a butterfly. To the Ojibwa people, it was considered a gift of good luck if you stayed so quiet that a butterfly would trust you and land on you. 

To play this game, the person who is ‘IT’ covers their eyes and repeats 5 times slowly:  “Butterfly, butterfly, show me where to go.” while everyone hides to play Hide & Seek.

 

8- Closing PRAYER –

 

9- TREAT/Dessert –

Of course CORNBREAD!  We love this rich, moist and tender BEST Cornbread which is one of my own recipes.  Serve along  with Honey Butter, which is shown in my signature-style-tutorial-recipe at the bottom of the post. Make up jumbo muffins as I did here or regular muffins –

Flavorful and moist Cornbread

 

Or the traditional way.  All are delish!  Check out this recipe link to make it up a batch to go with your lesson.

It’s easy to make, and gets even better as it sits. Meaning you can make them up in the morning or even the night before and everyone will enjoy them warm or cold; especially with the honey butter.

Flavorful and moist Cornbread

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2018

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today

A Kite and Why fhe Time?

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The Kite & WHY fhe

Family time is the most important of all the items on our agenda.  Believe me, I know how difficult it is to schedule it and make it stick!  I had a herd of kids to drop off to sports and music lessons, homework to help with, girl scouts, cub/boy scouts, 4-H Club, PTA meetings, kids extracurricular activities to let them off at as well as occasionally (frequently) participate in myself.  Then there was back-to-school night, parent-teacher conferences, oh my the list can go on and on and on and that doesn’t even include the involvement in church and community.  Pretty PLEASE do NOT roll your eyes and say not another thing I have to do, or I’ve triedI have a little story about a kite to share with you.  Now, just stay with me, it’s coming, I promise……


 

We have a night set aside once a week, usually Monday night for convenience and consistency, and it is referred to as Family Home Evening.  Now in my home, my children, even now grown, lovingly refer to it as ‘Family Home Screaming’.  This tells you right off the bat, we are NOT perfect at this, and if you read my blog, I never pretend to be remotely close to great, much less perfect at anything, so why start now?

To gather the family for this ‘special weekly event’ meant bribery to clear the calendar for dinner (as I always asked for anyway) and then afterwards for an additional at least 30 minutes with a unique candy or treat that was worth their effort = homemade dessert, M&M’s etc.

It was not always easy.  We are all busy, life happens, kids are kids and do not always cooperate, etc., etc., etc. You may ask, so how often was it a joyful experience of loving siblings enjoying each others company for a solid hour every week in addition to time spent just living together?  hhmm, let’s just say the police were never called so I deem it successful. 


So what did/do we do during this family home evening time each week:

1- Begin with a prayer

2- A hymn (which sometime was sung more like a funeral dirge, even Happy Birthday is done this same way, ask anyone who knows us well, it drives me crazy and that’s why they do it I think)

3- A gospel/religious/spiritual oriented topic was taught on a wide variety of subjects from:   

  • scripture verses
  •  scripture stories
  • family issues such as finances, chores, and things of that nature; just do all you can to not let it turn into a fight and finger pointing session
  • role playing, for example: what to do when making a hard choice or face with a bully or you want to be a bully (Do Unto Others)
  • why we have consequences in life and how important they are
  • how to pray to Heavenly Father
  • what the Sabbath is for and how to keep it holy
  • what the 10 Commandments are and how to obey them
  • how to repent and be sincere about saying your sorry
  • what makes a real super hero
  • how to forgive
  • expressing love for each other
  • service projects were often the focus
  • the list is endless of what can be the experience of this special set aside time




MOST of the time there was a good, or at least a decent discussion, with of discovering and new understanding amid the good-natured teasing.  This was particularly the out-come when I was willing to just go with the flow, realize we were together and what I had planned was mostly working.  I have a rowdy bunch to deal with, remember. 

With all there is to compete with our time and the exhaustion level of any parent on any given day, why in the world would I put one more thing, especially of this caliber on my plate?  With so many other things to juggle and keep in the air, why would I, for the love of sanity, take the time to prepare (or help a younger child prepare) a gospel oriented lesson, a treat aka bribery, or assign these and a few other items out for this Monday Family Home Evening time when it would be SO much easier to just bag it and ‘live and let live’ as the saying goes?

To answer this question, let me tell you a story that I relate in my novel, “A Mother’s Shadow” about A KITE.  It goes like this:

One day I asked my son Dallin if he would go fly a kite with me.  He kindly said yes, though I knew he had other things he would much rather do that day.  We went to a local park where he assembled the kite I had purchased.


There wasn’t much of a breeze so Dallin began to run back and forth, working quite hard to get some lift under the kite.  Finally, a breeze came along to boost the kite into the air; sending it to dance and spin high above our heads.

After awhile of watching the small flying apparatus I asked Dallin, “Why do you think the kite stays in the air?”

“Because of the wind” he replied.

I took out a small pair of scissors I had in my pocket for this very experiment.  “Let’s see if it is the wind that keeps the kite in the air.  If it is, when I cut the string, it will stay afloat.”

“Ok” he hesitantly said.

As I cut the string the kite immediately plunged to the ground.

I explained to my son that the kite is able to fly because the string provides the resistance to the wind.  As the string is let out, yet held firm, the kite will reach its greatest heights possible.  Without the string the kite dives to the ground as there is nothing to hold it up.


What does this have to do with having a family gospel oriented activity or meeting every week to teach your family morals and values?

  • Our children are the kite.
  • As we teach our children correct standards, a strong work ethic and religion, they will have the competence and ability to soar and survive the winds of life.
  • Discipline and self-control are analogous to the string, providing them the foundation to attain any good purpose the set set out to do, while.
  • The wind symbolizes the trials, tests and hardships life inherently brings.

What we teach in the home will last their entire life.

We may not perceive that it is ‘successful’ always; however, I can promise from experience.  What we do not teach as central and essential to us, the world will teach as important, whether we agree or not.

The sports, dance and other activities do have their place.  But as the saying goes, ‘when the day is done’ what is more important than a knowledge of God, His ways, His place in our life and how to live according to His word because this is what brings peace and happiness. 


We are regular church goers and lessons are taught in classes on Sunday as well as activities during the week which strengthen what, as parents we teach, but it does not take the place of the responsibility of mother and father (if both parents are involved in the child’s life) being the first and prominent instructor of the most significant education, that of God, Christ and how they want us to live; which is why we set aside Monday night to build the strings of the kites.

If our loved ones are set on a strong base of noble principles, they will have the resilience to ascend to unimaginable heights and reach their highest capacity despite challenges. In fact as the winds of life blow stronger and more difficult, our children will soar higher, stronger and with greater strength because of your teaching them about God and His plan for them.  Their string will hold sturdy and sure so they will not crash, their heart will not grow faint but will thrive and they will even lift others along their way.

In a world of turmoil and uncertainty, it is more important than ever to make our families the center of our lives and the top of our priorities. Families lie at the center of our Heavenly Father’s plan. (L. Tom Perry)  The family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.  (For more information click HERE)

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2015

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today

For More Posts On This Topic:

A Mother’s Shadow’ a novel by Carrie Groneman click HERE

AMS Cover Small

Do What Is Right

How to Forgive – To Forgive Or Not

Ethics & A Revolving Door

 Consequences Are Necessary

Do Unto Others

A Pinch of Salt

Are YOU A Super Hero

Picture courtesy of: FreeDigitalPhotos.net