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Five Tips for Flexible Family Faith Time by Stephenie Hovland

Posted by Julie on October 11, 2017 in encouragement, God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

Five Tips for Flexible Family Faith Time

by Stephenie Hovland

 

Guess what? There is no such thing as a perfect Christian family! That means there isn’t one perfect way to devotions. In fact, I’m thinking the word “devotions” might need to go. Think of this as family faith time.

 

Let’s go through five tips to make your family faith time work. Remember to revisit these ideas regularly. As your family grows and ages, you might need to change how this works.

 

  1. Purpose: This is a time for your family to meet around God’s Word. Your family and circumstances may dictate what time of day, where, what materials, how long it will last, etc. You are not trying be a theology professor or expect perfect participation from every family member every time. Just start with something (the Bible or a kids’ Bible story book, for example) and run with it. Make changes later.

 

  1. Plan a little: Don’t worry about it being perfect, but make a few plans. Or, if you’re like me, plan a lot! I am not spontaneous, so I need to have several options. You can evaluate how it went after you’re done, so the next time is a little better.

 

  1. Pray: I hope you pray with your family, but say a quick, private prayer as everyone gathers. That personal prayer time will help you to take a breath and let God handle things.

 

  1. Physical: Be physical. Hold hands when you pray, hug when you’re finished, and try to touch members of your family in a loving way when you talk about and with God. We want to be Jesus “with skin on” in a sense, so we should touch. Jesus did.

 

  1. Play: While family faith time works great around a dinner table for some, others find it easier to focus on faith talk when they’re more active. Maybe you need to take it outside and shoot some hoops while you explore God’s connections in each family member’s life. Or, perhaps you start or end your time with play. Dancing helps get the wiggles out, so it might be a great way to start your family faith time. Or, maybe after a quick devotion and prayer time, you play Candyland together as a family.

When it seems like it’ll never work, please don’t give up! Try not to force your way. Change elements of your time together, and see if something else might work better. (I say this from much experience.) Keep trying. Keep praying. God is there for you and your family.

 

 

ABOUT

Stephenie Hovland loves reading and writing devotions. She also writes rhyming Bible stories for children and resources for teachers. You can find her work at Concordia Publishing House, Creative Communications for the Parish, and many online bookstores. Visit her Facebook page: @StephenieHovlandWriter and on Twitter:@StephHovland

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Still Thankful for Breast Cancer by Laura V. Hilton

 

This is really going to sound strange, but I’m thankful for breast cancer.

 

Yes, you read that right.

 

Six years ago, I had the shock of my life. What I thought was an inflamed milk duct was diagnosed as breast cancer.

 

I’ve always been a Christian, I was raised in a Christian home and accepted Christ as my Savior when I was nine. I was in church, Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night. My parents had Bible studies in the home. I grew up immersed in Bible.

 

So, it might come as no surprise to find out I married a pastor. 

 

Well, being married to a pastor doesn’t mean that you take the time needed for devotions, praise and worship, or the necessary things that make you grow as a Christian. I have five children. I homeschool.  I was busy in the church. My life was spent constantly going and doing for others. I told the doctor I didn’t have time for cancer!  He just looked at me.

 

Well, treatment is one of those things you have to make time for. And during those long hours sitting at the chemo room, I took my iPod shuffle, preloaded with praise and worship music.  I spent my time praying and studying God’s word. And as a result, I developed a habit of spending time with the Lord. My own personal time with the One who loves me more than anyone else.

 

pinkribbonAs for the times spent in recovery from chemo? Well, I had no time. My recovery from chemo time was spent catching up on homeschooling, church stuff, family stuff—all those things that didn’t get done when I was at the chemo room.  The doctor commented that I breezed through chemo surprisingly well. That I was on the strongest, harshest chemo available, and I had virtually no side-effects (other than losing my hair.)  I told him it was all God.

 

That was six years ago. Today I still make time for detailed study in the word.  If I get busy and can’t spend time with God, I miss it and my day is incomplete.  So, I thank God for breast cancer. For getting me back on the time I needed to spend with God.

 

What is something you’re thankful for?

BIO:

Award winning author, Laura Hilton, her husband, Steve, and three of their children make their home in Arkansas. She is a pastor’s wife, a stay-at-home mom and home-schools. Laura is also a breast cancer survivor. Laura also  has two adult children.

 

Her publishing credits include three books in the Amish of Seymour series from Whitaker House: Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts (winner of the 2012 Clash of the Titles Award in two categories), and Promised to Another. The Amish of Webster County series, Healing Love (finalist for the 2013 Christian Retail Awards). Surrendered Love and Awakened Love followed by her first Christmas novel, A White Christmas in Webster County, as well as a three book Amish series with Whitaker House, The Amish of Jamesport series, The Snow Globe, The Postcard in April 2015, and The Bird House in September 2015. Other credits include Swept Away from Abingdon Press. Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a professional book reviewer.

http://www.amazon.com/Laura-V.-Hilton/e/B004IRSM5Q 

visit my blogs: http://lighthouse-academy.blogspot.com/  & http://lauravhilton.blogspot.com/ 

twitter: @Laura_V_Hilton

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Laura-V-Hilton/161478847242512

Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/vernetlh/

 

Purchase my books:

 

Amazon   http://www.amazon.com/Laura-V.-Hilton/e/B004IRSM5Q 

CBD: http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/easy_find?Ntt=laura+hilton&N=0&Ntk=keywords&action=Search&Ne=0&event=ESRCG&nav_search=1&cms=1

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/laura-hilton?store=allproducts&keyword=laura+hilton

Deeper Shopping http://www.deepershopping.com/index.php?query=laura+hilton&x=0&y=0&module=productsearch&_logmode=Y&querymodule=SPX

 

 

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