Tag Archive | kids

Volunteering: Our Tithe of Time

volunteering

 

Volunteering: Our Tithe of Time

 

We as a family do A LOT of volunteering. Time is something we have lots of, money not so much, but so much time. We have been asked many times how this volunteering stuff works.

Many years ago my Mom (who at that time was a pastor of her local church) was thinking about how people tithe and how some of her congregants did not have the cash to put in the offering plate but were spending so much time volunteering that there had to be a way for that to “count”.

We started discussing the topic over the phone. If we were paid an hourly rate for the time that our family volunteers how much would that be and if that is considered donated time would that count as our tithe?

We both agreed that it must. In the grand scheme of our lives as Christians what does our Lord see as our tithe? We as a family believe that our time is our major tithe. We also feel that tithing of income is also good, but this is another topic.

 

What does a week of volunteer tithing look like for our family? I will tell about today, our coming week, and some highlights from this past month:

 

Sunday:

9:00: the older 4 kids got to the church early with me today, 3 of them practiced songs with their praise band called “Forgiven” while one of them helped me set up the coffee hour supplies, set up the front of the church for the service and made sure the heat and lights were on for the service at 10:00, the band performed for the service

1:30: helped out a church member who was in a car accident by collecting her stuff from her damaged car and delivering said stuff to her house

3:30: got to the nursing home to help gather the residents for the monthly church service our church hosts there at 4:00, stayed for the service and then helped the patients back to their rooms

5:00: helped a fellow congregant by picking up her prescriptions and getting them to her

Wednesdays:

1:00: I teach a co-op class for homeschoolers till about, the classes are about science and history topics and usually take about 3 hours to prepare for each week

3:00: my husband makes a meal to follow the afternoon Bible study at the church, the band practices from 6-7pm

Thursdays:

10:00: our family volunteers at the local library shelving books and helping get crafts ready for the toddler group that meets the following day

1:00: our family is in charge of cleaning the church and we usually clean it on Thursday afternoons

2:00: we head back over to the nursing home to paint the fingernails of the residents

4:00: we make up the sign for the Grief Anonymous group that meets in the evening and set up the foyer for the meeting, coffee ready, sign out, chairs set up, etc.

We also make sure the paper goods at church are stocked,  the building is decorated for the holidays, the Sunday School lessons are ready and organized, the church sign is set up, and the church calendar is up to date (that reminds me, I have to do the February calendar)

Image result for christmas clip art

In December, in addition to the above things…

  • we spent 30 hours getting a set ready for the Christmas program, we designed and painted the set

  • the kids and I were practicing hours and hours for the 3 musical performances we were involved with

  • we sang Christmas carols at the nursing home every Friday till Christmas

  • we sang Christmas carols at the soup kitchen on Christmas day

This has been a sample of what one family of 8 can do for the community.

 

This is a major portion of our Tithe. This is what we CAN do and enjoy doing.

 

Do we feel that we HAVE to do these things? NO.

Do we feel the Lord REQUIRES us to do these things? NO.

We do these things because it brings JOY to others.

We do these things because we serve a Savior who gave and did for others and still does.

 

This post is NOT to say “Look What We Did!”

 

I want this post to inspire you to think outside the box about tithing.

 

This post is to give you ideas, and show what can be done. To show a way for family’s to tithe without money. To show how family’s with time and no cash to give what they do have. It’s an idea; a change on the old way of doing things. I great way to spend time together as a family and also show Christ to others.

 

Finally, just cuz I think it would be interesting. Our volunteer hours if we were paid minimum wage (which is $9.10 here) would have added up to approximately $3,094.00, not including driving time. Not bad for a monthly tithe of time.

 

Here are a few pictures of the set we made:

img_1348img_1350img_1349

These pics are from my Homeschooling Art blog post here.

Have a great New Year and enjoy volunteering 🙂

Advertisements

Gruesome Hymns (jk)

Man, today in church we sang the most gruesome hymn. If someone had been in church for the first time and heard us sing that, pretty sure they would have thought it was some strange group of killers.This quote below is from the hymn we sang today and is titled “There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood” by William Cowper.

“There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel’s veins; and sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains…”

Seriously, what does a little kid think hearing his parents singing this in church? It does require some explanation. What about a stranger coming into the church for the first time? It’s disgusting and revolting to think about plunging myself into a flood of blood. This song kind of made me feel ill at the thought of these lyrics.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am a Christian and I understand what the writer was getting at but really do we need to be so graphic? I personally have faith that Christ died on the cross for me and without His death I would have ended up in hell when I die due to my sins. I get it, BUT really?

This is just disgusting, here is another verse from that hymn.

“E’er since, by faith, I saw the stream thy flowing wounds supply…”

Here we go again with the blood flowing out but now its into a stream instead of a flood. Now Christ did die on a cross for my sins and for all those who accept him. BUT he was in human form, there is no way he had that much blood that when they pierced his side a stream would have blood came pouring out or a flood enough for me to bathe in came out of His body. It’s just gruesome to think of all that blood.

I am not usually a squeamish person but this is going too far.

It started me thinking of other songs we sing in church and what a newcomer to our church might think if we sang them. How about this one:

“Set Your church on fire…”2

This is from a song titled “Come, Set Your Rule” by Rend Collective Experiment

When my daughter heard this in church the first time she gave me the strangest look. I am just singing along not really thinking what she could be thinking and THEN I realize it sounds like we are thinking about committing arson! Woah, not as gruesome as the hymn today but surely people need to think before they start writing lyrics like this for a congregation to be singing. Think of the visitors. Jeez man.

How about this one:

“Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?…”3

This is from a song titled “Are You Washed in the Blood” by Alan Jackson

Here we are back to the washing in the blood. Now this is a very popular song and I totally get the meaning of the song but could we possibly think of another way to put this? Now I guess I will leave this topic alone as I know this last song is a very popular song with Christians and don’t want to  offend.

I just want to have us think for a few minutes about what we are singing and how others will view these songs when they hear them. Just food for thought if you will. Maybe when we sing a song like these the song leader could do a quick explanation of the meaning especially if there are visitors 🙂

I will leave you with this… ENJOY!!

 

1http://www.hymnsite.com/lyrics/umh622.sht
2http://rendcollective.com/wp-content/uploads/06/Build-Your-kingdom-here.pdf
3http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/alanjackson/areyouwashedintheblood.html

Sword Drills – Bible

bible

What is a sword drill?

  • Collect a group of kids or adults
  • They all need Bibles
  • Have them all start with their Bibles closed between their hands
  • Call out a verse and repeat it
  • Say “Go”
  • The first one to look it up and read it wins
  • It is that simple

Why use sword drills?

Sword drills are great to help children and adults learn where a book of the Bible is in that big book of God’s word. Practicing sword drills is fun and a treat when used to help and not criticize those who are slower.

How to use sword drills.

  • Have a bigger kid pair up with a younger child to help them get to the verse first
  • You know your kids… challenge your two best students to a sword drill and have the winner get a prize
  • For younger children I sometimes just call out a book of the Bible not  a verse
  • When a child is just learning the books of the New Testament for example I will only call out New Testament book for him

Do sword drills work to help in memorizing addresses of scripture?

Yes, we have found that it is a useful tool to reinforce their knowledge of where in the Bible a verse is. Every once in a while a child will say to me, “I remember looking that one up in the race.”

Want some already made up sword drills to try?

BibleHelps.net  has lots of great sword drill pdf’s to try. Here is one.

 

Now… Leave a comment about how you teach your kids to find Bible verses fast. I’d love  to hear from you.

GO!

Good & Evil Graphic Novel: Bible Comic Book

g & e

What is the Good and Evil graphic novel?

My kids love this book. This is a work by the artist Danny Bulanadi who is the famous Marvel Comic artist and words are by Michael Pearl. This is a chronological walk through the Bible  from Genesis through Revelation using a full-color graphic novel design. This award winning book uses key events from the Bible throughout the pages. The stories come alive as your read them. It is truly amazing. I am not even a graphic novel type of person and I enjoy this book very much.

Specifics:

  • 330 pages
  • full color illustrations
  • each page is footnoted with the Bible references (You can use the Bible references to locate where in the Bible the event is recorded.)
  • standard comic book size, but thicker
  • it weighs about 3lbs
  • chronologically goes through the Bible

When I first heard they had made the Bible into a comic book I thought it was a sacrilege. How could the Bible be a graphic novel? But the results are amazing.

g & e 10

What are they doing with these books?

This book has been translated into 44 languages and is in the process of being translated into 37 more languages. Their goal is to translate it into 100 languages. This book is a ministry tool for spreading the word of God.

We have a case of these in Spanish, well we had a case of these in Spanish, we only have about 8 of them left now. They are a wonderful gift to give. It’s like giving a Bible but cooler looking. If that makes sense.

How to use these in prison ministry.

Sometimes it is difficult to get Bibles into a prison library. At least we have found that to be the case. But I know from personal experience that they will willingly take these graphic novels into their libraries.

Isn’t that an amazing idea for a ministry opportunity? Getting the word of God into the prisons.

g 7 e page

How did we do it?

I contacted the chaplain of a local prison and got the details of where and how to send these books to their library. We ordered a case of the Good and Evil to be delivered directly to the prison. It had to be delivered directly from the publisher or the prison library would not accept it. There could not be a ‘middle man’ that potentially added something to the box.

We have done this once and now there is a case of these in a local prison. Our hope is many men have been able to read and enjoy the teachings from these 26 books.

There are different rules for each prison so if you are interested in doing this sort of ministry contact your local prison chaplain then contact us for a case discount 🙂

Another way we have used these in prison ministry…

As distributors for No Greater Joy we were given the opportunity to mail these books individually to prisons who specifically asked for them. The company sent us a list of addresses of prisoner who had asked for their own copy of Good and Evil. We followed the directions for mailing to a prisoner in that specific prison. We did this with our second case of 26 Good and Evil books.

We were not allowed to add any of our own contact information to the mailings so we never heard from the prisoners again. It is our hope that those books have blessed the prisoners that received them.

good-and-evil-case

Where can you get your own copy of Good and Evil?

It is available through Amazon as a book, on the kindle (affiliate links) and also through the publisher No Greater Joy. Our family is a Master Distributor for the No Greater Joy company and we can sell these to you at a discount if you are interested in buying at least 2 cases to distribute yourself or to have shipped directly to a prison.

Looks like you can also read the entire book for free online here.

What should you do now?

Buy at least one copy for your family. Read it for yourself and decide if this would be a good ministry tool for your family to use.

If you decide it is, then buy them in bulk and share them with your relatives, friends, strangers, neighbors, and prisoners. See if you can open the eyes of the lost with this book.

Happy ministry!

Scripture Memory and Children

scripture memory

Our family finds scripture memory very important. But we also have a terrible time remembering to practice. Thinking this may go back to our family not having a real schedule (see this post: Schedules or NOT).

My children know lots of scriptures and can recite many Biblical things like:

  • The 10 Commandments
  • The Lords Prayer
  • The Books of the Bible
  • The Fruits of the Spirit
  • The 23rd Psalm

They can usually tell if a scripture is in the Bible if you quote it. But they most likely can’t give you the “street address”, like Luke 10:24. There are some verses they can to that for, like Luke 10:24, for example. They have heard Ray Comfort say this verse so many times on the “Hells’ Best Kept Secret” cd. When I first heard this title I though that there was no way that was ever getting heard by my children. But, I was wrong, it is an amazing message of salvation and how we can witness to others.

What we have found with our children is that what they here again and again they remember. If my children listen to a certain song again and again they will memorize not only the words, but the tone of voice, and the tune of the song. So, we have chosen to have them listen to a lot of scripture.

Some tapes and cd’s we have used over the years are:

  • Go To The Ant by Judy Rogers (you can listen to some of the songs here)
  • The Donut Man (you can listen to some of his songs here)
  • Change My Heart Oh God
  • Songs from the Beginners Bible (you can listen to some of the songs here, an affiliate link)
  • There are so many more

Other ways we have tried:

Over the years we have used many different ways to hide the scriptures in our children’s hearts.  But music seems to be a very easy way for my children to memorize anything.

How does your family accomplish scripture memory?