Family Devotions

Each week we aim to share some very simple resources that can be used at home as we encourage and support one another in living out our faith in Jesus Christ, in the cut and thrust of everyday family life. They don't require a lot of preparation or materials, but can hopefully be incorporated into the natural rhythm of home life. If you'd like to help with this, please get in touch with us.

Week commencing 27th September 2020:  THE ARMOUR OF GOD - THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

This week we're continuing our series about THE SPIRITUAL ARMOUR OF GOD, as we look together at THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.

BIBLE:

Read Ephesians 6:10-20. The Apostle Paul helps us to understand that as we follow Jesus, we are involved in a spiritual battle each and every day. We therefore need to put on spiritual armour, which God gives us.

Watch this video, to help understand more about the spiritual armour of God.

The second part of the Armour of God is mentioned in Ephesians 6:14 - it's the Breastplate of Righteousness:

'Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place.'

TALK ABOUT IT:

When a soldier went out to fight he had a breastplate to cover his chest to keep his heart and body safe. Imagine going out to fight with nothing covering you to protect you- you would not have much luck if you got hit!

In the same way we need to protect our hearts at all times. The devil will try his best to make us feel like we are not worth anything, such as saying ‘you are no good at this or that’ or ‘you are not pretty’ or ‘no-one likes you’. We don’t need to actually wear a breastplate but we need to know that God is with us and will protect us so when the devil throws things our way, they will just bounce off us and we won’t listen to them!

Have a think-

* What does 'right'eous mean? Look at the little word at the start to help you?

* How can we do right by God? Asking Him into our hearts and trusting and following Him each day, reading His Word - the Bible - as we learn from Him, talking and listening to Him in prayer, joining with other followers of Jesus each week to praise and worship Him, being kind and loving to others.

* When we are right with God and say sorry for the things we do wrong, He will always be with us and will protect us. We cannot make ourselves righteous by actions alone - being right with God involves us asking Jesus into our lives, and because of what He has done for us on the cross, we are made right with God.

ACTIVITIES:

* Right or wrong activity:

Make a list of a few situations that the children/young people may find themselves in and ask them if they would be a good thing to do or not. You could ask them to run to one side of the room for if it is good and right and the other if it is not, or stand up/sit down e.g. tell a lie, look at something they shouldn’t look at, helping people….the list is endless.. have fun with it.

* Proverbs 4:23 craft:

Make out a breastplate or draw a heart and write on it

"Guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it."

LISTEN:

Have a listen to the song: 'The Armour of God'.

SHARE:

Let us know how you get on with this. Contact us through the St Andrew's Facebook page or email info@standrewsbangor.org.uk

VIDEO RESOURCE:

Check out this children's video put together by Dave and Ruth Michael, and shared during Sunday Worship on 27th September 2020.  They helped us to understand what the Breastplate of Righteousness is in God's Spiritual Armour, and why it is so important!  And here's a link to the song we sang during our Online Worship Service, called 'My God is so big!'

 

Week commencing 20th September 2020:  THE ARMOUR OF GOD - THE BELT OF TRUTH

This week we're continuing our new series about THE SPIRITUAL ARMOUR OF GOD, as we look together at THE BELT OF TRUTH.

BIBLE:

Read Ephesians 6:10-20. The Apostle Paul helps us to understand that as we follow Jesus, we are involved in a spiritual battle each and every day. We therefore need to put on spiritual armour, which God gives us.

Watch this video, to help understand more about the spiritual armour of God.

The first part of the Armour of God is mentioned in Ephesians 6:14 - it's the Belt of Truth.

Watch this video that helps to explain more about the Belt of Truth.

TALK ABOUT IT:

Have a chat about what soldiers used to wear when preparing for battle (e.g. heavy breastplate, shield, helmet etc). If they wanted to win the battle, they had to have all the right equipment, even if it was uncomfortable!

* Why would a belt be important, as part of the armour that a soldier wears? (it helps keep the armour together; it would be used to carry a sword and other useful items).

* When we put on the belt of truth, that means we learn about the truth of God and we keep it close to us, like we wear a belt close to our bodies. Everything we can ever need to know to fight evil is God's Truth, and we wear the Truth tight around us.

* What are some of the true things we know about God, as we read the Bible?

(For example, here are some important truths about God: God loves us so much that he sent his Son to die for us; we are all sinners and we all need salvation, which only comes from Jesus; all we have to do to be forgiven of our sins is say sorry to God, love Him, and with His help, to do what He tells us to do in the Bible; Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life - no-one comes to the Father but through Him (John 14:6))

* When we remember these truths about God, we are putting on the belt of truth.

ACTIVITIES:

* This week we've been learning about the Belt of Truth and how important it is to arm ourselves with Truth in our fight against sin.

In the Bible, soldiers would wear armour and big metal belts to protect themselves in battle. This week, why not make a belt, either on your own or as a family, writing your favourite Bible verses or truths about God on it so we can remember these truths and thank God for them.

Some ideas might be:

"I seek you with all my heart, do not let me stray from your commands." Psalm 119:10

Jesus said, 'I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.' John 14:6

"Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and truth." 1 John 3:18

LISTEN:

Have a listen to the song: 'One way, Jesus.' As we trust and follow Jesus day by day, it's important to keep remembering that Jesus loves us and will lead and guide us through our lives, He will protect us in the spiritual battles we face, and will lead us Home to Him.

SHARE:

Let us know how you get on with this. Contact us through the St Andrew's Facebook page or email majohnston@presbyterianireland.org

VIDEO RESOURCE:

Check out this children's video put together by Joe Shillaker, and shared during Sunday Worship on 20th September 2020.  Joe helped us to understand what the Belt of Truth is in God's Spiritual Armour, and why it is so important!  

 

Week commencing 13th September 2020:  THE ARMOUR OF GOD - INTRODUCTION

BIBLE:

Read Ephesians 6:10-20. The Apostle Paul helps us to understand that as we follow Jesus, we are involved in a spiritual battle each and every day. We therefore need to put on spiritual armour, which God gives us.

Watch this video, to help understand more about the spiritual armour of God.

TALK ABOUT IT:

Have a chat about what soldiers used to wear when preparing for battle (e.g. heavy breastplate, shield, helmet etc). If they wanted to win the battle, they had to have all the right equipment, even if it was uncomfortable!

Discuss how we are in the middle of a battle now - a spiritual battle - as the Apostle Paul describes. We battle against the devil and his forces, against the sinful world that does not love God, and against our own sinful hearts that so often want to go against what God would have us do.

The good news is that God does not leave us in this battle on our own. He helps us to win, as we trust and follow Jesus every step of the way. He gives us special spiritual armour to protect us, because He loves us.

ACTIVITIES:

* Put a few skittles into a bowl and carefully pour some warm water over the top of them. Watch as the colour runs off the skittles, leaving them white. Think of us as the skittles, with the various colours as our sins and the water as God's armour. The water wipes away the colour, just as God wipes away our sins, as we trust and follow Jesus. Always remember, that the battle has already been won by Jesus - He is King over all! Our sins have been forgiven by Him. The devil is already defeated. We simply need to keep trusting Jesus, and make use of the spiritual armour that God gives us, to keep following Him in the midst of the battle!

LISTEN:

Have a listen to the song: 'Jesus loves me, this I know.' As we trust and follow Jesus day by day, it's important to keep remembering that Jesus loves us and will lead and guide us through our lives, He will protect us in the spiritual battles we face, and will lead us Home to Him.

SHARE:

Let us know how you get on with this. Contact us through the St Andrew's Facebook page or email majohnston@presbyterianireland.org

VIDEO RESOURCE:

Check out this children's video put together by Christine Wilson, and shared during Sunday Worship on 13th September 2020.  Christine helped set the scene for the new series about the Spiritual Armour of God.  And here's a link to the song we sang during our Online Worship Service, called 'My God is powerful.'

 

Week commencing 6th September 2020:  BACK TO SCHOOL WITH GOD

This week many of us started back to Primary School, High School, College or University.

* How did it feel going back to school, or starting a new school for the first time?

* Were you excited? nervous? anxious? worried?

It's ok to have these feelings inside, particularly when we go back to school after the summer, or when we face a new challenge or adventure and we're not sure what lies in store. The important thing is to talk to God about how we're feeling and trust Him to help us day by day.

BIBLE:

When Jesus was on earth, he taught people what they were to do when they felt nervous, anxious or worried. Have a read of 'The Singer' in The Jesus Storybook Bible (page 228) or listen to the story being read here.  It's based on Jesus' teaching to a large crowd of people on the mountainside beside the Sea of Galilee, about worry, in Matthew 6:25-34.

TALK ABOUT IT:

* What were the people worried about? They were worried about not having enough to eat...or clothes to wear...or running out of money to live on.

* What two things in God's world did Jesus encourage the people to look to and learn from, when they get worried? The birds and the flowers.

* What can we learn from the birds and the flowers, when it comes to worrying? The birds and flowers don't worry about where they are going to get food from, or how they are going to flower. They know that God will look after them because He created them and loves them, and so they trust Him one day at a time. Jesus reminds us that if God loves the birds and the flowers and will take care of them, how much more does He love us and care for us.

* As we go back to school, or as we face challenges or difficulties in life that cause us to become nervous, anxious or worried, what should we do? We can bring our worries and concerns before God, sharing them with Him in prayer, and trusting in Him to help us. Just as God loves to look after the birds and the flowers, He loves to look after us too, and promises to help us as we trust and follow Him one step at a time.

ACTIVITIES:

* GO FOR A WALK with your family, and take time to look around you. Look at the beauty of all that God has made. Look at the flowers and how incredible they have been made. Watch out for birds as they fly and feed. And then chat together about what Jesus taught about the birds and the flowers, how God cares for them, and how much more He loves and cares for us.

* Plant some FLOWERS in your garden, or put up a BIRD FEEDER to attract birds. Every time you look out your window and see the birds feeding, or the flowers growing, remember that God loves them, and how much more He loves and cares for you.

* Create a CALM JAR. Life, and especially school, can be stressful. The 'outside world' is filled with people and things and events and noise and busyness. And our 'inside worlds', our minds, can be just as full and noisy and busy too. We can easily get worried and anxious. Why not make a Calm Jar (check out the instructions here), shake the jar, and as you watch it settle, pray to God about the worries you have. Ask God to fill you with His peace and to comfort and help you today.

* PRAY for your family, friends and teachers in school, who themselves may be worried and anxious. How can you encourage them and help them at this time? Go for a walk with them? Write them a letter? Send them a text message? Pray with them and for them.

LISTEN:

Have a listen to this wonderful song: 'Flowers and Birds' - it reminds us of Jesus' teaching about what we're to do when we're worried. 

SHARE:

Let us know how you get on with this. Contact us through the St Andrew's Facebook page or email majohnston@presbyterianireland.org

VIDEO RESOURCE:

Check out this children's video put together by Daniel, Peter and Mark Johnston, and shared during Sunday Worship on 6th September 2020.  It helps us to learn more about what Jesus taught us to remember when we get worried and anxious.  And here's a link to the 'Flowers and Birds' song that we sang together on Sunday.

 

Week commencing 30th August 2020:  OUR ULTIMATE HERO - JESUS!

Can you name some heroes that you have seen on TV or in the movies?

What do they do?

Do they have a motto?

What is their superpower?

BIBLE:

Read Luke 19:10 and watch this YouTube video - can you try to learn the verse?

This verse comes at the end of Jesus' encounter with Zacchaeus (you can learn more about this story here.)

TALK ABOUT IT:

* Who is the Son of Man? It is Jesus, God's only Son.

* What did Jesus do? He came to earth to die and save us from our sins. We can have a relationship with God, as we trust and follow Jesus as our Saviour, Rescuer and Friend!

Jesus is the Ultimate Hero - He is our Saviour, He loves us so deeply and wants us to trust and follow Him.

H - Jesus HELPS us.

E - Jesus puts EVERYONE's needs before others.

R - Jesus is RELIABLE - He is always there, He will never leave us, He always keeps His promises.

O - Jesus has OUTSTANDING LOVE AND COMPASSION for us and for the whole world!

As we trust and follow Jesus, He will help us to be a hero to others, helping others, putting the needs of others ahead of our own, being a reliable friend, showing outstanding love and compassion to those we meet each day, and most of all, pointing others to Jesus - our Ultimate Superhero!

ACTIVITY:

Design a superhero badge which shows what we know about Jesus - maybe you could include a big heart on it, or a cross. You choose!

And why not have a good old dance and sing to the Bible Verse and song about Jesus - our ultimate superhero!

LISTEN:

Have a listen to this wonderful song: 'Jesus, You're my SuperHero'

SHARE:

Let us know how you get on with this. Contact us through the St Andrew's Facebook page or email majohnston@presbyterianireland.org

VIDEO RESOURCE:

Check out this children's video put together by Kirsty Kennedy, and shared during Sunday Worship on 30th August 2020.  It helps us to learn more about Jesus - our Ultimate Superhero!  And here's a link to 'Jesus - You're my Superhero' that we sang together on Sunday.

 

Week commencing 23rd August 2020:  EVERYDAY HEROES OF THE FAITH - PETER

We all love to be picked for things - for example, being picked for a team in school, or to answer a question we know the answer to, or chosen to do a job for someone. Did you know that God has chosen us too and loves us. In the story today we learn of Simon Peter, whom God chose to do a very important job.

BIBLE:

Read about it here in Luke 5:1-11

or watch this Saddleback Kids video 

or this Douglas talks video

TALK ABOUT IT:

* What did Jesus ask Peter to do at first, and why did Peter think it was silly?

* What did Jesus want Peter to do for him among others? What does it mean?

* How cool is it that the same God that chose Simon Peter to do something amazing has chosen us too! He lets us choose whether we follow Him or not...and following Him is the best thing we can do!

* Read more: 1 Peter 2:9 and Deuteronomy 7:6 tell us that we are chosen and special to God.

ACTIVITY:

If you have a mirror, get your child or yourself to look into the mirror and say "I am a child of God and He chooses me!" Remember that if we trust and follow Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, we are welcomed into God's family, and we become His children!

As you trust and follow Jesus every day, look in the mirror at the start of every day and say "I am a child of God and He chooses me!" Remember that God chooses us to tell others about Jesus. Ask God to direct you to someone this week that you can tell about Jesus!

LISTEN:

Have a listen to this wonderful song: 'Who you say I am' by Hillsong.

SHARE:

Let us know how you get on with this. Contact us through the St Andrew's Facebook page or email majohnston@presbyterianireland.org

VIDEO RESOURCE:

Check out this children's video put together by Chloe Emberson, and shared during Sunday Worship on 23rd August 2020.  It helps us to learn more about Peter.  And here's a link to 'It's amazing' that we sang together on Sunday.

 

Week commencing 16th August 2020:  EVERYDAY HEROES OF THE FAITH - DANIEL

Do you know what faithfulness means? Have a look in a dictionary or ask Google!

BIBLE:

Watch the youtube video about a man called Daniel - was he faithful? Who was faithful to him?  Watch the video here.

NOW HAVE A CHAT:

Use the quiz sheet to see if you can answer the questions about Daniel.  You can download the quiz sheet here.

Thinking points:

* God loves us His children and wants what is best for us. He is always there for us. A truly faithful God. What ways can we be faithful to God?

* Stand up for what you believe in like Daniel.

* No matter how hard things are we can keep praying and trusting in God.

* Stand by other people too as God loves them.

ACTIVITY: BUN CASE LIONS & BIBLE JOURNALLING

* Bun case lions: use bun cases to make lion heads and chat about the story. (See example)

* Bible journaling - get some pencils and on the page in your bible for Daniel can you think of something to draw to represent the story? Lions? Faithful? See the picture below as an example. Bible reference- Daniel 6.

SHARE:

Let us know how you get on with this. Contact us through the St Andrew's Facebook page or email majohnston@presbyterianireland.org

VIDEO RESOURCE:

Check out this children's video put together by Shannon Atcheson and Daniel Patton, and shared during Sunday Worship on 16th August 2020.  It helps us to learn more about Daniel.  And here's a link to 'All through history, You are faithful' that we sang together on Sunday.

 

Week commencing 9th August 2020:  EVERYDAY HEROES OF THE FAITH - ESTHER

BIBLE:

This week we are learning about Esther. You can read all about Esther in the Old Testament - there is a book called Esther which tells all about her life.

Or you can watch a summary of Esther's story here.

Esther was an orphaned Jewish girl who was exiled to Persia, and later became Queen there. Read how Mordecai encouraged her to seek deliverance for the Jewish people in Esther chapter 4 verses 9-14.

NOW HAVE A CHAT:

Because Esther trusted and followed God, He helped her to overcome the challenges from her childhood. He proved to her that she was chosen for a very special time and place. Like Esther, we have been born at the time that God has chosen, and as we trust and follow Him, He has plans and purposes for us.

Just like in the story of Esther, God is always working behind the scenes, even though it doesn't always feel like it. Always remember that God keeps His promises and will continue to work for our good and His glory.

ACTIVITY: MAKE YOUR OWN CROWN

Cut two crown shapes out of two pieces of paper. Decorate and colour them any way you like. Maybe you could even write a verse from the book of Esther on one side. Tape the two pieces together and you have your own crown. Can you use it to act out the story of Esther?

Have a go at the second activity - use the key to solve the puzzle. Use the words you discover to help you retell the story of Esther.

SHARE:

Let us know how you get on with this. Contact us through the St Andrew's Facebook page or email majohnston@presbyterianireland.org

VIDEO RESOURCE:

Check out this children's video put together by Helen and David Hooks, and shared during Sunday Worship on 9th August 2020.  It helps us to learn more about Esther.  And here's a link to 'Never be shaken' that we sang together on Sunday.

 

Week commencing 2nd August 2020:  EVERYDAY HEROES OF THE FAITH - DAVID

BIBLE:
This week we are learning about David, and how he was used by God to defeat the giant Goliath. To learn more about this story, watch this video from the Jesus Storybook Bible.

You can read about David's battle with the giant Goliath in 1 Samuel chapter 17.

NOW HAVE A CHAT:

When we talk about needing help to fight the 'giants' in our lives, we aren't talking about 9 feet scary-looking people. We are talking about different situations that worry us and make us scared. It could be that you are worried about going back to school in the next few weeks...scared that someone won't be your best friend anymore because you haven't seen them since March.

Take a few minutes to write down some things that you are 'battling' with at the minute (or ask a grown up to jot them down for you if you need a little help). Now take some time to talk to God about all of the things on your list that you are worried about and that make you feel scared.

Keep your list somewhere safe and continue to pray daily to God, asking for His help and strength. Remember that God ALWAYS LISTENS, He is ALWAYS THERE, and He will ALWAYS GUIDE YOU. You just have to have faith, like David did.

ACTIVITY: PAINTING YOUR VERY OWN ROCK!

Collect a stone from your garden or beach and decorate it with paint / felt tips. Write a word / phrase / memory verse on it that is special to you. When you need help to overcome the 'giant' in your life, take a look at your stone as a visual reminder to keep having faith in God. He will give you all the help and strength you need. You are never alone!  Here's some examples of painted rocks:

SONG: ONE ROCK, ONE SHOT

Here's a great song that reminds us of all that God enabled David to do, with just one rock and one shot!

SHARE:

Let us know how you get on with this. Contact us through the St Andrew's Facebook page or email majohnston@presbyterianireland.org

VIDEO RESOURCE:

Check out this children's video put together by Lisa Gamble and her terrific team of helpers, and shared during Sunday Worship on 2nd August 2020.  It helps us to learn more about David.  And here's a link to 'One Rock, One Shot' that we sang together on Sunday.

 

Week commencing 26th July 2020:  EVERYDAY HEROES OF THE FAITH - SAMSON

BIBLE:

This week we are learning about Samson. You can find this story in the bible in a book called Judges - it's in the Old Testament. Have a read of Judges chapters 13 to 16 to learn more about Samson. Here is a link to a video to teach you a bit more.

NOW HAVE A CHAT:

Samson ended up breaking all of his promises to God. He didn’t take God’s rules for him very seriously, but God still used Samson to defeat the Philistines...but he could have done so much more if he had listened to God and obeyed him fully in the first place.

God made each of us for a reason too. He made each of us exactly how he wanted us to be, and remember God doesn’t make mistakes! You have the family you do because that’s who God wanted you to be with. You live where you do because that’s where God put you. Your life may not be perfect but God wants you to learn and grow with what you have, by listening to him and obeying him. God has a plan for each and every one of us.

ACTIVITY: MAKE YOUR OWN SAMSON

1. Print the pdf, or draw your own picture of Samson on a piece of plain paper. Colour in your picture and glue or sellotape it around a toilet roll or kitchen roll tube.

2. Add lengths of string, wool, material, paper, tinfoil to create Samson’s long hair. Get creative!

3. Write this week’s memory verse on your craft and have a go at memorising it!

MEMORY VERSE:

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians chapter 2 verse 10)

SHARE:

Let us know how you get on with this. Contact us through the St Andrew's Facebook page or email majohnston@presbyterianireland.org

VIDEO RESOURCE:

Check out this children's video put together by Joe Shillaker and shared during Sunday Worship on 26th July 2020.  It helps us to learn more about Samson.  And here's a link to 'My God is so big, so strong and so mighty' that we sang together on Sunday.

 

Week commencing 19th July 2020:  EVERYDAY HEROES OF THE FAITH - SAMUEL

SAMUEL - LISTENING TO GOD AND SEEKING OUT HIS FACE

Sometimes you may hear someone saying ‘You are not listening to me!’ or we may have to say something a few times to someone before they understand what we want them to do. Our story this week is about the character Samuel and his story is found in 1 Samuel.

BIBLE:

Read the story in 1 Samuel 3 v1-21 or watch the story here from Saddleback Kids. 

NOW HAVE A CHAT:

1. Who was Samuel and what had his mother promised to do when he was older (look back to the end of chapter 1?)

2. What happened in the story to Samuel and who did he think was speaking to him?

3. What did Eli tell Samuel to do?

How amazing is it that God chose to speak to Samuel! He had to speak three times before Eli realised that it was God speaking to Samuel and Samuel just needed to open his heart and ears to God. Do you think that God can speak to you too? We need to sit sometimes and ask God to speak to us. He may use a voice we can hear, or he may send us a sign in a rainbow or something else. We just have to realise that God wants to communicate with us as He loves us.

ACTIVITY: PRAYER TELEPHONE

If you have 2 paper cups put a hole in the bottom of each and put string through the bottom and tie. You can make the string as long as you want and you can pretend to talk through them! Grab two pieces of paper and write on them 1 Samuel 3v10: ‘Speak for your servant is listening’ and decorate these and stick them onto each cup. When you talk through it remember how much God loves to talk to us and we can talk to him too. If you have the chance over the week to sit- pray to God and ask Him to speak to you - He may show you a picture which you can draw or you might think of someone you love or sometimes God may just be silent and be there with you. Like Samuel we need to be open and say to God ‘Speak for your servant is listening’. See what happens!

SHARE:

Let us know how you get on with this. Contact us through the St Andrew's Facebook page or email majohnston@presbyterianireland.org

VIDEO RESOURCE:

Check out this children's video put together by Leah Emberson and Jess Beers and shared during Sunday Worship on 19th July 2020.  It helps us to learn about Samuel and how he listened to God, seeking out His voice.  And here's a link to One way, Jesus that we sang together on Sunday.

 

Week commencing 12th July 2020:  EVERYDAY HEROES OF THE FAITH - JOSHUA

BIBLE:

Watch the story of Joshua and the Battle of Jericho.

NOW HAVE A CHAT:

1. Who was Joshua?

2. Why do you think God chose him?

3. What does this story tell us about God's plan for us?

Joshua led God’s family into the land God had promised many years earlier. He also learned firsthand that God is always with us––and there’s nothing we have to fear. Joshua trusted God and kept following Him, even when it seemed like the obstacles in front of him were impossible to get through.

ACTIVITY:

Collect 5 lollipop sticks and arrange them in a shape of a house / pentagon (see example). Glue the edges together and add colour, gems and/or stickers if desired. Stick a plain page onto the back of the lollipop frame. Write the words for Joshua 24:15 and draw your family. Tie a ribbon / piece of string on the top and hang up on a wall or door.

MEMORY VERSE:

Have a go at learning Joshua 24:15 that reminds us to serve the Lord in our families, one day at a time.

"As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." (Joshua 24:15)

SONG:

Listen to this song: 'Joshua fought the battle of Jericho'

SHARE:

Let us know how you get on with this. Contact us through the St Andrew's Facebook page or email majohnston@presbyterianireland.org

 

Week commencing 5th July 2020:  EVERYDAY HEROES OF THE FAITH - NOAH!

* What is trust?

* Who do you trust?

BIBLE:

Read the story of Noah (Genesis chapter 5 through to Genesis chapter 7:17) or watch the story online:

Jesus Storybook Bible's 'A New Beginning'

Saddleback Kids - The Story of Noah

NOW HAVE A CHAT:

1. Why do you think Noah did what God asked of him?

2. Is God asking us to trust Him with anything specific? (e.g. school, family, worries)

Remember that God is in control, He cares for us and He loves us deeply!

ACTIVITY:

Gather materials / toys and have a go at building an ark. This could be with lego, playdough or junk art. The possibilities are endless!

Or watch this YouTube video and make an origami ark:

SONG:

Listen to this fun 'Arky Arky' song.

SHARE:

Let us know how you get on with this. Contact us through the St Andrew's Facebook page or email majohnston@presbyterianireland.org

VIDEO RESOURCE:

Check out this children's video put together by Christine Wilson and shared during Sunday Worship on 5th July 2020.  It helps us to learn about Noah and how he trusted God, even when he didn't fully understand what was happening.  And here's a link to The Rainbow Song that we sang together on Sunday.

 

Week commencing 28th June 2020:  YOU ARE AMAZING!

Do you know we all have a purpose. From before we were born God had a plan for us all - isn’t that cool! God wants to use all of us to do amazing things for Him. Some of us will help people by things we say and others will do acts that bless others. God has placed you in your family, in your school and in your neighbourhood for a reason. Nothing about you is an accident - God made you for a reason!

BIBLE:

* Read some of these verses from the bible to see how God will help us and direct us.
* Also listen to the story ‘The plans I have for you’ by Amy Parker.
* Ephesians 2:10
* Psalm 32:8
* Proverbs 19:21
* Jeremiah 29:11- "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." This is AMAZING to know!

NOW HAVE A CHAT:

Think about what things you are good at and what do you enjoy the most. If you find it hard, get others to tell you the good things about you as others sometimes see the things we don’t! God will use these to help you to help others to see how amazing He is. List as many jobs that you can think of and talk about how God could use you if you were in that job. We can all make a difference.

CRAFT 1:

Draw out puzzle pieces and put your name on one of them - other family members can write on the other ones - write on them or draw what you like. Put them all together and this shows that we all fit together in God’s plan and we work with each other.

CRAFT 2:

Draw out a crown as shown below and write ‘For I know the plans I have for ……’ (put your name in place of the dots)

  

SONG:

Watch this video called 'Made for This'

POEM:  You are who you are for a reason, by Russell Kelfer

You are who you are for a reason.

You’re part of an intricate plan.

You’re a precious and perfect unique design,

Called God’s special woman or man.

 

You look like you for a reason.

Our God made no mistake.

He knit you together within the womb,

You’re just what he wanted to make.

 

The parents you had were the ones He chose,

And no matter how you may feel.

They were custom designed with God’s plan in mind,

And they bear the Master’s seal.

 

No, that trauma you faced was not easy.

And God wept that it hurt you so;

But it was allowed to shape your heart

So that into His likeness you’d grow.

 

You are who you are for a reason,

You’ve been formed by the Master’s rod.

You are who you are, beloved,

Because there is a God!’

A HELPING HAND FOR PARENTS:

Here's a really helpful video that guides you through this week's Family Devotions. A big thanks to Susie and Ben for putting this together!

SHARE:

Let us know how you get on with this. Contact us through the St Andrew's Facebook page or email majohnston@presbyterianireland.org

VIDEO RESOURCE:

Check out this children's video put together by Susie Rowan and shared during Sunday Worship on 28th June 2020.  It helps us to think about how God made us, how special we are in His sight, and how we are made by Him for a purpose!  And here's a link to the song 'Made for this' - that we sang together on Sunday.

 

Week commencing 21st June 2020:  SELF-CONTROL

VIDEO RESOURCE:

Check out this children's video put together by Les Dick and shared during Sunday Worship on 21st June 2020.  It helps us to think about what it means to grow in self-control day by day.  And here's a link to the song 'Fruit of the Spirit' - a great reminder of all the fruit of the Spirit that we've been looking at together over the last 2 months.

SHARE:

Let us know how you get on with this. Contact us through the St Andrew's Facebook page or email majohnston@presbyterianireland.org

 

Week commencing 14th June 2020:  GENTLENESS

BIBLE:  Read Philippians 4:5.  'Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.'

TALKING POINTS:

1. What does gentleness mean? It means kind, soft-hearted etc.

2. What would happen to your favourite toy if you weren't gentle with it? It would break!

3. What do you think would happen if you didn't use gentle words to your mum / dad / brothers / sisters? They would be sad and upset.

As we look at Jesus, the Son of God, we see how He was gentle to those who reached out to Him for help. He taught them, He spent time with them, He loved them, and He was gentle towards them. He always put others first, and even died for each one of us. God says that we are not to be mean or hurtful to others, but like Jesus, to be gentle and show gentleness to everyone around us. We need help from Jesus to be gentle each day. As we trust and follow Him He promises to give us His Holy Spirit who will help us to become more gentle.

ACTIVITY 1:

Draw around 1 hand of everyone who lives in your house, decorate them and ask a grown up to cut them out.

Put a small hand on top of a larger hand (see example above) as a sign of gentleness. If you have an odd number, feel free to put hands in a group of 3.

Then put the hands up somewhere as a visual reminder to try really hard to 'be gentle' towards others in your house (which can be especially difficult during lockdown).

ACTIVITY 2:

Why not have a go at some Word Art as you read and reflect on Philippians 4:5 and what it means to be gentle. We've included a couple of Word Art examples below.

VIDEO:

Watch this video called 'Whispers of my Father - gentleness' - it reminds us of the gentleness of God, and encourages us to be gentle to one another.

SHARE:

Let us know how you get on with this. Contact us through the St Andrew's Facebook page or email majohnston@presbyterianireland.org

VIDEO RESOURCE:

Check out this children's video put together by Jack Wright and shared during Sunday Worship on 14th June 2020.  It helps us to think about what it means to grow in gentleness day by day.  And here's a link to the song 'Jesus, strong and kind' - a great reminder of Jesus' gentleness and love to each one of us.

 

Week commencing 7th June 2020:  FAITHFULNESS

BIBLE:
Read 2 Thessalonians 3:3:  'But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.'

Read Lamentations 3:22-23:  'Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.'

Throughout the Bible there are many stories of God being faithful to His people - check out a few of them as you look through the Jesus Storybook Bible (e.g. Abraham, Joseph, Moses and the Israelites, Joshua, Daniel in the lions' den, King David, the disciples of Jesus, the Apostle Paul...and the list goes on!).

Here's the story of how God showed his great faithfulness to Noah and his family. Read: Genesis 6-8. You can also listen and watch the story being read in the Jesus Storybook Bible - 'A new beginning'

Here's a little video from Saddleback Kids' ministry, that summarises the story for younger children:  Noah and the flood.  

TALKING POINTS:
1. It is said that animals, especially dogs, are known as being our faithful friends. What does it mean to be faithful to someone? It means to remain loyal and steadfast to someone, no matter what.

2. How was God faithful to Noah and his family?

3. God will never stop loving us or break His promises. How can we do the same for others?

ACTIVITY:
The rainbow is a sign of God's faithfulness to us and recently we have seen it in many windows of houses. Let's keep reminding people God is faithful!

Cut out a cloud shape and write 'God is faithful' on it.
Attach strips of paper underneath it like a rainbow.
Hang it up or even gift it to someone.

VIDEO:
Watch this video called 'All through history' - it reminds us of God's faithfulness in the past, and encourages us to know that He is faithful today and will also be faithful to us in the future as we love and follow Him!

SHARE:

Let us know how you get on with this. Contact us through the St Andrew's Facebook page or email majohnston@presbyterianireland.org

VIDEO RESOURCE:

Check out this children's video put together by Ruth and David Michael and shared during Sunday Worship on 7th June 2020.  It helps us to think about what it means to grow in faithfulness day by day.  And here's a link to the song 'King of me' - a great reminder of God's faithfulness to people like David and Daniel down through the generations, and also His faithfulness today and in the future as we love and follow Him!

 

Week commencing 31st May 2020:  GOODNESS

BIBLE: Read Philippians 2:13.  You can read it here.
'...for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.'

TALKING POINTS:
1. What are some of the things that God has given you that are good?
2. What could you do to show God you are grateful for His goodness?
3. What could you do to show God's goodness to others?

ACTIVITY:
Have a go at this Gratitude Scavenger hunt, and after you've finished it, take time to thank God for every good thing He has given us.

VIDEO:
Watch this video called 'God is good all the time'.

SHARE:

Let us know how you get on with this. Contact us through the St Andrew's Facebook page or email majohnston@presbyterianireland.org

VIDEO RESOURCE:

Check out this children's video put together by David Corbett and shared during Sunday Worship on 31st May 2020.  It helps us to think about what it means to grow in goodness day by day.  And here's a link to the song 'Counting on God' - a great reminder of God's goodness to us each and every day!

 

Week commencing 24th May 2020:  KINDNESS

BIBLE:  Read Ephesians 4:32.  You can read it here.
'Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.'

TALKING POINTS:
1. Why should we be kind?
2. Do you think you are kind?
3. What ways can we show kindness?

ACTIVITIES:
Can you make up an acrositc poem where each letter of kindness relates to the word? For example:
K - Kindness means a helping hand.
I - It is a wonderful thing to do.
N -
D -
N -
E -
S -
S -

Or have a go at making a Kindness paper chain -
Can you think of some kind things you can do this week? Write each one on a piece of paper and link them together as a chain. Hang this up to remind you to do those kind things. How wonderful it is to be kind and think of how blessed the other person will feel! God is kind to us with all the amazing blessings he gives us. Let's be kind to others so they know God's love.

VIDEO:
Watch this video called 'Colour your world with kindness.' See the impact being kind can have on others.

SHARE:

Let us know how you get on with this. Contact us through the St Andrew's Facebook page or email majohnston@presbyterianireland.org

VIDEO RESOURCE:

Check out this children's video put together by Stephen, Daniel and 'Rocky' Rowan and shared during Sunday Worship on 24th May 2020.  It helps us to think about what it means to grow in kindness day by day.  And here's a link to the song 'This little light of mine' - a great reminder that showing kindness to others is a really good way of shining for Jesus.

 

Week commencing 17th May 2020:  PATIENCE

BIBLE: Read Genesis 21:5-7.  You can read it here.

Sarah longed for a baby and had to learn to be patient. After waiting a long time, God gave her a son!

You can find out more about Sarah's story and God's faithfulness through it all, by watching this short animation.

TALKING POINTS:
1. Discuss what patience is.  One definition for patience is 'The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble or suffering without getting angry or upset.'
2. Have you ever had to wait for something you really wanted? How did it feel to have to wait for it? How did you feel when you finally got it?

ACTIVITY:
Show your child a packet of Haribo / Sweet treat. Tell them they can eat it now if they want, but if they wait until tomorrow there might be something better for them. If they decide to wait, then give them 2 treats the next day. If they decide not to wait simply tell them they could've had another treat (do not show them the 2nd treat as we don't want any tears!)

Discuss how it was better to be patient because you got 2 treats instead of 1!

Ask God to help us to be patient, in those moments when it is difficult to wait.

SONG:
Have a listen to 'Father Abraham' and feel free to sing along!

SHARE:

Let us know how you get on with this. Contact us through the St Andrew's Facebook page or email majohnston@presbyterianireland.org

VIDEO RESOURCE:

Check out this children's video put together by Christine Wilson and shared during Sunday Worship on 17th May 2020.  It helps us to think about what it means to receive patience from God, as we trust and follow Him.

 

Week commencing 10th May 2020:  PEACE

True peace can only be found by trusting in God. He's the only One who can bring peace to our hearts! He is in control even when we can't always see it.

BIBLE: Read Mark 4:35-41.  You can read it here.

This is a very familiar story of Jesus calming the storm.

TALKING POINTS:
1. What was worrying the disciples in this story?
2. What did the disciples decide to do in the story?
3. What did Jesus do that was so amazing?

Follow on: What things worry us sometimes and make us feel anxious? Adults can share their worries too. Who can help us and what do we need to do to get peace from God? We just need to ask Him and pray to Him and trust Him.

ACTIVITY:
If you have bubbles in your house use them and as you blow the bubbles think of your worries and blowing them over to God. If not, write down your worries on little bits of paper and as you crumple them up ask God to help you deal with them and give you His peace.

SONG:
Have a listen to 'Peace like a river' and feel free to sing along! 

Also, check out these amazing verses about God's peace:
* Philippians 4:6-7
* John 14:27

See if you can learn a few words from them.

SHARE:

Let us know how you get on with this. Contact us through the St Andrew's Facebook page or email majohnston@presbyterianireland.org

VIDEO RESOURCE:

Check out this children's video put together by Susie Rowan and shared during Sunday Worship on 10th May 2020.  It helps us to think about what it means to receive peace from God, as we trust and follow Him.

 

Week commencing 3rd May 2020:  JOY

BIBLE: Read Psalm 118:24.  You can read it here.

'This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.'

TALKING POINTS:

1. What brings you joy each day? Take time to think about the little things that bring you joy every day, and give thanks to God for these.

2. Where can we find true and lasting joy? The answer is by trusting and following Jesus.

3. How does Jesus bring us real joy each day? He loves us, He has died and risen for us, He is with us each day as we trust and follow Him, He cares for us, and He promises to lead and guide us step by step for all eternity.

ACTIVITY: MAKE A JOYFUL NOISE

How can we make a joyful noise to the Lord at home? Be creative!

You might already have some musical instruments at home. You can use wooden spoons and a pot as a drum, stamp your feet, clap your hands, put some dried rice in a balloon / sealed envelope as a shaker, bang your belly like a drum etc.

Play your favourite worship song and sing, dance and play your instruments to show God how much JOY He gives us!

SONG:

Have a listen to 'The Joy of the Lord is my strength', by Rend Collective.

SHARE:

Let us know how you get on with this. Feel free to send through any pictures or videos of your musical instruments and we'll share it here to encourage others. Feel free to send us these via Messenger on the St Andrew's Facebook page or email info@StAndrewsBangor.org.uk

 

Week commencing 26th April 2020:  LOVE

We learnt over Easter that God sent His Son, Jesus, to die for us because He loves us so much! This is an amazing love which He want us to share with others!

BIBLE: Read Matthew 22:36-39  You can read it here.

TALKING POINTS:

1. What is the most important thing Jesus has asked us to do?

2. What is the second one?

3. How can we show God we love Him?

* Think of ways this week whilst we are still in lockdown, to show others we love them and that God loves them too.

ACTIVITY:

Cut out a heart shape, write or draw on it people or things you love. Say a prayer to ask God to help you show love to everyone around you, and that others will follow Jesus as they see how much He loves them.

SONG:

Have a listen to 'Love the Lord.' If you know the song, sing along to God together, and feel free to do the actions!

SHARE:

Let us know how you get on with this. Feel free to send through any pictures or videos of your heart activity and we'll share it here to encourage others. Feel free to send us these via Messenger on the St Andrew's Facebook page or email info@StAndrewsBangor.org.uk

 

Week commencing 19th April 2020:  PRAYER

BIBLE: Read 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

'Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.'

FAMILY DEVOTIONS:
Prayer is so important as we trust and follow the Lord. It's a time to be united with God and get everyone involved from the youngest to the oldest! We can talk to God about anything, anywhere, at any time. This week, why don't you get together as a family around the kitchen table...think about what you are thankful for...and then think of what people and situations you as a family can pray for.

It's especially important in these days we're living, to keep praying. As we pray, there's always so much to be thankful for. Be creative and use something like the image shown below...even get your children to draw pictures themselves of what they want to pray for. Stick it up in a place where you can see it and use it when you can (e.g. fridge, mirror in the bathroom, living room wall). No prayer is too big or too small for God. He loves to hear us talk to Him.

SHARING: Let us know how you get on. If you'd like to share any prayer requests or things that you're thankful to God for, with the rest of the church family, feel free to send us these via Messenger on the St Andrew's Facebook page or email info@StAndrewsBangor.org.uk