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January 31st, 2010

Ideas for Personal or Family Worship (from Pastors Paul & Bob)

Sunday, January 31, 2010

(Tailor this to your family or situation.  Don’t feel like you need to do everything or sing all verses of a song, for example.  Decide how much time to plan for family worship and adjust these ideas accordingly.)

·         Family worship:  “The Snow’s Song” (especially for families with small children)

o   Did you listen while it was snowing…?  It was quiet, but if you listened carefully wasn’t there was a “shush” of tiny snowflakes hitting the ground?  You see, just like when we pull a thick cover over our head and then try and talk to someone on the outside, snow makes a cool blanket on the world and seems to make everything quieter than usual.

o   But the snow sings a song. Do you know how I know?  Because the Bible tells us that All Creation worships our Lord (take a minute and read Psalm 148, and especially concentrate on verse 8).

o   You see, just like when we gather in church on Sunday to sing songs to Jesus, each snowflake sings a song of praise to Jesus…not with a voice like ours but with a special whisper.

o   Snow flakes don’t make noise when they are falling, but instead they make tiny whispers when they touch each other, the earth, the trees and bushes and our homes.  Snow touches us and it makes a sound…softly and quiety… a little song of praise.

o   Just like snow, when Jesus touches us we sing too…we tell of how good He is and how He loves us and has saved us…it’s His touch that causes us to sing…just like the snowflakes sing when they touch something.

o   If snow just kept falling and never hit anything, it would simply be quiet…but when we are very still we hear it’s song as it touches the earth…praising the Creator who made it’s simple beauty.

o   So today on our snowy day of worship, we sing just like the snow because our Savior has touched us with His loving hands of grace and our song tells the world of how His touch has made our voices soar.

·         Sing a song of worship (or listen together) – choose one of these popular songs or some of your favorite worship music – you can find most songs with Google

o   “How Great Thou Art” – click here for words or here for YouTube

o   “How Great Is Our God” – click here for words or here for YouTube

·         Today’s Scripture is about what to do when you confront seemingly impossible situations even though you thought you were doing what God wanted you to do.   A family discussion or activity (or personal reflection if you are alone) might be appropriate here –

o   Give the kids an impossible task, like “try to lick your elbow.”  What does it mean when something is impossible?

o   Talk about a time you tried to accomplish something and almost made it – but fell just short or were delayed by a big, unexpected problem.

o   Discuss a problem you think about that seems very difficult to solve – but it’s still worth the effort.

·         Read Numbers 13:26-33

·         For your “sermon” time, either –

o   Discuss the passage as a family –

§  What do you remember about the story of the Israelites from the time of slavery in Egypt until this point?  (Flip thru Exodus 1-20 and Numbers 10-12 if you need some help.)

§  Why did God instruct Moses to send explorers? (vv. 1-3)

§  What report did Moses expect the explorers to bring? (vv. 17-20)

§  What report did they bring? (vv. 21-29)

§  What are you feeling if you are in the crowd? (vv. 30-33)

§  What lessons do we take from this passage?  (See the end of Pastor Bob’s sermon for some ideas if you need them.)

o   If you are by yourself or only with adults, you might read Pastor Bob’s sermon, “When Faith Feels More Like Stupidity.”

·         Close with a time of prayer

o   Share some prayer requests for your family or others you know

o   Mention some “seemingly impossible” situations you personally have been struggling with

o   You might include also some national or international problems that seem unsolvable (poverty, national debt, peace, Haiti)

o   Take turns letting each family member pray about one or more of the needs you have mentioned

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