Family Devotion: St. Patrick’s Day

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Verse to Remember:

Be kind and tender to one another. Forgive one another, just as God forgave you because of what Christ has done. – Ephesians 4:32 (NIrV)

Talk About This:

What are some things you think of when you think about St Patrick’s Day?  Shamrocks?  Leprechauns?  The color green?

Actually the holiday celebrates the life of a guy named Patrick who loved God a lot.  When Patrick was only a boy, some people did something really mean to him.

  Has anyone ever been mean to you?  Like really, really mean?

Maybe they made fun of you or called you an ugly name.  Or maybe they even hit you or broke one of your toys on purpose.

How do feel when people treat you like that?  Does it make you want to hang out with them?  Does it make you want to do nice things for them?  Probably not.  It probably hurts your feelings and makes you angry.  That’s totally normal.

What’s not so normal is what Patrick did.  See, Patrick lived in a place called England, and some guys from nearby Ireland took him prisoner and made him a slave.  For six whole years.

Then Patrick escaped and returned home, but somewhere along the way he became friends with Jesus.  So you know what he did?  He went back to Ireland to love all the people there and tell them they could become a friend of a Jesus too.

Can you believe that?  Patrick not only forgave the people who had been mean to him.  He tried to help them too.  Why would he do that?  Because Patrick knew that Jesus forgives us, and He wants us to forgives others in the same way.

That doesn’t mean we have to let people keep hurting us, but it does mean:

  • We pray for them.
  • We show them kindness
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  • We don’t try to hurt them back.

In Ephesians 4:32 it says, “Be kind and tender to one another. Forgive one another, just as God forgave you because of what Christ has done.”

Because Patrick chose to forgive, a whole country got to hear about God’s love.  When you forgive, God can do big things through you too.

  • Who has hurt you that you need to forgive?
  • 
Who can you show God’s love to today?

Prayer:

God, thank You for forgiving me for the wrong things I’ve done.  Please help me to forgive others who hurt me too.  Send me to share your love with someone this week.  Amen!



For Extra Fun:

Take a few minutes to make this St. Patrick’s Day craft and hang it somewhere as a reminder to love and forgive others today.

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Family Devotion: Groundhog Day

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Photo Credit: rongto via Compfight cc

Verse to Remember: 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Do not depend on your own understanding. – Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIrV)

Talk About This:

Where do you look when you want to check the weather? Do you watch the Weather Channel?  Check a weather app on the phone?  Or do you chase down a furry rodent to see what he has to say?

Groundhog Day is a funny holiday, isn’t it? All across the country people watch a cute little groundhog come out of his hole just to find out if he can see his shadow. The tradition says if he sees his shadow, we’ll have six more weeks of winter weather, but if he doesn’t see it, we can expect an early spring.

Sounds a little silly, doesn’t it? Do you think a groundhog can really predict the weather? Of course not.   It’s just a fun tradition and an excuse for people to celebrate.

If you really want to know what the weather is going to be like, you check with the experts. Weather forecasters have all kinds of scientific instruments and computers to help them know if it’s going to be hot or cold, wet or dry, windy or calm or something in between.

Can you imagine what would happen if we relied on the groundhog instead?  We’d show up for school on a warm, spring day wearing a toboggan and gloves or we’d end up in shorts and flip-flops when there was snow on the ground.

Of course no one really thinks a groundhog can predict the weather.  No one decides how they’re going to dress or when they’ll go outside based on what the groundhog says.

When it comes to weather decisions, we listen to the experts.  But what about other decisions?  Bigger decisions,  Who do you listen to when you have to choose between right or wrong?

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Thanksgiving Challenge Day 22

 

I’m thankful today for anticipation.  I’m spending the day running errands getting my family ready to hit the road for Thanksgiving.  Sometimes I like preparing for things as much as experiencing the thing itself.


God,
Thanks for joy in the journey, for the fun of preparing and looking forward to the future, but that here and now has its own reward.
Thanks,
Jason