New Year Goals
Have a contest to see which “pair” can bat a balloon back and forth the longest without it touching the floor. (Let the rest watch and count as the balloon hits each person’s hand.)
What was the hardest part of doing this? (Concentrating, getting tired, not knowing where the balloon was going, etc.)
Loving and serving God requires concentration and staying power.
Let each person tell one goal (related to their spiritual life) that they would like to do during the coming year. (read Bible every day, obey the first time asked, help someone each week, etc.) Write them down and bring them out on the first day of each month to see if you’re still staying with it.
Have a contest to see who can stand on one foot the longest (including mom and dad). You can do it one at a time or all together. Clap for the winner.
On May 25, 1997, Arulanantham Suresh Joachim of Sri Lanka balanced on one foot for 76 hours and 40 minutes. During this time, Suresh did not rest on any object and was not even allowed to rest one leg against the other!
Read Ephesians 6:18 aloud. (Let one of the kids look it up in the Bible for more practice.)
What does perseverance mean? (It means to keep on, to keep going and not quit)
What does this verse tell us to keep on doing? (Praying)
It may be hard to keep praying if you don’t see God answer your prayer (like you want), but you must never give up praying. God hears and will answer your prayers.
Items needed: 2 liter bottle of diet soda (Pepsi or Coke)
5 regular flavored Mentos
2 pieces of paper
WARNING: Do this outside or you will be cleaning up a big mess! Dads and sons will love this.
Take one sheet of the paper and roll it so it is about the diameter of a Mentos and then tape it. (Put about 5 Mentos in this–it will hold them so they can all be dropped into the bottle at once.)
Fold the other piece of paper in half (this will be put over the mouth of the bottle until you’re ready to drop them in.)
Go outside and set the soda bottle on the grass.
Take the lid off.
Put the folded paper directly above the opening of the bottle.
Slide the folded paper away and drop the Mentos into the soda bottle all at once.
Back up quickly!
(Go to www.stevespanglerscience.com to watch it.)
Asa was a good king of Judah. The Bible says that Asa and the people “entered into a covenant to seek the LORD God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul” (2 Chronicles 15:12). But many years later, Asa didn’t keep that promise. Instead of going to God for help, he went to another king. He did not “seek the Lord with all his heart.” He fizzled out! His desire to seek God was gone (like the carbon dioxide flew from the soda bottle).
What are some ways to keep from “fizzling out?” (Read your Bible, pray, go to church, think about God, listen to good music, etc.)
Item needed: weights (small and big ones)
Invite the kids to carefully try to lift the weights (one at a time). Explain that when you were their age, you could only lift a small weight, but now you can lift a much heavier weight. (Demonstrate by lifting heavier weights.)
Why do you think that has happened?
What seemed hard for me then doesn't seem hard for me now because I've grown stronger.
How did I get stronger? (Eating good food, exercising, lifting heavier things, etc.)
Just as our bodies get stronger by lifting slightly heavier weights, we can get stronger by going through hard times.
Read James 1:2-4: My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
Each small trial can make us stronger and more patient. If we look at trials as a way to make us stronger, we can be glad that someday we will be stronger Christians!
Just Keep Running
Do a family jog or run through your neighborhood. When they (or you) get tired, encourage them to "run to the next telephone pole." (Sometimes persevering can mean just putting forth the effort to reach the next small goal instead of focusing on the whole distance, which can seem overwhelming.)
Tell them about Terry Fox, who having lost his leg to cancer, embarked on a cross-Canada run (called the Marathon of Hope) to raise money for cancer research. He ran about 24 miles per day with an artificial right leg.
He ran for 143 days and covered 3339 miles from St. John’s, Newfoundland to Thunder Bay, Ontario. At that point, cancer was discovered in his lungs and Fox was forced to abandon his run. He died a few months later.
When Terry was asked how he kept going as exhaustion set in and he had thousands of miles still ahead of him, he replied, “I just keep running to the next telephone pole.”
Use this principle or statement (Run to the next telephone pole) in other situations as code for "Don't quit—just keep doing what you're doing; just a little more; don't give up."
Finish the Race!
Watch a 2:28 minute video of Derek Redmond's perseverance at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics
Or a 3:15 minute video using the song,You Raise Me Up
How did Derek show perseverance? (He kept going even though he was hurt)
How did his dad help him? (Walked alongside him to the finish line, supported him)
How does God use other people to help us keep going? (They pray for us, help us, stay with us, and give us encouraging words)