Monthly Archives: April 2013

So who’s up for a Sunday Night Treat – Rich Melheim in Tigard, OR – FREE FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY

Join Pastor Kim and others from St. Luke for an all-family event on May 5 from 6:30-8:00pm at Calvin Presbyterian Church –  10445 SW Canterbury Lane Tigard, OR 97224.

Bring the kids, bring a pillow, and bring an open mind and heart as Rich entertains, teaches, and shares with you and your whole family the Faith 5 pattern.  Let Pastor Kim know if you are planning to go – there may be a fellowship gathering for dinner before!

http://faith5.org/training/training

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Two weeks left in this six week pattern

FamilyWell, we are about four weeks into a six week cycle of readings for the people and families of St. Luke who have committed to using the Faith 5 faith practice each evening, and there are a few questions that I have and I hope you can help me.

1. I do not have any idea of the number of people and families who are doing Faith 5.  SO, if you are doing FAITH 5 (or some modified version that is right for your family) please comment here and say yes, or drop me an email to let me know.

2. How’s it going?  What are some of your joys and surprises?  What are some of your struggles and challenges? (posting them in the comment section below will help the whole community learn and grow together)

3. Are there particular themes or topics you would like to explore in the next six week cycle of readings? (again, post them here so others can see your ideas and maybe stimulate more of their own)

4. Are there any stories or photos of your experience?  Thanks to the Ekstrum’s for sharing a recent photo of their time in Faith 5.  Who’s next?

5. Who is planning on joining me in going to hear Dr. Rich Melheim, the creator of Faith 5, in Tigard on May 11? (you can post here or email Pastor Kim)

Remember, you are never alone as you are growing in faith as a family.  Bringing your children to worship (no matter how noisy, fussy, or messy they may be) is part of our calling as parents and is a gift to the congregation – so come to worship.  Be surrounded by the larger family.  If there are specific needs or ideas you have, share them. I’m not a mind-reader and often (like the story of the changing tables, which if you don’t know you should ask me) things aren’t seen until someone says, “Hey….look!”

Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

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Family Photo – Faith 5 in Action

Family Photo - Faith 5 in Action

Thanks to the Ekstrum family for this pic!

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Boston Bombings – Faith 5

Deborah commented below, 

How are other people dealing with yesterday’s events in Boston? It really hit home for me – I knew people running yesterday. Plus, if I were to have run it, I would have finished close to that time. So during Faith 5 last night, I mentioned that as my low. My kids are young (6 and 3) and I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to expose them to something like that so young. I certainly didn’t want to create any fear in their lives, but I did a watered down version (some people got hurt because a bomb went off) and we prayed for those people who got hurt. But my son (the 6 year old) made a comment that God can’t help. I asked him later to elaborate and he told me that when we pray for things (ie God help dad’s finger feel better, dad’s finger still hurts). I tried explaining that God works in his own way and it may not be what we want it to be, but I’m not sure if he’s too young to understand that concept. Any advice?

 

Thanks Deborah for the question and for sharing your experience last week.  These are universal questions – why do bad things happen to good people?  if God is a loving God why do bad things happen? If we pray to God and ask for something in prayer why doesn’t God do it?

The issue of “theodicy” or an attempt to resolve the problem of evil in our world with the omniscient, all-loving, all-powerful God.  And there is no “one answer” that anyone can offer. These are questions that can’t be answered in a simple, cut-and-dry format.  But they are questions that are incredibly common and have some benefit in wrestling with.

When the questions are struggled with by children, it raises a whole other level of difficulty.  But our kids are often much more advanced in their thinking than we give them credit – so my first response is don’t “discount” the questions or statements that point to this struggle.  Like Deborah – ask your child to talk more about what they are struggling with. Ask them what they are feeling when they are asking these questions.  And then them know that these questions are okay to ask, and that it is okay to not have an answer.

The other piece I would note is that simply bringing up the difficult questions and struggles in conversation creates a space of strength and security.  Rich Melheim, the creator of Faith 5 calls this “the Voldemort Effect.”  He writes,

There is great power in being able to speak the name of your problems out loud. I call this the “Voldemort Effect,” after the evil beingin the Harry Potterseries by J. K. Rowling. No one dared speak hisname aloud except Harry.

“He who shall not be named” holds a mysterious and sinister
grip on everyone—a hidden power—until the Harry Potters of the
world decide, “We are not going to remain silent. We will not cower
as captives to fear. We are going to name that sucker out loud. We
are going to call him what he is and who he is so that we can deal
with the real problem, not the myth. We are going to draw him out
into the open, and then kill him together or together die trying!”
A strange and wonderful thing happens the moment you dare
speak the name of “he who shall not be named” aloud. A subtle but
significant power transfer begins. The moment the silence is broken, the power starts to drain away from its sinister source and move
in the direction of those who dare deal with it.

In that moment, if spoken aloud and shared within the confidence of a loving family or a trusted family of friends, the newly
transferred power begins to grow, strengthen and multiply. There,
in the hands and hearts of the people who love you and want the
best for you, a treasure trove of solutions, allies, creativity and untapped resources suddenly spring to the surface. The Rebel Alliance,
the Elves, the Hobbits, the students of Hogwarts and the Narnians
are emboldened as they suddenly see that they have a chance.
Okay, too many mixed “narraphors.” You get the point. As for
Lord Voldemort, let’s just say, “Leave him unnamed and he grows
each day; name him aloud and he shrinks away.”

 

The other note I would add is that there is a great power in talking about how God created us good and we turned from God.  The sin/evil that we do – to others, to ourselves, to the environment around us – is our own, and the ripple effects of those are felt by others.  God didn’t cause the bombings, or Dad’s sore finger, or the deaths in the explosion at the fertilizer plant in TX.  But God is there in the midst of the brokenness, in the midst of the violence, in the midst of the tears, in the midst of the pain.  God knows the pain we experience, as Jesus took on our human form and lived our lives.  He stubbed his toes, he was hurt by friends, he grieved the death of loved ones, and he was beaten and died a most brutal death on the cross.  This doesn’t take away the pain, the questions, the fear – but it does point to God’s promise to be with us in the darkest parts of our lives and to indeed rise out of the darkness in newness and life.

So let your kids and yourself know that it is okay to ask these questions or struggle with these elements of life and faith that don’t seem to connect.  Then create space to sit and wander in these questions together.  Pray about it together. Ask them what they feel.  Invite them to express their thoughts in drawings, in words, in song – or write a letter to God, or to the families who lost loved ones, or one of the folks recovering, or even a letter to the accused who sits in custody telling him that God loves him and that there are people who are praying that he comes to know his evil acts and repent of them.

You, as the parents, are the ones to determine how much and what to share with your kids – but invite them to talk.  Because if they’ve heard about this tragedy, they most likely have questions and simply having a safe space to share those will make the most difference.

Prayers surround you and all who engage these difficult parts of our lives and know that Pastor David and I are around to help.

~ Pastor Kim

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Rich Melheim, creator of Faith 5, to visit TIgard

Join Pastor Kim and others from St. Luke for an all-family event on May 5 from 6:30-8:00pm at Calvin Presbyterian Church –  10445 SW Canterbury Lane Tigard, OR 97224.

Bring the kids, bring a pillow, and bring an open mind and heart as Rich entertains, teaches, and shares with you and your whole family the Faith 5 pattern.  Let Pastor Kim know if you are planning to go – there may be a fellowship gathering for dinner before!

http://faith5.org/training/training

Image

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how-are-you32So…we are just beginning our 2nd week of this round of Faith 5…how’s it going?

What are some of the struggles/challenges that you have experienced?

What are some of the joys and aha’s that you have experienced?

What are some questions that are still bubbling around for you?

Comment on this post and tell the St. Luke community how it is going for you, ask your questions, share your observations.  This blog will be the best when all voices are being shared!

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You’ll never believe what my child said…and what I saw/thought

As a daily faith practice, FAITH 5 is a practice that grows with you.  The more you engage it, the more natural and open your family will be.  So we are wondering, what are some of the things your children are saying to you as you explore this practice?

Here’s something I’ve heard….a family had begun using FAITH 5 during Lent and just about a week before Lent was over a young child said to their parents, “So because Easter is so soon, does that mean we need to stop [doing the FAITH 5]?”

So what are your kids saying?

And what are you seeing?  What are you thinking?

Post a comment below and share your experiences with the community, for as we share with one another, we grow together!whisper

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What is FAITH 5?

What is FAITH 5?TheFaith5

The FAITH 5 is a nightly family faith practice that was developed by Rich Melheim and Faith Inkubators.  It consists of five simple steps that families are encouraged to do together each night before bed.  The five steps include:

  • SHARE – highs and lows of the day
  • READ – a verse/passage from the Bible
  • TALK – about how the verse/passage connects with the highs and lows of the day
  • PRAY – together about the highs and lows, your family, and all creation
  • BLESS – each and every one who has gathered for the FAITH 5 using words and touch

For a more detailed description of this faith practice click here and visit the FAITH 5 page at Faith Inkubators.

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There’s an APP for that!

Many of us are using mobile technology in all areas of our lives, and many have asked what are some of the better APPS available for our faith growth and for using with Faith 5. Below are some links to other authors and bloggers who have looked at various APPS for children and the Bible – as more are discovered we will post them here.  If you have an APP that you or your children just LOVE, please comment on this post to share with others.

Best Bible Apps for Kids

Just in CASE: A Review of Children’s Bible APPS TheresAnAppForThat

5 Totally Awesome Bible Apps for Kids

50 Best Apps for Children’s Bible

Please note that St. Luke Lutheran Church or  any staff/volunteer of St. Luke do not endorse these links, their authors or their content.  

These are provided for information only. 

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Bible Resources

Several parents of young children have asked for options for Children’s Bibles, as they journey together in the Faith 5 family practice.  Below are some options for Bibles that are more accesible for young children. If you click on the link you will be taken to that Bible’s page on Amazon.com. Note, these are not all the options and if you know of another, please add a comment to this post to share!

“Spark Story Bible” – Patti Thisted Arthur (this is published by Augsburg Fortress, the publishing house of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America)

“Kids Spark NRSV” – Augsburg Fortess (this is published by Augsburg Fortress, the publishing house of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America)

“A Child’s First Bible” – Kenneth N. Taylor

“Early Readers Bible” – V. Gilbert Beers

“The Beginners Bible for Toddlers” – Mission City Press, Inc.   Spark Bibles

“Adventure Bible, NIV” – Zondervan

“NIrV Read With Me Bible” – Dennis Jones

“The Big Picture Story Bible” – David R. Helm

“The Jesus Storybook Bible, Read-Aloud Edition: Every Story Whispers His Name” – Sally Lloyd-Jones

“The Beginners Bible” – Karyn Henley & Dennas Davis

“The Picture Bible” – Iva Hoth & Andre Le Blanc

 

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