Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ronda from~ The Family Table, brings us "Summer Squash and Corn Chowder"

Today has been a big cooking day with the kids. This morning, Collin, our 10 year old, asked to make banana chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast. I walked him step by step though it all and he even mastered the flip which was fun to watch. Our 13 year old, Grace, asked to pick dinner and chose Summer Squash and Corn Chowder.  It isn’t summer, but anytime one of the kids asks to make something with summer squash in it, I am going to bend over backwards to get it made! For dessert she and our youngest, Ashton (age 7), asked to make homemade almond joy bars. I’ll be letting her work with him alone which I hope will foster a deeper connection between the two.  I can’t wait to try their creation!
So, off to Whole Foods I went this afternoon in search of anything resembling fresh summer squash. In a tiny corner of the produce department, I managed to scrape up two of the tiniest little summer squash ever and had a little chuckle thinking of Jesus with the loaves and fish. I was sure hoping I could manage to stretch those two little squash to make this soup for the four us (the fifth was at a sleepover) but knew that I’d have to improvise on this one. 
My solution was to make up the bulk with green zucchini which turned out to be just perfect. The following recipe fed four of us, but I will definitely double the batch for the next go round as we licked the pot clean. 
Summer Squash and Corn Chowder
Adapted from Cooking Light Top Rated Recipes
6 slices applewood smoked bacon 
2 T reserved bacon drippings
3/4 cup sliced green onions
1 pound sliced yellow summer squash and/or zucchini 
1 pound frozen sweet white corn, thawed 
2 1/2 - 3 cups 2% lacto free milk
1/2 tsp salt (or more to taste)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
1/2 cup shredded colby jack cheese
Cook bacon on a foil lined pan at 375 degrees until crisp. While bacon cooks, take half of milk and put in a Vitamix blender or heavy duty cuisinart. Add all but 1 cup of corn and puree until smooth. Add salt and cayenne then blend. Pour 2 T of bacon drippings into a dutch oven. Add green onions and squash/zucchini and saute until crisp tender. Pour milk/corn mixture with rest of corn into pot and cook over low heat for about 7 minutes or until hot and thick. To serve soup, top with shredded cheese, chopped bacon bits and a sprinkle of green onions.
The bacon adds a nice dimension but it certainly can be left out to make a vegetarian version. Just add canola oil to the pot and sautee the vegetables; proceed as directed.
Soup before adding milk and corn
Grace enjoyed washing and chopping the vegetables while I worked on the blender portion. With both of us cooking and cleaning up, dinner was on the table in a flash. She was thrilled with the new version and as a mama I was pleased to get so many yummy veggies into the kids.
Note* I have made this soup with freshly shucked corn and it did not turn out nearly as smooth and delicious as when we used the frozen corn. There were just too many fiberous bits that didn’t blend to make that silky smooth texture that gives this soup such a rich feel.
Wishing you all a blessed week full of memorable family moments!
love, Ronda from ......The Family Table

Monday, March 26, 2012

Teach Intentionally..."Family Time…God’s leading and your imitation", with Stacy Davis ~ Bible Teacher and Sky Ranch Board Member

Family Time…God’s leading and your imitation

This is the final week of the month focusing on God’s preservation and ruling of all creation in your Family Time. There are actually two lessons left one on God’s leadership and one on God’s plan for good in your life. You can combine these short lessons in your discussion time or just pick one to work through. Beginning with God’s leadership…what is God’s leadership style? How does He lead you and me?  Have you ever stopped and thought about that before? Notice that God role-models His expectations by acting the way that He wants us to act. He clearly tells us what He expects in writing by using scripture to give us written information of His expectations. Later, He sent a human example for us to follow by sending the visible image of Himself...Jesus. Then, to follow up He sent the indwelling Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a reminder within us to keep us on track. So, God the Father role-models in His character & attributes; Jesus, God the Son, is sent as a human role-model; God also writes it down (scripture);  and gives us reminders (the Holy Spirit). God is a great Leader. Now you can tie in the second lesson which focuses on the fact that God truly wants you to understand His plans for you and your life. 
As a Mom, I have witnessed my kids either influence others or be influence by others; some of it good and some of it bad. Among teens, there always seems to be someone who leads and the others follow. I have always thought of leadership in a good way. But I also have witnessed very damaging leadership by an acquaintance of my daughter’s; notice I did not say a friend. This young woman was very influential among her peers, but used her influence for bullying. Mentors of this young woman tried to reason with her to use her leadership skills more wisely, but she chose not too and it led her down a very destructive path for herself and others. This is very common in the middle school years and often kids do not understand how hurtful they are being to themselves or others.  
This week in your family time, I would encourage you to prepare by praying for your family to look honestly at their own lives. Pray that God would help each person recognize who they influence and their own leadership style. Pray that God would also help each person see His love and His desire for their best interests. God really does desire our good and causes your life to work that way. Explain to your family, that sometimes God’s ideas differ from your own ideas for your life and trusting God plays a huge role in having peace when things don’t go as planned. Encourage your family to share openly about trusting God. It is easy to trust God with some things but not quite everything. Then relate that back to how that can affect your leadership style. Enjoy the discussion and listening to your kids hearts!
Do you need help or prayer for your family time? Email me at SkyMoms@skyranch.org.
I will be praying for you! 
Stacy A. Davis
Teach Intentionally
This week we are in the 7th   Month Topic and 4th  & 5th   Family Time (or page  64 & 65 of the Sky Ranch Devotional “Open Your Eyes”…
Family Time 4: 
Month 7 Topic: God works to preserve and rule all of creation…His power/leading…imitation
Talk with God: Read…2 Chronicles 20:6, Daniel 5:21
~ 2 Chronicles 20:6  And he said, "O Lord, the God of our fathers, are You not God in the heavens? And are You not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in Your hand so that no one can stand against You.”
  • In 2 Chr 20:6, who is ruler over all the kingdoms of nations?
~ Daniel 5:21  He recognized that the Most High God is Ruler over the realm of mankind, and [that] He sets over it whomever He wishes.
  • In Dan 5:21, who puts rulers in place?
  • In Dan 5:21, whom does God choose?
Walk with God: Discuss…Even though God is an all-powerful Ruler, He still gives us the choice to follow Him in our lives.  Are you a leader?  Has God set you “over” something?  What kind of ruler/leader are you?
Prayer suggestion… Pray for our country and the leaders God has put in place.  Pray that you are a godly leader in your area of influence.
Family Time 4: 
Leader Answers:
  • God
  • God
  • Whomever He wishes
  • Discussion ideas: Jesus was a servant leader. He led by example. We can do the same. Study His leadership style. Discuss how you handle a leader that you don’t agree with. How do you handle a leader that God has appointed and then leads contrary to God’s Word? Pray. There is a lot of power in prayer. Read in Scripture how Jesus handled it.
Family Time 5: 
Month 7 Topic: God works to preserve and rule all of creation…Our overall good
Talk with God: Read…Romans 8:28
~ Romans 8:28  And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to [His] purpose.
  • In Rom 8:28, what does God cause all things to work together for?
  • In Rom 8:28, who is the group that He causes good for? 
  • In Rom 8:28, what is this group called for?
Walk with God: Discuss… Is there a time that you did not think something worked out the way you wanted, but you later realized it was really for your good? Share that time with each other…and the good result.
Prayer suggestion… Pray that you would see God working things “for your good” and not just wanting “good things.”
Family Time 5: 
Leader Answers:
  • Good
  • Those who love God
  • His purposes
  • Discussion ideas: We have to trust that God has the big picture of “our good” in mind and that His Kingdom purpose is always more important than what we want all the time. Examples could be a friendship ended, a job lost, a sickness…but a blessing resulted such as the friend was making bad choices in life, the new job found was better for you, the sickness ended and taught you to value your health.
© 2011 Tori Miller and Stacy A. Davis, Inc. All rights reserved.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Ronda from~ The Family Table, brings us "Taco Casserole"

Mexican food is an absolute favorite in our house. I love to set up a hearty taco bar with lots of fixings. But talk about wasted leftovers! I may have one or two shells, lots of cheese, a few onions, chopped lettuce, a tomato or two, some beans, then a variable amount of meat. Maybe one person can have a snack of it but then the rest of those goodies will sit in the fridge untouched. This turns a pretty economical meal into a money waster which is no bueno in my book.
Last week, I came across a recipe for Taco Casserole that looked pretty darn amazing. The recipe was basic with room to customize as desired. Boy did this recipe knock our socks off. Not sure how such a simple casserole could be so tasty, but all of the kids asked for seconds which immediately put it to five stars in my eyes. Leftovers the next day were equally as delicious if not better!
Taco Casserole
adapted from Balancing Beauty and Bedlam

1 lb leanest ground grass fed beef, chicken or turkey
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 envelope taco seasoning (without msg and preservatives)
8 oz tomato sauce
1 cup sour cream
1 cup cottage cheese
1 bag low salt tortilla chips
2 cups shredded colby jack or monterey jack cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown beef. Add onion, garlic powder, taco seasoning, tomato sauce. Mix well and set aside. In separate bowl, combine sour cream and cottage cheese and set aside. Spray a 2 quart casserole dish. Put a layer of crushed tortilla chips to cover the bottom of the casserole dish by 1/2 inch. Add 1/2 of the meat mixture over the chips. Spread 1/2 of sour cream mixture over the meat. Add 1 cup shredded cheese over the sour cream mixture. Repeat layers; add crushed chips, meat, sour cream mixture, and shredded cheese. Bake covered 30-35 minutes until hot and bubbly.

This basic recipe is delicious just as stated, but now let’s talk variations. You could add freshly cooked pinto beans, drained, about 1 cup, after the meat mixture and before the sour cream mixture. I’d only put one layer of the beans and leave it out of the second layer. You could also add a cup of cooked mexican rice to the second layer. If you are adding the two extra cups of filling, you would need a larger casserole dish. 
Are you a vegetarian? Why not eliminate the meat and add drained beans in place of the meat? Add the tomato sauce and spices as stated. What about green peppers, jalapenos, olives? This recipe could and should be customized to what you like to eat so feel free to get creative!
To serve, take a scoop of casserole and top with chopped lettuce and salsa. Serve with sliced avocados and freshly made pinto beans. (Note* The taco chips are not meant to stay crispy, some may with the initial baking, but leftovers will be soft like a corn tortilla.)
Need a freezer meal? Layer casserole without chips. Freeze. Bake when needed and serve over tortilla chips. 
Surfing food blogs and Pinterest is a great way to find new recipes; especially if you are in a cooking slump. :) I don’t know about you, but all those glossy pictures and great reviews make we want to get in the kitchen and cook! 
And remember, whenever time and patience permit, have your kids in the kitchen with you! I promise you will not regret such special moments together!
Love and blessings from Ronda at ....The Family Table

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Prayer Encouragement: "Moms that work with God and not Against God" by SkyMom, Terrie Chevaillier

Moms that work with God and not Against God

He said, "Why were you looking for me? Didn't you know that I had to be here, dealing with the things of my Father?"But they had no idea what he was talking about.So he went back to Nazareth  with them and lived obediently with them.His mother held these things dearly, deep within herself. And Jesus matured, growing up in both body, and spirit blessed by both God and people.
Luke 2: 49-52 
(The Message)

I love verse 51  where after Mary and Joseph found Jesus and the anxiety subsided over  his whereabouts....it says that she held these things dearly, deep within herself.

Dearly and deep within herself.  God had a plan for this child...His child...Jesus.  He also has a plan for our child as well.  His good and perfect plan.  

See, Mary was catching daily glimpses of just how magnificent this child was. And as she caught those glimpses,  it doesn't say that she got fretful or worried or anxious or struggled with "it's up to me thinking".  Instead, she partnered with God by holding these things dearly and deeply within herself. 
And I cannot help to believe that because of her obedience to hold them where the Word says she held them that this made an impact or a direct result on what happened next!  Verse 52 says and Jesus matured.  He grew up in body, and spirit....blessed by God and people.

Let's Pray God's Word:
Thank you Lord that you have given me one of Your precious children to love and care for.
I come before You today asking for a heart and eyes to catch heavenly glimpses of what you are doing....the bigger picture.
How is it unfolding before me? Where am I anxious?
I want to be a mom that holds things dearly and deeply within myself and work with You and not against You.
The masterpiece is magnificent and  I desire to be obedient to each stroke on the canvas of their life.  I don't want to be a mom that wipes the beautiful colors designed by You  off with harsh words or unbelief or doubt or insists on coloring my plans into the picture over Your choice colors.
Today I desire to ponder dearly and deeply all the things You are doing. And then look expectantly and hopefully as they mature and are blessed by God and people.
Please show me.
~Terrie Chevaillier

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Teach Intentionally..."Family Time…Allowing God to be sovereign", with Stacy Davis ~ Bible Teacher and Sky Ranch Board Member

Family Time…Allowing God to be sovereign

Have you ever wondered…who is in charge of my life? Did you think…well…I am!  Are there times when it is obvious that you are not in charge? It is in those moments that you see God is in charge and really you are not; God’s sovereignty is the focus in the Family Time this week. There is a lot of comfort in knowing that God is sovereign and fully in charge. Think of the alternative. What if everything was just left up to chance? And if life was driven by chance, then no one who loves you would be causing life to work toward a plan with you in mind. With God in charge, you know there is a plan that He is connecting to you and your life. There is a plan designed by One who loves you and desires the best for you. His goal for you is to be more like He is and so He has designed a life to help you reach that goal. This isn’t a promise that life will be nice and fun only. It can have those moments, but, there will also be challenges that cause you to grow and you have to be willing to trust Him with the plan. 
Throughout my life, I have struggled with attempting to be in charge instead of trusting God to be in charge. It is hard to let it go sometimes! Plus, I am a typical female and can be a little bossy. There are times that I just think that I know better than anyone else (including God) on a particular topic. What happens every time in those stubborn moments? God lets me give it a try and allows me to make my decision. Then, I realize the mistake that I have made, as I mess it up, and I end up apologizing to God. God moves in and cleans up the situation for me and hopefully I learn from it. God speaks to me through His Holy Spirit and, often, I had an idea that my choice was wrong and not the direction that God wanted me to go. But in my stubbornness, I did not listen to God. Instead, I wanted to be sovereign over that area of my life. Does any of this sound familiar? Do you struggle with letting God be in charge?
This week in your family time, I would encourage you to prepare by praying for your family and asking God how sensitive is each person to listening to His direction. Pray that God would reveal to your family members if they keep trying to stay in charge in areas of their own life and not turning over the control Him. Often, husbands really struggle with letting go of control, partly because God designed them to lead the family. We need them to lead the family, but pray that it is the direction that God wants the family to go. Pray for your husband to trust God. Pray for God’s guidance on this topic and be prepared to gently direct your family in the discussion. It can be sensitive. Let God show each of the family members if they are too controlling in a particular area of their life. I am not advising for you to point out problems to them. Let scripture speak and note in the Family Time that God alone is King over all kings. Other scripture tells you that God appoints rulers and removes them. God alters the leadership in our world, country and in your lives.  He is in charge in your life in the big and little areas. You do have a choice as to whether or not to listen to Him. God also tells you not to worry about the food, drink or clothing and explains that He cares for the flowers and will care for you as well. Instead, seek God’s kingdom first and all of your personal needs will be taken care of by Him. (Matthew 6:28-33)
Do you need help or prayer for your family time? Email me at SkyMoms@skyranch.org.
I will be praying for you! 
Stacy A. Davis
Teach Intentionally
This week we are in the 7th   Month Topic and 3rd  Family Time (or page  63) of the Sky Ranch Devotional “Open Your Eyes”…
Family Time 3:
Month 7 Topic: God works to preserve and rule all of creation…Allowing Him to be sovereign
Talk with God: Read…1 Timothy 6:15
~ 1 Timothy 6:15  He Who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords;  (16) Who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light; Whom no man has seen or can see.
  • In 1 Tim 6:15, God is the King of kings and Lord of lords.  He is blessed and what?
  • In 1 Tim 6:15, what does God alone possess?
  • (Isn’t this cool?)  In 1 Tim 6:15, where does God dwell?
Walk with God: Discuss… Is there anything that you try to be “sovereign” over? Usually it is our own lives. We like to control what we do and sometimes control others around us. But can two be the boss? Does it ever work out well?  What does it mean to let God be sovereign over you?  How do we recognize God’s sovereignty in everyday life?
Prayer suggestion… Pray  for God to help your family allow the Sovereign God to rule in your lives.
Family Time 3: 
Leader Answers:
  • Sovereign
  • Immortality
  • In unapproachable light
  • Discussion ideas: When God is sovereign over your life it means that He has the authority over your life or lifestyle. God does not contradict Himself, meaning He won’t contradict His Word. Scripture is your guide as well as God’s Holy Spirit, too. It is living life according to the way the Bible tells us to live. That is why Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey my commands” (John 14:15). Examples are your love of God/Jesus, your treatment of others, your service to others, your love for others. Do you seek God first (Matthew 6:33)?
© 2011 Tori Miller and Stacy A. Davis, Inc. All rights reserved.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Lisa Life Lesson ~"Just Say "No!"

Just Say "No!"

It seems the more I said "no" to my kids when they were younger, the more I was able to say "yes" as they grew up and out.  It became increasingly harder to say "no" as they entered the middle school years.  I guess because there were so many opportunities to say "no" it seemed I was saying it all the time.  "Can I go to this movie?"  "No"  "Can I go to this party?"  "No"  "Can I wear this?"  "No" "Can I ?" "Can I?" "Can I?" "No!"  Middle school years encompass many "gray area" issues when your instincts and biblical wisdom must kick in.  Recently a mom shared with me that she allowed her middle school aged son to attend a party of friends whom she knew very well and knew the parents.  She had no concerns whatsoever (outside the normal concerns of boys being boys).  When her son returned from the party she knew something had happened and gave him time to share.  He revealed to her that they had all played the "choking game."  Google it.  Not good.  So even when we finally say "Yes!" we might have wished we had said, "No!" BUT we have to say "Yes!" at some point.  

We have to remember that our kids not only need boundaries but they want boundaries.  They will never verbalize this to you so don't wait on it.  When we say "no" and explain why, we are reminding ourselves and our children that we are the parents and we are taking our job seriously.  As our children live within the boundaries we are placing around them, and earn our trust, we are able to release and broaden the boundaries.  In other words, we are able to "yes" more often.  

It's not easy being the "no" parent.  I can think of many times we said "no" and I worried that I was being too harsh or denying my children opportunities for fun.  But those "no's" quickly turned into "yes's" as they grew and matured.  We will always have boundaries in our lives.  Learning to live within boundaries with a willing spirit and heart is God's desire for His children.   

~Lisa Clark
Sky Ranch SkyMoms Parenting Mentor

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Prayer Encouragement: "Why SkyMoms Pray God's Word Part Three" by SkyMom, Terrie Chevaillier

Why Sky Moms Pray God's Word Part Three

It turned out that whenever Moses raised his hands, Israel was winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, Amalek was winning. Exodus 17:11. ( The Message)

I love this account in Exodus where Moses is lifting up his hands to the Lord in praise to Him believing that Joshua would have victory over the power of their enemy, Amalek.  God had promised it and the victory had already been declared.  Moses'  believing faith took part in the victory.  By faith, He believed what the Lord said and declared it with his hands to a holy all powerful God who was ultimately in charge. When he grew tired, verse 12 says that Aaron and Hur came alongside him and supported his hands...thus getting to see Joshua as the victor in the battle over Amalek.

Let's Pray God's Word.

Dear Father, thank you that I can come to you with lifted hands for my children.  I can pray Your Word as it has the power to defeat their enemies that rise up around them.

When my children experience defeat, expose my prayerlessness and show me where my hands have grown weary and are down instead of up. Send others to help me fight for them in the battle....praying friends, faith filled, not doubt filled friends who speak negativity.

Give me new hope to rise up every morning with  expectant, faith filled hands, raised in prayer to believe that I will get to see them winning and not overcome in the battles the day will bring.

Thank you for allowing me to partake in the battle as I desire to be a praying mom whose faith is strengthened daily as I get a front row seat to see them in battle.....winning and not losing. AMEN!!

~Terrie Chevaillier

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Ronda from~ The Family Table, brings us "Potluck Pesto Pasta with Chicken and Sundried Tomatoes"

Today is my final day of med-surg clinical rotation for the year! Can I get an AMEN please!!! The final night is a mix of emotion as we close another small chapter in the journey to Registered Nurse. To show our appreciation to the hospital staff, my group is bringing a potluck dinner. I’m bringing my Potluck Pesto Pasta with Chicken and Sundried Tomatoes. It is what I bring to almost every potluck because it is so incredibly easy and versatile. Then I had this giant epiphany….Why on earth was I not cooking this dish more often for my family? I need easy and versatile more than ever so on the menu it went and the kids and hubs were happy.

Potluck Pesto Pasta with Chicken and Sundried Tomatoes
1 1lb box of pasta of choice
1 -2 small tubs of prepared or homemade pesto
1 small jar of sundried tomatoes packed in oil
1 Rotisserie chicken deboned
Optional: toasted pine nuts and parmesan for garnish
Boil pasta per directions. Chop desired amount of sundried tomatoes (I use half a jar). Debone chicken and chop into small pieces (I use about ½ of a chicken).  Drain pasta and put back in pot. Add pesto (I use 2 small tubs), chopped tomatoes and mix well. Add chicken and gently toss. Pour into a big serving bowl and sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and parmesan cheese.
Serve with a big Italian Salad and toasty garlic bread. 
This makes great leftovers as a cold salad! Can be made with gluten free pasta and tastes just as delicious. Omit chicken for vegetarian option. Also note this is a good pantry meal to keep on hand especially if you have frozen homemade pesto on hand!
Happy Cooking and many blessings to all of you SkyMoms!
Ronda from…The Family Table

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Teach Intentionally..."Family Time…Show God your thanks and praise!", with Stacy Davis ~ Bible Teacher and Sky Ranch Board Member

Family Time…Show God your thanks and praise!

The focus in the Sky Ranch Family Devotional’s March Family Times is still on God’s preservation and rule of all creation. God the Father is so amazing and has created such a beautiful world for you and me. He shares His creation with us generously. And what does He ask for in return? He wants recognition. He wants you and I to say thank you! He wants to be recognized and praised for all He has done for you! It really is pretty simple and no different than how you feel when you have shown kindness to another. What is your response to God for His blessings in your life? Scripture tells you to worship God. Worship can look very different to each person and there is no limit, but true worship is Holy Spirit inspired. Worship can be spending time with God reading His Word, singing and praying. Worship can be serving God as He asks, sharing about Him or admiring all that He is. Worship recognizes God and keeps your focus on Him.
I am on a personal quest to stay more positive. Sometimes, I go in cycles with being positive and negative. There are times in my life when I have found it hard to praise and thank God for all He has done. Other times, it is easier.  Unfortunately, my circumstances can alter my attitude, sound familiar? When I am struggling with feeling thankful or praising God, I have found it helps me to start reading a “Psalm a day” during my personal devotional time. Not all the Psalms are praising God, but many of the Psalms are and it really helps set a positive pace to read them. Another helpful exercise that I do in my prayer time is give two examples of people, life situations or events to praise God for in my life. I can usually come up with at least two. God’s Holy Spirit uses those simple practices to help me start with a right attitude for the day.
This week in your family time, I would encourage you to prepare by praying for your family and asking God if anyone struggles with thanking or praising Him. Does anyone struggle with recognizing the gifts that God has given to them personally? Encourage your family to write down 5 things that God has given to them and discuss them. Then, ask …did anyone list thanking God for forgiving them for their sins? What about thanking God for sending Jesus to save you so that you can have an abundant life and live eternally with God? Thanking God for salvation is so important but often overlooked. God did this especially for YOU! He loves you so much! Give other examples of ways to thank God. A fun family outing this week could be to find a particularly beautiful park or nature preserve to visit with your family. Ask your family to share how God made all that they see and teach your kids “God appreciation!” God appreciation is noticing areas of God’s kindness and spontaneously thanking Him for it. Overtime, you will see thankful hearts developing in you and your family!
Do you need help or prayer for your family time? Email me at SkyMoms@skyranch.org.
I will be praying for you! 
Stacy A. Davis
Teach Intentionally
This week we are in the 7th  Month Topic and 2nd  Family Time (or page 62) of the Sky Ranch Devotional “Open Your Eyes”…
Family Time 2:
Month 7 Topic: God works to preserve and rule all of creation…Worship
Talk with God: Read…Nehemiah 9:6, Hebrews 1:3
~ Nehemiah 9:6  You alone are the Lord; You have made the heavens, the Heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all that is on it, the seas, and all that is in them, and You give life to them all; and the host of Heaven bow down before You.
  • In Neh 9:6, God alone made all things.  What is He doing for them?
~ Hebrews 1:3  (About Jesus)…And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the Word of His power.
  • In Heb 1:3, what is God upholding by His power?
Walk with God: Discuss… The powerful God that created the world is the same God that lives in us.  He can create the world and forgives our sins. No sin is too big to forgive for the Creator of the universe. Have you asked God to forgive you?  Do you worship God for forgiving you? All the host of Heaven bow before Him (worship Him).  What does worship look like to you? What do you think the host of heaven worship looks like?
Prayer suggestion… God made Heaven and earth but He also made YOU.  The Bible says if you do not praise Him, the rocks will cry out.  Pray that you will praise Him for all He has done.
Family Time 2: 
Leader Answers:
  • He gives life to them all
  • All things
  • Discussion ideas:  God, the Creator, designed the world and a way of life that we are to follow. When we do not follow His way of life, and create our own way, we offend Him and this offense separates us from Him. We stay separated until we ask for forgiveness and change to follow His way. The way of life is laid out for us in the Bible, His Scripture. We worship because we are thankful for His forgiveness. Worship can look like singing praises out loud or in your heart, praying, serving, anything that praises Him.
© 2011 Stacy A. Davis, Inc. All rights reserved.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Teach Intentionally..."Family Time…God preserves you", with Stacy Davis ~ Bible Teacher and Sky Ranch Board Member

Family Time…God preserves you

The Family Time focus for this month is on God’s preserving and ruling all of creation. The next several weeks will be spent on looking at God’s sovereignty over all of creation. Sovereignty may be a new word for your family. Take the time to explain that sovereignty means being over everything, in charge, the leader, or the King of everything, even King of the universe. God was not created, but has always existed; this is always a challenging concept for most people. Let your kids grapple with the idea that God did not begin and will not end. However, God did create everything on earth and in the universe and keeps it in existence or preserves it. Without God holding it all together, it would all fall apart. God preserves all; including you. God’s hand is in everything that you and I see, think, feel or hear in our created world. Without God, nothing would exist. These are big concepts. Let your kids grasp these ideas by talking through how they visualize it.
One of the best ways that I have found to relay this concept to my kids was by looking at the stars in the night sky and sparking conversations on other solar systems like ours circling those stars in the sky. As my kids aged, I could get more detailed, but I kept it simple while they were young. In order for my kids to understand how big God is, it helped to look at how big our universe is and then explain that God made all of that and preserves it and keeps it all in motion. It helped my kids grasp how in charge God really is by talking through all that He had made.
This week in your family time, I would encourage you to prepare by praying for your family and asking God to show you if anyone has trouble accepting God’s sovereignty. Pray for direction of the best way to direct the conversation to help each person understand (as best you can) how “big” God really is. Then bring the conversation full swing the other way to discuss how incredible it is that such an important God wants to have a personal relationship with you! Through this special relationship with God’s Son, Jesus, God will preserve you and keeps you. Talk about how God’s plan for salvation is a plan for giving you eternal life and preserving you. Let your kids share if they struggle with understanding this…it is common to struggle. They may ask “how can such a “big” God who created the universe have anything to do with me since I am so small?” Let them question it and think about it. Then, gently remind them of last month’s topic that God loves them. And bring them to the Family Time for this week below which focuses on God’s provision for preserving you. You can share that God cares so much for each of us that He sent Jesus to tell us all about it. Maybe if you have time after the Family Time, go outside and try to see the stars in the sky or go online for pictures of solar systems or plan a special outing over the weekend to go star gazing!
Do you need help or prayer for your family time? Email me at SkyMoms@skyranch.org.
I will be praying for you! 
Stacy A. Davis
Teach Intentionally
This week we are in the 7th   Month Topic and 1st  Family Time (or page 61) of the Sky Ranch Devotional “Open Your Eyes”…
Family Time 1:
Month 7 Topic: God works to preserve and rule all of creation…Preserve God’s covenants/commands
Talk with God: Read…Nehemiah 1:5, Psalm 97:10, Proverbs 2:8
~ Nehemiah 1:5  O Lord God of Heaven, the great and awesome God, Who preserves the covenant and loving-kindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments.
  • In Neh. 1:5, who is God preserving the covenant and loving-kindness for?
~ Psalm 97:10  Hate evil, you who love the Lord, Who preserves the souls of His godly ones; He delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
  • In Ps. 97:10, whose souls are preserved?
~ Proverbs 2:8  Guarding the paths of justice, and He preserves the way of His godly ones.
  • In Prov. 2:8, what does He preserve of the godly ones?
Walk with God: Discuss… In this passage, preserving is to guard, keep watch or ward, to protect. God preserves those who love Him and keep His commandments, their souls, and their way. Do you want this protection from God? Are you considered one of His godly ones? How do you know?
Prayer suggestion… Pray that the Lord would help you love Him and keep His commandments (teachings).
Family Time 1: 
Month 7 Topic: God works to preserve and rule all of creation
Leader Answers:
  • Those who love Him
  • His godly ones
  • Their way
  • Discussion ideas: This is a question that goes through everyone’s mind. How do I know? Do you love God, His Son Jesus, His commandments (or teachings)? Do you follow Him in your lifestyle? Is it evident to you and others, too? You know your heart…if there is a doubt, pray, take it to God directly. He will show you in His timing.  Earnestly seek Him and you will find Him (Deuteronomy 4:29).
© 2011 Tori Miller and Stacy A. Davis, Inc. All rights reserved.