November 21, 2023
Strengthen Your Family – Eat Meals Together
How can you strengthen your family? That’s a question that many people ask us. One way to strengthen your family is to eat meals together regularly. Did you know that many families don’t eat together on any regular basis? Turn off the television, radio, social media, and other electronic devices that can distract you from communicating with each other and eat a meal together. Begin your meal with a prayer. Here is a simple prayer that even very young children can memorize and pray. "A.B.C. One, two, three. Thank you, God, for feeding me! Amen." During mealtime, make sure everyone at the table takes part in the conversation. Ask each member of the family to tell you the best thing that happened to them that day. After the meal, have a family devotion.
WHY ARE YOU THANKFUL?
Why not take the letters THANKSGIVING or CHRISTMAS as your family gathers during the holidays and brainstorm words that share why you are thankful? Write the words down the side of the page. Here are two examples: Our family is thankful for times to talk together, teachers who tell us about Jesus, tasty turkey, the thief on the cross that came to faith in Christ, that we trust Jesus for our salvation, and that the tomb is empty! That God knows each hair on our head, for ham, for hands that serve each other, for happy times together, the plentiful harvest, healing, that we can hear the word, heaven, helpers, hope, home, and the High Priest, Jesus.
A THANKSGIVING TABLECLOTH
Another activity for families with younger children is to put a plastic tablecloth on the table or floor and allow the children to draw a picture of why they are thankful for family and faith. Make sure you write their name and the year next to the picture. Allow them to explain their picture to the family. Reuse the tablecloth each year. It will become a treasured memory.
CINNAMON APPLESAUCE ORNAMENTS
Make cinnamon applesauce ornaments. They're fun to create and make great gifts. Use them also to embellish a ribbon on a package or a homemade baked item. Tie them onto a garland or wreath. Here's the recipe:
1 cup ground cinnamon
4 Tablespoons allspice or a mixture of ground cloves and nutmeg
1 cup applesauce
2 Tablespoons white glue
Mix together until you reach a stiff consistency. Add more applesauce if needed. Dust a cutting board with cinnamon and roll the dough to a half-inch thickness. Using cookie cutters or patterns, cut into a holiday shape. If creating hanging ornaments, poke a hole in each with a drinking straw before baking. Place onto a cinnamon-dusted cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees approximately 25 minutes (time may vary, depending on the size of the pieces). Note: These are non-edible.
FRUIT FLAVOR POPCORN
8 cups unsalted popcorn
½ Cup margarine
¼ Cup light corn syrup
One package 3 oz. flavored Jello (any color)
¼ tsp. baking soda
Precook popcorn and put aside.
Cook margarine in one quart glass bowl 30—45 seconds on high or until melted. Stir on high or until melted. Stir in jello and corn syrup. Microwave jello and corn syrup on high uncovered 2—3 minutes or until mixture comes to full boil, stirring once. Mix in baking soda until well blended. Mixture will foam up. Pour over popcorn and toss to coat popcorn evenly. Cook on high 4—5 minutes (microwave) until mixture is evenly coated, stir every minute. Turn onto wax paper, spread out to cool, break into small pieces.
FIVE PIECES OF CORN
Give everyone 5 pieces of corn. It can be candy corn, or popcorn. Ask everyone to use the corn to share things they are thankful to God for during the past year. It's so easy to enjoy our BIG THANKSGIVING MEAL, without thinking of all we are thankful to God for. From a radio listener.
DELIVER HOMEMADE PUMPKIN AND SPICE MUFFINS
We've delivered homemade pumpkin or spice muffins to neighbors with a "thank you for being a great neighbor."
Mom Jander would make the dough and the children would help cut out the dough. She would place the uncooked cookies on cookie trays and lay them on the table with lots of sprinkles and edible decorations. The family would gather round the table and decorate the cookies before they went into the oven. They still ask to do this today when they are together for the holidays.
ONGOING CHRISTMAS VIDEO
Make an ongoing family Christmas video. Include footage of the preparations as well as the actual day. Be sure to video tape the decorations and as many candid moments as you can. Play a different holiday song in the background each year.
HOLIDAY SLUMBER PARTY
Have a family slumber party one weekend with sleeping bags in front of the Christmas tree. The entire family will enjoy it.
NEW YEAR'S EVE GAME NIGHT
Spend New Year's Eve with your family playing games. Set up several game tables with a different game at each one. Set a timer to signal the end of each game. When the timer goes off, whoever is ahead wins! Then everyone switches to a new table. This is one way to keep everyone awake until midnight. Prizes might be small inexpensive gifts.
In His Service and Yours,
Radio Programs, Podcast Topics, and Guests
with host, Kay L. Meyer, founder & president of Family Shield Ministries
Getting Acquainted with Our Neighbors
Guest: Rev. Michael Eckelkamp
Challenges Prodigal Parents Face
Guest: Paula Isakson was a Prodigal Child for 25 years before returning to her faith in Christ and founding Faith Family Reunion. FFR recently merged with Family Shield Ministries.
Guest: Rev. and Mrs. David Vaughn and their twin grandchildren
Putting God Back in the Holidays at Thanksgiving and Christmas
Guest: Bill Thrasher
What is a Tradition? How can they strengthen families?
November 27-December 4
Host: Kay L. Meyer
I Can't Wait! 52 Stories of Kids Who Changed Their World
Guest: Dr. Tim Elmore, author
Behold I Am Coming Soon
Guest: Rev Bruce McKenny
Avoiding A Family Shipwreck
Guest: Dr. Gary Chapman
Host: Rev. Mark Femmel
December 26-January 1
with Host, Kay Meyer
5-Minute Bible Studies for Couples
Guest: Rev. Randy Hunter
"Give as freely as you have received." (Matthew 10:8)