Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Teaching Commandment #4: Remember the Sabbath Day to Keep It Holy

This cartoon cracked me up.  Apparently in Red's friend's car on the way to school the other day, her friend's mom overheard Red say, "You need to go to church on Sunday.  That's part of the ten comments."  I guess comments are better than suggestions.  Maybe I need to clarify that a bit...

On Sunday, I was in charge of teaching about commandment #4---remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.  What a can of worms that opened!  One kid's dad has to work on Sunday.  Another kid's mom wasn't in church because she needed to rest.  Luckily, I had it in my back pocket that Jesus once worked on Sunday (i.e. healing) and part of the purpose of the Sabbath is to rest so I averted disaster.

Our craft project was to make a Sabbath Box.  I found the craft on this Latter Day Saints website.  While we are not LDS, I thought the idea was a good one.  You make a box, fill it with suggestions on how to keep the Sabbath day holy, and then draw out an idea as a family each Sunday.  They had a link to a list of ideas, but a lot of them were Mormon specific so I amended them to suit any Christian family.  Making the box was a little too labor intensive for our age group (I ended up doing a lot of the work) so I think having the boxes either made in advance or having a plain pre-made box or paper bag for the kids to decorate would have worked out much better.  Here's a list of the Sabbath suggestions I had the kids cut out.  Again, I want to give credit where it is due and acknowledge Rachel Bruner who wrote the original list from the above link.  This is her list revised for use for Christian families who are not LDS.

Use crock pot recipes to cut down on extra cooking. 

Visit those you know who are in the hospital. 

 Invite someone who may be unable to cook for themselves such as an elderly person or shut-in, to share dinner with your family, or take dinner to them. 

Make a list of members who may need a ride to church.  Invite them to ride with you. 

Surprise someone in need with a visit. 

Have family scripture study. Younger children may want to draw representational pictures beside their favorite scriptures. This will enable them to find the same scripture and remember what it was about in the future. 

Give time to a nursing home or to others who may need help reading letters from loved ones or writing them. 

Utilize time together in the car or at dinner to discuss what each family member learned at Church that day. 

Rest and reflect on what was taught in Church classes. 

Listen to scripture tapes/cd's or view scripture videos. 

Read material that is Church-oriented or uplifting. 

Read children's scripture story books.  See what you can check out of the Sunday School library or church library.

Make a family photo album.

Have a simple and short music lesson. Familiarize children with music symbols and words. Teach them how to lead music. 

Prepare stories about your children to tell them. 

Tell children stories of when you were their age. 

Have grandma or grandpa tell stories about themselves or the lives of other relatives. 

Record family memories in a journal.

Decorate special jars for tithing or mission funds.

Take a walk as a family. Discuss the blessing Heavenly Father has given us through nature. 

Invite family members home for a visit or go visit them. 

Plan and rehearse a family musical recital. 

Perform at a nursing home or children's hospital. 

Make shadow portraits or silhouettes of family members or of the prophets. Include them in scrap books or use to decorate cards. 

Tape a special program for a missionary or loved one far away. Include talks, stories and songs. 

 Make phone calls or write letters to those special friends and loved ones to let them know you're thinking of them. 

 Compose an original song expressing a lovely thought or deed. Encourage children to express themselves also. 

Develop greater love and appreciation for music by listening to great works. 

As a family, invent a design, crest, emblem or logo to display on a family banner. When it is complete, unfurl it during family home evenings or other special family occasions. 

Practice a skill such as knitting, etc. Make a gift for a friend. 

 "Adopt" a friend. Select someone special. 

Produce a puppet show depicting a historical Church event. 

Dramatize events from the Bible with family members. Be sure to dress for your parts. 

Construct an "I'm Grateful For..." mobile to hang up. 

Take turns role playing and acting out stories. 

Make paper dolls representing the members of your family. Use them in flannel board to show proper reverence, church behavior, manners and attitudes. 

Make gifts such as sachets from cloves, oranges and ribbon to give away to "adopted friends." 

Have each family member make a personal scrap book. Include pictures, important letters, certificates, and school papers. 

 Make some kind of book. Write a story inside with a good moral. Illustrate it and then make a tape recording, complete with sound effects and music.

Make a tape or letter. Have children set goals for the year and share feelings or testimonies. Save the tapes and letters for a year and then listen and/or read them. 

Compose some poetry or write a story. 

Write letters, thank-you cards, get-well and thinking-of-you notes. 

Use salt dough or clay or construct a nativity scene or other scene from the Bible. Use your imagination. 

Make puzzles from pictures magazines. 

Make personalized, handmade cards for birthdays, I love you, thinking-of-you or get-well cards. 

Remember birthdays for the upcoming week of church members, relatives, etc. Mark them on a calendar as a reminder to call or mail a personalized card. 

Make a scroll story with butcher paper and two sticks. 

Plan a family service project. Ask friends from church for ideas. 

Invent a Church-related game or play one you may already have. 

Study religious history. 

Make dot-to-dot pictures of objects like the star of Bethlehem or other easy shapes from Bible stories.

Memorize scriptures, hymns, stories , or poems. 

Read a good play as a family. Have each member assume one or more parts. 

Have a story swap. Each member of the family must have a story of courage or valor to swap about a relative, Church leader or famous person. 

Practice playing or singing hymns. 

 Look at books containing great works of art with children. Discuss each painting with them. 

Invite a family from church you would like to know better to your home to your house for a meal or other activity.

Make a family tree. 

Have personal family interviews. 

Write a family song or cheer. 

Write a family newsletter to send to friends and relatives. 

Write letters to missionaries. 

Plan family outings, picnics, camp outs, vacations, and holidays. 

Make a picture book for each family member. Include pictures of themselves at different ages, other family members, and special events. 

 Take a few minutes to plan next Sunday's activities. Decide what must be done during the week to prepare for it. 

Plan a day where the family cleans the house and garage in search of items to donate. 

Practice reverence by sitting quietly for a short period of time.

Play Hang Man or word scramble.  Use church related words. 

Have a memory jolt (quiz) contest. See what everyone remembers from church last Sunday. 

Select a talent you would like to develop.  Set some goals to help you achieve the talent and then work toward developing it. 

Each Sunday, feature a different family member in a "Why I Love You" spotlight. Display a picture and a hobby or craft of that person in a prominent place for a week. Write a brief history of the member and list all of their qualities and strengths. 

Memorize a Bible verse. 

Bake cookies for some people at church you don’t know very well.  Leave them on a pretty plate on their doorstep, ring the doorbell and run.

What suggestions would you add to your Sabbath Box?

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