March 2009 – Make this Spring Break count for something more than a week of laziness. While there is nothing wrong with using the days away from school, work and responsibilities to rest and relax, consider investing extra time in your family and making an extra effort to cultivate a deeper relationship with the Lord and advance His kingdom. Here are some suggestions to help you do just that.
Books to read
▶ Sammy and His Shepherd by Susan Hunt (Reformation Trust Publishers 2008, 58 pages) will help children grow in their understanding of what it is like to live among a community of redeemed people guided by a loving Lord. Eleven brief chapters unfold the 23rd Psalm phrase by phrase. Discussion questions and activities included. To order: www.reformationtrust.com or 800-435-4343.
▶ Who Put My Life on Fast Forward?: How to Slow Down and Start Living Again by Phil Callaway (Harvest House Publishers 2002, 225 pages) offers a big dose of laughter and hope that challenges you to live deliberately in this high-speed culture called life. To order: 800-247-4784.
▶ Simply Jesus by Joseph M. Stowell (Multnomah Publishers 2002, 86 pages) gives a challenge to a deeper faith by revealing the Person of Christ for who He really is – apart from formulas, systems and religion.
Movies to watch
▶ Pilgrim’s Progress: Journey to Heaven (DRC Films 2008) is a modern film adaptation of John Bunyan’s tale The Pilgrim’s Progress that brings the classic story to life in an understandable and powerful way. Not rated, the film is intense at times and may by frightening to young children. To order: 800-326-4543, option 3.
▶ Chariots of Fire (Warner Home Video 1981) is the story of two talented British runners – Eric Liddell and Harold Abrahams – who competed in the 1924 Olympics for very different reasons. It’s a beautiful picture of what it means to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Rated PG. Available at www.amazon.com.
Games to play
▶ Jenga (Parker Brothers/Hasbro Games), a tower of wooden blocks, is referred to as the blockbuster of all stacking games. Strategically try to pull out the blocks and place them on top without toppling the teetering tower. For one or more players, ages eight and above. Available at most retail stores.
▶ Electronic CatchPhrase (Parker Brothers/Hasbro Games) is a portable electronic version of the original Catchphrase. Contains 10,000 words and phrases, a timer/buzzer and a scoring device that creates a fast-paced game of words and phrases in which players call out as many clues as they can until a teammate guesses the word on the unit’s screen. For four or more players, teens and above. Available at most retail stores.
Things to do
▶ If weather and living conditions permit, plan a backyard camp out with your family. Set up a tent, gather sleeping bags, start a campfire, roast some marshmallows, admire nature, share memories and, with a grateful heart, enjoy being together.
▶ If you’re a grandparent who lives near your grandchildren, invite them over and together look through your keepsakes and old photo albums. If you are too far from your grandchildren to do this, write them a letter sharing a special memory or significant event in your life that has helped make you who you are today.
Places to go
▶ Branson, Missouri, deserves its family-friendly reputation. The city hosts eight million visitors a year, and offers 100 shows, and more theater seats than Broadway. Shows? The best in music, comedy, drama, ventriloquists, acrobats, illusionists.
Other attractions? Ripley’s Believe it or Not, Titanic Museum, Roy Rogers Museum, Butterfly Palace, Veterans Memorial and more. Silver Dollar City is nearby with games, kids’ carnival, rides, eats, crafts and special events for every age. Learn more at www.explorebranson.com or 800-214-3661.
▶ Creation Museum in Hebron, Kentucky, is a state-of-the-art 70,000-square-foot museum. Visiting it is like taking a “walk through history” and seeing the pages of the Bible come to life with murals, realistic scenery and computer-generated visual effects. There are exotic animals, life-sized people, dinosaur animatronics and a special-effects theater complete with misty sea breezes and rumbling seats. For more information, visit www.creationmuseum.org or call 888-582-4253.
People to see
▶ Extended family members can often seem like strangers, especially if miles, heartache or broken relationships separate you from them. Make an effort to visit your distant relatives or call them and initiate a genuine conversation. Let this be the beginning of regular communication.
▶ Neighbors are “family” relationships waiting to be made. If you don’t know some of your neighbors, introduce yourself. Invite them over for dinner. If some of your neighbors are shut-ins, bake and deliver cookies for a sweet surprise.