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Forming Families, Spiritually

Today’s Reflection

FORMATION COMES as a function of time, practice, and symbol. Some families are forming sports fans. Some are spending lots of time outside hiking and biking, practicing habits of recycling. We form our families by the ways we spend our time, our regular habits, and the symbols that repeat themselves on our clothing and refrigerator magnets.

Yet choosing to form our children spiritually seems more intimidating, more difficult and abstract. For many parents, spiritual formation sounds like a burden, an impossibility, a task for which they feel unqualified. But the same practices that form a die-hard Hoosier or a politically astute child — family time, regular practice, and concrete symbols — can convey Christian tradition and spirituality to our children with equal joy and lasting effect. As we engage in spiritually forming one another, family members spend time together with God, develop spiritual practices, and incorporate Christian symbols into our lives.

– Kara Lassen Oliver
Passing It On

From page 10 of Passing It On: How to Nurture Your Children’s Faith Season by Season by Kara Lassen Oliver. Copyright © 2015 by Kara Lassen Oliver. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

What do you remember about spiritual formation from your own childhood? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Do good, O LORD, to those who are good, and to those who are upright in their hearts.
Psalm 125:4, NRSV

This Week: pray for the leaders of nations. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.

This week we remember: Mother Teresa of Calcutta (September 5).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2018 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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{ 12 comments… add one }

  • Betsy September 6, 2018, 7:38 am

    I can remember every night after family dinner, my mom pulling out the devotional book. We children would take turns each night reading a passage then saying a prayer together. I was the third child out of six, so it was a big deal to get to be the “reader” for the evening. No, it wasn’t perfect harmony around the table; sometimes my older sisters would complain because they had things to do or the younger siblings would be whining to get down from the table, but that spiritual practice was an important part of my growing up and development of my Christian growth. I love and admire my parents for instilling that tradition.
    I pray today for our spiritual and government leaders. Give them wisdom and insight as they make decisions to better our world and our place in it. Amen

  • Julie September 6, 2018, 7:55 am

    We had none. My mom put me on a bus that collected chldren for a Baptist church. I was aware that my grandfather attended Catholic mass very Sunday and he had a crucifix on his dashboard and he crossed himself and kissed his fingers when we passed a church.
    I found further evidence of h’s divorce plans last night. My stess was renewed with a vengeance. If anyone has any ideas where I might seek employment I am open to any suggestions. Keep in mind that my fingers are covered in gangrene all winter. I think a receptionist or anything in an office setting, but know not how to find any openings. Also online work would be ideal. April, how would I find teaching opportunities?
    Prayers for Robrt and Erich. May they both be strong and healthy.
    Prayers for Betsy and her safe travels and her daughter in laws healthy pregnancy.
    Prayers foor Mary and her job situation. What is a tead lady? Is that similar to an American lunch lady? She prepares and serves lunch to the school children.
    Prayers for Connie and her example of faithful gratefulness.
    Prayers for Jill and Gloria, may their pain be less today. Prayers for Larry and his burdens and his loving faithfulness and care of Gloria.
    Prayers for Marcy, may her day be brighter and not filled with pain.
    Prayers and blessings for my UR brothers and sisters

    • April September 6, 2018, 8:12 am

      Oh Julie, I just read your posting and just entered academic support in the search box on my computer and up came a lot of ideas…..hope this helps and please keep us posted….I am praying for you and your daughter and all who can help you.

      • Julie September 6, 2018, 8:27 am

        April, THANK YOU

    • Francesca September 6, 2018, 10:38 am

      Try Northwestern University Center for Talent Development’s Gifted LearningLinks. I don’t think you have to be in Illinois to become an instructor.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling September 6, 2018, 4:56 pm

      Tea lady serves teabreak, cleans the place, serves lunch which is catered and cut fruits.

      Julie, hope things are better today. Praying that God will help you and provide forball your needs.

      Blessings!

  • robert moeller September 6, 2018, 1:02 pm

    There are a lot of bits and pieces, went to Sunday school, confirmation, attended church, MYF, church camp. Home activities during Advent and Lent, on Christmas and Easter. Prayers before bed. Helping and doing things for others.Things became a bit more serious, intentional on my part, when I was in the army.

    Prayers for Mary and her long days at school, doing so many different activities beyond teaching. Prayers for Betsy and the ministry she does witn those in prison, Thankful for newcomers, I’ll greet you again shortly.

    My schedule changed when I went back to bed after a short visit by Pearl, the cat. Slept until almost 9 am, then ate, and went to the gym. Did some shopping, ate lunch and now I’m back.

    • Mary ng s September 6, 2018, 4:59 pm

      Thanks Robert!

      Glad to hear that you are fruitful even when retired. May yoou continue to be active and a blessing to many!

      Blessings!

  • robert moeller September 6, 2018, 1:25 pm

    Welcome Marilyn! New posters are always welcome. You offer new possibilities and refreshing ideas.

    Julie check the colleges you attended and their job placement services, go to Indeed, an on line job listing site. it will help with the area where you live. State employment agencies have people who help with handicaps. These days the internet has so many search options. Do networking, contact people you worked with and let them know what you are trying to do.

    Check with your lawyer, relate any information that you found. Find out what your lawyer is doing, Express your concerns.

    Prayers for Marcy, there’s always more concern when we don’t know what is going on.

    God’s wisdom is needed in Washington DC. So many things going on there that require God’s guidance.

    Prayesa for Jill, thanks for the help from Francesca, April, and Connie. Bless you all. Thank You, Lord

  • edy September 6, 2018, 1:50 pm

    I would like this site to be more about answering the thought provoking questions and less about personal “stuff” I used to comment many times in the past but got away from it for the above reason. There is nothing wrong about personal discussions but I believe this is not the right format. I used to comment when Rusty was on as I learned a lot from him. In fact, we had a Bible study together years ago when I lived in the same state. Just wonder how he is? So, I went to Catholic school for 12 years, my Irish grandmother and her adult children would recite the rosary every night kneeling around the bedroom or living room whichever she chose. I didn’t live too far away so when we would visit my family would be included. Whenever we went on a road trip we would pray the rosary going or coming. I grew up with Jesus BUT did not know him and have a personal relationship with him and NEVER opened the Bible till 2006. It was ritual, after ritual. Now things are different as I am getting to know Him better every day. I am more discerning about media, less TV, no facebook, twitter etc etc I like to read more and most of what I read is scripture and I do watch some podcasts relating to learning more about our redeemer. I hope I didn’t offend anyone just expressing my opinion.

    • Connie September 7, 2018, 8:50 am

      No offense taken, Edy. I remember you being on this site, I believe. It is good to hear your opinion. I believe we can do both- address the Reflection question and share our day-to-day happenings, or not. Sometimes the question asked requires a somewhat personal answer. We all have a common bond, I know. Of course, our main focus is on Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Many blessings to you and greetings from an old “Reflection Friend”. (I also soaked in Rusty’s wisdom)

  • Julie September 6, 2018, 5:58 pm

    All opinions are welcome. However many who post have expressed gratitude for prayers and information shared. Many have gone through similar experiences and provide insight and assistance. We relish and cherish and celebrate and mourn along with one another as family members in Christ.

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