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Illustration by Anne Berry

ENVIRONMENT

FAMILY FOOD TIME p. 45

GAME TIME p. 6

GODS WORD p. 78

God knows me, and I can know Him.


M O N T H L Y CREATE p. 10 MARRIAGE p. 13

knowing

A FAMILY RESOURCE
VOL. 3, ISSUE 2

This Resource
Editors Note

Remember to HAVE FUN! Strive to make each gathering unique to your own family as you enjoy spending time with God and one another.

I love taking walks with my two-year-old granddaughter, Grayson. But I have learned not to be in a hurry. Grayson has a unique gift of pointing out the extraordinary in the ordinary things of everyday life.
She stops to smell every flower we pass, and she marvels at the insects crawling on them. She hears the birds singing, and she squeals at the moon when we venture out at night. I often think God uses Grayson to reveal Himself to meto help me slow down and not hurry through life and miss the splendor in creation. She helps me remember that the same God who created the ocean and painted the sunset is the same God who uniquely created and loves me. He knows everything about me and still loves me, and He wants me to know Him. God reveals Himself to us each day in headlinemaking wayswe just need to slow down enough to look for them. We can find Him in every tiny corner of our day-to-day lives. He desires nothing more than for us to know Him and be known by Him. In this issue of HomeFront Monthly, you will find opportunities for you and your family to begin to understand the incredible gift of knowing God and His truth.

DEBBIE GUINN | EDITOR the Tru Team | Costa Mesa, CA

2012 David C. Cook. TruResources are developed in partnership with ROCKHARBOR Church and a national network of family and childrens ministry leaders. All rights reserved.

HOMEFRONT | ENVIRONMENT | KNOWING

How 1 to 2 Use 3

Its as easy as 1 2 3
Start by deciding on a day and time that work well for your entire family. It can be an evening, afternoon, or morning. Just commit to building this time into your familys natural rhythm. Its usually best to build this time around a meal! Look through the HomeFront Monthly and see what stands out. Choose one or two experiences you would like to incorporate into your family times this week. Dont feel burdened to complete all the activities at once, but carefully select which ones will fit your family best. Each month of curriculum provides more than enough experiences to last you throughout the month.

ENVIRONMENT

KNOWING
Just as the environment of KNOWING is described, we are living in a world that denies and dismisses the existence of absolute truth. What a tragedy this is. There is an urgency to pass on the truth of Gods Word to the next generation. In learning this truth, were open to knowing God Himself and entering a relationship with Him. As we create space that allows our family to study Gods Word, we will develop a hunger and thirst to know God more.

Nothing is more important in our spiritual lives than knowing and being known by God. We live in a world that denies absolute truth, and yet Gods Word offers just that. As we create an environment that upholds and displays Gods truth, we give children a foundation based on knowing God and His Word and having a relationship with Him through Christ. VERSE OF THE MONTH
Memorizing Scripture can be an incredible practice to engage in as a family. But words in and of themselves will not necessarily transform us; it is Gods Spirit in these words who transforms. We come to know God more when were willing to open our hearts and receive His Holy Spirit through the words we memorize. Have fun with these verses and think of creative ways to invite your family to open up to God as they commit these verses to memory.
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ELEMENTARY

How awesome is the Lord Most High, the great King over all the earth! Psalm 47:2
PRES/KINDER

MICHELLE ANTHONY FAMILY MINISTRY ARCHITECT the Tru Team | Costa Mesa, CA

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory. Isaiah 6:3

2012 David C. Cook. All rights reserved.

by Debbie Guinn

FAMILY FOOD TIME


Variety in Nature
I just discovered the farmers market in our town. Theres something about getting up early and walking among the makeshift booths filled with freshgrown vegetables and homemade crafts that makes me feel alive.
As I walk past each booth, Im always surprised by the variety of fruits and vegetables God has provided for us to enjoy. From the bright red tomatoes and strawberries to the spectrum of greens from lettuce to apples to zucchini, the array of shapes and sizes and aromas tells me there is a Goda creative, amazing God whose attributes are clearly seen, just like Paul tells us in Romans 1:1920. This month, take your family to a farmers market (if you dont have one in your area, go to the produce section of your grocery store). Point out the assortment of fruits and vegetables, and remind your children that God created each one of them. Use this time to tell them that just like He was intentional about creating variety in nature, He was intentional when He created each of us. Remind your children that He knows them, loves them, and wants them to know Him too. While at the market, let each of your children choose a vegetable to add to the soup recipe (p. 5). Be sure to have them look for the vegetables they chose while theyre eating the soup. This basic soup can be made with any combination of fresh or frozen vegetables, so it will taste a little different each time.
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2012 David C. Cook. All rights reserved.

A Very Veggie Soup


Ingredients:
2 tbsp. olive oil

(SERVES 8)

Prep Time: 15 min. Cook Time: 1 hr.

1 cup thinly sliced celery 2 tsp. Italian seasoning coarse salt and ground pepper 3 cans (14.5 oz. each) vegetable or chicken broth

8 cups mixed fresh or frozen vegetables, such as carrots, corn, green beans, lima beans, peas, potatoes, and zucchini (cut larger vegetables into smaller pieces)

DIRECTIONS

1. Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add onions or leeks, celery, and Italian seasoning; season
with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent, five to eight minutes.

2. Add broth, tomatoes and their juice, tomato paste, and three cups of water to the pot; bring mixture to
a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

3. Add vegetables to pot and return to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, until vegetables are tender, about 20 to
25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let cool before storing leftovers.

Conversation Starters

Its fun to think about God knowing everything about us and loving us completely. In this activity, your family will get to share what they think God loves about them uniquely. Get your family talking by

by Debbie Guinn

having them fill in the blank.

GOD KNOWS EVERYTHING ABOUT ME, AND WHAT HE LOVES ABOUT ME IS ____________.
You may have to guide your children at first and help them to see the unique ways God has created them. Maybe your child is artistic or joyful; help him to see God delights in his creativity or his fun laugh. Be sure that you lead by example and answer as well.

2012 David C. Cook. All rights reserved.

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2 cups chopped onions or thinly sliced leeks (whites only)

1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes, with juice 1 tbsp. tomato paste

by Natalie Venerri

GAME TIME
YOUNGER KIDS

The Shepherds Voice


In a world vying for our attention and denying absolute truth, we must learn to listen through the noise and distractions to hear Gods voice and follow Him where He is leading. Gather your family and create distracting noises by turning on a radio, stereo, and/ or TV. Choose one family member to be the sheep and one family member to be the shepherd. The rest of the family members will act as additional distractions to the sheep. Choose one side of the room for the sheep and the other side for the shepherd. Once everyone gets into place, the sheep will put on a blindfold and the shepherd will lay out a path for the sheep using sticky notes or masking tape. The path must connect

SUPPLIES: TELEVISION, STEREO, OR RADIO STICKY NOTES OR MASKING TAPE A BLINDFOLD OR HANDKERCHIEF
HOMEFRONT | ENVIRONMENT | KNOWING

from the sheep to the shepherd, from one side of the room to the other. Once the shepherd creates the
path, he will return to the other end and start guiding the sheep using phrases such as Turn left, or Take two giant steps forward, or Take one step to the right. The rest of the family members try to distract the sheep by giving her wrong directions or making loud and funny noises. The sheep must remember to listen closely and carefully for the shepherds voice. Once the sheep finds the shepherd, she can take off the blindfold, and another family member can be the sheep. Play this game as many times as you want. if youre a duck, you might walk around the room quacking, listening for the other duck. If you want to be silly, you can crawl around on your hands and kneeslike animals do! Once youve found your partner, you may take off your blindfold. Allow the rest of the animals to find their matches until everyone has finished.

Remember, the goal is to listen carefully for the shepherds voice. OLDER KIDS

Sounds the Animals Make


Spread out around a room in your home, your backyard, or a park. One family member will be the shepherd. The shepherd will assign to each family member a type of animal that makes a distinct sound (there should be two of each animal). No one should know the animal anyone else has been assigned. Everyone will put on a blindfold.

QUACK ! QUACK

The goal of the game is to try to find your animal match. The only means of communication
allowed is using your animal sound. For example,

2012 David C. Cook. All rights reserved.

by Michelle Anthony

GODS WORD
Todays Truth
AN EXCERPT FROM SPIRITUAL PARENTING BY MICHELLE ANTHONY, 2012 DAVID C. COOK

In our world, people think truth is relative to perception, opinion, and experience. In Romans 1:25, Paul speaks about the depravity we have in our society as a result of exchanging the truth of God for a lie.
Paul just calls it out. He says the reason we live in so much disarray and debauchery is that the truth of God is evident before us, but we deny it and exchange it for a lie! And after working with young people for the last 20 years, that is exactly what Ive witnessed. Young people will exchange the truth of God for a lieand so will we if were not vigilant! When our children have a vacuum of truth in their lives, they will accept a lie, because that feels more real to them than anything else. As spiritual parents, we choose to inspire them by constantly reminding them that there is capital-T truth. And we make it compelling by living it out before them in honest and authentic ways, in real time. We must share the truth we are experiencing today, not just recount truth that we learned or experienced 10 or 15 years ago.

WE MUST SHARE THE TRUTH WE ARE EXPERIENCING TODAY, NOT JUST RECOUNT TRUTH THAT WE LEARNED OR EXPERIENCED TEN OR FIFTEEN YEARS AGO.
Jesus says He alone is the truth, and no man comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6). Furthermore, the truth He offers will set us free (John 8:32)! Our children are inspired when they begin to see the correlation between the capital-T truth and freedom. Unfortunately the church has often packaged capital-T truth as a path that leads to bondage. Somehow we have communicated that we are unable to do positive things, that we are trapped, and that therefore we define ourselves by those things that we dont do. That rigid list of donts is bondage. But when our children see that truth actually leads to freedom, they begin to taste what Jesus meant when He said, I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10). What young person doesnt want the full life with true freedom? These are words they will run to instead of away from, if they know the God who said them and if they see us live by them.

2012 David C. Cook. All rights reserved.

HOMEFRONT | ENVIRONMENT | KNOWING

GODS WORD CONTINUED

HEAR IT
Read the following Old Testament passages out loud as a family. Each one of them declares truth about the one true God. If you have a Bible in your home, look up each passage and read it directly from the Bible. For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your forefathers, which he confirmed to them by oath (Deuteronomy 4:31). But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance. From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind (Psalm 33:1113). God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear (Psalm 46:12). For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end (Psalm 48:14). Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me (Psalm 54:4). Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Our God is a God who saves; from the Sovereign Lord comes escape from death (Psalm 68:1920). For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. O Lord Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you (Psalm 84:1112). The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion (Psalm 116:5).

For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes (Deuteronomy 10:17). The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms (Deuteronomy 33:27a). Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9). For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights (2 Samuel 22:3234).

DO IT
After reading the Scripture and recognizing how amazing God is, make a list of things that are true about God. For parents and older kids, continue the list by adding how those truths bring you freedom from what the world has to offer.

2012 David C. Cook. All rights reserved.

HOMEFRONT | ENVIRONMENT | KNOWING

by Tommy Larson

PRAYER

Redirected Prayers
Over the past couple of years, prayer has become such an integral part of my marriage. Weve dedicated more time than usual to itboth individually and as a husband and wife.
This has allowed us to know God even more than before. As we look back on this increased time of prayer, we also recognize that most of that time has been filled with requests. Our first request was that wed be blessed with a baby. When our baby was born two months early, our second request was that our child would grow to be a healthy baby throughout his time in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). Our third request was asking God to protect our baby from any infection that might force him back into the NICU. All of these requests represent significant concerns. However, weve begun to wonder: How much of our time has been dedicated to praising God for who He is and who He has revealed Himself to be? Of course we praise Him for the blessing and protection of our child, but how much time have we actually spent praising Him for the loving Father He truly is? Weve asked ourselves, What would a prayer time void of any requests look like? Instead, we could spend it solely on declaring what we know to be true about God.

This month, take time as a family to redirect some of your prayer time to an acknowledgement of God. Who is He? Spend time declaring it to Him.
Let Him know what you know to be absolutely true about Him. As you pray together, you may find that your family is writing its own prayerful psalm as you declare His attributes out loud (God, you are Father, Healer, Creator, etc.). As you do this, His truth will become more ingrained in you and your family than ever before.

by Jeff Fernandez

WORSHIP

Who Paints the Sunset?


(This Worship section can be used with the Create section)

I remember surfing at Leo Carrillo State Beach late in the evening as the sun was going down. The water was warm, and the sun painted the surface of the ocean orange.
The smell of the air was so crisp and fresh it forced me to stop and take it all in. In that moment, somewhere deep down inside, I knew God had created it all. It was as if His creation was tangibly revealing to me the many characteristics He wanted me to know about Himself. As amazing as that experience was, the most profound thing was realizing God had knowingly created me to be even more beautiful. I was captivated. It gave me a desire to worship.

This month, as an act of worship, take your family to watch a sunset. As the sun goes down,
share with them that God paints itand does so differently and magnificently each day. More importantly, let your children know that God made and knows them too! While youre still there, taking in the beauty, sit down together and read Psalm 139:118 out loud. Remind your children that God knows all about us, and we can know Him too.

2012 David C. Cook. All rights reserved.

HOMEFRONT | ENVIRONMENT | KNOWING

by Jeff Fernandez

CREATE

Watercolor Sunsets

(This Create project can be used in conjunction with the Worship section)

SUPPLIES: watercolor paints paintbrushes canvas (any size), watercolor paper, or card stock

Being creative is such an important part of who God made us to be. What better way to express that than as a family? In this Create activity, you and your family will paint a sunset like the one you experienced in Worship. Just for fun, give each family member only two colors to paint with (or one color each if you have a large family). The colors chosen for each family member will be unique to that person. Take turns painting what you remember or loved about the sunset. As you come together and contribute what you each have to offer, the collaborative beauty is displayed.

When youre finished, place the canvas (or paper) in a prominent place in your home. Use it as a reminder of Gods creativity, and let it draw you to be more attentive to the God who is the artist behind the canvas of our lives.

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CREATE IS A TIME TO ENGAGE YOUR FAMILY IN A COLLABORATIVE RESPONSE TO HEARING GODS TRUTH.

2012 David C. Cook. All rights reserved.

HOMEFRONT | ENVIRONMENT | KNOWING

by Michelle Anthony

TRADITIONS

Remember and Celebrate


Have you ever thought about how many traditions involve a meal or even a feast? Theres something about sitting around a table and sharing food prepared by the people you know and love. Its also wonderful to share conversation without distractionsthe things that keep us away from the table in the first place.
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As you begin your remember and celebrate meal, let everyone share why she picked her particular dish. Then have each person share one high point and one low point (sometimes referred to as the peak and pit) in his day, week, or month. As each person shares her high and low, ask, What do you know about God from that experience? One time my daughter said her peak was getting a new job. When asked what she knows about God from that, she answered, God is my provider. When my son had to say good-bye to a friend, he answered, God is my comforter. (Younger kids may need help seeing the connection, so you might want to offer suggestions.) At the conclusion of your remember and celebrate meal, make sure to pray and worship God for all the ways Hes revealed Himself to you and your family members. In my family, our traditional meals almost always include our family favorites. We must have Grandmas cream cheese blueberry gelatin at Thanksgiving, my daughter insists. Youre going to make Aunties sweet potato casserole for Christmas, right? my son reminds me. Of course were going to have a honey glazed ham at Easter, my husband says. There are other occasions too. Birthdays include the favorite dish of the honoree, the end of the school week is usually followed with pizza, and Saturday mornings almost always include chocolate-chip pancakes with large glasses of milk. In some ways, families are known by the traditional meals they create. This month, why not create a new traditional meal? Set aside one meal
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A tradition is the handing down of statements, beliefs, stories, or customs from generation to generation. What traditions are in place for your family? What would you like to pass down to the next generation? Its always fun to create new traditions with each generation.

per month as a remember and celebrate meal.


At this meal, let each person choose one of the dishes (e.g., appetizer, salad, main dish). Dont worry if the meal doesnt go together as it should, but rather focus on what dish feels celebratory to each person present.

2012 David C. Cook. All rights reserved.

by Dane Shambrook

STORYTELLING
My Fathers Voice
Black Friday has become one of the most popular days of the year for shopping and getting bargains. This day, however, has an entirely different significance for me.
Every year, the day after Thanksgiving reminds me of how God knows me and how important it is for me to know Him. When I was four years old, I had a shopping day with my dad. We ventured out to the busy mall and entered a packed department store. My dad held me tightly to ensure we wouldnt get separated. And then it happened: Something caught my eye, and I was distracted for a split second. I lost view of my dad. Frightened, I climbed under a rack of clothing and buried my head, hiding in the middle of the rounder. I stayed there safely tucked away until I heard a familiar sound. In the midst of the noise Dane! Dane! I continued to listen until I could hear where his voice was coming from. I peeked out, saw my dad standing close by, and ran to him. We embraced and were both very relieved we had found each other. Recently I was reading John chapter 10, where Jesus explains how the sheep know and recognize the voice of their shepherd. I was reminded of my own ordeal that day. I remembered how I heard my fathers voice above all the noise and distraction in that busy department store. Jesus tells us that the shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. Imagine tending a huge flock of sheep and being able to call each one individually. Verse 5 says, they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a strangers voice. Now, when the world beckons me with its lies, I know I must listen closely to hear my heavenly Fathers voice and the truth that only He offers. The

and chaos, I distinctly heard my fathers voice,

better I know Gods voice, the easier it is to turn away from imposters.

Its good to know that someday, when I have children of my own, they will recognize my voice. Its even more important to me, though, that they learn to recognize their heavenly Fathers voice and desire to obey it through the power of His Spirit.

NOW, WHEN THE WORLD BECKONS ME WITH ITS LIES, I KNOW I MUST LISTEN CLOSELY TO HEAR MY HEAVENLY FATHERS VOICE AND THE TRUTH THAT ONLY HE OFFERS.

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2012 David C. Cook. All rights reserved.

HOMEFRONT | ENVIRONMENT | KNOWING

by Ron Van Gronigen

MARRIAGE

To Know and Be Known


To know and to be known are critical elements of all successful relationships. The most important relationship we can ever have is with God, and it is through His love that He chooses to make Himself known to us. Our relationship with God directly affects our human interactions as we try to conduct ourselves in a Christlike way.
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Although mutual knowledge and understanding are essential for all successful human connections, the marriage relationship, I believe, can be the most time consuming and challenging. As I record these thoughts, my wife and I are less than six months from completing our 50th year of marriage. Looking back over this amazing journey of two people with many common denominators, I also recognize that my wife and I bring to our marriage two very distinctive personalities, with different strengths and weaknesses, and strong opinions. We know it is because of the Lord that we have come this far. Our lives together bear witness of who our incredible God is. We have learned more about His character and attributes, and we have been able to bridge the differences that could divide and destroy our relationship. He has helped us understand, embrace, and apply absolute forgiveness. He has shown us the beauty of unconditional, sacrificial love that is displayed in His Word. As a married couple continues to know and understand each other, they are able to effectively apply the principle the apostle Paul communicated to the Philippians when he wrote, consider others

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We know it is because of the Lord that we have come this far.


2012 David C. Cook. All rights reserved.

better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others (Philippians 2:34). This, of course, applies to all relationships, but seeking to please ones spouse is certainly a wise application. When I am tempted to claim my rights or to point out an injustice against me, I am reminded of our Lord, who walked willing, but painfully, to His crucifixion. Innocent, abused, and beaten, He died for me with love in His heart and forgiveness on His lips. Even though no one can ever approach that example, it should be our goal to know Him in order to be found more like Him in the sacred and beautiful union He has given us in marriage.

by Tori Funkhouser

BLESSING
Knowing God
A blessing can be a prayer of commission, a Bible passage, or words of encouragement. As your children are blessed, encourage them to freely share with others the joy and love they have received from God. As parents, we desire nothing more than to have our children know God and walk in His will for their entire lives. This month, before you read the blessing over your children, insert each childs name at the beginning.
BLE SS
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, I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints. Ephesians 1:1718
(CHILDS NAME)

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HomeFront Weekly: Dont forget to grab your HomeFront Weekly: A resource to get parents and kids talking about Gods Word together.

2012 David C. Cook. All rights reserved.

Whats Happening in Your

FAITH COMMUNITY?

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2012 David C. Cook. All rights reserved.

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