For the Sake of the Children ~ Part 4

Worship Centerby Nancy Tichy, Author for KidZ at Heart International

Pattern for a Worship Center

For the fifty percent of families in America not being dismantled by divorce, what other matters keep life from being perfect…from that ‘happily ever after’ dream we so long for?

Ordinary stress in home life comes from a variety of sources.  For kids, it might be the monsters under the bed…those fears that never actually appear, but never fully go away.  For dad and mom it could be illness, the bill collector, the difficult co-worker, the dysfunctional extended family member, or the critical, nosy neighbor.  Life is full of odd, irritating characters that contribute stress – those sound bites of static that so often keep us from hearing the quiet voice of our Savior saying, peace I give you, not as the world gives it; let not your hearts be troubled.

Here’s an idea that might work for your family.  Try it out, change or expand on it.  Let it meet the daily, life challenges that rob you of the joy Jesus wants you to experience.


Find a pretty, glass dish, or flat, wooden container or something like these that will hold four smooth, flat stones big enough to print the four words above, one on each stone.  On the back side of each stone, print the Bible reference.  (See below.)

FILTER:  Philippians 4:6, 7…if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think on such things.

FOCUS:  Hebrews 12:1-3 …let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, Who for the joy set before Him endured the cross…

FORTIFY: I Thessalonians 5:10, 11. {Jesus} died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Him…encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

FINISH: James 1:4.  Perseverance (patience) must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God Who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 

Take four 3X5 or 4X6 cards, and print the words of the Scripture passages on the lined sides, one passage to each and the capitalized word and reference on the other.  Make sure these four cards are near the container of flat stones.  If it is glass, consider adding some water to this rock garden.

Place a small bowl of flat, multicolored marbles next to the rock centerpiece.

The flat stones of remembrance represent four strategies God gives us to use when we are facing challenges, disappointments, pressure to conform, sadness – trials of various kinds.  (James 1:2)

At family meetings, invite members to briefly share a “trial” that they are encountering.  Let them select a stone that best fits their need and read the Scripture passage from the corresponding card.  They explain how applying these verses helps them meet their trial head on discovering how this develops patience and leads to joy.  Other family members can contribute to the conversation, keeping remarks brief and non-judgmental.  At an appropriate time, the family member who is sharing takes a flat glass marble from the small bowl and places it in the larger centerpiece.  This is a good time to pray.

As time goes by the glass marbles will decorate the stone garden, the Scripture passages will be memorized contributing to spiritual growth.  This would be a good time to start a family journal, if you haven’t already done so, to keep track of the sharing times at the Remembrance Rock Garden.   You may be surprised; you will undoubtedly be blessed to see how Jesus meets you there.

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you.  I do not give you as the world gives.  

Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

 I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.

 But take heart!  I have overcome the world.  John 14:17; 16:33                   


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