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Summer Spirit
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Photo: Hongqi Zhang
Summer is moving right along and moving with it are opportunities for family togetherness. Not that families can't be together during the school year, but summer is a great time for even more quality time.

Most families plan for vacations, visits to grandparents, or even just hanging out together at the pool or in the back yard. These are all excellent family activities. But in addition to those great times, wouldn't it be great to use the extra together time of summer to boost the family's spirituality?  

Here are five tips for doing just that:
  • If you haven't already made the family altar a reality, now is the time. Whether you choose breakfast time, bedtime, or any other time, make a consistent commitment to be there as a family. You might want to read a continued story of a Christian biography. Or you might choose spiritual poetry or read about the history of common hymns. Nature is an interesting theme too. Choose something that is growing in your own yard (or nearby park) and learn about it. Begin and end with prayer.
     
  • Play spiritual games. You could create a memory game using Scripture. Or you could invest in a game like Bible Outburst. It might feel strange or unattractive, at first, to play a Bible game “just for fun”, but it will grow on your family. Try it!
     
  • Try cooking/baking some new healthy recipes together. Or take turns being in charge of a meal that includes at least one new vegetable, fruit, or main dish. Give a blue ribbon for every new food tried with a positive attitude. Then give a blue ribbon to the new food itself that got the most votes from the family.
     
  • Adopt a family service project. Visit a nursing home together, take food to a shelter together, hold a Bible study group in your home. Or maybe just open your home to the church for a social gathering for food and fellowship. There are many options for service to others. Have each family member makes suggestions. Be creative!
     
  • Talk, talk, talk. Discuss spiritual topics and concerns. This does not include preaching. This includes only discussion and sharing of ideas and insights. Open wide the door of spiritual communication in the home. Pray for the Holy Spirit to moderate and you won't have to.
When your summer is over, hopefully the spirit will be charged to march ahead into fall, winter, and spring.
 
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By Gwen Scott Simmons. Copyright © 2009 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines
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