Sunday, September 14, 2014


The latest HomeFront Weekly is now available. Click on the link on the right.

Memory verse for this week is:

Psalm 139:23-24 "Look deep into my heart, God, and find out everything I am thinking. Don’t let me follow evil ways, but lead me in the way that time has proven true."

For ideas to continue teaching faith to your children, check out the Homefront magazine, available free online. You can look at any of the magazines produced. The latest magazine, July 2015, is all about passing on God's Story and how we are a part of that story too! Just click on the link below.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


This will be posted here on Monday of each week during term time.
Click on the homefront link on the right.
Homefront Weekly is the single page handout given to families each Sunday. It lets parents introduce next week's story to their children first because parents are the primary teachers of their own children.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Ideas That Worked For You

I am keen for us to share ideas with each other about how you are sharing faith with your family. This might include things you did together using resources, questions you asked, discussions you had, that were a positive experience. Please include the age of the children it worked with. Just make a post below.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Marriage Course

We spend hundreds of dollars on keeping our cars tuned and running well. Most of us look after our bodies with exercise, the gym and regular checkups with the doctor. But what do you spend on your marriage or primary relationship?

The Marriage Course is for anyone in a cohabiting relationship, whether it is good or not so good. There is always room for improvement.

New Plymouth Central Baptist Church are running a seven week Marriage Course starting on Monday the 12th of August. 

The formula: 
fantastic atmosphere + romantic meal for two 
+ practical talks + couple discussion times 

Whether you have been together for 20 years or 20 days, this is your opportunity to invest some time and money into your relationship with your partner. 

They will love you for it!

For more information, or to register, fill in your details on the right.

Click here for a short intro video

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Love Languages

Love languages. 

Have you ever given your child a gift that they aren’t grateful for, or spent time with them only to find they didn’t really want to, or given them a hug and found them pushing you away? Well, maybe they experience love in a different way to how you do. Gary Chapman wrote The Five Love Languages a few years ago. He says we all experience love in different ways and he describes the ways we experience love as love languages. They are: Words of affirmation, Acts of service, Receiving gifts, Quality time, Physical touch. To find out how you experience love, Gary provides a survey in the books, and on a website Why not try it out and find out each of your family members’ love languages? As with any assessment, there are a range of possibilities and most people will not have one that stands out far above the others, but rather a combination of two or three. It is also good to understand all of the love languages because your spouse and children may be completely different from you

Words of affirmation. This language uses words to affirm other people. Think about positive and negative words from your childhood. What impact did they have, both at the time and over the long term? Have you seen a similar impact in your own kids from words spoken by you or your spouse? How could you make up for negative or angry words? We often assume our children understand our love, even if we don’t always express it. But children are very literal and may need to hear an explicit expression of love from us. Over the next week, every time you feel love, express it as directly as possible to your children. At the end of the week, ask them if they better understand your love for them.

Acts of service. Actions speak louder than words. Some people experience love through acts of service. If one of your family members has this as their main love language, they like it when you take out the rubbish, do the dishes or put out the washing, put stuff away. They probably prefer to have a tidy house and don’t like clutter. It is also good for your children to recognise, or at least appreciate, others who love in this way. Ask yourself these questions. Do your children ever see you serving someone else beyond the family? Take inventory of everything you do for your child. Is it too much? Would your child be better off if you taught him or her some of these things? How do your kids respond when you ask them to perform some act of service? What needs work in this area? Do you as parents “do too much” for your kids? What are some of the things that get in the way of an attitude of service? How can we teach or encourage our children to serve others within the family? What are examples of appropriate acts of service for our children?

Receiving Gifts. For some people, love is conveyed through receiving gifts. The gift doesn’t need to cost much, in fact it could be something made or even flowers from the garden. This one I find the hardest, and yet it is the language of one of my children. It takes a real conscious effort to bring home a gift for her. Think of a gift you received, either as an adult or a child, that really meant a lot to you. Why? What does this tell you about yourself? Think back carefully to a gift you’ve given with mixed motives (be honest). Has there ever been a hint of payback, bribery, or even materialism or personal vanity? Examine the toys you have bought for your children recently, or recreational and entertainment items you gave to your teens. What were the upsides and downsides of each? Within the next month, give a gift to your children that is not tied to a special occasion. Note their responses—and what those responses tell you about their attitudes toward gifts. 

Quality time is about giving the other person your undivided attention. How much quality time—that is, time spent with your child beyond meeting their essential needs—have you given each of your children during the past week? What kind of quality time does each of your children desire? Ask each of them what they enjoy most with you and why it is meaningful. The “tyranny of the urgent” is a serious problem in our (and sometimes our kids’) schedules. Look back over the past month. What got in the way of spending time with your children? How might you take daily or weekly chores or responsibilities on the part of your child and turn them into shared learning experiences? How could you make the most of “car time” or bedtime? Much of our best parenting takes place in quality-time encounters with our kids. Share some special memories, with your children, of intimacy, learning, and sheer enjoyment from these times.

Physical Touch is appropriate touch. Were your parents physically affectionate? What effect does this have on you today? Do you provide enough touch to your children in appropriate circumstances? Why or why not? How could you improve? Where are the boundaries where physical touch might be harmful or excessive for each child? Discuss ways to get involved in “low-key,” age-appropriate forms of physical touch, in addition to the normal hugs and kisses your children need. Identify opportunities to put these other forms of touching into practice. Over the next week increase your physical touch with your children, but make it age-appropriate as well as what fits each child’s unique personality. Determine the effects of this and their response. How can you tell if one of your kids has physical touch as their love language? How do you respond, especially if it isn’t your primary language? Share your own childhood experiences with regard to physical touch, positive or negative. What can you learn from these experiences?

(from The Five Love Languages for Children study guide,

Monday, February 4, 2013

Parent Retreat - planning the year

Take time out at the beginning of this year to set some priorities and goals for your family. I can often get to the end of a year and wonder where all the time has gone. I ask myself did I really make the most of the opportunities? Planning doesn't mean you can't still be spontaneous, but it does remind us to include the important things in life first.

Here are some questions you might like to ask each other:

  1. What is one thing that we have done well this year, in terms of building faith in our family?
  2. What is working well with our family? 
  3. When are the best times for us as a family and what are we doing at these times?
  4. What one thing could we do this year that would increase the faith-talk in our family?
  5. When would we include this time into our schedules? (breakfast, dinner, before bed...)
  6. If we aren't praying a blessing over our children now, why aren't we and how could we change this?
Here are some ideas that might help you to set priorities and decide what works for you as a family. Don't decide to do them all. Choose things that you know are manageable and fit with your family. Choose one thing that might be a challenge.

  1. When you watch a family movie together, start it early enough that you can have some discussion time after. As you watch the movie, pick up any themes or virtues that you could discuss with your children afterwards. Make it fun.
  2. Decide on a charity that your family would like to give to. Collect items that they need and take them to the charity, as a family. Ask to be shown around or talk to someone at the charity who can explain to you all what happens there.
  3. Start having a weekly Bible study/faith talk time with your children. You could use the faith box from Parents Inc, or some other resource. Make it fun. Include games and activities that your children will enjoy. Starting this is always awkward and difficult, but stick to it! Your older children might rebel the first couple of times, but they will begin to join in when they see how much fun you are having.
  4. Read a few verses of the Bible together at the beginning of a meal each day. Ask what God may be saying through these verses.
  5. Pray with your children each day when they climb into bed. Have a short discussion about how the day went and anything that is on their mind.
  6. Pick up a family devotional book that you could read together. Make sure you keep devotionals light hearted and enjoyable so your children remain interested.
  7. Let your children see you praying together as a couple.
These are only a few of many ways we can bring faith talks into our family. What will you do this year?

May God bless you as you do.