As we jump into Christmas weekend, we know that families will be gathering together for the Holidays. In addition to all the joy that our family gatherings will bring, there’s always a dose of heaviness, discord, and heartache that will visit our gatherings as well. After all, we are all sinful and broken and people gathering together with other sinful and broken people. I am reminded of this fact every year as I watch Christmas Vacation’s Clark Griswold planning and looking forward to “A good old-fashioned Christmas”. . . and each year, the movie reminds us that we can’t expect things to go as we expected them to go.

Thinking realistically about our times together should prepare us for moments of good, moments of not-so-good, and even moments of ugly. If we were all being honest with ourselves here, we would all be nodding in agreement. Still, we need to lean into God’s will and way for each of us to pursue righteous and God-glorifying living where we are committed to do our own part to bring peace/shalom on earth, or more specifically, to our homes.

With this in mind, I want to give you – youth workers and parents – seven quick and easy-to-use FREE resources from CPYU to prepare you for living to God’s glory over the course of the week ahead.

First, we’ve put together a brand-new Family TableTalk devotional that will give you a script for a time of focus on the coming of the Savior. Use it as you gather at the table, either before or after you eat. Perhaps you can read through it before everyone starts ripping apart the packages under the tree. This one is #103 in our series of free downloadable Family TableTalk devotionals, and it focuses on the first few verses of John’s Gospel and the Incarnation. Titled “The Rescuer Came!”, you can download it here.

Second, we want to help you, train you, and perhaps just remind you of ways to facilitate healthy communication in your families as you gather together. All of our families have developed communication patterns over the years. What do we do well? What do we do not-so-well? We’ve put together another Free download, “Holiday Communication”, that walks your through some great advice from Dr. Wayne Mack on five “circuit jammers to family communication.” If you’re like me, knowing what to avoid will help you think twice before speaking. . . a skill we all need to develop. You can download this free guide to “Holiday Communication” here.

Finally, all this last week we’ve dedicated our 1-minute daily radio spot/podcast, Youth Culture Today, to working through Dr. Mack’s five “circuit jammers to family communication”, addressing one of these communication snafus each day. To make it easy on you to take just five minutes to rifle through each one, I’ve posted them below. Just click play on each 1-minute episode and you’ll hear some great advice from Dr. Mack on what to avoid as you gather together and interact with each other.

Circuit Jammer to Family Communication #1: Excessive Negative Talk

Circuit Jammer to Family Communication #2: Mind-Reading Speech

Circuit Jammer to Family Communication #3: Verbal Manipulation

Circuit Jammer to Family Communication #4: Cotton-Candy Speech

Circuit Jammer to Family Communication #5: Knee-Jerk Speech

We pray that you and your family have a blessed time celebrating the coming of the One who will come again to make all things new!!

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