I want to pass on a tip from an educational specialist who was talking to me about how to help those now educating kids at home. He recommends that families have ‘Small pebbles and Big rocks’ in their day. The small pebbles are all the things that need to be done – whether it’s maths, history, art, music or chores, meals or shopping. These things can be arranged to suit a family schedule throughout the day. It is important though to have one or two ‘big rocks’. These are times of anchoring. They might be a launchpad for the day or landing place at the end of the day. Perhaps it will be a check in throughout the day. This time can be a time of reflection, catching up with each other, setting goals, preparation or re-setting. He encourages families to set a time each day where, if possible, the whole family can gather, perhaps someone can share a thought for the day or bible story or devotional. You could share your highs and lows from the last 24 hours, pass on news, encouragement and requests. You could pray for each other.

I’d encourage you to look for the chance to set up a ‘big rock’ time for your family each day.

The whole idea of the ‘big rock’ time reminds me too of Jesus’ story about the wise man who built his house of a rock, on a firm foundation. When the storms came and battered the house, it stood firm because it was built on a strong foundation.

Right now we are certainly experiencing the beginnings of a storm that is likely to get worse before it gets better. Unfortunately the song many of you now have in your head about this story has, I think, done us a bit of a disservice. It describes the ‘moral’ of Jesus story as “So build your life on the Lord Jesus Christ”. This is, to some extent, good advice but a bit vague. Truly good advice is clear and direct – as we are realising lately. Jesus words recorded in the Bible though are much more direct than the song. Here’s what Jesus said “So then, everyone who hears my words and puts them into practice is like a wise man. He builds his house on the rock. Matt. 7:24 (NIrV).

Let’s ensure we are building our house on a solid foundation by listening to Jesus words (Jesus said this at the end of his ‘Sermon on the Mount’ (Matt. 5-7) and so these were the ‘words’ he was directly referring to) and then putting them into practice!

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