Monthly Archives: February 2016

1 Peter 3:18- Jesus Loves You so Much!

1 Peter 3 18The greatest love is God sending His son to earth, to die on the cross so that our sins could be forgiven and we could have eternal life. Jesus loves us so much that He was willing to do this. He knew it had to happen and He did it!

Jesus carrying His cross and being crucified is not a story that should be reserved just for Easter. Kids need to be reminded of what happened throughout the year. As they learn other stories in the Bible, they need to see how they all point to Jesus.

Today’s craft uses 1 Peter 3:18 which says, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.” See, Jesus loves you!

1 Peter 3 18 materialsFor this craft you will need:

  • one cross paper per child 1 Peter 3 18
  • different colored construction paper for hearts
  • glue, crayons, scissors
  • something to cover the table

Let the kids cut out their own hearts. I cut the paper into strips ahead of time so they could just fold it in half and have about the right sized hearts. Glue the hearts on and let them decorate. As you put the craft together, share stories about a loving God! Don’t be afraid to let the kids personalize theirs, it’s a little window into their hearts!

1 Peter 3 18 kids

Here are a couple of other love crafts your kiddos might enjoy!

1 John 2:15 – Love the Father

Philippians 4:4 – Rejoice, He is Risen!

Is Your Worship Better than Mine?

Is Your Worship 2Sometimes I wonder what my worship looks like to others. We live in a world where we constantly compare ourselves to others or try to keep up with the Jones’. I imagine if we are honest with ourselves, we have all judged others “way” of worshipping at some point. I got to thinking about this when I saw this clip by Tim Hawkins. He’s a funny guy and he did this bit on people in worship.

Did that make you smile? Good, because you know what, sometimes a smile is all you are going to get out of someone in worship. And that is OK!

Honestly, I’m not a hand raiser. In fact, I’m barely a hand clapper…which is ironic since I’m a music teacher and I’m quite good at keeping a steady beat. I’m more of just a “standthereandtakeitallin” kind of worshipper. I love listening to the music and singing along – with my hands at my sides.  I love listening to my husband preach – while trying to keep the red in my cheeks from elevating as I wonder, “Why did he share that?”. And I do this while never once nodding my head up and down in agreement, letting out an Amen, or feeling the pressure to.

Remember I just said I sing with my hands at my sides? Well really, my favorite way to worship with music is when my little girl lets me hold her and she rests her head on my shoulder and I hear her singing along. Or, when my son, who sings with so much gusto (on pitch thank you very much),  pulls my arms around his neck and holds them. It’s then that I can feel his vocal cords vibrating and I’m amazed that God has given my these beautiful children. My worship continues when I look at my other two sons, stone faced, slouchy, and totally bored. It’s ok, that’s how they worship and I know they are listening, but they would probably prefer if the whole worship experience included a video game battle or came in four quarters.

You see, God created us all as individuals. Isaiah 64:8 says, “Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” He made us, with HIS hands. He knows how we will worship and whether our worship is genuine. Let’s face it, anyone can raise their hands to “fit in” with everyone else, but if it’s not you, then it’s not really a genuine act of worship. Trying to keep up with everyone else is exhausting. You don’t have to do it.

So, the next time you gather for worship, don’t judge others and consider your worship supreme to those around you. Maybe that person sitting down is weary from a long night or illness and it took everything to get there. Maybe the mom running around after her kid doesn’t care what you think about her child’s behavior and how it is “interrupting” your worship because it took five years of trying to get a little one to run after. Maybe that man in front of you never sings a word, but inside his heart is bursting with song, however somewhere along the line a buddy told him he sounded awful and so now he doesn’t open his mouth. Maybe we all just need to remember that in the end, worship isn’t about us. It’s about God. It’s about His son, Jesus who could be doing a whole song and dance in front of you trying to get your attention, but we just don’t see it because we are so worried about what others see us doing and we want to fit in.

The answer to, “Is your worship better than mine?” is no. And mine isn’t better than yours. What matters is that we take the time to worship God in the way He has enabled us to and then to share that love and reason we worship with others.

 

 

A Family Love Banner

A Family Love BannerAh, yes, the sound of the cash register ringing up the love of money. Are you feeling like you want to avoid that and instead make a genuine effort this Valentine’s Day? Look no further, the whole family can participate in this activity. I have nothing against the commercialism of Valentine’s Day, I just don’t need anymore stuff off the shelves. If you are looking for something to raise people up with loving words, this is it.

I have this fantastic window in my kitchen with very exciting white curtains. Ha! So, come holiday time, we like to jazz them up. For Valentine’s Day, I went digging in my bin of stuff and found some beads and festive paper. The kids helped make Valentine’s for the top row, I did the words, but then everyone helped with the bottom row.

Here’s what we did. Everyone was given two hearts for each person. On each heart, they had to write something they love about that person. It could be something they are good at, that they like to do together, something they admire about them, or anything as long as the words were loving and built the person up. So, in our family that meant each person got 10 hearts full of loving words.

We gave each pocket out after our Valentine’s meal and read them. It was so much fun to hear what others wrote because I didn’t look at them ahead of time. We did this early in the week before the 14th and we put them in as we finished. No peeking was the rule. It was so cute because my youngest daughter had me help her with everyone’s but she asked a brother to help her with mine, so it was a secret.

You see, kids love this. And whether everyone in the family gets along all the time or not, we all had something loving to say about each other. Because we are a family. We work hard to teach our children to say things that build each other up, to give hugs – not hits, and kisses – not kicks. Because we are a family. God has blessed us and allowed us to be together and we need to grow that bond and this is a great way.

Remember, your banner doesn’t need to be fancy. We did a variation on this a couple of years ago with the Tree of Love. It’s not about the presentation, it’s about the words on the notes. You better believe I have all those notes tucked away. You never know, when they think they are too tough for love, I’ll be pulling them out.

So, get your chocolates and roses. Open a bottle of wine or make a heart shaped pizza. Celebrate Valentine’s Day however you like. And, if you’re feeling up to it, add in these messages. Happy Valentine’s Day!