Snow Activities for Kids

“For He [God] says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth’; Likewise to the gentle rain and the heavy rain of His strength.” Job 37:6

snow-play

Snow has fallen in 38 states out of the 50 according to the weather channel map.  Most families are experiencing cold temperatures and snow.  Are you enjoying the extra time with your children?  Need some ideas for outdoor fun now that some of the most frigid temperatures have passed?

 Some outdoor “snow” fun suggestions:

  1. DIY snow:  Warm a cup of water in the microwave for about a minute, then toss the water into the air outside.  It emmediately becomes a powdery snow cloud.  (Parent supervision needed)
  2. Create colorful globes:  Put a little food coloring in a balloon, add water, tie off the top and then place the balloon outside.  Once it is frozen, you can peel the balloon away (you may need to cut the plastic), revealing a colorful snow globe.
  3. Snow cream:
    • In a large bowl combine 1 cup of half and half or milk, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 1/3 to 1/2 cup(depending on preferred taste) of sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes.
    • Stir in snow, a cup at a time, until the ice cream magically forms! Freeze for several minutes if desired before serving.  Enjoy!
  4. Blow “frozen bubble”:  If you have any bubbles and wands left over from summer fun, try blowing in the cold temperatures outside.  Bubble recipe if you cannot find bubble mixture:  http://www.hometrainingtools.com/super-soap-bubble-solution/a/1704/
  5. Snow painting:  Fill bottles (dollar store catsup and mustard bottles) with food coloring and water.  Go outside and paint in the snow.
  6. Go sledding
  7. Build a snowman or fort.
  8. Ice skating:  My father built a rink in our back yard one year.  By using several 2×4’s build a frame, line with plastic and fill with water. (Must do ahead of time…maybe a thought for next winter:)
  9. Make a bird feeder:  Spread a bagel with peanut or almond butter and roll in birdseed. Tie a string or yarn around the bagel leaving enough string or yarn to be tied on a tree. Take outside and hang so your family can enjoy watching the birds from inside your house.

 

And not to be forgotten: Teach helpfulness, go with your children and help a neighbor shovel snow off their driveway or sidewalk.

God’s Word says in Job 37:6 that God tells the snow to fall.  Wow, what a word picture.  Share this verse with your children as you do fun snow activities.

Once you get back inside your home after your fun outside share this cute little video and song while drinking hot chocolate.

One of my favorite books about snow is “Snowflake Bentley”.

Parents, take time for reflection on the amazing beauty of the snowflake.  See this video accompanied by a wonderful hymn.

Until the next “Truth” sharing moment,

Cathy Jo Johnson

 

Joy Over One – No – Two!

Daily Truth:  “Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.”  Luke 15:10

 

To be honest, I woke up this morning not exactly filled with joy that we were starting a new year.  The last two years have held enough sorrow and change in them to last a lifetime for our family. So, I guess the fact that 2014 is filled with a lot of uncertainties (like every year) just didn’t add to the excitement of a new year and new beginning. I also woke up this morning not knowing what in the world I was going to blog about. Since most people use January 1st to resolve to be healthier, I was going to post a healthy granola recipe that we make.  However, I just didn’t feel that was what I was supposed to post. Maybe another time. So, I went down to fix our New Year’s breakfast.  Unbeknownst to me, my oldest son was asking his dad how to get saved. Shortly before breakfast was ready, my 6 year old son, with joy all over his face, explodes out of his dad’s office yelling, “Mom, I just asked Jesus into my heart!” Well, that sent this mom into a flood of tears – tears of complete joy. That wasn’t all. Shortly before we sat down for breakfast, I couldn’t find my 5 year old son so he could help set the table.  He then exploded out of his dad’s office with the same, “Mom I just asked Jesus into my heart!” Once again, this mom was sent into a flood of tears – tears of utter and complete joy. You see, we have been praying really hard that the boys would not only understand their need for a Savior but that they would, on their own, come to one of us and ask us to show them how to be saved.  That is exactly what happened. What was even cooler was that right before Micah talked to his dad, my 7 year old daughter came to me and said that she just prayed that Micah and Sam would get saved this year. Can I tell you what that did for her to see God answer her prayer so quickly? Joy. Complete, fulfilling joy! Friend, if you are reading this and have no idea what I am talking about or have never experienced the joy I am describing, will you give me a moment to share with you. 1.  You have to realize that you are a sinner (Romans 3:23). 2.  You must realize that willingly gave His life for your sins (I Timothy 1:15). 3.  You must realize that Christ did not stay dead, but that He rose again (I Corinthians 15:4). 4.  You must realize that there is NOTHING you can do or say that will earn your salvation.  You must believe in faith (Ephesians 2:8-9) and that it is a free gift (John 3:16). 5.  You must confess your sins and believe that Christ died for you – make it personal (Acts 16:31, Romans 10:9). Satan loves to get us to believe that we aren’t worthy of God’s love or that God couldn’t possibly save us based off of our past.  But the wonderful thing about that cross, is that God sees us all the same – sinners in need of a Savior. If you haven’t received Christ as your Savior and experienced this unbelievable joy that only God can give, will you do that today. If you have accepted Christ as your Savior, take the time today to thank Him for His gift of salvation and to ask Him to remind you of that joy. Some of my favorite lines come from an old hymn entitled, “Holy, Holy is What the Angels Sing“: Holy, holy, is what the angels sing, And I expect to help them make the courts of heaven ring; But when I sing redemption’s story, they will fold their wings, For angels never felt the joys that our salvation brings. I know my dad is up there belting out a loud “AMEN” right now. Until next week, Rebekah klink

Jesus: The Greatest of All Gifts

Daily Truth: “And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him…they presented unto him gifts; ”  Matthew 2:11

Yesterday, was a flurry of gifts being given, meeting with family, and eating. Christmas Day is always a time of excitement – especially for the kids.  Although, I think my favorite part of Christmas is hearing the kids squeal with delight as they open their gifts. Yet, as we pack up the wrapping paper and some the Christmas decorations (ours stay up well into January – I just can’t bring myself to have the season end so abruptly) let us not forget the greatest gift every given.  The gift of Jesus Christ. Call me prejudice, but my oldest daughter wrote this poem and it sums up my thoughts quite precisely.

The Greatest Gift

The Greatest Gift didn’t come in a giant box,                                                                                      It came in a manger where animals eat.

The Greatest Gift didn’t come in nice read and green wrapping paper,                                          It came wrapped in filthy rags. 

The Greatest Gift didn’t come with a large bow,                                                                                  It came lying in animal-eaten hay.                                                                                                          

The Greatest Gift wasn’t placed in a palace for nobles to view,                                                        It was placed in a barn, as perfect as it was, viewed by common shepherds. 

But the Greatest Gift is a Holy one                                                                                                      Sent from our Father to us.

Until next week and may you have the best of time with family and friends,

Rebekah

klink

 

Christmas Advent Devotional: How Excellent is Your Name O LORD

Daily Truth:   “O LORD, our Lord,  how excellent is Your name in all the earth!”

 Psalm 8:9

Names are important to us and to God.  When we know someone we use their name when talking with them.  When we learn God’s Hebrew names we learn more about Him.  Each name reveals a character quality of God.

Advent Cover

“Wise men still seek Him.”

I have created a family “Christmas Advent Devotional”.  Each day a new name of God is learned. A chain link craft adds enjoyment and anticipation to this study.

DSCN0505

 

Day 1 of Christmas  Advent Devotion:  Yahweh (LORD) yah-WEH

This name of God by Jewish tradition was too Holy to be said aloud.   It was said as YHWH without the vowels.  YHWH is referred to as the Tetragrammaton (which means “four letters”).  YHWH comes from the four Hebrew letters:  Yud, Hay, Vav, Hay.  The modern spelling is Yahweh and now spoken by Jewish people as Jehovah.

 In the Old Testament, the name Yahweh, is the most frequently used name of God.  It is found over 6,000 times. The first time it is written is in Genesis 2:4 where it is written as Yahweh Elohim  (yah-WEH e-lo-HEEM).  This name of God as you will see can be written as Yahweh or a long side another name of God. When written with another name of God a new character quality of God is revealed.

Read Genesis 7:1-3

“Yahweh said to Noah, ‘Go into the ship with your whole family because I have seen that you alone are righteous among the people of today.   Take with you seven pairs of every kind of clean and one pair of every kind of unclean animal.  Also, take seven pairs of every kind of bird to preserve animal life all over the earth after the flood.’ ”

Yahweh is LORD (all capital letters) over all.  Noah knew God and obeyed God.  Because of Noah’s love of Yahweh and fear (respect) of Yahweh his entire family was spared from certain death.

Questions:  

If you would have lived in the days of Noah what would have kept you safe from the flood that Yahweh sent to cover the earth?

What today can keep you safe from separation from God? (Romans 10:9)

Yahweh, you are holy, powerful, slow to anger, continually loving, full of grace toward us.  You know our sinful hearts yet you love us all the same.  Help us to love and respect you and follow where you lead.

To get each day’s devotions and a pdf of the Names of God chain link please see http://truthsfortots.com/

A wonderful children’s book to accompany this study is “What’s in a Name?” :  Learning about the Names of God by Cathy Jo Johnson  http://truthsfortots.com/whats-in-a-name/

Blessings to you and your family this Christmas Season.

Until the next “Truth” sharing moment,

Cathy Jo Johnson

 

 

 

 

 

O Give Thanks Unto the Lord

Daily Truth: “O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever”.  Psalms 136:1

 

 

Here are some verses to help us remember why we should give thanks not only on Thanksgiving Day but everyday.  

O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory in thy praise.”   I Chronicles 16:34-35

“Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.”  I Chronicles 16:8

“That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.” Psalms 26:7

“Sing unto the Lord, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.”  Psalms 30:4

“To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.”  Psalms 30:12

“I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.” Psalms 69:30

“Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare.”  Pslams 75:1

“So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture will give thee thanks for ever: we will shew forth thy praise to all generations.”  Psalms 79:13

“It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High”  Psalms 92:1

“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.”  Psalms 100:4

“Praise ye the Lord. O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.”  Psalms 106:1

“And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing”  Psalms 107:22

“I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the Lord.” Psalms 116:17

“But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  I Corinthians 15:57

“Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.”  II Corinthians 2:14

“Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.”  II Corinthians 9:11

“Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.”  II Corinthians 9:15

“We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,”  Colossians 1:3

“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”  Colossians 3:17

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”  I Thessalonians 5:18

“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.”  Hebrews 13:15

“Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.”  Revelations 11:17

May I encourage you to read Psalms 136 and just really soak in the power of our God to whom we give all thanks.

Wishing you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving,

Rebekah

klink

 

 

 

Thanksgiving Blessings

Daily Truth:   “You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.”

2 Corinthians 9:11

the_first_thanksgiving[1]

That first Thanksgiving was filled with great joy.  The Pilgrims had suffered adverse conditions on both water and land.  The Native Americans had helped the Pilgrims in numerable ways.  A celebration was in order.  A celebration which lasted three days shows their great thankfulness and the great abundance of food that was produced.

Two books that not only share facts but highlight God’s working in both the Pilgrims and Native Americans lives are:

Thanksgiving:  A Time to Remember by Barbara Rainey

DSCN0409

Squanto:  And the Miracle of Thanksgiving by Eric Metaxes

DSCN0412

Listed are just a few of the miracles from these two books so you can see the hand of God in this celebration we call Thanksgiving.

  • Due to repairs needed on the ship, Speedwell, the passenger list was cut in half. “William Bradford commented, ‘And thus like Gideon’s army, this small number is divided, as if the Lord by this work of his providence thought these few were too many for the great work we had to do.”‘
  • One of the storms on the the sea raged for days.  “Without warning one of the huge crossbeams supporting the main deck suddenly cracked due to the constant stress of the high winds.  Now the sailors were as worried as the passengers.  But as always the Pilgrims took their concerns and fears to God, asking Him to deliver them and provide a way of escape.  Their spiritual leader, William Brewster, remembered the large iron jack screw the Pilgrims had brought for lifting heavy beams when they would begin their building construction…The sailors used this to crank up the beam to its original position.  The Pilgrims gave God the praise.”
  • ” One man, a servant of John Carver named John Howland, became frantic after being cooped up so long during the storm. Though the worst of the storm was over, the main deck was still no place for passengers…He disobeyed the captain’s orders and went up on deck…..Suddenly the ship heeled and John fell overboard…A rope was trailing over the side of the ship, and by God’s amazing grace it was there when John reached out.”
  • Many years before the Pilgrims landed in the New World a group of white men landed there.  A young boy named Squanto, a part of the tribe called the Patuxets, lived along the coast of what today is called Massachusetts.  Squanto was taken, along with many of his friends, by these men back to Spain to be sold into slavery.  Squanto watched as his friends were sold and never to be seen again.  “But God had another plan for Squanto.  On the dock that morning stood a group men who were different from the others.  These were called monks, and they served God.  When it was Squanto’s time to be sold, one of the monks held up a small bag of heavy coins” and purchased him.  They were kind and taught him about God.
  • “They knew he missed his family so the tried to help him find a way to go back home to America.  Finally, they came upon a good plan.  But first, Squanto would have to travel all the way to England.  That is where trading ships were that sometimes sailed to America….so Squanto traveled to England…the monks had sent him to the home of a London merchant named John Slanie.”
  • It was ten years from Squanto’s capture before he finally was able to go home.  By this time he had learned the English language.

Though it took several years for Squanto to get back to America he had learned about God and the English language.  When the Pilgrims arrived in America the Native Americans greeted them.  Since Squanto knew English he helped them in many ways.

God’s providence is seen throughout history.  Not only in history that we read from a book but in the history of each person.

As you celebrate and count your blessings remember those who came before you and those who will come after you.  Each person has struggles, hardships, joys and blessings. When God is sought in every situation God always shows Himself faithful.  Our timing is not God’s timing so waiting is part of the process.  We need to pray and allow God to work and show Himself faithful to us and our families.

Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Until the next “Truth” sharing moment,

Cathy Jo Johnson

IMG_0552

Hanukkah on Thanksgiving

Daily Truth:  “And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.”  John 10:22

 

Hanukkah on Thanksgiving?  I know,  a little bit of a different title.  I will explain but you will have to indulge me in some “factoid” information.

A rare occurrence is happening this Thanksgiving.   The second day of Hanukkah is on Thanksgiving for the first time in 125 years and it will be another roughly 77,800 years before this happens again.

(Another side note:  a comet is also supposed to be passing by earth on Thanksgiving morning and it is one of my dear friend’s birthday.  Exciting day!!!)

I love history and learning about different holidays.  So, when I found out that little tidbit of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving there was no way I was going to let this great opportunity pass without some sort of acknowledgement.

I am not Jewish and the most I knew about Hanukkah was from watching “Fiddler on the Roof“.  So, I did a little research and this what I discovered in a nutshell.

History of Hanukkah

About 160 years before the birth of Christ, King Antiochus IV destroyed the temple and was set on destroying the Jewish race.  A small band of Jewish soldiers fought the king’s army and against all odds defeated it.  The Jews reclaimed the temple.

The temple was in shambles.  So, the people restored the temple.  When they went to light the menorah, there was only enough pure oil to burn for one day.  However, according to Jewish tradition, the oil miraculously burned for 8 days.  This was long enough for more oil to be prepared.

Hanukkah is a celebration of the rededication of the temple and God’s protection of His people. Hanukkah is sometimes called “The Festival of Lights” or “The Feast of Dedication” (see John 10:22 above).

My hubs and I wanted to use this unique holiday combination to remind our children how God takes care of His children.  So, we are going to give them a little taste of Hanukkah starting on Thanksgiving Day and carry it over to the next day.

Here is what you are going to need.

1.  A Menorah (or you could use 9 candlesticks lined up in a row).

2.  A Dreidel

3.  Hannukah gelt

4.  Potatoes and oil

5.  Candles

The Menorah – There are 9 branches to the menorah.  The tallest branch is the servant photo 1 (7)candle.  This candle will light all the others.  The number of candles lit coincides with the day of Hanukkah.  Day 1 you light one candle, day 2 two candles, etc.  The candles are lit alternating right and left side and are lit 30 minutes after nightfall. A blessing is then said.

 

 

 

photo 3 (5)Dreidel – The Dreidel is a 4 sided top that is used in a children’s game.  This is done to remember the children who were forced to study the Torah “underground” during the time of Antiochus IV rule.  The children would study the Torah in the forest and when soldiers would come upon them, they would hide the Torah and pull out their dreidel’s and start playing.

 

 

The best way to see how to play the Dreidel is to google it on the website.  You will need the photo 2 (7)Hanukkah gelt which is the chocolate gold coins for this game.

 

 

 

 

 

Latkes – Latkes are basically potato pancakes fried in oil and served with applesauce.  Once again, there are a gazillion recipes on how to make Latkes for Hannukah.  Just google “Latkes” and you will have your fair share of choice recipes.

Sufganiyot (Doughnuts) – Now who does not like a good doughnut?  These are made for a dessert one night cooked in oil.

All the foods are cooked oil to remember how God provided the 8 days of oil for the menorah.

How are we going to incorporate Hanukkah?

So glad you asked.

Thanksgiving Day – We will light the first candle of Hanukkah, read The Story of Hanukkah to the children, and explain how God provides and protects His children.  Then we are going to go around the table and ask each member to tell a way that God has shown His provision and protection to us this past year.

Friday – Doughnuts for breakfast.  I am going to attempt to make them with the kiddos help.  Dinner will consist of fish and latkes.  During the day, I will show the kids how to play Dreidel and we will play a few rounds.

We will continue lighting the candles each night until all are lit.  This will then carry into our family tradition of lighting the advent candles.

There is so much more to Hanukkah.  What I have shared with you is just the scratching of the surface.

Thanksgiving is a time to thank God for His goodness to us.  His protection of the Jewish race brought us a Savior and His continue protection of the Jewish race will one day usher in our King.

Until next week,

Rebekah

klink

Having A Heart Fixed on God

Daily Truth:  “My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.” Psalms 57:7

 

Do you ever get your mind so fixed on something that you think about it through out the day? I think we can all say that we have done that at some point in time in our lives.  Especially women/ moms!

It can be a good thing your mind is fixed on.  “Yeah, my son was polite to the lady.”

It can be a bad thing your mind is fixed on.  “I can’t believe she did such and such!”

Sometimes that good thing can turn into a bad thing.  “Yeah, my daughter did an outstanding job on her part in the program.”  Then that turns into pride.  Never mind you drive everybody nuts that you have to tell!

The word “fixed” in this case means “determined, established, set”.

My youngest son OFTEN gets this way!  We are constantly working on him with it.

The other day we were getting family pics done at a local park.  It wasn’t cold – chilly, yes – but not cold.  Well, he got it fixed  in his little brain that he was freezing.  About half way through the photo session, he started throwing a temper tantrum.

Now, before we had the photo session, all the children were told that they would not participate in the fun activity that night that they had been looking forward to all year if we had any tempers or bad attitudes.

Nope!  Didn’t work on our youngest.  He was so fixed on being “freezing” that he didn’t care that he would miss the activity that night.  Well, that is until he got home and all the other kids went with dad and he had to stay home and do jobs.  Suddenly, he wished he had obeyed.

BTW – our photographer did a fantastic job!  She was so patient with the kids and was able to get quite a few pics despite the melt down.  Probably because she was fixed on getting a good pic!

The Israelites are a perfect example of being fixed on something.  In fact so fixed on their circumstances and their situation that it consumed them.

There was the time they were fixed on the Egyptians closing in on them and the Red Sea ahead of them.  They forgot all about the plagues that God had delivered them from.  (Exodus 14)

Then there was the food situation.  They were so fixed on the fact that they were eating the same thing over and over again that they wanted to go back to Egypt and enjoy the foods they had there.  Ummmm…did they not remember they were slaves?  (Exodus 16)

Then there was the food situation – again.  Well, God had it with them this time and sent fiery snakes among the people.  But as God always does, He gave a way to escape the snakes.  All they had to do was look at the serpent on the pole and they would be saved from the fiery snakes.

I often wonder how many Israelites were so fixed on the snakes around them that they didn’t fix their gaze on the serpent that could save them.  (Numbers 21)

Ok.  Before we get a little prideful and speak against the Israelites, aren’t we ALOT like them.

How often do we have our gaze fixed on our circumstances or our situation and forget to fix our eyes and heart on the One who has put us into those circumstances or situations.

Once we think, “Hey, I got this ‘heart fixed on God thing’ down pretty good”,  that’s when we get ourselves into trouble and our eyes get fixed on things around us.

We can teach our children to keep their eyes fixed on God.  When someone doesn’t share, instead of saying, “Well, he was being naughty, ”  how about saying, “Mommy is more concerned how you act and what God says about sharing”.

Or when your child worries about a certain situation, remind them that God is in control and we are not to worry.  Thus, we are teaching them to keep their eyes and heart fixed on God.

Be careful!  Your words may come back to haunt you!

I have a dear friend who had been crying  over a particular situation.  Her 7 year old son saw her crying in the kitchen again and the following dialogue occurred.

Son: “Mom, are you crying because of (particular situation)?

Mom:  “Yes, buddy.  Mommy’s sorry for crying.”

Son: “Mom, haven’t you told me that worry is sin and that it adds nothing to your life? Mom, God had this.  So, no more worrying okay?!”

My friend had been teaching her son how to keep his eyes fixed on God.  Then when she needed that reminder, God used her son.

As we go into this holiday season, where it is so easy to get our eyes fixed on things around us, let us remember to keep our eyes fixed on the One that is the reason for this season.

Until next week,

Rebekah

klink

Having A Thankful Heart

Daily Truth: “Be thankful unto him, and bless his name.”  Psalms 100:4

It’s that time of year again in which we focus on having a thankful heart.  Obviously, it is something that we should be working on all year, but it is a good time to focus on being thankful for many reasons.

1.  We are getting closer to the Christmas season in which often our “wanters” get out of wack!

2.  It helps us to refocus on what is important.

3.  It helps us to realize how blessed we are.

4.  It helps us to see other people’s needs and get the focus off of ourselves.

As mom’s we really need to work on being thankful on a daily basis.  Especially on those days when we feel like we are drowning under the needs of our children!

The Bible commands us to be thankful.  I Thessalonians 5:18, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

Every thing is a BIG word that covers a lot of ground.  You can substitute any situation for the word “every thing” and the command still works.

“In doing 5 loads of laundry give thanks.”

“In changing another dirty diaper give thanks.”

“In hearing some undesirable news give thanks.”

It’s obviously not easy to be thankful in all things and it is something that I have to work on daily!

We also need to teach our children to be thankful and not to focus on themselves.

So, as we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, I have a couple of ideas you can use that would be visible reminders to our children just how much they have to be thankful for.

A Thankfulness Chain

When I taught school, I sometimes did this with my students for answered prayer.  Here is how it works.

1.  Take 8 1/2 x 11 construction paper and cut it into 1 inch strips.  You will need ALOT of construction paper based on the size of your family.

2.  Have the children write, draw, or tell you something they are thankful for and put it on the strip of paper.

3.  Bring the ends of the strip together and staple the ends.

4.  Insert another strip through the first circle and staple the ends together.

5.  Keep repeating this process to make a chain

6.  Hang the chain from the ceiling

You can then use the chain to decorate your Christmas tree.

We have been using the following idea in our family.

Picture Frame

photo (28)

1.  Take a large picture frame.  Nail small nails in the back of the frame.

2.  Use small gauge wire and string the wire between the nails.

photo 2 (6)

3.  Take 4×6 cards and cut them into thirds.  (I used colored ones)

4.  Have your child write, draw, or tell you something they are thankful for and put it on the paper.

5.  Take a clothes pin and hang the cards from the wire.

photo 1 (6)We do the “Thankful” cards each night during family devotions.  I put all the supplies in a jar and after we read the Bible the kids draw what they are thankful for.  Then we go around the table and tell what we are thankful for.  Only rule – no repeats!

My 3rd child drew what he wanted for Christmas on the card the first night.  We had to reteach the activity and then he got it.

There are many more ideas you can use.  These are just two.

As we go into the holiday season let us remember to have a thankful heart for EVERY THING!

“O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.”                  I Chronicles 16:34

Until next week,

Rebekah

 

Angels: The Servants of God

Daily Truth:  “For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.”  Psalms 91:11

 

 

Angels are always an interesting topic.  Kids imagine them with white dresses, wings, and halos floating above their heads.

Did you know that they are mentioned over 108 times in the Old Testament and over 165 times in the New Testament and that 44 of the 66 books of the Bible mention angels. (Yes, I listened in church on Sunday.)

There are weeks that I come to Wednesday morning and I don’t know what to write about.  This week the Lord laid the topic of angels on my heart.

Last week, one of our family devotions dealt with the topic of angels.  It was very interesting to see the kids responses.  Here is what we learned.

1.  There are two angels – Michael and Gabriel.  Michael is the archangel and sometimes has to fight Satan (Jude 1:9).  The boys thought that was pretty cool. Gabriel is the messenger angel.  (Luke 1:19).

2.  The angels were made to serve God.(Psalms 104:4)

3.  Although the angels are God’s servants they do not have God’s powers.  They aren’t omniscient. (Matthew 24:36)

4.  We are each given a guardian angel assigned the task of watching over us.  (Matthew 4:6, Matthew 18:10) The kids were AMAZED by this.

“You mean that there are angels in the room right now watching us?”

“Why can’t we see them?”

“You mean their job is to take care of us?”

“If they don’t know everything, how do they know not to protect us?  For instance when it is time for us to go to Heaven, how do they know to stop doing their job?”  (Hate those hard questions.)

The last question we answered like this:  Angels are told to take care of us and protect us.  Yet, God is all knowing.  When it is time for us to go to Heaven, they are still protecting us, but God is telling those angels that their job is now to bring us to Heaven because God knows it is time for us to be with Him.

“Why can’t we see them?” We told the kids we can’t always see them but the Bible indicates that there are times that we see them and don’t know it. (Hebrews 13:2)

There are many incidents in the Bible where people saw angels.  We focused on two stories.

The first story was about Peter being in prison and how the angel walked him right out of prison. (Acts 12:5-17) The kids thought that was pretty amazing that Peter was able to just walk right past all the guards and they didn’t even see him!

Then there was the story of Elisha who was being chased by a king.  The king sent an army to the city where Elisha was to take him prisoner.  (Side note:  Why in the world did the king think he needed a whole army to capture Elisha?  Just a thought.)

Elisha’s servant turns to him in panic and asks what are they supposed to do.

Elisha prays and asks God to open his servant’s eyes.  When God does, the servant sees the hillside full of angels in chariots of fire surrounding the king’s army.  (II Kings 2:16-18)

“WOW!” was the kids response and somehow I think that might have been the servant’s response as well.

There are many other stories in the Bible that talk about angels (Genesis 28:11-13Daniel 6:16-22. Daniel 3:19-25).

Despite all the amazing things angels can do, we learned the most amazing thing yet.  Angels will never experience the joy of salvation. In fact, they rejoice when a soul is saved. (Luke 15:10)

The angels are servants of God, we can become the children of God.  How much better is it to be God’s child!!

I have always loved the words to this chorus:

“Holy, holy is what the angels sing, And I expect to help them make the courts of heaven ring: But when I sing redemption’s story, they will fold their wings, For angels never felt the joys that our salvation brings.”   Holy, Holy is What the Angels Sing by Rev. Johnson Oatman

So, as we teach our children about angels focus on the fact that we can become the children of God.

Until next week,

Rebekah

klink