Sunday, August 2, 2009
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Sunday, April 26, 2009
The kids were told to dress for the park, but that was all. We started by packing drinks and stopping at the grocery store on the way for donuts. JP hid the donuts from the kids so they wouldn't see them. We arrived at a local park with a walking trail. We walked until we came to a beautiful fountain where we pulled out our Bible and took turns reading the story. We talked a little about the story and then went to find a picnic table. As we were walking we talked about how the disciples were feeling and how they did not recognize Jesus. When are there times in our lives when we do not recognize Jesus? JP told a story about a time we were broken down with a dead battery in a desolate area in the middle of the night. A motorcycle dude dressed in leather and riding a Harley stopped to help us. We were very scared at first, but he turned out to be a struggling Christian who helped us and then asked us to remember him in prayer. Jesus told his disciples when they helped the least of people, they were doing it for Him.
When we got to the picnic table, we talked about how surprised the disciples were when Jesus broke the bread. Then we pulled out the donuts (our kids favorite breakfast). Needless to say they were surprised. Tera later confessed she thought we were learning about fasting today, since we had not fed them before we left. After we ate, we walked back to car just like the disciples as they returned to Jerusalem. As we go on our way this week, may we recognize Jesus this week as He comes to us in the most unexpected skin.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
This Easter we read the story of the Resurrection from John 20 had a time of music worship and praise in the morning. Our get-together meal was a big breakfast meal with sausage and biscuits. We then had the kids go upstairs while we hid eggs around the yard (including the Resurrection Eggs in the picture). After the children went crazy looking for plastic eggs around the yard they split them up (we mark each egg with the initials of the child so they each get the same amount).
The Resurrection Eggs were placed back in the container and, setting the candy eggs aside, we opened up the Resurrection Eggs one at a time. Each plastic egg in the set contains a symbol of the Easter story including; the triumphal entry (a little plastic donkey), the betrayal of Jesus (three silver coins), the crucifixion (a cross fashioned from three nails), and so on to the last egg which is empty symbolizing the empty tomb. The amazing thing is that, after doing this activity for the last few years, the children can tell each part of the story (they are 8 and 6) from the triumphal entry to the resurrection with no help from an adult! We have used this set for just our family and for groups as large as fifty and it always holds every one's attention. Definitely worth the twenty bucks!
We have been enjoying reintroducing symbols and experiential worship to our get-togethers and will eventually move back into prayer stations. We don't think that this takes us out of the realm of 'simple church' as Jesus frequently used such means to get the message across to his listeners. He used the bread and wine to teach of his atoning sacrifice, seed and ground to describe the act of spreading the gospel, coins, fish, the temple, even a prostitute crying and kissing his feet! But instead of on a platform before a sardine can audience he used these things in everyday settings..."teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:7-9)"
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Sunday, March 15, 2009
We have been reading through the lectionary during this lenten season. The kids are doing really well remembering what lent is all about and can quickly recall that it commemorates the 40 days Jesus fasted in the wilderness. We took turns reading through the following:
I Cor. 1:18-25
The Exodus reading was the Ten Commandments and we discussed why God would give a list of rules. Not to dominate the people but for their own protection. We talked about how God punishes us with natural consequences and his own punishment because he loves us and doesn't want to see his children harm themselves. The kids could remember that when the Israelites failed to follow God they ended up with a divided kingdom.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Sunday, February 8, 2009
I Samuel 14:1-23
I Timothy 1:1-11
After lunch we took turns reading the scriptures. The kids really got into the OT reading and begged me to keep going when I got to the end of the section ( I was mean and made them wait until next week even though I knew that they would be sneaky and read it on their own before then). It was the story of King Saul’s son, Jonathan and his battle against the Philistines. The armies of Israel were encamped opposite the Philistines and Jonathan and his armor bearer went to check out the enemy. Jonathan gets it into his head to attack the entire army by himself and asks the Lord for a sign which he receives. Just before this we learn that many Israelites had abandoned the army and some even joined the Philistines leaving Israel with only about 600 men to the thousands in the Philistine camp. But Jonathan, following the Lord’s sign, attacks the Philistine camp alone freaking out their army who begins fighting amongst themselves. An earthquake occurs at the same time adding to the confusion and the Israelites finally join in and defeat the lot of them.
We talked about how the Lord isn’t concerned with how outnumbered we are or how bad the odds are. If we follow Him we will always emerge victorious.
“I trust in the Lord for protection,
So why do you say to me,
Fly to the mountains for safety!
…the foundations of law and order have collapsed.
What can the righteous do?
But the Lord is in His holy Temple;
the Lord still rules from heaven…”
The “adults” discussed how this speaks to our collapsing economy, political structure, job market, etc.. And how we feel like running someplace safe like building a cabin in the mountains to escape all the chaos. It was the ‘child’ who spoke up and connected our reading this afternoon. 6-year-old Daniel said, “that’s just like what Jonathan did! He trusted in the Lord and even though he was all alone he was able to attack and destroy the Philistines all by himself because God was still in charge!” I am so glad we decided to allow the children to have equal voice, participation and responsibility during church (how much we missed pushing the kids out of the "big ppl's service"!).
We ended our time in prayer, praying especially for some friends and family members who are battling cancer, my son, as always requested prayer for Haiti. He never fails to pray for Haiti before bedtime and always mentions the nation during service time. Of course we prayed for mom and the new baby coming in less than two weeks!