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Monthly Archives: January 2013

Lent, Easter, and Families

The season of Lent will begin two weeks from today, on Ash Wednesday. This is a notable time for Christians–to bow their hearts before God, with true humility, repentance of sins, and a determined desire to seek God’s presence without ceasing. It is also a time to eagerly anticipate Easter Sunday, as Christians around the world celebrate our resurrected Lord. How are we doing, Christians?  For me perslentcross.jpg (10912 bytes)onally, I desire to spend this time (40 weekdays and 6 Sundays) by intentionally surrendering my time, talents, and thoughts to Jesus. You say, “Shouldn’t this be the norm 365 days a year?” Of course, but as we study the life of Jesus, there were “special” times set aside to pray and prepare one’s heart. Jesus knew the importance of reading and teaching God’s Word in the temple (Luke 2:41-49). And there were many times when Jesus reminded his disciples to pray without ceasing (Luke 18:1-8). One of the most touching examples of Christ’s humility, with exception of the Cross, is when he “wrapped a towel around his waist…and began to wash his disciples’ feet” (John 13:1-20). Jesus not only demonstrated a servant’s role through foot-washing, but he also illustrated the Father’s forgiveness towards others (see also Matt. 5:23-24; Eph. 4:32). There are so many other instances in Scripture where Jesus intentionally set aside specific times to show His genuine love and obedience to His Heavenly Father. The significant ones I’ve listed are just an inkling into what I believe God wants us to emulate.

Families, take some time during Lent to intentionally follow the example of Jesus. Set aside some”special” time to bow your hearts before God, in true humility, repentance, and with a desire to fully seek God’s presence.

There are endless ideas on the internet to help families prepare their hearts for Easter.  Here’s a couple that you may find helpful. The most important way, however, is to spend time together as a family, reading the Gospel accounts of Holy Week. I’ve included a link to the Christian Resource Institute (CRI), where you can read more on the Season of Lent.

http://www.crivoice.org/cylent.html

Shop FamilyLife – Messiah Mystery™ Lent Kit.

DIY Mini Resurrection Garden — We are THAT Family

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Posted by on January 30, 2013 11: 50 am - in Christian Family Traditions, Easter, Faith At Home, Lent

 

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New Year Plans

“We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps” Proverbs 16:9 NLT.

Many people begin the new year by making resolutions (to make a firm decision to accomplish something). I found myself typing up a list of goals for 2013, composed of two broad categories: Personal and Ministry.

Oddly enough, beginning a new year does give people the sense of “starting fresh” or “starting over.” It’s amazing how many commercials are currently airing weight loss programs. That’s no doubt a biggie on many people’s lists, mine included. So far, I’ve eaten more oranges in the past 7 days than I did in the past 7 months. Getting off to a great start! It’s funny how most of us start out with great expectations and enthusiasm to carry out those things we’ve determined to conquer, but then something happens. Our get-up-and-go gradually diminishes to good intentions, and thoughts such as “there’s always tomorrow” or “I may have bit off more than I can chew.”

This brings me to my New Year Plans blog entry intent:  “Mother, May I?”

SAM_1746A few years ago I was scrambling to come up with some impromptu games to play with some energy-filled children at church. In doing so, I recalled some of my favorites as a child, including “Mother, May I?” It dawned on me while playing “Mother, May I?” that I could adapt the game to include some biblical life principles. I changed the name to “Does it please the Lord?” and instructed the children to take X-amount of baby/scissor steps, etc. towards me after including a potential scenario such as: Johnny’s mom told him to clean his room on Saturday before going to his friend’s house. The child then says: “Does it please the Lord?” And the leader answers: “Yes, it does please the Lord….because God wants us to obey/honor our parents (5th Commandment). The child is then able to take their allotted amount of steps toward leader. Another scenario: Carol planned to go to the skating rink with some friends during Christmas break; however, she spent all of her money on a new outfit. Carol decided to sneak some money out of her brother’s piggy bank and use it to go skating. Again the child says: “Does it please the Lord?”  And the leader responds: “No it does not please the Lord…because God’s Word tells us not to steal (8th Commandment). The leader then instructs the child to take X-amount of steps backwards.

Okay, you say, what does the “Mother, May I?” game have to do with New Year Plans (resolutions and goals). Glad that you asked. While making out my Personal & Ministry Goals for 2013, I was reminded of the revised game, “Does it please the Lord?” After looking over all the things I had included on my new year goals list, I ended up deleting some and revising a few others. I then prayed this prayer and added it to the top of my 2013 goals list. “Lord, if these things are pleasing to you, then give me the wisdom and the strength to carry them out in 2013.”

I believe it is Thanksgiving grands pic 2God’s desire for His people to set goals and make plans that will honor and bring glory to Him. For me, this includes taking care of my physical body (1 Cor. 6:19-20), sharing my faith in Christ with others (Matt. 28:19-20, 1 Peter 3:15), along with my life passion: to intentionally pass down my faith in Jesus to our kids and grandkids.

May God bless you in this new year, 2013, as you seek to know God intimately, through an authentic life-changing relationship with His Son, Jesus. And may your new year be filled with many goals and plans that are purposefully directed by our Father in Heaven.  Charmé

Our newest blessing: Emeree Faith

Our newest blessing: Emeree Faith (Our 5th grandbaby). Proud daddy Seth.

 
 

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