Just 4 Fun~ Easter Craft

“Plant a Resurrection Garden”

What you will need:

potting soil

grass seed for shade

small flower pot

twigs

water basin for display

Place potting soil in basin. Bury the small flower pot. Liberally sprinkle grass seed over the area. Create three crosses from the twigs and place in soil. Place in a warm sunny place. Spritz with water several times a day. Will sprout in 7-10 days. Plan ahead. Christ is risen indeed!!! Praise God!

Photo courtesy of Melissa Holt via facebook.

Character Building Wednesday

Week #4 Here we are! How has letter “C” gone for you? The words we chose were calm and connected. It felt as though my week turned out anything but very calm. On Monday, we had a beautiful relaxing start to our day and then I ended up taking me daughter to the doctor. That was just the beginning! When I shared with my counsellor what words we had chosen for our week, she grinned. She knows me well enough that when she thinks of me, “calm” isn’t the first word that pops into her mind. When our week was up for calm and connection, my husband suggested we do week two of the same because this is an area we need to work at. So here goes week two.

Calm and Connection.

What is our action plan for this week? Here are some tips I’ve discovered since last week. Calmness is the art of serenity of being tranquil and at rest. One of the ways I can do this is taking responsibility for what is my responsibility. If it isn’t mine, I need to let go. Here is an exercise that is very helpful. On a piece of paper place three columns. Above each column, write one of the following phrases: “my responsibility”/”God’s responsibility”/ “others responsibility”. Then take each issue that you are currently facing in your life and put it under one of each of these columns. If it is not under the column “my responsibility” you need to release it. So very often, I find myself all in knots about something that isn’t for me. I find mentally placing it under one of these three columns, helps me to know where I should be and praying about the stuff that isn’t for me.

Another tip for being calm is to remember that our outward man, the temporal is driven. Driven to perform. Driven to demand. The outward temporal man is a mix of ungodly beliefs and habit structures that I’ve formed because of my life’s experiences. Satan has effectively deceived us into thinking that this outward man is truly who we are. Well, there is another man. The inner man is eternal, gentle, voice of my spirit. When we become Christians, Christ’s Spirit dwells within me and nothing is more natural than for me to express love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness. Every day we have the choice to live out of the temporal, outer man or the eternal, gentle God-spirit. If I am feeling driven and life is very hard, I know that I am know longer living out of the eternal, I am living out of the outer shell. So this means I need to 1. Stop and agree with God’s Word and what it says about me 2. I need to refuse to listen to my outer man, telling my emotions to line up with God’s Word. 3. Choose to live daily in the embrace of Father God.

Game plan for connection. For me this means, looking into someone’s eyes when I’m being spoken to. It involves shutting off my computer when its interaction time. This connection piece is one we really want to focus on in our marriage. With little ones especially as well as busy schedules it is so easy to miss your spouse! Here is a great formula from Dr. Clifford and Joyce Penner who spoke on Focus on the Family radio.

Formula for Intimacy

by Dr. Cliff & Joyce Penner

15 minutes a day:

Connect emotionally: Look into each other’s eyes (oxytocin: trust

hormone); share a positive thought , feeling and/or affirmation of the other.

Connect spiritually: Share an inspirational reading and prayer.

Connect physically: Hug for 20 seconds (oxytocin); kiss passionately for 5-30 seconds without leading to sex (dopamine: passion hormone).

One evening a week: Walk, date, shower, caress with no demands.

One day a quarter: Have fun, play; lead and teach enjoyable touch.

One weekend a year: Together away or at home; no distractions.

Blessings to you, my readers, as you seek to develop character in your lives! For more information:

on calm:

“Experiencing the Father’s Embrace” by Jack Frost (especially chapter 11)

on marital connection:

Learn more at www.passionatecommitment.com

Testimony Tuesday

 

The following story was a e-mail forward that I received a number of years ago. I love it! The power of Christ is vividly displayed.

A Muslim man in Egypt killed his wife because she was reading the Bible and then buried her with their infant baby and 8-year old daughter. The girls were buried alive! He then reported to the police that an uncle killed the kids. Fifteen days later another family member died. When they went to bury him, they found the two little girls under the sand-ALIVE!

The country is outraged over the incident, and the man will be executed. The older girl was asked how she survived. “A man wearing shiny white clothes, with bleeding wounds in his hands, came every day to feed us. He woke up my mom so she could nurse my sister.”

She was interviewed on Egyptian national television, by an availed Muslim woman news anchor. She said on public TV, “This was none other than Jesus because nobody else does things like this.”

Muslims believe Isa (Jesus) would do this, but the wounds means He really was crucified, and it’s clear that HE is ALIVE! But, it’s also clear the child could not make a story like this, and there is no way these children could have survived without a true miracle. Muslim leaders are going to have a hard time to figure out what to do with this, and the popularity of the Passion movie doesn’t help! With Egypt at the center of the media and education in the Middle east.

You can be sure this story will spread. Christ is still turning the world upside down! Please let this story be shared. The Lord says, “I will bless the person who puts his trust in Me.” ~Jeremiah 17:7

What is the Price?

On our honeymoon, we needed gas and gasped at the price of $2.38 a gallon. We only filled our gas tank enough to get us out of the state of New York and closer to cheaper gas. On Saturday, I filled up for $3.83 a gallon and my sister currently says that it is $4.09 a gallon in New York.

Other prices are rising too. It wasn’t uncommon to find bananas for $0.25 a pound a few years ago. Now its not unusual to find them for $0.59 a pound.

If you yard sale like me, what was just a quarter a few years ago is now easily $1.00 or more for the same thing.

Cost is something that has been majorly on my mind of late. Does it always cost you something to stand for truth? Must it cost? Must it cost friendships? Must it cost pain? Must it cost loss? Must there be a separation? I understand, it’s one thing if its just my opinion but what if its Biblical truth, God’s Word at stake? What if its those I go to church with? It has bothered me enough lately to see what God says about it. Here are just a few verses:

 Matthew 16:24-25  (KJV) 24Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.25For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

1 Peter 4:14 (KJV)14If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.

John 15:20 (KJV) If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

At times, the cost seems so profound but take a look at what it cost God to send His very own Son! Today, if you find that following Christ is costing you friendships or family, rest! Claim this promise for your day:

Romans 8:18 (KJV)18For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us

 

Goblin in the Tree

A beautiful spring day, my daughter excitedly told me she saw a robin in the tree. Moments later, my son comes running. “Mommy!” he urgently informs me. “I saw a goblin in the tree!” And mommy smiled.

A goblin in the tree? Yeah, right! Perceptions. We make perceptions many times a day. Sometimes quite far from right and other times right on target. Everyday we are trying to make sense out of what we see, hear, and experience. Perception is to become aware of something, to realize, comprehend, or to understand. Today I want to focus primarily on our perceptions of people and circumstances.

I had an experience one time where this woman came to talk to me about one of my friends. She told me that she sensed my friend was not free. This lady’s open statement about my friend, who she saw one time, really triggered some thing inside of me. You see,  my friend she was talking about is one of the few people that has truly found the liberty that is in Christ.

It is easy for me to catostrothize about circumstances. Only to realize after its all over, that not only did my worrying not help the situation, it also was so very far from the truth. My perceptions can be so messed up about any given thing. This is one area my husband has been a God-send, a prophet in my life. He has encouraged me time and time again to look at the truth.

My counsellor told me one time, to avoid being distracted by observing all the people in church and struggling to worship; to sit in the front pew and remember that everyone is coming from somewhere. This means that we don’t know what’s been taking place in that person’s life unless we ask them. We don’t have a clue what may have gone on even that very morning.

Today instead of being sure you’ve seen a goblin in the tree, ask God for eyes to see the person or circumstance as He sees it.

Just 4 Fun~Binoculars

“Saving the green, saves you green.”

This is the quote for this days craft. “Going green” is really in style right now. This craft is not only using up normal household wastes but also a creative way of keeping kids busy.

“Homemade Binoculars”

What you will need:

2 or more empty toilet paper rolls

miscellaneous craft supplies such as stickers, pom poms, foam shapes, ribbon, etc

glue

yarn

This craft is extremely simple. Take two empty toilet paper rolls and staple together. Have child decorate the binoculars any way they want. Attach a yarn string or cording for a neck piece. Send child outside to discover his world!

Character Building Wednesday

Well, my friends, how did last week with letter “B” go? It was fascinating the responses we had at our house. Blessing was especially meaningful for us. One of the rules was that when we gave a blessing, it was to be authentic. My daughter would remind us if we forgot to give our blessings at the supper table. She would get this mischievous look on her face. She particularly lit up when Conrad spoke a blessing. After one time she came and stood by his chair and snuggled up to him. What’s amazing is, is that she is not usually a cuddly type of person. Now for week three.

Calm and Connected

Here’s some other words that start with “c” to get your brain thinking. Compassion. Cheerfulness. Cleanliness. Creativity. Committed. My husband, Conrad, jokingly suggested carousing. 🙂

What is our action plan for this week? For calmness, it is to keep the schedule and atmosphere of our home calm and restful. What does this look like? Conrad has informed me that I’m like a bridge that has a ten ton weight limit. Well, every other day or so this twenty ton truck decides to cross the bridge so that I need at least one day to recuperate. I’m finding that calmness is especially an area of need in my life. How mom feels truly impacts the rest of the family! Calmness will include time together reading and singing in the morning when I’m having my time with God. I find it so precious to have my little ones snuggled up next to me as we read Bible stories and do songs with the motions. Calmness also means taking time for physical excercise such as taking our one and a half mile walk.

Connection. What is our action plan for connecting? This is one that I think often happens subconsciously many times. But it is also about making a specific choice to engage in the people around us. For example, drinking our coffee together as husband and wife rather than pouring our individual cups and doing our jolly thing  by ourselves. This means choosing things to do together.

I wonder what words for “c” you will choose. How is this experiment going? I would LOVE to hear from you!