Jesus' Precious Little Lambs

A Charlotte Mason Christian Home School: Preschool – 3rd Grade :)

Spring is Coming!

Are you ready for spring? Some years spring seems to sneak up on me and I find myself saying, “Is Easter next week already??” Then I feel like……dang I missed it. The coming of spring–with flowers blooming, baby animals being born, Easter celebrations, and enjoying the first warm rays of sunshine–has always been irrisistably delightful to me……. whenever I am not tuned out, self absorbed, or entirely distracted that is. My heart fills with so much hope as I step out into the warm sunshine after enduring so many cold gray dreary days of winter cooped up inside. Spring is my favorite season, and one of the best reasons is that it holds incredible theological symbolism for all who are ready and waiting with open hearts for a deeper understanding of its significance. Every leaf of spring speaks of the resurrection of Christ and the newness of life we have in Him. Like I prayed with the children the other day, we who are Christians have spring inside us everyday as Christ makes all things new inside us. I want my exhilaration over spring’s arrival, spring’s spiritual symbolism, and whatever else the Holy Spirit wants to convey this season, to pass into the hearts of my little ones and drive our homeschooling. Am I ready for it?

Preparing Little Lambs for Easter in February and March of 2012 incredibly reinvented my understanding of the holiday as well as the whole spring season, as God introduced me to Passover meals, lent, Easter garden baskets, a repentance box/can, and a cross built for outdoor devotions all at once. It was an amazing spring. What will this year be like?

I took a walk around the neighborhood recently, and my thoughts were turned towards creation as a storm brewing in the air awakened my distracted senses. Spring is just around the corner, and I am not sure if I feel ready. I feel like I am still lying dormant like the rest of nature in winter. So how does one prepare her heart for a new season of rising up into new things with Christ Jesus? How does she make sure to notice all the buds and blossoms quietly unfolding all around before the miracle of spring slips by unnoticed and unfelt? How do I do this long path of lent, where I am supposed to let go of everything false in my life and take up my cross so that I might find my life anew this spring? I know prayer is the best place to begin preparation of the heart, and so I walked and asked God to open me up to experience the fullness of His glorious creation in springtime. I keep praying for the Holy Spirit to be the teacher in our homeschool so that everyday there is spontaneity, unexpected surprises, and a fresh new feeling. A couple branches almost smacked me in the face a few moments later on that walk, and my hand reached up to break them off and carry them home. I knew this was a beginning to the answer to my prayers.

Spring arrives on March 20th, but nature is already showing signs of it all around. Don’t miss it. Now is the time to prepare our hearts, especially if they feel dull and distracted, for the high purpose of reaching our children with something special from the Lord this season. I pray that the significance of spring will begin to stir inside you today…..

Here are some pics to catch you up on what’s been going on at school, as well as some pictures of how God is unfolding spring in our hearts here. I would love to hear your spring snippets too!

A Happy ‘Spring Is Coming’ Dance

IMG_9043

Tayler Says, “This is What Best Friends Do.”

She also encourages others when they say something kind, “You are speaking like a friend.” Love it!

IMG_9047

Faith Makes Her 1st Necklace

IMG_8943

A Birthday Gift for Cousin Ava

Any birthday parties coming up? We thought we would share this little gift idea with you because it would make a fun gift for any age child (even an adult) in your life, and I know I am always racking my brain for better gift ideas. Oven bake clay has been one of my favorite art activities to do with my own kids, and you haven’t tried it yet, I think you will find it quite enjoyable as well. So after Noah chose to craft a friendship necklace with his handmade beads for cousin Ava, we decided that providing her some supplies for creating her own clay jewelry could be a fun birthday gift. The little Clay Crafting tutorial I printed off for her is quite helpful, and even taught me a few new tricks too. The cutters, jump rings, and head pins we included are to make necklace pendants. I hope Ava likes it!

IMG_9048

The Kids Worked Very Hard On This Art Project

IMG_8974

Crayons Shavings Between Two Sheets of Wax Paper and Melted with an Iron Made Fun Hearts to Hang on the Window

IMG_8968

Handwriting is Getting Easier, Yay!

IMG_9016

.

IMG_9018

Homemade Scales at Our Math Center to Explore Weight

IMG_8963

Patience for Puzzles Has Emerged!

Noah does math for a half hour before school starts, which includes an array of independent activities, including puzzles.

IMG_9014

We Are Watching “Spring Come” Up Close

IMG_9066

Faithy says over and over,”Spring is coming! Spring is coming!”

IMG_9011

Could It Be Raspberries?

I broke off a few different types of branches while out on that walk in our neighborhood, and excitedly announced that, “Spring is coming!”, when I arrived home. The kids rushed over to study the evidence on the branches, and I had them hypothesize what all those buds were going to turn into. Faith suggested raspberries and Noah agreed. So I was glad that our little scientific investigation was apparently an developmentally appropriate activity since they did not yet know what would come of those buds. As we have monitored our branches daily, I have been rewarded by hearing scientific thoughts developing. “The red is turning to pink” is how Noah described flowers opening. He also said, “first spring comes slow, and then fast”, as he counted how many blooms opened day by day. The funny part is, they still think raspberries are on the way.

IMG_9000

Preparing the Soil of Our Garden With Chicken Poop From the Coop

IMG_8924

Grubs!

Keeping my personal feelings about grubs to myself, I snapped some shots of our kids excitedly digging up grubs to go feed to the chickens. Faith is sometimes afraid of ladybugs, but couldn’t get her hands on enough grubs. Go figure. Get them used to it when they are young, and they will think nothing of it when they are older.

IMG_8926

What is That!?

We are excited to have found what we think might be praying mantis eggs! We have it in a jar and we will see what happens when the weather warms up. What a fun yard work day!

IMG_9072

Our “Signs of Spring” Hunt Around the Yard

Tayler spotted some “fuzzy buds” and she squealed when the branch moved, “I think its alive! I think there is a caterpillar in there or something!” We will definitely check back on that hypothesis later.

IMG_9035

Daffodils, the First Flower of Spring Fills Us with Hope and Joy

IMG_9024

Noah Spotted New Growth on the Iris and Pointed Out the Dead Old Growth

IMG_9022

A Poem About Daffodils

A Great Example of Picture Painting Serving its Purpose!

IMG_9058

“Consider the Lilies of the Field and How They Grow.” Luke 12:27

IMG_9027

Leave a comment »

Worshipful Weekend with Family

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We set apart a few minutes tonight to do a family devotion with our little ones. While we lit the candles in our Easter Garden Basket, we reminded ourselves that today, on Good Friday, Jesus died on the cross and was buried in a tomb. Then we sang a few simple songs, and the voice of a little angel was heard singing in our family worship time. I saw daddy smile, surprised to see that Noah learned Nothing But the Blood of Jesus, a song I have been singing with Noah over the past few weeks. I am sharing our worship set for the night because it worked quite well for a short Easter family devo.

I hope you too can make some time this weekend to do family devotions! No matter how simple they are, it will be rewarding, and it will turn your children’s hearts toward the true meaning of Easter.

Jesus Saved Me

(Tune: Jesus Loves Me)

Jesus saved me this I know

For the Bible tells me so

Nailed to the cross for my own sins,

died, and buried, and raised again!

Yes, Jesus saved me!

Yes, Jesus saved me

Yes, Jesus saved me

He saved me from my sins

Nothing But the blood of Jesus

(a timeless hymn)

What can wash away my sins?

Nothing but the Blood of Jesus

Nothing but the blood of Jesus

What can make me whole again

Oh, precious is the flow

That makes me white as snow

No other fount I know

Nothing but the blood of Jesus

At the Cross

(a timeless hymn)

At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light

and the burden of my heart rolled away

It was there by faith I received my sight

And now I am happy all the day!

Which led nicely into this……(you might recognize from Sister Act)

Oh Happy Day

Oh happy day (echo)

Oh happy day (echo)

When Jesus washed (echo)

When Jesus washed (echo)

He washed my sins away (Oh happy day)

Oh happy day (echo)

Leave a comment »

3/29/12 Forgiven.

All of Us Have Become Like One Who is Unclean,

and All Our Righteous Acts Are Like Filthy Rags

Me covered in the filthy innards of a vaccuum bag to illustrate the filth of sin.

Sin is as ugly as filthy rags. Hate your sin. He who has been forgiven little loves little. In other words, he who is unaware of the magnitude of his own sin, feels forgiven of little. Therefore he will love Christ little unable to recognize the magnitude of Christ’s grace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be Holy as I am Holy

Tayler illustrates being robed in the beauty of Christ’s righteousness as believers. A true princess of God!

Simply believe, and the goodness of Jesus is imputed to you; your sins, your filthy rags, are no more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Awareness of Sin Reveals Need For a Savior

I asked the kids to tell me one of their sins. Noah and I have been talking a lot lately about how Jesus takes away our sins and what sin is, but still, can such a little child be aware of his own sin? Without much hesitation, Noah responded with a very knowing answer, that was not parroted. Wow, I was humbled to see light dawning in the eyes of my son’s understanding. Awareness of sin precedes awareness of a need for Christ’s redeeming grace.

Today, repent. Be aware of the sins that crucified Him. Write them down…..ingratitude, unbelief, envy, pride. Feel your need for a Savior. Burn up the confessions. Feel the emancipation of salvation. You are dead to the old you. Know that your sins are no more. You are a new creation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Will Remember Your Sins No More. Forgiven.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rainy Day Art

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do this fingerplay with your little ones. I guarantee smiles!

 

Raindrops, raindrops!

Falling all around (move fingers to imitate falling rain)

Pitter-patter on the rooftops, (tap softly on floor)

Pitter-patter on the ground.

 

Here is my umbrella; (open huge umbrella)

It will keep me dry.

When I go walking in the rain,

I hold it up so high. (raise umbrella high in the air)

 

Pitter-patter, raindrops!

Falling from the sky; (wiggle fingers to imitate falling rain)

Here is my umbrella

To keep me safe and dry!

 

When the rain is over, (close umbrella)

And the sun begins to glow, (make a large circle with arms)

Little flowers start to bud, (cup two hands together)

And grow, and grow, and grow! (slowly unfurl cupped hands)

 

Oh my, Noah LOVES this fingerplay. He loves it so much that he HAD to do it with Daddy as soon as he got home from work.

Leave a comment »

3/26/12 Easter Party

Building Your Community

Our desire at Little Lambs is to be a fountain of life always giving out, never becoming a stagnant pool of homeschoolers that keeps to itself. We want to shine the light of Christ in our community as He shows us how. So God showed us that we could make our holiday parties an outreach to those around us, and to start by throwing an Easter Party for Jesus. Wanting to be more connected to our neighborhood and our community, we invited some neighbors with children and some faithful playgroup friends as well. Having lived in my neighborhood for two years now, it was about time that I introduced myself to more of our neighbors. I didn’t even realize how many Christians live around us until reaching out–at least 9 houses in just two courts. How is that possible when something like only 2-3% of households in the Bay Area profess to be Christian?? I started to wonder if we have all been planted here for some bigger purpose, and if we are supposed to be more connected, rather than all going our separate ways. AND living right by us, 2 families, one Christian and one Charismatic Cathlolic, homeschool their kids in 1st through 6th grade. It was great to meet the moms and find that we have some things in common. We already knew their kids because they are always out riding bikes, and often stop by curious to learn from Dean’s maintenance projects, or to playfully engage our kids. Its cool how homeschooling kids are able to drop their studies on a Monday morning for a few hours to come to an Easter party. And the kids didn’t just come to be served–they played, interacted, and took care of our little ones. It was a blessing.

Who have you been meaning to go introduce yourself to? You too may also be pleasantly surprised after you obey that nagging voice to “Go!”

Watching all the ages co-mingling happily together at the party reminded me of how age segregation is one big difference between school and homeschool. We should ask ourselves, are we meant to be separated from the diversity of ages all around us for an entire 12 years of schooling? Just think about how much you have learned from the children and the elderly in your life. Sometimes I wonder if I am learning more from my kids than they are learning from me, you know? Schooled children are largely removed from these daily life lessons as classrooms are all divided up by age. Consequently, older children have very little opportunity to develop compassion, interest, and mentorship towards little children; little ones live separate from the guidance and nurturing that they are meant to receive from older ones. After years and years of age separation in school, an indirect message is engrained in developing minds: only same aged peers matter. We see in homes how older siblings grow quite cold in their after school hours towards younger siblings and parents, even locking themselves away in their rooms doing homework, watching TV, and talking on the phone; family relationships further deteriorating. The book Dumbing Us Down, a harsh critique of compulsory schooling, states, “It is absurd and anti-life to be part of a system that compels you sit in confinement with people of exactly the same age and social class. That system effectively cuts you off from the immense diversity of life and the synergy of variety; indeed, it cuts you off from your own past and future, sealing you in a continuous present….” The author John Gatto says, “Children and old people are penned up and locked away from the business of the world to a degree without precedent: nobody talks to them anymore, and without children and old people mixing in daily life, a community has no future and no past, only a continuous present. In fact, the term “community” hardly applies to the way we interact with each other. We live in networks, not communities, and everyone I know is lonely because of that.”

John Gatto believes the “Curriculum of Family and Community” is at the heart of any good life. I couldn’t agree more.

If you have any reservations at all about our current national system of education, I highly recommend that you read Dumbing Us Down. It is SO eye opening. Shouldn’t we have eyes wide open when handing our children’s lives over to an institution for 12 years??

As a parent, you have stood guard over your child’s mind and heart, you have protected them since the day they were born, you would never let a stranger lay a hand on them, so please please please keep protecting as you make educational decisions for them.

Neighbor Friends–Owen, Valerie, and Olivia

Big Kids Interacting with Little Kids

Gabby helped Tayler with the Easter egg hunt

Olivia plays ball with Luca and Gianna

Joe builds a marble run with the little guys

Friendship crosses age barriers

Gabby took Tayler under her wing

Mr. Foodie elected to skip the egg hunt so that he could eat a second helping

Gianna says hello to bunny

Woo-hoo! We made it to school!

Leave a comment »

3/22/12 An Eggciting Day

We did a Ressurection Egg hunt today during circle time and the kids loved it. I named a color, a hiding spot clue, and instructions to run the egg back to our circle once an egg was found. The kids were excited to see what was inside each egg, and one by one, the items helped me to convey the full Easter story. Retelling the highlights of our school day over dinner that night, my husband, an avid supporter of Little Lambs and homeschooling, asked a great question, “How do the kids learn academics through a school with so much spiritual focus?” Instead of trying to explain the big picture, which I think he gets anyway, I used the Ressurection Egg hunt as a very literal example of how academics can be intertwined with Biblical education. Following directions (i.e. following hiding spot clues) is a huge standard in all preschools. Opportunities for development of cooperation, sharing, and conflict resolution also surfaced during the hunt. Listening skills were employed during the Bible story telling, and story sequencing was introduced as we lined up the eggs in sequential order. Finding something hidden sharpens observation skills, and running around is P.E.! That was plenty of academics for our 3 year olds. However, the lesson could have been arranged differently to even challenge a 10 year old. Spiritual education doesn’t have to be taught in a 20 minute window every morning, it can really be intertwined into everything we do in homeschool.

Now the big picture is this….our homeschool’s main purpose is to equip our children to bring God glory. I like the way the Heart of Wisdom, explains their philosophy as One Thing Needed–the story of Mary and Martha reminds us that only one thing is necessary. “A willingness to sit at Jesus’ feet and hear His Word is the most important thing we can ever teach our children. Sensible Martha had many accomplishments, but worry and trouble were her rewards. Mary, on the other hand, was praised for choosing that good thing which was itself her reward and which would not be taken away from her.” “What about academics—math, language arts, history, and science?” Of course these things matter, but only as they sharpen your focus on the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Academic subjects are important tools, but they are only tools, not the goal. The moment academics cloud your view, to whatever degree they slow your pursuit of God’s will, they then move from being helpful tools to what Jesus calls “cares of this life.”

Gosh, I feel so freed in this pursuit! So “care” free!!

Back to Ressurection Eggs…..it dawned on me that this would be a great alternative or complimentary egg hunt to do with our own kids at our family Easter celebration. It would certainly help bring more Jesus into our Easter by holding a Ressurection Egg hunt, and then gathering the kids around to tell the Easter Bible story using the treasures within. An egg hunt that glorifies God instead of the Easter bunny! Sweet! Have you thought about that?

Make Your Own Ressurection Eggs or buy them online

Teach the Easter Story Using Ressurection Eggs

Ressurection Egg Hunt

3 Nails in the Hands and Feet of Jesus

 

 

 

 

 

     

 “t” is for tomb

   

 ‘Crazy Balloon’ Fun Outside

Eggsperiments with Miss Cherie

Squeeze David!

If you apply even pressure to a raw egg, like a mother hen sitting on her egg, it won’t break!

Can You Tell Which is Raw, Which is Hard Boiled?

Will One Sink and One Float?

Will One Roll Differently Than The Other?

Will One Spin?…… Yes!

Its the Hard Boiled One!

Noah cracked open the egg to see if it was the raw or the hard boiled egg that spun.

Why Not?

Its always a good time for a snack.

 

No Thank You

Eggs Soaked in Vinegar for several days become rubbery….like the sole of your shoe. Want to touch it Tayler?

Boing!

Try this!

Light a candle in a jar, set the egg on top…..

Egg Vaccuum

….and watch how the egg gets sucked in.

Leave a comment »

Passover: A beautiful foreshadow of Jesus Christ

This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations, as a statute forever, you shall keep it as a feast. Exodus 12:14

 

Why aren’t we taught Biblical holidays in church?

Are Christians supposed to celebrate Passover?

(and other Biblical festivals)

 

Here are a few reasons why Little Lambs chose to celebrate Passover today (taken from this book):

The whole redemption story is portrayed for us in the Biblical holidays. The holidays contain more divine information of spiritual and prohetic value than any subject of scripture.

There were two major revivals in the Old Testament and both were marked with a reinstitution of the the Passover Festival.

A passover meal is a powerful visual aid to teach children the Bible.

The Biblical holidays were celebrated by Jesus, His apostles, and the early New Testament Church (including Gentiles).

Our Christianity can not be fully understood without studying the Old Testament and our Hebrew roots. We are grafted into a Hebrew family! (we study a Hebrew book and serve a Hebrew Lord)

The Biblical holidays have a deep abiding meaning for Christians since their completeness is found in Jesus.

The reason the church departed from the holidays is becuase they were trying to de-Judaize the church due of fear of legalism.

God is awakening us to the Jewish roots of our Christian faith.

Shedding the pervasive Western/American/Greek mindset in order to reexamine the scriptures from a Hebraic mindset will help us find previously unnoticed intricate details and treasures. “Studying scripture from our modern mindset is like looking for gold in a dark mine with a dim pen light–you can see enough to stumble around but you need more light to see clearly.” I want to be transformed by the renewing of my mind!! (Romans 12:2)

Get back to living life like the early church (a model church) who celebrated the festivals. To understand the Early Church we must dig through layers of a mountain of mans influences shoveling off man’s traditions, theories, interpretations, and philosophies from Greek and Roman civilizations, Constantine, Marcion, Catholicism, etc. Remember how much good came when Wycliffe and Calvin did just this? They dug through layers of junk, discarded many theological errors, and found a view of God’s salvation by grace!

Christians can learn so much from the Biblical Hebrews strong family centered worship.

Some believe that Easter has pagan origins. Whether it does or does not, we can be sure that we are not tied to anything pagan when celebrating God’s intended way as shown in the Biblical Passover festival.

 

Could it be that Easter is meant to be a Christian Passover festival?

Perhaps you might find some ways to make your Easter into a Passover this year?

 

Now from the perspective of personal experience and my heart. I have felt that God has been trying to move me into reinstituting Passover in my life, school, and family. However, I had never even been to one and knew very little about it–so you could say I was winging it, and just trusting God. I read A Family Guide to Biblical Holidays which helped immensely. Using this book, I planned a Passover Seder meal for Little Lambs and distributed information about the festival to all the moms. We invited grandmas because I felt that this was going to be one of those times that generations should be transferring their legacy of faith to the next generation. The day arrived, families came, and it was a lively atmosphere–just the way a party should be. There was so much joy and life in the room. Like me, maybe you can recall the stress and woes of some of the holidays past when it was supposed to have been a happy, fun, worshipful, family bonding day? Compared to so many of my Easters and holidays past in, this first Passover surpassed them in many ways–especially in the presence of God. So by experience, I am a believer: that when you do holidays God’s way, the way He meant for them to be celebrated, the way He showed us how in the Bible, God shows up!! It was a beautiful time!

 

 

A Picture of Jesus

Matzah

The bread had no time to rise because the Hebrew slaves left Egypt in a hurry.

He was pierced for our trangressions, bruised for our iniquities.

Lamb

God passed over the Hebrews who put the blood of the Lamb on their doorpost.

We are rescued and passed over by the blood of Jesus, our Lamb of God.

Bitter Herbs

The Hebrew slaves cried bitter tears in their cruel bondage.

We eat horseradish with matzah to remember how Jesus has absorbed our bitter sins, our ugly bondage to sin.

Haroset

Symbolizes the mortar used by the Hebrews in building.

For us, it symbolizes the how sweetness of Jesus overcomes the bitterness of sin.

 

Our Matzah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Passover table

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grandma Heather leads us in Washing of the Hands

I wash my hands as a token of my desire to live a clean life

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Mommy made me crackers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yeah! We found the Afikoman

We broke one piece of matzah remembering He was broken for us, wrapped it in linen as Jesus was at burial, and hid it for the children to find.

 

Hugs!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

A really good book to help you celebrate and study the Biblical Holidays

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment »

3/15/12 “C” is for Cross

Today’s activities especially seemed to highlight our letter of the week “c”. We do a letter of the week every week and the few minutes we spend with it in circle time is paying off. David and Noah have both just started to read their first words with mommies at home! In circle time at school we sing the untraditional ABC song, “ah” “buh” “cuh”, and Tayler, my song singer, has picked up the sounds so quickly that she may soon take over my job. 😉 At Little Lambs, we learn lowercase letters and letter sounds, rather than uppercase letters and letter names as traditional schools do. That way we will be reading sooner! It makes sense because learning letter names does not help at all with reading, and learning uppercase letters is a low priority since they comprise a very small percentage of print. And so letter names and uppercase letters act like clutter in the brain, making the learning to read process a little longer and a little more confusing.

The more we learn about learning, as homeschoolers must, we are gathering more insight into the unthinking traditions of school–the alphabet and phonics being two examples. It has been a wonderful blessing charting our own path for our precious children!!!

David says, “Its Cute!”

Our Cute “C is for Cross” Necklaces

Take a look, Tayler in a smock! (proud of herself for it too)

David looking handsome in his new glasses

Before we knew it, Noah’s mouth painted green

Its face paint mommy. No. What about paint my nails? I want to paint my nails like Taylers. This paint is not nail polish, Noah. I want nail polish on my nails mommy……….Can you find me some nail polish?………Mommy! I want some nail polish!……Aye Yi Yi.

Faithy did not enjoy her painting experience

“C is for Cross” Masterpieces

“School is Over”, our regular boisterous closing song

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And last but not least, lets not forget Miss Cherie and Miss Afton’s big debut today as they starred in an improvisational drama depicting some of the Bible Stories of Passion Week, Palm Sunday through Easter. It was adorable how Tayler could hardly wait to see her mommy’s play, and how when it was all over, both mommies received exuberant hugs around the necks for their performances. The applause for such a simple but sincere performance made me appreciate the humility of our little ones, again.

So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. Matthew 18:4

2 Comments »

Easter Spiritual Resources

How can we prepare our hearts for Easter, the most important Christian holiday of the year? We can revisit the familiar spiritual resources and experiences of Easters past, and learn about some new ones from the spiritual journey of a friend. Listed below is a partial recollection of things through the years that have opened the eyes of my heart to the miracle of Easter. I hope to share these resources so that they will serve you too this spring ……to help focus, remind, and offer meditation on the cross, the blood, the resurrection all day long, even flooding into your “free time” or “down time”. I am sure you too have a list of influences that have shaped your perception. What if we could make one comprehensive list between us all……..as a way to share what we have been given and bless each other? Take a moment friends to add any book, song, movie, etc. to the list that has caused you to behold Jesus face to face, caused your understanding to become less dim than before.

May we come to see Him more clearly in our quest for vision this season, and find ourselves transformed into His image glory by glory.

Books:

The Power of the Blood by H.A. Maxwell

Christianity: History or Hoax by Josh McDowell

The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel

A Family Guide to Biblical Holidays by Robin Sampson and Linda Pearce (Passover section)

Songs:

At the Cross at the Cross Where I First Saw the Light (hymn)

The Wonderful Cross

At the Cross

Here I am to Worship

Nothing but the Blood and Hosanna

The Same Power

Movies:

The Passion of Christ

The Case for Christ (documentary)

The Prince of Egypt (Passover)

Drama:

Lifehouse Everything

Scriptures:

But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. Philippians 3:1-8

8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Philippians 2:8

Leave a comment »

Season of Lent Begins Today

Ash Wednesday, February 22nd

“From dust you come and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19).

For the Christian, the Lenten season is meant to remind us of our common mission to walk the path with Jesus toward death. It invites us to lose our lives in order to find them anew, resurrected with Jesus on Easter morning.

Whether or not one actively observes Lent, the season can serve as an invitation to evaluate our own lives and to examine the invitation of Jesus to “die” with him. We can enter this “deathly” contemplation with the anticipation of resurrection on Easter morning. But Christ’s path to resurrection is the path of laying down lives, the path of relinquishment, and the path of self-denial. This path feels entirely unnatural, for it takes us in the opposite direction of self-preservation.

Yet, Jesus said that if anyone wants to follow him, if anyone really wants the kind of life he offers, the kind of life he modeled for us in his own, then we must “deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow him” (Mark 8:34). Following Jesus will lead us all to the Cross, and will lead us all to the place of death. For the Christian, that is the downward journey of Lent.

Following the downward path of Jesus can lead to a renewed, hopeful, and restored vision of life. For as we embrace our inevitable deaths and declines, as we embrace the downward path, we have the opportunity to let go of the false things we think make up our lives. We let go of thinking that the accumulation of wealth, power, and resources make up a good life; we let go of thinking that busyness makes us important; we let go of thinking that our personal safety and security are to be preserved at all cost. And as we let go, we can embrace those who make life fullest, we can put others’ interests before our own, and exist for the sake of others. And what is done on behalf of others for the sake of Christ will indeed endure beyond our deaths.

The season of Lent is the season of dust and ashes. It is the journey toward one man’s death on a Cross and toward our own. Jesus understood this as he bore the weight of suffering, misunderstanding, shame, and death at Golgotha. The way to resurrection life is indeed not by saving our lives, but in losing them. Whether one observes Lent or not, the call to “take up our crosses” is issued to all.

Excerpt from Ravi Zacharias International Ministries

Leave a comment »

Together we carry our children to the cross

In family and school this Easter season, we will be all wrapped up in the incomparable glory of the cross. Won’t you join me on this 40 day trail leading to the cross?

(Quotations and full descriptions can be found at aholyexperience.com–a most beautiful and heart wrenching blog written by Ann Voskamp)

Lent

Trail to the Tree

February 22—April 8th

“Lent. It’s the preparing the heart for Easter. Like going with Jesus into the wilderness for forty days, that we might come face to ugly face with our enemy. Our sacrificing that we might become more like Christ in His sacrifice.” Let me be crucified with you Jesus.

Lent traces its roots to this earliest tradition of Christ followers. Wanting to emphasize the power of the Cross and significance of the resurrection, we set aside this season to reflect on life, sin, love, God’s intervention, sacrifice and victory for humankind.

Today, Lent is sacred for some, ignored by others, and for some it may have become an empty and lifeless practice. Like anything good, it is only as good as it is meaningful to the practitioner.

Each night through Lent, families may choose to read devotionals, pray, journal, light a candle, etc. Choose 1 thing to give up. Ingratitude? Selfishness? Worry?

Repentance Box

At the Foot of the Cross

“As the day rolls out, and snags here and there, we find ourselves, Mama and Dad, big kids and little, taking a moment to confess our sins on small cards, slipping them into our box of repentances.

In this practice we are experiencing it afresh: Confessing sins is a cleansing, emancipating grace.

Come Easter morning, we’ll burn up our cards of sins confessed.

Because they are, astoundingly, no more, because of Christ who did it all.

And we’ll walk home with an empty box of repentance, giving thanks that He has written our names, not our sins, in His book of remembrance.”

Easter Garden

A Visual Parable

A miniature remembering of the resurrecting wondering of the all-things new beginning…..A basket, some dirt, some plants, moss, a wee pond, miniature garden torches, a tomb, a cross, a path. Each day light another wick for the Light of the World is coming….until Good Friday, when all goes dark. This is the path we walk from Lent to Easter, from dark to Light, from death to life, and the Easter garden will unfold, a parable, a living visual of the metamorphosis of all the cosmos…

Easter Garden, another way to walk out lent each family evening, us again with Him in the garden in the cool of the evening.

Passover Meal

The Last Supper

A desire to recover the sacred, 3,000 years sacred.

“It is about keeping something worth preserving: emblems pregnant with the fulfillment of the New Covenant.”

“Why keep the Passover, that day that God said “shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations, as a statute forever” (Ex. 12:14)?”

Interested in preparing your own Passover Meal?

 

The Cross

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Galatians 2:20

Come crucify flesh at the foot of a cross nestled in the garden, nail sins to the tree, scrawl repentance into a wooden box, worship thankfully and knowingly, be still and know.

How many times will my flesh drive me back to this place? Do numbers matter when all is grace? Run to the cross, be crucified with Christ.

 

 

 

Leave a comment »