I don’t remember if I first understood on a Friday. It could have been a Monday or a Saturday…but that day was a good day, a miraculous day for me. It was the day despair disguised as cool-hippie-girl met her Savior and was cleansed, redeemed and set free. I’ve never forgotten that day. I’ve never forgotten that my sins helped nail Him to that cross yet He loves me anyway. And I’ve returned there again and again…because the cross of Christ is the symbol of the most potent love in the world. It’s worth having.
And that’s why today is Good Friday. Because this day commemorates the day when your sins and mine were nailed to the cross and He overcame death on our behalf. It’s not just Good Friday. It’s the best Friday...ever.
Many Christians spend this day in fasting and prayer as they remember the agony and suffering of Jesus on the cross. It was on the cross that Jesus, the lamb of God, took away the sins of the world. For us, it is truly Good Friday. It could even be called Wonderful, Marvelous Friday! Our debts were paid by a loving God who sent His son Jesus to be the propitiation for our sin!
The biblical account of Jesus’ death on the cross, or crucifixion, his burial and his resurrection, or raising from the dead, can be found in the following passages of Scripture: Matthew 27:27-28:8; Mark 15:16-16:19; Luke 23:26-24:35; and John 19:16-20:30.
“And in the article of death, as He saw the last fold of the grand design unrolled, He passed out of the world with the cry on His lips, “It is finished!” He uttered this cry as a soldier might do on the battlefield, who perceives, with the last effort of consciousness, that the struggle in which he has sacrificed his life has been a splendid victory.
But the triumph and the reward of His work never come to an end; for still, as the results of what He did unfold themselves age after age, as His words sink deeper into the minds of men, as His influence changes the face of the world, and as heaven fills with those whom He has redeemed, “He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied.”
Lord Jesus, Thank you for dying on the cross and paying the price for our sins. We worship you.
Yes, I’ll admit it. I am together putting these eggs at the last minute because Easter caught me by surprise. I just wasn’t paying attention to the calendar….but, isn’t the motto of every mother,”Better late than never?”
After talking to my seven year old several days ago, I realized that he really doesn’t know the Easter story so these eggs may remedy that a bit. I am shamelessly taking advantage of our eleven year old and using her natural “take charge” attitude to put these together. As she collects the items, copies the verses and stuffs the eggs, she’ll be reviewing the Easter story at the same time.
We’ll be doubling up on the eggs and doing two per day (instead of one per day) because I’m starting five days before Easter. Although my goal is to get through them all by Sunday, it’s not the end of the world if we are still hiding and finding Resurrection eggs a week or two from now. When I remember that my goal is to talk about Jesus and His victory on the cross, I feel less pressure to complete them in within a certain time frame. If these take a while, we’re just extending the blessing!
Young children just love these eggs! I have found Dollar stores to be the best place to get them.
First Egg (which I will skip since we just had Palm Sunday and reviewed what it was all about)
Message: Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. The people waved palm branches.
Passage: Matthew 21:1-11
Item:piece of palm branch or anything that resembles a small palm branch leaf
Message: Mary poured expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet.
Passage: John 12:2-8
Item: small perfume sample, cloth with perfume, or a piece of cotton with cologne on it
Message: Jesus shared the Last Supper with His disciples.
Passage: Matthew 26:17-19
Item: piece of Chex cereal; or take clay and make a small bread-like shape
Message: Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.
Passage: Matthew 27:3
Item: 3 dimes or plastic “silver” money
Message: Jesus carried His own cross.
Passage: John 19:17
Item: small plastic cross or use toothpicks/popsicle sticks cut and glued in a cross form
Message: Soldiers placed a crown of thorns on Jesus’ head.
Passage: John 19:2
Item: small thorny branch or a large thorn all by itself
Message: Soldiers parted Jesus’ garments and cast lots for His coat.
Passage: John 19:23
Item: swatch of burlap and a nail (or miniature dice)
Item: 7 or 8 whole cloves, or other whole spices
Message: Jesus was nailed to a cross and pierced in His side.
Passage: John 19:18,37 & John 20:25-29
Item: a nail
Message: They gave Jesus vinegar mixed with gall on a sponge to drink.
Passage: Matthew 27:34
Item: a small sponge
Message: Spices to prepare Jesus for burial.
Passage: John 19:40
Message: The stone covering Jesus’ tomb was rolled away.
Passage: John 20:1
Item: a small rock
Message: The napkin around Jesus’ head was lying separately from His linen cloths. He was not there. He has
Passage: John 20:6-7
Item: a scrap of linen-type fabric
Celebrate Easter with these simple ideas as well!
Do you do anything to make Easter special? Please share your ideas with us!
Easy and cute. I think these would be darling with red candy or heart shaped candy. If you happen to have a little box that a ring came in from the jewelry store, you would thrill a little girl with one of these tucked inside!
What you need:
Chenille wire (also called pipe cleaners)
Candy wrapped in sparkly foil or crinkly paper
Glue (I use tacky glue)
Glitter and white glue
1. Wrap the pipe cleaner around the finger to measure the ring size. Cut the pipe cleaner and secure by twisting the ends under and over.
2.Glue the candy on top of the ring.
3. Lightly dot white glue onto the candy, sprinkle with glitter and dry.
Give the ring with some “sweet” words of love such as,
“You always razzle, dazzle my heart” or
“On the day you were born you wrapped me around your finger just like this ring”
Happy Valentine’s Day!
It’s time to get a bit crafty but, never fear, this mother of eight is not going to overwhelm you with Martha Stewart projects! I’ve scouted around and found some fun ideas that most of us can do quickly and inexpensively (do I hear a “yipee”?).
Head on over to Keeping It Simple to find out how to put together the cute “You Rock” Valentines in the picture.
Join us at the Romantic Vineyard and commit to romancing your hubby! It’s a fun challenge!
In the midst of all the fun and fluff and sparkle, don’t forget to read last years post to learn all about The Legend of St. Valentine.
We’ll be having a romantic month here at Generational Womanhood. It doesn’t matter if you’re single, married or in-between, everyone loves a little bit of romance in their lives!
What are some ways you tell your friends and relations that they make your life sparkle?
Share it with us!
The thatch on the roof was as golden,
Though dusty the straw was and old,
The wind had a peal as of trumpets,
Though blowing and barren and cold,
The mother’s hair was a glory
Though loosened and torn,
For under the eaves in the gloaming
A child was born.
Have a myriad children been quickened,
Have a myriad children grown old,
Grown gross and unloved and embittered,
Grown cunning and savage and cold?
God abides in a terrible patience,
And again for the child that was squandered
A child is born.
What know we of aeons behind us,
Dim dynasties lost long ago,
Huge empires, like dreams unremembered,
Huge cities for ages laid low?
This at least—that with blight and with blessing,
With flower and with thorn,
Love was there, and his cry was among them,
“A child is born.”
Though the darkness be noisy with systems,
Dark fancies that fret and disprove,
Still the plumes stir around us, above us
The wings of the shadow of love:
Oh! Princes and priests, have ye seen it
Grow pale through your scorn;
Huge dawns sleep before us, deep changes,
A child is born.
And the rafters of toil still are gilded
With the dawn of the stars of the heart,
And the wise men draw near in the twilight,
Who are weary of learning and art,
And the face of the tyrant is darkened,
His spirit is torn,
For a new king is enthroned; yea, the sternest,
A child is born.
And the mother still joys for the whispered
First stir of unspeakable things,
Still feels that high moment unfurling
Red glory of Gabriel’s wings.
Still the babe of an hour is a master
Whom angels adorn,
Emmanuel, prophet, anointed,
A child is born.
And thou, that art still in thy cradle,
The sun being crown for thy brow,
Make answer, our flesh, make an answer,
Say, whence art thou come—who art thou?
Art thou come back on earth for our teaching
To train or to warn—?
Hush—how may we know?—knowing only
A child is born.
I enjoy having an excuse to give goodies just because it’s the season but I’m also reminded of the time quite a few years ago when we were the recipients of generosity at this time of year.
Over 21 years ago our family joined a mission organization as full-time missionaries. This meant we had to raise our financial support.
We lived on money that was pledged to us from churches and individuals and it was an interesting time of learning to trust God. Some pledges came late. Some came quarterly. Some folks gave a once a year amount and some people just forgot!
In December, we had the blessing of extra funds, packages and cards but the summer months were ones of little income and few cards and letters. We reminded ourselves that people were busy but we still felt less loved in the summer .
If you receive updates from ministries, you will, most likely, find that they experience the same “dry period” in the summer as well. Every ministry I know experiences a drop off in support in the summertime.
So, I have a suggestion for you. You may be planning a wonderful Christmas ministry time for your family this month. We are doing the same thing. Go down to your local mission and serve meals for the holidays, visit the elderly, give to those who are less fortunate than you (and there is always someone less fortunate, isn’t there?).
It is good for all of us to serve and minister at this time of year and it is very very good for our children to be with us as we do this! Jesus said that if we do it for the least of these we are doing it for Him (and that is a wonderful thing!).
I have a suggestion for you. As you come tromping in the door of your home (excitedly talking about how much everyone enjoyed being a blessing to others)…before you put the kettle on for hot cocoa, walk over to your calendar and make an appointment on it for this summer. Commit to going back to that same ministry or hurting person and blessing them in the summer months. You are more needed then.
Remind yourself that your summer will be very very busy and it will be easy to put ministry off for another time. Ask God to help you be faithful. Keep in touch with missionaries or ministries in the summer. Save the funds so you can give extra at that time. Most likely, your words and gifts and service will be like a cup of cold water to a person in a dry time. And that is a wonderful thing!
Christmas is a romantic time of year, coming in close to Valentines Day. Romance, however, takes time which can be in short supply this time of year! Getting alone with your spouse can also be a challenge as you find yourself more involved in social events like parties, caroling, hospitality and service projects. Here are a few ideas to keep a little romance in Christmas this year!
1). Hang mistletoe everywhere you possibly can! Get silly about it and hang it in the car, the bathroom and over the kitchen sink. Then, make a big deal out of kissing your husband at every opportunity! Grab those children while you are at it and lay one on them when you can catch them!
2). Take a drive together through neighborhoods to look at the lights and listen to music on the radio. This can be done with small children strapped into their car seats!
3. Hustle the kids into their room a bit early and keep them there with a story CD and then cuddle by the tree with your hubby in the dark. Breathe deep and relax!
4. Write little “anonymous” love notes to your husband with a little candy candy drawn next to them. Write on the mirror in lipstick something like, “This little elf believes that YOU are her very best present this Christmas!” Have fun surprising him throughout the rest of the month.
5. For the remaining days leading up until Christmas day, give your husband his own advent calendar of appreciation. Every morning give him a hand written card telling him specific areas of his life where he has blessed you and your children. This is a wonderful time to remember back over the year and point out what he has done right!
6. Give him a goody-a-day and let the children help you prepare them. They could be small pampering gifts such as a foot massage or they could be his favorite treats such as a can of pistachio nuts or a jar of pickles.
7. Tell him that his elves want to “lighten Santa’s pack” and ask him what three tasks he would like done around the house. You might take something off his “honey do” list and do it for him; vacuum his car, straighten his tools, fix his favorite dinner, call the plumber for the job he hasn’t been able to get done.
8. Rent his favorite movie, prepare his favorite treat and watch it with him (even if it’s not your kind of movie). Yes, a lot of things need to be done but just sit there and enjoy your husband!
9. Depending on whether your husband is an extrovert or introvert, choose a social activity that is geared toward his bent. If you are married to a man who gets rejuvenated with quiet, alone time, say “no” to too many parties and get-togethers in December and stay home with a smile.
10. Teach your children of all ages to be grateful for what they have and to remember those who have so much less. A grateful attitude in his family will be a huge encouragement to any man as they strive to provide for their family at Christmas.
Remember, it’s good for children to see Mommy kissing Santa underneath the Christmas tree!
On these last days of November, take a few moments to look ahead to the coming days of the Christmas celebration of Jesus. I give you permission to slow down, say “no” to too much of everything and to breathe in the quiet delights of Winter. Yes, it will take a strong will to deliberately choose more contemplative and restorative pleasures! I’ve listed a few ideas below…just to get you started!
!. Make an appointment every two or three days to sit down and listen to music for one entire hour. If small children are joining you provide them with a chunk of play dough or some crayons and paper and encourage them to listen as well.
2. Take a walk! If it’s icy, you don’t have to go far but do bundle up and stand in the crispy cold or rainy outdoors. Better yet, stand outside at night and listen to night sounds. You may hear the sounds of the city or the country but get in touch with whatever is out there!
3. Cook up a simple pot of soup or stew. If you know an elderly person or someone who is alone…take them a jar full and give them a hug to tell them you are thinking of them.
4. Pray. Thank God for His goodness toward you and ask Him for His peace. He will give it to you.
5. Count your blessings. I don’t know…maybe it’s my materialistic little self rearing its ugly head but I’ve found that I can very easily feel dissatisfied with what I have at this time of year. Contentment is a struggle for me when I am bombarded with images of expensive gifts and fancy homes.I have found that I have to make a deliberate choice to look at what I do have and to verbally talk about how blessed I am. This is good for my soul.
6. Look for simple things to change the atmosphere and feeling of your home. Sprinkle some cinnamon in a small pan of water and simmer it on the stove until the house smells “happy.” Read a good book to the children. Put food coloring in the homemade play dough or make simple construction paper and glue chains to decorate the house (but only if you don’t have to go to the store to get the paper and glue!).
It doesn’t cost any money to deep clean the house or sing while you work. Learn a new hymn together, go back and remember year by year where you spent each Christmas of your life.
7. Breathe deep and choose joy as you prepare to celebrate our Savior’s birth.
Today I am launching a week-long series of posts on the early settlers of Plymouth Plantation. These messages are taken from a talk I gave last year to a wonderful group of home educators (I miss you Whatcom Homeschool Association folks!).
The people we have come to remember as the Pilgrims fled from England to Holland in 1608 and then from Holland to America in 1620.
They went to Holland desperately seeking religious freedom but left because the political climate in Holland was changing and it would soon be less safe for them to be there. They also were alarmed at the growing assimilation of their children into the Dutch culture. They wanted to retain their English language and culture. They were concerned for the next generation.
The Dutch offered them free transportation to the island of Manhattan as well as a cow for each family but they refused. They wanted to remain English citizens wherever they went.
The Pilgrims had a deep faith and confidence that they belonged to God. They believed that their cause was just and walked with an uprightness that only fearless and free people can display. They stand as shining examples of people who were certain of what they believed, were unswerving in their loyalty and passionately dedicated to God whom they trusted.
I believe there are several kernels of wisdom we can draw from their lives which will make a difference for us who are living in a very different time.
The Pilgrims were generationally oriented.They were visionaries who were willing to do hard things for something greater; imparting their faith, their culture and their language to their precious children.
This brings us to our first Kernel of Wisdom; All great people live their lives with an eye toward those who are coming after them. If you are sacrificing for the next generation, you are walking in the footsteps of world changers and this view of the future will change the way you live now!
And so these determined people found financial backing (the original agreement was to work four days a week for seven years to pay off their debt but this was changed to six days a week!). They borrowed the money, promised to pay off the debt with furs and goods from the New World and set sail.
Their boats were leaky. The Speedwell had to return to shore and those who had planned to travel on it either stayed behind or chose to be crammed into the Mayflower.
The crossing was awful. Because of the problems with the Speedwell, they got a late start. A horrible storm blew them off course and their main mast was shattered. They had originally planned on landing in Virginia which had a much milder climate but, because of the storm, ended up much further North.
Once they reached land (off the coast of New England) they wisely decided that they should not set foot on land without writing down what they were agreeing to as a colony. The resulting document came to be known as the Mayflower Compact and was heavily influenced by the Magna Carta (the document which limited the power of Kings in England and was a foundational document to our Constituition). These tired, sea-sick Englishmen were not uneducated! Read these words out loud.
“It was thought good that there should be an Association or Agreement, that we should combine together in one body; to submit to such Government and Governors as we should, by common consent, agree to make and choose; and set our hands to this that follows, word for word.”
This brings us to our second Kernel of Wisdom; they knew their history and borrowed wisdom and knowledge from those who had gone on before them!
It’s easy to look back on those who lived centuries before us and presume many things. The Pilgrims of Plymouth had mostly been hatters and weavers in the towns of Holland. To the men who spent drab and colorless years at a loom in Leyden, this rugged existence on the bleak New England hillside was utterly new and strange.
They weren’t well-equipped to deal with strange animals, plants, rocky hillsides and really bad New England coastal weather but in one important area they were well-prepared for hardship.
They were well read.
So, while they chopped wood, dug for clams, and struggled to discover what they could eat in the new land they thought! They thought about what others had written in hard times, they reflected on God’s word and they thought about future generations…
They were visionaries who were willing to do whatever it took while they looked beyond their immediate circumstances to something greater.
Please return to Generational Womanhood for the next part of this series! To learn more about the Pilgrims, look for a beautifully illustrated book for children entitled N.C. Wyeth’s Pilgrims with text by Robert San Souci (published by Chronicle books).