The birds were singing sweet songs the day I made this video. I did not realize just how much until watching it back today. 🤗
I always loved spring. New life. Flowers of every color now warmed by the sun popping up through the cold, dark brown dirt of winter. Miraculous. Baby birds chirping as they await mama birds return with food. All of the many moments of spring remind me of time with my grandmother who was larger than life and a soul with more mystery and beauty than the brightest star I have ever seen.
From a young age, she would sing songs that I had never heard. One of my favorites songs she ever sang was one about sparrows. The discovery of a new nest each spring would stir the words and she would sing- “I sing because I’m happy. I sing because I’d free. His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.”
She taught me so much about Jesus, not always in words but with her life. I longed for the joy the smallest thing would bring to her. The wonder of it all still draws me to pursue Jesus daily.
She taught me about God’s love, the beauty of creation, to be grateful and give thanks in all things.
Jesus was truly her portion and constant friend. Could not share this video today with you and your children without thinking of her and living once again even for a moment in her gracious ways. I know God’s love and care because of moments walking right alongside of her. I can still hear her voice singing…..
When Jesus is my portion. A constant friend is He. His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.
“Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” Matthew 6:26
“…anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
The beauty of new life in Spring reminds me of the moment that I accepted Christ as my savior. We spend a Sunday in Spring each year to remember the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Even though we are sinners, Christ died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin. So what do we do AFTER the resurrection? Once the tomb is empty?
For those of us who have accepted Christ as our Savior and accepted the free gift of eternal life- We are to spend our days growing in our relationship with Christ in order to be more like Him.
This week we will look at how our lives are much like planting seed, bulbs and plants that will grow and bear fruit IF we nurture and care for them.
You are fearfully and wonderfully made with a beautiful purpose that God desires you to live out through your life.
Isaiah 61:3 says it like this:
“…the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified” Isaiah 61:3
Grab your Bible, read it every day. Spend time praying and listening for God’s voice so that you will grow and become the beautiful you that only you can be!
Easter story stones (also known as resurrection story stones) are a fun and creative way to tangible engage with the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection. A wonderful way to help you tell the Easter story.
Easter is one of my absolute favorite time of year. We get to celebrate Jesus’ victory over sin and death, the promise of resurrection, and the promise that God will one day restore everything that is broken about our world.
One way to keep the real meaning of Easter at the forefront (instead of it getting lost amidst all those chocolate eggs and bunnies) is to tell the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection each year with your kids. If you do this in a fun and creative way, it will make the experience more memorable and more likely to stick with your kids.
Easter story stones are a great way to get your kids tangibly engaged with the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection. They can play with the stones, and they can use them to retell the story in creative ways.
What are Easter Story Stones
Easter Story Stones are small rocks, or stones, painted with symbols from the Easer story. They are super simple to make, even if you have little artistic skill, and they add a great visual and tangible element to telling the Easter story.
Here’s a picture of the Easter story stones.
How to Use Your Easter Story Stones
You can use your Easter story stones in all sorts of different ways that will get your kids engaged with the Easter story. Here are some ideas.
• Grab your favorite Children’s Bible Story book or read straight from the Bible.
• Use your Easter story stones instead of Resurrection Eggs and have an egg (rock) hunt in your backyard.
• Hide them around the house on Easter morning and have the kids find all the stones. Once they’ve gathered them all, you can use them to tell the Easter story.
• Make your ow Ressurection Eggs with those empty plastic eggs that you can buy at the dollar store) and use your story stones instead of scrounging up all the items needed for the eggs.
• Have the kids put the stones in the right order as you tell (or read) the Easter story.
• Have the kids play with the stones and make up their own version of the Easter story. (This is great for working on remembering the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection, and for putting it into your own words.)
• Make a set to give as a gift.
• Use your Easter story stones during Sunday school or other kids’ ministry to help tell the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
How to Make Your Own Easter Story Stones
Making your own Easter story stones is super simple. All you need to do is select some Bible passages and symbols (you’ll find everything that we used for our set below) and paint some rocks to help illustrate the story.
• white paint if you are using dark stones
• Paint Markers or Sharpies
• Fabric bag store your stones (optional)
• spray sealant or Mod Podge (Dollar Tree)
You can buy craft stones that are ready to be painted, or you can gather some stones from nature (which adds an element of adventure to your story stone project, and it saves you some money).
Here are the stones that I included in our set, along with Scripture references for each symbol. You can use this as inspiration for your own set of story stones and make the same ones, or get creative and add your own symbols.
• donkey with palm fronds – Matt 21:1-9
• bread and wine – Matt 26:17-30
• praying hands – Matt 26:36-39
• money – John 18:2-3
• sword – John 18:12-14
• crown of thorns – John 19:2
• cross – John 19:17-18
• three crosses – Luke 23:32, 39-43
• temple veil – Mark 15:38
• boulder – Luke 24:1-2
• empty tomb – Luke 24:3
• angel – Luke 24:4-8
• fish – Luke 24:36-43
• risen Jesus – Luke 24:50-51
Use your paint pens (permanent markers work too)to fill in the details of your stones. To makes your stones really pop, outline all your symbols with a black paint pens or permanent markers.
Optional: once your stones are completed and dry, give them a coat with a spray sealant or Mod Podge. Your stones are complete! Now use them in creative ways to engage with the Easter story.
Telling the Easter Story with Story Stones
We like to use our Easter story stones to tell the Easter story from memory. You can use yours to do the same, or you can read the story from a Bible or your favorite age appropriate children’s Bible.
Here is the basic sequence of events in the Easter story, along with the corresponding Bible passages for each story stone.
Jesus’ Entry into Jerusalem (Palm Sunday)
Palm Sunday is the Sunday before Easter. When Jesus arrived in Jerusalem, riding on a donkey, people laid palm branches on the road and sang “Hosanna”, which means saviour. (Matt 21:1-9)
The Last Supper
The night before Jesus was crucified, he shared a meal with his disciples and told them that one of them would betray him. He shared bread and wine with them, and told them that the bread represented his body and the wine represented his blood. His body would break, just like the bread, and his blood would pour out, just like the wine, but this is the way that God would rescue the world. Through Jesus’ death, he would wash away all their (and our) sins, and heal God’s broken world. (Matt 26:17-30)
The Garden of Gethsemane
After his last supper with his disciples, Jesus went with a few of his closest disciples to a garden to pray. He prayed that he wouldn’t have to suffer crucifixion and death, but he also said that he wanted to do his Father’s will, and not his own. Jesus said that he would be crucified if that was God’s plan. (Matt 26:36-39)
While in the garden, some soldiers came to arrest him, after Judas (who was bribed with thirty pieces of silver) told them where to find him. (John 18:2-3; 18:12-14)
The soldiers led Jesus away to be crucified.
They made a crown of thorns and placed it on his head, calling him “king of the Jews”. (John 19:2)
They nailed him to a cross, between two thieves. (John 19:17-18)
One of the thieves insulted Jesus, but the other one defended him. The second thief asked Jesus to remember him when he came into his kingdom, and Jesus promised that that day, he would be with him in paradise. (Luke 23:32;39-43)
When Jesus died on the cross, the veil inside the temple – the veil that separated the place where only the priests could access God from the rest of the temple – was torn in two, from top of bottom, signalling that there was now no barrier between people and God. (Mark 15:38)
A man named Joseph took Jesus’ body down from the cross, after he had died, and laid it in a tomb. Roman soldiers rolled a giant boulder to block the entrance to the tomb and guarded it, to make sure that no one could get in or out.
The Empty Tomb
On the third day, just before sunrise, Mary Magdalene and some of the other women went to the tomb to wash Jesus’ body. When they got there, they discovered that the stone that was blocking the entrance had been rolled away. (Luke 24:1-2)
When the women entered the tomb, they discovered that it was empty: Jesus’ body was not there. (Luke 24:3)
They encountered an angel who told them that Jesus was no longer there, that he had risen from the dead. The angel told the women to go tell the other disciples. (Luke 24:4-8)
Later that day, Jesus appeared to the disciples. He let them touch him to show that he was real, and he ate a meal of boiled fish with them. (Luke 24:36-43)
After Jesus stayed with the disciples for a while, he told them that he was going to leave and return to heaven, but that the Holy Spirit would come to be with them. Jesus blessed them and he was taken up into heaven. (Luke 24:50-51)
We did it!! We have stayed our mind in prayer and we have much to be thankful for. Thank you so much for sharing this journey with me. I pray that your morning prayer time has been enriched.
Keep an eye out for our next journey through 2021. God is doing amazing things. Blessings on your day of praise as you go!!!
“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.” Hebrews 13:15
“Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are His.” Daniel 2:20
“I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak his praises.” Psalm 34:1
“Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD.” Psalm 150:6
Father, I praise You today for all that You have done in my life. You are faithful even when I am faithless. Your love pursues me even when I am unlovable. Your forgiveness covers my sin and frees me from its penalty. I praise You for your love and faithfulness to me. Your presence in my life changes everything, empowering me to live each moment of every day, content in knowing You are in control. As I face today, Lord, remind me that no matter what happens, I can praise You! In Your Name, Amen.
Welcome to the Homestead MRO Community Center Bible Time
So happy to connect with you and share another exciting Let’s Go God’s Story from the Old Testament book of Ruth.
This week we will visit a local dairy farmer who grows wheat grass to feed his cattle. This piece of property is much like the farmland that Ruth would glean from in the Old Testament book written about her journey with her mother-in-law Naomi. Because of the kindness of Boaz, Naomi’s relative, God would write a beautiful God’s Story that we can learn so much from!
Two BBBBIIIIIGGGG new words that teach us about how God provided for Ruth and Naomi out of His great love for God’s family.
Gleaning: The custom of following a harvest so that what remains might be used primarily for the poor who have little or no means of supporting themselves.
The law according to the God of Israel that commanded this and a tradition that is still practiced in some cultures around the world. Farmers are given specific rules about leaving behind part of their harvest to help the poor. (Leviticus 19:9)
Redeemer: Someone who pays a price to save someone (or something) from something bad
The Lord Jesus is our “Redeemer”. He paid the produce with His life to save us from a life apart from God. (Job 19:25)
So grab your Bible, turn to the book of Ruth and join me and as we learn how much God loved Ruth and Naomi and provided for His children.
We can give thanks to God who always watches over us as redeemer and provider.
Don’t forget to come back and watch the God’s Story about Ruth and Naomi!! 👇
“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6
“But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” 1 Peter 3:15
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Gracious Father, as we begin a new day, help us to engage your will with a reckless faith. Teach us to trust in you, and help us grow in righteousness. Heavenly Lord, give us the courage to step out in faith this day. Fill our hearts with your spirit, and let us speak your words with pride. Amen
Grab your Bible and do a word search for the word “faith”. Prepare for your mind to be blown. Until then- sing along and make this your prayer today!!!
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters..” Colossians 3:23
“May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands.” Psalm 90:17
“Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” Proverbs 16:3
A Prayer for the Work Day Ahead:
Father, thank you for all the ways you’ve blessed me, specifically with this job that pays my bills and puts food on my table. Thank you that ALL work has significance because work is good. Help me bring you glory today, through my actions, my words, through the good work I do to bring order to my little corner of the world. Help me view my work as a blessing and not a curse. Give me grace and strength for the hardest aspects of my job. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.
Note: If you are a career mama, pray this over the home you are building and the work you are doing in shaping the minds and hearts of your children.
“Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
Pray Fervently- surrender every prayer to laying down all your care and anxiety.
Heavenly Father, I’d like to apologize to You right now. Sometimes I forget to cast all my cares upon You, and spend more time and effort in worrying than focusing on the peace that comes from resting in Christ. Help me to open my understanding through Your Word and realize that worry not only robs me of our joy and peace in the Lord, but is rooted in the sin of unbelief. Whenever I am lost, please provide me with a better understanding that You alone are the One that will replace wasted worries with divine wisdom. Amen.
“Let him have all your worries and cares, for he is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you.” 1 Peter 5:7
Contentment is a simple grace. The morning is one of the best times to have an encounter with God. Pray the moment you wake up if you aren’t already doing so. When you wake up with God, His presence is carried with you wherever you go. May you be blessed on your journey today.
It is our Father’s world, so we should rest in His care. While many of us desire to be content, it is not easily attained or kept. For, no sooner than we begin to enjoy the grace of contentment, it is gone and dissatisfaction returns.
The Bible calls us to allow our convictions, not our circumstances, to govern our sense of contentment. True, biblical contentment is a conviction that Christ’s power, purpose and provision is sufficient for every circumstance. We are to learn how to walk through all kinds of adversity believing in and experiencing Christ’s sufficiency. We have to choose to rest on God’s good promises despite what may be going on in our lives.
Start your day off with a prayer for contentment:
Dear God, I pray that I will stay focused on You today. I pray that You will constantly remind me to be content in all of my circumstances. I pray that You will fill me up that I may be joyful all day, even if stress creeps in. I know that through my contentment, You will be glorified. I want to honor You, Father, in all that I do. Amen.