Feb 022016
 

lent

Growing up in a liturgical church setting, Lent was a somber time of contemplation.  Ashes crossed foreheads.  The hymn selection on the old pipe organ only included minor, dissonant sounding chords.  Black cloth draped the altar.  Items were given up.  I remember hearing many of my friends complaining about unsingable melodies and the number of services they attended during Holy Week.  While I kept my mouth shut about how I really felt, Good Friday, was actually one of my favorite days of the year.

For a long time, saying so made me feel a little bit guilty and morbid.  Sure I loved watching the sunrise through stained glass windows on Easter and hearing Lutheran voices belting out “He is risen indeed” with more emotion and joy than you’d hear the congregation use all year long.  But what I found equally, if not more, compelling was the quiet reverence and aching sorrow that echoed as each station of the cross was described.  The realness of my sin exposed.  The penalty willingly endured and paid for by Immanuel–God with us.  Even from a young age, I realized that Easter only came through Good Friday.  Both equally necessary for redemption to occur.

Lent in many ways has gotten a bad wrap.  The idea of giving something up for the 40+ days before Easter in some ways has become highly ritualistic and unattached from what the season really is about.  People abstain from certain foods or vices with a desire not to draw closer to God, but to lose weight, be a better person, or even as a way to earn forgiveness.  Others attempt to sacrifice because of a desire to win the approval of man or from a distorted view of obligation.  On the other extreme, Easter in many ways has become a holiday for consumers.  Jelly beans, eggs, and bunnies encourage us to bypass the crucifixion and instead focus on cultural icons tied more closely to sugar and spring than anything else.

The truth is, Lent is about the gospel.  It is…

…a time for us to slow down and focus on the work of Christ.

…a season to repent from sin and trust in His work on the cross. 

….a reminder that the empty tomb only comes through the cross.

…meant to help us prepare ourselves for the joy of the resurrection as we enter into the sorrow and pain that came first.

…a reminder that we live in the “already, but not yet.” 

Lent lasts 40 days excluding Sundays, which makes it about 46 days altogether.  This season, we invite your family to participate in a weekly devotional designed to help prepare your family to celebrate the fullness of what Easter truly is.  Each week, you will participate in a brief scripture reading, discussion, and prayer time.  At the end, you will use candles to remember the darkness of sin and later, the living hope of Easter. Instead of lighting a candle like we might do during Advent, we will extinguish a candle each week as we contemplate the brokenness of sin and Jesus’ journey toward the cross.  During the last week, we will relight all 7 candles as a way to celebrate the promise both of the resurrection and what it ultimately points to—the day when Jesus returns to make all things new. You can pick up a copy of the devotional along with a set of seven tea lights while supplies last at the Crossing Kids registration area.  You can also download the devotional here.

Since Lent may be a new season for you or a season desperately in need of redemption given your past experiences with it, we have provided a list of additional reading that might help you better understand its significance. Please know that we are praying for you as you help your family contemplate and prepare this season.

Apr 202014
 

Little Ones

Big Idea: Jesus is Alive!

Memory Verse: “Jesus is…the Son of God” – John 20:31

Bible Story Focus: Jesus’ Death and Resurrection

Lesson Overview:

In this lesson, children will hear that Jesus is the Son of God. Because he is the Son of God, he beat death and came back tolife!

Songs

Jesus is Alive from Reach Up High CD
God Loves You and Me from One Big Gulp
ck2
Preschool
Monthly Topic: The Book of JohnBig Idea: Believe in Jesus; He came to rescue usMemory Verse: “But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” John 20:31

Bible Story Focus: Jesus’ resurrection (John 18-19)

Lesson Overview:  In this lesson, children will hear that Jesus is the Son of God. Because he is the Son of God, he beat death and came back to life! Meet some women who saw that Jesus was the Son of God, risen from the dead.

I Wonder Questions

I wonder… what does proof mean?
*It is a way of showing that something is true.
I wonder… how did Jesus prove that he was the Son of God?
*He beat death and came back to life.
I wonder… how is Jesus our rescuer?
*He beat death, making us not separated from God anymore!!
Activities
Children at 7:30 and 10:00 will make a tomb out of play-doh and discuss the Easter story. Then they will make a tomb to take home. At 8:45 and 11:15 children will act out the resurrection with a table and a blanket to make a tomb. Then they will make paper plate tombs to take home.
Songs

Blessed Be Your Name from The Way I was Made CD
Powerful by Phil Joel
katie1
Kindergarten-4th Grade
HOLY WEEK: JESUS RESCUES HIS PEOPLEDates:  April 6 – May 4, 2014Overview:  In this unit, children will learn five crucial stories that tell how Jesus gave us his life to rescue His people from sin. As children learn about:Key Concept of Unit:  Jesus rescued his people when he gave his life for us on the cross and defeated death when he rose to life.

Memory Verse for Unit: “God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son. Anyone who believes in him will not die but will have eternal life. God did not send his Son into the world to judge the world. He sent his Son to save the world through him.” –John 3:16-17 (NIRV)

Objectives for Unit:

Children will:

  1. Retell the stories from the Triumphal Entry, Last Supper, Crucifixion, Resurrection, and The Ascension; know they are located in the Gospels.
  2. Understand that Jesus gave His life willingly because He trusted God’s plan to rescue our fallen world.
  3. Recognize that Jesus is the only way to spending forever with God; Jesus died for our sins when he defeated death on the cross ad rose again.
  4. Know Jesus is with us (through power of the Holy Spirit) and promises to come again to make all things new.
Music: Christ is Risen by Matt Maher

5th Grade

Grapple Question:  What About When God Feels Far Away?

Kids Learn: Relying on Faith Rather Than Feelings

Dig Into the Bible:  Psalms 9:10; 42:6-11; 89:19-26; Matthew 27:45-50; Acts 13:22

Has your family ever moved to another state or country? If so, you know how it feels to be disconnected from people you care about. Still, you probably keep in touch with old friends who are important to you through emails or phone calls. Kids can talk to God even when he feels far away, too. every night this week, pray with your child before bedtime. Getting into the habit of communicating with God—whether we feel like it or not—helps us grow closer to him even when he feels far away.

 

Apr 052014
 

This is a repost of a past blog.

With Easter quickly approaching, I’m always looking for creative ways to talk about the death and resurrection of Jesus with my children. One of the easiest ways, besides reading it from a children’s bible, I’ve found is to read books or watch movies together.  Below are a few resources (with online descriptions) that our family has enjoyed over the years. Maybe you can find a few to use with your family over the next few weeks.

Easter Books

The Parable of the Lily by Liz Curtis Higgs

A farmer’s daughter receives a mysterious gift which she neglects and then discards, only to find out on Easter morning how special it is. Bible verses link the story to the life of Jesus.

The Tales of Three Trees by Angela Elwell Hunt

Once upon a mountaintop, three trees stood and dreamed of what they wanted to become when they grew up. As the years pass, “the three trees nearly forgot their dreams.” Eventually, each tree gets its wish, although not in the way it had foreseen. They discover that things turned out just the way they should have. Readers will be reminded that God has plans for every one of his creations, that He never loses sight any of us.

Benjamin’s Box by Melody Carlson, Jack Stockman (Illustrator)

This tale of a child following Jesus during biblical times to find out who he is, will teach your children lessons from the Bible you’ll want to share the whole Easter season. This story goes along with the Resurrection Eggs.

Resurrection Eggs

Plastic carton with 12 eggs each with objects that tell the story of Easter.

Easter Bunny, Are You For Real? by Harold Myra, Jane Kurisu

Easter eggs – Easter bunnies – Easter parades – what is Easter all about? This book helps parents teach their children to see beyond the commercialism of Easter. It gives a simple explanation of Jesus’ death and how he rose from the grave. It also explains how celebrating Spring (new baby animals and flowers and trees blooming) “is God’s picture of Jesus rising from the dead as all of Nature comes to life again”

The Big God Story by Michelle Anthony

In this fast-paced book, you’ll journey from Genesis to Revelation, seeing the many ways God has shown us His love and redemption throughout history!

The Easter Angels by Bob Hartman

In this moving retelling, Bob Hartman gets right to the heart of the Easter story—evoking its pain, its loneliness and, at last, its unexpected joy. The changing mood of the story is reflected in Tim Jonke’s dramatic and powerful illustrations.

The Very First Easter by Paul L. Maier, Paul Maier, Frank Ordaz

Impressively enhanced with museum quality artwork, The Very First Easter has as its principle focus the story of Easter and the trial, death, and resurrection of Jesus. God’s plan for the salvation of mankind through Jesus Christ is showcased in a perfect picture book format for young readers.

The Story of Easter by Patricia A. Pingry

Here’s an easy-to-understand presentation of the Easter story for your little ones! The tale of Christ’s death and resurrection is told in 200 simple words that are gentle enough for even the youngest readers.

Easter Movies

Most of the short scenes from our Easter Scene It game last Friday night at the Family Easter Celebration were from the following movies.

The Gospel of John

This is a three-hour epic feature on the story of Jesus’ life as described by His disciple John from the New Testament book of John.

Narnia

Four kids travel through a wardrobe to the land of Narnia and learn of their destiny to free it with the guidance of a mystical lion.

Read and Share Bible – Easter Version

Animated straight from the pages of Gwen Ellis’s Read and Share Bible, this uninterrupted presentation tells the story of Jesus’ last and greatest week on Earth.

The Greatest Story Ever Told

This glorious epic is an inspiring, grand-scale recreation of the life of Jesus of Nazareth, from His humble birth and teachings to His crucifixion and ultimate Resurrection.

Jesus Film or Jesus Film for Kids

This classic film portrays 3½ years of Jesus’ ministry as told in the Gospel of Luke from the Good News and King James translations of the Bible.

If you have a favorite Easter book or movie not listed here, please share it with us.

Feb 252014
 

lent

Growing up in a liturgical church setting, Lent was a somber time of contemplation.  Ashes crossed foreheads.  The hymn selection on the old pipe organ only included minor, dissonant sounding chords.  Black cloth draped the altar.  Items were given up.  I remember hearing many of my friends complaining about unsingable melodies and the number of services they attended during Holy Week.  While I kept my mouth shut about how I really felt, Good Friday, was actually one of my favorite days of the year.

For a long time, saying so made me feel a little bit guilty and morbid.  Sure I loved watching the sunrise through stained glass windows on Easter and hearing Lutheran voices belting out “He is risen indeed” with more emotion and joy than you’d hear the congregation use all year long.  But what I found equally, if not more, compelling was the quiet reverence and aching sorrow that echoed as each station of the cross was described.  The realness of my sin exposed.  The penalty willingly endured and paid for by Immanuel–God with us.  Even from a young age, I realized that Easter only came through Good Friday.  Both equally necessary for redemption to occur.

Lent in many ways has gotten a bad wrap.  The idea of giving something up for the 40+ days before Easter in some ways has become highly ritualistic and unattached from what the season really is about.  People abstain from certain foods or vices with a desire not to draw closer to God, but to lose weight, be a better person, or even as a way to earn forgiveness.  Others attempt to sacrifice because of a desire to win the approval of man or from a distorted view of obligation.  On the other extreme, Easter in many ways has become a holiday for consumers.  Jelly beans, eggs, and bunnies encourage us to bypass the crucifixion and instead focus on cultural icons tied more closely to sugar and spring than anything else.

The truth is, Lent is about the gospel.  It is…

…a time for us to slow down and focus on the work of Christ.

…a season to repent from sin and trust in His work on the cross. 

….a reminder that the empty tomb only comes through the cross.

…meant to help us prepare ourselves for the joy of the resurrection as we enter into the sorrow and pain that came first.

…a reminder that we live in the “already, but not yet.” 

Lent lasts 40 days excluding Sundays, which makes it about 46 days altogether.  This season, we invite your family to participate in a weekly devotional designed to help prepare your family to celebrate the fullness of what Easter truly is.  Each week, you will participate in a brief scripture reading, discussion, and prayer time.  At the end, you will use candles to remember the darkness of sin and later, the living hope of Easter. Instead of lighting a candle like we might do during Advent, we will extinguish a candle each week as we contemplate the brokenness of sin and Jesus’ journey toward the cross.  During the last week, we will relight all 7 candles as a way to celebrate the promise both of the resurrection and what it ultimately points to—the day when Jesus returns to make all things new. You can pick up a copy of the devotional along with a set of seven tea lights while supplies last at the Crossing Kids registration area starting March 2.  You can also download the devotional here.

Since Lent may be a new season for you or a season desperately in need of redemption given your past experiences with it, we have provided a list of additional reading that might help you better understand its significance. Please know that we are praying for you as you help your family contemplate and prepare this season.

Mar 222013
 

 

Last Monday evening, hundreds of Crossing Kids and their families gathered to prepare for Easter and worship our Savior with Jason Houser from Seeds Family Worship.  As you can tell, young and old had a great time singing and dancing in the auditorium.

seeds1

seeds4

seeds3

seeds2

After our time of praise and worship, families moved to classrooms where they created their own Resurrection Gardens to help them prepare for Easter at home.

seeds6

seeds5

seeds8

If you weren’t able to join us, be sure to pick up an extra copy of the garden materials along with our Family Easter devotional and free Seeds of Easter CD near the Crossing Kids registration area on Sunday.

Mar 122013
 

Growing up, Advent and Lent were seasons that not just my church but my family observed.  Both were times of anticipation and waiting.  Both were times of drawing closer to the manger and to the cross.  Both were opportunities my parents used to start intentional conversations about the Gospel.

Lent in many ways has gotten a bad wrap.  The idea of giving something up for the 40+ days before Easter in some ways has become highly ritualistic and unattached from what the season really is about.  People abstain from certain foods or vices with a desire not to draw closer to God, but to lose weight or be a better person.  Others attempt to sacrifice because of a desire to win the approval of man or from a distorted view of obligation.  On the other extreme, Easter in many ways has become a holiday for consumers.  Jelly beans, eggs, and bunnies encourage us to bypass the crucifixion and instead focus on cultural icons tied more closely to spring than anything else.

I’ve ran across several sites and blogs that have shared some great ideas for ways you can prepare your family for this season intentionally.

Tell the Easter Story with a Play Dough Mountain
A great idea for families with younger children, this blog post from Desiring God gives children the opportunity to retell the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection with play dough and pipe cleaner

playdoughmountain

Photo Credit 

Resurrection Rolls
Use this fun, tasty recipe to tell the Easter story.  The link includes the recipe along with a list of things to say/share as you cook together.

resurrectionrolls

Photo Credit

Lent Devotional from The Village Church
While this may be a little too extensive to do with young children, it’s what I’m currently working through to prepare my heart as an individual.  Each week includes a prayer from Valley of Vision to meditate on, selected scripture with a place to reflect, and ideas on things to fast from/how best to go about this process in a Biblical way.  It also opens with a great rationale of what Lent is.  I’ve copied a snippet of this below:

“Lent is about the gospel. It is a time to narrow the focus of the Church to the work of Christ, in particular His life and death, a season to turn from sin and trust in His atoning work…ent is a reminder that the resurrection only occurred after the crucifixion. Rather than skipping over the ministry and crucifixion of Christ, Lent is a season to prepare ourselves for the joy of Resurrection Sunday as we symbolically enter the sorrow and pain which preceded it.”

What Lent Really Means and Easter Tree Directions
Ann Voskamp writes about her own struggles with Lent along with different things she does with her family to prepare for the season.  It closes with a free downloadable devotion and directions on how to make an Easter tree.

Lenten Lights from Noel Piper
Noel Piper guides families through 8 weekly scripture readings with an accompanying brief devotional.  Instead of lighting candles as one might do in Advent, she suggests extinguishing candles as a way to physically represent the contrast of light and darkness.

The Jesus Storybook Bible
One of our favorite resources to share with children and families is The Jesus Storybook Bible.   Pages 280-325 tell the story of Passion Week all the way through Jesus ascending into heaven.  Try reading one story a week for six weeks together as a family.  You can also watch a video version of Easter morning below.

http://youtu.be/d_PkwywNxCw

Celebrating Easter with Kids
This blog post is a collection of links put together by C.J. Maheny’s daughter Nicole on Girl Talk.  Throughout the post, she offers many practical, fun ideas for impressing the truth of the Gospel on little hearts during this season.

John Devotional
Of course you can also check out our weekly family devotional through the book of John.  Many of the passages will coincide with the Lent/Easter season.  We will also share a  take home devotional with you at our Family Easter Celebration on March 16.

What other ways do you celebrate the Lent and Easter season together as a family?  Be sure to share your ideas in the comment section or on Facebook.

Feb 212013
 

Today’s post is a guest blog from my dear friend Kassie Phillips.  If I were to make a list of people whose lives both challenge and encourage me to believe the Gospel and live a more radical life of love as a result, Kassie and her husband Brian would be at the very top.  In the last year, my friends and their three small children moved to Spain.  Their stories of learning language and culture aren’t the only things that amaze me, however.  You see, Brian and Kassie from the start have made imperfect but very intentional choices about the way they parent in light of the Gospel.  A trip to their home when they lived in the states made this abundantly evident as do blog posts, emails, and skype dates today.  More recently they’ve began a new tradition as a family to help prepare their hearts for Easter.  Kassie was gracious enough to share this below.

“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.”
1 John 3:16

First of all, let me just say that I am no expert on Lent. Until last week, all I knew was that you couldn’t eat meat, at least on some days, and there was something about ashes…

So, if you’ve never thought about Lent, you’re not alone, and I’m not far ahead of you.

Recently, we moved to Spain. Although there are very few Christians here, many of the people are Catholic by tradition. Our son, Malaki, attends a Spanish Catholic school.  So I’ve been trying to use the traditions and holidays (which they celebrate at school) for our education and encouragement. I think it’s really important to give him a springboard (at home) for his questions and doubts.

It’s been like a treasure hunt. A hunt I’m thankful for because it has caused me to think beyond what is normal for me, and find Jesus in traditions and holidays I’m unfamiliar with. It has certainly freshened my view of Easter, Lent, and Jesus. And I believe that when the kids are older, they will think of these times as sweet memories.

Definition: Lent is a period of 40 days (excluding Sundays, so it’s actually around 46-47 days total) of preparation for Easter. Many people abstain from eating meat on Fridays, or fast for one day/meal each week, others give up something for the entire 40 days. The reason for the fast is to remind us of the sacrifice Jesus made for us on the cross.

Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent. That day was especially fascinating to me.  It is a day specifically devoted to remembering our need of Jesus’ sacrifice. The ashes symbolize the ashes Old Testament saints wore when they were mourning their sins.

Practically, this is how it has worked for us: first, on Ash Wednesday; our two older kids (3.5, & 5 years old) each chose a toy to put up in the china cabinet until after Easter. I explained to them that it would be difficult, but it would remind them of the sacrifice Jesus made for us when he came down from heaven to die on the cross.

The second thing we did was take a piece of posterboard and draw a calendar. It is a path with one stone per day, from Ash Wednesday, all the way to Easter.  (For some great ideas on this, Google: “Lent Calendar for kids”) Each morning at breakfast, we read a story (usually from The Jesus Storybook Bible) and talk about how that story points us to Jesus and his rescue plan.  Each day, we fill in one stone with what we learned.

 It’s simple. Yesterday we wrote: “Even when Joseph was sad and alone, God was planning a RESCUE!”

By the time we get to Easter, we will have spent 40+ days talking about the great rescue, and preparing to celebrate Easter. Not only should we be ready to celebrate, the kids will know what we are celebrating.

 

Apr 062012
 

Growing up in a liturgical church setting, Lent was a somber time of contemplation.  Ashes crossed foreheads.  The hymn selection on the old pipe organ only included minor, dissonant sounding chords.  Black cloth draped the altar.  Items were given up.  I remember hearing many of my friends complaining about unsingable melodies and the number of services they attended during Holy Week.  While I kept my mouth shut about how I really felt, Good Friday, was actually one of my favorite days of the year.

For a long time, saying so made me feel a little bit guilty and morbid.  Sure I loved watching the sunrise through stained glass windows on Easter and hearing Lutheran voices belting out “He is risen indeed” with more emotion and joy than you’d hear the congregation use all year long.  But what I found equally, if not more, compelling was the quiet reverence and aching sorrow that echoed as each station of the cross was described.  The realness of my sin exposed.  The penalty willingly endured and paid for by Immanuel–God with us.  Even from a young age, I realized that Easter only came through Good Friday.  Both equally necessary for redemption to occur.

Some say that the crucifixion is too violent for children, that we should water down the message.  My experience would argue the opposite.  So would Russell Moore:

Our children need to hear the Gospel. They need to see Jesus. That means they need to see both sides of skull place. That’s graphic, sure. It’s confusing, of course. And not just for kids. But it is the only message that saves. It’s the only message that prepares one for salvation. It is, as Paul says, that which is “of first importance,” the message he received from Jesus Himself (1 Cor 15:3-4).

The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus is the Gospel. That’s the first word. If we cannot speak of that, we would be better off not speaking of Jesus at all, rather than presenting another Christ, one who meditates but does not mediate, who counsels but is not crucified, who is accessible but not triumphant over sin and death.

The apostle Paul told us the word of the cross would be folly to those who are perishing (1 Cor 1:18). He didn’t warn us that it would sometimes also be folly to those who are publishing. No matter. It is still the power of God.

This Easter, preach the Gospel… to the senior citizens, to the middle-aged, to the young adults, to the teenagers, to the seekers, to the hardened unbelievers, to the whole world. And, yes, preach the Gospel to the preschoolers.

Even and especially the youngest among us need Good Friday just as they need Easter.

A few years ago, I ran across an article where Anne Lamott quotes Barbara Johnson saying, “We are Easter people living in a Good Friday world.”  It took me a few reads to connect the dots, but once I did it helped me process why even amidst sorrow and angst, I felt like maybe in ways I understood Good Friday even more than I did Easter.  We live in the constant tension of the already, but not yet.  We live in a world that’s broken, still under the curse despite the empty tomb.  We live in between the comings of Christ where family members get sick, friends experience tragedy, and sin–both our own and of others–taints even the best things in this life.  As Tullian Tchividjian writes in Jesus + Nothing = Everything,

“Peter tells us: Set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:13)…How easy it is to lose sight of the benefits that we have in Christ as we go through life’s trials.  It’s easy to do because of the not-yetness of our promised blessings, the full experience of our freedom and peace…But our fullness of hope allows us now to have full and confident expectation of all that is coming to us in the end.  for the Christian, the best is yet to come.

As you celebrate Easter this year, don’t forget to contemplate not just Good Friday but the future grace that will be brought fully to us when Christ returns.  Don’t shy away from sharing this truth with the littlest among us.  We are all Easter people in a Good Friday world–the best is yet to come.

Mar 282012
 

I don’t think it’s an accident that the most beautiful things of this earth aren’t typically so in the predictable sense.  The things that move us the most quite often involve a contrast of some type, an element of surprise.

Wildflowers creeping along a crowded highway.

The intricate wrinkles on my grandmother’s hands.

A quilt created entirely from scraps that sits on my bed.

Weeds left uncared for.  Signs of aging and decay.  Leftovers that otherwise had no use.  Symptoms of the curse redeemed.  Beauty rooted in what doesn’t seem to make sense.

Why is my heart captured by such things?  Perhaps because this contrast is merely an echo of something greater.  Perhaps because the face of beauty itself is described in this way.

…he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
    and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men;
    a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
    he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
-Isaiah 53:2-5

With wounds we are healed.  Grace at its very core is a paradox.  Something so costly, so undeserved, is given freely.  A gruesome, torturous method of execution becomes the central icon for redemption.  A story I’ve heard since I was a little girl continues to contain an element of mystery.  My faith, my hope, and my peace secured, only because the righteous died for the unrighteous.  Darkness and light, bondage and freedom juxtaposed.  And all this was for our salvation.

Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly,
Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see Thee in the heights;
hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Thy glory.
Let me learn by paradox
that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive,
that the valley is the place of vision.
Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells,

and the deeper the wells the brighter Thy stars shine;
Let me find Thy light in my darkness,
Thy life in my death,
Thy joy in my sorrow,
Thy grace in my sin,
Thy riches in my poverty,
Thy glory in my valley.
-The Valley of Vision, A Puritain Prayer-

Mar 172012
 

Last night, the auditorium was transformed into a game show called “Family Scene It.”  We were joined by special guest hosts: Wacky Wanda and Candace.  Three lucky families were selected as contestants and competed by answering a series of questions after watching movie clips that depicted the Easter Story.  We also heard from multiple eye witnesses who really had, “seen it” including Mary Magdalene, Peter, Thomas, Mary the Mother of Jesus, and another Disciple.  Together, we learned the truth of John 20:29:

Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.

Next, families gathered in classrooms to play “Minute to Believe It.”  Participants rotated between fun, crazy challenges and discussion questions that reviewed what they learned during large group.  Marshmallows were picked up with chopsticks, Q-Tips were shot through straws, and cookies were placed on faces and consumed without the use of hands.  Check out a few of our contestants in action.

The night ended with desserts and an opportunity to continue the fun at home with our family devotional game: “Spin It to Live It.”  We have extra copies of the game available this Sunday at The Crossing Kids registration area.  Be sure to pick one up if you weren’t able to make it on Friday.