Monday, March 25, 2013

gearing up for Easter

Today I picked out two activities from our Love Life Live Lent booklet to read, talk about, and do with the boys.  I picked these two activities on purpose because I wanted to link them together to make a special something for a special someone!

 'Now as you excel in we want you to excel also in this generous undertaking.'
2 Corinthians 8.7
"What you do affects who you are.  Although popular wisdom states that bad people do bad things and good people, god things, it is also true that regularly acting selfishly changes who we are just as acting generously does.  If we learn to excel in generosity, as Paul wanted the Corinthians to do, then generosity stops being just an action and becomes instead a state of mind.  We become people whose instinct is to rejoice in giving things to others, more generous."
Action:  Give a small present to someone you know
'Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the church of God that is in Corinth, including all the saints throughout Achaia...'
2 Corinthians 1.1
"Paul was an inveterate letter writer.  Not only do we have more than ten letters from him in the New Testament, there are also allusions to many more that he wrote which didn't survive.  Paul knew the importance of maintaining links with people, of hearing how they were getting on and of encouraging them for the future.  If he wrote so much when communication was difficult, how much more should we communicate with those we love?  So...keep in touch more."
Action:  Phone someone you love but haven't seen for a while

We actually did both of these activities in one night and tied them together.  See, my sister's birthday is coming up really quickly and Logan decided she needed a birthday present.  So, the three of us sat down to create a fun gift for Aunt Dannielle!  It was such a fun way to practice being more generous!

Later that night, we decided that since we hadn't actually spoken to Dannielle in a few weeks that it would be a good time to call her up and see how things were going.  Gavin was especially excited to get his hands on the cell phone and "talk" to his aunt!  Logan preferred to stand back and shout at her...  :D

'I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.'
Psalm 9.1

"Are you a glass half full or a glass half  empty person?  We are used to associating positivity with personality types, and there is no doubt that there are some people who are naturally more optimistic than others, but thinking positively can also be a discipline.  We can see the bad everywhere we look or we can train ourselves to look for the good.  As Christians we are called to be tellers of good news, so...think more positively."

Action:  Make a list of all the good things in your life and thank God for them.

This turned out to be such a fun activity - especially because Logan was very enthusiastic about it!  The three of sat on the couch, read our little booklet, and then we moved to the table with paper and pencils in hand.  There we sat each taking turns writing down something we were thankful for (great practice on handwriting for Logan, too!) (scribbling practice for Gavin - hey, ya gotta start somewhere!).  With each gift listed, Logan became more and more excited!  By the end he had filled both sides of his paper!  I was especially moved watching his list grow from things like "quarters" and "erasers" to things like "hugs from Mom" and "writing with Mom."  When we were done, all three of us (Gavin rejoined us at this point after a short playing spree) folded our hands and said a prayer of thanks for all of the things on our lists.  

And then we went outside and had a snowball fight in the falling snow...  :D
He was happy.  For some reason he insisted on taking a "tough" picture...  :D

'He gives rain on the earth and sends waters on the fields...'
Job 5.10
"There is no space here to address the complex - indeed nigh on impossible - question of why some of us have all the water we need, while others have either far too much ornone at all.  But one thing is certain:  water, the kind that nourishes us and brings life, is a gift not a right.  As a result, it is something to give constant thanks for and to preserve, not to squander, water."
Action:  Use the washing-up water to water some plants.
Trying to explain to a five year old that not everyone has all the water they could ever need available at the drop of hat - you know, the way we do.  I'm not sure it really sunk in for Logan, but he was more than happy to lend a hand watering the flower we planted a few weeks back!  I also used this as an opportunity to illustrate why we don't leave the water running while we brush our teeth or scrub pots and pans in the sink.  Then again, maybe the lesson did sink in a little, because Logan has taken to not flushing the toliet to "save water."  Oh boy...
'My brothers and sisters, do you with your acts of favouritism really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ?'
James 2.1
"It's al too easy to show favouritism.  Jesus recognized our tendency to be nice only to our friends and family (see Luke 14.12), and James saw that the rich and famous so often get preferential treatment.  Following Jesus means trying to avoid showing favouritism to those we might feel more comfotable with and going out of our way to love and care for those who would not normally catch our attention, those who might slip under our radar and remain unnoticed, aware of others."
Action:  Make a list of up to five people you have met today, and then pray for them.
We were at the library hanging out while my car got new tires when I pulled out our little book and sat down to talk to the boys about one of today's activities.  Since it was early in the morning and we hadn't really run into many people at this point, I let Logan make his prayer list of any five people he wanted, and then I had him tell me why he wanted to pray for each one of them.  Turns out he considereds dogs people, because we ended up with two dogs on the list...hey, I can roll with that!  When we finished our list, we folded our hands and said a prayer (even Gavin!) for all of the people (and dogs) on our list!
'You show me the path of life.  In your presece there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures for evermore.'
Psalm 16.11
"There is a widespread belief that they Christian faith is so serious and important that there can b eno room for fun.  In fact, Christian life and faith is so very important that the only thing to do is to enjoy it, with all the fullness of joy that is to be found in God's presence.  If we seek to express this joy in our lives, one way of doing that must surely involve having fun, so...have more fun."
Activity:  Do something today 'just' for fun.
Today's just for fun:  cookies and creme puppy chow!  I don't make a lot of desserts except for an occassional box brownie mix.  Today, I wanted to do something fun and a little different with the boys.  Gavin ended up missing out on the making part because I put him down for a much needed nap, but Logan was there to lend me a hand crushing oreos and stirring melty chocolate chips.  It was so much fun to get to create something new and yummy with my "baby"!  And it was even more fun to sit on the couch after Gavin woke up and nibble on our new snack together!

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