Friday, March 30, 2012
Image of my painting, "Ripples".
When taking classes at my local college a few years ago, I noticed a sign on my mentor's wall with the sketch of a rolling river on it. The quote on it was in Polish, so I had to ask him what it said.
He would smile and say, "You can't push the river."
This phrase has stuck with me since then. There are currents in life that can help progress move along or halt it; depending on if you work with the flow or fight against it. It's not that this quote is calling for us to flow aimlessly with whatever current you happen to be swimming in; but to think creatively about how to work with what you've got to get where you want to be.
Earlier today, a friend shared another quote with me. She said, "You can always turn over the stones."
If you put these two quotes together, I think you find a statement to live by.
"You can't push the river, but you can always turn over the stones."
Move with creativity and the will to look at things with hope and new eyes.
Keep moving, hold on to hope, and never underestimate the power of wading in the river of life looking for that perfect stone.
Grace and Peace,
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Family friendly devotional activities for Holy Week
Make these cookies with your kids and use the cookies to help talk to them about Jesus Resurrection!
My mom was terrific at making any holiday season special. We would color Easter eggs, prepare a fantastic meal, make up thoughtful and fun Easter baskets and help to make wonderful memories in my childhood. One of our Easter traditions was to make "Overnight cookies". These cookies are simple and tasty recipes that help to tell the story of Easter. Once they were prepared, cooked and left in the oven overnight, my Mom would tell the story of Jesus' Resurrection with the help of these hollow treats. (See recipe below.)
In preparation for holy week I collected some scriptures, activates and devotional resources to share with the families at my church, and was happy to share them online too. I hope these devotions help you to pause and take notice of God throughout this busy holiday and make some great family memories of your own in the process!
OVERNIGHT COOKIES (From Cooks.com)
2 egg whites, at room temperature
6 oz. pkg. chocolate chips
1 c. chopped pecans
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
2/3 c. sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar at high speed until peaks form. Slowly add sugar and continue beating until sugar is dissolved and mixture is very stiff. Fold in chocolate chips and pecans. Drop by small spoonfuls onto a foil-lined cookie sheet. Place cookies into preheated oven and close the door.
Immediately turn off the oven. Leave them in overnight. DO NOT open the door once the cookies are in the cover. The next morning, remove from oven and enjoy. Makes 2 1/2 to 3 dozen.
The cookies are hollow when you take them out in the morning. Also you can talk about how the people would have felt waiting for 3 days for Jesus. How did they feel waiting for the cookies overnight?
Listed below are some additional Scripture references and activities to walk through Holy Week as a family. Some of these guides have been adapted from the book ‘Sacred Space’ by Dan Kimball and Lilly Lewin and others are devotions I’ve used in the past with various groups.
Palm Sunday: Mark 11:1-19; Luke 19: 28-40, John 12:12-19, Matthew 21:1-11 (Walk the path, pick up a palm branch, and write your praise to God on the branch. Walk back down the path and tape the branch on the path.)
Jesus anointed at Bethany: John 12:1-11 (Take a baby wipe and wash each person’s hands. Dot some sweet perfume on each person’s hands. Talk about the way God makes our live good/sweet.)
The last supper: John 13: 1-17, Luke 22:7, Matthew 26: 27-30, Luke 22: 14-21 (Lay a tablecloth out on a table /or scrap fabric – read lessons and then write or draw something that you are thankful to God for.
The garden of Gethsemane: Luke 22:39-46, Mark 14: 32-42, Matthew 25:34-40 (Look at the newspaper and pray for the needs you find in there.)
Betrayal and Denial: Luke 22:1-6, 47-53, 54-62 (Take a tube of toothpaste and place it on a plate. Squeeze out a line of toothpaste and ask if it can be put back into the tube. Talk about how Judas and Peter may have wanted to take back what they did. Talk about how you may have wanted to take back something that has hurt someone else.
Jesus before Pilate: Matthew 25:39-41, 27:11-26, John 9:4-6, 14: 5-7 (Light a candle and pray about ways Jesus is the light in our lives and others lives.)
Forgiveness: 1 John 1:8-9 (Take two craft/popsicle sticks and write down the names of the people they need to forgive. Take yarn and tie the sticks together in the shape of the cross.)
Words of the Cross: Luke 23:34,43, John 19:26-27, Mark 15:34, John 19:28,30; Luke 23:46 (Read the words Jesus spoke from the cross and pray about what they need to say to Jesus today.)
Tearing the Temple Curtain: Mark 15: 37-38, Luke 23: 44-46; Matthew 27: 50-52 (Read lessons, give each person a piece of purple fabric, remind them that because of Jesus death on the cross that we are no longer separated from God.)
Plant a seed: Matthew 20:18-20, John 12:23-25 (Plant some flower seeds in a planter, read lessons, and talk about Jesus promises.)
Happy Easter to you and yours!