holidays

What To Do With Easter | Part 5

2016-03-25T21:00:17+00:00

A Story For Easter

There is a beautiful story that you can read to your children Easter morning. It is a story that has to do with the linen cloth placed over Jesus face during his burial.  Here it is.

The Folded Napkin (author anonymous)

The Gospel of John (20:7) tells us that the napkin, which was placed over the face of Jesus, was not just thrown aside like the grave clothes.

The Bible takes an entire verse to tell us that the napkin was neatly folded, and was placed at the head of that stony coffin.

Early Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance.

She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved.. She said, ‘They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and I don’t know where they have put him!’

Peter and the other disciple ran to the tomb to see. The other disciple out ran Peter and got there first. He stopped and looked in and saw the linen cloth lying there, but he didn’t go in.

Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head was folded up and lying to the side.

Was that important? Absolutely!

Is it really significant? Yes!

In order to understand the significance of the folded napkin, you have to understand a little bit about Hebrew tradition of that day.   The folded napkin had to do with the Master and Servant, and every Jewish boy knew this tradition.

When the servant set the dinner table for the master, he made sure that it was exactly the way the master wanted it.   The table was furnished perfectly, and then the servant would wait, just out of sight, until the master had finished eating, and the servant would not dare touch that table, until the master was finished.

Now if the master were done eating, he would rise from the table, wipe his fingers, his mouth, and clean his beard, and would wad up that napkin and toss it onto the table.    The servant would then know to clear the table. For in those days, the wadded napkin meant,  “I’m finished.”

But if the master got up from the table, and folded his napkin, and laid it beside his plate, the servant would not dare touch the table, because……….

The folded napkin meant,

“I’m coming back”

 

author- unknown

Listen to today’s podcast for more on celebrating Easter as a Family.

What To Do With Easter | Part 5 2016-03-25T21:00:17+00:00

What To Do With Easter | Part 4

2016-03-24T21:00:30+00:00

Visuals for Teaching

Like we mentioned yesterday utilizing the Resurrection Eggs to teach children about the message of the Easter week is a great visual aid. But what about taking some of the symbols of the Easter story a step further to teach.

For example take the Spear in the Easter story. The spear, is an amazing representation of the fulfillment of prophecy. The Old Testament states that not a bone would be broken in Jesus body. This is one example of God keeping his word. There are so many amazing promises in the Bible. We can use the fulfillment of prophecy to help children learn to focus on God’s promises.

A fun activity to do is make a promise coupon. Children can think of something they can do for another family member. A promise they alone can fulfill. I could be something that they promise not to do, a teaching tool, such as I promise not to argue about going to bed. It could also be something nice that they will do for another family member, like helping mom clear the dinner dishes. Writing promises down helps children remember. This can be a fun way to help children learn to do what they have promised, like their Heavenly Father does.

Get creative with other objects to use for visuals for teaching your children. Creating activities with children helps them to understand the magnitude of what God has done!

Listen to today’s podcast for more on celebrating Easter as a family.

What To Do With Easter | Part 4 2016-03-24T21:00:30+00:00

What To Do With Easter | Part 3

2016-03-23T21:00:59+00:00

Explaining Christ’s Sacrifice at Home

It cost our Savior everything for us to have relationship with God, His Father.  We cannot make light of the sacrifice that Jesus made for us.  Crucifixion was such a horrific way to die that some have stated that it is the most inhumane form of carrying out the death penalty of all time.  It is something that cannot be taken lightly.  Make sure that you are taking the time to help your children understand the sacrifice that Jesus made for us on the cross.  You can utilize Resurrection Eggs for your older children to explain the events of Easter week.

The horrible things that Jesus went through before His death may be a difficult thing to explain to small children.  But helping them understand the reality of what He did for us is very important.  One way to help them begin to understand, is by helping them to see what the outcome of his suffering was.  Jesus’ death and resurrection opened the door of communication between God and humanity.  Our sin stands as a barrier, but when Jesus took that sin upon himself and paid our penalty, that barrier was removed.

To help children visualize this lesson, you can explain that God allowed the cords (or whip) of Jesus suffering to be part of the process to open the communication to Him. The activity that can help children to understand that new communication between God and man, is making an old fashion can/cup telephone.  Punch a hole in the bottom of a cup or can and thread the cord through.  Put a can on the other end and pull the cord taunt. You will then be able to hear a voice talking into the other end. You can even write “God” on one cup and “man” on the other.  Use red yarn or string for an even stronger visual to represent that Jesus blood made this communication possible.

Listen to today’s podcast for more on celebrating Easter as a family.

What To Do With Easter | Part 3 2016-03-23T21:00:59+00:00

What To Do With Easter | Part 2

2016-03-22T21:00:57+00:00

Do This in Remembrance of Me

As we begin Easter week, choose to make this a week of different focus for your family.  We will talk about several things that you can do as a family to make this week set apart from the norm.  For many of us who are Christians we get caught up in all the religious activities and don’t allow them to remind us of why we do them.   In the story of Joshua, he has the leaders of the twelve tribes of Israel place twelve large stones together as a monument.  He does this right after they cross the Jordan river.  He tells the people that they are doing this so that when the children ask it will be a reminder of all that God has done for them.  We can utilize these holidays as a monument in our lives.

Many of us today don’t celebrate the season of Lent.  The purpose of the season from Ash Wednesday to Easter, is to set that time apart.  Giving up something for the season reminds us that there is something special about this time.  It is suppose to help our focus be on God.  If you don’t celebrate the season of Lent as a family think about things that you can do this week to set the time apart.  Things that you can use as a family “monument” for what God has done for us.

What To Do With Easter | Part 2 2016-03-22T21:00:57+00:00

What To Do With Easter | Part 1

2016-03-21T21:00:28+00:00

Why It’s The Most Important Holiday

If we are typical American families, Easter is just another holiday about getting.  It revolves around the Easter bunny, egg hunts, new clothes for Easter Sunday and church.  For many families going to church is a religious event that happens only Christmas Eve and Easter Sunday.  Do we need to do anything different than that for our family?  First we need to decide what it really means to us.

If we truly believe what we say we believe then this day we celebrate is what sets Christianity apart from any other religion.  We claim to believe that this day celebrates the day that Jesus defeated death.   Because God is a Holy God , in order for us to be in relationship with Him we must be with out fault.  This is not possible for us, so God requires payment for our wrong doing.  For years this payment was sacrifices made by the priests for the people.  Jesus stepped in to once and for all take the place of animal sacrifice, His death was the ultimate and final payment for our sin.   His death made it possible for us to be in relationship with God.  Good Friday and Easter celebrates the focal point of Christianity.  We are going to talk about how we celebrate this as a family.

What To Do With Easter | Part 1 2016-03-21T21:00:28+00:00

Dealing with Holiday Stress to Your Marriage | Part 5

2013-12-05T13:49:40+00:00

The Ex Factor

Perhaps one of the most difficult of holiday stressors fall on the shoulders of single parents and blending families. That is the ex factor. For many single parent and blending family homes, holidays will have to be split up between families. This can bring many different stressors, loneliness, guilt and feelings of competition. We must go into dealing with this scenario with a plan. We cannot allow the holiday season to be used to “get back at” or hurt the other parent. We also cannot allow a spirit of competitiveness to creep in. We must remember that this is one way for us to keep our focus on Jesus this season. It could even be looked at as a birthday present to Jesus, in how attitudes are handled. Jesus would always serve those around Him and this difficult scenario can be used to exemplify this to children.

Listen to today’s podcast for more on this topic.

Dealing with Holiday Stress to Your Marriage | Part 5 2013-12-05T13:49:40+00:00

Dealing with Holiday Stress to Your Marriage | Part 4

2013-12-05T13:45:40+00:00

Handling Traditions

We mentioned yesterday that in the coming weeks we will spend an entire series discussing different holiday traditions. But today we are going to deal with them in the light of what we have been discussing this week, holidays and marital stress.  Traditions are important to have for children as they create lasting memories.  They also have the ability to teach the true meaning of the season.  The problem is that no two families have the same traditions.  So this is where spouses must sit down to discuss what are important traditions from each of their growing up years and how they will be merged.  It is important to have some fun and silly traditions as well as some that teach.  If spouses don’t take the time to process through what traditions their family will have during holiday time it can create stress due to unmet expectations.  Make sure to include a discussion about how your family will incorporate and create family traditions into your holiday staff meeting.

 

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.

Dealing with Holiday Stress to Your Marriage | Part 4 2013-12-05T13:45:40+00:00

Dealing with Holiday Stress to Your Marriage | Part 3

2013-12-05T13:36:36+00:00

It All Starts With A Marital Staff Meeting

Like so many things in marriage if we want to have a plan for the holidays to avoid unnecessary stress, it all starts with a staff meeting.  A scheduled time where the two spouses can sit to discuss the expectations, plan and purpose behind the holiday season.  The easiest place to start is the purpose.  What is the purpose behind the holiday? While creating traditions and memories for our children are important they are not the purpose for the season.  Neither is meeting my or my spouse’s needs or expectations.  The purpose of the whole season is to celebrate the fact that God intervened in our lives so drastically that He sent His Son as a baby.  This whole season should be pointing to the gift that God gave to us 2,000 years ago. In the coming weeks we will discuss how to have family traditions that help children understand the meaning of Christmas.  An annual staff meeting to remind us of the purpose will help us to not feel the pressures and the stresses of this season.  Make sure to put one on your calendar!

 

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.

Dealing with Holiday Stress to Your Marriage | Part 3 2013-12-05T13:36:36+00:00

Dealing with Holiday Stress to Your Marriage | Part 2

2013-12-03T14:09:53+00:00

The In-law Factor

There are many things that can contribute to stress with in-laws even if you have a great relationship.  The first is growing up in different homes spouses each have a set of traditions that were set up by in-laws. This sets up expectations for how the holidays should go.  I remember the first time I went to visit my husbands family for Christmas.  Even though they have a fantastic set of traditions that were very fun, they were so different from mine growing up I remember thinking at the end of festivities “hmm it doesn’t really feel like Christmas.”

Another thing that can add to the stress is in-laws expectations.  Where will the family spend the holidays and how will they be divided up?  We need to process who is in charge of this holiday, parents, my competitive nature or my subliminal desire to escape into the season? Not only that but what is the purpose of the celebration? The next few days we will be looking at how we effective prepare for these stressors.

 

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.

Dealing with Holiday Stress to Your Marriage | Part 2 2013-12-03T14:09:53+00:00

Dealing with Holiday Stress to Your Marriage | Part 1

2013-12-02T14:29:58+00:00

 Why The Holidays Are So Stressful

Ah, the holidays! It’s ironic that a time that is supposed to bring such warmth and joy can create such disappointment, tension and stress within a marriage.  We are going to spend this week breaking down why this is and what we can do to prevent this from happening in our own lives.

The first thing that can cause this stress is our expectations.  Is our focus what we expect to get, even if it is an experience, rather then what we can give others? The second area that can cause stress is In-laws. Thirdly, finances can bring major stress especially during this time of the year.  Fourthly, if we are not careful competition to have and give the best can create stress. Lastly there is the pressure of a crazy schedule during the holidays, with parties, church events ect. crowding our calendar.  Each of these areas can cause stress in normal times of the year but can heap immense stress as they seem to all be compounded over the holidays.

Check back as we cover some of these topics in more detail, as well as how to be proactive to guard against these stressors.

 

Listen to today’s podcast for more on this topic

Dealing with Holiday Stress to Your Marriage | Part 1 2013-12-02T14:29:58+00:00