Monthly Archives: December 2012

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The Gospel Ornament: Tell the Story of Jesus to Your Kids

“Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,’Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.’ ” Luke 2:14

By: Jennifer Mullen

In the busyness of the season, it is important to remind our children (and ourselves) the reason we celebrate Christmas. This is a simple way to share the gospel story with your family.  Make this activity one of your advent events during your family devotional time.

What You Will Need: 

  • clear plastic or glass ornaments
  • white crafting feathers
  • red ribbon
  • raffia

Found all of these items at Hobby Lobby.

How To: 

While reading various scriptures about Jesus with your family, insert the following into the ornament:

  • Raffia– This symbolizes the hay in the manger. Read Luke 2.
  • Red Ribbon– This symbolizes the blood of Christ. Read Matthew 26:28 and Isaiah 53:5. 
  • Feather– This symbolizes the angel who proclaimed the resurrection at the tomb. Read Luke 24:1-12
Make it into a Gift: 
The Gospel Ornament is a inexpensive gift to share with neighbors, teachers, students, friends, etc. You could easy make 48 of these for less than $25.  Include in a paper sack all of the items for the ornament with the instructions on how to assemble. For a free printable to include with your gift, click here: Gospel Ornament Printable.
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Christmas Gift Ball: A Fun Family Activity

“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:” 1 Peter 4:10

By: Jennifer Mullen and Gretchen Speer

Gretchen introduced me to this game a few years back when I first joined MOPS.  Her family does this game every Christmas.  Since I am in charge of the ice breakers in our MOPS group this year, I decided to team up with Gretchen to do this again.  This game could be used for a family gathering or a small Christmas party with your friends.

What You Will Need:

  • packing tape
  • foil
  • newspaper
  • gifts/treats
  • a pair of dice

Our treats for this occasion was chocolate, Mary Kay items, gift cards, and handmade jewelry.  The sky is the limit for ideas of treats.  You could do coins, hand sanitizer, lotions, small children’s toys..etc.  Also, you can substitute reused wrapping paper for newspaper   I hate just throwing that paper away.

First, wrap the prizes separately in foil.

Then layer the items in folds of newspapers making a ball as you go.  Tape each layer with a good amount of packing tape to hold it in a ball.

Isn’t Gretchen cute!

When you are done, it should look something like this:

At the party, divide into small groups.  A group of 8-12 per ball is perfect.

Then start the game!  The person holding the ball has until the person sitting next to them rolls a double with the dice to unwrap and find the treasures.

It does become competitive so watch out!

Enjoy!

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Burnt Toast or the Bread of Life?

“Give us today our daily bread.”  Matthew 6:11

By: Jennifer Mullen

It is morning.  I am checking off tasks on my morning routine “to do” list.

  • Shower. Check.
  • Dress kids. Check.
  • Start breakfast.  Toast in the toaster oven. Check and check.
  • Fill sippys. Check.
  • Say our goodbyes to Daddy as he heads out the door for work.  Check.
  • Empty dishwasher. Fill dishwasher.  Check and check.

We are running late.  Today, time is against me. In the background I hear the fast paced tick, tick, tick of the toaster oven and my mind spirals….

Have I remembered everyone on the Christmas list? Tick, tick, tick.

Am I going to stay in budget? Tick, tick, tick.

Are we going to get to school on time? Tick, tick, tick.

Speaking of school, I forgot to put my daughter’s teachers on the Christmas shopping list. Tick, tick, tick.

Hummm…there goes the tight budget.   Tick, tick, tick.

What am I going to get my husband?  What is he going to get me?  Tick, tick, tick.

Can’t we just skip Christmas and pay some bills?

TICK…TICK..TICK…DING!

And the toast is burnt!

Time is up and we have to go to school.  Load up the kids.  Grab a Pop Tart.  Eat on the way.

In the back of my mind the persistent ticking continues…

TICK…TICK…TICK…

The LORD gently reminds me, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28.)

That sounds nice, Father, but I have too much to do to rest.  Let me tell you about it.  I have the blog.  I have my MOPS group.  I have to do my bible study.  I have to consider what is going on next year.  Will I go back to work?  What about our second car that won’t start?  Gotta get that fixed.  And what about my family.  It is Christmas.  I have all these traditions that I want to put in place.  I have Pinboards that I want to try out.

TICK…TICK…TICK…

He whispers, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me.” (Matthew 11:29a)

The choice is mine.  Am I going to continue to plow through my day on my own, or am I going to take upon His yoke?

Truth be told, this is my morning every morning.  The worries change, but the Father is consistent   He tries to speak peace into my wearied mind.  Some days I yield.  Most days I ignore.  What do I end up with? Burnt toast!  Figuratively speaking that is.

I get so caught up in all my worries of my life and circumstances that I ignore the things that are meant to nourish.  We have been taught to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread”, but we  fail to realize what we are really requesting, what we are really needing, is our daily portion of Jesus not grain.   The Bread of Life has given Himself to me, and I squander that gift.  I settle for the less than satisfying fruits of this world.

It is my goal to always be real with you, my sweet sisters.  I daily struggle with the worries of this world.  I am easily distracted by the tactics of the enemy. I say all of this to encourage you and for you to know that you are not alone.  We are given a choice each day to take upon the burdens of this world or to cast those burdens upon the LORD.  (Psalm 55:22)

We are given a choice, sisters.  He leaves it up to us.  What a gracious God we serve!