Names are funny things. Your parents pick them for you. Sometimes people modify them without your consent. For instance, my name is Cary, one time someone called me Cory, then Gary, both were incorrect and he ended up calling me Terry. I’ve had enough people get my name totally wrong I don’t even care now. Whatever works and gets the job done.

Now, on the other hand, my husband sometimes calls me, “Girl.” I remind him I am not cattle that needs to be wrangled. My name is only four letters , there’s really not a need to shorten it or deviate from it.

Another thing that’s funny about names is when everyone on the planet calls someone a shortened version of their name but their spouse calls them the long version. I love it. I have a friend whose husband is Sam but she calls him Samuel. I love it. I think I might actually smile when she tells me a story about Samuel.

Final thought on names: God knows them all. No matter what others call you God knows your name. He’s there to say, “Cary, it will be okay.” He’s there to say, “Cary, relax. I got this.” He’s there to say, “Cary, I’m not leaving you. I’m here to stay.” He’s there to say, “Cary, I’m proud of you.” He’s there to say, “Cary, you make me so happy.”

Passion Week: Saturday

If you are in a minister’s home this day could be the day you are starting your weekend services OR it’s the day you are relaxing before the marathon of service tomorrow OR just getting ready for one big service.  Today I will be celebrating our daughter’s third birthday.  We are having her party early in the day then attending our first Easter service later tonight.  The thought of moving Harper’s party occurred to us but we decided to make it work.  We agreed that it was still her birthday and the church calendar doesn’t have to mess up her birthday party.  It will be a jam-packed day, but it’s not our first jam-packed day and it won’t be our last.

Be warned, I have changed this post from what I originally planned.  Good Friday I attended the last of the Passion Week lunches our church has hosted all week.  The key verse for Friday was John 19:30 when John says, “When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished,” and He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.”  Our pastor was speaking on the “it is finished,” part but the part that grabbed me most was, “He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.”

So often we go and go and go until we are absolutely depleted of all energy.  We get so wrapped up in the comings and goings we forget to bow our heads and give up our spirit.  Like I said when this series started this is a busy week for ministry homes and ministry wives are sometimes left with the scheduling of childcare, pick up times, coordinating outfits, and don’t forget everyone has to eat too.  Take some time today to have fun with your flock and bow your head and give up your spirit.

…Sunday is coming…

Passion Week: Good Friday

“Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.”  Hebrews 7:25

I love how John Piper says, “Drawing near is not moving from one place to another.  It is a directing of the heart into the presence of God who is as distant as the holy of holies in Heaven, and yet as near as the door of faith.  He is commanding us to come, to approach Him, to draw near to Him.” 

My son is very inquisitive and just the other night he was looking at a picture Bible and asking me about every story on every page (another reason parents need to read their Bibles) and when we got to Jesus on the cross the picture showed blood on His clothes while He was carrying a cross.  Eli asked, “Why is there blood on His shirt?”  I said, “Because the men beat Him up so bad He was bleeding.”  I was watching Eli’s face to see how far I should go with this and he said, “That is not nice.  Why did they do that?”  Not shying away from his question I simply said, “Jesus wants us to be with Him all the time.  In order for that to happen He had to get beat up and die on the cross.”  Then Eli turned the page and moved on to the next story.  My son is four years old and asking these questions.  Clearly there is no stirring in his heart yet.  But kids need to know the truth.

Table Talk

This Table Talk can be easy in that telling this part of Jesus’ story might naturally bring up questions with your kids.  Now, the above situation wasn’t a planned Bible story time.  It was a time when Chris was gone and Eli wanted to stay up late and he knows if he asks for a story to be read I will, more than likely, say yes.  Simply being aware and ready when your child has questions is the best table talk of all.

Good Friday Activities

I love the idea of DIY empty tombs.  I have a couple of versions on my Easter Pinterest board.  This is so inexpensive and easy for kids.  Since this is a Good Friday activity I would suggest closing the tomb on your craft and moving it before the kids wake up on Easter Sunday to bring home the point that the tomb was empty!

I have enjoyed sharing these ideas with you all this week.  Let me know if you have tried any of them and how they went.

Passion Week: Thursday

“I new commandment I give to you, that you love one another:  just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”  John 13:34

Table Talk

I hope you were able to look up the scriptures in yesterday’s post with your children.  Here is another post with some scripture reference so have your Bible ready to read these verses to your kids.

John 13:34

1 John 3:16

Hebrews 12:2

John 13:1

How can you show love for others?

How can you show love to your brother(s) or sister(s)?  This is always a hot topic at our house!

Possible Activities

This day is your choice.  There are so many service opportunities you can do as a family…yes, even with preschoolers.  Even if your children can’t actually participate in something they can observe their parents joyfully serving another family or person.

Passion Week: Wednesday

“I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am He.”  John 13:19

There are prediphoto1 (2)ctions in the Old Testament that are starting to come true in Jesus’ life.  Listed below are some of the predictions.  I would challenge you to find the objects in brackets and use them as a visual aids when talking about this day with your children.  If you own a set of Resurrection Eggs most of the items will be in those eggs.  Otherwise, keep it fresh with real size items around your house.

Table Talk & Possible Activities

*  He knew His death would be by crucifixion (John 3:14, 12:32,33).
[cross and/or nails]

*  He knew the disciples would meet a man with a water pitcher (Luke 22:10).
[water pitcher]

*  He knew that He would be betrayed by Judas for money (John 6:64, 13:1, and Matthew 26:2, 21).

*  He knew Peter would deny Him three times (Matthew 26:34).

*  He knew the disciples would be scattered (Matthew 26:31, John 16:32).  It would also be a good idea to refresh your children’s memory on who Jesus flock is (refer to the Palm Sunday post).
[seeds to scatter]

*  He knew He would be crucified not stoned (John 12:32).
[whip, nails, cross]

If you do not have the official Resurrection Eggs you can make your own set by going to my Easter board on Pinterest, there are so many different versions you can do yourself.


Passion Week: Tuesday

photo1 (1)“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  Romans 5:8

This is a great day to talk about just how much God loves you and your children.  God rejoiced to do this redeeming work.  He really, really wanted to save His people.

Table Talk & Possible Activities

 The best illustration for this is the ocean.  Look online for pictures of underwater ocean scenes or an ocean view that shows how big and ongoing the ocean is.

I have posted some good pictures on my Easter board on Pinterest.

Let me know how it’s going.

Passion Week: Monday

photo“As the time approached for Him to be taken up to Heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.”  Luke 9:51

Jesus knew His time on Earth was coming to an end.  He knew Jerusalem ultimately meant death for Him.  Death is a tricky topic for kids especially when the death was as graphic as Jesus’.  You, as the parent, need to be the one to explain it to your children in a way that is easy for them to understand and not be scared.  They need to understand Jesus knew what was going to happen and He did it because He loves us.

Table Talk:

Discuss with your children something they don’t like to do but know they should do it out of obedience.  Explain in your own words what would happen when Jesus went to Jerusalem.

Read John 15:13 from your Bible.  Discuss with your children that Jesus loved them so much He gave His own life for them.  This concept is hard for most kids to understand but the key is for them to know Jesus went to Jerusalem even though He knew people would be very mean to Him and hurt Him.  He did it because He loves us.  I know I keep repeating that idea but it is true and hard for kids (and adults).

Possible Activities:

Coloring sheet that can be personalized with your child’s name.  Last year I had my kids color this sheet and I cut the cross out and laminated it for them.  Eli still has his in his closet.

This egg hunt from imom is pretty cool.  If your kids like puzzles and finding eggs this would be great for indoors or outside.

Let me know if you tried any of this!  Have a great Monday!