Archive for December 2013

No, not New Year’s Resolutions time again!!!

Happy Almost New Year! 
Ugh.  That time of year people start talking about New Year’s Resolutions.  I bet one has already started floating through your mind.  The thing about resolutions is that we rarely stick to them…which brings guilt.  Who wants self-imposed guilt?!   

For that reason, I’m calling my January series, “New beginnings, not resolutions.”  The nice thing about beginning (or a new beginning if you are re-starting) one of these ideas is that you don’t have to decide a definite goal or end.  You can just begin and see how it goes. 

No pressure.  Not guilt.  No shame.  At any point in the year. 

Whether you desire to take a baby step or flying leap into one of these areas, give it a go!  It doesn’t hurt to try.  Just begin.  Then make a new beginning any time you need to. 

Beginnings or New Beginnings to prayerfully consider: 
*Family Devotionals
*Prayer Partner  to pray specifically for your family
*Scripture Memory  with your kids

Look for ideas on these topics coming to your inbox, Facebook, or Twitter feeds the next three Monday mornings. 

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.  Psalm 34:8




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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! 

Make the reading of Luke 2:1-20, directly from the Bible, 
a special part of your family’s Christmas tradition. 
Gather everyone by the fire, or snuggle under blankets, and
share the story of the baby that changed the world!  


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Bing Crosby’s Yearly Reminder to Count our Blessings

My daughter and I have the special tradition of wrapping Christmas presents while watching the classic movie, White Christmas.  You know you’ve created a tradition when you look forward to it and it seems more awkward not to do it.  I love that my daughter now expects this as a fun part of our seasonal bonding! 

In the movie, Bing Crosby croons a song that sticks with us all year long.   I have used this media inspired teachable moment more than once at bedtime for the kids and myself!  (Click on picture to play the clip.)

 “If you’re worried and you can’t sleep,
Just count your blessings instead of sheep.
And you’ll fall asleep counting your blessings.”
– Irving Berlin

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is
God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18


 For more Parenting with Scripture Christmas ideas, see

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Christmas Carols – Meaning and Craft

Have you ever spent much time thinking about the meaning of Christmas carols?  Snuggle up by the fire for family devotionals this month and enjoy using a resource like Christmas Carols for a Child’s Heart.  Follow up by surprising your family with the supplies to make Christmas Carol Ornaments. (Instructions and picture below.)

Preschool ideas/resource:
For a fun December preschool boredom buster, give your child some jingle bells (be careful because of the choking hazard) or some other shaker to play along with Christmas hymns or any Christmas music.  Have them shake high, low, soft, loud, in front of his tummy, behind his back, etc.  Play “Freeze” by stopping and starting the music and having the child freeze when the music is stopped.  I love Cedarmont productions for preschool Bible music –

School-age through teens idea (even crafty adults love this one!): 
Photocopy your favorite Christmas hymn.  Cut it into strips.  Feed the strips into a clear glass or plastic ornament.  Sets of these can be found a craft stores like Hobby Lobby.  Attach a ribbon and tag with the name of the carol for a bit of extra flare.  These make lovely gifts!


 Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. 
Psalm 95:1

For more Parenting with Scripture Christmas ideas, see

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The Gifting Gift

As we went through the Christmas season last year and participated in several means of donating or giving to those in need, I desired further the impact of these gifts in our hearts and minds.  That’s how we came up with the “Gifting Gift.”  Each time we participated in an way to give to others in need, we added a note about it in the box.   Amidst our brightly wrapped packages, this little box served as a reminder through December to lift up a prayer for those who are less fortunate.  On Christmas morning, we took time to open the Gifting Box and pray for each of the people the notes represented. 

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” 
Matthew 25:40

christmas box

If you are looking for child-friendly giving ideas, here are a couple of suggestions:
*Any age can help shop and put items in a wrapped box for Operation Christmas Child.  If you go somewhere like the dollar store, your child may wish to use some of his allowance money for several items.  Collection of these boxes is in November, but add “Operation Christmas Child Boy/Girl” notes in your Gifting Gift to remember to pray for them on Christmas day. 
*Any age can help you look through the on-line catalog of items available for donation through Food for the Poor, Samaritan’s Purse, or World Vision.   Our family had a set amount planned to spend, with the kids having decided a portion of their money as well.  Once in the catalog, it was neat to see how all of us desired to put in more once we saw the needs.  Each of our children found what item they would like to donate toward, based on their budget.  Then, our family picked one of a higher amount to sponsor together.  How cool is it that this ministry allows children here to know that they have just provided a rabbit, sports equipment, or a Bible lesson to a child across the world who wouldn’t have this help otherwise!;jsessionid=32B5ED710C9883356984CA749D08E53B.app367a?FOLDER=0&store_id=6061

For more Parenting with Scripture Christmas ideas, see

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