Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March Family Nights

We had fun serving together this month though I failed again at taking photos of those opportunities!

Early March, we had the fun of making the above cake for our local children's shelter - he requested a Ninja Turtle cake! So cute.

Our church hosted an Answers in Genesis conference and we had the opportunity to serve at a church work day before hand vacuuming seats, floors, dusting and helping lay pine straw outside. We were busy! We also enjoyed helping with the AiG bookstore set up and then helped at the bookstore one time slot as well.

We have served in our church nursery, volunteered together at a local thrift store hanging up clothes for the new spring season, and honestly I can't remember what else. The point is not to go on and on about what we did together and I don't want this to turn into a list of look what we did! But rather, to encourage that it is both a gift and valuable to serve together as a family.

So far, one thing I've enjoyed watching is how easy it is to do. It doesn't have to be complicated to arrange or pull off - it can just be taking a meal to someone, delivering something to their house, pushing carts into the store or another super simple option.

What are your favorite ways to serve?

Monday, March 30, 2015

Renew, Part Three

Isaiah 41:1, "Let the nations renew their strength..."

Isaiah 61:4
- after a first reading starting in verse one, there are many beautiful and renewing words in the first three verses and then those who were renewed got busy and started some restoration of their own - let's look!

Isaiah 61:1-4, "The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day f vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion - to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord, for the display of his splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated, they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations."

List all the renewing words:
* bind up {heal}
* proclaim freedom
* release from darkness
* proclaim God's favor
* comfort
* provide
* bestow: crown of beauty; gladness; praise
* oaks of righteousness

Now notice in verse 4 it changes to, "they will ..." - What did they do?
- rebuild
- restore
- renew

What renews me? How dos that overflow to renewing others?

Proverbs 11:25, "A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed."

Do you agree that those who refresh others will be refreshed? Why/why not? Can you think of an example?

Consider the phrase oaks of righteousness. I love the picture of mighty oak trees from tiny acorns that the Lord raises up for His glory!

How can I refresh others today? How can I be refreshed myself? How can I live as an oak of righteousness?

Friday, March 27, 2015

Renew: Part Two

Let's keep going with looking at references to the word renew in God's Word:

Psalm 104:30 - God renews the "face of the earth"  when He sends His Spirit.

Isaiah 40:31, "...renew their strength..."

Who will have their strength renewed?
- Those who hope in the Lord!
- Everyone gets run down; even the "youth" grow tired and weary, stumble and fall.

Where am I right now? Renewed in strength? Tired and weary?

What does it mean to "hope" in the Lord?
- Remember, hope in the Bible is not the way we usually think of hope - like wishing for something that may or may not happen. Our true hope is in the surety that these promises in His Word WILL happen - we just don't know when or even how.
- Hope in the Lord is looking to Him for strength and renewal, for everything; acknowledging it is not us/our strength, but His!

Read Isaiah 40:28-29 - how do these verses give you an infusion of hope and strength?
- God is forever; there is no time without Him
- All-powerful Creator of the universe
- He doesn't get tired or weary like we do
- He gives strength to the weary
- He increases power of the weak

Think of the eagle - describe that picture:
- majestic bird
- soar - not struggling, but smooth riding on the air currents
- not wearing himself out with lots of flapping or falling
- flying high, doing what he was created to do

Can you think of a time you felt like you were acting in God's strength; soaring?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

1st Day of Spring Party

This has become a very fun tradition in our home to celebrate the First Day of Spring with all sorts of fun things like dying eggs, having an egg hunt, bunny biscuits and more!

We dyed a few real eggs but also had fun with these crafting eggs I found at Wal-Mart and some fun colored Sharpies! No kidding - we spent waaaay over an hour decorating eggs! Thank you Pinterest inspiration - I've wanted to get some Spring colored Sharpies and try this for several years, so glad we finally did it! Another fun Pinterest idea was the white balloons for them to decorate - they loved it! Oh yes, and there is Samuel with his Angry Birds collection - hilarious!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Slow Day

Celebrating a sweet friend and her birthday!
Painted Canning Jars via this and this
Clay inspiration via this.
PW Crazy Brownies