Check out the amazing collection of April wallpapers with or without calendars from Tim Challies.
* Advent Calendar – This has been a fun way for our family to count down the days in anticipation of Christ’s coming. The kids take turns as we talk about the Christmas story. Be sure to choose a calendar that centers on the birth of Jesus!
* What God Wants for Christmas – This is a great interactive kid-friendly nativity – with seven gift boxes, a colorful pop-up, and an illustrated poem that we’ve used for the last couple years. It’s a fun way to talk about the Christmas story together. (available at FamilyLife.com)
* Christmas Devotion Jar – Looking for devotions to do with your kids? All you need to do is cut out red, green, and white little strips of paper and write Christmas verse(s) to read together, or craft/activity to do together, or creative ways to reach out to others. Put the slips of paper in a jar, decorate the outside, and set it on the dinner table to pick one out each night.
* Christmas Cookies – We take an evening and let our kids help us make cookies that they themselves deliver to teachers, neighborhood friends, special babysitters, people in need, etc.
* Scripture Memory – The best way we’ve found to memorize a passage of Scripture is by putting it to song. Thankfully the folks at SEEDS Family Worship have done just that. On the Seeds of Encouragement CD, the song Joy is taken right from Luke 2:8-14. Great song!
* Listen to Christ-Centered Christmas Music – As we travel, we try to have a few good CD’s that exalt Christ during this Christmas season. Our kids seem to like Savior: Celebrating the Mystery of God Become Man by Sovereign Grace Ministries the best.
* Re-enact the Christmas story – Every year we have fun acting out the story from Luke 2. We actually do it with Jaime’ sister and family and video the whole thing. It’s pretty funny!
* Serving and Giving Together – Christmas is a time of giving. This year we made and delivered Thanksgiving baskets to needy people in our community and hope to deliver Christmas baskets as well. We also gather our old clothes and toys and give them to Goodwill. Our kids really enjoyed it.
What are some of your Christmas traditions? Feel free to share.
Since character growth is a lifelong challenge, I am going through this process again by asking my family and a few friends and coworkers for their loving correction. Realizing that lasting change comes only as God works in my heart, I am digging deeper this time. I am asking these people to help me identify the desires of my heart that give rise to ungodly behavior, and to pray for me as I seek God’s help for change.
I have developed two short letters that ask seven questions. The answers will help me see myself more clearly. One letter is for family and friends, and the other is for co-workers. The questions include the following:
* Please describe three character qualities, behaviors, or attitudes in me that have disappointed, annoyed, or offended you or others, or seemed to undermine my witness for Christ. Give specific examples, if possible.
* What things have you seen me make idols out of? (An idol is any desire—even for good things—that I have elevated to a demand, become excessively preoccupied with, looked to for security, had to have in order to be content, or allowed to control me.)
* If there were just one change God would bring about in me in the next six months, what would you pray it would be?
These are great thoughts for us as we pursue holiness. So…
With Fall upon us (FINALLY!), we are doing some odd jobs, so I thought I might drop a couple of hints…
After cleaning your ceiling fan, know which way it should run. The simple rule: counter-clockwise in hot weather (summer), clockwise in cold weather (winter).
Also…here’s a coloring sheet from Sojourn Kids. This is a printer friendly pdf or jpg.
If you can’t read it very clearly, it reminds us “Wind these clocks in Spring and Fall, daylight savings time for us all.” That’s right, this Sunday, November 7th, don’t forget to adjust your clock before you go to bed (it FALLs back an hour then). Hope this helps.
Here’s Kevin DeYoung’s take:
I imagine most readers of this blog want to glorify God. The chief end of man, after all, is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. But have you ever thought about how to glorify God—I mean practically in every day life?
Here are twenty biblical ways you can.
1. Give God verbal declarations of praise (Rev. 4:8-9).
2. Live a life of noticeable piety (Matt. 5:16; James 1:27; 1 Peter 2:12).
3. Ask God for things in Jesus’ name (John 14:13).
4. Bear fruit and show yourself to be a disciple of Jesus (John 15:8).
5. Declare the truth about Jesus (John 16:14).
6. Love your life less than God (John 21:19; 1 Peter 1:7; 4:16).
7. Worship God as God (Rom. 1:21).
8. Live a life of sexual purity (1 Cor. 6:20).
9. Live a life of generosity (2 Cor. 9:13).
10. Rejoice in God’s glory displayed in creation (Psalm 19:1).
11. Do the works of faith (2 Thess. 1:12).
12. Use your gifts in God’s strength (1 Peter 4:11).
13. Make sure everyone knows you’re not God (Acts 12:23).
14. Live a life of gratitude (Psalm 50:23; 2 Cor. 4:15).
15. In matters of liberty, seek the good of others (1 Cor 10:31).
16. Extend grace to sinners (2 Cor. 8:19).
17. Be a part of a local church (2 Cor. 8:23; Eph. 3:20-21).
18. Tell God you are wrong and he is right (Josh. 7:19; Jer. 13:16; Rev. 16:9).
19. Obey God (Lev. 10:3; Mal. 2:2).
20. Go from a Christ-despiser to a Christ-worshiper (Gal. 1:24).
These twenty ways to glorify God would be a great tool to use in your devotion time or for meditations around the dinner table for family worship. Great stuff.