Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Discipling the Generations: Part 1

There has been a lot of talk about different characteristics of generations in our culture. A quick internet search will bring up article after article highlighting the qualities of each one and how to engage them. Even Christians are doing their research and suggesting options for how to reach out to our young people. I’ve found, however, that no matter which generation or culture one identifies with, the principles of discipleship that Jesus used over 2000 years ago still are relevant, effective, and needful today.

I am starting a new series on different aspects of discipleship I've learned from the example of Jesus and from personal experience of 5+ years on the mission field. One of our main ministries is discipleship, and specifically, discipling young people.

The first aspect of discipleship that we'll look at today is discipling during teachable moments of daily life. Jesus set the example by following the Biblical model in Deuteronomy 11:19, “You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” (By the way, this verse was given to parents first. As parents, we can never forget or overlook our first and foremost discipleship opportunity: our children!) Jesus took advantage of teachable moments as He lived daily life with His disciples. And that is the key: He lived daily life with them. You can’t take advantage of those teachable moments if you aren’t around to experience them. This means making significant time commitments on both the part of the disciple and the mentor.

My husband and I have worked hard to share daily life with the young people we are discipling. Over time, they have come to us with questions from their real world struggles and problems and we have helped them work through the problems through the lens of the Bible. And then finally, they have begun showing signs of spiritual maturity as they learn to apply Scripture for themselves in practical ways in their lives: a sign of Biblical wisdom.

Have you recently prayed about who God might be wanting you to reach out to and disciple? The Christmas season is a great time to bring people into your home to share in your meaningful traditions and learn about the greatest gift of all: Jesus!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Another Christmas Sneak-Peak

So, we moved to a new house about 8 months ago. Now, that my husband and I are starting to turn our attention to Advent and Christmas decorating, my husband noted that we now have a lovely fireplace and mantel to decorate. The other day he told me it would be a shame to have such a nice mantel and not have stockings to hang up on there. (You see, we never had stockings for the kids before since we never had a good place to hang them.)

So, guess what? Yep, on top of everything else, I am now feverishly working on felt Christmas stockings for the kids.

I kept the design very simple and they aren't taking long to make. I just need to decide if I want to personalize them or not...

Stay tuned to find out how they turned out in the end and to see our decorated mantel with all the trimmings!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Getting Ready for Christmas

Ever since I bought a kit of finger paints a couple of weeks ago, my kids have been begging me to do a craft with them. Seeing as how we are nearing Christmas season, I thought this project was a good way to get out the paint and have some fun!

I had some pine cones that weren't being used in any way and I wanted to think of a way to use them this Christmas. So I looked on Pinterest and found this idea, which seemed pretty easy to copy, so I went for it!

Overall, it was a big success and the kids had a blast!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

A Sneak Peak of Christmas Gifts

Hello again! I thought you might be interested in the Christmas gifts I am currently making for my family. 

At one point over the summer, I casually mentioned to my daughter in a rather nostalgic frame of mind that I might make her a nightgown some day. ALL my kids (except the baby) jumped at that and immediately began saying, "Yeah! Mommy is going to make us pajamas!" So I decided to go ahead and tackle that project as part of their Christmas gifts (at least for the three oldest). 

I've finished my daughter's nightgown pictured below. I am not an experienced seamstress, so I learned a lot while making hers. Overall, I'm pleased with how it turned out. She'll never notice the slight mistakes I made during the process. 

Another gift that I am making for all my children (including the baby) is a Christmas tree ornament. I was lamenting this past Christmas that my children didn't have personalized ornaments to hang on the tree like I did when I was a child. Hanging up my special ornaments was one of the highlights of the decorating traditions for me. I had eyed buying personalized ornaments online, but to get anything really nice, the price was too expensive. So the idea came to me: Why not make them special ornaments out of felt?

Each child is going to get an ornament related to the meaning of their name. This one is for my oldest, and his name (first and middle combined) means "Little Gift of God." I put his first name on the front and the year he was born on the back. I think he's going to love it as much as I already do!

I will be posting more pictures of pajamas and ornaments as I get them done. For now, I hope you enjoyed your sneak peak! What are you making for your family this year? Happy crafting!