Monday, March 4, 2013

Easter 2013

Easter is coming, March 31st this year. Easter is About Jesus: Family Devotions for the Easter Season is ready for this Easter. To help you understand if this book is a good fit for your family I'm sharing the introduction from the book below.I'll be posting additional activity ideas with links to their instructions on the days leading up to Easter so check back daily starting March 11.

Jesus takes care of me
Flowers: Jesus takes care of me.
Welcome to Easter Is about Jesus. I created this devotional with two goals in mind: 
1. To give children ways to think of Jesus when they see the common sights of Easter;2. To help parents and children spend time with God in a meaningful way.
To achieve the first goal, I wrote fifteen devotions. Each one has something we see during the Easter season, a reason to think about Jesus, and a verse. Easter comes on a different date from year to year. Due to the change in date (or my lack of forethought), our Easter preparations vary from year to year. I thought your family might be the same. Here are some suggestions on scheduling:
Jelly beans: Jesus uses what I give him.
• You could do 5 days of devotions for 3 weeks or start two Sundays before Easter reading one every day, including Easter. You could even do morning and evening between Palm Sunday and Easter. 
• Pick a time of day that will be easiest to be consistent like breakfast or bedtime 
.• Pick a time when you are not hurried. Allow time for discussion and the “More Time with God” activities. You may want to choose one or two of the suggested activities. Consider doing some of the activities the next day if you are doing devotions at bedtime. 
• Do what works for your family.

For the second goal, I wrote the “More Time with God” activities. The intention of the activities is to equip the child to connect with God themselves and to begin listening for his voice. I believe it is vital to marry together knowledge of God and experience with God. We must have knowledge of his Word and his will to carry out the good plans he has had for us since before the beginning of time. We must experience his love and grace.
Lamb: Jesus is the Lamb of God
Children often hear God more easily than adults. When I began learning to listen for God’s voice, I was doing it with my children. We would read from the Bible and pray asking God to speak to us. I would ask my children to be quiet and listen for what God had to say and to tell me when they heard something. This did not work well for me because in five seconds they all had something to share! I hadn’t quit thinking yet.
God speaks in many ways. He may use words. He also may use pictures, numbers, visions, dreams, feelings—emotional and physical—colors, or impressions. He really is not limited—except by us. If your children share something you feel is strange, ask questions about how they felt or what else they saw. Ask them to ask God what it means. If they all share the same thing, it may be copycatting, or it may be that God really had the same message for all of them. The words may be new, or it may be a verse they have heard or memorized, or it may be words from a song. I would encourage you to keep a record of what God is saying with a journal, pictures, or drawings. When my children were young, I would write what they heard and saw as well as descriptions of their drawings.
Butterflies: Jesus made me for good works
What we hear and experience from God will never contradict Scripture. God and his Word are unchanging. If an experience seems to contradict Scripture, set it aside all together or until you have new insight.
Thank you for reading.
Blessings in Jesus,
Mukkove Johnson

Watercolor images copyright Tate Publishing 2012

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