Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday - Words From The Cross Craft

The children helped me put up a cross of recycled packing paper, to surround with handwritten notes containing the seven phrases Jesus spoke, while He was on the cross.

I printed out the Old Testament prophesies the sayings fulfilled.  Or, when there wasn't a corresponding Old Testament passage, I found New Testament verses for further thought (see below for the verses, which are in NIV unless otherwise stated - emphasis mine).

Then, I rolled the printed out verses, so they would look like little scrolls, and taped them under each handwritten phrase, for the children to unroll, and discover.

1.  Luke 23:34 Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."

John 15: 18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. 24 If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’12 For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me.Since you are my rock and my fortress,  for the sake of your name lead and guide me. Keep me free from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge. Into your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.

2. Luke 23:43 "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise." 

Isaiah 53:12 
Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors.

3. John 19:26-27 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son," and to the disciple, "Here is your mother."

Luke 1:46-47
And Mary said, “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me - holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their throne, but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good thing, but has sent the rich away empty.He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.”
Luke 2:34-35
34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the fallingand rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

4. Matthew 27:46  And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

Psalm 22: 1-5 
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me,  so far from my cries of anguish?  My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer by night, but I find no rest.  Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One, you are the one Israel praises.  In you our ancestors put their trust they trusted and you delivered them. To you they cried out and were saved, in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

5. John 19:28 Jesus knew that everything was now finished, and to fulfill the Scriptures he said, "I am thirsty." 

Psalm 69:19-21
You know how I am scorned, disgraced and shamed;  all my enemies are before you. Scorn has broken my heart, and has left me helpless; I looked for sympathy, but there was none, for comforters, but I found none. They put gall in my food and gave me vinegar for my thirst.
6. John 19:30 ... he said, "It is finished!"

Psalm 22:31
They will tell people yet to be born about his righteousness— that he has finished it. (God's Word Translation)

7. Luke 23:46  Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his last.

Psalm 31:1-5
In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;
    let me never be put to shame;
    deliver me in your righteousness.
Turn your ear to me,
    come quickly to my rescue;
be my rock of refuge,
    a strong fortress to save me.
Since you are my rock and my fortress,
    for the sake of your name lead and guide me.
Keep me free from the trap that is set for me,
    for you are my refuge.
Into your hands I commit my spirit;
    deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Easter Hymns - Links with Lyrics

Feel like a good old time Easter hymn sing? Don't worry if you can't find a local church hosting one.  All the old hymns are still being sung on YouTube (talk about all things old being made new).  So, gather the kids around, click the links below, and you can join us in few of our Easter favorites.

Happy Singing!

Amazing Love (And Can It Be) - words by Charles Wesley, sung by The Altar of Praise Chorale, posted by SE Samonte
At Calvary - words by William R. Newell, posted by SE Samonte
At The Cross - words by Isaac Watts, posted by Jeff Hardin
Because He Lives - posted by smilealways06
Christ Arose - by Robert Lowry, posted by SE Samonte
Christ the Lord is Risen Today (Upbeat) -  words by Charles Wesley, posted by Jim Tompkins
Glory to His Name - words by Elisha A. Hoffman, sung by Bart Millard, posted by tabcpastor
Go to Dark Gethsemane - words by James Montgomery, posted by Genevam Sanctus
Hallelujah! What a Saviour - words by Philip P. Bliss, posted by jinu03
I Will Sing The Wondrous Story - words by Francis H. Rowley, posted by king mojo
Jesus Paid It All -words by Elvina M. Hall, sung by The Newsboys, posted by NewsboysVEVO
Lead Me to Calvary - words by Jennie Evelyn Hussey, sung by Saskia and Andrew Smith, posted by Bob Marshall
Nothing But The Blood - words by Robert Lowry, sung by School of Worship, posted by mytimewithgodtv
O Sacred Head Now Wounded - ascribed to Bernard of Clairvaux, sung by Fernando Ortega, posted by Cindee Nebeker
The Old Rugged Cross - words by George Bennard, sung by Elvis Presley, posted by Amy Lydia
The Way of The Cross Leads Home - words by Jessie Brown Pounds, sung by Cleveland Baptist Church, posted by stillamazed27
There is a Green Hill Far Away - words by Cecil F. Alexander, posted by jinu03
There is Power in the Blood - words by Lewis E. Jones, sung by the Tommy Coomes Band, posted by Paul Wade
Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne - words by Emily E.S. Elliott, posted by drolas94
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross - words from a Gregorian Chant, sung by Fernando Ortega, posted by Francis H
Where You There When They Crucified My Lord? - words from an African-American Spiritual, posted by jinu03

Monday, April 14, 2014

Holy Week - Easter Story in "Stained Glass" with Window Markers

I found a few printable, Easter themed, "stained glass" coloring sheets online, and thought they'd be perfect to cut out, and tape to the outside of our entryway window panes (I'll need to be cleaning them next week anyway)... I could trace them onto the glass with a washable marker...

...for the children to color in with window markers, recreating the Easter story from the Triumphal Entry (click the links to go to the coloring sheets)... the Last Supper...

...the Crucifixion...

...the Resurrection...

...and the Ascension.

It was hard to get good shots of the windows, but they're really striking with the sun shining through, and a fun reminder of what we're celebrating this week.

The only drawback is that now I have to convince the Man of the House to use the backdoor for the rest of the week, in the mornings, so he won't let in any cold morning air to condense on the warms windows and run through the pictures.  The children are standing by with their markers, ready to play touch-up crew - just in case.

***NOTE*** The Man of the House not wanting to use the back door, I decided to try taping plastic wrap over the opening of the window sill, before he opened the door.  It wasn't well sealed, but proved enough of an insulator to keep condensation from forming.  Art and science - how great is that!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Easter Donkey - Mix and Match Free Crochet Pattern Links

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.  Zechariah 9:9 ESV

I burned the midnight oil last night (and this morning) putting the finishing touches on these little guys, trying to have them ready to set out as a Palm Sunday surprise for the younger children.

I was pretty proud of myself for having three donkeys done, and in place, waiting to be discovered on the table, before we headed out to church.  That was until we got home, and I realized I'd forgotten to sew the nostrils on the last one.

Happily it was an easily rectified oversight.

I wouldn't have been quite so rushed if I hadn't had a terribly difficult time choosing a pattern.  Google images offered up plenty of adorable amigurumi donkeys, but most of the patterns turned out to be for sale - and I prefer not to pay for patterns whenever possible (which is why I try to offer up free patterns in return whenever I can).  Finally, I followed a suggestion from Sweet Crocheting Time to modify the baby unicorn pattern from Little Yarn Friends by leaving off the horn, replacing the mane with a tied on fringe, and a braided tail - and in my case, trading out the small unicorn ears, with some nice long bunny ears from Amigurumibb's Blog.  They were a perfect fit.

It took a little bit searching and combining, but in the end I had a pattern for the perfectly huggable, floppy kind of fellows I was hoping for - as well as three very happy children, and a couple of slightly miffed teenage girls, who are not buying the argument, that they are too old for stuffed animals (or that they are old enough to crochet their own).

Thanks so much to the bloggers listed above for offering up your hard work, time, and tips for free for the rest of us to enjoy.

Oh, and just in case you're wondering the candy rocks in the bowl, pictured with the donkeys, were what the teens had waiting for them on the table.

You know...from Luke 19:39-49.

And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”

Happy Palm Sunday!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Easter Story Tangram Activity Book

I gave my teens an assignment (a fairly rare event in our almost unschooled house) of summarizing the Easter story from the Gospels, and illustrating it with tangram shapes from Google images, to create an Easter activity book for their younger siblings.  They've been working on it all week, trying to decide what to include, and what to leave out.  When it comes to the life of Christ there aren't really any insignificant events.

It was interesting for me to see what details stand out from the story for them, at this moment in their lives.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Roosters and Coins - Family Easter Challenge

Each day as we approach Easter, I've been trying to focus the children in on different parts and pieces of the Resurrection story, with a variety of toys, crafts, activities and desserts (of course).  This morning, along with our usual morning muffins, and an Arch book from our Easter collection, I set the table with three beanbag roosters (thanks to fast, and easy to follow sewing instructions from Red Ted Arts) for the younger children.

I also added a plate of 30, silver foil wrapped, chocolate coins to generate discussion amongst my teens.

When they got up, I asked them to identify the events symbolized by the roosters and the coins.  The book on the table was a pretty big clue (most of the details can be found in Matthew 26, if you aren't familiar with the story).

Then, after breakfast, I asked the older children to locate and read the Bible passages about Peter's denial, and Judas' betrayal, as well as the events and prophesies leading up to, or following them.

Finally, I pulled out our old, dilapidated, dry-erase board, so they could brainstorm together a list of similarities, and differences between the two disciples, and their actions. Meanwhile, the younger children read the picture book, and headed off, roosters in hand, to learn how to juggle (the roosters were a huge hit).

The older children, motivated by the promise of chocolate coins after lunch, spent the morning flipping through the Gospels, and the old testament prophesies, Googling commentaries, and weighing the difference between genuine and counterfeit faith, compassion and judgement, and Godly versus worldly sorrow.

Godly sorrow (like what Peter felt) brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow (as we sadly witness in Judas) brings death.  2 Cor. 7:10 NIV

Friday, April 4, 2014

Doubting Thomas Tube - Super Simple Easter Craft

While reading the story of Jesus confirming to his disciples, and specifically Thomas, that he was alive again, found in John 20:19-29...

...I had my youngest two copy, color...

...and glue the last part of verse 29 around empty cardboard tubes.

Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.

Thomas had seen Jesus die with his own eyes.  He wasn't going to believe the reports that He was alive again, unless he saw, and touched Jesus, himself.

We talked for a while about Thomas.  It's hard to blame him for doubting.  You can't always believe everything you hear, or even see (after all, we've even seen penguins fly!).

"In fact," I told the children.  "I can even show you a hole right through your own hands.  Have I ever shown you that before?"

Apparently, I hadn't.

Which is surprising, because the old hole in the hand illusion has always been one of my favorites. (Note to homeschooling parents of largish families:  Just because you've shown something to your older children, doesn't mean the younger children won't need to see it, too).

Anyway, once we'd finished looking at the holes in our own, and each other's hands, I brought it back to the story.  The holes Jesus showed to Thomas weren't illusions, Thomas had seen the nails driven in.  But, seeing wasn't the point, believing was what mattered then, and what still matters today.  God gave Thomas what He needed, and while different, He gives us today, what we need, too.

For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.  Luke 11:10 NIV