A Messianic Passover Seder (and a Seder Meal Script!)

Messianic Passover Seder meal

Learn how to host your first Messianic Passover Seder meal with this instructional video and an easy-to-follow Seder meal script. I sat in my scratchy nylons at a long wooden table. All the other 12-year-olds from my Sunday School class sat in similar plastic chairs along the table. Together, we dipped a green vegetable into a bowl of salt water and scowled as we briefly tasted it. We winced at the bitterness of horseradish and secretly took an extra scoop of the apple/nut mixture. We raised our glasses of grape juice and broke the flatbread as one. And then, I forgot all about it. It was my first glimpse of a Jewish Passover celebration, but because I didn’t see the connection to my Christian faith, it was buried deep in my memories. Those memories resurfaced a few years ago as I did research on the Passover Seder meal and its … Read More

VOILA! A Disappearing Sin Object Lesson

object lesson on sin

You can use this disappearing sin object lesson for children’s ministry or at home with your kids! I have three boys, and they each approach sin in different ways. One is incredibly aware of his sin – he lashes out in anger and is usually called on it right away. We’ve have many conversations about sin and forgiveness and freedom in Christ. The wonderful thing about him is that while his sins are obvious and numerous, he repents easily and I’ve seen a lot of growth over the past few years. One of my other boys naturally has an easier temperament, so his sin is more hidden. It’s harder to point out things like pride and sullenness, but they’re definitely there. Thankfully, he’s also a sweetheart and I’m learning how to parent him with the gentle touch he needs. Saying that our kids SIN feels harsh sometimes, doesn’t it? But … Read More

The Best Mind Trick Ever: How to Fight Anxiety with Gratitude

how to fight anxiety

How to fight anxiety with gratitude, and why it works.  A blast of cold air came in with my son as he stomped in the door. He dumped his backpack and jacket on the floor. When I reminded him where they belonged, he glared at me and snarled a reply. At my rebuke, he began to sob.  It’s not easy to tuck an angry, sobbing child into your arms, but I did so anyway, making him cry all the harder.  I guided him to the couch. We sat together. He cried, and I summoned up all the patience I could muster while also putting mentally putting together my supper meal plan. “What’s going on?” I asked, when the sobs had simmered down a bit.  Still sniffling, he choked out his response.  There had been a fight on the playground, and a friendship had been declared to be over. Just like … Read More

Yes Mama, you can be a spiritual leader in your home

Moms can be spiritual leaders too!

If you grew up in the evangelical, North American church, we were probably filled with the same teaching about a wife’s place in the home: second place. Our husbands were told to make every final decision, and to be responsible for the spiritual lives of their whole family. If they DIDN’T do that, their masculinity was questioned. Our job as wives was to be meek helpers. If we DIDN’T do that, our femininity was questioned. Can I say something without you totally freaking out? I don’t believe that anymore. And while that thinking was fully embraced in the past because it was culturally enforced, our Western world is changing, and roles are less defined now. If we try too hard to hold onto an old model, we create a new problem: I think that as moms, we have too often let our families slide far away from God because we … Read More

How To Help Your Child With Weather Anxiety Feel Secure

boy with weather anxiety in a storm

Help your child with weather anxiety move past his fears using this technique. My son and I were picking up party decorations when the lights flickered and thunder cracked overhead. As the checkout clerk swiped our packs of balloons and streamers, she said, “I heard there’s a tornado warning.” His little hand clutched my arm. I glanced down to see a quivering lip and huge grey eyes. Being in a tornado is one of his worst fears, and this woman had just flipped the “on” switch on his panic. I paid for our order while he peppered me with questions. “What if we don’t make it home?” “What if we get stuck here?” “What if our house flies away?” I wasn’t sure how to answer his questions, so we stood in front of the doors, watching the wind carry garbage across the parking lot and rain pound into our vehicle. WHY … Read More

How to Help Your Child Grow Spiritually: 4 Concrete Ways

how to help your child grow spiritually

Learning how to help your child grow spiritually as a Christian isn’t hard, but will take a little thought and persistence! A recent study conducted by Lifeway found the top 3 common denominators in families where the kids continued in their faith as adults. They were Bible reading prayer and serving. All three of these can, and should be developed as faith routines in families, and will help your kids connect with Jesus in meaningful ways. They are not the only ways to grow spiritually, but they are foundations.  How to help your child grow spiritually: build a strong foundation Essentially, what you’re doing with young kids is creating a foundation of faith. You can also think of this as building a solid bone structure for a life of faith. Imagine one of those model skeletons that show up in biology labs across the globe: without those bones, our bodies … Read More

Raising Teens Who Know and Love God

A huge thanks to Monica Swanson, author of the upcoming Boy Mom book and homeschool mom of 4 amazing boys, for sharing her ideas on raising teens who actually love God. I have four sons, and two of them are suddenly more man than boy. (One will be 20, the other 18 in a few short months.)   There’s a lot I have loved about seeing my boys grow into young men, but more than anything I am grateful that they have thus far all personally chosen to follow Jesus.   Like:  get-up-before-the-sun-to-spend-time-with-Him follow Jesus.   Like: Lead Bible studies, share their faith with friends, and live intentionally for God’s glory kind of faith.  3 John 1:4 resonates with me now, more than ever:  “I have no greater joy than to know my children are walking in truth?”  Truly, there is: No Greater  Joy! It was always my hope that … Read More

5 growth stages as a family of faith

INSIDE: the different stages in growing as a family of faith. My goal with this whole website is to help parents feel confident in their calling as spiritual leaders in their homes, helping you be consistent in a creative, unique-to-you way. You can be confident in your calling to grow a family of faith BECAUSE God is faithful. He has promised to begin and continue the good work He is doing in each family. God says, in Isaiah 60:21, “they are the shoot I have planted, the work of my hands, for the display of my splendor.” God created our families. We have all become broken in many ways, but God is constantly re-creating our families through his grace, and for his glory. And someday, our children will be called “Oaks of Righteousness”, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. But we don’t start out that … Read More

4 simple steps to sharing Jesus’ love with little ones

Article from author Teri McKinley

I’m pleased to welcome Teri McKinley, author of many amazing Christian books for children, to the blog today! Let’s listen to her heart about sharing Jesus’ love with her young son. When my son was only a few months old, I sat in the dim light of the nursery rocking him at bedtime. As I soaked in the snuggles of that quiet moment, I felt a strong urgency to tell him something I hadn’t told him yet. There, in his bedroom as he drifted off to sleep, I told my son the story of the gospel for the first time. While I knew he was too young to understand exactly what I was telling him, I also knew it was my responsibility—and privilege—to teach him the truth about who Jesus is and what He has done for all of us. I wanted to be able to say no matter what … Read More

How 45 seconds can change your parenting

Rex (my youngest) giggled as he stood behind the closed closet doors. I pretended to weep on the floor as Dodget slipped behind me and opened the door to let him out. Rex then snuck up the ladder to the top bunk and hid under the covers, while I lifted my head and gasped in astonishment at the empty closet. Dodger gestured upward and shouted, eyes wide and grinning huge, “Jesus is alive!” Rex then burst out of the covers with a shout and we all cheered and danced around the bed. We had just re-enacted the story of Jesus’ resurrection, which we did because I was desperate for a way to connect my non-verbal 3 year old with the Bible. He loved it. And it took us less than 2 minutes. (The first time. We then had to redo it about 5 more times!) This type of short discipling … Read More