Saturday, February 25, 2012

Lent for Kids & Adults - Ideas?

Last year, I felt very prepared for Easter. I personally was reading Lineage of Grace by Francine Rivers which takes you into the lives of people in the line of Jesus. And to my children I read Amon's Adventure, a story of a young boy during the time of Christ. I'm pretty sure my pastor was in the book of Matthew as well. A fantastic combination!

I feel a little empty handed this year. When I heard people talking about lent on Facebook, I thought, "Oh no! Already?" I know of some activities we can do the week-of, but I'd like something fun and different to prepare my heart - and my children's - for this special, but often over looked, celebration.

So do you have any ideas for preparing for Easter?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I know it's a classic, but...

Is it sacrilegious to poke holes into a book that is known as a literary classic?

I just finished reading Little House on the Prairie to my kids. It's the first time I've ever read it. Somehow, though, I thought I knew all about the book series, having seen random episodes on TV of the family. I couldn't wait to dive into this classic!

We are studying about the pioneer's westward expansion. Laura and her family captured the attention of all of us as we lived the days with them, listened to the wolves howling outside of the cabin, sweated with pa as he worked so tirelessly day in and day out, and shivered with Laura when the Indian War Cries rang in the night.

Then, this afternoon we read the last two chapters.

My girls just stared at me like, "What? That's it?"

So basically, they pack up, move, and everything we just read was as if it never happened. We thought it was quite a let-down! I could hardly believe it.

So, in light of this, we eagerly went to the shelf and grabbed the next book in the series, hoping to find out what the brave, hard-working family does next. But unfortunately, it's about another boy, in another city entirely. We all just sighed and put it back on the shelf.

I know, I know, she marries that farmer boy. But I think we need to let the strange end of this book settle before we dive into the life of another young person.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Some good Valentine's Day Readings

Here are two blogs I really enjoyed on this heart-filled day. :)

The Real Story Behind Valentine's Day.  In case you wondered! I didn't know this history.

Happy Valentine's Day? A Single friend's awesome perspective on this day filled with the ultimate gift of love.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

If the Christian Life Were a Board Game...

Free parking. Millionaire Acres. Checkmate. All-play. 

What do these words have in common?

They’re related to games I like to play. I think games should be the sixth Love Language. It’s no wonder that while unable to sleep due to a really strong cup of coffee my kind friends made me, and while thinking through the stuff of life, my late night creativity started relating it to none other than a board game.

I call this game “The Christian Community.” 

Each player is dealt two cards, but is not allowed to look at them. As we take our turns around the board, we land on life tiles – scenarios to be solved – and we choose which player to go to for help with these life tile items. They will then play a card on us. As we learn what cards the players have, we begin to make choices along the way of who we go to based on the specifics of the life tile combined with the cards in the players' hands.

The crazy thing is that the players are not able to look at the cards they are playing on us. They can read everyone else’s cards, however, and upon careful thought, they can figure out their own cards. Once they learn the identity of their own card, they can choose to turn it in for another card or keep it.

The Goal:
Collect life tiles from other players when they choose to come to you. To do this, it is best to figure out your own card, so you can choose to turn it in for a new card or play a different one. If you learn and turn in three cards, you are eligible for the gold card.

Life Tiles:
These can be anything from broken water heaters to baseball scores, toddler tantrums to troubled teens, cancer, cold sores, and everything in-between.  

The Cards:
What are the cards? There are so many, but here are a few that you will encounter as you move your pawn across the board, landing on life tiles:

FIX IT CARD. This card wants to take action at once to solve the problem. A step-by-step plan will be set-up immediately, and if you follow this program, you are guaranteed to win the game, or so they claim.

JUDGEMENT CARD. When you come with an issue, you will be weighed, measured, and found lacking. There is an air of authority and harshness here. It might be based in reality, or it might not, but you are not given the benefit of the doubt.

BIBLE CARD. This card comes complete with a Bible verse for every problem. Similar to the fix-it card, but more spiritual, this player will often not take the time to hear the scenario fully before a Bible verse is dispensed.

YOU’RE STUPID CARD. When you present your life tile, this player thinks you’re stupid for having this problem to begin with. You are dismissed as being an idiot in their eyes. Though this is an unfriendly card, people may still choose this player based on their life tile because of the knowledge or experience that comes with this card.

PRAYER CARD. This player prays on the spot with you. No further action is taken, but sometimes, depending on the life tile, action is not desired.

LISTENER CARD. The player holding this card will listen and ask good clarifying questions to be sure they understand, and they will try to help you come to your own conclusions about the life tile.

PASSIVE CARD. This player will take no action when the life tile is given, one way or another.

EXPERT CARD. Similar to the “you’re stupid” card, but less severe, this player is an expert on everything. You will walk away with loads information, wanted or not, about any topic given.

WORRY CARD. This player will tell you every possible scenario that could go wrong with your life tile.

SWITCH CARD. When this card is played, it is no longer about your life tile, but theirs. The player with this card will immediately play their own life tile, complete with all the details, and your life tile is ignored.

CHEERLEADER CARD. This player will cheer you on, regardless of the life tile. You may not receive any help for your tile, but you know that someone is on your team in the game.

FUN CARD. Your life tile itself is ignored as this player escorts you swiftly to more fun and entertaining areas of the board game.

GOLD GRACE CARD. Often seen as the most desired card in the pack, it is colored gold. It can only be drawn after a player has figured out at least 3 other cards that he has been holding and has turned them in. When you go to someone with this card, the player will listen completely to the description of your life tile, ask good questions to clarify the scenario, and offer help based on the individual need. Often, the help may look like other cards, but that is what give this card its value – it can change based on the current need of the person and tile given.


What other cards have you encountered in this game?


As I move around the board, I’m trying to learn what my cards are. I can look back at past life tiles given to me to see how people responded. When faced with another choice, did they come to me again? I can also seek help from people on my team, but of course I’ll probably hear different responses based on the cards that they’re holding in their hands.

However the game plays out, I want to follow the goal of learning my cards and turning them in, so that in the end, I’ll be left with the grace card. Don’t you?