Thursday, February 18, 2010

Family Worship Time

At the beginning of the year, our church began the "Radical Experiment" consisting of reading through the Bible, praying for the entire world, committing to multiplying community (committed to a small group that is intentionally sharing, showing, and teaching the Word while serving the world together), sacrificing our money for a specific purpose, and spending time in another context.

Our small group is about to get involved in Angel Food Ministries and deliver food to about three needy families every month, meeting their physical need but also sharing the Gospel with them. We will be building relationships with people we might not ordinarily reach out to.

Our family has decided to sacrifice our cable TV in order to give more to the church, who has freed up about 1.5 million of our budget to meet urgent physical and spiritual needs around the world. This (cable) is something we have thought about for a while, and frankly I think it will be hard, but so beneficial for our family. I bet we get a lot more done not having mindless drivel (that we sadly DO enjoy a lot of...) to stare at every day!

Rod is planning on going on a two week mission trip this year, to Indonesia, which is on the other side of the bottom of the world! Last year I went on a trip, so it is his turn to spend time in another context sharing the Gospel. I am so happy for him and I cannot wait to see what God has in store for him!

The other two parts of the Radical Experiment, reading the entire Bible and praying for the whole world, have corporate, small group, family, and individual aspects to it. We read the Bible passages every day, study about the same ones in our small group, the pastor preaches on a passage from the text and we have family worship based on part of the text. This leads me to the whole point of this post. Family Worship.

The church has provided a family worship guide on their website with ways to make it work with all ages of children, even preschoolers. It includes a Bible story, a worship song, Scripture memory, prayer focus, and even a coloring page! I think this is the best thing we have ever done as a family and the church has made it so easy to do. We have drawn closer to God, each other, and are intentionally teaching our children about God in a way that they can understand. I love it and the boys actually look forward to it every week, reminding us when it is family worship night.

Not that it has been without its challenges. The first one was a near disaster. Rod and I argued about who was doing what. The boys were wildly bouncing off the couch and not listening at all. Satan never rests does he? Neither does our fleshly nature. But we repented and pressed on.

Last week, we began Exodus and the scripture was about the 10 plagues God sent on Egypt. Rod had the wonderful idea of having the boys act it out. He was Pharaoh, I was the voice of God (that made me really nervous), Briggs was Moses and Max was Aaron. Rod got a staff for Max to hold and he got to raise it and say, "Let my people go!" Briggs kept saying, "what should I do next, God?" It was great!

This week, the verses were about God giving Moses the 10 commandments. Max got to be Moses this time and Rod made him tablets (of paper) and he got to
stand on he couch (Mt. Sinai). Briggs was Aaron who made the golden calf for the people to worship. I tried to not be intrusive, but I had to take some pictures, they were so cute.

Max as Moses with the 10 Commandments

little Moses having trouble getting go of the golden calves

Coloring together

Briggs with *CCC on his mouth

Briggs' finished artwork

One thing that has surprised me is how much they love singing the worship song. It changes every week and they love to sing or hum along. Max even busts out with a "haaaaweeewuuuu-ya" every once in a while. We just wouldn't take anything for this precious time together.

*Chocolate Chip Cookie

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Elektris-u-d and Snow

This past MLK day Briggs' class apparently had a "I Have a Dream" project. Briggs' dream is below:

This past week he wrote me a letter during school also below:

Translation: "Dear Dad, Thank you for making electricity. If it wasn't for electricity we would still be in the dark. Love, Briggs"

Lately we've gotten into the routine of getting the boys to sleep in the same bed at night. I read one their story and the other a different story. Les has been reading Charlotte's Web when she reads to them along with some other stories. Afterwards I've been snuggling with both of them until they're nearly asleep, five or ten minutes. Tonight as I lay there I was especially thankful for how much God has blessed me with two fine boys who love their father and who I can love so very much. I greatly enjoy holding each boy on either side of me and hearing them sigh with contentment as they snuggle up close to me and fall asleep, how awesome, man I'll miss these days. The book Briggs read tonight was 'Rockets and Spaceships', a story basically about NASA. I wish I had a picture of the look in his eyes after I told him how proud I was that he wanted to be like me, but that I pray that he'll grow up to be whatever God wants him to be. I told him that if it is God's will he could one day be an astronaut and fly into space to do all sorts of experiments (he LOVES doing experiments), his eyes grew big and you could just see the wonderment and excitement behind them, priceless. God please help me to not provoke my boys to anger, but to bring them up in the discipline and instruction of You, and God thank You, thank You, thank You!

Max has found a new favorite thing, a book. He has a baby Einstein's 'Let's Look' book that he carries around with him nearly everywhere we go. We read it 3 to 5 times a day it seems and he doesn't want to read anything else at bedtime. It has shapes, colors, animals, space stuff, everything a little three year old heart could desire. He's doing great in mother's morning out and that has helped him to do just as great in the church nursery. No More Crying! He's kind of going through a whiny phase right now and boy does he have his mother's temper (kidding, it's scarily all me). When he gets mad he stomps off huffing, it's kind of cute actually. We're going through the phase of having to explain all of his emotions to him and teaching him how to deal with them the right way. He's doing awesome though, it's great seeing him and Briggs play together and growing up loving each other, most of the time :-).

Wow, going into our third winter here and in all three we've had at least one fairly good snow day. A few weeks ago the weathermen were predicting 2"-4". The boys were soooo excited about it and stood at the front door excruciatingly waiting. But in the end were pretty bummed out by what would better be described as a snow mist, not even a flurry...

This past weekend though God saw fit to give us another good snow day, enough to go sledding down the same hill we found last year. This year I bought an inflatable tube that you would pull behind a boat. Briggs loved it, I really enjoyed it, and Max somewhat enjoyed it as long as I was riding with him. My favorite was the three of us riding in it together. I have video of it but pictures were too much to handle (read: Mom decided to rough it out back home with the fireplace and warm coffee...). What a great weekend...