Hidden In My Heart

Hidden In My Heart is a New Living Translation (NLT) Scripture Memory Bible geared towards children. Towards the beginning of the Bible, there are “Ten Hide-It Helpers” to help with memorization of scripture. After that, there are fifteen pages of “Thematic Memory Verse Plans” which includes checklist boxes. At the beginning of each book of the Bible, there is a section that gives general information about that book. The information includes: Who wrote [the book]? When was it written? Why is it in the Bible? and What’s it about? Throughout the Bible there are 100 Core Verses listed in three translations: NLT, New International Version (NIV), & King James Version (KJV). These sections also include an “Explore & Apply” and a Prayer. In the back of the Bible, there is a checklist and “Dig Deeper” section for each of the 100 Core Verses. Also, throughout the Bible there are 136 Challenge Verses (also written in NLT, NIV, & KJV) along with a checklist in the back.

What makes this Bible really unique is that there is a download code for scripture memory songs for the 100 Core Verses. Before gaining access to the songs, an account must be made using email address, download code, and password. I assume this is to ensure that the code is not shared outside of the person/family/organization who owns the Bible. There is an option to download the full files of 100+ songs in either NLT, NIV, & KJV. Or each song can be downloaded individually.

This Bible has some unique qualities such as the memory verses printed in three Bible versions and the scripture memory song downloads that are available. I think that it would be a good addition to any family library. The sections that focus on scripture memory in this Bible will be helpful to anyone (child or adult) who has a goal of memorizing more verses. I personally love all of the checklists! I have listened to a few of the song downloads and they are catchy tunes that would be easy for a child to pick up. The songs would absolutely be a valuable tool for those who utilize them!

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission I am required to disclose that Tyndale House provided this book for free in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.

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Order at Christian Book Distributors through the following link!

I get credit for all purchases made through my CBD links!

NLT Hidden in My Heart Scripture Memory Bible, Softcover By Stephen Elkins / Tyndale House

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Resurrection Cookies

Last year, I posted recipes for two types of Resurrection Cookies and how to teach your children the resurrection story through baking. You can read that post here. This year we are only going to make the following recipe which is the less complicated of the two types. This is a great & unique way to teach your children about the resurrection!

RESURRECTION COOKIES

Ingredients:

Large Marshmallows

Crescent Rolls (uncooked)

Sugar/Cinnamon Mixture

1. Wrap an uncooked crescent roll  around most of the marshmallow–leaving one side of the marshmallow exposed.

~~The crescent roll represents the tomb and the marshmallow shows that the tomb is not empty.

2. Roll the crescent roll/marshmallow tomb in the sugar/cinnamon mixture.

3. Place them on a cookie sheet and bake according to crescent roll directions.

~~Read the resurrection story (using a Children’s Bible or book on your child’s level).

5. As they bake; the marshmallow will melt. Remove them from the oven according to directions.

~~You will have an empty tomb!

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Who Is Jesus?

One of my favorite authors is C. S. Lewis. He wrote one of my favorite series “The Chronicles Of Narnia.” He also wrote a book called “Mere Christianity” in which he set out to “explain and defend the belief that has been common to nearly all Christians at all times” and provides a rational case for the Christian faith. Since I have referenced one of C. S. Lewis’ most famous quotes several times in the past couple of weeks; I thought that I would share it with you…

What is your view of Jesus? Most historians agree that Jesus actually existed; which knocks out the theory some people have that Jesus did not exist. Jesus is by far one of the most influential people who ever lived. Approximately 2,000 years after his life; there are approximately 2.1 billion people who believe in Christianity. The Bible is the most sold and published book ever. More books have been written about Jesus than any other person in history. More people mention his name (whether in reverence or in swear form) than any other person. If you do not believe that Jesus Christ is God; then I wonder if you have ever actually thought about who Jesus is to you? Was he a good man? A good teacher? A good prophet? Or was and is Jesus Christ actually God as he claimed to be? According to C. S. Lewis; Jesus didn’t leave us many options to choose from:

“I am trying here to prevent anyone from saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him [Jesus Christ]: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with a man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that option open to us. He did not intend to.”

I found an awesome article that describes the above quote better than I ever could. I have copied most of the article below. You can see the full article and many more great articles at Got Questions?org. I have also included in Bible order (at the end of this post) all of the scripture that is referenced in the article.

“So, who did Jesus claim to be? Who does the Bible say He is? First, let’s look at Jesus’ words in John 10:30, “I and the Father are one.” At first glance, this might not seem to be a claim to be God. However, look at the Jews’ reaction to His statement, “‘We are not stoning you for any of these,’ replied the Jews, ‘but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God’” (John 10:33). The Jews understood Jesus’ statement as a claim to be God. In the following verses, Jesus never corrects the Jews by saying, “I did not claim to be God.” That indicates Jesus was truly saying He was God by declaring, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). John 8:58 is another example: “‘I tell you the truth,’ Jesus answered, ‘before Abraham was born, I am!’” Again, in response, the Jews took up stones in an attempt to stone Jesus (John 8:59). Jesus’ announcing His identity as “I am” is a direct application of the Old Testament name for God (Exodus 3:14). Why would the Jews again want to stone Jesus if He had not said something they believed to be blasphemous, namely, a claim to be God?

John 1:1 says “the Word was God.” John 1:14 says “the Word became flesh.” This clearly indicates that Jesus is God in the flesh. Thomas the disciple declared to Jesus, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). Jesus does not correct him. The apostle Paul describes Him as, “…our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). The apostle Peter says the same, “…our God and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:1). God the Father is witness of Jesus’ full identity as well, “But about the Son he says, ‘Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom.’” Old Testament prophecies of Christ announce His deity, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

So, as C.S. Lewis argued, believing Jesus to be only a good teacher is not an option. Jesus clearly and undeniably claimed to be God. If He is not God, then He is a liar, and therefore not a prophet, good teacher, or godly man. In attempts to explain away the words of Jesus, modern “scholars” claim the “true historical Jesus” did not say many of the things the Bible attributes to Him. Who are we to argue with God’s Word concerning what Jesus did or did not say? How can a “scholar” two thousand years removed from Jesus have better insight into what Jesus did or did not say than those who lived with, served with, and were taught by Jesus Himself (John 14:26)?

Why is the question over Jesus’ true identity so important? Why does it matter whether or not Jesus is God? The most important reason that Jesus has to be God is that if He is not God, His death would not have been sufficient to pay the penalty for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2). Only God could pay such an infinite penalty (Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus had to be God so that He could pay our debt. Jesus had to be man so He could die. Salvation is available only through faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus’ deity is why He is the only way of salvation. Jesus’ deity is why He proclaimed, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).”

I have shared the C. S. Lewis quote with people who are not Christians several times. Most of them believed that Jesus really did exist based on history but they did not share my belief that Jesus is God. After sharing the quote most of those people still held that Jesus was was not God. One person said that just because he is not God it doesn’t make him a bad person. Some truly believe that Jesus is actually a liar or lunatic.

What the above article does not define is: What is a liar or a lunatic?

At Thesaurus.com:

A liar is defined as “a person who tells lies.” The synonyms for a liar include: cheat, con artist, deceiver, deluder, dissimulator, equivocator, fabler, fabricator, fabulist, false witness, falsifier, fibber, maligner, misleader, perjurer, phony, prevaricator, promoter, storyteller, and trickster.

A lunatic is defined as “a person who is crazy, mad.” The synonyms for a lunatic include: crackpot, crank, cuckoo, demoniac, flake, fruitcake, kook, lamebrain, loon, maniac, neurotic, nut, paranoid, psycho, psychopath, psychotic, scatterbrain, schizophrenic, sociopathic.

If it were true that Jesus Christ was either a liar or a lunatic; it would make 2.1 billion people deceived (including myself). I personally would not want to knowingly follow a liar or a lunatic on any level. The great thing about Jesus is that because he is God; he was capable of being sinless. That gives him the power to fully pay my price and forgive my sins against God and against other people. I place my hope in what I think is the most logical view of Jesus: Jesus Christ Is God!

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Scripture used in the article above:

Exodus 3:14 “God said to Moses, “I am who I am . This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ “

Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

John 8:58-59 “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.”

John 10:30 “I and the Father are one.”

John 10:33 “We are not stoning you for any of these,” replied the Jews, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”

John 14:6 “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

John 14:26 “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

2 Corinthians 5:21 “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

Titus 2:13 “while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ”

2 Peter 1:1 “Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours”

1 John 2:2 “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”

My Redeemer Lives!

HAPPY (belated) EASTER Everyone! Yesterday was a completely full and busy day; so I went to bed early instead of staying up to write. I hope that you all had a wonderful holy weekend! Since I shared with you the service that we had on Good Friday; I thought that today I would share Sunday’s service with you as well.

On Friday we left the darkened sanctuary with black fabric, the wooden cross, and burned out candle displayed in front of the tomb on the platform…

Sunday morning; the set up was pretty much the same (although there was sunlight coming in through the windows). The service started with someone (same guy from Friday) singing “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord”; then Pastor Brian greeted the congregation. The worship team (which I am apart of) along with the congregation sang a hymn melody of “Christ The Lord Is Risen Today” and “Crown Him”. While we sang; two of our teens came to the platform dressed in white. They laid the cross on its side in front of the candle, covered the black cloth with a white cloth, and placed several flowers on the tomb display. Finally, as we were finishing our songs, the teens simultaneously lit the candle and turned on a light inside of the tomb.

Pastor Brian then did what we call a “Children’s Chat.” All of the kids went to the platform and Pastor Brian and a man dressed as Jesus had a brief conversation about how Jesus is now alive!

After the children went back to their seats; the worship team & congregation sang “He Reigns”. Pastor Brian preached a short but powerful sermon. Following the sermon; I gave a very short testimony about how God is working in my life (I was asked ahead of time if I would do this and even though I practiced; I still teared up). Someone else gave their testimony also. Then the people who will be going to the Philippines on a short term mission trip went up to the altar so that the congregation could pray for them (they are going over spring break next week).

Finally we recited the “Apostle’s Creed”* as a congregation then sang “My Savior My God” to close the service.

Throughout the service Matthew 28 was read as well. I have included it here in story form as told by The Message Bible (in the service it was read in a different version).

Matthew 28

Risen from the Dead

1-4 After the Sabbath, as the first light of the new week dawned, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to keep vigil at the tomb. Suddenly the earth reeled and rocked under their feet as God’s angel came down from heaven, came right up to where they were standing. He rolled back the stone and then sat on it. Shafts of lightning blazed from him. His garments shimmered snow-white. The guards at the tomb were scared to death. They were so frightened, they couldn’t move.

5-6The angel spoke to the women: “There is nothing to fear here. I know you’re looking for Jesus, the One they nailed to the cross. He is not here. He was raised, just as he said. Come and look at the place where he was placed.

7“Now, get on your way quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He is risen from the dead. He is going on ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there.’ That’s the message.”

8-10The women, deep in wonder and full of joy, lost no time in leaving the tomb. They ran to tell the disciples. Then Jesus met them, stopping them in their tracks. “Good morning!” he said. They fell to their knees, embraced his feet, and worshiped him. Jesus said, “You’re holding on to me for dear life! Don’t be frightened like that. Go tell my brothers that they are to go to Galilee, and that I’ll meet them there.”

11-15Meanwhile, the guards had scattered, but a few of them went into the city and told the high priests everything that had happened. They called a meeting of the religious leaders and came up with a plan: They took a large sum of money and gave it to the soldiers, bribing them to say, “His disciples came in the night and stole the body while we were sleeping.” They assured them, “If the governor hears about your sleeping on duty, we will make sure you don’t get blamed.” The soldiers took the bribe and did as they were told. That story, cooked up in the Jewish High Council, is still going around.

16-17Meanwhile, the eleven disciples were on their way to Galilee, headed for the mountain Jesus had set for their reunion. The moment they saw him they worshiped him. Some, though, held back, not sure about worship, about risking themselves totally.

18-20Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: “God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.”

***THE MESSAGE BIBLE***

(The goal of The Message is to engage people in the reading process and help them understand what they read. This is not a study Bible, but rather “a reading Bible.”)

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*The Apostle’s Creed states:

“I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:

And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord:

Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary:

Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried: He descended into hell:

The third day he rose again from the dead:

He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty:

From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead:

I believe in the Holy Ghost:

I believe in the universal** church: the communion of saints:

The forgiveness of sins:

The resurrection of the body:

And the life everlasting. Amen.”

**(The traditional Apostle’s Creed says “holy catholic church”)

Jesus Loves Me

[For my reflections of our church’s Easter service; see here.]

I have experienced several Good Friday services before but not in the same way that I experienced last night’s service. It was unique in several different ways (from what I am used to for Good Friday).

First, as we walked into the church, we were asked to remove our shoes. I assume that we did this as a way to symbolize that this service was different from our services on Sunday mornings.

Next, everyone gathered for a dinner fellowship. Everything that was provided for dinner had a purpose and incorporated symbols from a traditional passover meal (remembrance of Israel’s slavery in Egypt). Here is a list of the food and what it represented:

Soup – humble

Olives – Garden of Gethsemane is an olive grove where Jesus would pray

Lemonade – the sweetness and sourness of our old life, just as the Jews life in Egypt was both sweet (they had food and relative security) and bitter (slavery)

Hummus – A mediterranean food from the place all this occurred

Horseradish – the bitterness of slavery, sin, and our old lives

Pita Bread – an unleavened (no yeast) bread like what the Jews were told to prepare before leaving Egypt.  God was to deliver them and they were to go immediately not taking time to let the bread rise.

When dinner was over; we entered a dark sanctuary with only the platform lights and several candles to light the room. All throughout the Lent season; we have had a display of a stone tomb with a path leading up to it. Last night, the platform was covered in black fabric and there was a wooden cross on the center of the platform in front of the tomb display.

We sang “Be Thou My Vision” to start the service. Then, the crucifixion story was read from the Bible. A few people took turns reading a portion of the story. When their portion was finished they would extinguish one of the candle flames. Part way through the story; we sang “In Christ Alone” and listened to the song “How Deep The Father’s Love For Us”.Our pastor asked us to take a moment to pray and reflect on what Jesus did for us on the cross. He asked us to write down any sins in our lives (on a blank card that we were given) and lay it at the foot on of the cross. The story continued and ended with the crucifixion of Jesus. All of the lights & candles were out except for one which was on the center of the platform next to the wooden cross. This candle was in a glass hurricane. Someone put glass on top of the hurricane. As we listened to someone else sing “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord”; we watched the candle slowly loose its oxygen and eventually go out. After several moments of silence; we were told that we could stay and pray or leave if we wanted to.

I stayed and prayed for a little while; reflecting on what Jesus did for me. Only by the grace of God; I am spared from the death that I deserve. One day I will be able to meet Jesus in heaven because of his love and forgiveness that he extended to me.

I have included the crucifixion in story form; as told by The Message Bible. Our service read John 18-19 (from a different version) but I am only giving you 19. If you wish to read 18 also; click here.

John 19

The Thorn Crown of the King

1-3 So Pilate took Jesus and had him whipped. The soldiers, having braided a crown from thorns, set it on his head, threw a purple robe over him, and approached him with, “Hail, King of the Jews!” Then they greeted him with slaps in the face.

4-5Pilate went back out again and said to them, “I present him to you, but I want you to know that I do not find him guilty of any crime.” Just then Jesus came out wearing the thorn crown and purple robe.

Pilate announced, “Here he is: the Man.”

6When the high priests and police saw him, they shouted in a frenzy, “Crucify! Crucify!”

Pilate told them, “You take him. You crucify him. I find nothing wrong with him.”

7The Jews answered, “We have a law, and by that law he must die because he claimed to be the Son of God.”

8-9When Pilate heard this, he became even more scared. He went back into the palace and said to Jesus, “Where did you come from?”

Jesus gave no answer.

10Pilate said, “You won’t talk? Don’t you know that I have the authority to pardon you, and the authority to—crucify you?”

11Jesus said, “You haven’t a shred of authority over me except what has been given you from heaven. That’s why the one who betrayed me to you has committed a far greater fault.”

12At this, Pilate tried his best to pardon him, but the Jews shouted him down: “If you pardon this man, you’re no friend of Caesar’s. Anyone setting himself up as ‘king’ defies Caesar.”

13-14When Pilate heard those words, he led Jesus outside. He sat down at the judgment seat in the area designated Stone Court (in Hebrew, Gabbatha). It was the preparation day for Passover. The hour was noon. Pilate said to the Jews, “Here is your king.”

15They shouted back, “Kill him! Kill him! Crucify him!”

Pilate said, “I am to crucify your king?”

The high priests answered, “We have no king except Caesar.”

16-19Pilate caved in to their demand. He turned him over to be crucified.

The Crucifixion

They took Jesus away. Carrying his cross, Jesus went out to the place called Skull Hill (the name in Hebrew is Golgotha), where they crucified him, and with him two others, one on each side, Jesus in the middle. Pilate wrote a sign and had it placed on the cross. It read:

jesus the nazarene
the king of the jews.

20-21Many of the Jews read the sign because the place where Jesus was crucified was right next to the city. It was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. The Jewish high priests objected. “Don’t write,” they said to Pilate, “‘The King of the Jews.’ Make it, ‘This man said, “I am the King of the Jews.”‘”

22Pilate said, “What I’ve written, I’ve written.”

23-24When they crucified him, the Roman soldiers took his clothes and divided them up four ways, to each soldier a fourth. But his robe was seamless, a single piece of weaving, so they said to each other, “Let’s not tear it up. Let’s throw dice to see who gets it.” This confirmed the Scripture that said, “They divided up my clothes among them and threw dice for my coat.” (The soldiers validated the Scriptures!)

24-27While the soldiers were looking after themselves, Jesus’ mother, his aunt, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene stood at the foot of the cross. Jesus saw his mother and the disciple he loved standing near her. He said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that moment the disciple accepted her as his own mother.

28Jesus, seeing that everything had been completed so that the Scripture record might also be complete, then said, “I’m thirsty.”

29-30A jug of sour wine was standing by. Someone put a sponge soaked with the wine on a javelin and lifted it to his mouth. After he took the wine, Jesus said, “It’s done . . . complete.” Bowing his head, he offered up his spirit.

31-34Then the Jews, since it was the day of Sabbath preparation, and so the bodies wouldn’t stay on the crosses over the Sabbath (it was a high holy day that year), petitioned Pilate that their legs be broken to speed death, and the bodies taken down. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man crucified with Jesus, and then the other. When they got to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead, so they didn’t break his legs. One of the soldiers stabbed him in the side with his spear. Blood and water gushed out.

35The eyewitness to these things has presented an accurate report. He saw it himself and is telling the truth so that you, also, will believe.

36-37These things that happened confirmed the Scripture, “Not a bone in his body was broken,” and the other Scripture that reads, “They will stare at the one they pierced.”

38After all this, Joseph of Arimathea (he was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, because he was intimidated by the Jews) petitioned Pilate to take the body of Jesus. Pilate gave permission. So Joseph came and took the body.

39-42Nicodemus, who had first come to Jesus at night, came now in broad daylight carrying a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. They took Jesus’ body and, following the Jewish burial custom, wrapped it in linen with the spices. There was a garden near the place he was crucified, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been placed. So, because it was Sabbath preparation for the Jews and the tomb was convenient, they placed Jesus in it.

***THE MESSAGE BIBLE***

(The goal of The Message is to engage people in the reading process and help them understand what they read. This is not a study Bible, but rather “a reading Bible.”)

Teach Your Children About The Resurrection-Through Baking!

[Update: I did make both types of cookies last Easter weekend! I have posted a picture of each under each recipe listed below. Personally, I didn’t care for the taste of the Type 1 cookie and they were very fragile (they crumbled easily). Type 2 was a lot easier and much more yummy 🙂 Next year, I may try dipping the rolls into butter and brown sugar instead of the sugar/cinnamon mixture. I also think that the correlation to the resurrection was little above my daughter’s head (age 3). But, when a friend’s daughter (age 5) saw them; she was really excited about it!]

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Have you ever though about how to teach your children the Resurrection Story? I have! In fact, I have been thinking about it all week. My oldest daughter is to the age where I think she will be able to understand it but I have not really known the best way of teaching it to her.

This morning I received an e-mail from my friend Amber (Thanks Amber!); which included a recipe for Resurrection Cookies! I think that this would be a perfect way to teach Kendal this year (and years to come)! In this blog, I have included two types of Resurrection Cookies along with scripture that will help you explain the Resurrection story. The first type of cookie must be started the evening before Easter and finished on Easter morning. The second type of cookie is much more simple and can be made anytime. I have never made either type; so I don’t have any pictures (but you can find pictures online). These would make great family time activities!

Have you made either of these Resurrection Cookies before? Or are you going to try them this week? Be sure to comment and let us know your experiences with them and how your children reacted!

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RESURRECTION COOKIES (Type 1)

***To be made the Saturday evening before Easter***

Ingredients & Supplies:

1 Cup Whole Pecans

1 teaspoon Vinegar

3 Egg Whites

Pinch of Salt

1 Cup Sugar

Electric Mixer

Zipper Baggie

Wooden Spoon

Tape

Bible

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. (This is IMPORTANT-don’t wait until you’re done with the recipe!)

2. Place pecans in zipper baggie and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break them into small pieces.

***Explain that after Jesus was arrested, He was beaten by the Roman soldiers. Read:

“Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe and went up to him again and again, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they struck him in the face.” John 19:1-3

3. Let each child smell the vinegar. Put vinegar into the mixing bowl.

***Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross, He was given vinegar to drink. Read:

“Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” John 19:28-30

4. Add egg whites to vinegar.

***Explain that the eggs represent life. Jesus gave His life in order to give us life. Read:

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:10-11

5. Sprinkle a little salt into each child’s hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl.

***Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus’ followers, and the bitterness of our own sin. Read:

“A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him.” Luke 23:27

6. So far the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add the sugar to the bowl.

***Explain that the sweetness part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know Him and belong to Him. Read:

“Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.” Psalm 34:8

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

7. Beat the ingredients in the bowl with a mixer on high speed for 12-15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed.

***Explain that the color white represents the purity in God’s eyes and those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read:

“Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” Isaiah 1:18

“Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.” In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” John 3:1-3

8. Fold in the broken nuts. Drop by teaspoon onto a wax covered cookie sheet.

***Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus’ body was laid. Read

“As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away.” Matthew 27:57-60

9. Put cookie sheet in the oven, close the door, and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door.

***Explain that Jesus’s tomb was sealed. Read:

“Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.” Matthew 27:65-66

10. GO TO BED!!!

***Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus’ followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read:

“I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.” John 16:20-22

***EASTER MORNING***

Open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. THE COOKIES ARE HOLLOW!!!

***Explain that on the first Easter, Jesus’ followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. Read:

“After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him.” Matthew 28:1-9

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RESURRECTION COOKIES (Type 2)

Ingredients:

Large Marshmallows

Crescent Rolls (uncooked)

Sugar/Cinnamon Mixture

1. Wrap an uncooked crescent roll  around most of the marshmallow–leaving one side of the marshmallow exposed.

***The crescent roll represents the tomb and the marshmallow shows that the tomb is not empty.

2. Roll the crescent roll/marshmallow tomb in the sugar/cinnamon mixture.

3. Place them on a cookie sheet and bake according to crescent roll directions.

***Read the resurrection story (using the verses in the above recipe).

5. As they bake; the marshmallow will melt. Remove them from the oven according to directions.

***You will have an empty tomb!

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Do You Pray For Your Family (Part 2)

As if yesterday’s list of Biblical virtue prayers and scripture was not enough…

I have a whole lot more!

There are now a total of 58 virtues listed on the Biblical virtue prayers page here.

This blog post is Part 2 of this series.

For the Part 1 blog post click here.

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Some tips for reading this list:

***This is a good guideline for praying for your children but also for praying for your spouses and/or yourself. So you can easily substitute the words “my children” with: “I,”  “Spouse’s Name,” etc.

***Claim and believe that God is working each one of these Biblical virtues into your children’s lives (or your spouse’s life or your own life). I recommend praying 1-2 virtues per day (throughout the day). Work your way down the list. When you have finished the list; start back at the beginning!

***The virtues listed here are in alphabetical order.

***The Biblical virtue is in blue, the Prayer is in black, and the Scripture is in red.

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ALERTNESS– Father God, please help my children to learn how to watch and pray so that they will be alert and not fall into temptation.

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” Mark 14:38

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ATTENTIVENESS– Lord, I pray that my children will pay attention to you and your Word so that they do not drift away from you.

“We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.” Hebrews 2:1

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CAUTIOUSNESS– I pray, Lord Jesus, that you will help my children to be cautious and not hasty when making decisions in their lives.

“It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way.” Proverbs 19:2

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DETERMINATION– Thank you, Lord, for giving my children the determination they need to finish the race so that they may receive their reward from you in heaven.

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:7-8

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DILIGENCE (HARD WORKING)– Teach my children, Lord, to value work and to work hard at everything they do, as working for the Lord, not for men.

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,” Colossians 3:23

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DISCERNMENT– Oh Lord, give my children the discernment that they need to keep their eyes on you so, that they do not stray from the path you have set for them.

“Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.” Proverbs 4:24-27

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DISCRETION– Give my children the ability to see any danger and the wisdom to turn away from it.

“A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.” Proverbs 22:3

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ENDURANCE– Lord, help my children to do good and not give up so that they may reap a harvest in your timing.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

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FORGIVENESS– Lord Jesus, I pray that you will teach my children how to forgive others and that they will recognize the forgiveness that you freely gave to them.

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32

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GENTLENESS– Show my children how to be humble, gentle, patient, and loving with others.

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:2

“Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” Phillipians 4:5

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HOSPITALITY– Father God, may my children learn how to be hospitable to those around them who are in need.

“Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” Romans 12:13

“Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:2

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INITIATIVE– I pray that you will give my children the initiative to overcome evil with good.

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21

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LOYALTY– Heavenly Father, I pray that my children will be loyal to you but also to their family and friends.

“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

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MEEKNESS– Teach my children to have a meek spirit so that they will know your peace.

“But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace.” Psalm 37:11

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OBEDIENCE– Lord Jesus, I pray that you will give my children an obedient heart that desires to please you.

“But Samuel replied: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD ? To obey is better than sacrifice…” 1 Samuel 15:22

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5

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ORDERLINESS– Help my children to do everything in an way that honors you and your Word.

“But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.” 1 Corinthians 14:40

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RESOURCEFULNESS– Teach my children, oh God, to be trustworthy with all you put in their path and help them to be known for their honesty and resourcefulness.

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” Luke 16:10

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REVERENCE– Father in heaven, give my children the desire to give their life to you and worship you whole heartedly.

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe” Hebrews 12:28

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SENSITIVITY– Oh Father, help my children to be sensitive to the needs of those around them so that they can be a blessing to them.

“Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” Romans 12:4-5

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SINCERITY– Father, give my children the ability to do good and love others with true sincerity.

“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” Romans 12:9

“Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.” 1 Peter 1:22

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THOROUGHNESS– Lord, help my children to be thorough in the work that they do so that they are pleasing to you.

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men” Colossians 3:23

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THRIFTINESS– I pray, Lord, that you will teach my children how to be wise with their money and possessions and that they will always know that you are the one who has provided for them.

“So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?” Luke 16:11

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TRUTHFULNESS– Instill a honest spirit into my children so that they will speak in truth.

“Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.” Ephesians 4:25

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VIRTUE– Heavenly Father, I pray that you will continue to make my children virtuous so that they will be known for their Godly character.

“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:5-8

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Do You Pray For Your Family? (Part 1)

UPDATE: There are now a total of 58 virtues listed on the Biblical virtue prayers page here.

This blog post is Part 1 of this series. For the Part 2 blog post click here.

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One of the things that I have become in the habit of doing is praying for my children. I pray every night with each of them before they go to bed. I also pray for them throughout the day; sometimes with them listening and others to myself. I have been getting into the habit of praying for my husband as well. I have to admit that I am not very good at praying for him but the more I do it; the easier it becomes.

I have a “Parent’s Prayer Calendar” that was given to me several years ago. I am not sure who gave it to me or who originally designed the particular one I have (I have seen a few variations). I would like to share the prayers with you (I have added other virtues that I have found). Each day has a Biblical virtue, short prayer, and a Bible verse.

I am also going to post this as a page for my site. This way it will be easy for you (and me) to come back to it in the future.

Some tips for reading the list:

***This is a good guideline for praying for your children but also for praying for your spouses and/or yourself. So you can easily substitute the words “my children” with: “I,”  “Spouse’s Name,” etc.

***Claim and believe that God is working each one of these Biblical virtues into your children’s lives (or your spouse’s life or your own life). I recommend praying 1-2 virtues per day (throughout the day). Work your way down the list. When you have finished the list; start back at the beginning!

***The virtues listed here are in alphabetical order.

***The Biblical virtue is in color, the Prayer is in black, and the Scripture is in red.

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BOLDNESS-I pray that my children would fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel of Christ Jesus.

“Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” Ephesians 6:19

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COMPASSION– Lord, I pray that you would clothe my children with the virtue of compassion.

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Colossians 3:12

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CONTENTMENT– Father, teach my children the secret of being content in any and every situation.

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Philippians 4:12

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CONFIDENCE– Lord, please give my children the confidence that they need so that can accomplish anything that is required of them, knowing their strength comes from you.

“I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13

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COURAGE– Lord, may my children always be strong and courageous in their character and in their actions.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

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FAITH– I pray that faith will find root and grow in my children’s hearts, that by faith they may take hold of the eternal life to which they were called.

“The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.” Luke 17:5-6

“Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” 1 Timothy 6:12

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FAITHFULNESS– Let love and faithfulness never leave my children, but bind these twin virtues around their necks and write them on the tablet of their hearts.

“Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.” Proverbs 3:3

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GRACE– I pray that my children may grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18

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GRATITUDE– Lord, help my children to live lives that overflow with thankfulness, always giving thanks to you.

“always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:20

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GENEROSITY– Lord, I pray that my children would be rich in good deeds, generous, and willing to share.

“Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” 1 Timothy 6:18-19

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HEART FOR MISSIONS– Lord, please help my children to develop a heart for missions, a desire to see your glory declared among the nations, your marvelous deeds among all peoples.

“Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.” Psalm 96:3

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HOPE– God of hope, grant that my children may overflow with hope and hopefulness by the power of the Holy Sprit.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

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HUMILITY– Father God, please cultivate in my children the ability to show true humility toward all.

“Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.” Titus 3:2

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INTEGRITY– Lord, may integrity and uprightness protect my children because their hope is in you.

“May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you.” Psalm 25:21

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JOY– Heavenly Father, grant that my children would be filled with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.

“…Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” John 16:24

“You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 1:6

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JUSTICE– God, help my children to love justice as you do and act justly in all they do.

“For the LORD is righteous, he loves justice; upright men will see his face.” Psalm 11:7

“He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8

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KINDNESS– Father, I pray that my children always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.

“Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.” 1 Thessalonians 5:15

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LOVE– Father, grant that my children would learn to live a life of love, through the Spirit who lives in them.

“Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.” Proverbs 3:3

“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”   Ephesians 5:1-2

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LOVE FOR GOD’S WORD– Lord, may my children regard your Word as more precious than gold and sweeter than honey.

“They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb.” Psalm 19:10

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MERCY-Oh Father, grant that my children would be full of mercy and compassion as you are Lord.

“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” Luke 6:36

“As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” James 5:11

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PASSION FOR THE GOD– Lord, please instill in my children a soul with a craving for you, a heart that clings passionately to you.

“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.” Psalm 42:1

“My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.” Psalms 63:8

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PATIENCE– God, strengthen my children with all power so that they may have great endurance and patience.

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Colossians 3:12

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PEACE– Father, let my children make every effort to do what leads to peace.

“Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” Romans 14:19

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PERSEVERANCE– Lord, teach my children to persevere in all they do, and help them especially to run with perseverance the race set before them.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1

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PRAYERFULNESS– I ask, Lord, that my children would be committed to prayer and never give up and that they may learn to pray in the Spirit on all occasions.

“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” Luke 18:1

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” Ephesians 6:18

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PURITY– Create in my children  a pure heart, O God, and let their purity of heart be shown in their actions.

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalms 51:10

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RESPECT– Lord, help my children to show proper respect to everyone, as your Word commands.

“Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.” 1 Peter 2:17

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RESPONSIBILITY– Please grant that my children would learn to be responsible for each one should carry his own load.

“for each one should carry his own load.” Galatians 6:5

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SALVATION– Lord, I pray that my children would obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.

“You heavens above, rain down righteousness; let the clouds shower it down. Let the earth open wide, let salvation spring up, let righteousness grow with it; I, the LORD, have created it.” Isaiah 45:8

“Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.” 2 Timothy 2:10

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SELF CONTROL– Father, help my children not be like many others, but to be alert and self-controlled in all they do.

“So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled.”   1 Thessalonians 5:6

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SELF DISCIPLINE– Father, I pray that my children may develop self-discipline, that they may acquire a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair.

“for attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight; for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair” Proverbs 1:2-3

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SELF ESTEEM– God, help my children develop a strong self-esteem rooted in the realization that they are your workmanship.

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

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SERVANT’S HEART– Lord, please help my children develop servant hearts, that they may serve wholeheartedly.

“Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men” Ephesians 6:7

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WILLINGNESS AND ABILITY TO WORK HARD– Teach my children, Lord, to value work and to work hard at everything they do, as working for the Lord, not for men.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men” Colossians 3:23

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WISDOM– Father, I pray my children would ask and that you would generously give wisdom to them as you promise.

“For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:6

“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5

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