Friday, June 12, 2015

Undergoing Metamorphesis

After our discussion on salvation, we were blessed by my dad with a butterfly garden.  What better way to explain the concept of salvation than by witnessing the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly!  Once we got our mail order caterpillars, Lil Man and Big Boy were so excited! They looked in awe and wonder at the cute, fuzzy little creatures.  When I told them that the caterpillars would turn into beautiful butterflies, they were baffled as to how this would happen. We went back to the bible and discussed how our hearts change once we accept Christ. We transform from wicked sinners to forgiven saints.  Just as a caterpillar struggles to tear open a cocoon and emerge as a butterfly, we must also fight the cocoon of the flesh (crucifying it daily) and walk in spirit as a new creature in Jesus Christ. Metamorphosis.

2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."

Lil Man and Big boy observed these caterpillars for several days and watched as they grew and began forming their chrysalis. The day that they emerged as beautiful butterflies was an amazing day. They watched them fly around for hours and pointed out their bright, vibrant colors. "How can a fuzzy black caterpillar becomes such a beautiful butterfly!?" my son asked.  Only by the perfect design and plan of God are these things possible.  Only by the grace, mercy, and forgiveness of God can our black hearts become cleansed and white.  When we accept Jesus Christ, a change must take place deep in our hearts.  We must deny sin daily and walk in the footsteps of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Only then can we fly free as a beautiful butterfly without the weight of sin.

**The Life Cycle of the Butterfly activity above can be printed from Lakeshore Learning.**

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Explaining Salvation with Legos

Although it's been a while since my last post year, I am happy to report that my oldest son has just completed the ABCJLM curriculum. Lil man has successfully completed years 2-5 of the curriculum. I have been so blessed to see my son learn and grow and become more and more engrossed in the Word of God. He asks every day if we can read from the Bible, and one story is never enough. He's always seeking to know more about God and asks so many questions that his daddy and I are pleased to answer!

As we closed on year 5, the last activity of the year was to create a wordless book explaining the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and what it means to be saved according to the Word of God. Lil man loves creating things with legos (as does his 3yr old brother), so we took our wordless book to a kinesthetic level. Brainstorming for ideas, I went to Pinterest and found this activity. I broke this lesson down into 5 days. Each day we discussed several verses and created various objects with lego duplos that illustrated the lesson.

**photos to come**

Day 1: Black Heart = sin

We discussed what sin was and created a black heart with legos to illustrate that our hearts are 'dirty' because of our sin and in need of cleansing. Without God, we are in darkness and are unable to clean our hearts.
  • Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God"
  • Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

Day 2: Red Cross = blood of Jesus Christ

On day two, we discussed the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and created a red cross with legos. I asked my son "Who is Jesus Christ?" and he answered with "Jesus is the son of God and He is God's Word. He came to die for us and rise again. He took our punishment and if we believe in Him we are saved!" So, it is by the blood of Jesus Christ that we are cleansed of sin and can be forgiven.
  • Romans 5:8 "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
  • Acts 13:30-31 " But God raised him from the dead: And he was seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses unto the people."
  • John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Day 3: White Heart = clean, forgiven heart

On day three, we created a white heart with legos which illustrates that once we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior we are born again, forgiven, and cleansed of sin. 
  • 1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
  • Romans 10:9 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."

Day 4: Green Tree = grow

On day four, we created a green tree with legos to illustrate that once we are saved and accept Jesus Christ as our savior and choose to follow God we must grow in His Word. We discussed ways in which we can grow: reading His Word, praying, and obeying Him. We also took some time to talk about the fruits of the Spirit and how we should be living those as well.
  • Psalm 1:2-3 "But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper."
  • Galatians 5:22-25 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit."

Day 5: Gold House= eternal life

On day five, we created a yellow house to represent the home that Jesus is preparing for us. Because we have accepted Jesus Christ as our savior, we are made the children of God and will live with Him eternally.

  • John 1:12 "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:"
  • John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
  • Revelation 21:1-5 "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My Treasures

There are many things that attempt to capture our attention in this world...foolish and vain things. T.V. commercials and ads always tempting us to buy the "latest" and "greatest" of this or that. The news...which no longer actually gives us relavent NEWS, but lingers on stories from hollywood or fashion or politics or some other foolishness. The "news" seems more like just another t.v show rather than an actual news broadcast. Our thoughts also linger on money, jobs, and bills we owe. So much junk. But does any of it really matter?
The other day I found my own mind wandering...consuming myself with thoughts of those things...mostly thoughts of money & bills owed. My mind was completely clouded over with worry. Then, like a break in the clouds, my son's adorable little giggles penetrated my thoughts as my husband sang and danced with him in front of the mirror. Ah...something actually worthy of my attention. I looked down the hallway at that joyous sight and my heart melted.

Hasn't God always provided for us in the past? Didn't He say not to worry about what we need....that He would always provide for us?

"No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." Matthew 6:24-34
So...I am now refocusing my thoughts on things of more importance...

My God. Seeking Him..drawing near to Him...having a closer and deeper relationship with Him. Standing firmly upon the foundation He laid for me.

My Husband. Such an incredible blessing to me. In what ways can I love and bless him more? How can I be a better woman...a better wife to him? In what other ways can I apply the teachings of Proverbs 31 of the "virtuous woman"?

My Child. How can I bless my son more? What important lessons do I want him to learn? How can I be a better mother to him? I'm reminded of my prayer to God for him before he was born. (1 Samuel 1:27-28)

My Neighbor. How can I be a better minister? In what ways can I shine my light brighter? I am reminded to focus on storing treasures in heaven. 
These are my treasures. My eternal treasures. Why focus on things that are so temporary and vain when what I have is valued far above gold, silver, or precious gems?

"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Matthew 6:19-21