Tag Archives: evangelism

Intentional May – Connecting Kids’ Crafts to the Gospel, Memorial Day, Week 5

Intentional May

Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bayasaa/2693171833/ (changes mine)

In May, I am picking a relevant scripture each week to focus on. My conversations with my kids will be about the verses, and bonus! – I’ve picked a craft to help us (and you!) talk through spiritual things.

Don’t forget – you’re the primary influencer in your kids’ lives, so be intentional about sharing God’s truths with them! I’d love to hear if you have success with these. Share in the comments!

Week 5

Today is Memorial Day, and we’re going to do this easy firework craft.

salt-fireworks-4th-of-july-craft-for-kids

The scripture focus is:

Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. Philippians 2:15-16 portions, NIV

This verse is about being a witness for Christ in a depraved world. We shine God’s light (1 John 1:5) when we act out of obedience to God.

You’ve Been Egged – Bless Your Neighbors and Share Jesus!

We egged our neighbors for Easter!

Watch the video below for details. One egg was left empty as a reminder of the empty tomb.

The kids loved being able to bless our neighbors, and they loved getting to choose who in our neighborhood to egg. Hiding the 130+ eggs was pretty fun, too!

I got the printable from Passion for Savings, and I added our name and address plus an Easter invitation.

Have you ever tried this?? What response did you get?

When Submission is a Trial

When Submission is a Trial

Brad and I are still reading the book Marriage Matters*. I’m in chapter 5, at a pace of about a chapter a week. I told you reading non-fiction is like a marathon for me! Anywho, so far, the book has had a lot of theological truths about God that make easy translations to marriage.

I say “easy” – what I mean is – “easy” to understand. Putting them into practice? I’ll let you decide how that usually goes. 😉

Smith, the author, pointed me to an insight I never noticed before.

In 1 Peter 3, Peter writes

Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.  (1 Peter 3:1-2, NIV)

I have read these verses (the commands to wives continues through verse 6) many times before, but I never bothered to ask what Peter was talking about when he said, “in the same way”.

Well – this is an important question! If I’m supposed to submit myself to my husband, I want to know in what way that is! I surely don’t want to follow what submission means to the world or myself or even my church.

What does submission mean to God?

Peter is talking about submission in various relationships: to authorities, to masters, and then wives to husbands. Directly before he writes about submission, he calls us to live out our identity as “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation…” and this has the purpose of praising God and pointing non-believers to Him (1 Peter 2:9-12).

Conclusion 1: Submission to God’s appointed leaders (including our husbands) is an act of praise that reflects Him to the lost.

OK, that one really does wow me. But hang on for the next one!

When speaking to slaves, Peter tells them to submit themselves to their masters even “to those who are harsh” (v. 18). Why? He says suffering under leadership identifies us with the suffering of Jesus  – the very suffering that saves us.

But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. (1 Peter 3:20-21, NIV, emphasis mine)

This idea precedes the sentence “Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands…”

Conclusion 2:  Submission is sometimes a trial of suffering, but we are still called to it, and this calling is an example to non-believers.

In other words, yes – submission may be difficult to the point of suffering! But because we are designed to compliment each other as head and helper, if we do submit to our husbands (and in this way, we are submitting to God as well), then our example can lead people to faith (2:12)!!!

What if your husband is not a believer? It is no accident that Peter says

Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverance of your lives. (1 Peter 3:1-2, NIV)

Yes, learning to respect your husband in this way can lead to his very salvation!

Some of you may be thinking – well of course submitting is an act of suffering! But in the original design, it was not meant to be this way. Our husband’s headship and our helpership were designed as a perfect match – to work in harmony with each other to reproduce more people who love God. Our sin and the sin of our partners is what twists it into something that may bring a period of suffering.

When we are both submitting to God’s design, submission to our husbands is not an act of suffering at all! It’s a beautiful picture of how Christ loves His church.

In next week’s Wedded Wednesday, I hope to address some of the consequences that occur when we don’t submit. I’m praying for wisdom and insight beyond my years! And to actually apply these truths in my own marriage! I think my husband would appreciate that. 😉

This idea of suffering in submission is new to me! How about you? When did you first make this connection? How did that change your thoughts on submission?

Nothing New?

Remember a while back when I told you I felt paralyzed to write? Above all else, I think this is what has been troubling me:

What exists now is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing truly new on earth. (Ecclesiastes 1:9, NETBible)

God’s Word is true and has application in the past, present, and future. What, then, can I say?

I write blog posts in my head. It’s just how I process my life now that I’m a blogger: The title comes to me. Paragraph chunks enter my brain. Often, they’re lost forever before I’m able to capture them in print (lucky you!).

And lately, besides being very burdened timewise, anytime I write a blog post in my head, it’s halfway to the brain’s recycle box before I even try to remember it – because really – it’s all been said.

I was talking about this with my pastor hubby, and I said, the only thing that is different is how the Word of God works through me. (OK I’m sure when the conversation occurred there were a hundred “likes”, fragmented sentences, and nonsensical thoughts, but that was the jist of it. :))

Well! I have to say – that difference is a BIG DEAL!

God’s word does work through us all differently. In different ways. At different times. Through different people.

And God has given us our unique experience for the purpose of making disciples! In other words, I may not have anything new to say theologically or maybe even experientially.

BUT

I have a unique audience. Nobody else on earth knows the exact group of people that I know. I have a unique relationship with each one of them.

I have a unique opportunity to share the grace of Jesus Christ with them.

And I’m not going to blow it because I want to throw myself an it’s-been-said pity party.

Instead, I’m going to embrace the fact that our Lord has the power to make all things new! Including ME, the worst of sinners. Including YOU. 

Who are you denying your voice to? Why?

What If?

Brad and I call our little family “Team Pete”.

And Team Pete has dreams. Big. Fat. Hairy. Dreams. They’re wild. Beyond our imaginations. Beyond our money. Beyond our cultural boundaries. Beyond our faith. Beyond our temptations. Beyond our work ethics.

Beyond our power.

For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (NETBible, 1 Corinthians 1:18, emphasis mine)

What if I believed this?

Let me explain. I’m smart. Yeah, I said it. I’m no genius, but I have quick wits and hard work in me – and that can translate into a lot. Not only am I smart, I am decent at arguing (the debate kind, not the kind you were thinking of – but I’m good at that, too, rest assured).

Add this to a passion for the lost. What do you get? Someone who thinks, “If I just explain it right, they’ll get it!” Or, “I wonder if this evangelism tool is THE ONE.” You know, the one that will bring 50% of the people I use it on to Christ. [I have given up on evangelism “tools” because they work just as good as what I already do. Which isn’t saying much.]

As an immature believer, this dangerous combination yielded ugly results. I had the privilege of going to a ‘Women in Mathematics’ conference while I was in college. At dinner one night, somehow we started talking about God or Jesus (my big fat mouth probably brought it up). One of the women said something to the effect of, “But I don’t believe in Jesus.”

To which I put on my best I-am-obviously-smarter-than-you countenance and replied, “Believe WHAT about Jesus?” My words were snarly; my eyes were attacking; my heart was ugly.

Because obviously, if we would just define all of the parameters and look at the logic, we would get to Jesus, right?

I wish. Actually, no I don’t. I’d really muck it up. Obviously.

The above passage is bookended by verses that remind me that my smarts will do nothing to save souls.

For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel – and not with clever speech, so that the cross of Christ would not become useless. (verse 17)

For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will thwart the cleverness of the intelligent.” (verse 19)

And do you see that this is intentional? If intellect alone won souls to Christ, what in the world did Jesus have to be crucified for? What would the purpose of the Holy Spirit be? Why would we need God when we have ourselves?

It’s all. About. HIM. The Man. The GOD-Man. Jesus.

And Team Pete dreams that everyone we know and come in contact with will trust in the GOD-Man for their everything. For EVERYTHING. He is everything. Everything is for Him, from Him, to Him.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation, for all things in heaven and on earth were created by him – all things, whether visible or invisible, whether thrones or dominions, whether principalities or powers – all things were created through him and for him.

He himself is before all things and all things are held together in him.

He is the head of the body, the church, as well as the beginning, the firstborn from among the dead, so that he himself may become first in all things.

For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in the Son and through him to reconcile all things to himself by making peace through the blood of his cross – through him, whether things on earth or things in heaven. (Colossians 1:15–20, NETBible)

And we can’t do it. Only God can. Only His power.

All we can do is get on our faces before the Almighty and offer our lives to His purposes. To His glory.

Almighty, You are worth it all. You are worth more than I can imagine. Give me faith beyond myself. Help me believe in Your power. Let me offer myself as a living sacrifice and trust Your work. Increase my tiny faith.

This Pastor’s Wife’s Purpose, Conclusion

We’re finally here, ladies and gentlemen! It’s time for the BIG FAT PURPOSE STATEMENT.

The four questions (one, two, three, four) should give you an opportunity to brainstorm and spend some time with God in determining a specific purpose statement for your life. Bada-bing bada-boom, no?

MY BIG FAT PURPOSE STATEMENT:

My purpose is to glorify God by being faithful to encourage people in my life to take big risks for God.

As I looked through my brainstorming, I noticed a few common themes:

  1. God has given me a heart for people. He has particularly given me a longing for the lost to find Him, but He has also given me a passion to embolden His followers to live for Him and His purposes. So the “people in my life” are not just the people currently in my life, but also believers and unbelievers that I pursue on behalf of Him.
  2. God wants me to be faithful. I am quite scattered in my interests, and it excites me to change things up. But how will I see fruit if I keep starting things over? It is a big risk for me to remain faithful because I will fail and have to depend on Him.
  3. God wants my heart. I also crave more of Him, and I have to fight alongside the Spirit to stay focused and committed to His will, not the world’s, for my life.

So there you have it folks, my purpose in a nutshell. I have to say, this has been an exhilarating process for me, one I’ve never really gone through. I hope this has equally rocked your world.

State your BIG FAT PURPOSE STATEMENT in the comments!