Easter Sunrise Service

I have had a million things I've wanted to post about, but not a lick of time to do it. Here is one last post from our Easter weekend.

...Matthew 27...45From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. 46About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"—which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
47When some of those standing there heard this, they said, "He's calling Elijah."
48Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 49The rest said, "Now leave him alone. Let's see if Elijah comes to save him."
50And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
51At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. 52The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus' resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
54When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, "Surely he was the Son
of God!"

The Great Easter Egg Hunt

Along with the rest of our Easter activities, I wanted to post some random pictures of our Easter egg hunt. We did it this morning, as tomorrow is a full enough day already.

As long as Zane cooperates - at least a little - by not waking up too much tonight, him and I will venture off to the sunrise Easter service tomorrow morning up on the mountain. I figure if he's up early anyways, we may as well start off the day with the beautiful landscape.

Resurrection Eggs

Heart of the Matter had this Resurrection Eggs activity.

Materials needed:

12 plastic eggs numbered 1-12
empty egg carton
small piece of bread
3 silver coins
small piece of purple cloth
thorn (you could use a thumbtack)
thick string
small cross (you could make this from toothpicks)
small sign with the words “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS”
piece of sponge
spear-like object (you could use a toothpick or stick)


Fill 11 of the eggs with the above items, leaving the 12th egg empty. Read the following passages from Scripture as you open each egg.

1. (Bread) Matthew 26:26

While they were eating Jesus took a piece of bread, gave a prayer of thanks, broke it, and gave it to His disciples. "Take and eat it," He said, "This is My body."

2. (Coins) Matthew 26: 14-15

Then one of the twelve disciples, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and asked, "What will you give me if I betray Jesus to you?" They counted out thirty silver coins and gave them to him.

3. (Purple cloth, representing a purple robe) Mark 15:17

They put a purple robe on Jesus.

4. (Thorns) Matthew 27:29

Then they made a crown out of thorny branches and placed it on His head, and put a stick on His right hand; then they knelt before Him and made fun of Him. "Long live the King, of the Jews!" they said.

5. (Scourge-a small piece of rope or thick string) Mark 15:15

Pilate wanted to please the crowd, so he set Barabbas free for them. Then he had Jesus whipped and handed Him over to be crucified.

6. (Cross) John 19: 17-18a

He went out, carrying His cross, and came to "The Place of the Skull," as it is called. (In Hebrew it is called "Galgotha.") There they crucified Him.

7. (Nails) John 20:25b

Thomas said to them, "Unless I see the scars of the nails in His hands and put my finger on those scars and my hand in His side, I will not believe."

8. (Sign) Luke 23:38

Above Him were written these words: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

9. (Sponge) Matthew 27:48

One of them ran up at once, took a sponge, soaked it in cheap wine, put it on the end of a stick, and tried to make Him drink it.

10. (Spear) John 19:34

One of the soldiers plunged his spear into Jesus' side, and at once blood and water poured out.

11. (Rock) Matthew 27:59-60

Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a new linen sheet, and placed it in his own new tomb, which he had just recently dug out of solid rock. Then he rolled a large stone across the entrance to the tomb and went away.

12. (Empty) Matthew 28:6

He is not here. He has risen just as He said.

Easter Story Cookies

I found a recipe for Easter Story Cookies. They do just that - tell the story of Easter while you make them.

1 cup whole pecans
1 tsp vinegar
3 egg whites
pinch of salt
large zipper bag
wooden spoon

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
2. Place pecans in zipper bag and let kids beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces.
3. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, He was beaten by the Roman soldiers. Read John 19:1-3.
Show me how sad you are that Jesus was beaten like that.
4. Let each child smell the vinegar. Add to mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross He was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30.
5. Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11.
6. 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 sins. Read Luke 23:27.
7. So far the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know Him and belong to Him. Read Psalm 34:8.
8. Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12-15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the colour white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3.
9. Fold in broken nuts.
10. Line cookie sheet with waxed paper. Drop mixture by spoonfuls onto waxed paper. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid. Read Matthew 27:57-60.
11. Place the 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' tomb was sealed. Read Matthew 27:65-66.
12. 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 John 16:20.
13. In the morning, open the oven and remove the cookies. Take a bite. Notice, the cookies are hollow. On the first Easter Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. Read Matthew 28:1-9.

Colouring Easter Eggs

On Friday, we coloured Easter eggs. This was a first for Kobe. Dylan wanted to 'fix' all of Kobe's eggs. I kept explaining to him that that is just how a 2-year-old does it - and likes it. Dylan has inherited a wee bit of my need for control, I think.

The children were proud to have their finished product on display. Kobe was so excited that he squeezed one of his really hard. Notice the damage at the far left. For fun, next time we should use raw eggs!

Rite of Passage

I have opened bank accounts for all the children and put money-gifts from birthdays and Christmas in them. Until now, I have always done it for them. They don't know what goes on, how much money they have or how it got there. No money lessons to be learned here.

Lately Dylan has been very intrigued with money. We 'trade' all day long. "Mom, can I give you 6 quarters, 4 dimes and ten pennies for a toonie?" or "Mom, I need a $10 bill. Can I give you a $5 bill, two toonies and a loonie?" There are times in my day where I just have to say, "Okay, trading is over for the day." It's as if I'm the official bank or a stock market or something. I have to say, his interest in how it works sure helps with our math lessons!

I have also been paying him small amounts for things he does around the house. He has his regular chores, but if these are done, he has earned the right to work for pay. (Mean mom, eh?) For example, a load of laundry washed, dried, folded and put away earns him a quarter. (Dwayne says it's slave labour. I say it's a good way for him to learn to work and have a chance to plunk something into his piggy bank.) Yesterday, he asked to roll my loose change. I told him I'd give him a quarter if he sorted the money into types of coins and another quarter for sorting piles of the proper amounts to fit into each roll. (Okay, how many of you homeschool moms are loving this...math lessons that I have to pay to teach him!)
After he finishes sorting these piles of coins, he asks if he can set up his very own bank account. So I call the bank to see if there is an appointment time available and off we toddle to set it up...

The banking officer treated him like a real little gentleman. She explained everything nice and clearly to him...

He looked it over...

and then signed it.

Then she escorted him over to the teller, where he deposited his $9.91. He asked the teller, a few times, in a few different ways, how he could be sure that he would get that money back when he wanted it. He wasn't about to give up all that hard-earned money to never see it again! She patiently explained it all and sent him on his way with his new deposit book.

I sure am thankful for people who treat my children like real people. When they patiently (and clearly) explain things to them, it makes them feel good. And it's such a great opportunity to learn to converse with adults and find out the information that they would like to know. I usually just stand back and watch it happen. And I must say, it makes me feel good to see my 5-year-old boy looking adults in the eye and communicating clearly with them.

I'm On A Mission

I have been thinking about mission work for a couple of years now. Imagine...my family packing up and flying off to ‘save the world’. My mission dream has been put on hold since I got pregnant with Zane, but after some real revelation this weekend (at our Missions Festival), I wonder if it wasn’t put on hold by God. I think that He may want me to consider what mission work actually is and why I would be doing it.

I am starting to redefine mission work in my mind. It seems to me that it is serving others. Serving others in God’s name. What? Not just solving their problems? Not preaching to them? Not only for adventure? No. Serving. This idea of serving may seem strange in our culture. I mean, isn’t everyone looking to be served? But maybe it’s time we started showing our love by really searching for ways to take the load off of others.

The serving that I’m talking about is a result of simply loving people. Genuine love. A comment that a lady made this weekend at the festival was, “Don’t just do it to be nice. People can tell when you are faking it. Just because they don’t go to church doesn’t mean they are stupid.” She’s right. Also, I don’t want to be someone else’s ‘project’, so I’m pretty sure they don’t want to be mine.

All this being said, I realize that I have been doing mission work all along. Not in the Amazon or Asia or any exotic place, but right here in my little town and even in my own home with my little children. I have been serving, out of love. I have been developing friendships with people who don’t know the gift that God has available for them to accept. I’ve been doing it just living my regular life. And I’ve been doing it with a genuine heart. I think that is what mission work may be all about.