Heart Reflections Live

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Easter Family Favourites

These are some of the products we use, or have used to help convey the real meaning of Easter to our children. I'd love to hear your comments & recommendations of what you've used or liked- or not liked for whatever reason, that's important too!

DVD The Donut Man- "The Resurrection Celebration"
From cover: "...The Biblical story finds a firsthand parallel when the plays director Mrs Johnson, needs to be comforted because her husband has just gone home to heaven. This is a great way to communicate to your children the importance of Jesus' death & resurrection in a way they can understand & remember."
I really appreciate the Donut Man- we have quite a few of them& I really like them, despite a lot of people considering them to be old hat. The songs really get into our childrens' hearts & minds & they've been known to break into Donut Man songs, even in the supermarket! I often wonder what has become of the members of the Donut Repair Club- I expect they're all grown up now...

"The Story of Jesus for Children"DVD: We received this as a Christmas present from our childrens' playgroup & it's very effective. The footage is adapted from the 1979 "Jesus"movie,with extra additions from child actors, telling the story from a child's point of view.

"Ben Hur"-cartoon DVD-good times entertainment-I particularly like the scene of Masala's repentance at the end & Charlton Heston's explanation of the story at the start.

"An Easter Carol"- Veggietales DVD. We don't own this, but we hired it last year & I was pleasantly surprised. The story is adapted for Easter from "A Christmas Carol", but instead of ghosts, they have an angel called "Hope"(Rebecca St James). Ebenezer moves from a materialistic view of Easter to discovering the same Christian faith his Grandmother had, & of course becomes a new man- or veggie?!

Book-"The Legend of the Easter Egg"-by Lori Walburg. We have the shorter board book & have had it since Talitha was little. Both the girls love the old-fashioned illustrations.

Book-"The Easter Story"- a Ladybird Bible Book-Text by Scripture Union- a great op-shop find!

Question for YOU! What are your thoughts on the Disney Narnia movie, with regards to explaining Easter?

We believe our children are too young to watch it at this point- maybe 9 or 10 would be more appropriate. We have the DVD, I've seen it twice myself, but my husband is yet to watch it & give his opinion.Although I believe the scene with the death & resurrection of Aslan is very moving & powerful-the bit where the demon pulled his mane out brought tears to my eyes, I'm still very disturbed about the mythological imagery in other parts of the movie, especially the similarity between Mr Tumnus & Pan & the references to Bacchas. I posted once before on concerns I had about some CS Lewis stuff(even though he was quite brilliant) & some of the imagery in Narnia.
Maybe we'll only use parts of the movie, when our children are older-What do you think???

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posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 1:27 pm 1 comments

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Two Great Sites for Youth

I don't often recommend sites for youth, as it's not often I find something really worth while- but I have & here they are: www.therebelution.com & http://ylcf.org/ (The Young Ladies Christian Fellowship).

Both of these sites are being run by young people for young people. The Rebelution was started by 2 brothers of Joshua Harris (who wrote "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" & other good books on Christian courtship). These young men challenge fellow teens to be responsible "Do hard things", respect their parents, older folk & their sisters in Christ. They recently conducted a Modesty Survey online amongst some godly young men- the results are very interesting & it's well worth a look. Girls & guys alike will be challenged & inspired. They also recommend some great resources in the way of books etc. It would be a great source of material for some Aussie Youth groups. If you work with youth, have a look.

The Young Ladies Christian Fellowship will appeal to girls from as young as 10 to young marrieds. The blog articles are many & varied with my favourite writers being Gretchen, Natalie & Lanier. If you or your children are bookworms, you'll love their recommended reading lists & book reviews. You will read heartfelt articles on being content while single, loving the Lord, preparing a Hopechest (we Aussies call them glory boxes), preparing for marriage, motherhood & more. Natalie also has some interesting articles on her travels to other countries. These girls are great role models for younger ones & if our daughters grow up to follow in their footsteps, we'll be very blessed indeed.

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posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 10:16 am 0 comments

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Skipping a Generation or Two!

Those who know me well, know that my taste in music is definately, well "Old Fashioned". The music I grew up with ranged from classical to orchestral (Mantovani) & all the great voices of the early 20th Century. These were played on the record player at our family home & also at my paternal Grandparents' place. We were all lovers of great music. I never really got into rock, unless you can count Elvis Presley, as my Dad & I used to dance to his music together around our living room. His music always brings back "Precious Memories" to me.

My husband shares many favourites with me. It seemed only natural to bring up our children with some of the same sounds. One of our favourite genres these days are Hymns. I' m hooked on them. Our children are learning to love them too.
One of my favourite times during the week is when it's my turn to do the school run with Talitha. It's 25 mins each way, so hubby & I share the job. We cruise along & I'm always flipping the car radio between our local Christian Station (plays everything from hymns to contempory) & the local Nostalgia station which plays music from mainly the 1920's to the 1960's. As soon as anything too modern for my tastes comes on I flip back to the other station. Talitha & I laugh & talk & share all the way home.

We were talking in the car the other day, when something came up about Bing Crosby. I told Talitha how much I enjoy his Christmas carol CD's. Talitha suddenly piped up with, "Bing Crosby- Is he married to Fanny Crosby?"

I managed to stifle my giggles & explained that they were born many years apart. When I told my hubby later , he ripped with laughter! Never one to miss an opportunity, we did Fanny Crosby's "Praise The Lord!" for devotions last night! Their musical & Christian education continues!

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posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 9:24 am 1 comments

Monday, March 19, 2007

What We Did for Saint Patrick's Day

I'd been thinking for some time about using some of the special Christian days on the calender as an opportunity to have a fun learning time with the children & to help them have an appreciation for Church History & to learn of those who've gone before us in the faith.

So the morning of St Patrick's Day found me ironing green outfits for all the family.This was fun for us adults too, as my hubby has Irish blood in his family. I only have one Irish Colleen in my family tree I'm aware of- but it's better than nothing!-I'm mainly from English & German stock).

I started by explaining to the girls that St Patrick was the man who brought Christianity to Ireland & they watched the Veggetales flannelgraph animation of the story. We then sat down with a Church history book with illustrations from which I read the brief story of St Patrick & also of St Columba-the Irishman God sent to bring Christianity to Scotland.We studied a map of the British Isles finding where they came from & went to. We then relaxed and listened to some Irish/Celtic style praise & worship music, followed by some Celtic guitar.

That was just about the extent of it for this year. We stayed home not really being into the green beer bit & all that goes with it. One year it might be nice to take the children to see some Irish folk dancing.

Do any other Mums out there have any ideas to share from what they do with their children to celebrate some of the other Christian holidays on the calender, or St Patricks Day? I'd love to hear your ideas.

I also found out recently that Oct 31 is Reformation Day- the anniversary of when Martin Luther nailed his complaints against Roman Catholicism to the church door. This could be a fun learning day with German food & finding out more about Martin Luther at their age level-any ideas?

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posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 2:49 pm 0 comments

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Bibles and Cell phones

What would life be like if we treated our Bible like we treat our cell phone?

What if we carried it around in our pocket or purse?

What if we turned around & went back home to get it if we forgot it?

What if we flipped through it several times a day?

What if we checked it regularly to receive messages from the text?

What if we treated it like we couldn't live without it?

What if we gave it to our kids as gifts?

What if we used it when we travel?

What if we used it in case of an emergency?

Where is my cell phone? Hmmmmmmmmm... where is my Bible?

Which one is easier for me to find?

Oh, and one more thing. Unlike our cell phone, we don't ever have to worry about our Bible being disconnected.

Jesus Christ has already paid the bill. (Author Unknown)

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posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 9:30 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

An Old Quaker Recipe for those with High Cholesterol

I was shocked to find out in November last year, that I have very high cholesterol. I've never been a lover of greasy foods & I don't live at Mcdonalds, so I was astounded. I spoke to my Mum about it as she was also recently diagnosed with it & Yes, it does run in families. Some of my Aunties on both sides of the family have it too.

As we may not have completed our family yet, I've chosen not to go on medication yet, but to try to lower it by dietry changes. The hardest things for me to cut back on are eggs, cheese & chocolate. As I love my fruit & veges & we only fry in Olive Oil anyway, the rest of my diet isn't too bad. Here is a basic muffin recipe, my Mum uses. It is from the book, "The 8 week Cholesterol Cure by Robert E Kowalski...

2 1/4 cups oat bran cereal
1/4 cups sultanas
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 cup Golden syrup, Honey, or Molasses
1 1/4 cups skim milk
2 egg whites
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Pre-heat oven to 220 C. In a large bowl combine the oat-bran cereal, nuts, raisins & baking powder. Stir in the brown sugar or liquid sweetening. Mix the milk, egg whites & oil together, & blend in with the oat bran mixture. Line muffin tins with paper baking cups & fill with batter. Bake 15-17 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick; it should come out moist but not wet. Makes 12 muffins.

I store my muffins in the freezer & usually microwave them before eating. Enjoy...

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posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 9:28 am 0 comments

Monday, March 12, 2007

Out of the Mouths of Babes...

I was up early as usual Sunday morning, preparing for the day- packing the frozen lunches I'd made the night before, packing Bibles, play clothes and pyjamas for the girls- as after Church, we spend the balance of the day with Grandmother & Poppy.

I was in the girls' room getting clean pyjamas ready when 3 year old Zara suddenly woke up, saw me & said, "What day is it today, Mama?"

I replied, "It's Sunday-The Lord's Day-Can you remember what we do on the Lord's Day?

Still lying down, Zara smiled & said,"Put Jesus First."

I kissed & hugged her, so thankful to God that at the tender age of 3, she could speak such simple truth & is endeavouring to learn about serving God. Out of the mouth of babes...

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posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 9:28 pm 1 comments

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

A Modern Hymn

When I first heard this at our church, I thought it was an old hymn that I'd never heard before. I later found out that it was written by Stuart Townsend in around 1995- it sure had me fooled!! The lyrics are very moving. I thought you might enjoy them & be blessed...

How Deep the Father's Love

How deep the Father's love for us, How vast beyond all measure,

That He should give His only Son, To make a wretch His treasure.

How great the pain of searing loss, The Father turns His face away

As wounds which mar the Chosen One, Bring many sons to glory.

Behold the Man upon the cross, My sins upon His shoulder

Ashamed I hear my mocking voice, Call out amongst the mockers

It was my sin that held Him there, Until it was accomplished

His dying breath has bought me life, I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything, No gifts, no power, no wisdom

But I will boast in Jesus Christ, His death & resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward, I cannot give an answer,

But this I know with all my heart, His wounds have paid my ransom.
posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 9:32 pm 1 comments