The Easter Countdown Begins Feb 10!

Easter is the most important event in our world history and yet even within our Christian culture, we often forget to focus on it and it sneaks up on us. Did you know that Easter is a season of 40 days, not one week or even one day? Join several Ross Road families in being intentional in counting down to Easter. (It’s called “Lent” by some traditions. Lent refers to a lengthening of days as the days get longer with Spring time!)

Here are all the ideas we’ve shared with our families in the past…

Family Easter Countdown Ideas List

Choose one that suits your family’s ages and stages and have fun focusing your kids together on God’s incredible love for us in His sacrifice!

The countdown begins on Feb 10th!

Click here for a full list of Family Easter Countdown Ideas

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Posted in be an affective parent, Easter, Faith At Home Parenting, Family Devotions

Countdown to Easter – Lent Devotional for Parents

February 10 is the beginning of the 2016 season of Lent, a time of preparation as we anticipate remembering the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

For this Lent season, you may want to enjoy Lent readings wonderfully prepared by the Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary. This online devotional is a great supplement to your Bible reading times and as you prepare to walk your children through their understanding of Easter. You can simply download the devotional through the link below which will take you to the seminary website. May God use this season to fill your heart with gratitude and awe because of the finished work of Jesus Christ.

Click here to get a free copy of the Lent Devotional | MB Biblical Seminary

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Posted in be an affective parent, Faith At Home Parenting

How to give a Blessing to Your Child – 5 Biblical Steps

How to Give a Blessing to Your Child

Drs. John Trent and Gary Smalley outlined five biblical steps for giving a blessing to children in their book The Blessing: Meaningful Touch, A Spoken Message, Attaching High Value, Picturing a Special Future, and An Active Commitment. Michelle Anthony has expanded on these steps below…

Read…: How to give a Blessing to Your Child – 5 Biblical Steps

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Posted in be an affective parent, Encourage Your Child, Faith At Home Parenting, Prayer

Teaching kids to be Peacemakers

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The other day I visited a young mom and found this verse posted on her board. She is taking her children through the following book. I thumbed through it and was deeply impressed. If your children and dealing with sibling rivalry or conflict at school or in the neighbourhood, you’ll want to learn more. To learn more, follow the link below…

Snag a copy from Amazon…
The Young Peacemaker: Teaching Students to Respond to Conflict in God’s Way

Or…

(Right click here to download a sample…)

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Posted in be an affective parent, Child Behaviour, Encourage Your Child, Faith At Home Parenting

The collapse of parenting: Why it’s time for parents to grow up

Image source: Macleans.ca

If anyone can be called the boss in a world of modern, anti-hierarchical parenting, it’s the children.

“Parenting is awfully frustrating and often a lonely place,” says Dr Gordon Neufeld, especially when a child misbehaves. In those moments, he recommends parents reassure kids that their relationship isn’t broken.

Read this full and incredibly important and helpful article here…: The collapse of parenting: Why it’s time for parents to grow up

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Posted in be an affective parent, Child Behaviour, Parenting, Parenting Strong Willed Children

Happy Epiphany (Jan 6)!

 

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Image Source: thegodguy.files.wordpress

You and I can do Christmas and completely miss the wonder and epiphany of it all!

Today is the Day of Epiphany (January 6).

What’s an epiphany?

• a moment of sudden revelation or insight. (Light bulb moment!)

• a appearance of a divine or supernatural being.

We just celebrated Christmas, now it’s a New Year… and Jan 6th marks an event that happened thousands of years ago where philosophers travelled a long journey following a star that would lead them to Divine truth. To the One who bears the name, which I have been pondering this season, Immanuel. To understand the meaning of the name in itself is an Epiphany…

It means, “God With Us”!

 

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Image source: getupwithgod.com

Background: The Day of Epiphany remembers the three wise men’s visit to baby Jesus and his baptism.

Epiphany is also one of the oldest Christian feasts. It was celebrated since the end of the second century, before the Christmas holiday was established.

It commemorates the first two occasions on which Jesus’ divinity was manifested: when the three kings visited infant Jesus in Bethlehem, and when John the Baptist baptized him in the River Jordan. The Roman Catholic and Protestant churches emphasize the visit of the Magi when they celebrate the Epiphany. The Eastern Orthodox churches focus on Jesus’ baptism.

The point is… God is with us. :)

Recap of the story…

In 700 BC the Prophet Isaiah wrote… Isaiah 7:14

Immanuel means “God with us!” You may have heard this story before…

Read the passages on Biblegateway.com and ask yourself, “How is God with us today?” “What does it mean if God is with me right now?” And…“How does that make a difference in my personal life?”

Luke 2:1-20 – The first Christmas

Matthew 1:22-23

John 1:1,14 – God, the Word became flesh

But, how is God with us today?…

John 14:6, 16-19 – The Holy Spirit – He is that part of God that is with us here and now if we have welcomed Jesus to indeed be our Lord and Saviour. We all have been given this gift, but some of us have left the gift under the Christmas tree and have not yet opened it. Or we have opened it, but we go on living as if we have never opened the greatest gift…

1 John 4:9-11, 19;5:4,12 -The Cross, truly the first Christmas tree. The Light of the world shone on it.

God is with us. He came as a baby boy – to hold him, cherish him, delight in him, he came humbly for you to know relationship with God.

Have you held a baby recently?

I love that God comes as a baby – a baby needs to be held with arms wide open, to be loved with a heart wide open. That is our invitation. God invites us to open our arms and our hearts to receive Him – to be God with us.

I also love that God chose to come into a messy stable with stinky animals and animal dung. You and I, will have yucky stuff happen to us in this life, but He came to be with us in it. He does not refuse to come to us in our yuck. He is there with us and He cleans it up for us.

There is nothing we can do to make our way to God, so at Christmas, God made His way to us. New life will not be found in anything we might do. New life is found only in what Jesus has done for you. Christmas is good news – God is with YOU.

This is a New Year. Are you open to inviting the Creator of the Universe who gave His son for your freedom, to be with you in every situation this upcoming year? The question isn’t: is God with you? But are you with Him??

The lie from the beginning is that YOU are God, or things are God, or other people are God. (Gen 3:15)

But, Immanuel, God with us (the Bread of Life, who comes to us to feed us) comes to deliver us from this lie. He defeated death to rescue us and restore us. He answers the cry of our hearts – “O Come, O Come Immanuel…” which is literally… “O Come, O Come… God, Be with us!” One of the oldest Christmas Carols that is sung today was translated in the 1800’s, but written earlier!

Immanuel, God with us, came humbly as a baby but sits powerfully on His throne and offers you and I life and freedom, and His continual presence!

Imagine if you were invited to (…dance, sing, act, create…) for royalty! Well, you have been! Every thing you do, you have been invited to do for someone greater! For our Creator, the King of kings, for Jesus, our Saviour, for Immanuel, God with us!

Where do you need God right now? Where do you need to invite Him to do His mighty work? Do you have fear, shame, guilt, loneliness, grief…or even happiness, yet it is so temporary?

In this moment, let your heart be filled with God who has come and is coming again! May you not worship yourself, or others, or things, but worship Him alone, and you’ll notice how this shrinks your worries and your fears! The joy of the Lord is your strength.

A Blessing over you and your family…

The Lord is your Shepherd. He gives you everything you need.

He leads you to rest in fields of green grass.

He leads you to streams of peaceful water to refresh your life.

He is true to His name, Jesus (Saviour), Immanuel (God with us)

He leads you along the right paths.

You may walk through valleys as dark as death, but you don’t need to be afraid.

God is with you. His shepherd’s rod makes you feel safe.

He treats you to a feast, while your enemies watch.

He honours you as His guest, and He fills His cup until it overflows.

His kindness and love will always be with you each day of your life,

and You may live forever in God’s house, in His presence. (Psalm 23)

I’d like to play for you…

One of the oldest Christmas Carols that is sung today, written in the 1800’s: O Come, O Come Immanuel… (God with us).

And as it is played from the link below, let His presence and love overwhelm you. Open your heart to Him…

It is written in old language, so let me share with you what it is literally saying in a prayer I once prayed over my church family a few years ago…

Lord of Might, you gave us your perfect law from Mt Sinai to protect us from self-harm. You raised the bar high for us because of your great love, and then you came as our rescuer from the family tree of Jesse, defeating the enemy, bringing victory over the grave.

Jesus, you are our Dayspring, our dawn, our sunrise. Jesus you send away the clouds of the night and send away the dark shadows of death to retreat. Jesus, you make a way wide open to heaven safely and you shut the road to misery.

O Lord Jesus, God with us, you came to rescue your people out of slavery, out of lonely bondage. And you are here with us now. You have appeared. Allow us to see you in our life today, to see your nudgings, your promptings – through people, events and your Word. Prevent us from overlooking your Godly authority in all things and help us to know deeply that we are rescued and not alone. We receive your love through the Christmas miracle. We receive your love this day. Open our hearts to worship you, Lord Jesus, for you came for each of here today. Amen.

(Take a listen…)

Closing Prayer:

Surprise us Lord, with your presence here today. Pour your Spirit on each reader to come to understand their incredible value – that you love each one and enjoy each one – so much that you broke into history 2015 years ago to be the Saviour of the world. You moved into our broken neighbourhood that first Christmas and you paid the price that first Easter, so that we can be rescued. You smile when we live for you! You delight in us! When we dance or sing or play or work, may we do it with passion for you! And with that passion, we can show your light and your rescuing love to the world around us. Thank you for your passion for us, God with us, so that we can (…dance, sing, act, create…) and live in passion for far greater things than what we see around us. We dance and live for you King of Kings. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Songs to further bless you as you reflect that God is with you…

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Posted in Celebrate Christmas, Family Worship, Kids' Pastor Thoughts

The Gift of Clean Water (March 6)

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Welcome to 2016! For the remainder of the year, we are excited to join together in making an impact on another community across the world through MCC.

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MCC water projects improve people’s health and expand what they can grow in their fields. Clean water means fewer illnesses. Having a nearby water source saves families from spending hours each day hauling in water for drinking, washing and cooking.

Our goal is to collectively raise $110
to install a hand pump for a well before March 6th.

Ross Road Kids are encouraged to raise this money through acts of kindness or helping such as: doing chores around the house, taking bottles in to the recycling depot, etc.

We are excited to partner with you and your children and to reach our goal of providing accessible, clean drinking water to our brothers and sisters around the world!

Blessings,

Your Kids Zone Ministry Team

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Posted in Family Service Projects, Jr Kids Church (Gr 1-5), Kids Church

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