Use Valentine’s Day To Teach God’s Love

Use Valentine’s Day To Teach God’s Love

A day late but GREAT encouragement for sure!!! I wanted to just share!!! 🙂
Hugs and prayers….k 🙂

Valentine’s Day is a great time to teach your children Bible lessons on all the ways God loves us and how we are to return that love both to Him and to others. Consider some of these great verses and hands-on activities that you can use to teach your children some awesome Biblical truths that will change their lives and the lives of others that come into contact with them.

1. The proof that we love God comes when we keep His commandments and they are not at all troublesome. 1 John 5:3 (Message)

Have your children make a list of all the commandments that they think are easy to follow. (You can have your younger children say these out loud and then write their list for them.) When they are done, have everyone share their lists and discuss them as a family. To end the discussion, have everyone give one or two commandments they think are difficult to obey and have everyone in the family pray for each other that the commandments each person finds hard to follow will become easier.

2. The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both. 1 John 4:21 (Message)

Give each child a wire hanger, five pieces of yarn, a pen, and five hearts cut out of paper. On each heart, have them write somebody’s name that they love. Let them attach the hearts to the string and then tie the string on the hanger to make a mobile. Talk with them about why they love each person listed on their mobiles. When everyone is done, have each person say one person that they think is hard to love. (Try to keep this from turning negative and gossipy. Do not let them dwell on why they do not like other people.) Let the children take turns praying for the people that are hard to love and that God would allow them to start seeing that person the way God does.

3. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8

This is a great verse to use if your children have been going through a stage in life where they are arguing quite frequently. Tell the children that as a family, there are times when we will all do things that bother each other, but the Bible tells us that the love we have for others should help us love someone even when they do things that we do not like. Let the children talk through the things that are bothering them and then apologize to each other for the way they have been treating their family members.  This is a great way to model the way we as grown adults should act when the people we associate with are bothering us.

4. The Love Chapter – 1 Corinthians 13

Divide the verses in this chapter up amongst the children in your family and then let them write a short story about the ways they can demonstrate their assigned verses. For example, if a child gets 1 Corinthians 13: 4, “Love is patient. Love is kind,” his story could possibly be about letting his younger sister play with a toy that is his favorite. Read all the finished stories together and learn from each other. If your children are not old enough to write, take several days to cover one verse at a time and let them illustrate the verse instead of writing about it. This is also a great way for us to learn from our children as we listen for all the sweet ways they can think of to love others.

5. A friend loves at all times. Proverbs 17:17

Talk about one way to show love is to reach out to others when they are hurting. Find a family in your neighborhood, co-op, or church that is going through a rough time. As a family, do something for them like mow their lawn, clean their house, or cook them a meal. This will allow both families to experience the love of God in a unique way: one through giving it and one through receiving it!

These are just a few ideas to get you going. There are enough love verses in the Bible that you could fill everyday in February with a verse and a related activity! Your life will definitely never be the same.

Andrea Chevalier is a worship pastor’s wife and mother of two beautiful daughters. A former public school teacher, she’s now focusing her gifts on educating her children and helping others to do the same. She is also a freelance author and website manager for www.educationappreciation.com.

Article Credie: Biblestudytools.com

Thursday Hymnal Journaling On JosephinesDesigns.com on YouTube

Thursday Hymnal Journaling On JosephinesDesigns.com on YouTube

Welcome Sweet Friends!!

We have begun our Hymnal Journaling each Thursday on JosephinesDesigns.com on YouTube!! We began with an introduction to each week’s plan and all items needed…and those possibly needed. 🙂

We have been blessed to have a drawing for subscribers! We are giving away a copy of the devotional being used!!! YAY!!!! The video shares how to become eligible for the drawing!! 🙂

So grab a hymnal, some basic supplies and the devotional….and join us!!! We would LOVE to have you!! We will have a new upload each Thursday on JosephinesDesigns.com YouTube.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNF08CE8fU6EsXPvN3mzVpw/videos?view_as=subscriber

Hugs and prayers,

k 🙂

THURSDAY HYMN JOURNALING – SURPRISE!! PT. 1

 

THURSDAY HYMN JOURNALING – SURPRISE!! PT. 2

Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day

DaySpring Cards

Every year since 1621, Americans have planned and gathered together for one day for a single purpose: to give thanks. It’s a day to ponder, remember, celebrate, break bread, and share stories of God’s abundance, both big and small. Whether for His blessing of provision, victory in battle, or the very gift of life, giving thanks has been an annual tradition since the founding of this country. Likewise, since the founding of your salvation – the day you came to accept Jesus as Savior – every day is cause to lift up your hands in praise and speak gratitude from your heart. You can shout out loud or whisper softly, just remember to let the words Thank You be said.

David’s song of thanksgiving: The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my mountain where I seek refuge. My shield, the horn of my salvation, my stronghold, my refuge, and my Savior, You save me from violence. (II Samuel 22:2-3 CSB)

O Lord, I will praise You with all my heart and tell everyone about the marvelous things You do. (Psalm 9:1 TLB)

Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His faithful love endures forever. (Psalm 107:1 CSB)

Then say, “Save us, O God of our salvation; Gather us together and rescue us from the nations, that we may give thanks to Your holy name, and glory in Your praise.” (I Chronicles 16:35 AMP)

You turned my lament into dancing; You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, so that I can sing to You and not be silent. LORD my God, I will praise You forever. (Psalm 30:11-12 CSB)

Father, THANK YOU. Thank You for Your perfect provision and love .For armor to fight the enemy, and for Your Word to stand in truth. Most of all, for Your kindness and forgiveness of my sins. Thank You. Amen.

This is an excerpt from 100 Days of Grace & Gratitude by Shanna Noel and Lisa Stilwell.

Changing Our Posture by Practicing Gratitude

Changing Our Posture by Practicing Gratitude

DaySpring Cards

My kids are fifteen months apart. All they’ve known is being with each other, occupying the same space, having a constant companion. My daughter’s like my husband — logical, introverted, often craving space to herself so she can read or play unbothered. My son, on the other hand, is like me — affectionate, empathetic, always craving company and someone to play with. When they’re apart, they miss each other, wondering what the other is up to, what things they might be missing out on that the other is doing. They play well and fight well; it’s a “can’t live with or without each other” situation.

After separate playdates yesterday, I picked them up, and less than five minutes into the car ride home, they start arguing, their tones twisting into whines and their voices rising in volume and sass. I have no patience for this; they’ve been whining since they woke up that morning. So I yell,

“YOU’RE ALREADY FIGHTING?! YOU’VE ONLY BEEN TOGETHER FOR FIVE MINUTES! I’VE HAD ENOUGH TODAY! NO ONE CAN TALK UNTIL WE GET HOME!”

They scrunch their faces at me in frustration, but I don’t relent. We all need a timeout to take a breather, to let our emotions simmer down. Their last whines fade out, and as we drive the rest of the way home in silence, my anger subsides. I recognize my overreaction, and I remember the conversation my husband and I had about how it seems that every podcast or sermon or health tip we listen to these days talks about practicing gratitude.

Am I grateful or do I whine just like the kids do? Am I grateful for them? If they’re gifts from God, how do I practice gratitude when I’ve lost my patience and am beyond annoyed, when I’ve just yelled at them, when they don’t behave as I wish they would?

I check my heart and see the rigidity of my posture. When provoked, I often stand on a soapbox of my own righteousness and lord it over my kids, my finger wagging, my tone condescending. I feel entitled to them conforming to my ways, for them to obey me the first time every single time, for them to play well with each other and be happy and grateful.

Though I do want them to learn to listen, to respect me and each other, my expectations for their behavior is unrealistic. I’m asking for robots instead of children who need grace and reminders. And am I not also a child who needs the same things from the Father?

I’m not that much different than my kids: I also need to try again, to use my words nicely, to say sorry and ask for forgiveness. So I get off my soapbox and relax my stance. I look into the rearview mirror and see their faces, obediently quiet. I can tell they’re ready to be silly again, and I’m grateful their spirits haven’t been broken.Our postures determine our attitudes, and I’m understanding more why so many people across the spectrum are talking about practicing gratitude.

Gratitude changes our posture, and practicing gratitude means we must slow down our minds and our hearts to remember, recount, and recognize what we have to be grateful for. It helps us to make mental and emotional shifts throughout the day when it’s not going well, and it grounds us and gives us a better perspective.

Today has been much like yesterday, with the same arguments and whining, but my posture is softer, my heart more open. I’m running through the things I’m grateful for, and this is what I know:

I’m thankful for my kids, whom I get to raise and love and who make me proud and make me laugh. I’m thankful for second chances throughout the day, so we don’t have to be stuck in bad attitudes and crabby moods. I’m thankful for my husband, who has started asking us what we’re grateful for at the end of each day, a way to recalibrate and center us back to what’s most important. I’m thankful for the quiet hours of the night when I get to work, for the work I get to do, and for the rest I get to relish at the end of the day.

I’m thankful for the depth yet simplicity of living out our faith and for Jesus who walked the way ahead of us. I’m thankful that we are being constantly broken and reshaped into the mold of Christ. All is grace in Him, and all thanks be to Him.

How to Leave a Family Legacy of Gratitude

How to Leave a Family Legacy of Gratitude

DaySpring Cards

There’s just something special about celebrating the holidays as a child. Everything is new and exciting, the cousins are all in one place, playing and making memories, and you look forward to every special tradition and new activity. But as we grow up, schedules get busy, we forget about our traditions and maybe miss a year or two. The “kids” get engaged and married and then have their own families that they have to consider when planning Thanksgiving dinner, and you realize that the holidays don’t stay exactly the same forever. I didn’t realize until I was much older how profoundly the holiday traditions that my parents and grandparents intentionally created for us would affect me as an adult and affect how I will approach the holidays someday when I have a family of my own.

Thanksgiving in my family has always been centered on gratitude for our abundant blessings. That legacy of gratitude has been built over time by the practice of praying together, thanking God for our blessings, and my very favorite family tradition – the Thanksgiving Journal. This tradition, more than any other that I can remember, has instilled a true spirit of gratitude in my family and the intention of documenting that gratitude so that we can leave that legacy for generations to come. Like any tradition, you can start this in your family today, and all you need is a notebook or journal. It’s that simple!

In 1991, my grandpa (we call him Pop) picked up an emtpy journal and asked everyone at Thanksgiving to write what they were thankful for. I can imagine it may have been a little awkward and out of their comfort zones to be so honest in a book that everyone could read, but they did it for him. It was the year my parents had gotten married, so there was much for them to be thankful for! Every year, he continued the tradition. He would write an introduction at the beginning with a prayer and some Scriptures that were on his heart, a little recap of what happened over the last year, and what he was thankful for before handing it off to someone else to share. In 1992, my mom wrote, “I am thankful for a sentimental dad who cares about making new traditions.” Year after year, the blessings and heartaches and abundant thankfulness for how the Lord provided for my family was written onto the pages of this unsuspecting little book.

In the almost thirty years that we have honored this tradition, our little notebook has documented hundreds and hundreds of blessings from God, the marriage of my parents, the passing of both of my great-grandparents, the birth of four grandchildren (myself included), big moves, new jobs, pets, kids growing up, graduations, engagements, and more marriages. And to think what thirty more years will bring.

There are years we’ve forgotten the special tradition, but we always pick right back up where we left off. We actually have two different notebooks because the original got misplaced and we had to start a new journal to keep the tradition alive. But the physical journal itself is not where the tradition lies, although it is a nice time-capsule of sorts to hold on to. The legacy isn’t because of the cover design or the size of the margins. It doesn’t disappear just because the pages are yellowing or beginning to fall out. If we lose the journals and never find them again, all those years of thankfulness will be just as real and special and important. But this practice of gratitude far exceeds the bounds of Thanksgiving.

The legacy of gratitude was instilled in our family because of my grandparents and parents living out their faith and expressing their gratitude day in and day out. Thirty years from now, I hope to be honoring this tradition with my own children and grandchildren, and I hope in thirty years, they share this same love and thankfulness as I do now.

Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south. Some wandered in desert wastes, finding no way to a city to dwell in; hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them. Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He led them by a straight way till they reached a city to dwell in. Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! (Psalm 107:1-8, noted in the first entry of the Perkins Family Thanksgiving Journal)

5 Easy Ways to Encourage a Friend

5 Easy Ways to Encourage a Friend

Hi Sweet Friends,

As a cardmaker…I LOVE this article and I love encouraging others.

I pray each of you are encouraged!!

Hugs and prayers….k 🙂

Mar 24, 2019 by Jordan W.

In a word of quick text messages and the instant gratification of technology, let’s be a light of inspiration and encouragement to those around us. I love holding onto cards and notes from sweet friends as a tangible reminder of the love and encouragement the people in my life bring me, and it’s also a great reminder to do that same thing for others in my life! Below are five different formats that make it simple and easy to send love and encouragement to your people!

1. Encouragement Postcards

postcard is one of the easiest ways to quickly send a note of encouragement to a friend or loved one from a distance. These cards already have an encouraging message and beautiful design on the front, so all you have to do is jot down a quick note on the back, put a stamp on it, and send it out! The convenience doesn’t take away from the sentiment – you’re making that relationship a priority just by putting a simple card in the mail.

2. Scripture Shareables

These compact cards are full of encouraging words straight from the Word of God, and they make it so easy to share God’s Word anytime, anywhere. They’re small enough to carry around in your purse or wallet so you have them whenever you need them. Put one on a coworker’s desk when you know they need some encouragement, leave one with your tip at your favorite coffee shop, or give one to a friend who shared their heart with you and just needs a little extra from God’s Word today. These little cards are small but powerful.

3. Prayers to Share

Similar to the Scripture Shareables, Prayers to Share are an easy format to hand out at a moment’s notice whenever you feel led. Each sheet has a scripture, a prayer, and an inspirational quote on it, so they can be universally inspirational, or more specific to a person’s situation. I keep a stack of them on my desk so I can write a note on the back and share with coworkers whenever I feel led. You can also tuck them inside a greeting card or even leave them on someone’s windshield for a little extra happy in their day.

4. Sticky Prayers

Sticky prayers are a fun way to encourage those around you. They’re small, customizable sticky notes, so they make it easy to share a prayer or encouraging message anytime. The blank space allows you to write your own message or prayer, and then you can literally stick them anywhere – the possibilities are endless!

5. Greeting Cards

Greeting cards are probably my favorite way to encourage friends. I just choose a card that’s made for the appropriate occasion, whether it be Thank YouHappy BirthdayThinking of You, etc., and then choose a style with a beautiful design and message. I usually add in my own little note on the inside, and then I send it out! It’s simple, thoughtful, and takes no time at all, but the sentiment goes far with my loved ones.

I know how much I love to receive an encouraging note every now and then, so I’ve tried to make a conscious effort to be more intentional in that department. Stock up on your favorite cards or Prayers to Share so that you always have something encouraging on hand to share when the opportunity presents itself!

 

Article Credit: Dayspring.com

Weekly Verses…

Weekly Verses…

Monday
Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
At many Christian funerals, the preacher emphasizes how Jesus has left to make a place ready for us to join him in heaven. Then he is going to come back for us. But just a few verses later, Jesus adds this promise. He’s telling us that until we can come be with him at his place, he will come live with us here in our hearts. It all hinges on one thing, our willingness to obey him. Not a bad deal, is it. So let’s not let obedience be a forgotten word in our lifestyle!
MY PRAYER…
Holy God, I know Jesus came to earth and obeyed your will. Give me discernment that my obedience will not simply be the obedience of your words, but will also be the obedience of your will. I long to honor you because you have done so much to save me. Thank you. Through Jesus I pray. Amen.
Tuesday
We proclaim him [Jesus], admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we present everyone perfect in Christ.
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
Our goal as Christians is not to obey some law, to adhere to some set of rules, or even be followers of some discipline. Our goal as Christians is to be conformed to the character and ministry of Jesus. This is the Spirit’s work in us (2 Cor. 3:18) and as Paul makes clear here and in other places (Galatians 4:19) that this is his goal in working with others.
MY PRAYER…
Holy Lord, conform my heart, my words, my life, my ministry, and my actions to those of Jesus. I want him to be my Lord, not just in my words but also in my life. Through him I pray. Amen.
Wednesday
Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
We want the Spirit to be at work in us to make us like Jesus. For this to happen, we must open our heart to the will of God. There are no greater words God wants to hear than “teach me to do your will.” That is what it means for him to be God, to have control over our life and our will.
MY PRAYER…
Almighty God, I want you to truly be God in my life. I renounce any attempt on my part to try to manipulate or use your grace and kindness for my benefit. I submit my will to yours. But Holy Father, I confess that I struggle at times with my own selfish and evil desires that lead me astray. Please forgive me when my heart is cold and my ears are deaf to your will. Please, take control of my life today. Through Jesus my Lord, I ask you to assert your will as God in my life. Amen.
Thursday
Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love, and in endurance.
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
Worthy of respect! What a goal for our lives whether we are men or women! Don’t you want your life to reflect the character of God because our faith expresses itself in a life of self-control. This work of the Spirit in our lives happens only as we dedicate ourselves to being what he is at work trying to accomplish in us.
MY PRAYER…
Father, please strengthen me through your Spirit so that I may gain better control of my passions, my speech, my example, and my habits. Help me put to death the things that would rob me of my spiritual passion and my influence for good to those who do not know Jesus. Through whom I pray. Amen.
Friday
[The Lord says,] “Even to your old age and gray hairs, I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
God will not forget us when we’re in trouble or when we are old. We may outlive our friends and be forgotten by those who know us, but God will never leave us or forsake us. He will sustain, carry, protect, and rescue us.
MY PRAYER…
Thank you my Father, for promising to never forget me. Because of your faithfulness to your children of old, I know you will never forsake me. I trust that no matter where I am or where I go, you will go with me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Saturday
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
Children don’t need to be taught, they need to be trained. Life is not about intellectual lessons, but about integrating truth into the fabric of our daily lives. God calls us to move our children and their training up on the list of our priorities.
MY PRAYER…
Great and Holy Counselor, help me as I seek to know the best thing to do with my children to share my love and your truth with them. I want them to know and love you even better than I do. Give me wisdom and courage to make wise decisions and tenderness to implement them in my family’s life. Through Jesus I pray. Amen.
Sunday
The earth is filled with your love, O Lord; teach me your decrees.
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
Sometimes we get so caught up in the wonders of God’s creation and the marvelous blessings of his grace we forget to ask him to teach us his truth.
MY PRAYER…
Holy and Precious Father, teach me your truth, lead me to your will, and guide me in your wisdom that my life may be a reflection of your plan for me when you made me new in my mother’s womb. In Jesus I ask these things. Amen.
Article Credit: Oneplace.com