Family-Friendly Advent Readings

nativity-siloutte080Enjoying Christmas with little ones in the house can be joyful, memorable and Christ-centered when celebrating Advent together.  We started the practice of Advent with our little ones this year and have even shared it with guests who join us for dinner.

We love the resources at Thriving Family from Focus on the Family – http://www.thrivingfamily.com/~/media/Thriving/1-articles/PDFs/advent_2014_parents_guide.pdf. You can download readings and activities at their website.

Christmas starts at home. Spend meaningful time together, even if its 5-10 minutes talking about the Christmas story and reading the story in Luke 1 & 2 together.

Today’s reading:

And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:9-12)

Candy Cane Cards from E4E

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 “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”  Luke 2:11-12

Entertaining for Eternity has designed a simple Candy Cane card to hand out to friends and neighbors throughout the Christmas season. Print off E4E’s Candy Cane cards (Click here to download the PDF) Candy Cane Cards. photo 1-2Tuck them into your purse, keep them in your car so you’re ready to hand them out to folks around town. A simple way to spread love and TRUTH this Christmas. Print yours today and be ready tomorrow. I just gave them to all the nice guys at the Apple store who helped me with my computer questions this year. They were thrilled to get one! Click here to get the pdf Candy Cane Cards.

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Share Christmas Cookies

Christmas is a fresh tin of cookies delivered to your door. Christmas is the smell of fresh pine, gifts under the tree, Santa, family,  and most of all JESUS!

1Entertaining for Eternity has designed a beautiful card perfect to add to any gift or tin of cookies with the TRUE message of Christmas. Think about WHO God is placing on your heart to bless this Christmas. Your neighbor, the postman, the cashier at the grocery, whoever it is. Who does your life touch? This is a simple, EASY way to spread the gospel message at Christmas.  Click this link to download the pdf.  Christmas Cookies.  Print off as many copies as you need of this beautifully designed  card.

“An angel brought the glorious news to the shepherds that a Savior had been born. Wise men followed a bright star to the manger where Jesus lay. They brought precious gifts much like the gifts we have under the tree. The best gift of all that day was Jesus. God sent his only Son that whoever accepts Him into their heart will have life everlasting and go to heaven. Let the bells ring out this holiday season as we celebrate Jesus’ birthday and God’s greatest gift to us.”

 

E4E Blessings Mix

The E4E Blessings Mix is a goodie bag for guests to take home with them. It’s a treat with a meaning!

DSC_0159Bugles: Cornucopia, a symbol of our nation’s abundance

Pretzels: Arms folded in prayer

Indian Candy Corn: This represents the sacrifices of the pilgrims first winter.

Nuts & Seeds: Promise of a future harvest.

Dried Fruits: Harvest gifts from our bountiful land.

M&M’s: Memories of those who came before us to lead us into a blessed future.

Hershey’s Kisses: The love of family and friends that sweetens our life.

Wrap these treats up in a clear treat bag and attach a note with your favorite Thanksgiving verse!

 

Generous Guest List

Thanksgiving week is upon us!

“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” I Thessalonians 5:16-18

There was a woman who went to our church. She was elderly, didn’t always smell good, wore lots of red lipstick and sometimes funny clothes. She came to our house for Thanksgiving one year along with another man from our church. Both needing a home to spend Thanksgiving in, my parents opened our home to them. I was probably 13 or 14 at the time.  Later, the lady thanked my mother for inviting her and then added that she thought the man was probably too young for her to date! We all laughed so hard since that was not the intention at all. Many people came for meals at our home from all walks of life single, elderly, needing a family to love on them, whatever the need. And it made an impression on me.

Now I have my own home and I may not be able to invite someone in for every holiday but I hope to get more in the habit of thinking that way.  Yes, to show hospitality and teach my children but also because it’s how Jesus wants me to love those around me. Jesus is a generous host and generous with His invitation list. After all, He invites ALL of us to join Him around His table if we are willing to surrender our lives to Him.

Let’s encourage each other to be generous with the menu AND the guest list. So if God keeps laying a person on your heart to invite over for Thanksgiving this week, DO IT! And please, tell us about how it goes, we love to hear your stories.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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The Neighborhood Cafe

Do you want to reach out to your neighbors but aren’t sure how to start without making it weird? We love Amy Lively’s ministry, Neighborhood Cafe…http://www.theneighborhoodcafe.net/start-a-cafe/

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It’s all you’ll need to love your neighbor well! Neighborhood Cafe is a neighborhood gathering with a Christ-centered focus in a box! On their website you’ll find the Cafe Kit which includes Planning Guide, Facebook Private group, invitations, conversation starters, Thinking of You cards and more! The conversation starters in the Machiatto Magazine include scriptures, community service projects and discussion questions. Neighborhood Cafe takes the stress out of planning an event and puts the focus on the purpose, sharing Christ’s love with our neighbors! Visit Neighborhood Cafe today to learn all about and plan your event. Just in time for the holidays! http://www.theneighborhoodcafe.net/start-a-cafe/

Death Has Lost Its Sting

Skeletons hanging in trees, gravestones in the yard, grim reaper blow-ups larger than my house. Oh my! What is it with death that has everybody so intrigued?  And it seems like it’s not just around Halloween. Books, television shows, movies are thriving on this subject of death. Perhaps feeding off our deepest fears. A fascination has taken hold. But Jesus holds the key to defeating death…He offers us eternal life.

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Did you know death is in the top 10 of all human fears. Experts tell us human fear of death is tightly tied to our fear of the unknown…what will happen to me after I die?

Here’s a piece of truth to tuck in your trick or treat bag….The Bible tells us that Jesus came to earth to give us LIFE, eternal life, and John 3:16 says, “Whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. “ He is the ultimate cure for our fear and fascination with death. Jesus came to earth and died on the cross for our sins and DEFEATED DEATH! He offers abundant LIFE here on earth and an eternal life in heaven with him! That’s why they call it the good news!

On a side note, the day before my husband Sam died, our pastor came to visit him and asked Sam if he was afraid of dying. He quickly responded with “No and that he was sure of heaven. The next day when the hospice nurse came out of the room where his body lay he remarked that there was an incredible peace in that room.” Praise the Lord that we can have life everlasting through Jesus. Now go share that truth with your neighbors when you trick or treat Friday night.

Heavenly Hospitality

What does Heavenly Hospitality look like? 

Helping a stranger at a fast food restaurant simply by getting them straws and napkins. This is a real story that just happened THIS WEEK! A woman brought straws and napkins to a stranger while in line at Wendy’s which led to a conversation and an invitation to church! Now that’s heavenly hospitality.

Handing out the Pumpkin Prayer card to the mailman, the nurse at the doctor’s office, even the cashier at the grocery store. Singer Toby Mac calls it “Speak Life” moments. Every encounter we have with other people is an opportunity to speak life or to bring them down.

Heavenly Hospitality doesn’t always have to be in our home. We carry the Light of the World, Jesus, in our hearts everywhere we go. And we are called to be a light in the darkness. This world gets crazier by the day and people are desperate to hear about hope, life, and that’s there’s MORE! So share some hope this week, share love, let it go! See what God does with the seeds you plant. Click here to download the Pumpkin Prayer — PumpkinPrayer2014

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Pumpkin Fun!

Let’s all have a “Pumpkin Painting Party” and invite the neighborhood kids!  Cover a table with newspaper or disposable table cloth and use washable paint, stickers, glitter, etc.. for the kids to decorate their pumpkins as much as they want! Make it fun!

We have a great party favor for you to use. Wrap up a bag of candy corn, Chex mix, or whatever your favorite treat. And attach a copy of the Pumpkin Prayer from us at Entertaining for Eternity. Here’s a link to the pdf…  PumpkinPrayer2014

Feel free to print as many copies as you’d like and share with friends! This is our gift to you, pass it on!

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