Friday, July 14, 2017

Morning Moments with God:Day 125

                              Image result for Book of Matthew
Day 125: No More Doubts
Please read the Bible verses for today:
Matthew 28:16-20

The Great Commission

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted." (Matthew 28:16-17)
Some saw Jesus and believed, while others doubted. It is hard for me to believe that anyone could have doubted Jesus being risen from the dead when they saw Him die and then saw Him alive, but it happened and it is a word for us. Jesus can handle our doubts, and our questions. If He could handle the disciples doubts, how much more compassion does He have for us who have never seen Him! In Luke chapter 24:40-43 it says: 40" When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate it in their presence." Jesus allowed them to poke Him, touch Him and watch Him eat so there would be no room for doubt. Jesus wants us to have no doubts. Do not be afraid to talk to Jesus, to pray and lay out all your doubts and fears. He will answer you and bring peace to your mind and heart. 
It also says in Luke 24:45  "45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures." We can try and understand the Scriptures, but without Jesus' or Holy Spirit's help our minds our closed. I often pray, while reading the Scriptures, for my mind to be open to what God would have me understand or how He wants me to use what I am reading for my own life and He is always faithful. 
 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 18-20) 
Pray with me:
Jesus, I have learned so much more of who you are on this long journey of reading the Book of Matthew. I have learned how compassionate and loving you always are, even in the midst of being bullied and hated by man. I have seen how much you love me as I witnessed through the Scriptures how you loved others and how you gave your life for me so I can live. You are the Messiah. You are the Son of God risen from the dead and alive in Heaven. You are my God and I love you always. I pray that you open my mind to the Scriptures that I may learn more of you and learn what you have for me. I pray, Holy Spirit, for your baptism to fall on me and awaken in me a compassion for the lost and a boldness to spread the Good News of Jesus. I love you with all my heart. Make me more like you. In Jesus' Name, Amen. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Morning Moments with God: Day 124

                                Image result for Book of Matthew
Day 124: Do You Believe?
Please read the Bible verses for today:
Matthew 28:11-15

This story is only found in the Book of Matthew.

The Guards’ Report

11 "While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened.12 When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, 13 telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14 If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” (Matthew 28:11-14)
The soldiers went to the very ones who had Jesus crucified. They went to the very ones who denied that Jesus was the Christ. They went to the ones who didn't believe. The soldiers, who didn't believe either and possibly the ones who saw or were a part of crucifying Jesus, told them of the miraculous. These men were not the disciples informing the chief priests that there was an earthquake, an angel and the stone was moved- it was Roman soldiers. But it didn't matter who it was that told them for they did not believe and would not believe that Jesus is in fact the Son of God, the Messiah, up from the grave and alive forever more! The chief priests refused to believe and so they had to conjure up another plan to hide the truth- more money was paid out. More lies spoken. 
My thought is, 'How?' How did they hear the truth and not fall on their faces and repent? How? Soldiers report that in the presence of God that they 'fell like dead men.' These strong, fearless soldiers went limp in the presence of Jesus. Why not give in? Why not give up? They, the chief priests, were clearly wrong and clearly lost. So many people today refuse to see the truth and surrender their lives to Jesus. May that never be said of me. 
 15 "So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day." (Matthew 28:15) What I LOVE about this Scripture verse is how it shows up in the book of Acts: "So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith." (Acts 6:7) How cool is that!!! The chief priests may not have believed, but the soldiers story got out among the priests and a 'large number' of them believed! Hallelujah!!!
Pray with me:
Jesus, I believe you have died for my sins, that you rose again and are alive in Heaven today. 
Dear Lord Jesus,
I know that I am a sinner and need Your forgiveness. I believe that You died on the cross for my sins and rose from the grave to give me life. I know You are the only way to God. So now I want to quit disobeying You and start living for You. Please forgive me, change my life and show me how to know You. In Jesus' name. Amen.
If you would like more information on what it means to give your life to Jesus, please go to CBN.org.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Morning Moments with God: Day 123 (Matthew 28)

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Day 123: Do Not Be Afraid
Please read the Bible verses for today:
Matthew 28: 1-10

Jesus Has Risen

28 "After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb." (Matthew 28:1) 
In reading this account in the three other Gospels it appears that Mary and Mary did not know that Joseph and Nicodemus had anointed Jesus' body.  They had brought spices to embalm Him. 
2 "There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow.The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men." (Matthew 28:2-4) 
Matthew was the only writer who wrote about the Roman soldiers guarding the tomb, and so here we see the effect of the angel of the Lord had on them. 
The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” (Matthew 28:5-7) 
I love that the very first words of the angel are, "Do not be afraid..." In this instance, the angel is saying, 'Do not be afraid, it may all appear scary or fearful, but there is good news. Jesus has risen from the dead. He is not here and that is a good thing! You will see Him soon." So many times my thoughts get ahead of me and I am filled with fear. I imagine the worst situations and become fearful. Then I hear the words, "Do not be afraid." My heart finds peace. I may not know how everything will work out, but I know God does and I can trust Him. 
8 "So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” (Matthew 28:8-10) 
Jesus greets them and puts their hearts at ease. "Do not be afraid... I am here. Do not worry. I have a plan. I am God. Be at peace and trust in me." 
Pray with me:
Jesus, thank you. Thank you for all that you have done for me. Thank you for defeating death. Thank you for having a plan and telling me not to worry. Forgive me for the many times I become anxious and worried and fearful. Help me to trust you. You are my God and I worship you. In Jesus' Name, Amen. 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Morning Moments with God: Day 122

                         Image result for Book of Matthew
Day 122: May It Never Be Said of  Me
Please read the Bible verses for today:
Matthew 27:62-66

This account only appears in the book of Matthew. 

The Guard at the Tomb

62 "The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. 63 “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64 So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.” 
"This last deception will be worse than the first." (Matthew 27:64b) According to the chief priests and the Pharisees,  His first 'deception' would be that He was the Messiah. In their minds, Jesus' second 'deception' would be that He is the Son of God. It is hard for me to believe that after seeing Jesus go to the cross so humbly and die so freely, (and say on the cross, 'forgive them for they know not what they are doing.') the chief priests and Pharisees called Jesus the "deceiver." Satan is the deceiver, certainly not Jesus. 
65 “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard." (Matthew 27:62-66) 
Pray with me:
Father, I pray that I will see what you want me to see and not what I want to see. Give me your eyes to the truth. I want to know and see your truth. I know that through past hurts and fears my vision has become blurred. I am offended easier. I hurt longer. And to forgive wholly takes even longer. Jesus, I never want to be blind like the chief priests and Pharisees. I want to see you and follow the truth no matter how much it stings my pride, or touches on my fears. By your truth, set me free. I want to be free to love, free to forgive, free to have joy. In Jesus' Name, Amen. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Art for Littles 2017


Art for Littles Camp 2017!

With a Master's Degree in Children's Literature,
 a love for giving children an opportunity to paint,
and the desire for children to know Jesus,
Art for Littles Camp was born!

We will be reading Eric Carle books this week, painting
and learning about Jesus! 
(Art for Littles is pretty much my favorite!)


Monday:
we read: Does A Kangaroo Have A Mother Too?
and the answer to that question is YES!

All animals have a mother and we do too.
I asked the children,
 'How do you know your mother loves you?'
They peppered me with lively answers:
'by singing to me at night, reading books to me,
kissing me, hugging me, making me dinner, taking me to Busch Gardens'...
but I told them the number one, and most important way 
your mother loves you is by telling you about Jesus.


 We painted our very own kangaroo and her baby.







 Here is the mommy kangaroo and her baby!

Our memory verse for the day:
"From birth I was cast on you: from my mother's womb
you have been my God." Psalm 86:16

The greatest gift any mother can give to her child is Jesus!




Tuesday:
Mister Seahorse, by Eric Carle
In this story we read about how the father seahorse, and 
many other male sea animals, take care of their babies.
We, of course, talked about how their daddies take care of them.
I asked the children, 
"What do you think is the number one important job that our daddies do for us?'
One child answered and said,
"To wash our hands before we eat." (!!!)
Well, they learned that the most important thing
a daddy can do for their babies is to tell them about Jesus.

Our craft  for today was to make our own seahorse mobile!
They got to paint a daddy seahorse and three baby seahorses!
They loved it.









When all the seahorses were dry,
they then got to glue different color sequins to each seahorse.










While we waited for everything to dry, 
the children had an opportunity to make their own creations
with beads!
This little guy made a rocket!

Here are our seahorse mobiles!


Wednesday:
The Mixed-Up Chameleon,
by Eric Carle

Today we read the book, The Mixed-Up Chameleon.
We learned that God made us
and we do not need to be anymore like anyone else,
for we are perfect the way we are.




We learned our primary and... 


 Secondary colors.




 We also learned how to
sponge paint!



 We made two different kinds of Chameleons!

 And our memory verse for the day is:
"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."
Psalm 139:14



At the end of the day their creativity was still flowing =)


Thursday:
The Very Clumsy Click Beetle, by Eric Carle

Today we The Very Clumsy Click Beetle, by Eric Carle. 
We learned that we are just like the click beetle in that
there are things we want to do, but can't because we haven't 
learned them yet. And just like the click beetle in the story
we must persevere! 

Our Bible memory verse:
"Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be
mature and complete, not lacking anything." (James 1:4)


After the children had painted the top and bottom 
of the click beetle's body, we began to assemble it.
We placed a 'clicker' inside the body of the click beetle!
If the click beetle in the book could click, 
our click beetle had to click too! 
 The kids loved it!





Friday:
A House for Hermit Crab, by Eric Carle

Our last and final day together. 
Everyone came in and just wanted to sit and 
play quietly at the tables. 
They talked, created and laughed.
It was lovely.








But then it was painting time and they were ready!
We read the book,
A House for Hermit Crab, by Eric Carle.
We learned how to love and encourage our friends!
On Monday we learned about the love of our mommy
On Tuesday we learned about the love of our daddy.
On Wednesday and Thursday we learned about the love of God
and today we learned about friendship love.
Our memory verse was:
"A friend loves at all times..." (Proverbs 17:17)









It was a fantastic week blessed by the Lord!!!
I will miss these precious children- 
OHHHH! How I love each one!