March Bible Reading Challenge Week 4 Summary

Thank you for the sweet outpouring of love yesterday!! I often receive negative comments and emails, but I’ve gotten to the point of just praying for the person who sent it and deleting it. Ya’ll were so sweet yesterday when I shared a little tidbit of criticism I had received and I’m so thankful for a community of readers who love God!

Welcome to the March Bible reading challenge week 4 summary! Wow- that’s a mouthful! Let’s take a look at what we read this week since our last Friday summary.

I Peter 2

Peter encourages righteous living in this chapter. He mentions that Christians should be honoring to governmental authorities and advises how to respond to suffering. His advice can be applied to all levels of suffering, but I thought deeply on the following verse:

For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. I Peter 2:19

What is the first thing that comes to your mind after reading the verse above?

I Peter 3

This chapter is well-known for its address to women in general, as well as husbands and wives. In my opinion, one of the strongest verses in this chapter actually follows the instructions to each gender. Verse 9:

Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.

I’m still working on this- you too, perhaps?

I Peter 4

Peter returns to the subject of suffering in this chapter. His straightforward conversation style is evident throughout the chapter, but in verse 12, I feel like I can hear the persuasive tone of his voice:

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.

Just as Peter advised the church, the truth stands for us today. Don’t be surprised when everything in your life as a Christian doesn’t work perfectly. In fact, don’t consider trials to be strange; think of them as the norm.

Do you think it strange when trials come into your life?

I Peter 5

What a beautiful chapter to end Peter’s first letter! I have several favorite verses from this chapter:

And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. v. 4

casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. v. 7

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. v. 10

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2 Peter 1

Passionate Peter continues to speak words of life into the church with his second letter. If we look at Peter’s history, we see he could be a bit impulsive, right? He’s the one who stepped out on the water to walk to Jesus- full of faith! He’s the one who immediately drew his sword and cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant at the time of Jesus’ betrayal. And yet, Peter is the leader of the first church. I believe Peter’s passion we see in this chapter stemmed from his firsthand experience as a disciple of Jesus. He refers to this fact in several places throughout the first chapter of his second letter.

2 Peter 2

I love Peter’s display of Old Testament knowledge in this chapter. Multiple times he refers to Old Testament characters and verses. His personal knowledge of the law and yet personal experience with grace, mercy, and faith is a beautiful thing. This chapter is deep and I found myself reading it through a second time in an attempt to grasp a little more.

2 Peter 3

Chapter 3 is a reminder to keep the faith, as Peter says so himself. He writes to encourage hearts to look towards the coming of Jesus and to focus on growing in faith, not worrying about what the world says or does.

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April Bible Reading Challenge

I’m excited to share the April Bible Reading Challenge with you, as we’re going to do something completely different next month!

What did you learn this week?

Rachel

Great Books to Read on Spring Break (or Anytime!)

books to read

At the beginning of the year, I set a book reading goal of 36 books for the year. While I feel certain that I typically read more than 36 books in a year, I haven’t tracked the number of books I’ve read in a year in a very, very long time. I do have a list of the books I read in 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade. Isn’t that funny? My mom kept them and I still have them. Since you probably don’t care what I read in 1st through 3rd grade, I’ll give you a peek at what I’ve been reading since the first of this year. Check out my list of great books to read on spring break (or anytime!)

1. I Want God: Forever Changed by the Revival of Your Soul

I Want God is the first book I’ve read written by Lisa Whittle. I was truly challenged to think differently in my walk with God and while it’s not a long read, it did take me a few weeks to get through the book as I kept pausing for a few days to digest the richness. When the book ended, I definitely felt challenged to pursue God with more passion. Highly recommend this book!

2. Interrupted: When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity

My friend, Jen, brought this book over to me at coffee one day. I’d never read a book by Jen Hatmaker, but I had read her blog on various occasions. The book blew me away; I loved her writing style and who can’t love her quick wit? But more than that, this book will make you rethink your way of living out faith. I was privileged to meet Jen Hatmaker at the If:Gathering in February and oh, I CANNOT wait for her next book: For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards.

3. Fly a Little Higher: How God Answered a Mom’s Small Prayer in a Big Way

There is so much about this book to tell you that I cannot possibly write a short paragraph of my thoughts. God graciously gave me the opportunity to meet the author, Laura Sobiech, and talk with her about the valley our family walks since my daughter, Taylor, has a rare, terminal neurologically degenerative disease. Laura was so gracious to share her wisdom with me for a few minutes. I will simply tell you that I cried my eyes out, literally, much of the time on planes, as I read this book. My fellow travelers most likely wondered what in the world was wrong with me, but I didn’t even care.

4. The Grave Robber: How Jesus Can Make Your Impossible Possible

Mark Batterson has held my fan vote for a long time. Since his book, The Circle Maker, I’ve enjoyed his straightforward style of preaching principles and interesting mode of storytelling. Mark has an awesome way of pointing out unique points to passages of Scripture I’ve read time and time again. His books challenge me to think outside of my own little box and encourage me to remember that I cannot put God in a box.

5. Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy

With raw honesty, Donald Miller takes us on a journey to enjoying personal relationships. Scary Close was the first book I’ve read by this author and it took me a little while to adapt to his style of writing. There’s no doubt Donald has a huge fan club for a reason; he’s a great writer. The book was easy to read and kept me turning the pages.

6. Living Well, Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life

I know I keep giving rave reviews, but Living Well Spending Less is both inspirational and practical. If you need a little guidance for your daily life, then this book will help you organize your home, set up your finances, and balance your life. Ruth’s raw honesty from the beginning of the book sets the tone for authenticity through each chapter. At the end of this book, I felt very empowered to make a few small changes that have turned out to make a huge difference.

7. Slaying the Debt Dragon: How One Family Conquered Their Money Monster and Found an Inspired Happily Ever After

I can’t wrap my head around the total amount of debt this family had before they became the King and Queen of Free. Cherie Lowe and her family found themselves $127,482.30 in debt, not including their mortgage. They hadn’t bought a yacht, blown it on designer clothes, or purchased a mansion. It was all the everyday expenses of life. I read this book to find the inspiration to focus on paying our family’s debt. My husband and I made some decisions at the end of last year in order to focus on paying off debt, though we don’t have anywhere near what the Lowe’s had when they began to slay the debt dragon. I’m excited to see if I can implement some of Cherie’s strategies to help us reach our family goal.

Don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest, especially the “Books for Future Enjoyment” board, if you want to see the books that make my “want to read” list. I’d love to hear from you today!

What have you read so far this year or what are you reading right now?

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Rachel

 

 

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wisdom for wives

Christian Easter Egg Hunt Ideas

christian easter egg hunts

For the past several years, my sister-in-law and I have teamed up to have an Easter egg hunt for our families. No matter the weather, and yes, it can be a bit unpredictable here in Ohio, we head out to the backyard and the kids have a great time searching for eggs. In all the years of doing these Easter egg hunts, we’ve enjoyed many variations of the hunt. While we haven’t tried out all of the following ideas, today I wanted to share a few Christian Easter Egg hunt ideas with you.

1. Glow in the Dark Easter Egg Hunt

I’ve seen all sorts of ideas on Pinterest with glow in the dark sticks placed inside Easter eggs, but we all know that glow in the dark sticks don’t last long, right? The Egglo eggs are fabulous for teaching children about the True Light of the world!

glow in the dark eggs

The original creator of Egglo eggs, Darcie Cobos, has the biggest heart for children I’ve ever seen. I asked her to share a little about this beautiful idea so you could catch her vision for this unique product:

Egglo Eggs help children discover the TRUE meaning of Easter through an interactive glow-in-the-dark egg hunt.

The time between Good Friday and Easter Sunday is symbolically a period of darkness as we contemplate Jesus’ sacrifice and await His resurrection. I saw this as a teachable moment to highlight the idea that Jesus is the light in a dark world.  The Bible refers to God as light and it’s an easy message for kids to understand. We experience the first glow-in-the-dark egg hunt based on John 1:4-5,

“In him was life, and that life was the light of mankind. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.”

Egglo Eggs were designed for families and churches to teach about Jesus in a way that really appeals to children.   At my church, our attendance for the Easter egg hunt had dwindled to about 50 kids. With a glow-in-the-dark egg hunt, we have attracted between 300 and 400 people in the last two years. It’s been very successful and very well-received.  Egglo Eggs are keepsake reminders for children that Jesus is the light of the world. – Darcie Cobos

Special thanks to Darcie for sharing her beautiful story with us and I’d love it if you’d check out her fabulous product and ideas!

One idea I wanted to add to Darcie’s is that often the Easter egg hunts stop once kids reach the preteen or teen years. I think a glow-in-the-dark hunt would be a hit with youth groups everywhere!

2. Puzzle Hunt

Purchase a beautiful Easter puzzle and place one piece in each of the eggs. After the hunt, as children sort and empty their eggs, place the puzzle pieces in a pile and work the puzzle when finished sorting. The Happy Easter puzzle from Dayspring or the Jesus is Alive! activity set would be wonderful additions for this type of hunt!


Really Woolly – John 3:16 – Easter Puzzle

from: DaySpring Cards Inc

Easter – Jesus Is Alive – Children’s Activity Set

from: DaySpring Cards Inc

3. Jelly Bean Poem Hunt

The Jelly Bean Poem is an old poem you can attach to a pack of jelly beans. The original author of the poem is not known, but you can use eggs the color of the jelly beans and have the children find the eggs in phases as you read the poem aloud. You may not want to use EVERY color of the jelly bean rainbow or you might have one very long hunt on your hands. But you get the idea! You can find the Jelly Bean Poem printable here .

4. Resurrection Egg Hunt

To follow the Resurrection story from the beginning of the hunt to the end, use these Resurrection Eggs! Each egg provides the next clue to explain the path of Jesus from his arrest to the empty tomb. First, draw a map of your designated story path, then hide the eggs in order along the path. As you travel the path with the children, give them the opportunity to spot the eggs and choose one child to open the egg. The instructions for each step of the story are included with this entire kit or you can make your own.

Easter – Resurrection Eggs – Easter Activity Set

from: DaySpring Cards Inc

I’d love to read about your ideas for Christian Easter egg hunts or other Easter traditions.

What is your favorite family Easter tradition?

Rachel