While the Thanksgiving holiday is behind us,
When I discovered that Kimberly’s three fledglings would be out of school on Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I asked if I could borrow them. I had been planning crafts and things we could do together for several weeks. While none of my pictures come close to Pinterest quality, the memories we made were awesome. They made popsicle stick puppets, then moved from one craft to another where they painted and glued and created. It was messy. It was wonderful.
We made Indian Teepees from Pinterest. I should have read the directions more closely, because the cones tipped and leaked into my oven. (No, the smoke alarm didn’t go off, because I took it down. I'm tired of being the Smoke Alarm Queen.) Sorry, Kimberly, I know that doesn’t make you too happy. But think about it this way, they made it safely home…so no worries.
Karyn made her first pie crust all by herself from scratch! Way to go, girl! It was flaky and delicious!
Brayden and Ashlyn helped me arrange flowers for Kimberly’s table.
It was sooo much fun! They cleaned up behind themselves.It just doesn’t get any better, but then it did. Ashlyn came up to me and asked, “Would you mind if I vacuumed your floor?" I though I heard the Hallelujah Chorus right then and there! Hallelujah! Yes, baby, you just have at it!
We decided to go for a walk. I didn’t know God was going to use Ashlyn again, as He has on so many occasions to talk to me. They had been inside all day, so it was time for some exercise. Ashlyn handed me the camera as we put on our shoes to go outside with the instruction, “Here take this.”
“Why do I need the camera?” I asked. “We’re just going to walk down the street. We’re not going anywhere except right here in the neighborhood!”
Her twinkling smile was convincing,”In case we see something special,Nana.”
We walked a few houses down the street, “Show me something special,” I asked Ashlynn.
She flashed that big grin at her Nana and pointed to the mailbox. “Take a picture of the mailbox, Nana.”
So I did. It’s a beautiful mailbox. I’d never seen it before. I chuckled; because all these years that I’ve lived in this house, I’d never noticed that beautiful mailbox.
Again, she pointed and I clicked. “Look Nana, see the flower...
and the fountain ….
By this time, Brayden had joined the search…is the fruit ripe yet? …referring to the loquat tree at the entrance of the neighborhood.
Take a picture of the roses, Nana
and the yard….and...
She was right my neighborhood was filled with special things! Thank you, Ashlyn for helping me to see them. They are special. Gifts of beauty--from God--there for me to enjoy, but I hurry past without even noticing until with tiny fingers she points them out to me. Pleasures, simple pleasures, but I have to see them, to enjoy them.
I respond with heartfelt gratitude and glee. (Does that sound like too strong a word for such little things? Not when you're seeing the beauty through the eyes of a child! Or when you see every little thing as a gift from God.) "Thank you God for sweet smelling velvet roses on a late November day. Thank you God for a childish reminder to notice special things, so I can savor them. Thank you a little hand inside mine, skipping alongside me as I tried to remember how to skip…and I did. Thank you God, for Brayden racing ahead, you know he’s our miracle boy, jumping across the drain grate at the pond and calling to Ashlyn to do the same—and she did!
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This script is written to be used with the Life to Death Miracle Screen. If you don't have it you can tell the story without the magic trick, thumb but the visual effect is well worth the investment.
You will need Life to Death Miracle Screen; green silk; money bag or gold silk; trap; cardboard or large foam cross; 3 large nails.
(Show the Life to Death Screen with the Jesus view on the side out.) Because God really, dosage really loved this world He gave it His most precious, perfect gift-His son Jesus. Jesus came to give life, not just life, but abundant life.
(Fold and open the screen using the directions that came with the screen to show the Satan side of screen. This takes a little practice, but it is sooooo worth it! Make sure you practice this move so you don't expose the load.)
Satan came to kill, steal and destroy. (Pull trap from the load. inside the screen.) His trap was working or so it seemed to him at the time.
He stirred the hearts of religious leaders to jealousy, (pull the green silk out of the load inside the screen.) Yes, they were green with envy. So much so that they wanted to get rid of Jesus-permanently.
Then there was Judas, he was a disciple of Jesus. He was chosen by the perfect son of God to become part of Christ's elite team. He was chosen to do miracles-lay hands on the sick, heal the blind and the lame and cast out demons through the power of God.
But Judas wanted something else. (Pull gold silk or money bag out of load.) He wanted money! Satan gave Judas, what Judas must have thought was a brilliant idea. It was an easy, get rich quick scheme birthed in the heart of hell-betray Jesus. The priest will give you money!.
(Pull cross out) His plan worked. Jesus was dead. Hell celebrated. Nature sobbed with a great earthquake. Finally, he had defeated the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Jesus, the Son of God was dead.
(Pull the three nails and the cross out of the load.) Satan's method of destruction-3 nails and two boards. But Satan did not understand God's math. He thought 3 nails would hold Jesus to those splintered, rough boards fashioned into a crude cross. But it took a force more powerful than nails to hold Jesus to the cross. Only love was that powerful.
Satan didn't realize that 3 nails, plus 2 boards does not equal five. Not this time.
Let's do the math. (Tear the bottom off the cross so you have a plus sign in one hand and a minus sign in the other) 3 nails, plus 2 boards equals 5; if that were the end of the story. But it's not the end.
Something happened on that cross. Something Satan didn't anticipate. Jesus paid the penalty of sin. With His precious blood He paid the price to take away the guilt of sin once and for all.
So let's do the math again 3nails plus 2 boards equals 5; take away the guilt of sin equals four (for)-given. Satan didn't understand God's math. You see with Christ's death on the cross, He subtracted (took away) the penalty of sin. He subtracted (took away) your sickness. He subtracted (took away) your fear. He paid the debt of sin with His life, so you could go free from sin.
Satan thought a cross and 3 nails could reduce Jesus to a zero-a nothing. Satan thought death was the end of the Son of God, but not even death could hold Jesus; because He had never sinned. Jesus broke the power of death when He paid its penalty with the precious gift of His blood.
This amazing feat of victory, snatched from the jaws of defeat was possible because Satan couldn't take what Jesus had already freely given. Jesus laid down his life as a substitute for mankind, because Jesus loved you so much, He laid his life down freely, He redeemed mankind from sin.
But God's message of the cross does not end with the things he subtracted. The cross is also a place of addition. Jesus came to give...to add to your life. He came to add life and that life more abundant. He came to add peace, to add joy to add eternal life.
The message of the cross goes beyond subtraction and addition. Because Jesus never sinned death could not hold him. On the third day God raised Jesus from the dead and brought Him back to life. Think about that. Dead for three days yet God gives Him life. God is all powerful.
Only a loving, awesome God would send His precious Son to die so you could be born into His family; so multiplication could take place; so many sons could become joint heirs, enjoying the privileges that belong to a member of God's family. Now you can have Life-- abundant life. God wants you to enjoy eternal life. The God kind of life that can only comes from knowing and making Jesus Lord of your life. Receive His gift. Receive Jesus as your Savior.