The Radiance of the Glory of God

Whats_in_a_NameWhat’s in a name? A name is more than just something by which we are called; in a sense, it is our reputation. Did you know there are a multitude of names for God? 

Each name unique and powerful; the list is endless. Join us on this exciting adventure through Scripture, where we will learn some amazing verses, talk about how those verses should affect our lives, and discuss some practical ways to make these names “real”.

……

“He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,”

~ Hebrews 1:3

What must it be like, being so holy that even looking upon your face would mean death? Being unholy creatures, the radiance of the glory of God is truly remarkable. God is beyond anything we could possibly imagine.

Devotion – In Exodus 33, Moses asked God if he could see His face. The Lord replied that He would go before His people; He would allow Moses to see his goodness, but to look upon the face of God would have meant death. Here in Hebrews, we are reminded that Christ is the radiance of the glory of God; He is the brilliant ‘light’ which reflects all that is Godly.

“There is surrounding God a glorious brilliance. The glory of God so bright that man cannot perceive it. Brilliant to see; a light unapproachable by man we are told, this shining forth of God. In heaven we’re not going to need any light of the sun or the moon, for the Lamb shall be the light. The glory, the outshining of God, through Jesus Christ will light up heaven. There’ll just be a glow about everything. Everything will just be glowing as you get there. Glowing with the presence of God, the Shekinah of God that lit the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle in the Old Testament.”

– Chuck Smith, C2000 Series on Hebrews 1-2

Activity – To better help our children understand the radiance of Christ, now would be the perfect time to do a mini-study on the sun and light! How does light work and how do objects reflect that brilliance? As Christians this would also be a good opportunity to discuss how we are to reflect the glory of God. While we are not perfect ‘mirrors’ of His love and goodness, we can shine for His glory and reflect a glimmer of His essence to the world.

For hands-on application, order Sun Paper and make imprints! (Bringing the children back to our verse in Hebrews.) Have the children pick any object which light cannot penetrate, place it on your sun paper, and watch the fun begin.

Prayer – Father in Heaven, Your glory is beyond anything we could imagine. We long to be in Your presence daily, and have Yourself made known to us. Be with us now and always. Help us to shine for You, in a world desperately in need of Light. Amen

🎄Time to Chime In: Where has the Lord asked you to shine His light this Christmas?

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Angelina Ballerina’s Christmas Crafts

Whats_in_a_NameWhat’s in a name? A name is more than just something by which we are called; in a sense, it is our reputation. Did you know there are a multitude of names for God? 

Each name unique and powerful; the list is endless. Join us on this exciting adventure through Scripture, where we will learn some amazing verses, talk about how those verses should affect our lives, and discuss some practical ways to make these names “real”.

……

“Here are some ideas for holiday baking and crafts for you to do with a parent… don’t worry if yours looks different – the memory of doing something together is what makes each activity special.
~ Angelina

What’s in a name? Just saying the name “Angelina Ballerina” conjures images of little girls in tutus prancing around the dance studio and books littering our living room floors. Our girls were massive fans of the book series, the mouse herself, and all things ballet.

Our second book recommendation in the ‘What’s In a Name‘ series is Angelina Ballerina’s Christmas Crafts. If you, or your children, have enjoyed the traditional series, we know you’ll want to read this book as well. Angelina_Ballerina's_Christmas_Crafts

Twenty-five crafts and baking activities await the family. (One for each day of December ’till Christmas!) Each activity is complete with step-by-step instructions, a photo of what the finished product should look like, and adorable quotes from Angelina herself.

A few of our favorites are the Soap Snowmouse, the Snow Palace, Shining Star Ornaments, and Sweet Spice Ornaments. There are so many great activities to choose from. Following along with one activity per day is the perfect way to make sure none get missed.

Christmas might be almost upon us, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying this book. Find a copy and let the fun begin. Don’t forget! Join us each Friday during our ‘What’s In a Name’ series as we review favorite Christmas tales!

🎄Time to Chime In: Name your favorite Christmas craft!

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The Light of the World

Whats_in_a_NameWhat’s in a name? A name is more than just something by which we are called; in a sense, it is our reputation. Did you know there are a multitude of names for God? Each name unique and powerful; the list is endless.

Join us on this exciting adventure through Scripture, where we will learn some amazing verses, talk about how those verses should affect our lives, and discuss practical ways to make these names “real”.

……

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
~ John 8:12

I dislike the dark. I don’t like going into any area where I can’t see what’s in front of me. When light isn’t possible, I need someone to hold my hand and lead me to our intended destination or I’ll go running through the darkness in an attempt to find light with no clue of where I’m actually going.

I find it comforting that here, in John, we are given yet another name for Christ: the Light of the world. Christ is our Light. Before we knew Him, we were walking in darkness; not knowing the dangers which lurked around us and unable to find our way. With Christ in our lives, we are now able to see the path clearly laid before us. We are able to walk in Him, having no fear of what lies ahead.

The Light of the World

Discussion – Christmas is the perfect opportunity to share this name with our children. Lights surround us no matter where we go. In our home, we not only put lights on our tree, but in our children’s rooms as well. We surround them with warm, comforting light which brings joy to their hearts.

Activity – During Christmas, let’s make memories by visiting Christmas lights, hanging some of our own, or perhaps lighting a few candles. If we want to be really crafty, we might consider making our own!

To add flair to our candles, we can decoupage them with Christmas napkins or cover them with epsom salt! Both are very easy to do and a fun activity for the kiddos. If we have mod-lodge on hand (either made or store-bought), we ‘paint’ the candle with mod-lodge and roll the candle in epsom salt. This looks very wintry and has a beautiful affect. To decoupage, we ‘paint’ our candle with mod-lodge and then carefully place cuttings from pretty Christmas napkins onto the candle.

Prayer – Jesus, thank you for being my Light and a Light to my children. Shine in their hearts, revealing Yourself to them. Draw them to You. May we, as parents, be a shining example of Your glory and goodness in their lives. And may You use us to reach the world in Your name. Amen

Let us remember that Christ came into the world to be our Light and to lead us into a restored relationship with God. It is because of Him that we can be a light in the world, sharing the good news of His love and His desire to be their Light as well.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
~ Matthew 5:16

🎄Time to Chime In: What is your favorite scented candle?

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Our Redeemer

Whats_in_a_NameWhat’s in a name? A name is more than just something by which we are called; in a sense, it is our reputation. Did you know there are a multitude of names for God? 

Each name unique and powerful; the list is endless. Join us on this exciting adventure through Scripture, where we will learn some amazing verses, talk about how those verses should affect our lives, and discuss some practical ways to make these names “real”.

……

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace”

~Ephesians 1:7

There’s an old song by singer Crystal Lewis which comes to mind. My Redeemer lives, and in the end He will reign. Today, I want our learning day to focus on the name of Jesus Christ our Redeemer and His gracious gift of salvation.

Activity – To help our children better understand the concept of redemption, we’re going discuss making gems out of wrecks.

We’re going to have Pop show us pictures of different types of cars. Some cars will be race cars, others everyday vehicles, and yet more will be wrecks. Now comes the fun part, we’ll take just a minute and think about what kind of car we would be if we had to be a car.

  • (Show a picture of the race car.) Here is a real beauty and it’s fast too. Race cars are the movie stars of the car world, very glamorous and highly visible, although they don’t tend to last very long.
  • (Show a picture of the truck.) Here is one tough vehicle; trucks are the work horses of the car world. Trucks are built to last and they are as strong as an ox. In most cases, trucks don’t give up until the job is done.
  • (Show a picture of the minivan.) Now here is a vehicle we all know. Minivans are common place in the car world, you see them everywhere. These babies are useful vehicles in the car world and are used on a daily basis.

What do all of these cars have in common? All cars get old and eventually break down. Age, accidents and everyday use will wear a car out; sooner or later all cars are destined for the junk yard… (Pause) Unless someone restores them. In some ways, our lives are like the cars we talked about today, just as there are many different types of cars, there are many types of people. Some people are glamorous, some are workers and some are everyday people.

Just as all cars break down, all people share a common problem, which causes us to wear out and eventually die. That problem is called sin. Just as a car can’t fix its own dent or flat tires, we can’t fix the problem of sin. But I have good news! The Bible tells us in John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” In 2 Corinthians 5:17 it states “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” Jesus will restore our fellowship with God and allow us to live with Him for eternity!

Prayer – Jesus God, our Redeemer, we thank You for Your greatest gift. Thank You for coming to earth as a baby, living a perfect example, and dying in order to restore a righteous relationship with the Father. No matter what this season brings, we ask that we be constantly reminded of the purpose of Your birth, our redemption. Amen

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.”

~Psalm 19:14

🎄Time to Chime In: Any car, no limits; which would you want for Christmas?

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A Christmas Carol

Whats_in_a_NameWhat’s in a name? A name is more than just something by which we are called; in a sense, it is our reputation. Did you know there are a multitude of names for God? 

Each name unique and powerful; the list is endless. Join us on this exciting adventure through Scripture, where we will learn some amazing verses, talk about how those verses should affect our lives, and discuss some practical ways to make these names “real”.

……

“Bah,” said Scrooge, “Humbug.”
~ Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

What’s in a name? Ask Scrooge, he could tell you. His name is synonymous with everyone unpleasant during the Christmas season.

You guessed it, our first book recommendation during our ‘What’s In a Name‘ series is A Christmas Carol. While we know there are a multitude of movie versions of this classic tale, don’t cheat. Read the actual story. You won’t regret it.a_christmas_carol

Here is a man whose name meant mud. He was grumpy, unkind, selfish, and uncaring. He carried the weight of disappointment and sorrow, which translated into how he treated others. Then, one fateful night, the Lord saw fit to meet him where he was and change his heart.

Our family owns several publications of A Christmas Carol, mostly because we appreciate the various illustrator’s renditions of the book. The story never disappoints and the moral is clear. No matter which version you read, take time to enjoy this lovely book.

Don’t forget! Join us each Friday during our ‘What’s In a Name’ series as we review favorite Christmas tales which point us towards our Heavenly Father and the true meaning of the season!

“For it is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child Himself.”
~ Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

🎄Time to Chime In: Which is your favorite movie rendition of A Christmas Carol?

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I AM

Whats_in_a_NameWhat’s in a name? A name is more than just something by which we are called; in a sense, it is our reputation. Did you know there are a multitude of names for God? 

Each name unique and powerful; the list is endless. Join us on this exciting adventure through Scripture, where we will learn some amazing verses, talk about how those verses should affect our lives, and discuss some practical ways to make these names “real”.

……

“Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, ‘I am who I am.’”
Exodus 3:13-15, (emphasis mine)

Have you ever tried to put God in a box? It’s downright impossible. Just when you think you might have a glimmer of what He’ll do, He goes and changes things on you. He never heals the same way twice. No problem is ever solved identically. Perhaps this is why God refers to Himself simply as I AM.

Discussion – This verse speaks to me. God is many things, and yet none of those names completely describe who or what He is! He simple is. He is everything good, holy, beautiful, loving, and kind. The list could go on. He is. He is all-powerful, all-knowing, all-seeing. He is.

While our human nature wishes we could figure out what God is up to, He challenges our notions of who He is and continually shows us more of Himself. He is more than we could imagine, more than we could dream. His fullness is beyond our understanding.

Activity – For today, I wish to focus my children’s attentions towards who God is to them personally. This is not an opportunity for Mom to tell them what God has done for them. Rather, this is a moment for them to reflect on their own hearts and give thanks for His gifts.

To this end we will be making a Christmas Chain! Colorful strips of paper clutter our crafting area, encouraging our children to nab as many as they need. On each slip, we acknowledge all He is and what He has done in our own lives. Our chain will decorate our learning area, a daily Christmas reminder of all the ‘I AM’ statements God has written on our own hearts and minds.

Prayer – Lord, we thank you. Today and always. You are… everything good. Continue to make Yourself known to us. Drawn us closer to You and teach of Your ways. Write Your names upon our hearts, minds, and souls. Cover us, fill us, and overflow us with Your Spirit. Amen

As Popeye would say, “I ams what I am, and that’s all that I ams.” How true of our God. He is what He is. There will never be a perfect explanation of His glory. Human words will never be enough. May God continue to reveal Himself to each of us and bring us closer during this Christmas season.

“Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.'”
John 8:58

🎄Time to Chime In: White lights or colored lights on your Christmas tree?

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What’s In a Name?: Season Four Launch

Whats_in_a_NameWhat’s in a name? A name is more than just  something by which we are called; in a sense it is our reputation. A name can conjure up images of glory, honor, and grace. It may cause sadness, anger, and dismay. A name is a powerful thing. Did you know there are a multitude of names for God, and each one has special meaning?

In hopes of helping my children have a better understanding of who God is and all He means to us, December will once again be dedicated to “What’s In a Name?”. Join us this Christmas season as we share in the joy of the Lord and learn of His glorious names.

Another exciting adventure awaits us through the Scriptures where we will learn some amazing verses, talk about how those verses should affect our lives, and discuss some practical ways to make these names “real” for our children.

Before we begin, let’s glance back at some names we’ve covered through “What’s In a Name?” in previous years:

Season I:
The Bread of Life
The Good Shepherd
The Righteous Servant
The Vine
The Door
The Resurrection
The Bright Morning Star
The Bridegroom
The Rock
The Lamb of God

Season II:
The Alpha & Omega
The Firstborn
The Mediator
The Truth
The Prince of Peace
The Cornerstone
The Word
The Root of David
The Overseer
The High Priest
The Teacher
A Secret
The Creator
The Messenger
The Angel of God

Season III
Jehovah Nissi
Jehovah Rapha
The Finisher
The Author
Wonderful Counselor
El Roi
Jehovah-Jireh
Abba

In addition to the articles we’ll be posting here on the blog, look for us on social media for discussions on each name! We’ll be encouraging open conversation on which names of God have special meaning in our own lives, and how He is constantly revealing Himself to us. We’ll also be sharing how we can help our children better understand each of these names, and how He wants to be an active part of their lives.

“Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I am who I am.””
Exodus 3:13-15

📢Time to Chime In: Is there a name of God which has particular meaning for you?

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Just In Case…

Whats_in_a_NameThe month is flying and before we know it we’ll be starting the new year. (Whew!) Just in case you might have missed a portion of our ‘What’s In a Name‘ series, we thought we’d use today to catch up on all the fun!

Season III

Jehovah Nissi
Jehovah Rapha
The Finisher
The Author
Wonderful Counselor
El Roi
Jehovah-Jireh
Abba

We’d love to hear your thoughts on which name of God is your personal favorite thus far. And, if you missed Seasons I and II of ‘What’s In a Name’, you can read previous devotions HERE.

🎄Time to Chime In: What are your plans for Christmas Eve?

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Jehovah Rapha – The God Who Heals

Whats_in_a_NameWhat’s in a name? A name is more than just something by which we are called; in a sense, it is our reputation. Did you know there are a multitude of names for God? 

Each name unique and powerful; the list is endless. Join us on this exciting adventure through Scripture, where we will learn some amazing verses, talk about how those verses should affect our lives, and discuss some practical ways to make these names “real”.

……

“Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.”

~ Isaiah 53:4-5

All around us, people are struggling with health issues. From mild infirmities, such as the flu, to major complications like cancer, the world is need of healing. But, what about the healing of our hearts?

Discussion – Do we know people who are sick? What has caused the illness they are currently suffering from? From a practical perspective, this is a great time to talk about all the ways we could and should be taking care of our bodies. Let’s discuss living healthy and being good stewards of the bodies God has given us. What about major or long-term illnesses? Is there anything we can do to show our support for those suffering? How can we come alongside our friends and encourage them?

On a deeper level, let’s also take a moment to look beneath the surface. Do my children know what it means to have a ‘disease of the heart’? What does an unhealthy Christian lifestyle look like? Are there things we need to give over to God openly, asking for His healing and restoration? This is a perfect opportunity to discuss the importance of God’s spiritual healing.

“Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;”

Psalms 103:3

Activity – There are families we know who are currently suffering from ill-health. Let’s find ways we can bless them; from mailing cards to dinner ministry, no service is too small.

Time to dig out that doctor kit which too often sits in the corner unused. We can take turns being both doctor and patient. Let’s heal those sick bodies!

Bonus: Research historic missionaries  – those leading people to Jehovah Rapha who heals the soul – and all they’ve done in God’s name. Then, research current missionaries; pray for them and find ways to support their ministry.

“He sent His word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.”

~ Psalm 107:20

Prayer – While finishing our lesson in prayer, we want to focus on thanking the Lord for His gift of healing. We acknowledge we are nothing without Him, filthy and diseased. It is only because His son was born, lived, and died – sinless and perfect – on our behalf, that we are able to have a relationship with God. We acknowledge our continual failure, but offer thanks for His continued grace and mercy. We ask for victory over our struggles and wisdom to constantly seek Him above all things. Lastly, we ask for spiritual healing and revival; that the Lord would use us to reach people for His name. And, that He would offer physical healing to those in need.

“‘…for I am the LORD, who heals you.'”

~ Exodus 15:22-26

Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals. He longs to heal all of us; from bitterness and resentment, pride and selfishness. May we all turn to Him, allowing God to work in our hearts, healing us from the inside-out.

🎄Time to Chime In: You fell and have a ‘boo-boo’. Which cartoon character is on your band-aid?

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The Finisher

Whats_in_a_NameWhat’s in a name? A name is more than just something by which we are called; in a sense, it is our reputation. Did you know there are a multitude of names for God? 

Each name unique and powerful; the list is endless. Join us on this exciting adventure through Scripture, where we will learn some amazing verses, talk about how those verses should affect our lives, and discuss some practical ways to make these names “real”.

……

“Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

~Hebrews 12:2

Discussion – Are there things I have yet to finish? What projects are sitting around the house waiting to get done? What were my reasons for not finishing these projects?

I want my children to understand the importance of finishing what they start. Even small tasks need to be taken seriously. It’s also important to discuss the value in waiting, completing projects at the best opportunity. Often in life, projects are put on hold for a time. This doesn’t mean we’ve abandoned them, but that we’re waiting on God and the best time to finish the task. In addition, I want my children to understand when it’s time to put their own efforts aside and call in the experts. There is no shame in asking for help to get a job done. Delegating work or seeking assistance is still finishing what we start. This might also be a good time to discuss when, and if, it’s ever okay to not finish.

Before moving on to more active learning, I definitely want to pause for a moment and talk about all God has done in our lives. What has He started in us that’s He’s already finished? What has He helped us finish thus far? What are we looking forward to seeing completed?

Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

~ Philippians 1:6

Activity – This is a great opportunity to tackle any projects needing to get done! Or, get that project done we keep talking about, but never take the time to start. It doesn’t have to be big. We might get to that crafting project sitting in the homeschool room or clean the ceiling fans which haven’t been done in over two months. It doesn’t matter how big or small the project, just that we demonstrate our desire to finish what we start.

Prayer – As always, we’re going to want to finish off with prayer. Let’s thank the Lord for His faithfulness to finish what He starts. We want to acknowledge all He is doing in our lives, working towards our completion. I want to ask the Lord to forgive me for complaining and arguing when He is trying to mold me into His image, but the working through is uncomfortable. Lastly, we need to ask the Lord to help us finish what we start; giving Him all the glory for the finished work.

How comforting to know this is not the end. We aren’t finished yet. God is still working on us and molding us into His image. He will never abandon us, leaving off the work. What God starts, He finishes.

🎄Time to Chime In: Are there any projects you haven’t finished?

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