It's hard to believe that three years have gone by since we welcomed little Rusty into the family--the first grandson on both sides.
Mike and I have been friends with Donald and Laura for almost 20 years and were so excited when their eldest son fell in love with our oldest daughter. They got married and started having beautiful babies, our beloved grandchildren.
This past weekend, we got to celebrate Rusty's third birthday.
His parents threw a birthday party for him in their backyard. They invited friends and family to help celebrate!
The kids played games and we enjoyed snacks and birthday cake.
A New Bike!
Poppi and Lolly (Donald and Laura) got their grandson his first tricycle. A little red trike! He loved it!
In fact, Rusty loved all his gifts and had a blast opening each one.
It was so nice to see how excited and thankful he was, unaware of the price. He saw value in everything from little cars to a brand new trike.
It was so nice to see him playing nicely with his friends and little brother. What a blessing to have a good-natured grandson.
Let me tell you about the party theme.
Easter is my favorite time of year! I get so excited when we celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus who loved and died for us. I just have to worship!
Here are twelve of my favorite worship songs. These songs express the excitement and wonder of the Resurrection. I hope you will enjoy singing along as much as I do.
Here are 12 Easter Songs for Worship:
"Christ the Lord is Risen Today" (Charles Wesley)
"Forever" (Kari Jobe)
"Victor's Crown" (Darlene Zschech)
"Resurrecting" (Elevation Worship)
"Christ is Risen" (Matt Maher)
"Resurrection Day" (Rend Collective)
"My Redeemer Lives" (Hillsong)
"Man of Sorrows" (Hillsong)
"I Will Rise" (Chris Tomlin)
"What a Beautiful Name" (Hillsong)
"Because He Lives" (Gaither Band)
"Up From the Grave He Arose" (Michael W. Smith)
So, set aside some time to worship the Lord this Easter. This songs will be a great start.
Enjoy! And Happy Easter!
I never understood as a little girl why Good Friday was called 'good' because of the torture and suffering Jesus underwent. Once I understood that He endured the suffering for me to pay the price for my sins, I called Good Friday 'good' too.
There are more songs than I could possibly share that are special, but here are my very favorite worship songs to sing to Jesus on Good Friday.
I hope you will enjoy these songs and enjoy worshiping the Lord who died for you.
Here are my favorite Good Friday worship songs:
"The Cross Has the Final Word" (Cody Carnes)
"This is Our God" (Hillsong)
"At The Cross" (Chris Tomlin)
"You Saw Me" (Hillsong)
"Here I am to Worship" (Chris Tomlin)
"Savior King" (Hillsong)
"Lead Me to the Cross" (Hillsong)
"Nailed to the Cross" (Rend Collective)
"How Deep the Father's Love for Us" (Stuart Townend)
The Old Rugged Cross (Old Hymn)
"Nothing but the Blood" (Old Hymn)
"Were You There?" (Old Song)
I hope you enjoy these songs and spend some meaningful time worshiping the One Who gave His life for you on Good Friday.
It's almost that time!
The most important celebration on the calendar. The day we remember the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We want to bless you with a gift this season to make Holy Week and Easter morning meaningful.
You don't have to sign up for our newsletter, though you are always welcome to sign up here. (scroll down to the bottom of the page)
Celebrate Easter Deovtions is 16 days of Bible reading, singing, and a family craft or activity.
Starting the day before Palm Sunday when Jesus is anointed by Mary in Bethany, in preparation for his burial, and following the story day-by-day until his arrest, death, burial, and resurrection.
The second week of devotions follows Jesus 40 days in His resurrected body until He ascends to the Father in Heaven.
If you are looking for a way to celebrate Easter that will draw the entire family closer to Jesus, this is it! Download your free copy of Easter Devotions here.
After 34 years, can you still slow dance with your husband in the living room by candlelight? I think so!
My friend Felice and I just recorded a radio show on date nights and it got me thinking about our romantic dates when we didn't have enough money to go out to dinner or see a movie.
Sometimes we would just bring a CD player to a romantic spot and dance under the moonlight. Other times we would slow dance in the living room with the lights down low.
As time goes on, you can forget to do romantic things because it's easier to go our to dinner or see a show.
I think this month, I'll find some songs on YouTube and slow-dance with my husband in the living room.
Here are some songs that are romantic and fun to dance to. Most of them are oldies, of course, because I'm getting to be an oldie myself.
One of my favorite songs. I sung this to my husband in church ten years ago on our anniversary. Says it all. Not perfect, but definitely happily ever after.
An even older song called Still the One. "Still the One" by Orleans. Can you remember Orleans, anyone? This was popular when I was in high school, or earlier maybe. My hubby is still the one.
In October, I found a cute little fire car on a great sale at Amazon. Amazed, I scooped it up and hid it in my husband's closet.
A month later, I found an adorable police car on sale at Kohl's. One more large gift added to the closet.
Christmas rolled around and I couldn't figure out how to wrap them.
So, we decided to have a treasure hunt for my two-year-old and one-year-old grandson.
We couldn't give clues with words but we could with pictures.
We snapped some photos of their crib, the fireplace, and the garage. We printed them on our printer.
Then we wrapped up the photo of the crib in a little box.
Rusty and Cooper opened the box and headed to the crib where they found another photo taped to the side of the crib.
Are you looking for hope this holiday season?
Are you hoping for a brand-new start?
Do you want your failures and flaws wiped away in one sweep?
I have something important to share with you! You can have hope, a brand-new start, and your failures and flaws wiped away in one sweep.
But, wait. There’s more. You can start life over with a new heart. The old gone; the new come.
“How much does this cost?” you ask.
The answer may surprise you. It’s free! There’s no strings attached. No newsletters to sign up for. No comment to leave. No shipping to pay.
God’s gift of Eternal Life this Christmas season is FREE.
“The wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 3:23).
Those who believe in their heart and confess with their mouth that Jesus is Lord will be saved. “If you declare with your mouth that ‘Jesus is Lord’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified; and it is with your mouth you profess your sin and are saved” (Romans 10:9-10).
"What kind of cookies are you making?" Shine asked.
"I'll pick up eggnog at Publix on the way home from work," Julianna added, grabbing her purse as she walked out of the kitchen toward the door.
Tonight was our annual Decorating the Christmas Tree Night, a tradition started our first year of marriage.
We start with a special dinner: Chicken and Dumplings, Ambrosia, and Muffins. Afterward, we do our Christmas devotions. Then, we listen to Christmas carols, eat cookies, and drink eggnog while we decorate the tree. There are treasured ornaments we pull out each year to hang on the tree. Some are handmade. Many are decades old; some handed down from grandparents.
Back in 1986, I had my first baby, a little girl named Katie-Beth. I started an ornament collection for her that first Christmas. I made one little stuffed Christmas bear for her and one for our tree. Thus, began our annual ornament tradition.
Each year I make one ornament for the tree and one for each of the children. That way when they take their ornament collection to their new homes, they will have ornaments that are exactly like the ornaments they grew up with.
Sewing, rubber stamping, embossing, cross-stitch, painting, and more crafting methods were used to create keepsake treasures. The ornaments tend to reflect whatever hobby I was into that year.
Mom and I made quilted ornaments one fall when she and Daddy visited. They were so time-consuming to make, but we enjoyed chatting and catching up on all the family news as we worked.
One year, we went and chopped down our own Christmas tree. What fun! We slice off some thin round pieces of wood from the bottom of the tree and engraved the date. Looking at that ornament brings back fond memories of that special day.
When my kids were little, I made them Scripture Memory Books out of magnetic photo albums. I wrote verses on colored card-stock and cut out magazine photos to match each verse.
It had an amazing impact on my life. As I worked on the Scripture books, my mind was saturated with the Word of God in a positive way. Years later, i had my teens create Scripture books as assignments in various Real Men and God's Girls courses where they learned about marriage, homemaking, leadership, and growing in Christ.
Now I am a grandmother and I wantto carry on the tradition so I created Scripture Memory books in Word, took them to the printer, and created nice coil-bound books. The children love them!
I make sure to use lots of photos of the child I am giving the book to in throughout the pages. Children love to see photos of themselves.
It all started with putting a bright red towel under a punch bowl to catch the spills. The lush Christmasy red towel made the punch bowl shimmer shades of red. And the table was protected! Then, of course there was the towel sale at Kohl's.
In my house, I have lots of old furniture--hand-me-downs from grandparents. These beautiful wooden end tables and dressers are easily marked up, so I keep them covered with linens (another hand-me-down from my grandparents). This Christmas, I decided to replace some of these tabletop linens with towels to add a splash of color.
I liked the bright splash of Christmas color underneath my various Christmas decorations. And the great thing? These Christmas decorations can be tossed right into the washer to be fresh and clean again.
Another thing I do with towels at Christmas is to put them under the coffee pot and the tea things in my kitchen. I love the cheery brightness the red towel brings under the tea things.
If you are looking for an easy way to add a splash of color; consider red and green towels. It's a quick, easy, and fun way to decorate.
We have resources to add fun to your Christmas:
FREE Curtis Family Christmas Devotions
Celebrate Christmas with a Traveling Dinner
Celebrate Christmas with Cookies
Celebrate Christmas with Cookies Unit Study
Celebrate Christmas in Colonial America Unit Study
My home is filled with grown children now. My oldest daughter is married and we have two grandsons. One of our favorite Christmas traditions remains our beloved Christmas Family Devotions.
We start at the story of the Angel Appearing to Zachariah and move through the entire Christmas story. It is a delight every year to remember this precious story of miracles and love, to celebrate the Birthday that divided history in two.
The Christmas story never grows old.
However, these devotions are old.
I typed them up on an electric typewriter when the children were small. A few years later, we got our first computer and I printed them on our dot matrix printer. Years flew by. I sent them to Office Depot to print several copies because all the children could read. Soon, I was sharing these simple devotions with others.
When the children were little I made a Christmas Tree out of felt and nailed it to a big bulletin board each December. After devotions, the children would put little ornaments on the tree.
We discovered the Christmas Shoebox Tradition when Samaritan's Purse started Operation Christmas Child. The ministry asked people to fill shoeboxes for needy children around the world. My children and I gathered up small toys, toothbrushes, and candy to give to one child. We chose "boy or girl?" and age range.
The shoebox tradition was a great way to involve my children in giving to others while getting to do something they enjoyed: shopping for toys! As the children grew older, I found myself filling the shoebox alone because my children found other ways to give and serve at Christmas.
This year, I decided to fill the Shoebox with my grandson Rusty who is two years old. We went to the Dollar Store together and filled the cart with small toys. We collected toy dinosaurs, balls, stickers, jungle animals, an etch-a-sketch, and a slinky. Now, of course, Rusty came home with some of his own toys, but we had the joy of shopping for others together. I hope it's a new tradition we will continue.
500 years ago on October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the Whittenberg Door. He was protesting some of the things church leaders were doing in his day like selling forgiveness and elevating human traditions above the Word of God.
You see, Martin Luther tried desperately to do enough to be right with God. He struggled with guilt and agonized over his standing before God. One day, while studying the Scriptures, he came across this phrase: "The Just Shall Live By Faith." It changed his life! He realized that Christ had done it all! He just had to receive grace and forgiveness! Wow!
Once he understood this truth, he just had to speak out!
You see, the Roman Catholic Church was in a terrible state. It's hard for us to imagine because the Roman Catholic Church today is not in the same place. In those days, men could buy an office in the church so many non-Christians were in important posts. But even then, many godly men and women were serving in the church as priests, abbots, nuns, and monks. Their hearts were grieved.
The Reformers (Wycliffe, Huss, Luther, Calvin, Tyndale) were all members of the Roman Catholic Church. They did not want to live it; they wanted mess cleaned up. Unfortunately, the clean-up did not come in time and now we have many denominations today.
However, we can look back to the Reformation and be grateful for the return to biblical teaching on Salvation, Grace, Faith, and the Authority of Scripture. The Reformation brought us the Five Solas.
The Five Solas
Her dear "Lotus Buds of Dohnavur" called her "Amma" which means mother in India. Amy Carmichael rescued children from miserable lives as slaves in Hindu temples, living each day to serve her beloved Savior and to spread His love around India.
Amy Carmichael was born into a godly Christian home in Ireland. But she wasn't completely happy. You see, she wanted blue eyes, but no matter how hard she prayed, those brown eyes would not go away. Years later, as she moved throughout the nation of India rescuing children, she would be grateful for her brown eyes. Blue eyes would have made it hard to hide herself in the crowd.
Amy had a life-changing event with Jesus when she was fifteen and from that time on, a passion burned within her soul to reach the lost and stir believers to greater passion for Christ. She started Bible studies for mill worker girls.