Christmas Is . . .

Last Sunday we were sitting in church with our five not-so-angels. As you mothers know, Sunday morning can turn from peaceful worship preparation to frantic survival mode in less than a second. This particular Sunday had more trigger points than usual:

  • It was Christmas program day. Not only that, but it was also last minute rehearsal day and we were having a potluck at church between the rehearsal and the actual program. I had promised to take sandwiches and squares.
  • I was expected to curl my youngest daughter’s hair and she doesn’t like anyone touching her. She didn’t want me to use rags in her hair the night before, so that meant I had to plan extra time into my Sunday morning routine.
  • The children had been promised horse-drawn wagon rides and caroling, adding more excitement to the already frenetic activity of the day. The wagon rides were supposed to happen the day before, but the weather had been frigid and the activity had to be post-poned
  • My husband was in the shower when I had hoped he would lend a hand.

Despite all the extra stress, we made it to church on time with everything done and all the props, clothing, and food we needed.

That’s when it happened: Pastor Kelly called all the children up to the front to say a prayer with them before they went to Sunday School. Our four younger children said goodbye to us and walked to the front. As the children were finding a place to sit, Pastor Kelly asked, “Are you getting excited about Christmas and presents and . . .”

Our son, Luke, blurted out, “Pastor Kelly, Christmas is NOT about chocolate or presents or trees or anything else. It’s about the KING!”

Wrapping paper

Those are words I’ll treasure for a long time. Some days when we are instructing our children, we wonder if anything is sinking in. This was a rare moment when we glimpsed the depth of understanding Luke has about Christmas. It’s even more special because although Luke has celebrated 13 birthdays, his comprehension is closer to that of a 5 or 6 year-old. He may not be able to understand numbers beyond 10, but in my mind, he understands something much more significant and important than anything he’ll ever learn in school. He knows that Christmas is when we celebrate the birth of our Saviour and King. Not only that, but Luke enjoys a personal relationship with his King and tells anyone willing to listen.

How would you finish the sentence: “Christmas is . . .”?

 


My Take-aways from Breakforth 2013

This past weekend my husband and I had the incredible privilege of attending Break Forth 2013 in Edmonton. The first bonus was having a weekend away with my husband. The second bonus was being surrounded by 15,000 other people who love Jesus Christ and want to serve Him.

On Friday I attended the Social Media intensive course taught by Marie Page of Musicademy. If you want details of the session, check out the slideshare. I appreciated the opportunity to learn how to use a Facebook Page more effectively and plan to try out some of the ideas on the InScribe page.

Break Forth poster
Break Forth 2013

One of the main session speakers was Francis Chan. I really appreciated his honesty. Here are some of my favourite quotes from the session:

“In Scripture, the times God came through are the times when the people were living by faith, out in their world. We are to be HIS witnesses. If we are not out being witnesses, we won’t experience His power. When was the last time you share your faith? Are you out making disciples?”

“Am I more concerned about my friendship with someone than I am about his eternal destiny?”

“Are you spending too much time in church and not enough time out in the world making disciples?”

For the workshop sessions I chose the Children’s Ministry “track”. Roger Theimer from King of Kings in Omaha, Nebraska taught all the sessions:

1. Training Volunteers – ideas on ways to train Sunday School teachers and other staff using an online system.

2. Preteen Retreats about Sex – Father/Son and Mother/daughter retreat ideas to prepare grade 5/6 kids for adolescence.

3. Teaching Kids to Serve – Mentoring kids and teaching them to serve Jesus by serving their community.

4. Develop a “Faith-at-Home” Culture – providing training, support, and encouragement for parents to share their faith in practical ways at home so that faith becomes a way of life, not something you just “do” on Sundays.

5. Transform Sunday School – ideas for making Sunday School something kids look forward to every week.

If you want more information, check out the Kids Kount Publishing website. I appreciated the practical nature of these sessions and am looking forward to trying out some of the ideas.