Take your kids on a 40-day adventure of preparing their hearts for Easter morning. As a Protestant who never pondered Easter as an entire season, I love the idea of focusing on Jesus and his ministry for the six weeks leading up to Easter (traditionally known as Lent), the same amount of time Jesus spent in the desert.
I wanted my kids to come along for the journey so I set about praying over and writing 40 devotionals starting with Jesus’ time in the wilderness all the way through the Resurrection.
Looking Toward the Cross is based on a five-day format. The Saturday devotionals explain the five aspects of Lent for those interesting in exploring the topic more. Sundays are reserved for corporate worship.
Each devotion also has a quick object lesson to enable kids to easily grasp abstract concepts and are applicable for preschoolers on up.
Looking Toward the Cross is available in print on Amazon or as a .pdf file below.
Here’s a sample of what’s inside:
Matthew 4:1-11 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. And the tempter came and said to Him, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” (Deut. 8:3) Then the devil took Him into the holy city; and he had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If you are the Son of God throw yourself down for it is written, “He will give his angels charge concerning you” (Ps. 91:11); and “On their hands they will bear you up lest you strike your foot against a stone.” (Ps. 91:12) Jesus said to him, “On the other hand it is written, “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.” (Deut. 6:16) Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world, and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things will I give you, if you fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.” (Deut. 6:13) Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him.
Right before starting his ministry, Jesus retreats to the wilderness to pray and fast for 40 days and 40 nights. It says after the 40 days “He became hungry.” It was at His weak point that Satan comes to Him and tempts Him. And not only does he tempt Jesus, but he uses scripture to do it – taking it out of context to try and lure Jesus into sinning. Satan is the Father of Lies and sometimes does it by distorting the truth. As we see though, Jesus is well versed in the scripture and responds with scripture Himself, showing the devil that he cannot use God’s word against Jesus.
One of the scriptures Jesus uses is from Deuteronomy 8:3 where Moses is reminding the Israelites about the goodness of what the Lord has done for them bringing them out of Egypt. He tells them that God provided manna from heaven when they were hungry – so much so that it was a reminder that “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” God provides our daily sustenance, but what really sustains our hearts and souls is the Word of God. It‘s important to learn scripture in its context, how it applies to us and what it tells us about God.
Activity: Print out copies of Deuteronomy 8:3 and cut them into small strips (think fortune cookies). Buy premade crescent roll dough in a can (like Pillsbury). Roll paper into the dough and bake according to package directions. Serve the bread to the children asking them to break it open before eating. You can have the children help you make it or have it ready for an ah-ha moment when they realize scripture is inside.
The entries are short, pointed, and meaningful; the activities are simple, quick, and applicable; the message is clear, concise, and consistent with Scripture. She has done a beautiful job of walking families through Lent with a solid Christ-focused message and direction. I have to say, after doing CEF for three years and being familiar with their games, theories and teaching methods, Ms Marquiss has done a phenomenal job of incorporating all of the important aspects of teaching children effectively.
Kayla at The Accidental Nomad Blog
In August 2008, our lives changed forever. Doctors told us our third child would die before breathing his first breath. We were heart-broken.
Showing Heart is an authentic, in-depth account of our family’s difficult journey having a medically fragile child. Readers have praised the work as a “must read” and “inspiring.”
After surviving over a dozen surgeries and procedures, living in the hospital a majority of his first year, and spending countless hours working toward stability and normalcy, Ryan is thriving, something everyone was unsure he’d do.
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In August 2008, doctors advised us our baby’s heart was severely malformed and growing outside his body. There were no known survivors of this combination of defects.
We researched our son’s condition, but couldn’t find anything about a living ectopia cords baby. However, we moved forward with the pregnancy and consulted with pediatric cardiologists who agreed to formulate a treatment plan.
Ryan was born in February 2009, and spent the majority of his first year in the hospital. I wrote You Are Not Alone to come along side families who are in similar situations. It gives heartfelt information for families at each stage: prebirth, long-term hospitalization, and coming home. It also contains tips for friends supporting a family in crisis and a beautiful section from my friend, Sara Northcraft, for families grieving the death of a child.
To receive a free .pdf version, please contact me. For a hard copy, please purchase below.