• Happy Easter from Hive Resources! I hope you have a wonderful week celebrating our Savior’s resurrection this weekend! I’m not posting very much this week so I can maximize my time with my littles. We’re reading books about the Easter story, doing some fun activities, and exploring the resurrection with our Easter Story Eggs. Here… [Continue Reading]

    He is Risen printable bookmarks
  • Some of my favorite memories include Easter Sundays. As a child, I would awake early on Easter morning, run downstairs in my sponge curlers to see what my parents had left for me in my Easter basket. My parents never made much ado about the Easter bunny, so I didn’t grow up thinking too much… [Continue Reading]

    Meaningful Easter gifts and activities for kids
  • Welcome to Ministry Monday at Hive Resources! This series is for everyday women who minister through the everyday mission fields of life. Posts feature resources and ideas for discipleship, outreach events, women’s ministries, Bible study, hospitality, and more. Subscribe today! Today, many in the church try to replace community with church attendance, assuming the two ideas are… [Continue Reading]

    How to find community at church
  • When my husband and I moved to Pittsburgh a few years ago, we secretly plotted to find the largest church in our area and hide in the back pew. We were kidding, but sort of not. But God has a pretty good sense of humor. Instead, he led us to what seemed like the smallest… [Continue Reading]

    Buy a pin, plant a church

He is Risen printable bookmarks

Easter Week at Hive Resources #Easter #Resurrection #HeisRisen

Happy Easter from Hive Resources!

I hope you have a wonderful week celebrating our Savior’s resurrection this weekend! I’m not posting very much this week so I can maximize my time with my littles.

We’re reading books about the Easter story, doing some fun activities, and exploring the resurrection with our Easter Story Eggs.

Free printable Easter bookmarks from Hive Resources

Here are some free printable bookmarks you can add to your Easter baskets or Easter cards! Simply click the image above to download (give’em a chance to load) and then print!

He is Risen Indeed! Happy Easter!

Meaningful Easter gifts and activities for kids

Easter Week at Hive Resources #Easter #Resurrection #HeisRisen

Some of my favorite memories include Easter Sundays.

Making #Easter Meaningful {Hive Resources}

As a child, I would awake early on Easter morning, run downstairs in my sponge curlers to see what my parents had left for me in my Easter basket. My parents never made much ado about the Easter bunny, so I didn’t grow up thinking too much about him either. Most importantly, we’d attend Easter worship services as a family.

Ideas for making #Easter meaningful {Hive Resources}

I appreciate the balance my parents were able to strike between cultural and Christian traditions. Because of my parent’s careful instruction, I know Easter is a meaningful day because of Jesus’ Resurrection from the grave, not because I received chocolate robin eggs or wore a new dress to church as a little girl.

Ideas for #Easter fun {Hive Resources}

I want to pass that same message on to my sons. I want them to see a Lamb when they approach Resurrection Day, not a bunny.

Easter devotions & activities

For that reason, for the weeks leading up to Easter, I spend time talking to the twins about new life, the cross, the tomb, and what it means for us today.

Here’s some of the tools we’re using to make Easter meaningful:

Bible studies and activities on the Resurrection {Hive Resources}

 

(1) This Easter we’re using the Easter Story Eggs & Devotional by Family Treeditions. (2) We’re also incorporating some of the activities from Amanda White’s new Easter tool – A Sense of the Resurrection: an Easter Experience for Families. (3) Last year, we used the superb family devotion study by Barbara Reaoch,  Why Easter?

This year, a friend just released a family guide on the Passover on her site – Passover for Christians. And while I haven’t read her e-book yet, there is a free download resource on her site to help you walk your family through a Seder meal. This might be something we incorporate into our celebrations next Easter.

Easter books

On Easter morning, we will give the boys baskets just like I had as a child.  Inside their baskets,  I’ll put a little candy (candy goes a long way for us!) and either a Bible or Christian books about the Resurrection.

Last year, I gave these books to the boys:

Christian Easter books for kids {Hive Resources}

(1) The Berenstain Bears and the Easter Story (2) The Very First Easter (The Beginner’s Bible) (3) The Parable of the Lily by Liz Curtis Higgs (4) The Story of Easter by Patricia A. Pingry (5) The Story of Passover by Francis Silberg (6)  God Gave Us Easter by Lisa Tawn Bergren (7) The Prince’s Poison Cup by R.C. Sproul (8) The Donkey Who Carried a King by R.C. Sproul

Books 1-6 are simple and are great introductory tools for teaching smaller children (ages 2-4) about the Easter story. I bought all of these together, knowing that they would be imperfect reflections of the Easter account contained in God’s Word.  But I wanted to capture my kids imaginations with the delight and glory of the empty tomb. Of all the books listed, I thought God Gave us Easter was a little too abstract on its teaching of the Resurrection and too soft on sin.

My favorite books out of this list are #7 and #8, both by R.C. Sproul. My boys loved the illustrations of The Prince and the Poison Cup, and I loved the theologically-rich message of the new life that springs from Christ’s death. Both of these books are better suited to older children (ages 5+).

Our Easter Baskets

This year, I’m adding these to our collection even though they aren’t specifically about Easter:

The Action Bible

Life Action Bible {Hive Resources}

I’ve avoided buying this Bible for a variety of reasons, chief among them that it’s not an actual translation.  But with one boy who is still a pre-reader, yet obsessed with all things super hero, I decided to give it a go. I was really surprised by its depth and vivid storytelling.

After looking through it, I’m actually very excited to walk through this book with my sons!  I think they will be enthralled with the artistry, as well as the story of Scripture it paints.

Currently, the The Action Bible Easter Story  which is part of this Bible is FREE on Amazon for kindle! So, hurry over and grab it up as a good way to preview the Bible with your child before you buy it.

You Can Draw Bible Stories for Kids

You Can Draw Bible Stories for kids {Hive Resources}

I discovered this little gem from kidmin blogger Amanda White.

I plan to put it in the basket of my budding artist, who eats up all things art and drawing. I hope it will become a tool that will allow us to sketch sermon notes together and give him a bigger framework for seeing God’s story.

 

What do you put in your child’s Easter basket to lead them to the empty tomb? 

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, click here.

How to find community at church

Welcome to Ministry Monday at Hive Resources! This series is for everyday women who minister through the everyday mission fields of life. Posts feature resources and ideas for discipleship, outreach events, women’s ministries, Bible study, hospitality, and more. Subscribe today!

Ministry Monday {Hive Resources for Missional Women}

Today, many in the church try to replace community with church attendance, assuming the two ideas are interchangeable. But going to church and living in a community of faith aren’t necessarily the same thing.

Having grown up in the midst of church life, I see a looming difference.

2 Reasons you should stop going to church {Guest Post at Missional Women by @demingglobal #community

If you’re on the fence about getting involved in a local church, I urge you to stop going to a building every Sunday and instead become a true member of the community inside.”

To read my full post, CLICK HERE!

The Missional Women Conference is THIS weekend! Sign up for the FREE webscast here!

Buy a pin, plant a church

Fill your Easter basket with gifts that matter {Hive Resources} #easter #easterbaskets

When my husband and I moved to Pittsburgh a few years ago, we secretly plotted to find the largest church in our area and hide in the back pew.

We were kidding, but sort of not.

But God has a pretty good sense of humor. Instead, he led us to what seemed like the smallest church in the city – a church that hadn’t even officially opened it’s doors!

And while we would have never picked out church planting for ourselves, we’ve been blessed beyond measure to be a part of one.

Through the month of April, friend and fellow Missional Women contributor Joy Rudolph is donating a portion of the proceeds from her Etsy shop to our church plant – Living Faith Community Church of Pittsburgh!

Spring flower pins that make a difference {Hive Resources}

A church planter herself, Joy knows the roller coaster ride of pioneer missions. She interviewed me about our church planting journey over on her site yesterday. I hope you’ll hop over and marvel with me at how God guides us to the exact location he wants us.

Plus, I hope you’ll support our church by purchasing something from her shop!  She sent me these adorable flower pins, and I thought of so many ways to use them – on hats, on wreaths, on just about any jacket or sweater, and even as a meaningful gift in an Easter basket.

Buy a flower pin for spring and plant a church {Hive Resources}

Yesterday, one of my sweet friends I’m discipling stopped by. She looked so cute, I made her try on the black and white houndstooth pin. Thanks for being such a good sport and super cute model, Toni!

Support our church plant during the month of April and  make a purchase from Joy’s shop! What’s more fun that shopping for a purpose?

Making Better Disciples: Feeding vs. Feasting

Ministry Monday Making Better Disciples {Hive Resources}

Before I had kids, I said I would never serve my children chicken nuggets or boxed mac-n-cheese. Currently, I have both in my pantry ready to be pulled out in a moment’s notice. Very often, those two foods keep my dinning room from turning into Hell’s Kitchen.

If you’ve got kids, you’ve got food battles. They are a simple  fact of parenthood, no matter how much you believed your kids would be different.

To be fair, my kids mostly eat what is served to them.  The hubsters and I try to be consistent in upholding our dinner table rules for one very good reason: we want our children to be healthy eaters.

Fighting spiritual food battles in disciples {Hive Resources} #discipleship

Feeding vs. Feasting?

Paul, as the mentor and apostle to numerous New Testament churches, entered into many a “food battle” with his spiritual children. His letters to the early churches are replete with hunks of doctrinal meat. He expected his readers to chew thoughtfully on God’s Words and ingest them, setting aside “milk” as they matured in Christ.

Above all, Paul desired the early church to be “healthy eaters” – individuals who made wise choices in what they consumed so they might be useful to the Lord.

And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? 1 Cor. 3:1-3

Yet, discipleship in the early church wasn’t a perpetual feast – an exclusive event characterized by the merriment of the feaster.

Often, in the church we invite our members to a feast, encouraging them to gorge themselves on the ministries we offer. And while there is a place for this type of celebration, feasting alone should not be the pattern of our church body’s eating habits.

Here’s just a few ways I’ve seen the feasting principle played out in discipleship in the church planting context:

The Heavy Eater

In evangelicalism today, there is a great call to plunge the doctrinal depths of the Scriptures through the works of heroes of the faith.

I love this! Don’t get me wrong. I like reading the works of dead guys too, but if we only sat around stuffing ourselves on the high-caloric intake of Calvin and Luther, we’re going to get really fat.

In the spiritual realm as in the physical realm, healthy “eating” habits are tempered by exercise. If we’re emphasizing doctrine and theology (and we should be!), let’s also ensure we give our church members adequate opportunities to apply what they’re reading through active service.

Discipleship that caters to heavy eaters produces lazy servants who feast while others do the ‘heavy lifting’ of ministry.

The Picky Eater

The last few decades of women’s ministry have seen a renewed emphasis on women’s Bible studies. As you can guess, I’m a fan of this too!

Bible study MUST be the core and foundational element of any women’s ministry, but we have to serve up some variety in our choice of studies.

Newsflash:  if we only offer one type of Bible study led by the same author, then we are going to produce picky spiritual eaters! If I only serve my kids chicken nuggets and mac-n-cheese, then they will never learn to love other foods. Similarly, in some churches, women won’t attend a Bible study unless it’s led by a specific teacher. The result? Very often, picky eaters never learn to do the hard work of feeding themselves. They will only desire to feast on the milk that is provided to them.

True discipleship is about inviting others to the table {Hive Resources}

While all believers start their spiritual meals on the milk of God’s Word, they must learn to cut their teeth on weightier things. They must learn to feed themselves by learning how to mine the Scriptures without sustained assistance from workbooks or video-driven Bible studies.

Discipleship that caters to picky eaters produces self-absorbed servants, who come to the table only when what is served pleases them.

Although it sounds counter-intuitive, both heavy eaters and picky eaters are guilty of the same thing. They are guilty of feasting on God’s Word, although in separate measures. One feasts on only one type of food, the other on the entire contents of the table. Ultimately, feasters are selfish in nature,enjoying the lavish merriment of the table on their own terms.

But true discipleship is about training up life-long learners who seek to find ways to live out their faith.

True discipleship is about inviting someone to the table, providing a feast, and then teaching them to feed themselves so they can prepare a meal for someone else.  

In the end, we want disciples who are capable of discipling someone else. We want healthy eaters.

Is your church guilty of feeding or feasting? Ask yourself these questions:

–Do we ask new people to step in and serve? 

If not, we might be guilty of feasting by making perpetual guests feel comfortable so as not to scare them off. Disciples who are never expected (or asked) to serve never will!

This is a disservice both to the church body which needs all its parts exercising its gifts, and to the feaster, who never learns to put his or faith into action.

–Do we regularly call out new leaders to teach God’s Word? 

If not, we might be guilty of feasting by relying on the store bought “bread” of personality-driven Bible studies. Disciples who are never expected to reproduce themselves will only eat and never lead others to eat.

Don’t get me wrong. There is a time to feast! There is time to rest from service. There is a time to step aside and let newer believers do the heavy lifting ministry often requires. But as with any good diet, balance is the key.

I’m looking forward to that day when all our kingdom work is done, and you and I will enjoy a perpetual feast with our Lord, who made a place for us around his banquet table! (Rev. 9)

But until then, there is much to do to prepare for the party. And food battles do nothing but slow us down.

“And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come. Again, he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, ‘See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.’ ” Matt. 22:1-4 

What do your church body’s eating habits look like? How do you win the spiritual food battles that produce heavy or picky eaters?

How to give your kids a ‘Sense of the Resurrection’

Easter Week at Hive Resources #Easter #Resurrection #HeisRisen

I’m continuing my series Ideas for Celebrating the Resurrection at Hive Resources with a powerful and FUN new resource  for your family from Oh Amanda.

A Sense of the Resurrection

A Sense of the Resurrection: an Easter Experience for Families is an ebook that guides your family through the Resurrection story in 12 activities.

sense of the resurrection

Along with a Scripture passage and talking points, each activity utilizes one of the five senses, giving kids the chance to experience the Resurrection story in a whole new way. But unlike her Advent experience book, Truth in Tinsel, the activities in A Sense of the Resurrection are more “memory-makers” or “memorials” than simple crafts. 

How to use Oh Amandas new ebook A Sense of the Resurrection {Hive Resources}

Some of the activities include:

  • making bread to remind us of Christ’s sacrifice
  • smelling perfume to remind us to prepare our hearts for Christ
  • making wind chimes as a joyful sound as in the Triumphal Entry
  • washing one another’s feet to remind us of our Servant-King

Along with instructions and pictures of each activity, Amanda also provides a printable pennant that goes with each lesson. These can be used along with the lesson, as a follow-up teaching tool, or in place of the activities.

Guiding your kids through the Resurrection Story with a great new ebook {Hive Resources}

In my house, we already colored our pennants and hung them on our mantle. We’re ready to begin the Easter Story! My plan is to select key activities during April that match our schedule, and then use the pennant to reinforce what they are learning.

Since there is no set schedule for these activities, the pressure is off. We can enjoy the Easter season and follow the story without worrying about missing a day. Plus, the banner hangs as a little billboard to any guests that might join us during April.

coupon code

This week only,  A Sense of the Resurrection: an Easter Experience for Families is on sale! Use the coupon code OHEASTER to get 20% off the ebook. But hurry! The code expires tomorrow (Mar. 28)! 

This post contains affiliate links. Special thanks to Amanda White for providing me a preview copy of her book!

I’m linking up with Faith-filled Fridays!