Christmas, Holidays (Other)

Have Yourself an Awesome Little Advent 2019: 12 (Mostly FREE) Advent Devotionals, Activities, and Resources

Is your family getting ready for Advent? Loosely defined, Advent is the period of time leading up to Christmas when we commemorate Christ’s first coming and anticipate His second coming. And what better way to do so than by making Bible study and worship part of your family tradition? Here are some awesome Advent resources for young and old alike. Most of them are free, but the ones that aren’t, I’ve marked with a 💰.

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December Advent!– Here’s an advent calendar, craft, and devotional all rolled into one! Naomi’s Table is a women’s Bible study resource that I highly recommend for sound doctrine and right handling of God’s word. Have a listen to their daily Advent podcasts and make the Advent calendar that goes with them!

 

Repeat the Sounding Joy– This Advent devotional by Christopher Ash on Luke 1-2 “will help you to celebrate afresh the arrival of the long-awaited Messiah in history, and learn what it means to wait for him with joyful expectation today. Each day’s reading includes a short reflection, a prayer, a carol, and space to journal…”. Get a $10 off (when you spend $20+) coupon here for The Good Book Co.💰

 

Need a good Advent playlist? I’ve created one on YouTube. Your favorite Advent (not Christmas) song isn’t included? Leave a comment (a link would be helpful) and I’ll add it if appropriate.

 

Joy To The World: Daily Readings For Advent– “In the midst of the business of December, take 5 minutes each day and let Charles Spurgeon, the prince of preachers, warm your heart with joy that can only be found in the good news of Jesus Christ.” A 25-day Advent devotional guide.💰

 

 

Names of Jesus Advent Ornaments– One for each day, December 1-24. Create them on paper, cardboard, or wood, and study one of the names of Jesus each day leading up to Christmas. Free printables, too!

 

The Christmas Promise Advent Calendar– This “attractive lift-the-flap Advent Calendar for children 5-11 years old…comes with a booklet containing 25 devotions for December to help families explore the Bible together in the run up to Christmas.” Get a $10 off (when you spend $20+) coupon here for The Good Book Co.💰

 

Advent: A 31-Day Reading Plan– A “31-day Bible reading plan on ESV.org aimed at helping you enter into and reflect on the story of Advent this season.” Use it during your own quiet time or for family worship. You’ll need to start today in order to finish by Christmas Day.

 

Christmas Messages– Maybe sermons are more to your Advent listening liking than music. “In this set of Christmas sermons, Dr. R.C. Sproul examines the account of the Magi in the gospel according to Matthew and the relationship of David and Saul in order to unfold the significance of Christmas and the incarnation of Christ.”

 

Advent Crafts for Kids–  “Scripture-based crafts from Gail Schoonmaker’s book, Big Picture Bible Crafts, can provide an opportunity to do something with kids that will help you explain the Christmas story in a simple and interactive way.” Download two free crafts.

 

Advent at The End TimeElizabeth Prata has been hard at work on her Advent materials over at her blog, The End Time. Check out her series of articles each Monday during the Advent season, exploring “some of the less ‘famous’ characters or events in the Nativity story.” This series started on November 11, so you’ll want to get caught up! And starting this Thursday (Thanksgiving Day), watch for Thirty Days of Jesus, “Scripture pictures that progressively work through Jesus’ life from incarnation to ascension.” You could share them on social media or change your cover photo every day to celebrate the season!

 

25 Christmas Myths and What the Bible Says– Was Jesus Born on December 25? Did the angels really sing to the shepherds? And what about that inn keeper? In his recently updated book, 25 Christmas Myths…, Gabriel Hughes tackles some of the folklore and false assumptions that have sprung up around the Christmas story and shares what the Bible really teaches. One lesson for each day December 1-25. Get a sneak peek below. Audio is more your thing? Gabe discussed myths 1-10 from the book last year on his podcast. 💰

 

Who says crafts are just for kids? How about making an Advent mini-book for journaling your way through the themes and Scriptures of the Advent season? Use materials you have on hand or head out to the craft store, choose some Scripture passages to add, and create a charming, gospel-centered heirloom you can re-read each year. You might even want to use it along with the 31-Day Bible reading plan above! (The video below is part one of three. Part 2  Part 3)

 

What’s your favorite Advent resource?


I do not endorse anything on any of these sites that deviates from Scripture or conflicts with my beliefs as outlined in the “Welcome” or “Statement of Faith” tabs at the top of this page.
Christmas

Have Yourself an Awesome Little Advent 2018: 12 (Mostly FREE) Advent Devotionals, Activities, and Resources

Is your family getting ready for Advent? Loosely defined, Advent is the period of time leading up to Christmas when we commemorate Christ’s first coming and anticipate His second coming. And what better way to do so than by making Bible study and worship part of your family tradition? Here are some awesome Advent resources for young and old alike. Most of them are free, but the ones that aren’t, I’ve marked with a  💰.

Please note, I tried to vet these resources and writers as best I could for sound doctrine, but not all of these folks are thoroughly familiar to me, nor have I read all of these materials. Be discerning, and always make sure every teaching you embrace matches up with what God’s word says.

P_20131113_122041-296x300

December Advent!– Here’s an advent calendar, craft, and devotional all rolled into one! Naomi’s Table is a women’s Bible study resource that I highly recommend for sound doctrine and right handling of God’s word. Have a listen to their daily Advent podcasts and make the Advent calendar that goes with them!

 

coverLet Every Heart Prepare Him Room– This is a family Advent devotional from Bible teacher and mom Nancy Guthrie. Along with devotions for every day in December, this resource includes explanations of some hard-to-understand aspects of popular Christmas carols and discussion questions to draw in your elementary through high school-aged kids. 💰

 

close up of a candle on a christmas tree

Joyous Expectation– Lynnae McCoy offers a weekly Advent devotional. The first week she helps us remember that “The King is on the way!” with a free printable. (Click on “Tagged With: Advent” at the end of the article for remaining devotionals.)

 

Lutheran Public Radio– Looking for sacred music to listen to during Advent? According to my reader who recommended this resource, “They play church music appropriate to the season of the church year,” so you might want to keep LPR handy all year long! Listen online at the LPR website or on the LPR app.

 

Worship Ideas for Family Time at Christmas– Jerry Vogel and his wife “always plan a dedicated time for family worship.” Here’s how they did it. Maybe it would be a fit for your family, too.

 

9780805444193

The Christ of Christmas Advent Devotionals– These weekly devotional readings are excerpted from Calvin Miller’s book, The Christ of Christmas.

 

 

 

2009-11-18_0909aNames of Jesus Advent Chain– Paper chains are a fun and easy craft for families with little ones, and this one even comes with a printable template. Count down to Christmas with the Names of Jesus Advent Chain from Spell Outloud.

 

Know Him by Name– There are enough red flags with Focus on the Family that it’s not a ministry I proactively recommend, but they’re generally doctrinally OK enough that I’m comfortable sharing this Advent devotional with you to use as a template for your own family time. Use the Scriptures they’ve provided, tweak or beef up the teaching portion, and select some of the fun activities (advent wreath instructions and free printables) to do with the kids.

 

Love Came Down at Christmas– “Over the course of December, this devotional [by Sinclair Ferguson] walks through 1 Corinthians 13 phrase-by-phrase, showing us that “love is” the Lord Jesus himself…Each day’s reading finishes with a question for reflection and a prayer.” 💰

 

 

Christmas Messages– Maybe sermons are more to your Advent listening liking than music. “In this set of Christmas sermons, Dr. R.C. Sproul examines the account of the Magi in the gospel according to Matthew and the relationship of David and Saul in order to unfold the significance of Christmas and the incarnation of Christ.”

 

Advent Crafts for Kids–  “Scripture-based crafts from Gail Schoonmaker’s book, Big Picture Bible Crafts, can provide an opportunity to do something with kids that will help you explain the Christmas story in a simple and interactive way.” Download two free crafts.

 

Come, Let Us Adore Him– “This book of daily readings for the month of December by best-selling author Paul David Tripp will help you slow down, prepare your heart, and focus on what matters most: adoring our Savior, Jesus.” Download a free excerpt of the book (readings for December 1-4). 💰

 

 

What’s your favorite Advent resource?

Parenting, Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday ~ 12 Techniques for Raising Bible-Saturated Kids

Originally Published April 15, 2015

bible-saturated-kids

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
Deuteronomy 6:6-7

Phew. That’s a pretty tall order, isn’t it? God may have said this through Moses to Old Testament Israel, but His words are just as relevant for 21st century Christian parents. God wants our children immersed in His word as they go about their daily lives. Ephesians 6:4 reminds fathers that they are to bring their children up “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord,” and as moms, we have the joy of supporting our husbands in that venture by bringing Scripture and prayer to bear on all those little daily “walk by the way” moments. But how? Here are some practical ways I’ve discovered for capturing those teachable moments and pouring God’s word into them.

1. Set an example.

Be faithful to your own Bible study and prayer time. Let your children “catch you in the act” from time to time. Share with them what you’re learning from God’s word, things you’re praying about, things you’ve asked God to forgive you for, etc.

2. Train your children to have their own daily Bible study time.

You might be surprised at how early you can start developing this godly habit in your child. With an infant, you might simply take a few minutes of her morning feeding to read aloud from your Bible and pray. With a toddler, you can regularly set aside five or ten minutes (when she’s not tired or hungry) for her to sit down and look at pictures in a children’s Bible, maybe while you’re sitting nearby with your own Bible, modeling for her. As children get a little older and can read, you can set aside a block of time before their bedtime for individual Bible study and prayer. When they’re very small, children aren’t going to understand much from the Bible (although they will surprise you sometimes!), but they will still be absorbing some valuable things: the Bible is an important book, God is the top priority in my family, and God and His word should be preeminent in my life.

3. Establish a regular time of family worship at home.

If your husband is a believer, be careful not to usurp his leadership in this area. It is ultimately His responsibility to lead his family in worship. Help each other think of ways to make your family worship time age appropriate for the children, and support your husband as he teaches God’s word. Also, understand that with children comes chaos. (My four children who are still at home range in age from 11 to 19, and I still have to remind them to quiet down and stay on track during family worship.) It’s going to happen. Just tuck and roll and don’t give up.

4. Sing.

Who cares if you can’t carry a tune in a bucket? God doesn’t, that’s for sure. Sing some hymns while you’re washing the dishes. Sing along with a worship CD in the car. Music is a great way to get God’s truths into your child’s heart and mind.

5. Conversation Prayer

During our family worship time, we used to go around and share prayer requests, then one or two people would pray. We found that the children were either forgetting the prayer requests or we would have to spend time writing them down. So now we often do what we have dubbed “conversation prayer”. One parent will say a brief opening prayer, and then the “floor is open” for anyone to say a (or several) one or two sentence prayer about whatever is on his heart (“Please help me do well on my math test tomorrow,” or “Lord, please save Grandmamma.”). When it seems like everyone is finished, the other parent says a closing prayer.

6. What is God up to?

Sometimes it’s hard for children (and even adults) to recognize and remember the ways God is answering prayers and working in their lives. When our children were smaller, I put up a piece of posterboard on the wall of the breakfast room with the title “What is God up to?” at the top. Whenever God answered something we had been praying about, provided for us, moved in our lives in some way, or blessed us, we made a little note about it, along with the date. It had big things – like my daughter getting saved – as well as little things – like my son finally learning to tie his shoes. It helped my children to recognize God’s sovereignty over all areas of our lives, that He does answer prayer, and that He gets the glory for everything.

7. Let’s pray about this.

Your children are going to struggle with things. They’re going to have times of rejoicing and times of sorrow. There will be times when they have disobeyed and need to repent of their sin. What better opportunities to teach them to take everything to God in prayer? Teach them how to ask God for help when something is too hard. Teach them to thank God for blessing them and ask Him to comfort them when they’re sad. Show them how to ask God for forgiveness when they’ve done wrong.

8. Sprinkle life with Scripture.

(In order to do this, you’re going to have to know Scripture, so be sure to be faithful to your own study of God’s word.) When you see a beautiful sunset, talk about how God created the sun and moon. When your child is kind to someone, praise him and tell him God wants us to be kind to others. When you discipline him, show him his sin from Scripture, and talk about repentance and God’s forgiveness.

9. Memorize Scripture together.

There is a wonderfully wide variety of Scripture memory resources out there. My children were all involved in Awana at church when they were small, and we worked on their memory verses together at home. Our home schooling curriculum, at the kindergarten level, had a 26 verse Scripture memory program in which we memorized a verse beginning with each letter of the alphabet. Seeds Family Worship is a fantastic program with word for word Scripture songs and other great resources. And you can always make up your own fun programs, songs, and contests to help the whole family memorize God’s word.

10. Ask questions.

“Would God be pleased with the way you’re acting? How do you know?” “What does the Bible say about the way we should treat each other?” “What does the Bible say about _____?” Questions like these get your children thinking. They take your children from simply reading and hearing God’s word to applying Scripture to their lives and recognizing that they must submit to it.

11. The Gratitude Game

Forget popping in a CD or DVD. This is a great way to harness that down time in the car (or anywhere else) and use it to teach your kids about prayer and thankfulness. It’s kind of like playing “I Spy.” Just look out the window and take turns thanking God for what you see: “Thank You, God, for making birds.” “Thank You for ice cream.” “Thank You for police officers who help us.” Or pray for people as you pass by various buildings. “God, please help the sick people in that hospital…help the pastor of that church do a good job of preaching Your word…provide homes for the people in that shelter…” We also made it a habit to pray for victims of accidents or tragedies whenever we saw an ambulance or fire truck.

12. Kiddievangelism

Our kids need to see us sharing the gospel with people as a normal part of everyday life, and we need to explain to them why it’s so important. There’s an easy way to get your kids personally involved, too, especially when they’re small: tracts. Get some doctrinally sound tracts (my favorites are from Living Waters – biblically accurate and fun, too, and look at these awesome ones just for kids!) and let your child leave one in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, on the table when you leave McDonald’s, or hand one to the cashier at the store. I’ve had people turn me down when I offer them a tract, but who’s going to refuse an adorable three year old? Get them started on a lifelong habit of sharing the gospel wherever they go.

 

As Christian parents it’s our responsibility before God- not the church’s, the Sunday school teacher’s, the Christian DVD’s, etc. – to train our children in the Scriptures, prayer, and godliness. If we slow down and ask God to direct us, He will show us all kinds of ways we can teach them diligently to our children, when we sit in our houses, and when we walk by the way, and when we lie down, and when we rise.

 

What are some fun or unique ways you’ve found
to pour God’s word into your children’s everyday lives?


This article was originally published at SATISFACTION THROUGH CHRIST.
Christmas, Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday ~ 10 Free (and Cheap) Devotionals and Family Worship Activities for Advent

Originally published December 5, 2014Advent 10

Loosely defined, Advent is the period of time leading up to Christmas when we commemorate Christ’s first coming and anticipate His second coming (click here to learn more). And what better way to do so than by making Bible study and worship part of your family tradition? Here are ten Advent resources for young and old alike (and nearly all of them are FREE).

Please note, I tried to vet these resources and writers as best I could for sound doctrine, but not all of these folks are thoroughly familiar to me, nor have I read all of these materials. Be discerning, and always make sure every teaching you embrace matches up with what God’s word says.

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1. December Advent!– Naomi’s Table is a women’s Bible study program/podcast that I highly recommend for sound doctrine and right handling of God’s word. Have a listen to their daily Advent podcasts and make the Advent calendar that goes with them!

71NBqbFZg9L._SL1480_

 

2. Devotions for Advent– “In Devotions for Advent, bestselling author Robert J. Morgan has gathered favorite hymns as well as classic, lesser-known gems to guide your quiet time with God during Advent.”

full_the-dawning-of-indestructible-joy

 

3. The Dawning of Indestructible Joy– “These 25 brief devotional readings from John Piper begin on December 1 and carry us to Christmas Day.” Download the PDF or audiobook for free. You can also purchase it in paperback or Kindle formats.

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4. Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room– This is a family Advent devotional from Bible teacher and mom Nancy Guthrie. Along with devotions for every day in December, this resource includes explanations of some hard-to-understand aspects of popular Christmas carols and discussion questions to draw in your elementary through high school-aged kids.

close up of a candle on a christmas tree

 

5. Joyous Expectation– Lynnae McCoy is doing a weekly Advent devotional. This week she helps us remember that “The King is on the way!” with a free printable.

full_good-news-of-great-joy

 

6. Good News of Great Joy– These Advent meditations are excerpted from the ministry of John Piper and correspond to the daily readings in Desiring God’s free devotional app, Solid Joys. The e-reader and PDF versions and apps are all free to download.

 

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7. Worship Ideas for Family Time at Christmas– Jerry Vogel and his wife “always plan a dedicated time for family worship.” Here’s how they did it. Maybe it would be a fit for your family, too.

9780805444193

 

8. The Christ of Christmas Advent Devotionals– These weekly devotional readings are excerpted from Calvin Miller’s book, The Christ of Christmas.

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9. Journey to the Manger– Advent fun for kids from Thriving Family (a ministry of Focus on the Family). Free downloads include: Advent poster, Bible character cutouts, daily faith activities, and puzzles.

 

2009-11-18_0909a10. Names of Jesus Advent Chain– Paper chains are a fun and easy craft for families with little ones, and this one even comes with a printable template. Count down to Christmas with the Names of Jesus Advent Chain from Spell Outloud.

Christmas

10 Free (and Cheap) Devotionals and Family Worship Activities for Advent

Advent 10

Loosely defined, Advent is the period of time leading up to Christmas when we commemorate Christ’s first coming and anticipate His second coming (click here to learn more). And what better way to do so than by making Bible study and worship part of your family tradition? Here are ten Advent resources for young and old alike (and nearly all of them are FREE).

Please note, I tried to vet these resources and writers as best I could for sound doctrine, but not all of these folks are thoroughly familiar to me, nor have I read all of these materials. Be discerning, and always make sure every teaching you embrace matches up with what God’s word says.

P_20131113_122041-296x300

1. December Advent!– Naomi’s Table is a women’s Bible study program/podcast that I highly recommend for sound doctrine and right handling of God’s word. Have a listen to their daily Advent podcasts and make the Advent calendar that goes with them!

71NBqbFZg9L._SL1480_

 

2. Devotions for Advent– “In Devotions for Advent, bestselling author Robert J. Morgan has gathered favorite hymns as well as classic, lesser-known gems to guide your quiet time with God during Advent.”

full_the-dawning-of-indestructible-joy

 

3. The Dawning of Indestructible Joy– “These 25 brief devotional readings from John Piper begin on December 1 and carry us to Christmas Day.” Download the PDF or audiobook for free. You can also purchase it in paperback or Kindle formats.

cover

 

4. Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room– This is a family Advent devotional from Bible teacher and mom Nancy Guthrie. Along with devotions for every day in December, this resource includes explanations of some hard-to-understand aspects of popular Christmas carols and discussion questions to draw in your elementary through high school-aged kids.

close up of a candle on a christmas tree

 

5. Joyous Expectation– Lynnae McCoy is doing a weekly Advent devotional. This week she helps us remember that “The King is on the way!” with a free printable.

full_good-news-of-great-joy

 

6. Good News of Great Joy– These Advent meditations are excerpted from the ministry of John Piper and correspond to the daily readings in Desiring God’s free devotional app, Solid Joys. The e-reader and PDF versions and apps are all free to download.

 

IMG_0340

7. Worship Ideas for Family Time at Christmas– Jerry Vogel and his wife “always plan a dedicated time for family worship.” Here’s how they did it. Maybe it would be a fit for your family, too.

9780805444193

 

8. The Christ of Christmas Advent Devotionals– These weekly devotional readings are excerpted from Calvin Miller’s book, The Christ of Christmas.

4A3AE3E29F384AC1AB9103A30F844EBB

 

9. Journey to the Manger– Advent fun for kids from Thriving Family (a ministry of Focus on the Family). Free downloads include: Advent poster, Bible character cutouts, daily faith activities, and puzzles.

 

2009-11-18_0909a10. Names of Jesus Advent Chain– Paper chains are a fun and easy craft for families with little ones, and this one even comes with a printable template. Count down to Christmas with the Names of Jesus Advent Chain from Spell Outloud.