Tag Archive Christmas

ByAngie

5 Christmas Gifts For Boys That Will Connect Them To Jesus

When it comes to shopping for Christmas gifts for little boys, there usually isn’t a lot of guesswork involved. Most boys have no problem with being straightforward with what they want. Action figures, video games, legos… they know exactly what they want and will give you a detailed description and where to find it upon being asked what they want for Christmas. Yes, we must enjoy this time while it lasts because before we know it they are teenagers and NOT as easy to shop for…

But what about when it comes to a gift that will connect them to Jesus? A gift that will deepen their relationship with their Savior and the Father? Well, there it gets tricky… But I’m here to help! As a mom of 5, 3 of them boys, these are a few gifts that I have given my sons over the years that they actually enjoyed and didn’t get tossed aside.

(I admit that I am piggybacking on Emily’s posts, 5 Christmas Gifts For Girls That Will Connect Them To Jesus Part 1 and Part 2… Feel free to check them out by clicking on the links in the sentence above or on the photos below:)

5 Christmas Gifts For Girls That Will Connect Them To Jesus - Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven

 

5 Christmas Gifts For Boys That Will Connect Them To Jesus

1: Uplifting Music

Music weaves its way into everything in our home naturally. Rather than having my little guys listen to just anything, I try to make sure that 99% of what they listen to lifts up the King of Kings and draws them closer to Him. Sure, we still listen to fun silly songs and what not, but most of the time I try to turn on Christian music that the kids will enjoy and help them grow spiritually. Some favorite singers/bands amongst the boys in our home are The Newsboys, Family Force 5, TobyMac, Hillsong Young & Free, Hawk Nelson, Capital Kings… and quite a few others.

Our family actually has an Amazon Music subscription, making it quite a bit easier for us to access all the albums we love. If your family is constantly buying new albums, this may be a great option as a family gift for you!

Another gift idea that ties in here: Concert tickets! My 9-year-old still says 2 of the greatest events in his life were the 2 separate times he got to see The Newsboys in concert, with the time he got to meet them as his all-time favorite. This was actually a Birthday gift, but it was a gift, nonetheless. While it was a lot of fun for me, I did hang my head in embarrassment when his idea of complimenting Michael Tait was telling him that his arm muscles looked like “tiny bubbles”.

 

2: Bibles

To most kids, a standard Bible might seem a bit dull. Thankfully these days, there are many options when it comes to time for devotion and study. Even for kids! A few of the favorites in our home are The Adventure Bible, the Boys Bible (which includes Grossology… lol), and The Brick Bible.

 

3: Books

My kids LOVE to read! I know not all do, but maybe the right book could change that. Books by Becky Fischer and Answers In Genesis have been big hits in our house lately. This Christmas, some gifts will be Indescribable by Louis Giglio, The Ology: Ancient Truths, Ever New by Marty Machowski, The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, Hinds’ Feet On High Places by Hannah Hurnard, The Pilgrims Progress by John Bunyan, and quite a few others.

 

4: Movies

Look for a film that either has a biblical message or tell an actual Bible story. You know your child best, so pick a theme that would strike a chord with them. When my kids were younger they adored VeggieTales and Larry Boy. Now that they are a bit older, they watch the Dreamworks movies, Joseph King of Dreams and Prince of Egypt, almost repeatedly. Not surprising given the love of Newsboys in our home, they also love to watch the God’s Not Dead series. War Room is another favorite!

 

5: Creativity and Play

Boys love to work with their hands, that’s no secret. Each child also has their own creative talent and/or interest. Find things that line up with those but can draw them closer to God. Have a child interested in playing an instrument? Teach them about King David and purchase some Christian sheet music. Does your boy love imaginative play? Try an Armor of God playset and explain the purpose of each piece to him.  Almost all boys love Legos! Proverbial Homemaker has a few different Brick Challenge sets for sale (and a few free!) that are biblically themed. You can’t go wrong there!

 

Do you have any other ideas or gifts that you have given in the past that were a hit? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

ByEmily

5 Christmas Gifts for Girls that will Connect Them to Jesus: Part 2

5 Christmas Gifts for Girls that will Connect Them to Jesus: Part 2

For more gift ideas, be sure to see my original post here.

When it comes to Christmas shopping, I’ve noticed quite a bit of women in a frenzy trying to secure the latest craze for their loved ones. Gifts have become overrated, over the top, and beyond my price range! It’s all about the latest technology, the newest toys/gadgets, and expensive clothes that will go out of style by next year.

I’ve never been one to understand going into debt over things that are too quickly cast aside- especially since we’ve seemed to have forgotten the greatest gift of all time…..the one that didn’t come wrapped in sparkly paper with a giant glittery bow, but in swaddling clothes…..the one that is the true purpose for the Christmas season- Jesus!

Presence over Presents

Presents are no longer meaningful. And along with everything else in the world these days, they can distract us from our relationship with God. So instead of buying electronics and apps that will consume their time or toys that won’t last, let’s get our daughters gifts that will guide them to a closer walk with the Lord. Instead of swiping your credit card for whatever gifts are all the rage, look for items that will help your daughter seek His presence.
Whether your daughter (daughter/niece/cousin/best friend/student/etc.) is a youngster, a preteen, or heading off to college, these inexpensive gifts are the perfect options to point them to a personal relationship with the star of Christmas Himself and will even last well beyond December!

1. Uplifting Music: Part 2
If the girls in your life are anything like the girls in my life, they LOVE to sing and listen to music. And if you are anything like me, then you understand how important it is that what they are singing and listening to is encouraging and uplifting their spirits.

The following suggestions are albums that have not only had major positive impacts on my young daughters, but also on me as an adult:

Lauren Daigle – How Can it Be

Natalie Grant- Be One and Hurricane

Bethel- You Make Me Brave

Francesca Battistelli- My Paper Heart

Bethel Kids- Come Alive

Any of these, along with the ones listed in the original post (Francesca Battistelli- He Knows My Name and Barlow Girl- Never Alone), would make great gifts for the music-loving girl on your gift list.

2. Cool Coloring Books
Coloring books are all the rage these days and there are tons to choose from with inspirational quotes and scriptures. You can find them almost anywhere (Walmart, Christian Bookstores, Dollar General, etc). Pick one up along with colored pencils or gel pens and you’re good to go!

3. Busy Books Sermon Notes
Last year for Christmas we bought our daughters Busy Books Sermon Notes for kids 8-12 by Madison and Darlene Shacht. This gift option encourages younger ones to take their own notes each Sunday and helps them pay attention to the sermon. My girls have enjoyed having theirs!

For the older girls on your list, try the Busy Books Sermon Notes for Young Ladies, ages teen to adult. Both books are available on Amazon.

4. Bible Study
This world around us lately seems to have lost it’s mind. One thing I know for sure is I would certainly follow suit if not for the Word of God. A Bible study is the perfect option for any girl that will help them to remain grounded in what the Lord has to say about navigating this thing called life in a world as crazy as ours. There is a variety of choices when it comes to the many Bible studies available, so I would suggest basing your pick on the age and personality of the recipient.

Prayer Works by Stephen and Alex Kendrick is a great choice for younger kids that will keep their attention while strengthening their prayer lives.

Quieting Your Heart 30- Day Prayer Journal: Virtue Edition by Darlene Schact is full of adorable illustrations for the teens and young adults on your list.

5. Time
Maybe more than something physical, there’s someone on your list that could benefit from a Girl’s Day where you can pour into her spirit. Whether you’re chatting over a bite to eat or a pedicure, make sure she knows she has your full attention. Does she need a listening ear followed by Godly wisdom? Does she need encouragement? Does she need prayer? Ask God to guide you as you gather the specific details for this gift and know that it will be appreciated just as much as a physical gift, if not even greater.

We’d love to hear your ideas! What awesome gift ideas do you have that will bring girls closer to Christ? Be sure to leave a comment and let us know!

ByEmily

Be Born In Me

“And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.”
Luke 1:38

“And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.”
Luke 1:45

 

Be Born In Me - Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven

 

A few days ago I was praying and thanking God for sending His son as the greatest gift we could ever fathom. After all, this is the reason Christmas exists.

As I was praying, Mary’s sacrifice is what really hit me. I am amazed at Mary’s willingness to carry the Son of God. She said yes to an impossible task and went on to carry, deliver, and raise the Son of God…and then she went on to watch Jesus die.

I imagine her thoughts went something like this, “But He’s supposed to be Emanuel—God with us! Why are You taking Him away from me, God? I raised Him! You chose Him for the ultimate sacrifice. YOU chose that for Him. Not me!”

Then again, I realize she knew from Day 1 that there was a very specific plan and purpose for this Messiah…her son that she shared with the Almighty. I believe she had a sort of feeling in her heart of hearts, and yet she still said yes. She was still willing to walk in obedience to God’s plan for her life—no matter what—for the glory of the Lord.

Again, I’m amazed, because I don’t think I’d ever have been that brave. I can only pray and strive for the kind of courage to respond to God’s call on my life, regardless of situations and circumstances, with “Be it unto me according to thy word.”

ByEmily

5 Christmas Gifts for Girls (that will connect them to Jesus)

When it comes to Christmas shopping, I’ve noticed quite a bit of women in a frenzy trying to secure the latest craze for their loved ones. Gifts have become overrated, over the top, and beyond my price range! It’s all about the latest technology, the newest toys/gadgets, and expensive clothes that will go out of style by next year.

5 Christmas Gifts For Girls That Will Connect Them To Jesus - Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven

 

I’ve never been one to understand going into debt over things that are too quickly cast aside- especially since we’ve seemed to have forgotten the greatest gift of all time…..the one that didn’t come wrapped in sparkly paper with a giant glittery bow, but in swaddling clothes…..the one that is the true purpose for the Christmas season- Jesus!

Presence over Presents

Presents are no longer meaningful. And along with everything else in the world these days, they can distract us from our relationship with God. So instead of buying electronics and apps that will consume their time or toys that won’t last, let’s get our daughters gifts that will guide them to a closer walk with the Lord. Instead of swiping your credit card for whatever gifts are all the rage, look for items that will help your daughter seek His presence.

Whether your daughter (daughter/niece/cousin/best friend/student/etc.) is a youngster, a preteen, or heading off to college, these inexpensive gifts are the perfect options to point them to a personal relationship with the star of Christmas Himself and will even last well beyond December!

1. UPLIFTING MUSIC

Music is everywhere and it is feeding our minds, sometimes without us even realizing it. Why not buy a cd for your daughter that will influence her in a positive way? My suggestions would be something like Francesca Battistelli’s latest album entitled If We’re Honest or Barlow Girl’s Never Alone album.

I have only heard two songs from Francesca’s latest cd, but I quickly fell in love with them both. “Write Your Story” and “He Knows My Name” have awesome lyrics that will build her confidence as a child of God. And if the rest of the cd is anything like those two songs or anything else Francesca has done, I know it’ll be wonderful!

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Barlow Girl’s Never Alone album is a little older, but I remember when I first listened to this cd. My exact thoughts were, “Every young/teenage girl needs this cd!” With songs like “Average Girl,” “Mirror,” and “Clothes,” this cd will encourage your daughter to love who God created her to be and trust in His plans for her life.

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2. JOURNAL

A journal is an excellent choice and can be used in several ways. She can write her thoughts, prayers, favorite scriptures, et c. You might even start it for her by writing some encouraging quotes and scriptures or with a special note. I thank my seven year old for giving me this idea when she asked for one for Christmas to write prayers in. Journals come in various shapes, sizes, and designs. Be sure to choose one specific to her uniqueness.

3. INSPIRATIONAL CLOTHING/ACCESSORIES

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Brands like Kerusso and Cherished Girl offer t-shirts with adorable designs and scriptures for all ages. You can also find jewelry with scriptures or uplifting words. Offer the gift along with this challenge: Don’t just wear it- live it!

Anyone can wear a Christian t-shirt. Encourage your daughter to walk the walk and use this gift as a reminder that she is a daughter of the King.

4. DAILY DEVOTIONAL CALENDAR

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Like journals, you will have a variety to choose from, once again for all ages. Dayspring offers a line of Daybrighteners that can be used from year to year and the designs are endless. With a daily devotional calendar, she will be able to start each day in the word.

A couple of years ago, my husband bought me the Jesus Calling by Sarah Young daybrightener. I keep it beside my bed with my Bible. Every morning I flip the page, read the short devotion, and then look up the scriptures that go along with it. There’s nothing like getting in the word first thing!

 5. BIBLE/BIBLE ACCESSORIES

Have you seen the different Bibles available? There are children’s Bibles, teen Bibles, Bibles specifically for women or girls, Bibles specifically for cancer survivors, the list goes on. I love my KJV Bible that is chocolate brown and pink. What girl wouldn’t? 😉 Out of all the gifts that may engage the light and love of Jesus in your daughter’s life, the Bible is the most essential. No matter how old she is, she needs her own copy of life’s handbook.

Along with the Bible, you may add accessories such as the following: Bible cover, colorful pens/highlighters, notepad, sticky notes, and/or bookmarks. No Bible is complete without favorite or key scriptures highlighted or notes in the margin, right? I know if you were to flip through my Bibles, you might be able to read the story of my life in between the lines. With these Bible accessories, she can make her Bible her own.

All of these gifts can be found at your local Christian bookstores and gift shops. You’ve heard from me, now I want to hear from you! What items would you add to this list?

ByEmily

Finding Peace In The Midst Of Holiday Madness

When it comes to the holidays, it’s easy for us (especially women) to welcome added stress, freak-outs, et c. It’s as if it knocked on our door and we let it stride right on in, making itself at home. We accept “overwhelmed” as our new normal. Why? Well, because it’s the holidays, of course!

Christmas has started before Thanksgiving is even over, and then BOOM!—this year has gone away and a new one has begun. However, we should never allow ourselves to –almost gladly– accept the status of being overwhelmed. This, my fellow wives/mothers/aunts/sisters, is not Godly.

 

Finding Peace In The Midst Of Holiday Madness

 

Christmas is not about stress. Christmas is not about buying the most expensive gifts. Christmas is not about having the best-wrapped presents. Christmas is not about being Room Mom and making sure the class party is perfect. Christmas is not about hosting the most fabulous parties. Christmas is not about dragging the kids to the mall to get their picture made with Santa.

“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”- Isaiah 9:6

Prince of Peace! Christmas is all about God sending peace to this world. And what was it the angels were singing to the shepherds about Jesus’ birth?

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”- Luke 2:14

You haven’t sent your Christmas cards out yet and Christmas is tomorrow? You forgot to get a gift for your child’s teacher? You meant to make Christmas cookies to take to the nursing home? Just breathe. This year make the following pledge and stick to it:

I will not let the world’s holiday madness define my attitude, take away my peace or the peace of my family! I will rejoice at all times in the birth, death, and resurrection of my Savior!

ByEmily

Mary, Did You Know? – A Special Christmas Song Of The Week

There are several Christmas songs that I love, but if I absolutely had to pick just one, this would probably be it. I love the lyrics, so I’m going to let them speak for themselves. Enjoy!

*Note: This song has been recorded by many artists, and I love just about every version that I’ve heard. However, I love hearing it done by the writer of the song himself, Mark Lowry. He does an amazing job!

 

Song of the Week Christmas Edition

 

Mary, Did You Know?
Mark Lowry

Mary did you know that your baby boy would some day walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you’ve delivered, will soon deliver you.

Mary did you know that your baby boy would give sight to a blind man?
Mary did you know that your baby boy would calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when your kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God.

Oh Mary did you know

The blind will see, the deaf will hear, the dead will live again.
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb

Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary did you know that your baby boy would one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you’re holding is the great I am

ByEmily

I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day – A Special Christmas Song Of The Week

This is one of my favorite Christmas songs (tune in next week for another of my favorites!) and I think you’ll enjoy it as well.

 

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”- Luke 2:14

 

Can you imagine the sound of the angels singing the above scripture? I bet it sounded heavenly. 😉

 

Song of the Week Christmas Edition

 

I Heard the Bells
Casting Crowns

 

I heard the bells on Christmas day

Their old familiar carols play

And mild and sweet their songs repeat

Of peace on earth good will to men

 

And the bells are ringing

Like a choir they’re singing

In my heart I hear them

Peace on earth, good will to men

 

And in despair I bowed my head

There is no peace on earth I said

For hate is strong and mocks the song

Of peace on earth, good will to men

 

But the bells are ringing

Like a choir singing

Does anybody hear them?

Peace on earth, good will to men

 

Then rang the bells more loud and deep

God is not dead, nor doth He sleep

The wrong shall fail, the right prevail

With peace on earth, good will to men

 

Then ringing singing on its way

The world revolved from night to day

A voice, a chime, a chant sublime

Of peace on earth, good will to men

 

And the bells they’re ringing

Like a choir they’re singing

And with our hearts we’ll hear them

Peace on earth, good will to men

 

Do you hear the bells they’re ringing?

The life the angels singing

Open up your heart and hear them

Peace on earth, good will to men

 

Peace on earth, Peace on earth

Peace on earth, Good will to men

 

ByEmily

Be Born In Me (Mary) – A Special Christmas Song Of The Week

So young and entrusted with such an amazing calling- to carry, deliver, and raise the child of God. “Let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1: 38) An overwhelming task for many, yet she chose to do the will of God. Blessed was she among all women!

 

Song of the Week Christmas Edition

 

Be Born In Me
Francesca Battistelli

Everything inside me cries for order
Everything inside me wants to hide
Is this shadow an angel or a warrior?
If God is pleased with me, why am I so terrified?
Someone tell me I am only dreaming
Somehow help me see with Heaven’s eyes
And before my head agrees, my heart is on it’s knees
Holy is He. Blessed am I.

Be born in me, be born in me
Trembling heart, somehow I believe that You chose me
I’ll hold you in the beginning, You will hold me in the end
Every moment in the middle, make my heart your Bethlehem
Be born in me

All this time we’ve waited for the promise
All this time You’ve waited for my arms
Did You wrap yourself inside the unexpected
So we might know that Love would go that far?

Be born in me, be born in me
Trembling heart, somehow I believe that You chose me
I’ll hold you in the beginning, You will hold me in the end
Every moment in the middle, make my heart your Bethlehem
Be born in me

I am not brave
I’ll never be
The only thing my heart can offer is a vacancy
I’m just a girl
Nothing more
But I am willing, I am Yours

 

ByAngie

Free Christmas Holiday Season Planning Printable Pack

Now, how does the old song go?

 

Christmas time is coming, the goose is getting fat!

Time to download your Free Christmas Holiday Season Planning Printable Pack!

You don’t have to have a penny, it’s free for you!

You don’t have to have a hay penny, God bless you!

 

Okay, I may have gotten the words wrong on that one, but I’m silly and couldn’t resist.

 

Free Christmas Holiday Season Planning Printable Pack

 

I want to be honest with you and tell you that this printable pack is far from my best work. I drew it up in a hurry and it shows. In a perfect world, I would have started this in early October when I originally thought of it, poured my blood, sweat, and tears into it, and had it finished weeks ago so you could download it earlier. Such was not the case. But since I make myself printable lists every year for my own record, I thought I would throw something together that was pretty and share it with you all.

 

Free Christmas Holiday Season Planning Printable Pack

 

This Free Christmas Holiday Season Planning Printable Pack has many blank lists, 2 month at a glance calendars for November & December, a budget list, and even includes 2 little sheets for planning New Year’s Eve & New Year’s Day and more. Consisting of 25 pages, the Free Christmas Holiday Season Planning Printable Pack is decorated with vintage public domain images and is rather colorful. Just right to put you in the Thanksgiving and Christmas planning spirit!

 

Free Christmas Holiday Season Planning Printable Pack

 

If you notice any mistakes or would like me to add a page, just let me know! Hopefully next year I’ll have something more fun to give to you all. Not that this isn’t fun, but my aim is always to improve and never settle. 😉

 

This is just our humble little gift to you, from all of us here at Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven. God bless, Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year to you all!

 

You can download the Free Christmas Holiday Season Planning Printable Pack by clicking here. Please, do not share this link or your download with others, but send them to this post to download a pack of their own instead. Thank you!

 

 

ByAngie

Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday – What A Difference A Week Makes

8 And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying:

“Hosanna to the Son of David!
‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’
Hosanna in the highest!”

10 And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, “Who is this?”
11 So the multitudes said, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.”

Matthew 21:8-11 NKJV

Today most of us are celebrating Palm Sunday, the day we remember when Jesus rode on a donkey into the city of Jerusalem.  As mentioned in the Bible, the people of the city flocked to see Jesus, this man they had heard about riding on a donkey as royalty would, exclaiming “Hosanna!” and laying down palms in His path. The believed in Him, had faith in Him, and wanted to follow Him.

Not much time passes though before they turn on Him. All because others had. Like a chain reaction, they embrace the mob mentality and trade in those hosannas for “Crucify!” and want nothing more to see Him die a bloody death. All in what I can only assume was for their entertainment. (Step out of the prophecies foretold for a minute and think back to their society…) Why would each of those hearts turn on Him? Because one person told another person, gossip spreading like wildfire, that this was not the Son of God after all and was full of blasphemy? Did anyone care to think for themselves? They lost all inhibition and adopted the feelings of the one next to them, forgetting that the week before they loved Jesus.

Sounds a little too familiar to our present day, does it not?

Palm Sunday

Easter comes and goes so quickly, never getting the true attention it deserves. Not to cut Christmas short, but in my opinion, Easter serves much more emphasis on the Christian walk than Christmas. Jesus didn’t have to die for our sin, coming back 3 days later from the dead, all so each of us could have a place in Heaven if we believe in Him. Sure, His birth has great meaning, but to me His sacrifice means so much more! Add in all the secular tidbits of the holiday and it’s really easy to discount what we are really celebrating, leaving it all behind the next day.

I don’t want to be like those that were in the city that day. My desire is to serve Jesus and love Him on Palm Sunday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and every other day! My heart sings “Hosanna!” over and over, and I never want my praise to end. No one could ever tell me anything to change my belief in Him. Not the media, not a friend, no one.

Now I want to ask you: Next Monday, when Easter is over, when the eggs are eaten and the fake grass has been cut out of your vacuum, what will you be saying? Will your heart still exclaim “Hosanna! He is the King of Kings! He reigns in my heart! Praise God, He is RISEN!” as it does today on Palm Sunday? I’m praying that it does.

My prayer for you and I is to never forget and fall into going through the motions of every day life, failing to daily praise God for sending His only son as a gift to us. May we never forget Christ’s love for us. Thank you, Lord, for everything.