MNO is coming Sooooon!

Moms' Night Out
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Celebrate the Moms in Your Church with Laughter
As a pastor, would you ever think of laughing off Mother's Day? Well, this year, you should! The new movie MOMS' NIGHT OUT is a wholesome and hilarious comedy that will help your church truly celebrate the role of moms.

Watch How Pastors Are Using This Movie

Watch This Hilarious Scene
Great Free Resources
There's a heartfelt scene toward the end of MOMS' NIGHT OUT that encourages and celebrates moms. You can download that scene for free on the movie's resource site. In addition, you can access a Mother's Day message from Dr. David Platt and find other great tools as well.

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Make the Most of Moms' Night Out
Make the Most of Moms' Night Out
Pastor Michael Catt's Sherwood Baptist Church is buying out seats at their local theater to celebrate moms in their church and their community. "Absolutely, I would recommend it. We're not going to do service Mother's Day Sunday night. We're encouraging people to go to the theater."

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What Other Pastors Are Saying
What Other Pastors Are Saying

"MOMS' NIGHT OUT is a "very funny movie that is entertaining, while at the same time has an underlying message that needs to be heard."
David Platt, Senior Pastor, The Church at Brook Hills, Author, Radical
"MOMS' NIGHT OUT is not only an incredibly funny and relatable film for moms, but SURPRISE! A movie that the whole family will still be laughing about and quoting days after seeing it. Count this family in for a Family Movie Night on Mother's Day weekend."
Pastors Matthew and Caroline Barnett, Dream Center and Angelus Temple
"MOMS' NIGHT OUT will literally have you 'rolling in the aisle' and talking about it for days and weeks to come. Truly, it is a gift this Mother's Day worth investing in."
Keith Loy, Lead Pastor, Celebrate Community Church

Watch the Trailer

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Teachable Easter Baskets

Just like we try to be purposeful during the Christmas season we also want to use the Easter season to not only have fun among those we are called to love but to also teach and celebrate what Easter really is.

unEaster Baskets

I mean, its only the day we celebrate the most important event in the history of people. {yeah, I’m Sorry…My Kids Don’t Believe in the Easter Bunny. Don't ask, they'll be confused.} The day a Perfect Man with all resources at His disposal chose to conduct the largest bailout that has ever been and ever will be for all the scanky, dirty, and despicably unworthy- US. I don't know about you, but a creepy bunny bringing cavity inducing goodies to my littles just doesn't seem to do such an event justice.

I got the idea of unEaster baskets from good oh Amanda. Now, don't think this amazingness went down all glamorous with no squabbles, confusion, and utter annoyance at my littles inability to understand simple directions but it was more purposeful than just sitting out baskets of goodies while giving credit to a cute furry mammal.

unEaster Baskets:

Sin Creats Rocky Hard Hearts

  • During their nap I put together their Easter baskets with little goodies I'd been collecting and hid them.
  • As they began waking up I was still finishing up writing egg labels that helped make everything in the basket point back to Jesus in our lives.
  • When they were all awake, I had sat them all at the coffee table with a bucket of rocks and markers.
  • We walked through what sin was: bad choices, and how those sins hardened our hearts like rocks.
  • Then we talked about Ezekiel where is says God is going to take our rocked up hearts and replace them with new ones.
  • After much confusion and worries over whether they would get in trouble for confessing, they each came up with a couple bad choices they had made and we drew a picture of or wrote the word on the rock.

Here comes the fun part:

Start an unEaster Basket tradition with your kids celebrating the real meaning of Easter while being purposeful with gift giving

  • We all walked outside with our sin while we talked about how Jesus said He promised to take our sins away and chunk them as far as the east is from the west: so far we couldn't even see them on the other side of the fence.
  • While we talked, we wondered to the back of the yard where I had hidden their baskets under a red bedsheet.
  •  Then I reminded them that on a Friday, Jesus, who was perfect and never made a single bad choice, picked to pay for all our sin by dying.
  • I ask them to chunk their rocks onto the sheet that was a picture of His blood that paid for our bad choices.
  • When all the rocks were on there, I told them how God redeems all those bad things, takes them away, and replaces them, just like our rocky hearts, with new exciting things.
    an unEaster Basket tradition making the gospel come to life for littles
  • I pulled the sheet off the tops of the baskets while wadding the rocks up inside it, revealing their baskets of gifts.
  • We sat on the trampoline and read through the promises of Jesus and they found what represented that in their baskets as a reminder of that truth.
  • Then we wore sunglasses, ate candy, and squabbled over how to get off the trampoline and how much candy they were allowed to eat at once.
    an unEaster Basket tradition

Just when I began to get annoyed, explaining to hubs that I thought it was a waste, He just smiled and said he liked it. When we were putting everyone to bed {EARLY because of sleep deprivation this week}, Jamin ask Matt what Easter was. Matt told him that it was the day we celebrate Jesus coming back to life. To which Jamin responded, "and taking our rocks?" #winning I think this will be a regular tradition, of sorts.

What kind of tradition does your family have to celebrate the true meaning of Easter?

Ideas for purposing Easter basket goodies:

 Purposeful Easter Basket Gifts

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Mom’s Night Out {{Win a Trip to the Hollywood Premiere}}

Moms' Night Out
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Helping Moms Win
Helping Moms Win
Sarah Drew plays Allyson, the mom of three young children, in MOMS' NIGHT OUT. In real life, Sarah is the mom of one young child. In an interview with eMeals, Sarah has some encouraging advice for all moms:

"I've spent a lot of my life trying to wear all kinds of different impressive hats, and I've come to the realization that I've never actually worn those hats for myself. I've always tried to wear them to impress someone else, or to prove my value or worth. Here's the thing: I'm already valuable. I already have worth. I'm already loved, so why pretend to be something I'm not? It's all so exhausting."

Be sure to read the full interview and register for your chance to win a trip to the MOMS' NIGHT OUT Hollywood Premiere from eMeals.

Enter The Contest

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Easter Neighbor Gifts {Thoughtful Thursday}

Thoughtful Thursdays on as Jules is going

If you've been here any time at all, you know we LOVE a good excuse to do something fun for our neighbors.

Bucket-O-Summer

This week, my kids were wanting to make "Easter baskets". I'd already been considering making something to celebrate summer for the neighbor kids around us who are almost out for break. With summer for school-aged kids still over a month away, we thought we'd try to do both mixed together.

Bucket-O-Summer contents bucket, shovel, bubbles, sunglasses, jumprope, germX, chalk

Buckets-O-Summer

Contents we used:

from the Dollar Tree

  • bucket and shovel
  • germX {pack of 3 Christmas themed- I pulled off the winter-esk sticker}
  • jump rope
  • sunglasses

from home {originally mostly from Wal-Mart}

  • sidewalk chalk in a large box
  • little bubbles that came in a pack of 8
  • assorted Easter grass
  • See Jane Work labels {on wicked sale at Office Depot}
  • blank note cards
  • post card invites to your Church's Easter service
  • pipe cleaners and rubber bands {we used the rubber bands to told the 7 pieces of chalk together in the shape of a flower and then made lil leaves around it}

How-to Make:

  1. collect bucket and gift items
  2. add grass to the bottom making it about 1/2 full
  3. place larger items in 1st
  4. mix in smaller items {dividing like colors from one another}
  5. *we color coordinated each bucket using ~2 colors for fun
    green and pink and purple and yellow for the neighbor girls and orange/red and blue for the boy
  6. create label {print our FREE LABEL here} using Avery Label Template 5450 in Word
    Bucket-O-Summer Label
  7. color in lettering for extra fun {sharpies worked the best without smearing the print}
  8. cover original cheap sticker on the bucket that wouldn't com off with new label
  9. write a cute little note about Easter linking items in the bucket {or print our cheesy FREE NOTE here}
    Easter Bucket-o-Summer
    I wrote out the note in yellow marker in a card and let my almost 6-year-old trace it {so it would all fit in the little cards we had}
  10. throw in a postcard invite to your church's Easter service hand-deliver with smiles :D

Delivering Neighbor Gifts

Happy Easter!!!

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Moving On After Moving

Moving.

Moving On After Moving

Yeah, we all say confidently, "I told God I would go where ever He sends me." as if that makes being a nomad any easier. We'll say, "We plan to settle in like we are here to retire." as to reassure our new congregation but the fear still lurks.

We just celebrated our 1 year anniversary at the valley here in Vilonia but we haven't even lived in our home for a year {until July} and it's happened. God allowed us to have that ideal neighbor relationship. The one where you stock one another our  the window wondering if it's too soon to invite them over for another playdate, dinner, or nap-time chat in the yard. Blessed isn't the half of what we've experienced.

Apparently, I'm not the only one who God can choose to move.

Today, I'm just sharing my heart about the toll moving takes on friendship in our lives. Find the rest of this post over at A Common Bond.

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