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14 Days of Loving Jesus: Ideas

IMG_1394February is fast approaching. The stores are already crammed with pink, red, hearts, candy, and stuffed animals advertised marketed towards adults. By March we will see those stuffed animals at the local second-hand store. If you haven’t caught on to my annoyance of this holiday, here it is: I’m annoyed by it.

BUT! Because I can’t escape the constant bombardment to celebrate the holiday, I have decided to use all the red and pink paraphernalia as a reminder to celebrate love in a meaningful way: by showing love to Jesus.

These are 14 ideas on how to show love to Jesus during the Valentine’s season. Each suggestion corresponds to a “Love Language,” or avenue to express love. Only, these expressions are ways to love Jesus, our loving Savior, because He first loved us. Read 14 Days of Loving Jesus: the Project to get the why and “how to” on celebrating the season with Jesus in mind.

  1. Love_letterWrite an encouraging note to the seemingly “unnoticed” person in honor of Christ’s faithfulness to notice and never forget humanity, though we are undeserving.
  2. Do some neighborhood clean up: shovel, pick up trash, etc.
  3. Go for a walk with Jesus.
  4. Write to a Missionary or the child you support with Compassion International.
  5.  Write a love letter to Jesus. Seal it in an envelope and place it on the table during the season. (date the letter and save it for a few years. After a few years, open and read one from 3 years ago every year at Valentines)
  6. Wrap a Bible and give it to someone you have been praying for.
  7. flat,550x550,075,fBuy coffee for somebody, preferably a stranger (I bought coffee for a stressed out college student right before his final.)
  8. Wear a piece of gold-jewelry today as a reminder to thank King Jesus for denying all the riches of heaven to come save us.
  9. Offer to pray for a stranger, out loud with them, then offer a hug: I actually ran into a man who used to be a custodian at the college we do ministry at. I was so blessed to pray for him, in the middle of Walmart. Of all things, a complete stranger later struck up a conversation with me (also in Walmart) and I was able to pray for her too!
  10. Give a prayer foot-rub (or hand massage) to a family member.
  11. Read God’s Word…. its his love-letter to us, enjoy reveling in his love. Try the book of Colossians or some Psalms.
  12. In honor of Christ’s sacrifice, don’t eat any sweets today. When you get the craving for the cookies and candies of the season, be reminded to “taste and see that the Lord is good.” Psalm 34:8
  13. Share your testimony with someone today: I shared mine with a good friend I have known for several years. Even after all these years, this person had never heard how Christ saved me.
  14. Spend time with Jesus and recall the unique ways He loves you.

(Idea Sources: Lifeway Magazine, December 2012 issue; YouVersion Bible App reading plan: Rediscovering the Christmas Season; friends and family; college students; and my wonderful Junior-high and High-school Sunday-school girls.)

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14 Days of Loving Jesus for Valentines Day: The Project

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My husband and I have never recognized Valentines Day. Even when we dated we decided the holiday was an over-stimulated way to recognize what we celebrate everyday. The high expectations and pressure, and overall “cheesiness” of the holiday also kept us at bay.

This year, though, I think I am going to take all the giant hearts and chocolate obsessed grocery-aisles as reminders to celebrate my love for Jesus.

The Sunday-school class I teach for JH and High-school girls found a unique way to celebrate advent (in December). We made paper chains with 25 ways we can show love to Jesus during His Birthday month. Many of the ideas will work well for a Valentine’s advent as well!

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Here is how we created our daily celebration of loving Jesus:

We started with the 5 Love Languages and applied them to ways we can love Jesus. For example

  • Physical Touch can be offering a hug to someone, or holding hands while praying for someone, etc.
  • Giving gifts could be giving a Bible away, or wrapping a present for an “Angel Tree” child.
  • Words of Affirmation: writing a love letter to Jesus and putting it under the tree.
  • Quality Time: spending time reading God’s Word, being still, or worshiping.
  • An Act of Service could look like making your sister’s bed (for the young ladies who still live with their families; my sister did this for me all the time and it always touched me deeply.)

Though it isn’t possible to physically touch Jesus, or actually give Him gifts or service, but Jesus said, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40). Many of our tasks consisted of things we did for others, but always in the name of loving Jesus.

81802Next, we made paper chains as a reminder of each day’s love-task. We wrote one idea each on strips of paper. Each day, everyone completed their tasks and added a new chain till we had the perfect decoration by the holiday. You can have one chain for the family, or one chain per-person in the family.

You could fill a pretty vase with small notes of these suggestions, and take one out each day. Or fold each suggestion around a piece of chocolate in a chocolate box. You might not eat the entire box of chocolates when you focus on tangibly loving Jesus with each bite.

Or tie each suggestion to a rose. Keep 14 roses in the fridge or a back room; every day you complete the task, bring one rose out into a vase on the dining table; you can see the reminder of your growing relationship with God every day. Have fun and include your roommates or kids. Just remember to keep the focus on loving Jesus during Valentines.

Take some time over the next few days thinking about how God loves you. Get creative and write your ideas on how to “love because He first love us.” Share your ideas with us in a comment below. And don’t forget to get on the beckyrosty.wordpress.com email list, because I’ll be posting ideas soon!

Shane and I will still treat V-day as any ole’ day (which is such a sigh of relief), but I think this exercise in loving Jesus will set my heart aflame for the Lord even more.

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5 Active Prayers for your Husband

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The new year is just around the corner, which makes now a great time to get into a better habit of praying for my husband. I’ve noticed quite a few fantastic guides for “praying for your husband” on pinterest lately. Unfortunately, I am easily distracted from dutifully keeping up with these prayers.

So, I decided to incorporate a few ideas of my own to actively pray for my husband. Each activity keeps me engaged and focused; I truly treasure connecting with God in this way, and growing in my marriage at the same time! In sharing these ideas, I hope to encourage other young (or seasoned) wives to become consistent prayer warriors for their men.

So here they are, 5 Active Prayers for your Husband, Parts 1-2:

1. Work-out Prayer time:

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I don’t work out as consistently as I should, but when I do, I find myself praying. Most of the time I pray for the fat to be gone (to the glory of God, of course, ahem). Sometimes, I focus more deeply on praying for God to strengthen me according to His will.

Recently, I began praying the same thing for my husband. As my muscles start to burn, I am reminded to pray for God to strengthen my husband’s spiritual muscles… To give him resolve and courage to do what is right every day. I pray for his strength in our marriage and as the head of our family. I pray to accept God’s help and training when a trial comes, that it might strengthen our dependence on Him.

I put the weights down and ask the Lord to help my husband to let go of the burdens he was not meant to carry; I pray that my husband would trust completely in the Lord throughout his everyday routine.

At the gym, try praying this for your husband: to be “strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that [he] may have great endurance and patience.” (Colossians 1:11 NIV)

Text/Write him prayers

imagesI keep a journal with letters to my husband. He often writes back with small notes or texts. Now there are days where I write to God in that journal about my husband. Again, it gives me something tangible to do which helps me focus. Writing prayers also keeps record of how God has answered them and grown our marriage through the years!

I also try to text my husband at key points during the day, letting him know that his wife is interceding on his behalf. I try to pay attention to when he has meetings, deadlines, and busy days at work, and I pray for God to grant him favor within his career.

You could also try leaving notes in his car, leaving a prayer on his voicemail, or emailing your prayers: “Let the peace of Christ rule in [my husband’s] heart, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:15, 17 NIV)

Check back tomorrow for ideas #3-4 in actively praying for your husband…

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