are we nearly there yet book cover

Are We There Yet? An Easter Book Review

Disclaimer – I received a free copy of this book from 10ofthose.com to review, but all opinions are my own. 

are we nearly there yet book cover

I love love love that there are so many great resources out there to equip up to use every opportunity to connect those around us with the gospel.  With Easter coming, I am sure you are all thinking about how to use this time of the year to share the message of the cross.  In kids work, toddlers groups, your local school, there are loads of kids that we can connect with, and I want to tell you about a new book which I think will help you in this.

are we nearly there yet cover“Are we nearly there yet?” is a short booklet style book, but with a strong card cover so its doesn’t just feel like a throw away pamphlet as some books like this can.  The front cover design is modern and eye catching, and because the title isn’t really “in your face” Christian, I think it would work really well as a giveaway in non-Christian environments, such as schools.

The story itself follows a narrative of a family in a car, and the familiar question of “Are we nearly there yet?”.  Whilst they are waiting to get to Granny’s for Easter, their parents tell them the Easter story, and all the way through they see the disciples asking similar the question of “Are we nearly there yet? When will you be king?”.  The pages go through the familiar Easter sequences – palm Sunday, Garden of Gethsemane, the crucifixion and the stone rolled away at the tomb, but not just in a plain story telling way which the kids will be all too familiar with.

The illustrations and use of speech bubbles throughout the book is very good and engaging for kids.  I would probably say that this book would be useable for 2 years up to mid primary age (maybe 8) as it could be read to children, or they can read by themselves.

At the end of the book, there are included some ideas for taking it further, discussion with the children and playing through the story too.  These would be useful for parents, toddler group leaders or teachers if they wanted to include it in their pre-Easter activities.

All in all, this a very well thought out book, and one that will work well as a giveaway instead of chocolate this Easter (who needs more chocolate!!).  10ofthose.com sells the books individually for £3.50 if you want to grab one for your family, or if you are planning to give them away then you can take advantage of their offer of a box of 50 for £50 (RRP £175!!!!).

Why not invest £50 into your world this Easter and use some of these ideas:

  • Buy a box to give to your kids class teacher to give out to the whole class
  • Buy a box and go round your neighbourhood and give to kids at their doorsteps
  • Bless your church’s kids ministry by buying a box so they can give them out free to anyone who comes into church over the Easter period.
  • Take a box down to your local library and ask if they will give them away to any children who come in over lent/Easter

Easter garden biscuits

40acts 2017 – “It is finished!”

mum on a mission takes on 40 acts

Easter Sunday.

The end of lent and the beginning of new life.

Every year I celebrate Easter, and for the last few years I have marked lent by taking on the 40 acts challenge.  But this is the first year I have truly gotten my son to take part too.  And it has BLOWN ME AWAY….

His understanding of generosity.  His understanding of the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection through the eyes of 40 acts has just increased and increased through the last few weeks.  The way the Holy Spirit has prompted him with names of people to give to, given him boldness to approach people in a way I never could, and brought joy and laughter to others through our facebook live videos has brought a tear to my eye.  This will be a cherished time I look back on between me and Sam.  And I am thankful for being able to share it with him this year.

Here are some final highlights and activities we have done:

  • Given Easter Garden biscuits to neighbours and friends at Grandma’s house
  • Counted up the pennies in our generosity box – a total of £5.46 to go to Teenage Cancer Trust
  • Sam going litter picking around our estate with Grandad and collecting a bag full
  • Going on Premier Radio Inspirational Breakfast to speak about doing 40acts with Sam and sharing our story
  • Going to our local park and Sam spending the entire time picking up all the litter lying around to make it safe for his little brother to play there
  • Sending a care package to a friend online who has broken their arm
  • Actually writing one of the 40 acts devotional emails and having my story told and shared online!
  • Being able to host a competition via my facebook page and give away a Treasure Box to a family who will be able to creatively explore bible stories together.
  • Leaving sweets and toys in our local play park with notes on them for others boys and girls to find – going back the next day to check if they were still there and finding them all gone!
  • Being able to share stories of generosity online with people, including my favourite video of my friend through 40acts, Ruth.
  • Raiding our cupboards to find food for the local foodbank

 

 

three crosses for easter tag

Christian Bloggers UK – Easter Tag

three crosses for easter tag

Welcome to the first ever Christian Bloggers UK Easter Tag.  This is a fun way to learn a bit more about how us Christian bloggers celebrate lent and Easter.  So enjoy the questions and why not visit the tagged bloggers below to find out what they’re up to as well!

1. How are you celebrating Lent this year?mum on a mission takes on 40 acts

I am doing Lent generously this year by taking part in the 40 acts challenge.  This means that instead of choosing to give something up for the 40 days of lent, I am choosing to do 40 generous acts.  I have done this for the past 3 years and loved the heart it cultivates in me and my family, so I am doing it again!  You can sign up too via their website – www.40acts.org.uk 

2. What does Lent mean for you?

For me, lent is not just the month or so leading up to Easter, but is a way for me to connect with the heart of Jesus.  God was so generous when he gave his son for us, and Jesus was so generous to give up his life for me, that I want to really grow to be more and more like him everyday.  That is why I don’t always connect with giving something up.  It makes it into a season of moaning and grumbling, when it is the lead up to one of the most amazing events in history!

3. What things have you given up for Lent in the past, and did you succeed or fail?

I once gave up fizzy drinks for lent.  It lasted until I went on my shift as a Saturday girl at a local tea room, where the only cold drinks available were fizzy cans from the fridge.  I sat down for my lunch as usual with my tin of fanta and got halfway through it before I realised!  Oooops!  I have too much of a sweet tooth to give up chocolate, although I probably should give some serious thought to giving up my tea addiction….

4. Have you ever taken part in an Easter bonnet competition? ( If so post the picture for us all!)

I have not – although my Guide group always used to run a hard boiled egg decorating competition.  I never won though!  My son entered an Easter Bonnet competition at nursery and won.  I made lollystick crosses to put on the front!

5. What is your favourite pancake topping?

It always used to be golden syrup (the year we had run out and had to make do with honey was THE WORST!!), but I am a bit of a convert to lemon and sugar nowadays.

6. How do you celebrate Easter Day?

I haven’t really figured this one out yet.  Every year has been slightly different since we had the kids.  This year I would love to set up the Bible Society’s Easter treasure hunt through our home and let my son discover his easter eggs along the way.  Our church normally does an Easter Production, which is more of a modern take on the Easter story, and by the time we get home its a bit too late for a traditional roast lamb dinner.  I am hoping to create some family traditions along the way, but definitely looking for some inspiration here!

7. What is your favourite Easter food?

Hmmmm, I do like a hot cross bun, but who can argue with roast lamb dinner????

8. What would you encourage others to think about during Easter time?

You know what, I just want people to take a bit of time to think about the true story of Easter.  Don’t get sucked in by all the bunnies and chicks, but think about the overall message of new life that is behind it.  I’m not sure what your life is like, but perhaps you need a refresh?  Jesus can give you that, and so much more!

9. What activities do you take part in during Holy Week?

I’m a little bit sad that our church, which is a pentecostal church, doesn’t really host any Holy Week services.  I grew up in the Church of England and came to love the symbolism in the different services though the week.   My favourite service was Maundy Thursday when we would strip the altar and everything on it so the whole church was bare ready for Good Friday.  I was one of the altar boys/girls who got to take part and we had to do it in a hurry to symbolise the chaos that Jesus’ being arrested had thrown the disciples in to.  There was real power in that.

10. Who else would you like to nominate to take part in the Easter Tag?

I would love to nominate my friend Michelle over at Mummy From the Heart,  one of my newest blogging friends Amanda Shortman from the Family Patch, and my guest blogging partner from the last Christian Bloggers UK event, Sheila Johnson.

All you have to do take part is:

Copy and paste the following questions into a new blog post and use the graphic from the top of this post somewhere in your post:

1. How are you celebrating Lent this year?
2. What does Lent mean for you?
3. What things have you given up for Lent in the past, and did you succeed or fail?
4. Have you ever taken part in an Easter bonnet competition? ( If so post the picture for us all!)
5. What is your favourite pancake topping?
6. How do you celebrate Easter Day?
7. What is your favourite Easter food?
8. What would you encourage others to think about during Easter time?
9. What activities do you take part in during Holy Week?
10. Who else would you like to nominate to take part in the Easter Tag?

Don’t forget to share on the Christian Bloggers UK Facebook group if you’re a member!  Happy Lent everyone x

mum on a mission takes on 40 acts

Mum on a Mission Takes on 40 acts and NEEDS YOU…

mum on a mission takes on 40 acts

By now you have probably realised that I have signed up to take part in 40acts during Lent again this year.  This will be my fourth year taking part and my third year blogging about it (and possibly vlogging this year…)!  If you haven’t heard of 40 acts, it is a generosity challenge that runs throughout lent.  Everyday you are emailed a challenge to do that day and a thought about why we should so that we can cultivate generosity in our own lives, our family’s lives and the community around us.

Why should you take part?

40 acts is an amazing experience – it really does open your eyes to see the opportunities we have to be generous every day.  Since discovering it 4 years ago, I have tried to spot the things that I can do to bring joy to people more, I have tried to reach out to my community more and I have hopefully shown the love of God more because of this.  Here is a post I wrote at the beginning of last year’s challenge and one from the end.  I hope these will inspire you to take part!

win a godventure generosity kit!

win godventure 40 acts generosity kit

Another amazing change that happened last year was that Godventure, an amazing company that creates resources to help families connect with the bible together, created a sticker book and family version of the 40 acts challenge. This meant I was able to take part with Sam and teach him all about being generous! He loved this!!  This year Godventure have released a generosity kit, which includes the sticker book and everything you need to get straight into the family challenge (with nil preparation!!).  I won one for Sam, and then Godventure gave me a second kit to giveaway to my lovely blog readers.  So hop over to my facebook page to enter before 8pm on Monday 20th Feb!

I need you!

I have challenged myself to get 40 people to sign up to take part in 40 acts before the challenge starts.  That would be 1600 extra generous acts going out into the world this lent.  Will you be one of them?  If so then head over to www.40acts.org.uk and click “get started”.  Then comment below to let me know you are on the team!  I will be sharing my highlights and failure on here so do join me on this generous journey.

monthly inspiration from rachel ridler mum on a mission

January Inspiration

monthly inspiration from rachel ridler mum on a mission

Dig in to my links and likes for January and gather some inspiration for the New Year.

  • In December I was raving about the new Bible Colouring Calendar from the Bible Society.  Well here is the link to the artist who created it.  There are some lovely lettered prints and cards available here.  I like the Fruit of the Spirit print that ties in nicely with our Mummy Meditations theme at the moment!
  • Keeping on the bible journaling theme, I was very excited to find out that the Message is bringing out a new bible called The Message Canvas.  The Message uses creative language and metaphors to make scripture easier to understand .  The Canvas bible includes nearly 300 hand drawn illustrations for you to colour in and if you visit the website they are also releasing free colouring devotions and competitions to message canvas biblewin art supplies.
  • 40 acts has launched for 2017!  40 acts has made lent one of my favourite times of the year, and I think this will be the third or fourth year I have joined in.  Two years ago I blogged my way through the challenges, and last year was my first time involving Sam in 40 acts for families.  There are so many ways you can get involved and cultivate generosity in your own lives, your family’s lives, your small group or church.  Visit the website for a ton of free resources, including bible studies,  and sign up to take part!

Our 40 acts adventure begins!

So we are now over a week into the 40 acts lent generosity challenge, and I am loving it!  It is so exciting to be bringing Sam along for the ride with me this year and to be taking on the family version as well the normal version. We already have so many great stories to share (which I will in a minute!) but I wanted to start off by sharing this song.  I have been reminded today that generosity is a big choice – it makes you wrestle with your selfish inner self, but everytime I let generosity win I am always amazed at the outcome!

Love is something if you give it away

So many time in life we have the choice to hold everything tight to ourselves – love, money, time, objects.  We end up just having lots of stuff but being lonely and excluding others.  When we open our arms and our hearts we all benefit and we end up having more.

So this last week I have completed the following individual challenges:

All set for mr postman….. #40acts @40acts (praying we’ve got mail!) pic.twitter.com/ALIP6hevp4

— Rachel Ridler (@ace_rach) February 16, 2016v


-Circles – thought about who I connect with who might benefit from my generosity
-Roots – connecting with my local community, I signed up to be a friend of a new library starting up nearby
-Cupboard love – cleared out my cupboards and there is now a big pile ready to go to the charity shop!

We didn’t make it, but here is sam’s generosity box for day 3 of #40acts @40acts – raising money 4 @TeenageCancer pic.twitter.com/vtwFNFNoDu

— Rachel Ridler (@ace_rach) February 12, 2016

With Sam I have also completed most of the family challenges:
-Made a generosity kit to take around with us
-Left cake for friends to enjoy
-Sellotaped a chocolate bar to the letterbox for the postman
-made a grateful list

It has been amazing seeing Sam get excited about doing generous things – his face when we got home from nursery to see the postman had collected his chocolate bar was worth every penny! And today I ran into the postman to find out that normally there are two of them on our round, but that day there was only him so it had been a great boost for him.

Today I even got my own little generous gift in the post – a fabulous box of thorntons chocolates from a mysterious sender (big thanks to whoever it was!). I was on my way to a Baby Fun group with Reuben and had a big internal fight – should I take them in and share with the other mums who I know will appreciate them too, or should I save them to scoff all by myself on the sofa later.  Luckily, my generous side won out and we ll had a great time at baby fun chatting and eating chocolates. As I said before, everytime I let my generous side win I am always amazed at the result.  So why not join in and take part in 40 act….

 

we’re going on a lent Godventure- will you join us?!

What are you doing for Lent this year? Will you do anything at all? Will you give something up, fast or take something up? What does it actually mean to you? Anything??? Or is it just another date/commitment to have to endure?

Well me and my family will be going on a Godventure this lent by taking part in 40acts together with our very own sticker book too. Will you join us?

Jesus did the ultimate act of generosity when He gave up His own life for us on the cross, and I want to catch more of His heart for people this year, as well as helping my beautiful boys catch that too. I have taken part in 40acts on my own for a couple of years, and every year have grown in my love of being generous to others, that I want to share that with my family too.

It won’t always be easy, and I know some days the tasks might be too hard or scary, but what is the point in spending lent doing something easy?! Why not dedicate it to the Lord this year and see what amazing stories and testimonies He can do through you and your family.

p.s. Here are the links to sign up and where to get your very own sticker book. Why not comment below if you are planning to take part – Lent starts on the 10th Feb!

www.40acts.org.uk
http://godventure.co.uk/product/exploring-generosity-with-godventure-and-40acts-2-for-10/