Love this blog I published on my company blog http://www.FlanaganHomeTeam.com!
Scripture: Acts 2: 4
All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
Props: handheld fan, candle and light (if your church doesn’t light candles for service), cotton ball with essential oil, recording of strong wind
Do you know what special day this is? This is Pentecost Sunday. It’s the time when we remember that before Jesus returned to heaven, he promised that God would send a helper — the Holy Spirit — to live inside of those who follow him. He promised that the Holy Spirit would give them the power to do great and mighty things.
One day, after the Resurrection at Easter, the disciples were all together and they heard a sound from Heaven: a loud, powerful rushing wind. And a flame appeared – no candle or anything – and touched on each disciple. And the disciples felt a great power and immediately went out to preach – that’s what the power of the Holy Spirit helped them to do – to tell others about God and Jesus.
How do you think you can tell when the Holy Spirit is giving you the power and the urge to tell someone about God and Jesus? Let’s test our senses to see how many ways we can feel that mighty rushing wind of the Holy Spirit:
Can you feel the Holy Spirit? (use a battery-powered hand fan to blow on the children) Can you feel the wind like you’re at the beach or high in the mountains? YES! That’s the Holy Spirit making sure you know it’s there for you.
Can you taste the Holy Spirit? Hmmm, that’s a tough one, isn’t it. Wind doesn’t have a taste, but it we stick out tongues out when the wind blows, we do get another way to feel the wind and know the Holy Spirit is encouraging us.
Can you smell the Holy Spirit? (hold a cotton ball with essential oil in front of the fan to send a scent on the wind) Let’s try it: we already know we can feel the wind when it brushed past us, but the wind – the Holy Spirit – can also use smells to let us know how we can minister to others.
Can you hear the Holy Spirit? (cue Crystal to play the wind storm sound on the Clavinova) Wow, right! That’s a big mighty wind. That’s definitely the Holy Spirit when it really needs to get our attention, right!
Can you see the Holy Spirit? Take a look at the candles on the table. That’s the light of Christ we bring in each Sunday and we take out into the world each week. What makes that light move so that we can see it? YES! The Holy Spirit.
Our basic senses are how we feel and know that the Holy Spirit is with us and ready to help us to do what God asks us to do. This is what we are reminded of each year on the day of Pentecost: that when we know God and follow Jesus, we are filled with the Holy Spirit which gives us the power and the instructions to do wonderful and mighty things for God.
Heavenly Father, thank you for sending us the power of the Holy Spirit. Please fill us up each day with the Holy Spirit that we would have the power to live for Jesus and let His light shine in our lives. In Jesus’s name we pray. Amen.
Delivered on Sunday, June 4, 2017, at Palmetto Presbyterian Church in Mt. Pleasant, SC.
Scripture: John 10: 3b – 5
He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.
Who here is on a sports team – any time of year? Swimming, dancing, soccer, football, gymnastics, baseball, running, bowling, lacrosse…
And how do you and everyone else know which team you’re on when you’re playing a game or competing? Colors of the uniforms
And how can your coach tell you apart and know your names to call out suggestions to help you win? You’ve spent time together in practice and your coach has learned who you are and your name.
And how do you know which coach’s voice belongs to your coach? You know his/her voice and how he/she talks.
In today’s Children’s Church lesson, we hear the same kind of being known and of knowing about Jesus, about how He knows our names and we know His voice so we know which voice to follow to make good choices in life. As I read the scripture, think of yourself as one of the sheep:
He [Jesus] calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When He has brought out all His own, He goes on ahead of them, and His sheep follow Him because they know His voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.
For Jesus, He knows our names and who we are instantly. But for us, we have to learn how to tell Jesus’s voice from other influences, sometimes just our own wants. So we come to church and we study and we ask our teachers and parents and leaders how they learned to know Jesus as well as He knows us.
Will you pray with me?
Thank you for knowing my name.
Thank you for protecting me as your sheep.
Help me to know your voice.
Help me to follow your guidance.
In your name, we pray,
Scripture: John 11: 1-45 – the illness and death of Lazarus
Focus: The sadness and grief we feel and share (i.e., crying) when a friend or loved one dies are some of the outward signs that we have learned to love one another and to share God’s love through our acts of kindness toward one another.
Who here has ever written a note or made a card for someone’s birthday or Father’s Day or Grandparents’ Day? Yeah! It’s fun, and we write nice things like “I love you” and “you’re beautiful” and “I have so much fun at your house”, right?
I’ve got a couple of notes my niece Anna has made for me. This one was for my birthday last year. It’s a pink Pecachoo and says “Happy Birthday CeCe” and has a heart on it. Do you think any of these words and pictures might be signs that Anna loves me? Yeah, the heart, and she says “Happy”. Those are great signs of love, easy to spot.
I’ve got this other note with me that she wrote one when she’d done something she wasn’t supposed to and I put her in time out. Here’s what it says:
I don’t like you, CeCe.
Isn’t that the very best, most wonderful note you’ve ever heard about how much my niece Anna loves me?
No? You don’t think that sounds like she loves me? It’s not a common sign of love, to tell someone you don’t like them, but when we share our feelings with someone – even our not-so-happy feelings, that’s also a sign that we love them. You see, there are more signs of love – especially Jesus’s and God’s love – than just the fun ones like hugging and saying I love you.
In today’s Children’s Church, you’ll read and talk about the time Jesus learned that his friend Lazarus had died. In the Gospel of John, we read that when Jesus went to see Lazarus after he had died that “He wept,” and that those gathered around saw Jesus’s crying as a sign of his love for his friend.
Will you pray with me?
Thank you for becoming human like us
And showing us more ways
To love and to be kind to others.
Help us to always remember
That others will know
That we are Christians
By our love.
Delivered on Sunday, April 2, 2017 at Palmetto Presbyterian Church in Mt. Pleasant, SC.
Scripture: Genesis 2: 15-17, 3: 1-7
Props: house key
When I got old enough (third grade, age 8), my mom and dad decided that I could be allowed to come home right after school instead of going to after school. This meant that I would get on the school bus at school and off near my house in my neighborhood. And I would walk down the street to my house. And I used this key [hold up the key] to open the door and go inside and lock the door back. And the very next thing I had to do was to call my mom at work to tell her that I was home and that I had closed and locked the door.
That’s when my mom would remind me of the rest of the rules:
Rule #1: do all of my homework and leave it out on the dining table for mom to check when she got home. Who else has a “homework first” rule after school? That’s a pretty popular rule.
Rule #2: do all of the chores on the list on the counter. Weekdays, this would be some laundry and some part of getting dinner ready, like making a salad. What chores do you have to do at home?
Rule #3: pick up my room – all toys in the toy box, all dirty clothes in the hamper, bed made up
And sometimes I managed to do all of this in time to watch a show on TV. My favorites were Thundercats and G I Joe. That was my reward if I got everything done. But if I didn’t, my consequences would be an early bedtime, extra chores, and when I was older, losing my telephone time.
In today’s Children’s Church, you guys are going to read and talk about a time when God gave his first children Adam and Eve a rule to follow…and they didn’t follow it. What do you think God did? That’s right: He forgave them. He also gave them new chores and responsibilities to help them learn why following His rules will help them have everything they need. We are such lucky and blessed people that our loving God forgives us when we mess up, when we break the rules, because God knows we will try even harder next time to be better.
Will you bow your heads and pray with me:
Thank you for loving me
And giving me rules
To help me be a good person.
And thank you also
For forgiving me
When I make mistakes.
Help me to forgive others
When their mistakes
Hurt my feelings
Or someone else’s feelings.
I honor you now and forever.
Delivered Sunday, March 5, 2017 at Palmetto Presbyterian Church in Mt. Pleasant, SC.
Corn chowder is a personal favorite, and I love the addition of the cheddar and the use of turmeric!
I try a lot of new recipes, but there are a few that I repeat EVERY season. This is one of them. I make it with fresh corn- but at the end of the season- when it starts to get chilly and we are ready to eat warm soup. This recipe was adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten.
Note: I wrote a guest post on SimplyVegetarian777.wordpress.com with a vegetarian version of this delicious soup. The recipe can be found here.
- 8 ounces bacon (about 8 slices)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 6 cups chopped yellow or sweet onions (3 to 4 large onions)
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 1 1/2 to 2 pounds medium-diced boiling potatoes, unpeeled
- 6 -10 cups corn kernels, fresh (from 10 ears)
- 2 cups half-and-half
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LOVE ❤ these! My nieces adore churros, and I love making a simple but special treat for the families I cook for each week. These will be perfect for fajita night coming up soon!
My kids had friends over for a taco dinner the other night, and we “needed” a special dessert. These churro cupcakes were perfect for our theme!
This recipe was adapted from Lady Behind the Curtain, via Sweet Carolines Cooking. I loved the cinnamon-sugar topping underneath the cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Although we did debate whether or not these cupcakes were more “churro” or “snickerdoodle,” we all agreed they were tasty. 🙂
Yield: Makes 24 cupcakes
For the Cupcake Batter:
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups cake flour
- 1 T baking powder
- ½ tsp coarse salt
- 1½ T ground cinnamon
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1¾ granulated sugar, plus 2 T for dusting
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
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