A Plan for this year . . . .

If you would like to join our conversation, here is the plan we are working through this year! Just find the date below and take a bite into some “whole peach” living!

The Season of Advent – December 3–December 24

Advent is a time of anticipation and actually means “coming.” We are anticipating the promise of Father God found in the book of Isaiah. His name is Jesus. “For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

Through Father’s gift of Jesus, we no longer live under the law but are freed up to live a grace-filled life of “rest” (Isaiah 11:10). So, in these weeks of Advent, we prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ and begin this next year in the foundation of our story. We have been bought with a price. We no longer live in our self-sufficiency; there is a greater story and a better way. His name is Jesus, and he reaches out his hand to all of us. We remember the incredible gift of His story and our part in it. Father God has invited us to his table and more importantly, his family. We celebrate our “inheritance” (Colossians 1:10-14 and 1 Peter 1:3-5) as we embrace the story!

1. December 3-9 God Card #6 Christmas – I believe God is a generous giver of great gifts.

2. December 10-16 God Card #24 Longs for our Love – I believe God longs for our love.

3. December 17-23 God Card #35 Shepherd – I believe God is a shepherd.

4. December 24 God Card #42 Warrior – I believe God fights for me.

The Season of Christmas – December 25-January 5

Actually beginning at sunset on Christmas Eve, this season is celebrated for 12 days until Epiphany. “Historically, Christmas commemorates the birth of Jesus of Nazareth to a young maiden from Galilee. Theologically, Christmas is the celebration of the incarnation of God in Jesus the Christ, the self-revelation of God to the world in human form for the reconciliation of humanity to Himself. All the details of the various accounts concerning Jesus’ birth revolve around that central truth (“The Christmas Season” by Dennis Bratcher at www.crivoice.org/cyxmas.html). For some great conversation about the “Twelve Days of Christmas,” see this article by Dennis Bratcher at www.crivoice.org/cy12days.html). There is a cool correlation between the crazy song we all learned as kids and some basic doctrine of our Christian faith. It would be a fun activity for your family to talk through it sometime over the next 2 weeks.

4b.December 25-December 30 Story Card #1 – Father God loves, so I am loved, and then I trust him.

5. December 31-January 5 Story Card #2 – Father God saves, so I am accepted, and then I live forever.

The Season of Epiphany – January 6-February 17

“The term epiphany means “to show” or “to make known” or even “to reveal.” In Western churches, it remembers the coming of the wise men bringing gifts to visit the Christ child, who by so doing “reveal” Jesus to the world as Lord and King” (“The Season of Epiphany” by Dennis Bratcher at www.crivoice.org/cyepiph.html). We will continue our conversations through the Story cards and also take a week to create some goals for the year through the Evaluate tool.

6. January 6-13 Evaluate conversations – go to evaluate.

7. January 14-20 Story Card #3 – Father God wins, so I am a winner, and then I celebrate.

8. January 22-28 Story Card #4 – Father God speaks, so I am invited, and then I listen, respond and share.

9. January 21-27 Story Card #5 – Father God calls, pursues and names, so I am set apart, wanted and blessed and then I follow.

10. January 28-February 3 God Card #27 Muscle – I believe God is strong for me.

11. February 4-10 God Card #40 Valentine – I believe God loves me.

12. February 11-17 God Card #22 Leaves Me Speechless – I believe God leaves me speechless.

The Season of Lent and Holy Week – February 18-March 31

“Today, Lent is marked by a time of prayer and preparation to celebrate Easter. . . . Christians today use this period of time for introspection, self-examination, and repentance. . . .It is really a preparation to celebrate God’s marvelous redemption at Easter, and the resurrected life that we live, and hope for, as Christians” (“The Season of Lent” by Dennis Bratcher at www.crivoice.org/cylent.html). We will spend this season immersed in the God cards remembering his great love and our need for his saving. As we prepare for his ultimate gift of Easter, let us draw near to all that he is to us and prepare our family.

13. February 18-24 God Card #18 Gets the Knot Out – I believe God delivers me.

14. February 25-March 3 God Card #20 Kleenex – I believe God dries my tears.

15. March 4-10 God Card #21 Knows My Name – I believe God knows my name.

16. March 11-17 God Card #31 Plays Peek-A-Boo – I believe God tore the veil that kept me separated from Him from the top down through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

17. March 18-24 God Card #9 Eats Dinner With Me – I believe God eats dinner with me.

“Holy Week is the last week of Lent, the week immediately preceding Easter or Resurrection Sunday. It is observed in many Christian churches as a time to commemorate and enact the suffering (Passion) and death of Jesus through various observances and services of worship. While some church traditions focus specifically on the events of the last week of Jesus’ life, many of the liturgies symbolize larger themes that marked Jesus’ entire ministry. Observances during this week range from daily liturgical services in churches to informal meetings in homes to participate in a Christian version of the Passover Seder” (“The Days of Holy Week” by Dennis Bratcher at http://www.cresourcei.org/cyholyweek.html). This is such a rich time to remember and reflect on this important week in our history. Check out this website for an incredible Passover Seder meal that you could have as a family sometime during the week – (http://www.aholyexperience.com/2011/04/why-a-christian-family-may-celebrate-passover-a-messianic-seder/).

“Easter or Resurrection Sunday is the day Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus the Christ from the dead. Even before theologians explained the death of Jesus in terms of various atonement theories, the early church saw his resurrection as the central witness to a new act of God in history and the victory of God in vindicating Jesus as the Messiah. This event marks the central faith confession of the early church and was the focal point for Christian worship, observed on the first day of each week since the first century (Acts 20:7; Sunday was officially proclaimed the day of Christian worship in AD 321). Easter as an annual celebration of the Resurrection that lies at the center of a liturgical year has been observed at least since the fourth century. Even in churches that traditionally do not observe the other historic seasons of the church year, Easter has occupied a central place as the high point of Christian worship” (“The Easter Season Resurrection of the Lord” by Dennis Bratcher at www.crivoice.org/cyeaster.html).

18. March 25-31 God Card #8 Easter – I believe God sent Jesus as a sacrifice for my sins.

The Season of Easter and Pentecost – April 1-May 26

19. April 1-7 God Card #33 Road Map – I believe God directs my life.

20. April 8-14 God Card #14 Floaties – I believe God holds me up.

21. April 15-21 God Card #15 Fort – I believe God protects me.

22. April 22-28 God Card #16 Friend – I believe God is my friend and brother.

23. April 29-May 5 God Card #26 Mother – I believe God is a mother.

24. May 6-12 God Card #17 Gatorade – I believe God quenches my thirst.

25. May 13-19 God Card #3 Artist – I believe God uniquely designed me for a relationship and a purpose, and he designed nature for our enjoyment and learning, AND God Card #7 Creator – I believe God is the creator of all things.

26. May 20-26 (Pentecost) God Card #30 Plays Hide and Seek – I believe God wants me to seek him. I believe he waits to be sought and wants to be found.

Ordinary Time/Season After Pentecost – May 27-December 1

“Most of the Seasons of the Christian Church Year are organized around the two major festivals that mark sacred time, Christmas and Easter. The Christmas Season encompasses the time of preparation during Advent and the celebration of the Twelve Days of Christmas and Epiphany in early January (the 6th). The Easter Season encompasses the time of preparation during the 40 weekdays of Lent and Holy Week, and is linked with Pentecost Sunday 50 days later. While there are other individual holy days within the church year, these seasons mark the movement of sacred time within the church calendar.

The rest of the year following Epiphany and Pentecost is known as Ordinary Time. Rather than meaning “common” or “mundane,” this term comes from the word “ordinal,” which simply means counted time (First Sunday after Pentecost, etc.), which is probably a better way to think of this time of the year. Counted time after Pentecost always begins with Trinity Sunday (the first Sunday after Pentecost) and ends with Christ the King Sunday or the Reign of Christ the King (last Sunday before the beginning of Advent).

The 33 or 34 Sundays of Ordinary Time after Pentecost (23 to 28 Sundays after Pentecost) are used to focus on various aspects of the Faith, especially the mission of the church in the world” (“Ordinary Time Counted Time of the Church Year” by Dennis Bratcher at www.crivoice.org/cyordinary.html).

We are going to continue our conversations through the God cards and focus on the gift of our identity found in Jesus Christ by going through the Me cards.

27. May 27-June 2 God Card #19 Holds my Hand – I believe God holds my hand.

28. June 3-9 God Card #23 Line Leader – I believe God is the line leader of me and the world.

29. June 10-16 God Card #13 Father – I believe God is my Father.

30. June 17-23 Me Cards Intro and Me Card #1 – I am accepted.

31. June 24-30 Me Card #2 – I am complete.

32. July 1-7 Me Card #3 – I am not condemned.

33. July 8-14 Me Card #4 – I am a conqueror over evil.

34. July 15-21 Me Card #5 – I am totally forgiven. 

35. July 22-28 Me Card #6 – I am already in heaven.

36. July 29-August 4 Me Card #7 – I am holy and blameless.

37. August 5-11 God Card #11 Extravagant – I believe God is extravagant.

38. August 12-18 God Card #36 Song – I believe God is my song, my source of joy.

39. August 19-25 God Card #28 Nightlight – I believe God is my light.

40. August 26-September 1 God Card #29 No Mess Ups! – I believe God doesn’t mess up.

41. September 2-8 God Card #32 Promise Keeper – I believe God keeps his promises.

42. September 9-15 God Card #37 Super Glue – I believe God sticks with me.

43. September 16-22 God Card #34 Saves a Seat For Me – I believe God saves a seat for me.

44. September 23-29 God Card #12 Eyes and Ears – I believe God sees me and listen to me.

45. September 30-October 6 God Card #39 Time Out – I believe God judges the sins of all people and holds us accountable for our choices.

46. October 7-13 God Card #41 Waiter – I believe God serves those he loves.

47. October 14-20 God Card #25 Medicine – I believe God heals my wounds not necessarily my circumstances or in my timing.

48. October 21-27 God Card #4 Blanket/Mr. Bear – I believe God comforts me.

49. October 28-November 3 God Card #38 Telephone – I believe God calls me and answers me when I talk to him.

50. November 4-10 God Card #10 Eraser – I believe God erases my sin.

51. November 11-17 God Card #1 Ahead of Me and Behind Me – I believe God is ahead of me and behind me.

52. November 18-24 God Card #2 Arcade Claw – I believe God picks me up and carries me.

53. November 25-December 1 God Card #5 Boomerang – I believe God is coming back for me.