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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Jellybeans - Jesus Uses What I Give Him

Easter 2012 is just around the corner, April 8. Today I'm sharing a devotion from soon to be released Easter is About Jesus: Family Devotionsfor the Easter Season.

Coloring page and ornament at the bottom of this post.

Jellybeans - Jesus Uses What I Give Him 
Jesus took the five loaves and two fish. He looked up to heaven and thanked God for the bread. He divided the bread and gave it to his followers for them to give to the people. Then he divided the two fish among them all. All the people ate and were satisfied.Mark 6:41-42
Do you know that Jesus loves for you to give to him? You may not think you have much to give. Jesus knew a boy who thought that, too. There was a crowd of thousands of people listening to Jesus. They listened all day. They got hungry. A boy who was listening to Jesus had a lunch of five pieces of bread and two fish, which was not very much. He knew it wasn’t very much, but he gave his food to Jesus. Jesus blessed the boy’s gift and made it multiply until everyone had enough to eat and there was more food left over than they started with. Jellybeans are small and may not seem like much, but they can remind you that Jesus makes a blessing from whatever you give him.

More Time with God


  • How does your family give to Jesus? 
  • Can you remember a time when Jesus used what you gave? Share what happened. 
  • Are there new ways your family could give to Jesus? 

Activity Ideas:

  • Read about the boy who gave his lunch to Jesus in Mark 6:34-44.
  • Draw a picture of the boy giving his lunch to Jesus.
  • Draw Jesus using what you give him.

Be the first to know when Easter is About Jesus is available for purchase. Send an email to Mukkove or use this contact link (there should be a blue "contact" button on the left. Please let me know if there is not).

Coloring page and ornament
Ornament Front

Ornament Back
Coloring page

Print coloring page full size or print small to color your own ornament.

Print ornament front and back and glue together, add a ribbon for hanging if you like. Make any size you want.

If the picture won’t print directly you can right click and select “save”, then print from that file. Let me know if you have trouble.

Do you have a blog or ministry you would like to share EIAJ with? Contact  Mukkove  for more information. 

More from Easter is About Jesus: Family Devotions for the Easter Season

Flowers—Jesus Takes Care of Me

Butterflies—Jesus Made Me for Good Works

Easter is Coming - Introduction

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Flowers—Jesus Takes Care of Me

Easter 2012 is just around the corner, April 8. Today I'm sharing a devotion from soon to be released Easter is About Jesus: Family Devotions for the Easter Season.

Coloring page and ornament at the bottom of this post.

Flowers—Jesus Takes Care of Me
And why do you worry about clothes? Look at the flowers in the field. See how they grow. They don’t work or make clothes for themselves. But I tell you that even Solomon with his riches was not dressed as beautifully as one of these flowers. God clothes the grass in the field like that. The grass is living today, but tomorrow it is thrown into the fire to be burned. So you can be even more sure that God will clothe you. Don’t have so little faith!
Matthew 6:28-30
Do you ever wonder what you are going to eat? Do you wonder if you will have clothes to wear? Most of us don’t have to worry about those things. We have parents and other people who take care of us. Jesus knew that we had needs like food and clothes and places to live. When his followers asked him about their needs, Jesus told them to look at the flowers growing nearby.
Have you ever looked really closely at a flower? They are amazingly beautiful. Jesus said that is how God dresses them! He reminded his followers that if God remembers to dress the flowers, he will take care of us as well. Let all the beautiful flowers remind you that Jesus takes care of you.

More Time with God
  • How does God take care of you? 
  • Who helps God take care of you? 
  • What does God want you to dress in? (Look in Colossians 3:10-14.)
Activity Ideas:
  • Thank God for taking care of you.
  • Read Jesus’s conversation with his disciples in Matthew 6:25-34.
  • Look for birds or flowers today. Look closely to see how wonderful God made them.

Sign up for Encouragement From Kove's Cove (see right side bar) to be the first to know when Easter is About Jesus is available for purchase.

Coloring page and ornament

Right click to select your options for printing. Let me know if you have trouble.
Ornament Front

Ornament Back

Coloring page
Print full size or print small for your own ornament.
Print ornament front and back and glue together, add a ribbon for hanging if you like. Make any size you want.

Do you have a blog or ministry you would like to share EIAJ with? Contact Mukkove for more information. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Rest I Long For

A couple of years ago Dan Moler gave a wonderful message at our church illustrating resting in God’s love. He said an apple tree produces apples because of what it is. It does not strive to produce apples to prove it’s an apple tree.

This is the rest I long for.

I love God, worship and serve, bringing his Kingdom everywhere I go because of who I am not because I’m trying really hard.

Too many days. Too many moments I forget who I am. I strive to produce fruit. Fruit of the Spirit. Just the name tells me I can’t produce anything on my own. It’s his fruit. He only needs this branch to remember who I am.

Who he is.

I am a new creature, created for good works. Ephesians 2:10
I am a royal priest.  1 Peter 2:9
I am an overcomer. 1 John 4:4
I am more than a conqueror. Romans 8:37

All and only because of Jesus.

Rest is my  My One Word  for 2012. I am trying to post some thought or insight each week.
Do you have One Word for 2012?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Eternal Encouragement Review

As a Gabby Mom my March review is of the Spring 2012 issue of Eternal Encouragement Magazine. I had a subscription before I was a Gabby Mom, too.
When my EE came I was glad to have a chance to read it right away. I enjoy EE because it’s written by moms like me- Christian, stay-at-home, homeschooling, and obviously writing- most who have been where I’m going and farther. The theme is Chaos. I have unfaithfully followed FlyLady for years so I immediately thought of “Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome”.  I’m thankful my home is no longer in that state, inside of me however can be a different story.
I enjoyed reading tips about cleaning and organizing my home. The articles shared struggles, tips and ideas. I was thankful for the articles that focused on the interior chaos, as well as my home.  My home is only a reflection of my heart, or maybe I can only get it as together as my heart.
Here are some quotes that impacted me:

Relating to God:
 He wants us to listen to Him, learn, and follow what He says, not what we think He meant or what someone else says He meant. He doesn’t want us to add to what He said and end up following our own religious practices.
Thoughts from the Doodle Bug by Lorrie Flem 
On parenting:
Make a new plan and a new list. Start praying and singing out loud.
Figure out the small doable steps for getting the chaos under control. ~ Lorrie Flem

We train our hearts and theirs to lean toward being welcoming rather than feeling the need to be entertaining. ~ Phyllis Sather

On health:
These little glands work hard every day helping to maintain balance in our bodies. When they are functioning as God intended, we can handle a good deal of busyness. If they are continually being called on to produce extra hormones because of too much stress, even the daily activities of our lives can leave us feeling overwhelmed.
Carla Jacks & Dawn Hamilton

Chaos in my life:
It is my heart’s desire to make my home one that honors the Lord and a place that my family loves. I want to be a godly woman.
I have to take my petition before the Lord and ask Him to reveal the flaws in my character and help me with the most important job He has blessed me with. ~ Mary Cheatham

If you would like to read your own copy of Eternal Encouragement Magazine  subscriptions are available printed and digital. Any subscription receives the NEW EE Etc. Web Magazine that is published 8 times a year. EE Etc. Web Magazine has full magazine articles that are only available to Eternal Encouragement Subscribers via a new online magazine website.  

If you are like me you will find eternal encouragement in EE magazine.

Eternal Encouragement Magazine is published by Eternal Encouragement, the ministry of Lorrie Flem.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Butterflies - Jesus Made Me for Good Works

Easter 2012 is just around the corner, April 8. Today I'm sharing a devotion from soon to be released Easter is About Jesus: Family Devotions for the Easter Season

Coloring page and ornament at the bottom of this post.

Butterflies—Jesus Made Me for Good Works

God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us new people so we would do good works. God had planned in advance those good works for us. He had planned for us to live our lives doing them.
Ephesians 2:10

Do you know that beautiful butterflies start out as caterpillars? They can’t fly or move very fast. They don’t look anything like the butterfly they will be one day. A caterpillar can only be a butterfly by going through a process of being made new. This process is called metamorphosis. In a way, the caterpillar dies. Inside the cocoon, it is remade into a butterfly. The butterfly must fight its way out of the cocoon for its wings to be strong enough to fly.
People who don’t know Jesus as their Lord and Savior can be like caterpillars. They may not look much like what God created them to be. We must be made new in Jesus and work with the Holy Spirit to do the good works God created us to do. It will be hard sometimes, just like the butterfly fighting its way out of the cocoon. Jesus and the Holy Spirit are always with you to help you; you will never be alone. When you see the butterflies, remember that Jesus made you for good works.

More Time with God
  • What has God made you to do? 
  • What are you good at? 
  • What do you like to do?
Activity Ideas:
  • Ask God what he likes to see you do. 
  • God made the caterpillar to become a butterfly and fly. What has God made you to do? Look in Matthew 22:37-39, Ephesians 6:1, and Philippians 2:14. 
  • Draw a butterfly. In the wings, write or draw things God has made you to do.

Did you enjoy today's devotion?
Will you share your thoughts and pictures?
What has God made you to do?

Sign up for Encouragement From Kove's Cove (see right side bar) to be the first to know when Easter is About Jesus is available for purchase.

Coloring page and ornament

Right click to select your options for printing. Let me know if you have trouble.

Coloring page
Print full size or print small for your own ornament.

Ornament - Front

Ornament - Back

Print ornament front and back and glue together, add a ribbon for hanging if you like. Make any size you want.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Easter is Coming

Though it’s far from looking like spring here at my home in Alaska, spring is coming and so is Easter. Easter is About Jesus: Family Devotions for the Easter Season is not ready for print, a little like our snow is not ready to leave.

I want to share a sample of Easter is About Jesus with you this Easter. Books, a full set of coloring pages and ornaments will be ready for Easter 2013. I would love your feedback, even if you just let me know you read it. If you are blessed by what you read your help in spreading the word would be greatly appreciated. It can be as simple as clicking “like”, involved as setting up an event and many things in between. Contact me if you would like to help. 

First, why and how I wrote Easter is About Jesus: Family Devotions for the Easter Season.

Jesus takes care of me
Flowers: Jesus takes care of me.
Welcome to Easter Is about Jesus. I created this devotional with two goals in mind: 
1. To give children ways to think of Jesus when they see the common sights of Easter;2. To help parents and children spend time with God in a meaningful way.
To achieve the first goal, I wrote fifteen devotions. Each one has something we see during the Easter season, a reason to think about Jesus, and a verse. Easter comes on a different date from year to year. Due to the change in date (or my lack of forethought), our Easter preparations vary from year to year. I thought your family might be the same. Here are some suggestions on scheduling:
Jelly beans: Jesus uses what I give him.
• You could do 5 days of devotions for 3 weeks or start two Sundays before Easter reading one every day, including Easter. You could even do morning and evening between Palm Sunday and Easter. 
• Pick a time of day that will be easiest to be consistent like breakfast or bedtime 
.• Pick a time when you are not hurried. Allow time for discussion and the “More Time with God” activities. You may want to choose one or two of the suggested activities. Consider doing some of the activities the next day if you are doing devotions at bedtime. 
• Do what works for your family.

For the second goal, I wrote the “More Time with God” activities. The intention of the activities is to equip the child to connect with God themselves and to begin listening for his voice. I believe it is vital to marry together knowledge of God and experience with God. We must have knowledge of his Word and his will to carry out the good plans he has had for us since before the beginning of time. We must experience his love and grace.
Lamb: Jesus is the Lamb of God
Children often hear God more easily than adults. When I began learning to listen for God’s voice, I was doing it with my children. We would read from the Bible and pray asking God to speak to us. I would ask my children to be quiet and listen for what God had to say and to tell me when they heard something. This did not work well for me because in five seconds they all had something to share! I hadn’t quit thinking yet.
God speaks in many ways. He may use words. He also may use pictures, numbers, visions, dreams, feelings—emotional and physical—colors, or impressions. He really is not limited—except by us. If your children share something you feel is strange, ask questions about how they felt or what else they saw. Ask them to ask God what it means. If they all share the same thing, it may be copycatting, or it may be that God really had the same message for all of them. The words may be new, or it may be a verse they have heard or memorized, or it may be words from a song. I would encourage you to keep a record of what God is saying with a journal, pictures, or drawings. When my children were young, I would write what they heard and saw as well as descriptions of their drawings.
Butterflies: Jesus made me for good works
What we hear and experience from God will never contradict Scripture. God and his Word are unchanging. If an experience seems to contradict Scripture, set it aside all together or until you have new insight.
Thank you for reading.
Blessings in Jesus,
Mukkove Johnson

I'll be sharing some devotions and hopefully ornaments and coloring pages between now and Easter.

Watercolor images copyright Tate Publishing 2012

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

God Given Rest

As I was hoping for rest I went looking for the verse where Jesus promised rest. I went to search e-sword and the first verse on the list for “give rest” was:

And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.
Exodus 33:14
Also on the list:

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28
Israel was in slavery. We were in sin. God provided deliverance and rest. One meaning of rest is: A place of quiet; permanent habitation.

Another reference to God giving rest is in Isaiah. Israel was in bondage - again, as often I find myself living in bondage - again. Even bondage to sorrow and fear.

And it shall come to pass in the day that the LORD shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve,
Isaiah 14:3

Jesus made it clear this rest from sorrow and fear, freedom from bondage, was for all, not only Israel. It was for me. For you. 

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,  To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”  And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.  And he began to say unto them, “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.”
Luke 4:18-21

Sin is hard bondage – poor, brokenhearted, captive, blind, and bruised. We serve it in sorrow and fear.

That is how God found me – how I still feel some days. 
That is where I was when Jesus came to proclaim the day of rest had come.
Another definition of rest: The gospel church or new covenant state in which the people of God enjoy repose, and Christ shall be glorified.

Jesus declared the acceptable year of the Lord – good news, healing, deliverance, sight, and liberty. Rest from the bondage of sin. Rest that brings refreshing. Rest that doesn’t just give me a break from sin. Rest that settles me in a new kingdom.

God was giving Israel rest by delivering them from bondage in Egypt and settling them in a new land of promise. Jesus has delivered me from sorrow and fear, the kingdom of sin and death. He has moved me to his Kingdom to rest in his works.

God has provided this rest for you. Have you received it?
How do you get back to resting when it seems you are in bondage again?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Resting, From Posting

I had hoped to post about rest each Wednesday. My thoughts this week haven't come together into anything worth posting yet.
To top it off I helped my husband slaughter 6 hogs this weekend, so computer and processing time has been limited.
So I'm giving myself grace, letting go of  having a wonderful post.
Instead I will wish you a wonderful week with some time for rest.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Rest, Reconciliation – Where to Begin

Rest n.
2. a state of reconciliation with God. (Matt 6)
Reconciliation n. 2. 
In Scripture, the means by which sinners are reconciled and brought into a state of favor with God, after natural estrangement or enmity; 
This is where true rest begins. Until we are reconciled to God all the rest in the world will not satisfy the restlessness in our souls. Rest begins when we begin to “do” rest.
Rest v.
2. To cease from labor, work, or performance.
God has done all the work to reconcile us to himself.  Jesus did the work so we can rest from our striving to be right with God, to impress him, to make him love us, notice us, or accept us. He already has. God loved and still loves.

Do you know this rest? Are you fully persuaded of God’s unfailing, unchanging love for you?
I’m not. I mean I believe he loves me. I know in my head. I know in my spirit. I am at rest in my eternal reconciliation. 
Yet somewhere I don’t know because I am not at rest today. How can he accept me today? I was grouchy. I was mean. I joined in my child’s tantrum. I squandered the precious time he has given me. I still strive for people’s attention and approval. I still act like I need to have it all together before he can use me, before he’ll listen. Before I’ll listen.

So I must rest [9. To lean; to recline for support; 10. To stand on, to be supported by; 12. To lean; to trust; to rely;] in his Word. He cannot lie. If he says he loves me he does. If he says I am forgiven I am. If he says we are reconciled through the suffering, death and resurrection of his Son then we are.
I will be changed by my resting far more than by my striving.
I was resting here.
God loves me.JPG
I seem to have forgotten.
I will rest here again. Reconciled.
Where are you resting this week?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Time4Learning Trial

home educationI've been invited to try Time4Learning for a month in exchange for a candid review. Their online program can be used for homeschool, as an after school tutorial and for summer learning. My opinion will be my own, so come back and read about my experience. You can write your own curriculum review, too!

I never thought this would be my style, but with struggles for some of my children and spring fever for us all I think it will be the perfect time to try it out!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

In Need of a Makeover

This +
this =

I'm a "piler". I make piles of stuff instead of decisions. I am getting better, but I'll likely never be cured.
I wanted something to contain the pile plus the pile I use on a daily basis. This freezer basket won the nomination.
I took an old comforter cover and tore it into strips. I wrapped during the week while the kids worked on their lessons.
I found some wonderful ideas for fabric flowers on Pintrest. First I tried this one. I didn't like the pointed petals so I used that design for my leaves.
Next I did these flowers. My daughter discovered that bigger stitches allowed to gather the petals closer for a smaller center.
I attached the flowers leaves and twine with Tear Mender, my favorite fabric glue :). 
I'm happy with my basket and the top of this cabinet my now be my longed for control center...

I'm still in desperate need of a makeover myself. While I work on that I will be encouraged by my basket.

What are your favorite ways to stay organized?
What helps you juggle your many roles?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Rest in the Lord

What's the difference between "resting in the LORD" and growing stagnant? How do we "be still" without becoming idle?

I must have copied this from a blog or a post somewhere. My apologies to the original poser of these questions. I’m sure I thought I would get to it right away and remember where I had found it. That didn’t happen and I have no documentation for where I got it. If it was you let me know.

It caught my eye because my One Word for 2012 is rest. 
Rest in the Lord. Be still and know that I am God. They all fit together. 
Just how? What does it look like?

In our culture I think rest means couch potato. It means lazy. We rest. We do nothing. Rest equals relaxation. Maybe that’s why we fear resting will lead to stagnation. Yet God commands us to rest in him. What did he mean?

Psalms 37:7  Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

The word translated “rest” in Psalms 37:7 comes from two words. One word meaning, to be astonished. Another word that means, to stop. This word for rest means to be so astonished you be quiet. I love this!
Look later in the verse. “Fret not thyself” What do people do when they worry? They talk about it! Be quiet! Remember who God is. If we allow ourselves to focus on God we will indeed be astonished.  He is capable, faithful, loving, sovereign. He can and will handle it. Be still in your tongue and your thoughts.

Isaiah 30:15  For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.

The word for rest in this verse means to be set on. Returning our focus to him, being set upon his promises is rest. The word for saved means to be safe but it also includes the idea of being free. Where is the strength to rest? in quietness and confidence. Sounds like Psalms 37:7. The word for quietness means: rest, settle, be still.

Jeremiah 6:16  Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.

The word for rest in Jeremiah 6:16 means resting place.  Abide, remain, and stay are all words in the meaning of the word stand in this verse. The resting place, the place to stand is in God’s ways.

None of these verses are reffering to physical rest, doing nothing. They all refer to where your thoughts are resting. If they rest in the Lord you will be safe and have confidence in him. Israel would not. The verses following in Isaiah and Jeremiah tell us Israel SAID they would not. 
Maybe another reason to be quiet before we are sure we are resting in the Lord? 
Rather than wait paitiently as instructed they talked and made their own plans. Since they went against the plans of God, they failed and brought judgement rather than rest.

How often do we decide to fix something instead of resting in the Lord? Do we get any rest from the results of our efforts?

One more verse:

Zephaniah 3:17  The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.

He – the Almighty God  - will rest in his love for you. 
The meaning for the word used for rest includes: tengrave, be silent, be still. He is not trying to love us. He has decided - engraved it (in his hand actually) and it will not change. This overwhelms me. He is decided, set, abiding in his love for ME. for You. If we rest in his love we are imitating our Father just as Jesus did. Resting is being like God, thus pleasing to him.

This verse also shows rest is not motionless. He is resting in his love with joyous singing. Rest does not result in stagnation. Rather purposeful movement. There are things to be done. The first of which is rest

Have you discovered rest?
How do you rest?
Do you have questions about rest?
I'd love to hear from you. Please comment.

Jake & Jesus is One!

Kelly's Jake & Jesus
Jake and Jesus are best friends. They do everything together. Jake talks to Jesus everyday. Learn how you too can become a lifelong friend of our Savior!
Published by Tate Publishing

Author bio:
Kelly Hagen lives in Kentucky with her family. She enjoys being a stay at home mom, and filling her children’s hearts with God’s Word.

You can find Kelly on :

Kelly’s Jake & Jesus


Kelly shares some thoughts on friendship:

Friends are a special thing to have in your life. It's something Jesus wants us to have. They can encourage us, lift our spirits when we are down. Share in our happiness. But we must remember that we are human. Even the "best" friend you have can hurt your feelings, and let you down. But the good news is...Jesus will never hurt us, or let us down. He loves us and forgives us. He doesn't hold bitterness or anger towards us. We sometimes do-even not knowing it. So it's important to remember not replace your friendship with Jesus with someone else. Put Him first and all else will be taken care of. Try your best everyday to "live" out that friendship for your children, spouse and other friends to see, so that they too may find the one true "best friend" in the world....Jesus!

Reviews for Jake & Jesus:

Jake & Jesus, by Kelly Hagen, is a small children's book with adorable illustrations and a huge message. Jake convinced me of his love for his best friend, Jesus. With Him, he could talk and play, sing and pray--anytime. Best of all, Jake gave Jesus the gift of his heart.

My only regret was that the book ended too quickly.

Linda Robinson, Author of When Love Abounds 

Jake & Jesus is a heartwarming story of a young boy's love for Jesus. Through reading this book, young children will learn about Jesus, and how they too can have a personal relationship with Him. This book is a wonderful tool for parents to use to help lead their child/children to Christ. It's also full of colorful illustrations. 

Author Terri Burnell 

Kelly's book, Jake & Jesus is such an adorable children's book. It really speaks on a child's level to let them know that Jesus can and will always be their best friend.

Lisa Davis Budzinski author of At the End of the Day