Five-Finger-Prayers - Guest Blogger Sally Cressman

Sometimes we need to make things simple. We create acronyms to help us remember an important message. We make up cues to remind us to do something or not do something. We post notes in tempting places to halt us in our tracks. In prayer, your child's hand can prompt all kinds of prayer requests.

Thumb – The thumb is the closest to your heart. Guide your child to pray for those closest to him such as family members or friends.

Index finger – The index finger is used for pointing and used in teaching and directing. Teach your child to pray for those who teach in schools. Doctors, coaches, and first responders are others who guide and teach.

Middle finger — The middle finger is the tallest. Encourage your child to pray for people in positions of authority. This could include principals, the president, government officials, and pastors.

Ring finger or fourth finger – The ring finger is the weakest. Develop a habit in your child to pray for widows, orphans, the poor, the homeless, and the lost.

Pinkie finger – The smallest finger, the pinkie, reminds your child to pray for himself (herself).

For older children – Guide them to hold up the hand and praise and thank God. Turn the palm up and teach your child to relinquish those things that he should not be holding onto.

What other simple devices do you use to develop a habit of prayer in your child?

Bio - Sally is a mother, wife, blogger and writer. She loves a good cup of tea (hot, cold or chai), the Green Bay Packers and meeting with friends. But her greatest pursuit is to know Jesus and follow him. You can follow her on her blog about prayer at

Had Your Stinging Nettles Today?

Had Your Stinging Nettles Today?

The World Nettle Eating Championship happens in Dorset, England once a year. Competitors are provided two-foot long stalks of the stinging nettle plant and they pluck and eat the leaves. The winner is the one with the greatest accumulated length of nettles-not to mention a black tongue and teeth.

A wild plant called stinging nettle can sting you with its hairy leaves and stems. The hairy leaf is like a hypodermic needle when touched and can inject chemicals causing a sting which can cause itching and pain.

Most people that encounter the stinging nettle consider it a nuisance. But God has made everything for a reason. The nettle plants can be a great source of vitamins. It can help with allergies and is an anti-inflammatory. When cooked and soaked in water the stingers come off and the leaves can be eaten. Herbal teas and pesto sauces are just a few of the common uses of the plant.

Nettles along with other types of plants with thorns and thistles are mentioned in the Bible:

·       Genesis 3:18 in says, “It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.”

·       Genesis 9:3 says, “Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.”

·       Isaiah 34:13 says, “Thorns will overrun her citadels, nettles and brambles her strongholds. She will become a haunt for jackals, a home for owls.”

The more I learn about all that God has created, I believe there are many resources we aren’t taking advantage of for our well-being. 

You might not end up a nettle-eating champion, but you could end up enjoying–and benefiting from-one of God’s wild plants growing in your own backyard.


Nuggets of Gratitude: List three wild plants you are thankful for.



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Ideas for praying for our kids.

  • Several years ago, as I was driving by my child’s school and I decided to pray for my child. I prayed for his safety, focus, and friends. I prayed for the teachers, office, and other staff as they tend to all the kids during the day. Now it is a regular habit when I drive past the school.

  • One chore I am not fond of is folding clothes. But I have found if I use the time to pray for my child it helps me change my perspective on the task. Ask God to guide their steps as they put their socks on each day.

  • Your child may struggle with a class. Find out what time your child has the class and set your alarm to pray for them during this time.

  • Tell your child you prayed for them. It will mean more to them than you know.

You did What?

"You did what?" I held my hands over my ears.  "No, I don't want to hear the answer to that!"

Sometimes I ask a question in shock, but then I realize:  No, I don't want to know.

One day, I learned that lesson the hard way.

It was an unusually warm, 80-degree spring day.  My son, Anthony, who is 10, had been home from school for about an hour.  He said, "Mom, I’m gonna go out in the backyard and play." 

A few minutes later, he came back in the house but then headed right back out the door. As he walked towards the sunroom he took it out. It was a small, clear, plastic container.

I didn’t know what his plans were, but the possibilities were endless. Anthony loves to play with anything nature-related.  It may be leaves, sticks, insects, or worms.  He explores the designs and details of items he finds.  He reads many books about nature with curiosity. I never know what’s going to show up in his little hands. 
Anthony ran in the house ten minutes later with about 15 brown, creepy crawly caterpillars in the container.  The lid was securely in place - which I was thankful for, I might add.  But it grossed me out seeing the worms crawling around in the container. 
I pointed and said, “Anthony you have to get those back outside! I don’t like those! And keep the lid ajar so the caterpillars can get some oxygen!”

He took them in the sunroom and began shaking them in the container with the lid on.  The creatures must have thought a giant had captured them and was planning to make a smoothie out of them. 

I said, "Anthony, get those outside before you spill them." 

I felt relieved when he took them outside, but what happened next made my skin crawl just like the wriggling caterpillars.

Anthony walked in the house carrying the empty container.  He acted like he had just saved the world by what he had just done.  Boys are hunters by nature and he felt like he had accomplished his mission for the day.  "You should be thanking me because those things were killing the trees,” he said.

I said, "What did you do with the caterpillars?" 

"I buried them."
This is the part when I said, "You did what?"  I stopped and put my hands over my ears. “No, I don't want to know!"
When I took my hands away, Anthony said, "I actually cut all their heads off with a stick and then buried them."

“Oh no, Anthony, those were God’s little creatures.”  I was trying not to laugh. 

Anthony’s smiled and sweetly replied, “Mom, I want you to know my heart was in the right place because they were killing the trees.”

I know that his heart was in the right place.  Each summer we have a garden, and many times he will be in the garden picking insects and worms off my plants.   In his little heart he felt like he was helping God’s green earth and the trees.

As he came back in the house, he said, “I need to take a shower I have caterpillar guts all over my shirt and some squirted in my eyes.”

I laughed. “Anthony, that sounds like the best idea of the day.”

And every day, the adventurer in him keeps me laughing and smiling.


The Lurking Germs

Having a child with acute medical issues made us more aware of the many germs lurking and seeking someone to invade. It may sound scary but when your child wakes up in the middle of the night throwing up-it is worth trying something.

To keep your child well and cut down on days missed from school here are some things I have done to keep germs at bay. These things should be done first thing upon entering the house.

  •   Wash hands and face.
  •   Change clothes.
  •  Take off shoes at the door.

A few other things I have found helpful:

  •  Use paper towels in the bathroom.
  •  Drink infused water with fresh oranges, limes, lemons during all seasons.

Hoping you have a healthy, happy school year!


Donuts, post-it notes, and gift cards.

Marvelous Monday was celebrated with donuts, post-it notes, and gift cards.

Recently, I learned about an act of kindness that doesn't cost much. Buy a colorful pack of post-it notes and write encouraging phrases (example- Have a great day! Jesus loves you. etc) and then place the sticky notes in public places such as restaurants, stores, or any place a smile is needed.

So tonight a friend, Rachel Blackstock, and I went and stuck post-it notes in random places at a few local stores.

We decided to spread a little more joy by going to a local donut shop and purchasing a couple of gift cards to hand out to random people.

We prayed and ask God to lead us to the people that should receive the cards. We ended up going back to the shopping center and I had the privilege of watching Rachel speak with a man and women in Spanish and see them respond by taking the card, smiling and thanking Rachel in their language.

Just yesterday, my son, Anthony had requested a trip to the donut shop. He was thrilled when I returned home carrying two glazed donuts in a small paper bag.

It doesn't cost much to sprinkle a little joy into people's lives we just have to be willing to step out and do it.

Coloring a form of worship

Children enjoy getting new crayons and coloring books. Coloring is a relaxing hobby that is not just for kids. Adults have jumped in on the fun.  Thousands of uniquely designed coloring books are available at bookstores and online. 

Recently, I purchased a purple note-taking Bible with my name engraved in silver letters. The margins of the Bible have pictures and scripture verses to color and blank lines for journaling and thoughts. 

I had never thought that coloring could be a form of worship until I received my new Bible.  People worship by singing, dancing, and praying. So why not coloring? 

I start by picking a page to color.  Then I read the scripture on those pages and begin coloring and thinking about the story I have read. I have found that I spend more time pondering the scripture as I color.  

Joshua 1:8 says, "Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful."

If coloring allows me to meditate on the word for longer periods of time then this would be a great worship tool for anyone at any age.