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Family First » jesus http://familyfirst.com Servings Families Online since 1998 Fri, 02 Oct 2015 20:25:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 How to Get Your Kids Moving (And Worshipping)http://familyfirst.com/how-to-get-your-kids-moving-and-worshipping.html http://familyfirst.com/how-to-get-your-kids-moving-and-worshipping.html#comments Sun, 24 Apr 2011 15:09:25 +0000 http://familyfirst.com/?p=7736 post thumbnail

Rarely do the words “church music” and “dance video” go together but for the creators of “Great Big God,” that’s exactly what they’ve done.

In the first live DVD/CD combination, the Great Big God creator Nigel Hemming has created a super fun music experience for kids 8 and under. It will get your kids singing and dancing for Jesus.

Released in March by Vineyard UK Kids and distributed in North American by Kingsway and EMI CMG, this is the first time the Great Big God team has shot a live version of their incredibly catchy and meaningful worship songs.

You’ll find your toes tapping to “Our God is a Great Big God”, their original song from the beginning of the GBG phenomenon in 2000. The infectious fun of the songs and the smiling kids and performers makes this video a great time.

The third track on the DVD is performed by the 13-year-old musical phenomenon Joel Barber who plays lead guitar and vocals for the show. Barber is an amazing guitar player, way beyond his mere 13 years of age.

Other performers on the tracks include Wendy O’Connell (Come, Now Is The Time To Worship), Charlie Groves and Jodie Frye.

The DVD contains 9 new tracks and 4 favorites with new arrangements. The CD has a bonus track for a total of 14 tracks. The disk set also contains video of drum and puppet making demonstrations, the dance moves and behind the scenes footage.

The booklet that comes in the DVD case contains the chords and lyrics for all the songs so worship leaders or musicians can learn the songs.

The website www.greatbiggod.com also includes a downloadable guide to running a kids praise party.

So get your kids moving to some wonderful, happy, fun, safe music while learning a little bit about Jesus. Check out www.greatbiggod.com for more information.

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What in the World is Maundy Thursday?http://familyfirst.com/what-in-the-world-is-maundy-thursday.html http://familyfirst.com/what-in-the-world-is-maundy-thursday.html#comments Thu, 21 Apr 2011 15:43:01 +0000 http://familyfirst.com/?p=7720 post thumbnail

My kids think today is Monday Thursday, which makes no sense. We know it’s Maundy Thursday of Holy Week but that still doesn’t make a ton of sense either. What does it mean?

According to www.christianity.com today was originally called Mandatum Thursday which means a mandate or command.

This is the day when Jesus gathered his disciples together at The Last Supper and told them:

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another” (John 13:34).” 

Today is our day to remember to love one another and remember how Jesus loved us so much he ended his time here on Earth so we could believe in him and ourselves live an eternal life with God.

As the website states, the “new” commandment (mandatum in Latin)  Jesus was talking about is that this was the first time in history someone came to Earth solely to teach about love. He was setting the new standard for love through his presence and sacrifices while in human form.

According to Ask.com this day is also known as Holy Thursday, Covenant Thursday, Great & Holy Thursday and Thursday of Mysteries. Some churches also celebrate this day through the act of washing the feet of parishioners. This is in reverence to Christ’s washing his disciples’ feet.

In England, the Queen gives out alms or Maundy coins to needy senior citizens. According to Ask.com, in Sweden, Maundy Thursday is actually more like Halloween in America. Small children dress in witch costumes and go door to door seeking candy and coins. In many places, the church bells fall silent until Sunday and stores are closed from now until either Saturday or Monday.

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What Are You Giving Up For Lent? Do You Know Why?http://familyfirst.com/what-are-you-giving-up-for-lent-do-you-know-why.html http://familyfirst.com/what-are-you-giving-up-for-lent-do-you-know-why.html#comments Wed, 09 Mar 2011 16:21:58 +0000 http://familyfirst.com/?p=7328 post thumbnail

For some, it’s chocolate or dessert. For others, it might be something a little tougher, like alcohol, cussing or smoking.  (If you spent some time celebrating Mardi Gras yesterday, you might be feeling like giving up some of that right now.)

Today is Ash Wednesday for millions of Christians, which marks the beginning of Lent, the 40 days (not counting 6 Sundays) preceding Easter.

The earliest possible Ash Wednesday in a year is February 4 and the latest is March 10. Many times, the ashes used for the ceremony come from the burned ashes of the palm fronds from the prior year’s Palm Sunday services.

But why do Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans and others decide to give up something?

It’s to repent for our sins and to purify and renew ourselves. The earliest known reference to this practice was somewhere around the 8th century AD from the writings of the abbot Aelfric, according to the website for Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Lexington, Kentucky. His text for The Lives of the Saints mentions sprinkling our heads with ashes and wearing sackcloth, which was itchy, uncomfortable fabric. The practice of sprinkling oneself with ashes was to show mourning and inner repentance in early times. Wearing sackcloth was also a way of showing our suffering. The anointing with oil and ashes came later.

Biblical references to the ashes and sackcloth appear in Job 42:6, 2 Samuel 13:19, Esther 4:1,3, Isaiah 61:3, Jeremiah 6:26, Ezekiel 27:30, and Daniel 9:3 in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, Jesus alludes to the practice in Matthew 11:21, according to the Our Redeemer site.  The site also points out that the specific practices of Ash Wednesday and Lent are never specifically mentioned in the Bible.

The 40 days is an allusion to Jesus’ time in the desert when he was fasting and praying and being tempted by the devil as written about in the Gospels. Moses also repented and fasted for 40 days after the people created the golden calf to worship.  

So, now, we show our outer repentance to others with the ash smudge and our inner repentance by giving up something that tempts us or is a luxury, for 40 days. Good luck!

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Gospel Singer Joanne Cash Talks about Her Family’s Christmas Traditionshttp://familyfirst.com/gospel-singer-joanne-cash-talks-about-her-family%e2%80%99s-christmas-traditions.html http://familyfirst.com/gospel-singer-joanne-cash-talks-about-her-family%e2%80%99s-christmas-traditions.html#comments Tue, 21 Dec 2010 14:41:14 +0000 http://familyfirst.com/?p=6538 post thumbnail

Joanne Cash grew up in a large family, with one member you’ve probably heard of – Johnny Cash, her older brother. Joanne is a well-known gospel singer and has just released a new album called “Gospel” which includes three previously unreleased duets with Johnny.

Here she tells Family First about her Christmas holidays as a child and how the gift of Jesus is such an important part of her Christmas celebration.

Where did you grow up?

Dyess, AR

What traditions did your family have around preparations for the holidays?

My family grew up on a cotton farm. It was very hard work. My Father was a very hard working man, and there wasn’t very much left over to spend on Christmas. But each of us got a present and some fruit. 

Mama would cook a large meal, fresh vegetables, chicken and dressing with gravy. It was great.

The tree we had was a ‘pig-apple tree’.  It had small apples on it, but you couldn’t eat them!

My sisters and myself would cut strips of shiny green and red celophane paper and put it on the tree, and popcorn strings. It was pretty!

I still make “cornbread dressing” from scratch to go with a large turkey and all the trimmings. I really miss my family who have already gone to Heaven.

Where did you celebrate your holiday meals?

We always had Christmas at our house, and family members and friends would come.

Paper plates or fine china?

We never ate out of paper plates. It was always Mama’s dishes.

Any interesting events that took place during these celebrations?

Just being together, and having Jesus with us made it wonderful. Mama would read the story of Jesus in Luke Chapter 2, and we would pray, and have our meal.  We would go and sing Christmas carols.

What’s your favorite holiday dish?


Any funny traditions your family had when you were a child?

Daddy would tease us and say that Santa wasn’t coming, etc.

Any traditions from childhood you miss? 

I miss my family, and the time we spent together, over the years.

What’s the most important part of the holidays for you?

The MOST important part of the holidays is KNOWING that Jesus came as a babe in a manger in Bethlehem, and that he is surely coming again.

What new things are going on with you that you would like the readers to know about?

For all the latest info, visit my website at www.joannecash.com! You can also find me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/joannecashyates and http://www.facebook.com/joannecashmusic.

Final Note from Joanne:

To really see how The Cash Family lived, and how it really was at Christmas time, listen to my brother Johnny Cash’s recording of  ‘CHRISTMAS AS I KNEW IT.’ Merry Christmas to everyone.

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Everlife’s Sarah Ross talks about Her True Christian Christmas Traditionshttp://familyfirst.com/everlife%e2%80%99s-sarah-ross-talks-about-her-true-christian-christmas-traditions.html http://familyfirst.com/everlife%e2%80%99s-sarah-ross-talks-about-her-true-christian-christmas-traditions.html#comments Sat, 11 Dec 2010 14:24:52 +0000 http://familyfirst.com/?p=6417 post thumbnail

She’s toured with her sisters as part of the rock trio Everlife on major tours including Miley Cyrus, The Cheetah Girls and the Jonas Brothers, but Sarah Ross keeps her feet on the ground when she and her family emphasize the real reason for the Christmas season – Jesus Christ.

The Ross sisters – Amber (26) Julia (21) and  Sarah (24) (pictured at right)– recently returned from their third European concert tour, and they’re currently writing and recording new material with hitmakers like Glen Ballard and Matchbox Twenty’s Kyle Cook. Their new single “What’s Beautiful” is now available at iTunes, along with their 2009 EP at the Love Library, and their self-titled Walt Disney Records debut. Visit Everlife online atwww.everlifeonline.com

Here Ross answers questions from Family First about her family’s holiday traditions and how they keep the true reason for the season as the cornerstone of their Christmas celebration.

Where did you grow up? 
Good ole Pennsylvania :) We always tell people that we grew up in Pittsburgh, but we actually lived in a place called Indiana. Its a small town a little outside of Pittsburgh. It’s easier to say Pittsburgh than to try and explain that we didn’t live in Indiana the state, but the town!

Any traditions around preparation for holidays? Any specific activities like cookie baking, charity work or crafts and gift-giving?

When we were little we had a lot of traditions and such, and then when we started getting older we were away a lot for the holidays, so we would try and make things different every year. But when we were younger we would try and find a family that we could buy gifts for and then leave them on their doorstep on Christmas Eve. We didn’t want them to know where they came from because it wasn’t about that, it was about loving others and giving when you can.

We also love baking, there’s nothing better than a house that smells like fresh cookies :) I actually haven’t even decorated yet this year, which isn’t normal for me. Amber, my older sister, has already decorated her house. She rocks at that kinda stuff, her house looks amazing.

For Christmas dinners/celebrations was there a specific place you would go as a family when you were a child?  Have you continued or do you have new traditions for these celebrations?

We would always make sure that we woke up in our own beds on Christmas morning. The girls and I would wake up SO early, and we would grab the stockings from the foot of our beds and run into Mom and Dad’s room, wake them up and look through our stockings. When we got older we started getting Mom and Dad stockings as well. Then Dad would read the Christmas story from the Bible, we would sing happy birthday to Jesus, and then go to the tree and open presents! Now that we all live in different houses, things look a little different, but we have tried to always be together on Christmas morning, or if we aren’t together to at least video chat with each other :) 
Were your big holiday dinners casual with paper plates and plastic cups or was it formal with nice china and sterling silver?

Mama loved to go all out for the holidays! She would break out her best dishes and set the table up so beautifully. We felt like royalty. 

Any unique guests or funny events that occurred at any of these celebrations?

If you have celebrated a holiday with us, you know that it is ALWAYS an adventure! Something always seems to go wrong with one of the main courses. One year Mom forgot to turn the oven from pre-heat to bake! We didn’t eat dinner that night until around 9. We tend to laugh all the time, no matter what happens, because at least we are together!

What’s your favorite holiday dish? Any dishes you have that are unique/strange/noteworthy?

My little sister Julia and I are both allergic to gluten/wheat, so the table is always full of strange or odd dishes. Things are really healthy most times, lots of vegetables and fruit. I have tried to make a few gluten free desserts the past few years, and they haven’t turned out that bad! They may look weird, but they taste great to me.

What’s the strangest tradition your family either had when you were a child or has now?

Strange? We could possibly be the strangest family around, but it’s normal to us, so I’m not sure! We were never allowed to see the tree with all the presents until after the Christmas story from the Bible and sang happy birthday to Jesus. That may not be that strange, but it really tested our patience as kids! We knew that the holiday was celebrating Jesus, but we really wanted to dig into those gifts!

Any traditions from childhood you miss either because the things don’t exist, same people are gone, or you live in a different place and can’t continue?

I miss all 5 of us, the girls and I and Mom and Dad, being able to wake up together and just share Christmas morning as a family. I miss decorating together before the holidays, and trekking through a few feet of snow to find the best Christmas tree. There are definitely a lot of things I miss, but I am grateful for the new memories and new traditions that we can have together. 

What’s the most important part of the holidays for you?

Being with the ones I love, and knowing that it’s all about Christ, not about the gifts or the lights or the good food. It’s about loving others and the love that we were showed so many years ago. 

What new projects do you have going on that you would like the readers to know about?

The girls and I are working on a lot of new things! You can see any new updates on our website, www.everlifeonline.com or check us out on Facebook, Myspace or Twitter. Thank you all for your support! Have a very Merry Christmas!

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Nasca Lineshttp://familyfirst.com/nasca-lines.html http://familyfirst.com/nasca-lines.html#comments Mon, 14 Jul 2008 00:11:32 +0000 http://familyfirst.sandbox.infomediainc.com/?p=3859 The Nasca (aka Nazca) Lines are one of archaeology’s most familiar finds.
Ironically, they had to lie exposed for all the world to see for thousands of years. Yet, it was ani airplane flight that took place in 1939 that finally revealed their presence to the modern world!
By then, the Pan-America highway had already been constructed right through the middle of some of them.
They have been protected and preserved since then, but it’s amazing to me that artwork created before Jesus walked the earth wasn’t discovered until the same year that Gone With the Wind was released.
Today’s FamilyFirst pick is a photo essay of the lines.

There isn’t much text. The photos speak for themselves.
There are also photos of Nazca artifacts from a museum.
It’s a nice, simple presentation that I think you will find enjoyable.
Click here

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The Food Timelinehttp://familyfirst.com/the-food-timeline.html http://familyfirst.com/the-food-timeline.html#comments Sat, 14 Jun 2008 00:40:47 +0000 http://familyfirst.sandbox.infomediainc.com/?p=3836 What are you going to grab the next time you head for the fridge? A big, juicy orange? A piece of key lime pie? Some nice cold chicken?
Did you ever wonder what our distant ancestors ate?
Today’s familyFirst pick is called Food Timeline. It goes way, WAY back in history and traces what man has eaten over the ages.
I found it interesting that man began eating insects long before he took up grain.
Also, almonds were one of man’s earliest foods. I can’t even afford to buy them today!

The vile dish known as haggis was actually a Roman invention from the first century.
And Jesus, of course, enjoyed Passover lamb, bread, and broiled fish.
And the list touches on recent innovations, too. In 2006, someone created deep-fried Coca-Cola.

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Women of Faithhttp://familyfirst.com/women-of-faith.html http://familyfirst.com/women-of-faith.html#comments Fri, 24 Sep 2004 00:45:28 +0000 http://familyfirst.sandbox.infomediainc.com/?p=2593 For several years, there has been a movement among Christian men to get together and discover themselves, as a husband, a father, an individual, and above all, how that all relates to being a Christian. Today’s Family First site, we give equal time to the ladies of our lives, as we visit as site that promotes discovery, renewal, and revitalization among women of faith.

The site is called Women of Faith, and it most likely is coming soon to a city near your. Imagine getting together with your closest girlfriends for a weekend. Think of the laughter you�d share, the tears you�d shed, the FUN you�d have. Now multiply that by 10,000 or so. You�re starting to get the idea. Women of Faith is an interdenominational women�s conference organization committed to helping women of all faiths, backgrounds, age groups and nationalities grow emotionally, spiritually and in relationships. More than 2.3 million women have shared the conference experience since it began in the mid-1990s. In 2003 alone, more than 36,000 thousand women indicated decisions to follow Jesus. The two day program runs 10 1/2 hours, and features a wide variety of speakers and entertainment.
So if you are looking to rediscover or reconnect with Christ, and want to do so in an environment of Christian fellowship, I encourage you to visit this site, and participate in the program.


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The Tom T. Hall Pagehttp://familyfirst.com/the-tom-t-hall-page-3.html http://familyfirst.com/the-tom-t-hall-page-3.html#comments Tue, 27 Apr 2004 00:11:01 +0000 http://familyfirst.sandbox.infomediainc.com/?p=2448 Music has been used over the years to tell stories, and to entertain people. One of the most gifted and talented songwriters I have ever heard of may not be widely known to the mainstream music market. But he epitomizes the use of a song to tell a story. His name is Tom T. Hall, and today’s Family First Site looks at his authorized web site.

Called The Tom T. Hall Page, this site is an online reference and discography for an artist whom President Jimmy Carter once called “�a poet with a guitar”. The Old Storyteller, as he is known, has written such classics as “Harper Valley PTA”, “I Love”, “Old Dogs, Children, and Watermelon Wine”, and “Me and Jesus”. He has even released a very popular album of children’s songs, showing he is a truly all around writer and singer.

I saw Tom in concert in Hawaii in 1974 while I was in the Navy. He is a dynamic performer, and gives a great show. Spend some time at his site, and then find some of his music, and enjoy it. You will be glad you did.


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The Tom T. Hall Pagehttp://familyfirst.com/the-tom-t-hall-page-2.html http://familyfirst.com/the-tom-t-hall-page-2.html#comments Sun, 11 Jan 2004 00:11:00 +0000 http://familyfirst.sandbox.infomediainc.com/?p=2343 Music has been used over the years to tell stories, and to entertain people. One of the most gifted and talented songwriters I have ever heard of may not be widely known to the mainstream music market. But he epitomizes the use of a song to tell a story. His name is Tom T. Hall, and today’s Family First Site looks at his authorized web site.

Called The Tom T. Hall Page, this site is an online reference and discography for an artist whom President Jimmy Carter once called “�a poet with a guitar”. The Old Storyteller, as he is known, has written such classics as “Harper Valley PTA”, “I Love”, “Old Dogs, Children, and Watermelon Wine”, and “Me and Jesus”. He has even released a very popular album of children’s songs, showing he is a truly all around writer and singer.

I saw Tom in concert in Hawaii in 1974 while I was in the Navy. He is a dynamic performer, and gives a great show. Spend some time at his site, and then find some of his music, and enjoy it. You will be glad you did.


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