Tonight was Cookie Baking Night, and it was a full house. In attendance this evening: Ethan, Carissa, Alli, Emily and Julia (Julia is Emily's friend from school, and she has visited us a few times). In light of the subzero temperatures outside (-13 degrees F on my drive home this evening), we made one of my old standby cookie recipes: Cinnamon Polar Bears (a recipe cut from a little Pillsbury pamphlet cookbook years ago). I love this recipe because every child can participate no matter the skill level, and the end product is always a cute little cookie (no cookie cutters involved, just rolling dough into ball shapes of varying sizes and placing a few small pieces of candy in the right spots, we used cinnamon candies for the nose and mini M&Ms for the eyes).
Our evening also involved reading from Sammy and His Shepherd by Susan Hunt, subtitled "Seeing Jesus in Psalm 23". Before we started the lesson, Julia read Psalm 23 from the Bible for us. Tonight, we read chapter 7 titled "Your Rod and Your Staff, They Comfort Me". When answering one of the discussion questions at the end, one of the children mentioned The 10 Commandments, so we used that time to review them (they're hanging on the wall in our living room). I make it a practice to always share the gospel message with the children whenever we review The 10 Commandments. We talk about how Jesus fulfilled the whole law (commandments) while He lived here on earth because He did not sin (one of the children marveled at this realization). And because He did not sin, He was able to take the punishment for our sins on the cross in our place. This was followed by a lively discussion about repentance (confessing and turning from sin) and trust in Christ for forgiveness of sins and hope of eternal life.
Having our nieces and nephews (and sometimes friends) in our home on a regular basis and establishing relationships with them as they grow is a joy and a privilege BUT no greater privilege exists than sharing the gospel with them, and I'm grateful God allows those opportunities. May He provide many more.
As usual, a fun time was had by all.