Some moments you dream about your whole life, and recently I experienced one of mine.

As I was reading “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” to my daughter, we came to the chapter where the white witch kills Aslan on the stone table. Tears streamed down my cheeks. My sweet baby girl wiped them with her tiny fingers and said, “it’s okay, mommy.”

After the chapter was done and Aslan was dead, my tears fell even more freely. At first, my daughter said, “well, that is an inappropriate story for a kid.” Then she quietly thought and replied, “wait, mommy is this an example of Jesus dying on the cross for our sins?” I nodded and smiled and then reminded her He would live again.

She snuggled me and said, “I need huggies.” Then I prayed aloud with her wrapped in my arms. I thanked God for the gift of Jesus and prayed that one day she would clearly see her need for Him as a Savior.

It was a holy, unforgettable moment on the couch in my living room, strewn with toys and folded laundry waiting to be put away. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Thank you, C.S. Lewis, and THANK YOU LORD!!!

twenty years ago, as i began my time in kids ministry, i looked at events in youth ministry like d-now and thought, why don’t the kids have that? through the desire to offer concentrated time in God’s Word and fellowship with other kids and adults, 24 hours 4 Him was born. this year as i participated in my 20th weekend i was blown away, yet again, to see God work in and through the lives of kids and their leaders. here are my favorite take aways:

  • leadership – dawson kids associate minister to children, jon meads, was the main one in charge of this event and he did such an amazing job with all the details. this allowed me to get to spend time and plan some special nuances like prayer stations and worship elements.
  • worship leaders – we have had a great history of worship leaders at 24 hours 4 Him. (i.e. yancy and the lads) this year was no exception. we were so blessed to have our centrikid camp worship leaders, johnathan and emily martin, lead us in worship.(that is them singing on the video below.) i so love their humble, Christ-centered hearts to lead children and families to the foot of the cross.
  • curriculum – we loved using the zip curriculum from lifeway. it was super flexible and came complete with interactive lessons, media, and special area options. i highly recommend it.
  • prayer stations – instead of a service project, we had kids rotate through prayer stations. (this went along with our church’s theme of prayer for the year.) this time was all planned out for the adults so they were able to sit back, enjoy, and experience it with the kids.  i loved watching the adults and kids gather in smaller groups and walk through interactive prayer stations that all focused on one of the names of Jesus the kids were learning about for the weekend. at each station kids received a bead to spell out Jesus. at the end of the prayer stations they made a Jesus bracelet and wore it until closing worship. at the end of the 24 hours i challenged all the children to give that bracelet to someone who needs to hear about Jesus. i have been blown away by stories of children being the church and sharing Jesus with people in their missions field.
  • t-shirt day – this is always my favorite day after the long weekend. i believe that possibly one day children will not be allowed to wear scripture shirts into schools, so we are intentional about sharing God’s Word while we can. kids all wear their 24 Hours 4 Him shirts to school on monday and i love to hear the reports about how the name of Jesus and the Word of God trickles through the classrooms, hallways and carpool.

check out our video for the weekend below. also i have included some resources to give you insight into our scheduling and planning.




 this is guest post one of three from my dear friend, nancy duggin.  she has such a heart for parents, children, and families as a whole to experience the reality of Jesus in every day life.  i look forward to how she will challenge us all as we prepare to celebrate Christmas 2013.


Our society, it seems, is all about extremesextreme makeovers, extreme sports, extreme weight loss, etc. Would you desire to experience an extreme Christmas in your heart, mind, and soul? a Christmas with surprises at every turn? surprises in the form of miracles from Jesus Himself?

Extreme would certainly describe the events leading up to the first Christmas: the “be it unto me” confession of a pregnant virgin, the Infinite pressed into the finite, Joseph not divorcing Mary quietly as tempted, the birth of a king (the King) in a dark, cold, and, most likely, dirty stable.

How might Jesus desire to come into you and bless you this holiday season as He did Mary, and in turn use you to be a blessing to countless others? Pray individually and as a family, for God to reveal to you what gift you can give His Son this Christmas, one even as extreme as Mary’s gift of herself (see Lk 1:38). Ask God to show you how to live and give like Jesus. Pray audacious prayers (like Lk 1:46-55). Ask God to be the difference in you that makes a difference in the life of others—for all eternity—with NO thought of anything in return. God doesn’t need our works, but there are countless individuals all around us who do, works that are the overflow of the love we have for the Christ of Christmas.

In the Old Testament we read about God asking Moses if there was “a limit to His power”. How would you answer that question? Since there is NO limit to His power, how might our Omnipotent God desire for you to see and to be an extreme Christmas.

Stay tuned. (Read post two of three HERE.)

580675_3362700941153_1823353765_nNancy Youree Duggin taught public school for 24 years and served on a city school board for four years.  She also is a mother to two and grandmother to three with one on the way. This October she will celebrate 40 years of marriage.  Even with her plate full with family and training teachers, she spends countless hours encouraging and mentoring young moms.  

john330a week ago today i had the honor of sharing in the closing general session of group’s 2013 kidmin conference.  our theme for the day was “celebrate Jesus” and i was about to burst with excitement to share what i know God placed on my heart.  we looked at john the baptist in the first chapter of john.  wow, did he ever get celebrating Jesus.  john the baptist truly knew who he wasn’t (“i am not the Messiah.” verse 20), knew it wasn’t about him (“i am the ‘voice’ calling in the wilderness, make straight the way of the Lord.” verse 23) and he knew the true worth of the One he was privilege to serve. (“the straps of whose sandal i am not worthy to unite.” verse 27)

through looking closely at john the baptist’s example, God showed me how we can so easily make ministry about us when we are simply the lamp stand for the Light of the world – Jesus.  i was convicted about how the praise of man and innocent encouragement can quickly lead me to try to steal some of His glory!  i have great strides to make in making it all about Him. “He must increase, i must decrease.” john 3:30.

as i continued to study the book of john, i looked for who Jesus was in each chapter. so i set out to memorize a truth of Jesus (and literally just a tiny glimpse of all He is) for each of the 21 chapters.  how could i talk about celebrating Jesus without actually doing so? i know i haven’t begun to grasp it all, but boy how i needed those truths.  see it turns out that i had some unexpected, additional responsibilities placed on me at the conference. i would be lying to say at moments i didn’t have the tendency to be overwhelmed.  what a great gift from Jesus to be able to get away, alone with Him, and recite each of these 21 truths.  see, i thought they were only for my talk on monday morning, but the Jesus in each verse seems to be who sustained me throughout the entire weekend.  here is what i kept saying over and over to myself and also how i ended my talk on celebrating Jesus.


– in chapter one Jesus is the Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us. 
– in chapter two He is the mighty man of miracles.
– in chapter three Jesus is Savior and the only way to be born again.  
– in chapter four Jesus is the Living Water.
– in chapter five He is Healer and equal to God.
– in chapter six Jesus is the Bread of Life.  
– in chapter seven Jesus is the Christ.
– in chapter eight Jesus is the Light of the world.
– in chapter nine He makes the blind see.
– in chapter ten Jesus is the Good Shepherd.
– in chapter eleven He is the Resurrection and the Life. 
– in chapter twelve He is the Son of Man lifted up.
– in chapter thirteen He is the humble servant. 
– in chapter fourteen Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
– in chapter fifteen He is the True Vine.
– in chapter sixteen He is Overcomer.
– in chapter seventeen Jesus prays for us.
– in chapter eighteen He is called Jesus of Nazareth and King of the Jews.
– in chapter nineteen Jesus, our Savior, was crucified for us. 
– in chapter twenty Jesus is ALIVE!!!!
– in chapter twenty-one Jesus appears to His disciples, tells Peter to feed His sheep, and we learn that Jesus did so many other things that the world could not hold the volumes of books it would take to record them!  

i have loved my time in john (and have much more time ahead there), but God did something with the truths in those scriptures that not only carried me throughout the conference but encourage and hold me accountable each day as i go forward. i am thankful that even a small glimpse of Jesus shows us that He is enough. He can be our all and all.  He is able and He is worthy to be celebrated!!! what do you need to be reminded about Jesus today?

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