Category Archives: education

The Diabetes Summit 2017

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The Diabetes Summit begins very soon!

If you are like me you know at least one person, if not several people, who are struggling with diabetes. It may be you!

It is great to know there are so many options for treatment that don’t involve prescription drugs. It’s even possible to reverse your symptoms and manage your diabetes without any medication at all!

The Diabetes Summit will give you tons of information on living a full, healthy life in spite of a diabetes diagnosis. I  learned so much listening to the last summit last year and I am really looking forward to all of the great information in this year’s program!

Here is a listing of all the top-notch experts you will hear for free each day of the summit:

  • Dr Joseph Kraft – understanding decades of research on insulin
  • Dr Mark Menolascino – seeing diabetes care through a new lens
  • Robin Openshaw “Green Smoothie Girl” – detox to support your body
  • RD Dikeman (type 1) – using diabetes as a blessing to improve your family’s health
  • Dr Mark Hyman – finding the root cause and reversing type 2 diabetes
  • Dr Tom O’Bryan – exploring toxins, balance the immune response
  • Sayer Ji, founder of Green Med Info – the peer reviewed literature, and looking at supplements
  • Razi Berry- how environmental toxins disrupt metabolism
  • Dr Michael Breus – the impact of sleep on metabolism and diabetes
  • Dr Gabriel Cousens – raw foods approach, which fats help and which fats hurt
  • Kellyann Petrucci – nutritionist using bone broth, nutrition to stabilize blood sugar
  • Trudy Scott – nutritionist showing link between diabetes, anxiety and depression
  • Dr Sachin Patel – re-evaluating the healthcare model, empowering the patient
  • Dr Peter Osborne – autoimmune and blood sugar connection
  • Niki Gratrix – tapping into your internal abundance of energy with the mind-body connection
  • Dr Robert Rakowski – how the gut microbiome affects metabolism and blood sugar
  • Dr BJ Hardick – type 3 diabetes, proper detoxification, damaging foods, Alzheimer’s
  • Dr Joel Kahn – plant based foods, supplements for blood sugar
  • Dr Will Cole – testing and evaluating the root causes of “diabesity”
  • Dr Amy Berger – understanding the ketogenic diet and how to do it
  • Brett Hoebel – fitness and exercise to improve blood sugar
  • Dr Ritamarie Loscalzo – Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of Adulthood
  • Dr Anna Cabeca – hormone balance to burn fat and control sugar
  • Daniele Hargenrader (type 1) – key factors to preventing complications from diabetes
  • Jonathan Bailor, author – calorie approach to weight loss is a myth, sane approach to weight
  • Dr Michael Murray – four types of blood sugar problems
  • Dr Jay Wortman – a doctor shares his own story reversing type 2 diabetes
  • Dr John Hayes – neuropathy and natural solutions
  • Dr Jody Stanislaw – type 1&2 understanding insulin
  • Daphne Olivier – nutritionist to customize eating strategies, non diet factors you may miss
  • Dr Rangan Chaterjee – from the BBC Doctor in the House program

So many great presenters! There is so much to learn!  You can register here  for free and listen each day. There is a special encore replay on day #8. 

If you want to own all this information to keep for your health library you can purchase the entire summit here. All 30 presentations plus more bonus material will be yours permanently to revisit anytime, share with friends and family, and use for deeper research.

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Why I Like the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle 2016

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It’s that time of year again – the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle 2016 is now available!!

I love these Ultimate Bundle deals. I’ve purchased a couple of them, such a steal for the price, and I have had fun learning so much about all kinds of topics from essential oils and herbal remedies to DIY projects for my home!

There are products in this year’s bundle for everyone from newlyweds to families to folks just wanting to learn how to get and stay healthy.

Some of the items that really caught my eye:

Essential Oils Revolution 1 from Dr Eric Z: The EOR1 was an amazing resource of interviews from top experts in the Essential Oil field. I listened to almost every one of them last year and learned so much! If you buy this separately it will cost you $97, but it is included in the low bundle price.

Nutrition Reset by Dietitian Cassie: Dietician Cassie is  one of the nutrition experts associated with one of my favorite podcasts, Livin’ La Vida Low Carb Show. She is a registered dietitian who knows all about real food, healthy fats, and how to plan meals to get and stay healthy.

Secrets to a Healthy Metabolism by Maria Emmerich at Keto AdaptedMaria Emmerich has a beautiful cookbook she wrote with Jimmy Moore from Livin La Vida Low Carb. She has amazing low carb/Paleo recipes.

Jumpstart Your Urban Farm by Greg Peterson at Urban Farm: Urban farming (I like to call it MetroFarming) is a topic near and dear to my heart. I’ve been incorporating more edible landscaping and small garden plots and want to learn more!

Planning & Designing the Family Food Garden by Isis Loran at Family Food Garden: Isis gives you printables and design ideas to get gardening at your house.

Mastering the Art of Baking with Coconut Flour by Starlene Stewart at GAPS Diet Journey: Starlene has had a super-informational podcast and website, and she has hands-on experience with healing herself and her family using GAPS and other dietary strategies.

Autism Diet Success Workshop by Julie Matthews at Nourishing Hope: I love to hear about successful strategies to reverse autism. The mainstream says it can’t be done, but we know better! Julie Matthews’ guide is another great resource for families with special needs.

3 Ways to Upgrade Your Kombucha Tea by Dave Lindenbaum at Get Kombucha: I first heard about Dave’s website from his crazy videos about kombucha back about five years ago. He has a big site with lots of information and equipment.

 The sale begins 8am Eastern on Wednesday, September 21st and runs six days to Monday, September 26th at 11:59pm Eastern.

The price for the entire bundle of 58 ebooks & printables, 25 ecourses, videos & audios, and11 bonuses is just $29.97 for PDF format or $39.97 for eReader format.

If you purchase by Thursday, September 22nd at 11.59pm you can get a free eReader upgrade.

The bonuses include some amazing products:

Bonuses – free 1oz bag of Get Kombucha’s custom tea blend, free Mrs Meyer’s laundry supplies, free eye shadow trio from Orglamix, free toothpowder, free maca powder, free muscle balm stick and lip balm, gift certificates from Bloom Naturals and Perfect Supplements, discounts from Trilight Health, and free digital packages from Meal Garden and Experience Life

The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle 2016 is only available for a short window of time. Order here. buttonplusicons

 

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Are There Dangerous Toxins in Your Medicine Cabinet?

medications-cure-tablets-pharmacy-56612-largeThis post is for informational purposes only. Some links may be monetized. Thank you for supporting Well Fed Family

Acetominophen: aka Tylenol, Little Fevers Pain Reliever, or non-aspirin pain reliever/fever reducer, or other brand names or generic.

It’s a common item in medicine cabinets and purses of lots and lots of moms. We take it ourselves for headaches and cramps. We give it to our kids for fevers. The pediatricians hand out free samples every time we visit their offices.

It is often the drug of choice all around the country.

But are we too trusting when we use it?

It turns out that maybe we do need to step back and ask a few questions before deciding to keep it in our medicine chests and here’s why:

Using acetaminophen for fever in the first year of life is associated with an increase in the incidence of asthma and other allergic symptoms later in childhood.

This is because acetaminophen severely depletes antioxidants such as glutathione in the liver and other body tissues. Glutathione is used for growth, tissue repair and immune system building.

Asthma is one of many diseases influenced greatly by antioxidants. Acetaminophen is definitely not something to use if you already have asthma.

A new study just released showed acetaminophen is definitely linked with behavior issues. Women who took acetominophin during pregnancy were 29-46% more likely to have children with a wide range of behavior problems by age 7 than moms who did not take it.

Dr. Mercola calls acetaminophen one of the most dangerous medicines on the market. Even when taken at the recommended dosage for just a few weeks it can be toxic to your liver. In fact, acetaminophen is responsible for nearly half of all cases of acute liver failure each year.

What can we do to protect ourselves and our families?

It’s super important to become knowledgeable and informed about the medications we use. The Medicine Chest Renovation e-book from Vintage Remedies is a quick-start guide to help you decide what to keep and what to toss out.

Taking courses or reading books on safe alternatives to OTC drugs is a great family project. Older children and teens can learn right alongside mom about which herbs to use for which conditions, and how to make tinctures and salves and syrups at home to stock your own medicine cabinet.

Try this recipe for elderberry syrup to keep on hand for cold and flu season.

Elderberry syrup is an effective cold and flu fighter. Elderberries and elder flowers are safe for all ages with no known contraindications. You can make it yourself with this recipe reprinted from The Handbook of Vintage Remedies. At that book link there is also an alternative recipe that adds astragalus, echinacea and wild cherry to the elderberries.

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Elderberry Syrup

100 g dried elderberries
1 quart cold distilled water
1/2 cup brown rice syrup
1 cup local honey

Combine berries and water in a large (cold) saucepot. If time permits, allow the berries to soak until they are soft, about 30 – 60 minutes. Place over medium heat and gradually bring to a boil. Once a rolling boil has been reached, stir frequently and continue to boil until the liquid has been reduced by half – roughly 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

Strain the concentrated extract and measure the liquid. It should be roughly 2 cups. Combine with the cup and a half of honey, brown rice syrup, glycerin or simple sugar solution. (Or a blend of two or more sweeteners as I did in the ingredient list above.) Bring back to a boil and continue to boil for 10 minutes until the mixture is thoroughly combined and the syrup reaches your preferred consistency. Allow to cool slightly and pour into prepared bottles. Store in the refrigerator.

What is your favorite natural remedy? Share it with us here in the comments!

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3 Things I’ve Learned About Essential Oils

3 Things I've learned about essential oils titlesThis article is for informational purposes only. Some links may be monetized. Thanks for supporting Well Fed Family!

For the last several years I’ve been learning and learning about alternative medicine choices. I’ve been feeling empowered as a mom and wife to be able to take care of a lot of our day-to-day needs without having to buy OTC cold meds, visiting the urgent care clinic, or sitting for hours in the pediatrician waiting room.

One thing that has played a part in boosting my knowledge and confidence as Dr. Mom is the material I have learned from Jessie Hawkins and Vintage Remedies.

Last year I took the Aromatic Medicine class. It was one of the bonuses from Ultimate Bundles, and it was super helpful in teaching me more about essential oils.

I’ve also learned a lot from Valerie Worwood’s book The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy. I have turned down pages, highlighted sections and stuck post-it tabs all over this book!

3 Things I’ve Learned

1.  Super important to know is that essential oils are lipophilic – which means they mix with fat/oil NOT water! Why is this important? If you add oils to the bathtub or to a glass of water you are more likely to get “burned” because the oils won’t be diluted and dispersed without a lot of shaking or stirring.

Mix the oils with a little bit of milk or honey first before adding them to your bath or your water bottle or even a capsule you intend to consume. Use caution and common sense – essential oils may smell pretty, but they are powerful!

table of strength comparison for various methods of personal care resized smallerAs you can see from this chart, essential oils rank right up there with over-the-counter medications in potency. So always use them thoughtfully and carefully!

2.  Essential oils are more than just air fresheners. Scientists are doing studies with essential oils providing therapy for things like pain and depression. A study done with nursing home patients in South Korea used an essential oil blend of lavender, marjoram, eucalyptus, rosemary and peppermint (2:1:2:1:1) diluted to 1.5% in a carrier oil blend. (If you aren’t sure what all that means check out that Aromatic Medicine course I mentioned!) They found the essential oils significantly decreased both the pain and depression scores for the experiment group.

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3. Essential oils can affect us physically without even rubbing them on our skin or taking them internally. Our sense of smell (the olfactory system) is part of a larger system in our brain that also includes the centers of emotion (the amygdala) and the centers for associative learning (the hippocampus).

Properly chosen essential oils are inhaled during aromatherapy and then go directly to these systems that govern behavior, mood, and memory!

cool mist diffuser 400 wide with titlesWhen we take the time to learn the different properties of all the different essential oils we can select just the right ones to help our kids focus, or help relieve a stressful family member, or any number of other situations!

Another great resource for learning about essential oils is the Essential Oils Revolution Summit coming up August 22nd-29th. You can register for free here.

EOR16_banner_order_600x150What is your favorite essential oils tip? Share it with us in the comments!

 

 

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Are You Mary or Martha? [Plus Free Printable Lesson]

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Every month, every season, we have reasons to celebrate. Weddings, birthdays, graduations, babies, holidays…our lives can be very full.

This was also true in Jesus’ time. From Passover to Purim and the year of Jubilee, the Jewish calendar was filled with feast days, holy days and times of celebration.

While times of celebration can be joy-filled, wonderful memory-making occasions, just as often they are accompanied by meltdowns…..and not just the sugar-high kids.

Moms can get overwhelmed too…

One very special Jewish holiday  was The Feast of the Tabernacles. Similar to our modern Thanksgiving, it came at the end of harvest and was a time for thanking God for His blessings and bounty. But unlike our one day of Thanksgiving, this holiday lasted an entire week.

A significant component of this holiday was the booth or “Sukkot” each family would build. Representing the temporary structures used by Moses and the Israelites as they wandered 40 years in the wilderness, families would eat meals and even sleep outside in their shelter gazing up at the stars.

So preparing for this week of thanksgiving meant not only cooking, cleaning and decorating the house, but also building and decorating the Sukkot.

(For a fun diversion put “Sukkot” into the Pinterest search box and see how modern-day Jewish families build and decorate.)

Not only is there a lot to prepare, but this feast comes on the heels of the very serious week of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur – the week of repentance and day of atonement. Only four days separated the two holidays!

It is into this extremely busy environment that we must immerse ourselves as we read the New Testament book of Luke, chapter 10, starting in verse 38. This is the brief story of Martha, Mary and Jesus.

38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.

While hospitality was a serious duty, an important part of life during Bible times, Martha, and her siblings Mary and Lazarus, were good friends of Jesus. He stayed with them on more than one occasion.

39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.

A significant part of the Feast of the Tabernacles centered around having guests, spending time with friends and family. Isn’t that what we enjoy most even today during holidays and celebrations? In fact, when the Lord established this particular holiday He commanded them to rejoice for seven days! (Deuteronomy 16:14-15)

So if you were to make a “To Do” list of things to get ready for the Feast of the Tabernacles, the #1 thing on the list would be “Get Happy”.

Even though there was a lot to do, Mary took time to sit and listen, to visit with Jesus.

40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

“But Martha was distracted”.  Other versions say “cumbered” or “angry”. After all there were only four days to get it all done! The law stated no chores could be done during the week of the feast. She had deadlines!

Do you think Martha sounds joyful?

 41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things,

Jesus didn’t think so either. Let’s see what He says next:

42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Jesus reminded Martha that Mary was doing the right thing. There will always be chores to do, but Jesus was not always going to be visiting with them. It was important to stop, to be still, and listen to Jesus.

I know I am guilty of being Martha. A lot. I have on more than one occasion told my husband “no” when he wanted to have people over. It was too overwhelming to think of all the cooking and cleaning to be done.

I actually told one of my friends that I couldn’t have her over because I knew how pretty her house was and how scrupulous of a housecleaner she was.

I was being Martha. Upset, distracted, cumbered.

When I did this lesson with my Sunday School class we made a Citrus Mint Punch together. (the recipe is in the free lesson download. See the link at the end.) Then we laid out sandwich meat, cheese, mayo, mustard and slices of a simple homemade bread. The kids made their own sandwiches and we sat down to an indoor picnic.

We had tacked some palm fronds and Christmas lights to the ceiling so we turned out the lights and pretended we were outdoors in our Sukkot looking up at the stars. The kids felt like it was a special feast!

I guess I need to take a lesson from my Sunday School kids. The meal doesn’t have to be fancy and the decorations don’t have to be expensive. When we are joyful even a simple meal is a feast when shared with friends.

Proverbs 15:17 Better a small serving of vegetables with love
    than a fattened calf with hatred.

I’d love to hear from you about what you do when you get overwhelmed. How do you show hospitality? Please join in the conversation by leaving a comment!

The people at Ultimate Bundles have a bundle of resources for most every “Martha” in this year’s Ultimate Homemaking Bundle.  I’m excited about the e-course from Cozy Minimalist and the Tiny Owl Guide to Hospitality. There are also 14 e-cookbooks including one just for company. There’s even a whole section devoted to holidays and celebrations.

The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle sale ends in just a week. So click here to check it out!

If you’d like to download a version of this lesson to do with your own kids click the link below.

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 Leave a comment telling me how your kids enjoyed their special feast!

 

4 Factors That Determine How Severely Amalgam Fillings Affect Your Health

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This is Part II of a 3 part series on mercury in dentistry, detoxification and health. The complete articles are available on the Traditional Cooking School website where I am a regular contributor.

Does long-term, chronic exposure to low doses of mercury vapor pose any risks? What might the health effects be?

And, are there any subsets of our population who might have greater sensitivity to mercury?

These are the questions we will answer in this continuation of our discussion on mercury amalgam fillings. ….. Read More

Please click through and read the rest of the article and leave me some feedback on what you think and any questions you might have!  -Lee

The Historical Uses of Mercury & Its Use in Dentistry Today

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(This post is found in its entirety on the Traditional Cooking School site where I also write monthly articles.)

“Will you do a post about amalgam fillings and curing tooth decay? What do you think about biological dentistry? How can I find a dentist with a holistic practice?” asks Michelle A.

In January of 2016, Michelle asked us these questions.

(By the way, we loving getting questions from our readers — they make us think!)

This is one of the most difficult topics I’ve ever written about, and I’ve done some doozies in the past!

To begin, Michelle, let’s talk about the historical uses of mercury and what various countries are doing today, as well as the FDA’s confusing response to mounting evidence against the safety of mercury in dental fillings.

These topics will pose a few more questions, which I will address in future posts. (read more…)

 

Explaining Antibiotic Resistance + Natural Alternatives That Work!

This is my latest article for Traditional Cooking School. Please stop by there and leave a comment or question!

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In 1942, Anne Miller was dying of a streptococcal infection until, literally overnight, a single injection of an experimental drug saved her life.

The medical community predicted the elimination of all infectious diseases in the near future.

What was her miracle drug?

The first true antibiotic: penicillin.

Explaining Antibiotic Resistance

At that time, the entire world’s supply of antibiotics amounted to only 64 pounds. Today, over 60 million pounds of antibiotics are used in the United States each year. (Herbal Antibiotics, page 7.)

Additionally, much of the population now uses antibacterial soaps, hand sanitizers, and cleaners daily. And yet, this tidal wave of antibiotic use — and misuse — has not eliminated infectious disease, but rather kindled a new war against antibiotic-resistant superbugs.

The result?  Keep reading here…

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Six Signs You May Need Magnesium

This blog is for informational purposes only. Some links may be monetized. Thank you for supporting Well Fed Family with your purchases. 

six signs you need magnesium titlesWhere Did the Trouble Begin?

A Senate report documented that we are growing our vegetables, grains and fruits in soils that are depleted of the necessary minerals needed to give us the correct balance of nutrients when we eat them. In fact they are so depleted that we are starving for these minerals no matter how much of these foods we eat. Laboratory tests proved the vegetables, eggs, grains and other foods we are eating are not as nutritious as they were generations ago. Scary? You haven’t heard it all….this report was written in 1936!

Six Signs You May Have a Deficiency

One of the most overlooked mineral deficiencies is magnesium.  It is estimated that as many as 80% of us are deficient in magnesium. How do you know if you are deficient? There are many symptoms, but these six are some of the most common according to Liz Lipski, nutritionist and author of Digestive Wellness.

  • Eyelids twitching
  • Muscles twitching
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Muscles very tense at the end of the day
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Sensitive to Noise

What Does Magnesium Do?

Carolyn Dean, author of The Magnesium Miracle, is probably one of the leading authorities on magnesium deficiency and nutrition.  She explains that magnesium is crucial to good health. It is responsible for hundreds of important processes in our body. It activates our muscles and nerves. It creates energy in our cells. It helps digest proteins, carbs and fats. It is a building block for our DNA as well as RNA. It is even part of the process that builds our “feel good” neurotransmitters like serotonin.

What About Calcium?

Everyone has heard about calcium. Lots of people take calcium supplements thinking they are helping their bones. What you may not know is that you need to supplement with equal amounts of magnesium! The two minerals work in balance with each other. In fact they work best in a synergistic balance of calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and vitamin K2. When these four nutrients are in a plentiful balance you will be helping care for your bones, heart, and the rest of your body!

Where Can You Find Magnesium?

Foods plentiful in magnesium include almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, seaweed, dark green leafy vegetables, properly soaked and cooked black beans, avocado, wild caught seafood like salmon, and grassfed beef. Often people think whole grains are a good source of magnesium, but the anti-nutrients in whole grains actually deplete minerals from your body. This is why it is so important to soak, sprout or use sourdough leavening with all of your grains and breads. (For a detailed demonstration and recipes see our Breads DVD.) Juicing fresh vegetables is also a good way to get more of them into your diet.

Homemade bone broth is a great source of many important minerals and nutrients. Including broth in your meal helps you absorb even more of the nutrition from all your other foods! Find recipes here and here to make delicious bone broth at home.

What Depletes Magnesium?

Many prescription and OTC drugs deplete magnesium. The list includes, but isn’t limited to, Zantac, Nexium, Prilosec, Maalox, Tums, Alka-Seltzer, most antibiotics, blood pressure medications, Ritalin, steroid creams and inhalers, HRTs, and oral contraceptives. If you take any of these it would be wise to ask your doctor about a good magnesium supplement.

In addition to those medications, magnesium is also depleted by stress, caffeine, high amounts of calcium supplements, and very loud noises. Eating a diet high in processed foods and soft drinks, as well as having any kind of digestive disorder can also deplete your magnesium.

Also remember that foods treated with herbicides, especially glyphosate (RoundUP), will further deplete the minerals in the soil and in the food. So stick to organic whenever possible, or follow the Dirty Dozen guide when choosing fresh vegetables and fruits to find the ones with the least amount of toxic chemicals.

What About Supplements?

Magnesium glycinate is an easily absorbed form of magnesium that’s good for supplementing a deficiency. Be aware that magnesium has a laxative effect when you first begin taking supplements, so start slowly and work up to the most effective dose for you.

Mix up Natural Calm powder if you want to drink your magnesium. Take a bath with epsom salts, or use a high quality high mineral sea salt

Using magnesium oil spray or making a magnesium body butter are two more ways to add magnesium to your daily routine.

What are your favorite ways to get magnesium? Tell us about it in the comments or visit our Facebook page to share your thoughts.

 

 

Christmas Ornament and Bible Lesson for the Littles plus Free Download to Share

christmas ornament and bible lesson titles

This blog is for informational purposes only. Some links may be monetized. Thank you for supporting Well Fed Family with your purchases.

For the last several years I have been privileged to be a part of a wonderful Sunday School program at Concord Street Church of Christ where our family worships. We have five different themed rooms and the K through 5th grade classes rotate through a different room each week hearing the lesson presented in five different ways. I love this approach as it speaks to the different learning styles we all have, and allows the kids to really understand and absorb the lessons before moving on to something new. One of my jobs has been to come up with recipes that complement the lessons – the children actually cook in the classroom as part of Sunday School! We have had so much fun and the kids have become more comfortable with the idea that they CAN cook as well as enjoy trying new things. In addition to food recipes we have also learned about essential oils, the importance of clean water, and how we can reach out to show Jesus’ love to our community.

Special Christmas Lesson and Ornament Craft

Here is a lesson you can read with your children or grandchildren that you don’t normally hear at Christmas, but since it’s about how Jesus loved everyone, even the unlovable people, it’s a great story to share! At the end gather three easy ingredients and have fun making ornaments together to hang on the tree and help remember how glad we are that Jesus came to Earth! At the end is a link for a .pdf you can download and print.

Jesus and Zacchaeus
Do you know what taxes are? It is money we have to pay to our government to help keep things running. Our taxes can do many things: pay for new roads, schools, public transportation, police, firemen, soldiers, and many, many other things.
Do you know what kinds of things we have to pay taxes on? We pay sales tax when we buy things at the store. We pay taxes on the money we earn at our jobs, or when someone gives us a large gift of money. If we buy or sell things online we pay taxes. There are even taxes when you win prizes for being on a tv game show. If you find treasure on a sunken pirate ship or buried treasure chest you still have to pay taxes on what it’s worth! Even people who win the Olympics or the Nobel Prize have to pay taxes on any money they win. Even if you rob a bank (which of course you wouldn’t want to do!) you are still supposed to pay taxes on the money you stole! So you can probably see why grown ups don’t like to pay taxes. It takes away some of the money that you feel like you have earned and have a right to keep.
This story is about a man whose job was a tax collector. Nowadays even though we don’t like to pay taxes we still don’t usually hate the person whose job it is to collect them, but back in Jesus’ day the tax collectors were often dishonest. They would collect more money than they were supposed to, and then keep the extra money for themselves.
Open your Bible to the New Testament and find the book of Luke, and look for chapter 19 verse 1.

1“Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. 2 There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich.”
You can tell by reading these first two verses that Zacchaeus was probably just like most of the other tax collectors in that he was not well liked by the people of Jericho because he had become very rich. People probably assumed he was keeping some of the tax money for himself. Now Jesus was traveling around to different places teaching, telling parables and performing miracles. The news about Jesus had spread all over the country, and it was common when Jesus arrived in a town for people to gather and see him. Zacchaeus had also heard about Jesus and wanted to see him, too. Read verses 3 & 4.
3 “He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way.”
Here we read that Zacchaeus was not very tall. Do you know the song about him? In the song we call him a “wee little man”. Even though he was short he was still an important person in Jericho. Can you imagine a grown-up you know climbing a tree? Can you picture your school principal or the mayor climbing a tree? It would seem strange to us, and it was probably strange back then to see the tax collector climbing a tree! But Zacchaeus didn’t seem to care. He was just interested in seeing Jesus. Let’s keep reading and see what happened next. Read verses 5&6.
5 “When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. ‘Zacchaeus!’ he said, ‘Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.’ 6 Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy.”
Wow – that is pretty amazing! Jesus knew Zacchaeus’ name without asking him first! Jesus also didn’t care that other people didn’t like Zacchaeus; he wanted to visit in his house. The Bible says Jesus said “I must be a guest…” which means that God had told him to do this, and so Jesus obeyed. All of this happened right in front of all the other people who were there to see Jesus. Zacchaeus was very happy about this! What do you think the other people thought? Read verse 7.
7 “But the people were displeased. ‘He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner’, they grumbled.”
I think it’s kind of funny that they called Zacchaeus a “notorious sinner” and grumbled that Jesus was spending time at his house. They didn’t understand that they were sinners, too. In fact we all make mistakes. In the book of Romans chapter 3 verse 23 it says that we are all sinners and we all fall short of God’s glorious standards. That’s one reason Jesus came to Earth. He came to help all of us learn how to be better people. I think Zacchaeus realized this too, because he quickly said something that surprised a lot of people. Read verse 8.
8 “Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!’”
It looks like Zacchaeus had a change of heart. He realized that being rich at other people’s expense wasn’t the right thing to do. He also realized his money could be used to help other people. And he also wanted to show how sorry he was by paying back even more than he had taken. He said he would repay four times as much. It he took a dollar wrongly, he would repay $4! Do you think Jesus was happy about this? Let’s read the last two verses of this story. Read verses 9&10.
9 “Jesus responded, ‘Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.’ “
Jesus forgave Zacchaeus his sins, and even if the other people in town didn’t like Zacchaeus, God loved him, forgave him, and knew that his heart was good. The very last verse is a good verse to memorize. This verse explains the whole reason why God sent Jesus to Earth. Jesus came to find those people who didn’t know God, who were lost in sin, and to show them who God is and to tell them the Good News of salvation!

Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments
Use gingerbread man and Christmas tree cookie cutters to cut out Zacchaeus and tree ornaments using this recipe. Since you aren’t eating this dough, you can use the cheapest applesauce you can find. Find bulk-size ground cinnamon at warehouse stores or dollar stores. Use leftover dough to make more ornaments so that you can share with friends and family.

Ingredients
2 cups applesauce
2 cups ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoon craft glue such as Elmers

Preparation
Mix all of the ingredients together. Add more cinnamon if the dough seems too wet, or more applesauce if it is too dry. You may need to place the dough on a counter top and knead it several times to incorporate all of the ingredients and make a smooth dough.
Roll out the dough to about ¼” thick. Cut with cookie cutters, and place ornaments on a baking sheet. Use a toothpick or wooden skewer to open a hole in the top for a ribbon.
Let the ornaments dry on baking sheets overnight, or until completely dry. Alternately you can bake them in a 200 degree oven for 2 ½ hours.
Thread a ribbon through the hole and hang on the tree.
Well Fed Family, December 17, 2015
www.wellfedfamily.net

Click here for a free downloadable version of this lesson! Jesus and Zacchaeus

This Christmas spend some time with the little ones in your life and share with them this story about Jesus’ love, and let them create fragrant ornaments to hang on the tree and remind them of all they have learned.