Sunday, August 12, 2018

Making a difference

And of some have compassion, making a difference: Jude 22 KJV

The nightly news interviewed a man who a year ago, was involved with hate groups. He felt angry that he didn't have a job along with other issues.  He wanted to blame someone for his problems. He joined the Ku Klux Klan. They couldn't help him. 

He joined the Neo Nazis and became involved in a bad situation. Still no relief. 

Finally, a black pastor invited him to church. He didn't really think he would be well received, but decided to go anyway. He found a church full of people who not only welcomed him but showed him the love that made the difference and changed his life. 

What is our attitude toward hate groups, those who practice immorality, and those of other belief systems? Will belittling them or name calling or excluding them from out company change their minds and attitudes? I think not, but having compassion on those who are searching for love in all the wrong places will make a difference. 

How will you make a difference this week?

Hey Kids:

With school starting, you will no doubt meet new people as well as old friends. 
What can you do to show the love and compassion that will make a difference in their lives?
How will they see Jesus in you?

Here's some ideas:

Smile and say "Good Morning" to someone who looks unhappy.

Share that extra cookie in your lunch box with a bully without them asking or demanding?

Invite someone to join you and your friends at recess.

What other ways can you think of showing compassion (that's kindness) toward someone who seems a little out of sorts? Please share your ideas. 


Sunday, August 5, 2018

To School With Love

This I command you, that you love one another. John 15:17 NASV

While teachers are scrambling to get classrooms ready between meetings, someone planned Meet the Teacher Night.

This year in the midst of my craziness, I thought I'd plan an activity for parents to give their child.  Checking out the back to school ideas I ran across this from 

All I need to provide are small smooth stones, a permanent marker, red fingernail polish and a set of instructions. As I show the preschoolers around the classroom, their parents will make Love Rocks. The directions are simple. Write the child's name on the back with the marker. Then make a heart on the front with the nail polish.

On my instruction sheet, I will tell parents to give the Love Rocks to their child each morning with a hug and a goodbye kiss for the day. The child may keep the rock in their pocket or bookbag.

I will have a folder for each child with their name and a heart. Each morning they will place the folder in a basket for me and my assistant to check. I'm placing the heart beside their names on the folders to remind them we love them too.

At the end of the day, the folder with the heart will go home in the bookbags with the reminders for the next day. I'm hoping all these signs of love will remind the children to give the folders to their parents and bring it back the next morning. I'm also hoping it begins to build a sense of community where we love one another.

I may begin the year with that verse in the context of a simple explanation of Dr. Martin Luther King's dream for his children and ours. We also need you praying for our teachers and our students.


Hey Kids:
What are ways you can show love? It doesn't have to be all hearts and flowers.

Here are some ideas:
  • Write a note to mom thanking her for the lunch she packed. Place it in your empty lunchbox. 
  • Sit with the forgotten child at lunch or recess.
  • Invite a new child to join in your games and investigations.
What would you add to our idea list?

Sunday, July 29, 2018

What Are They Looking For?

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7
Middle-schoolers tend to be in search mode about everything. They are trying to find their way in a big world. So how do we help them without them actually knowing? What are their interests, their escapes, their motivations? How can we guide them in a Godly path without pushing? Maybe through reading choices. 
So what are middle schoolers looking for in a book?  How about a book with:
  • pets
  • relationships with friends, boy/girl, parents, God
  • multicultural
  • adventure
  • mystery
  • medical issues
  • blended families
  • parent in jail
  • child abuse
All of these are things middle schoolers care about, but does it all have to be in one book?
No, but it can be if you’re Colleen Coble, master storyteller, who can reach the hearts of kids with the Truth and the reality of the twenty-first century.
When I read Rock Harbor Search and Rescue I hoped – thought perhaps, my granddaughter who is thirteen, might enjoy it for her summer reading. Like all teens, she’s a tough sell. She devoured it! It was a book she could relate to. Even though she isn’t in all of the same situations (thankfully), she has friends who are.
So, what’s it about?
  • pets – training a search and rescue puppy
  • relationships with friends, boy/girl, parents, God – trust/mistrust
  • multicultural – Native Americans and their superstitions/beliefs
  • adventure – helping in a rescue
  • mystery – who stole it and why am I being blamed
  • medical issues – juvenile diabetes
  • blended families – children of divorce and the baby from a new marriage
  • parent in jail – mom
  • child abuse – fears/nightmares in the aftermath of abuse
It’s a great girl book and I’m looking forward to reading more of Colleen’s novels, but first I’m on the hunt for a great mid-grade boy novel. I think I may have found one. Hopefully, I’ll be ready to share it in September.
Hey, Kids of all ages:
 What attracts you to a book? What do you like to see on a cover? 
What do you like to read about? 
Do you have a favorite author or a favorite book? 
Please share your thoughts with us. You may see some of your answers in the next blog, but I won't reveal your name. 

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Casting Our Nets

He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”
“No,” they answered.
He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. John 21:5,6.
We vacationed at Huntington Beach State Park in SC. The state park offered a lot of activities throughout the day. One morning was seining. As a kid, I had seined for minnows with my dad and brothers. We used them to catch crappy. I'd never seined in the ocean but I wanted to try for the memories. I had forgotten the angle of the net and the young man helping me was unsure of the correct way. We caught nothing.
A dad began helping his son drag the net using the opposite angle. The boy and his dad caught a fish, then two, then several as little sister got in on the act. 
The fish were there. My partner and I were just using an ineffective method. I remember as a child singing a song in Sunday School "Fished all night, Caught no fishes . . . . Out on the deep blue sea.  Cast your net on the other side etc. Now the nets were full and breaking etc." 
So many churches are like the nets, empty though we have fished and fished. Could it be we need to change the way we are fishing for men - rather people? The twentieth century saw rapid changes, especially in the latter half. The twenty-first century is snowballing with change. Stats say 2 out of 3 children raised in the church leave by the time they are adults. Are we keeping up or are we still trying to fish the same old way? How can we reach our young people with a twenty-first century fishing method? Please share your ideas or things that are working in your church. 

Hey Kids:

Do you like fishing? What's your favorite thing to do with your parents?

In the hot summertime, my dad took us night fishing. I remember one night rocking in the boat watching the end of our poles by lantern light. My dad loved to tell scary stories. He had a lot of them and we loved to listen. That night a huge full moon rose. It was a deep reddish orange. Daddy began to tell us how the Bible said before the end of the world the moon would turn to blood. That was all it took to scare the life out of us and make us begin to ask questions. It was his way of implanting Biblical teachings into three little kids that have lasted a lifetime. He easily had a conversation about the Lord involving our normal activities or not so normal with a blood red moon shining down on us.

How do you share what you are learning about the Lord and His word with friends and adults?

As you think about what you'll be doing today, think about how you can cast your net by sharing the Lord in a natural way.

Please share your ideas with us. We are never too old or too young to learn.


Sunday, July 8, 2018

Who Doesn't Love a Fairy Tale?

This week I had the privilege of interviewing a fellow author from NC, Mrs. Janice Hopkins.  Her book It All Started at the Masquerade intrigued me because it seemed like a very familiar fairy tale with a purpose. If we look deeper into most stories there is a purpose for either good or bad. Thankfully Janice's books are for good. Join me as I understand more of Janice's purpose and how she accomplishes it.

Janice, how old were you when you started to write or knew you wanted to be a writer?

I actually started writing stories on my own in the third grade, and I’ve known I wanted to write ever since I fell in love with books when I was five. I would be a writer even if I never had anything published. It’s just part of who I am.

How did the idea for the book It All Started at the Masquerade come about?

Sunday, July 1, 2018

A Patchwork Country

 Turn us back to You, O Lord, and we                  will be restored. 
        Lamentations 5:21 NKJV 

Quilts --- small colored pieces of cloth stitched together in a pleasing pattern to provide comfort, warmth, and protection against the cold. 

I'd much rather have a quilt than a blanket. You've seen one blanket, you've seen them all. Not so many years ago, women saved their scraps from the family clothes to make winter quilts. Often those scraps held memories of family events or funny stories. My Papa bought a bolt of white cloth so Grandma could make the family Easter clothes, a dress for their little girl, a dress for her, and a Sunday shirt for Papa. Without thinking, Grandma died the whole bolt --- pink!
Yes, Papa wore his new pink shirt with his overalls that Easter of 1925.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Rocks and Stones

. . .  and the border went up to the stone of Bohan the son of Reuben: Joshua 15:6

We had a family birthday party for our granddaughter at Sycamore Flats picnic area. The kids found a rock painted with a candy corn image. We explained that people were painting little rocks and placing them in public areas for others to find. Then it became a game to see if there were more. The rocks were dated or the place of origin written on the back. To be part of the game, the kids needed to take the rocks and put them somewhere else for others to find.