Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I was looking for a good Psalm to post for Thanksgiving, using the NAS, looking at the titles of the Psalms and I came to Psalm 133. See how easily distracted I am?

I got to the last verse. Remember how I posted the passages about eternal life? Not sure whether Psalm 133 was in there. Remember how Jesus prayed that we would be one? So interesting...I never put the two together before now. Go back and'm not even going to tell you what to look for. Read the Psalm. Read the passage from John. What do you see? What did Jesus ask the Father for? For us? Christ praying for us. A teacher praying for His students. . .And a tie in between unity and eternal life. More bits and pieces of knowing Christ Jesus and all He's done for us. More to ponder than I can post about. Pretty amazing. Very humbling.

Jesus prayed this for us. 2000 years later,we can look and ask, has God answered that prayer? Looking at all the division and pondering what could be we might say no. We might say we have a lot to look forward to. But the fact that His church still exists at all is probably a "yes" and God keeps answering...but think what could about a challenge for teachers...

Here. Psalm 106:1-2  For Thanksgiving....

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Do you want a New Testament reference to go with the scriptures at the end of the last post?

John 17:3. In context, John 17:2-4. Or better yet, look at the whole chapter or take another look at the whole book of John, especially from John 14 on.

Do a word search for "eternal" - Old Testament all the way through the New Testament. Read the verses in context to see what they say about "eternal". Then look at the passages about "eternal life". It might reinforce what you already know, what you've already heard. Or you might see things you never noticed before...not because they're new or were somehow hidden, just because you never noticed before or maybe you understand a little differently because you've lived a little more life and now God can help you see & understand something you couldn't see or understand before. However old we get, we're still His children, after all...

. . . after Thanksgiving, of course. :-)

Monday, November 22, 2010

I originally posted No Mediogre Kids because I agree with her that often things that drive us crazy are strengths in disguise. As caregivers and teachers we need to take the time to figure out how to channel and use a child's strengths in ways that are constructive and train in a way that gives the child opportunity to grow and use his strengths to the glory of God and the benefit of others and to compensate for weaknesses. I'm a firm believer in taking the time to figure out the gift side of a problem. Sometimes you can use that gift side of a problem as motivation for a child because you can find something he/she enjoys doing and turn behaviors around.

It's also important for kids to learn to do what they don't want to do with a good attitude (with the heart of a servant), to communicate respectfully and count other people as more important than yourself. Love covers a multitude of sins.

I also found it a rather scary site to explore. I got scared when they started talking about the use of "Socratic" questions. Not because of something heretical but because I live with a man (we're married) who thinks and asks critical "Socratic" questions at work (or so I'm told). He explained all that to me one day when I was particularly frustrated with him. I realized that frankly, that process will always drive me crazy but we're very different and I knew that. He also accomplishes things with his teams at work (glory to God) that I never will - work that few people accomplish. The thought of young people that sharp (that brilliant) with that kind of leadership capability is just scary...These kids are the God-given diamonds set in gold that require diamond-cutting and gold refining but who will probably have the courage and natural abilities to go and do what other people never will.

Kids with leadership strengths need stronger leaders than most kids, like a dog from strong working lines isn't a dog for the average owner. He needs a highly skilled, experienced, benevolent handler. Kids with strong leadership aptitudes & attitude need stronger leaders with keen people skills, the ability to make split second decisions and enforce them (with a dash of benevolence as needed). The ability to channel those God-given aptitudes to the glory of God, to the benefit of many without breaking their spirit (good luck with that :-) isn't easy. It isn't easy to train these kids to do what they don't want to do with a good attitude. It isn't easy to find ways for them to just be kids.

I've only skimmed some of the articles on the site but it's worth a read and worth sifting her thoughts & experience through the scriptures... Scripture is full of strong leaders. Some chose to walk with God. Some didn't - imperfect men, all, but God used them.

For leaders, there's a time to drive forward because it's the right thing to do and it will ultimately benefit many in the end (soldiers, people on a deadline). There's also a time to journey in such a way that pregnant women and young children can keep up and rest when they need to. Refugees - the people of Israel crossing the desert. A time to be hard-nosed & unwavering and a time to extend mercy. A good leader will know how to balance all of that. That's wisdom.  A huge responsibility. I think the more of a conscience you have, the more sides of the problem you see, the harder the job. Learning to serve is always a good thing - for some, leading. For some doing dishes. God and His people need both.

Which reminds me, I was thinking about the difference between equity and equality this morning. Allowing kids to do different things - things they enjoy, things they're good at - praising/rewarding each for a job well-done (even if it's not what everyone else is doing) is equitable. Making everyone take turns doing the same thing for the same limited results - that's equality. I think God is more into equity than equality...different roles and different jobs for different people. He also asks us to do what we don't want to do. He also judges each of us impartially. He's not a respecter of persons... which takes us back to sifting life through scripture  and wrestling with God through the contradictions ...on our quest to know Christ Jesus and to learn wisdom. That's the greater challenge.

Phil. 3:12-14

Hosea 6:3 (I like the NAS translation for this passage.)

Go back to Isaiah 55:9-11, Psalm 119, Proverbs, Psalm 90 . . . Lord, teach us wisdom. Lead us and guide us so we can share what You give us with those you give us for whatever time You leave them in our care...May they leave our care more connected to You than when they started...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

No Mediogre Kids

Interesting, interesting, interesting! Check it out!

Ideas Unlimited. Very simple, potentially interactive ways to tell Bible stories to your youngest audiences...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


We've talked a little about literacy and early readers  Church World Direct sent an email advertising a literacy packet for kids with graded Bible story readers. I'm finding the product but not the same images that came in the email but that's ok. You'd have to read the text first or talk to someone who's used it before you buy but the link is to the American Bible Society. "60 Literacy Readers adapted from the Contemporary English Version of the Bible." It looks like a Bible story package  for an after school tutoring program(tutor training materials included) - phonics based. Check it out! You may also find it useful for adults who are learning English as a 2nd language, too - a tool for service or just as lending materials without a tutoring program. If the money's not in the budget you may have a small group of people in your church willing to sponsor the program or at least make donations to purchase the materials to have for kids to use.

The mission to teach children and adults to read for themselves is an old one. If my memory serves me correctly, it was so that everyone could read the scriptures for themselves...

Concordia and some of the other denominational or Christian publishers might also have graded readers. I haven't checked that out.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

deep at the heart of our Wresting with Cultural Shifts...

A furthering of the discussion David Wakerly started.....thoughts from Bishop Paul Butler (UK) .

It may look long to some of you but please read it through to the end, you'll be glad.

(Thanks, Mary!!! This is great!)

If you guys want to go back to the original post at kidinspiration, there are more comments you might find interesting.

Monday, November 15, 2010


Thought I'd take you through a person study, a character study if you will. Phillip, one of Jesus' disciples.

Here's the full list of references pulled up on Bible Gateway. Read the passages in context (I almost linked to the entire chapter each time so you'd have to read it in context but you can do that, right?), make observations, take notes. Then put the pieces together and see what you can discover about this Christ-follower.

Here are some of my notes without any real digging:

Matt. 10:2-4, Mark 3:7-19, Luke 6:12-16, John 1:42-48,
Phillip was one of the 12 original disciple/apostles that Jesus called to follow him. He was with Jesus alot! Are there other implications? How did He choose His disciples? Through the stories of Jesus, when was Phillip there? What was he involved in? How was he involved? How did he interact with Jesus? How did he interact with the other disciples? How did he interact with people?

John 6:1-14, John 12:20-35, Acts 1:12-14 Make some observations about Phillip from these stories.I'm seeing Philip as a people-person. Did the gospels say anything about what work he was in?

John 14:6-14 It was Philip who said to Jesus, "Show us the Father" and what did Jesus say? (Come back and read this again after you look at what Phillip accomplished in Acts 8.) Phillip in Acts 8 Wow!

Acts 6:4-6 Was this the same Phillip who was one of the 12? A deacon, not an elder, and not even the first one on the list.

Acts 21:7-9 Paul stays at Philip's house while he's traveling.  He is a man who extends hospitality. Phillip has 4 unmarried daughters who prophesy...he has a family - 4 spiritually sensitive girls.

I'm not looking for speculation or even conclusions. So why do this? Why explore the characters of scripture? And this is without historical/cultural/social context or implications. This is just looking at the passages without digging very deep. Maybe a child, a teen, or even a grown-up can identify with one of these Christ-followers or "heroes" from the Old Testament. Maybe they can find something in common with a man or a woman of God.

Philip noticed people. He found Nathaniel. He was familiar with the Word. He didn't argue w/Nathanial. He said, "Come & see!!" He was quick to share a new friend with an old friend and visa versa.

Jesus asks Philip where to find food for them. Jesus also challenges what Philip thought he knew.

After Jesus was gone, deacons were ordained to work with people to free up the 12 for prayer & study of the Word. It seems that Phillip may have gone the people route if he is the same Philip listed with the deacons.

Philip performed miracles and people payed close attention to what he said. Philip is the disciple in the story of Simon the Sorcerer. Philip was the one who shared the gospel with the Ethiopian in his chariot.

It seems he was very much a people finder, a people winner, a people lover. God entrusted him with the Samaritans the way he entrusted Paul with the Gentiles. Oh, and by the way, Philip was preaching the gospel when Paul was persecuting the church.

Phillip had a home in Bethsaida/Caesarea. You can go back through and see what Jesus, and later Paul, did there. Philip opened his home to Paul when Paul was traveling with the word of God .Phillip had a family: 4 unmarried daughters who prophesyed...You and your kids can dig deeper if you want but this is just to get you started...Do you know anyone like Philip?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pondering Psalm 78. A long Psalm. The focus is on God and all that He's done, all that we have to praise Him for - but there are also references to children and future generations worth pondering. The American Standard version has cross-references, if you're interested.

Monday, November 08, 2010

1 Tim. 1:15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. [Paul said this... I can say this...we can all say this...] 16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.