Category Archives: the little pot

Information about Little Pot and it’s book(s)

Planting God’s Word to Grow Relationships

Planting God’s Word to Grow Relationships

(Continuing our fruit growing process)

 

In the last post, we mentioned the humus soil that needs to be in Little Pot … which for each of us represents HUMILITY.

 Bible

Since then, our saints have learned about the seed that needs to take root. The seed is God’s Word. Jesus tells us a parable about good soil and explains that the seed that can grow in the good soil is the word of God. (Luke 8:11)

 

 

 

Before we can move on to the integrity and relationship side of fruit bearing, it is important to always remember that God’s Word is the thing that produces life! So often we try to have integrity and good relationships without reading, hearing, and studying God’s Word. We spent this week talking with our saints about how they can have more of God’s Word in their lives. They agreed that attending AWANA is a great way. Going to Bible Studies, like the Soul Train and Sunday School, will also help them to hear and know God’s Word. The most important thing we can do as a family is read God’s Word together too. Our saints were encouraged to read their Bibles at home with you.

integrity

 

Once the seed or word of God is planted in them, integrity will stem. The next week we learned specifically what integrity is. The stem is straight, and the book of Proverbs tells us all about how being crooked means that they are acting sneaky and trying to get away with doing something that will not show integrity.  (Proverbs 10:9, 11:3, 19:1, 28:6) Crooked people might be successful and can even get rich, but God’s word tells us that honest people are people with integrity. It is better to have integrity and be poor than to be rich. We even compared that to how cheating might help us get better grades, but that having poor grades and being honest is better!

relationships

 

If we act with integrity, we can foster relationships. During this week, we had lessons about what leafs do for a plant. The students knew all about photosynthesis, which means changing something (synthesis) through light (photo). The leaf in our model represents the relationships that we can have with others. We learned that our relationships should change us through God. We listed people that we should have relationships with and gave some very practical ways to keep those relationships Godly or full of light.

Reflections of 2013 and Expectations for 2014

I love New Years.

It is a great time to reflect and think about choices we’ve made

and what we want to accomplish in the next 365 days.

I’ve been preparing for a new ladies Bible study in January

that begins with the idea of, “What do I want to get out of this”.

That idea can drive you crazy if you try to search for a good reason

to every decision you make each day.

It has me evaluating everything before I do it.

I’ve discovered my life is so busy that I often find myself on auto pilot,

forgetting why I do what I do.

Those of us that are parents or work with children

know just how fast time can go by.

If we don’t strategically set a course for our lives and the children in them,

we miss some great fruit bearing opportunities!

The teachers at CCA set the course every day.

They write and carry out plans that will allow

our saints to reach their fullest potential!

Personally, as I reflect on 2013 and CCA,

I’m still in awe of what God does in my life and in our little school.

This past year didn’t go by without some very big challenges.

We had some staffing changes that discouraged me in many ways.

I probably had more doubts then I have ever had as I went through 2013.

My Moto has often been, “Fake it till you make it!”

(I work hard at faking success).

But, those close to me know when I’m faking, and at CCA,

we’ve become a very close family.

I knew there were some things that I couldn’t fake with the CCA family.

I once again found myself on my knees,

begging God to make something of me and this little Christian school.

I remember telling Him how alone I felt at this job.

I told him I would need some amazing teachers and staff people

by my side to pull off what I felt He wanted me to accomplish.

Then, He basically told me to get out of the way and let Him work.

I wasn’t supposed to accomplish anything. He was.

So once again I thought of Little Pot and emptied myself.

I humbled myself and began to allow God’s Word to take root in me…

I focused on living straight…

I made new relationships…

I gained more knowledge…

And then, God grow fruit through me.

vision (2)

Sounds like our CCA vision – huh?

The vision of CCA is a journey that God takes us on over and over.

Fruit never stops reproducing itself.

Cultivating our lives,

so we can be the vessels that bear His fruit is a challenge every year.

So, what are my expectations of 2014?

Well, simply to live each day with purpose and

continue carrying out the vision of CCA in my own life.

I will humbly plant God’s word into my life,

live with integrity,

foster relationships,

and bloom knowledge.

I’m leaving the fruit bearing up to God.

As I do that,

I am very excited about some specific milestones

that I and the CCA family have ahead of us.

We will prepare to update our accreditation.

Our enrollment is already showing signs of growth for next year.

Two of our teachers will have new additions to their families this summer.

(I’m so excited to share in their lives as they bring new babies into the world.)

In my own household,

My oldest daughter will graduate from college and then marry a great guy.

(I’m very excited to plan the wedding with her!)

My youngest daughter graduates from high school.

Then she’ll follow my second daughter to Liberty University.

(My house will feel empty in 2014)

I am looking forward to spending more time with my husband.

We will celebrate 25 years of marriage this year too.

While I see the plans our family and friends have ahead,

I know God’s plans are what must be done.

The one thing I count on is that He is in control of 2014.

That makes my expectations miraculous and fruitful!

Little Pot’s Growth Chart

Little Pot grows fruit and we know that the fruit it grows comes from the Holy Spirit. So how does it happen? What are the steps? Recently I worked with an awesome team of educators at Liberty University to develop a leadership model.  We agreed that leadership comes when we can transform what we know into the lives of others (which is also fruit bearing).  Together we came up with five steps.

First we must remember we are created by God and are simply vessels made for His use.  Envision yourself as clay pot.  You are an empty vessel and waiting for the potter’s filling so you can grow into a great leader. 

Step 1- Humility

            To grow a leader, the potter fills you with humus or soil. Humus is “a dark brown or black colloidal mass of partially decomposed organic matter in the soil.  It improves the fertility and water retention of the soil and is therefore important for plant growth” (“humus,” n.d., para. 2).   The word “humility” is derived from the Latin form of humus. In the Bible Christ explains a parable about a seed (the Word of God) and three types of soil. (Luke 8, New King James Version [NKJV]).  In verse fifteen, He says “the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience” (Luke 8:15, NKJV). God’s word may be planted within you but without humility it cannot take root and grow. 

Step 2- Integrity

            The seed of God’s word planted in humility will stem integrity.  Integrity is necessary for leaders. It isn’t the prettiest part of a plant or the part that others first notice.  However, it is what holds the plant together.  It is the part of the plant that brings nutrients up from the roots.  Our integrity is what we can have to stand on.  “A person with integrity does not have divided loyalties (that’s duplicity), nor is he or she merely pretending (that’s hypocrisy)” (Maxwell, 1993, p. XI).  Any damage to the stem of a plant can jeopardize the life of a plant.  In the same way, anything we do to damage our integrity will jeopardize our leadership. 

Step 3- Relationships

            Integrity that stems from God’s Word rooted in humility will begin to form relationships.  Consider your relationships to be leaves that reach out as you grow.  By fostering relationships we are able to become a more effective leader.  In every relationship we form we act as either a leader or a follower.  Each has specific roles and relate differently to this model of leadership. 

Step 4- Knowledge

            Once relationships form and integrity has stemmed, knowledge will bloom.  In the growth model, think of knowledge as a flower.  Others are drawn to the flower part of a plant, just as they are drawn to your knowledge.  Knowledge is not the final quality, however.  It is not the potter’s plan for us to simply draw others toward us and admire us.  The flowering part of our leadership plant has a much greater purpose hidden within.  We obtain knowledge so that we can bear fruit and reproduce it into another person’s life.

Step 5- Transform

            The final quality and stage of growth for a leader is being able to transform God’s Word into someone else.  Growth is a cycle and must reproduce itself.  Think of your little pot that you filled with humility so God’s Word could be planted and take root.  You stemmed integrity, formed relationships, and bloomed knowledge, all so you could bear fruit. It is important to know that within each piece of fruit a seed exists.  That seed is still the Word of God and is ready to be planted into another vessel or person who is full of humble soil.

Godspeed or God Speed

principal-officeInside the principal’s office, it seems time has gone by at “God Speed”.  It was a year ago that I met with God and agreed to become the principal of Central Christian Academy. I was uncertain of what was ahead of me, but I had realized that God liked putting me in positions where I was forced to rely on Him for wisdom and strength. Therefore, I accepted the position.

At that time, friends and family wished me …”godspeed”. The dictionary defines godspeed as, “Good fortune; success (used as a wish to a person starting on a journey, a new venture, etc.).” 

Seemed a very fitting wish then. However, “God speed” is what I was given and it is more than just good fortune and success.

I remember moving into this office while the students were on spring break last year at this time. I had no idea what to bring to a principal’s office or what I would find. I never spent much time in one as a student (thankfully) – and even as a teacher I tried to avoid being in one since it housed my boss. 

So that very first day at CCA I came in carrying  “Little Pot” littlepot-(Those of you who do not know, Little Pot is a painted flower pot who represents the main character of The Little Pot. It travels with me to author events and represents a great deal about my willingness to be obedient to “The Potter” and bear His fruit. (Reading the book will help that make more sense.)

Regardless, that day, Little Pot and I, (who were both feeling quite empty inside) sat in the middle of the office floor asking God once again to fill us. (Eph 3:19)

Those of you that know the story of The Little Pot also know, however, that Little Pot is only full when it is growing fruit. I knew that by placing me in CCA, God was giving me another amazing opportunity for fruit to sprout through my life.

It is now one year later …. and fruit is growing at “God speed”. Little pot is not just full  – It is overflowing! And, I truly have a hard time keeping up with what the Holy Spirit is doing at CCA. Nine of our students and one parent received Christ as their savior this past year. Five were just baptized this morning. 183609_189129121123164_112760382093372_438786_5462525_nWe have had countless opportunities to share with other parents and students the relationship that Christ wants to have with each of them.

We built a curriculum that is based on the fruit of the Spirit and creates an environment in which students are encouraged to show the characteristics of that fruit every day. God has blessed us with gifted and creative teachers. He continues to bring us new students and families causing our enrollment to  increase every month.

I am trying desperately to keep up with God. I cannot believe a year has passed. I am rejoicing at the work He has done and  am grateful to the CCA families who have embraced the changes this past year.

For those of you waiting on God to do something in your life, I want to encourage you to get prepared in every way you can.  There comes a time when the waiting ends and His answers and fruit grow at “God speed” – a pace beyond our own human ability.  Be ready, because when it comes, it will require you to be filled with the Spirit every day and move at “God speed”!

Little Pot teaches the SOLs – A kdg lesson plan for VA public schools

This lesson plan was used with The Little Pot book at

Ingleside Elem. School in Norfolk, VA

It was written by Ms. Clark, Art teacher.

pinch_pots

Grade/Class: Kindergarten

Big Idea: Celebration

Lesson: Clay Pinch Pots

Essential Questions:

  • Why do artists use clay?
  • What sorts of things are made out of clay?
  • How can artists manipulate clay?
  • What can a pot be used for?

Art SOL(s)/Objective:

K.3          The student will identify and use textures—sight and touch; and patterns—natural and man-made.

K.9          The student will describe the sequence of steps in the making of a work of art.

K.10        The student will use motor skills (e.g., pinching, pulling, squeezing, twisting, pounding, rolling, folding, cutting, modeling, stamping) to create two-dimensional and three-dimensional works of art.

K.11        The student will identify people who make art as “artists” (e.g., painters, sculptors, printmakers, architects, graphic designers).

K.12        The student will identify the purposes for creating works of art.

K.16        The student will discuss and explain ideas and expressions in personal works of art.

Other SOL Correlation:

K.4       Investigate and understand that objects can be described (by color, shape, texture, size, and position)

K.00 NC          Communicate ideas by explaining processes

Assessment (Rubrics):

The student will follow a sequence of directions.

The student will demonstrate motor skills by manipulating clay.

Materials: Red  low-fire clay, one styro tray per student, assorted clay tools, clay cart

Visuals/Instructional Resources:

Artists/Artwork:

Children’s Literature/Picture Books: The Little Pot, Dawn Stephens

Vocabulary: clay, pottery, potter, kiln, author, illustrator, pattern, texture

Motivation/Anticipatory Set: Author/Illustrator Dawn Stephens will visit the classroom and read her book, The Little Pot.(setup clay and trays during the story)

Procedure (include checking for understanding and independent practice):

Demo the steps in making a clay pot:

  1. Make a ball.
  2. “The Hokey Pokey” Poke your thumb into the ball of clay.
  3. Pinch and turn, squeezing the sides so the hole gets bigger.
  4. Use tools: Add texture, pattern, and eyes to your little pot!

Read the rule: The clay must stay on the tray, or we’ll take it away!

After reviewing the steps, students go to their seats to make their pots.

Teachers and assistants will write the students’ NAME and CLASS on the bottom with a pencil.

Closure: As students are finishing their pots, ask, “What will you put in your pot?” and “If you were a pot, what kind of pot would you be?”

Little Pot’s SUPERBOWL Activity

little pot's superbowl pic

There is a lot of teaching and learning that can take place around the Superbowl, and Little Pot is excited to share some ways with you!

This activity will help students to learn math skills. They will be counting by tens, adding subtracting and multiplying. You will make up your own questions so you can adjust the activity to fit the level of the students you work with.

Lay out a piece of paper that looks like a football field. Have all the yards marked correctly on it. You can use this image and print it if that helps.

football field

Then use little clay pots as the players. Each student will need to have their own Little Pot.

Begin to ask the student various math problems and have them position their Little Pot on the field to “show” you the answer.

For Example-

“Your little pot is on the 50 yard line. He moves 3 lines to the right. Each line is worth 10 yards. How many yards has it moved?”

ANSWER: 3 x 10 – 30. Little Pot has moved 30 yards.

“Since Little Pot started on the 50 yard line what yard line is it now on?”

ANSWER: 50-30=20. Little Pot is now on the 20 yard line.

Continue asking questions and evaluate to see if your student knows the answer and the math behind their answers.

Once your students understand how to move their little pots and work the problems by themselves, you can write moving directions on cards for students to draw. Then they can do the problems in the form on a game. If they end up in the end zone they score a touchdown. Each time a Little Pot gets a touchdown place a small manipulative inside that pot. Who ever has the most touchdowns and objects in their pot at the end of the game is the winner.

Little Pot's football game

Obviously the game will be more fun after students have read The Little Pot. make sure you have a copy for your students to read before they play the game.

What you Hold Verses What You Grow

I am taking a blog break from our Bible Lessons in Literature today. Lately I have had several other bloggers and friends asked me to go into more detail about how The Little Pot story and book came about. It has been a life changing event and one that is opening many doors for me to share with others about how God is using me.  You can listen to my story on my facebook videos or read the highlights below.

What You Hold Verses What You Grow

When I was young, I was often asked about what I would be when I grew up.  I felt quite a bit of pressure to know the answer to that question. Frankly, though, I had no idea. I knew that I liked to draw pictures and make up stories. Both of those things usually got me in trouble in school since I drew pictures instead of listening and the stories I made up were sometimes interrupted as lies. I did imagine that someday I could use those things to be a children’s author and illustrator. Since school never went well for me, I knew that I did not want to be a teacher.

I came from a Christian home I was taught that I should pray for the things I want. Therefore, I simply prayed and asked God to make me an author and illustrator and then waited for Him to do so. It never seemed to me that He was actually doing that. When it came time for me to go to college I told my dad my plans and he said I could not become an author or illustrator, because I’d never make money doing it. I searched for another career that would allow me to draw pictures and write stories for kids and I found one. It was a teacher.

I figured since God didn’t seem to hear me about the author, illustrator thing I might as well go into teaching. I did and found that I loved it. I felt so full and complete. I knew that I was doing exactly what God created me to do.  I taught for ten years until one day I knew that God wanted me to stop teaching and stay home with my children. One of my daughters had severe asthma and maintaining her health while teaching fulltime seemed impossible. I reluctantly quit and became a “Stay-at-home-mom”. Now, I admire woman who do this a great deal, but I never felt it was for me. I loved being with my children, but I also wondered continually if God was using me.

My husband sensed that I wanted to work again so he bought me a company to run.  Running your own company may sound exciting to some, but for me- it was not exciting at all. It was terrifying. I had taught Kindergarten, First grade, and Second grade. One year I taught third grade and realized the third graders were smarter than me, so I went back to teaching Kindergarten.  I couldn’t even keep my checkbook balanced. So, I had no idea how I would run a company. It seemed that’s what God expected me to do. So I did it. And, after some time, I began to love it. I wrote business plans and drew characters for my website all why staying home with my kids. I thought I was doing exactly what God created me to do. I felt full and happy. The only part of running a business I didn’t do well was the selling of stuff. And since I didn’t sell things, my company didn’t continue to do so well every year.

As my daughters got older and healthier, my husband suggested I go back to work and that we sell the business. I still had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. Now I was all grown up and was suppose to go find a job. I prayed again wondering why God wouldn’t make me into an author and illustrator. It seemed I just kept doing these random things in life without knowing their purpose. I told God I take whatever job came along and that I’d do anything except, of course, sell stuff. We both knew I was not any good at that. Eventually a company called saying they wanted to talk to me about a job. They were a publishing company and I was very excited. I hoped they would want to publish my stories or let me illustrate for them. I was wrong. They did offer me a job, but it was in sales. They wanted me to sell their books.  I did and eventually I got really good at it. I even had opportunities to write lesson plans for their books and draw pictures of things to go with those plans.  This was the best job of all. I knew I was doing what God had created me to do and I felt completely full and happy. I did this for several years until the company decided they were no longer going to close the division I worked in.  My job no longer existed.  At this point, I was completely shattered and confused. I began to think of all the things in life I had held and wondered what I would do next.

Through all those jobs, a story began to develop. It is the story of The Little Pot. In this story, The Little Pot is continually filled and emptied with things. The potter puts papers into it and it believes it will be a smart paper pot.  But the potter makes another vessel for that purpose and then empties Little Pot. Next the potter fills it with coins and it thinks it will be a rich coin pot. But the potter makes another vessel for that purpose and Little Pot is empty again. Finally the potter fills the little pot with dirt and a small green plant. Little Pot assumes it will be a beautiful flower pot. It still is wrong, however, because its flowers are really fruit.  Little Pot finally discovers that it is a fruit pot and that its true purpose is to bear fruit for the potter.

Just like Little Pot, I had to discover that through all the jobs I held and all the titles I carried, God had one purpose in mind. I was to bear fruit for Him.  The author, illustrator thing did finally happen for me, but it isn’t the thing that makes me feel full and content.  I know now that I can’t find contentment in what I hold. I can only find it in what I grow. Along with a sequel to The Little Pot, I am currently working on a story coloring book for Operation Blessing to use on the mission field in Haiti.

Not working a job and focusing on just bearing fruit has been a bit scary financially, but I know it is what God wants me to do. He continually gives me opportunities and provides for me at the same time.

To buy The Little Pot book, simply click on the “Buy Book” icon at the left or find it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble .com, or ask for it at your local book store.