Tag Archives: Childrens Author

Contain Humility

 

 

 

Humility

 

This week our saints are focusing on humility. At CCA we illustrate it with placing dirt into Little Pot.

humility

http://www.amazon.com/Little-Pot-Dawn-Stephens/dp/193398211X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1410796644&sr=1-1&keywords=Little+Pot

 

 

Our word humility comes from the Latin word humus. Humus means good soil. We tell our saints that Little Pot wasn’t excited about being filled with dirt. However, dirt is what is needed to grow fruit. Just like humility is necessary for us to grow the fruit of the Spirit.

 

In chapel last week we read several verses about how God feels about humility.

I will bless those who have HUMBLE and contrite hearts, who tremble at my word -Isaiah 66:2

 

Do nothing out or rivalry or conceit

In HUMILITY consider others as more important than yourselves

Everyone should look not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others -Philippians 2:3-4

 

We learned that humility IS NOT

Downplaying or thinking less of yourself

Feeling sorry for yourself

 

And, that humility IS

Knowing the truth about yourself and where you stand with God.

Knowing you can’t do things without God and that you need Him.

Know that God knows you better than you know yourself.

It is saying, “God, I need your help!”

 

It is hard for children to pray for themselves. Often their prayer requests are for others. We ended our chapel by asking each child to put a scoop of soil into Little Pot and pray “Lord, I need your help ___________.” It was precious to hear the requests each of them made for a need of their own.

 

 

And as God always does for me, I can never teach a lesson that isn’t hitting home with me too. While giving this lesson, the teachers and I have been reading a book by Nicole Unice called “She’s Got Issues”.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Shes-Got-Issues-Seriously-Stressed-Out-ebook/dp/B007TWKY8K/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1410796037&sr=1-1&keywords=she%27s+got+issues

 

This week it dealt with control. It is no secret to anyone what a control freak I can be. This book, however, put my need for control in the context of my own humility or lack of.  Pray with us as we all work on gaining a deeper understanding of how to be humble.

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!

making the little BIG

I have been getting the same message from God in several different venues this past week. I suppose it’s something He wants me to take notice of. It’s a pretty simple concept and one that we shouldn’t need reminding of. But, obviously I’ve needed to hear it, so maybe others do too.

His message is “The little things matter to me! – It’s my job to make them BIG!”

 

 

downloadI first heard it while I was doing a devotional on Ruth. My youngest daughter and I are doing the Kelly Minter, “Living Room Bible Study” on Ruth together. Doing it with my daughter has given me such a great perspective on this woman and the book in the Bible that contains her story. This week’s lesson focused on the kindness of Boaz and it struck me how simple little acts of kindness made such an eternal impact on so many people.

 

 

 

download (1)The second time was when I watched a video by Pete Briscoe called The Bema. It is a dramatization of a man who goes to heaven and stands before the throne of Christ where his life is celebrated. I can’t do justice by explaining how powerful the video is, so I recommend you watch it for yourself. The message that amazed me was how the little things that had no effect on him had an eternal impact on others. Heaven celebrated the littlest action when it was done in the name of Christ, and it struck me how simple little acts of kindness made such an eternal impact on so many lives.

 

 

The third time was watching our friend day video for this week. It was by a family at our school that I invited to church on Friend Day. That took such little effort for me to do and I was basically just doing my job without thinking how it could impact lives. Listening to them tell how being invited by me impacted their lives and knowing now how many lives they are impacting by being at Central absolutely amazes me.

 

 

1377139_10153349199655431_1285784542_nThe fourth venue was on facebook when I came across pictures of 600 children in Leogane, Haiti with coloring books that I had illustrated a few years ago. The opportunity to illustrate that coloring book seemed a simple little task. Now, seeing how many lives are touched by it puts me in awe of a God who can take a simple thing and multiply it into something so wonderful.

 

A little boy had five loafs and two fishes (something very small within his own hands). 1383082_10153349189500431_849884290_nBut, given to Jesus it became a means to reach thousands. I’ve been thinking about the little things that take up my time throughout the day. The principal’s desk at CCA has been covered in papers and a list of things that need to get done. Throughout the day those little tasks get interrupted by children coming in to take plastic fruit for the little ways they show kindness and occasionally by a child who is causing a problem that needs an administrative/parental solution.

 

 

Some days I leave feeling I haven’t accomplished anything of value. Then, I realize every little thing I did wasn’t about bringing value to me. It was to bring value to Christ; and He asks for very little effort. He loves to take the little and make it BIG!

 

 

The Creation – as retold by Janice Green

creation cover (2)
Today I have the blessing of sharing you with a children’s book titled Creation. This book is the Biblical story of Creation retold by Janice Green
Janice is a retired teacher / librarian. Her ability to connect with kids shows in her writing. In a time when people (even Christians) embrace evolution as truth, it is refreshing to find a book that stays true to the scripture and the literal description of How God created the earth. Janice understands that our student’s beliefs will be challenged by the secular world and she knows the importance of giving a child a strong reliable authority of God’s word.
A difficult task in writing children’s stories about the Bible is that children will see the stories as fictional. Janice explains that the Biblical account is not to be looked at as a myth. She takes a student through each day of His miraculous works. Each page includes verses from scripture and thought provoking questions for children to discuss.
The pictures in her book are the best part. Janice is also a quilter and the pictures in her book are quilt squares (hexagons) that she used to create one of her many Bible quilts. Parents are given instructions in how to create a quilt with their own children. I love the way Janice has taken the story of creation and made into a tangible quilt and story book that students can interact with.

God’s Choice

 

As I was working with our Bible Study this past week, I thought about our students.

In 1 Samuel 16:1-13, I read about the prophet Samuel anointing David.

Several things stuck out to me as I read these verses.David_anointed-1

    1. The first was that the anointing seemed to be more for Samuel’s sake then David’s. In verse one, God tells Samuel to stop mourning over Saul and go anoint a new king. God always had the plan and was never worried over what was taking place with Saul. Samuel was the one who was distraught about the current leadership situation.

     

    2. The second was the time table that God was working with. God gave Samuel a plan to go anoint a new king, and when he arrives at the home of Jesse, both he and Jesse assume it is going to be one of the sons who are older and ready to take over the kingdom immediately. But they were not thinking on God’s time table. God’s choice is the boy, David. David will be anointed in this chapter and will not actually be king for another 22 years.

     

    3. The third was that David was selected based on his heart.

     

    These points made me consider our Central Christian Academy students and how God already knows what their lives will be twenty-two years from today. He is at work choosing them for the tasks and needs we have today. The choices He makes are based on their hearts. I thought about what we can do to help keep their hearts pure and ready to serve God.

     

    This week’s lesson is going to look at the characteristics of David’s heart that made it one that God would consider worthy of His choice. I’ve been preparing the lesson and considering not just my own heart, but those of the CCA students. We have a responsibility as teachers and parents to prepare our students for the calling God has on their life.

     

     Tomorrow afternoon and Wednesday evening, we’ll look at five of those characteristics.

    Choosing Honor

    In this interview with Mary Ficalora, she shares with us how Mom’s can make a difference in our world today. Although I don’t totally agree with Mary’s opinions, I do agree that it is important to know and be aware of what others believe and are pushing on our children especially in schools.

    Principal From the Black Lagoon

    principal from the black lagoonToday my children gave me a Mother’s Day gift.

    It was the book, The Principal from the Black Lagoon. I remember reading the Scholastic “Black Lagoon” books to my students years ago. When I started my job as Principal at Central Christian Academy, the four year old class at the school were making up all kinds of stories. Like my office was painted black and I had a great big paddle. I have to admit the first week on the job caused a sense of fear that simply came from the “unknown”.  The students not knowing the new principal or how I would handle discipline worked to my advantage.  Anyway, my own teenage daughters loved the dinner time stories each evening of the day’s events of students being sent to the principal’s office and how I handled each offense.  They thought I would need a copy of this book for my office.  If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend you do. It is much more dear to me now that I sit inside that office each day and watch children undergo the drama of being “sent” there. Thanks to the media, our children today have very little that cause them fear.  And my office is painted in a very cheery way and there is no paddle. Instead, there is a Little Pot full of treats.

    But, when they misbehave or disrupt class, they still need to know that there are consequences. So as they come in and sit there looking up at me, I realize their own imagination is driving a fear inside them. I always talk to them about their behavior and let them know the immediate consequences as well as the future consequences should it continue. But as one four year old little boy stated when I was finished asking him if he understood? – he replied, “Yes, but your office isn’t black.”  Trying not to smile at him, I then said in my principal voice . . . “You’re right, it’s not black – but you still need to correct your behavior.”

    You’ll need to read the book to fully grasp the idea. – but once you do, you’ll see that being the Principal form the Black Lagoon is OK with me.

    Two Shoes -Have you surrendered your walk?

    Two Shoes in little pot

    Based on Two Shoes by Beth Raitt

    This is a great little, rhyming book with an obvious spiritual message woven in its pages. The two shoes look up to discover there is something bigger above them that is making them move and has control of their life. They discover feet, then shins, then knees, two thighs, two hips, a belly and so on. Until finally they hear a loud booming voice above. The voice explains that He is their creator and sent His son to save the world. The shoes then understand they have a purpose in their walk. . . “To love the lord Jesus and spread the good news”

    I am sharing it today because it seems to fit something God has been dealing with me on.-Surrender and control. The topic keeps coming up in “my daily walk” -and I thought about these little shoes and how they keep wondering why they move and who is in control of them.  It seems simple when it is put into the perspective of how our shoes would feel if they had feelings. I thought about how I look up to see a small piece of God and as I keep searching my perspective of Him gets bigger and bigger. The shoes in this story do the same.  the biggest picture is understanding God’s love and gift of his son. Once we accept that, we have purpose. – But before that can ever happen we have to surrender ourselves to His control. There is a song out – “Let me be your hands, Let me be your feet” I’ve sung the song but was reminded of it as I read this little book. These two little shoes make a discovery that we all need to make. First by accepting that gift and then by remembering it as we allow God to daily control our walk.

    So many great little activities come to mind with this story.  The first thing that I think would be extremely fun is to have children select a pair of their shoes. It could be an old pair that they no longer wear.  Then they could glue eyes on them and write a creative story about the places those  shoes have been. I think it would be extremely fun to for them to write the story from their shoe’s perspective. Then you could make even more spiritual ties into how they responded to God at those very same adventures. The shoes in the story are anxious to a share the love of Jesus with others, and the children may be able to write about a time they shared Jesus’ love too. You could even set out a new adventure. Give them as assignment of somewhere to go. Something like a mission field trip and when they return they could write about the journey their shoes went on.   Can’t you just see children walking around with googly eyes on their shoes.

    shoes with eyes

    Disclosure: These ideas are that of this blog and teachers using this book, not the author or publisher of the book. To purchase this book through amazon you can click on this widget and help support more Bible Lessons in Children’s Literature

    For additional Bible Studies using different types of shoes visit these blog postings:

    Rain Boots

    High Heels

    For more Bible Lessons in Children’s Literature click on the links below:

    Town Mouse, Country Mouse, Content Mouse

    A Porcupine Named Fluffy – Living Up To “The Name”

    Corduroy – The Search For a Friend

    The True Story of The Three Little Pigs and Truth Discovery

    Lessons with Peter Rabbit