5.28.2010

10 Gospel Truths-They're Back!!!

If you enjoyed the 10 Essential Gospel Truths from March you will be excited about this book like I am! Helping Children Understand the Gospel has each of the 10 truths that I posted! It’s only $7.50 and you can have it at the reach of your hands! I just bought my copy. Lord willing, I will get good use out of it this summer with my very own class to teach (It’s not set in stone yet). Obviously, the truths in this book have been a huge blessing to me. But it’s not just me others have praise for the truths it contains too:

"It has been amazing to have the gospel forefront in our family's everyday living. We are learning 'everyday talk' and to keep the gospel central."
"This is not just truth our kids need to learn. We are learning, too!"
"We've been keeping the 10 Gospel Truths on the dining room table to talk about during dinner. In the last few weeks, my husband and I have noticed just how much more we talk with our kids. (We'd been getting away from sit-down family meals for awhile and made a new commitment to all be there.) We've had great conversations with the kids about God as Creator, tried some of the activities about the crayon saying to the designer 'I don't want to draw,' and we've seen the kids really 'get' the idea that God made our world—not evolution! God made them—and is the Boss! God wants them to obey—every day!"
As a refresher,  I listed the10 Essential Gospel Truths that will be presented in the book.  I’m sure it will be all I’ve said & more! Get the book! Have some great conversation with the children in your life or even friends in your life!

4.      Man is sinful.

 To read a more in-depth review of the book. Go here.

5.26.2010

Confession

A.C.T.S. Oh yea you’ve heard that acronym before! This is printed on a bookmark of mine. It stands for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication. It’s meant to keep our crazy wandering minds focused during prayer. It was given as a gift from a woman at church- and what a blessing it has been for me-as God has used this to help me get back to talking to Him again.

More specifically, confession has been an interesting part of prayer for me. So often I thank God for His goodness and move along to my needs. But with this reminder to CONFESS and verses like I John 1:9 saying “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” confessing has really made me take a look at the things I struggle with. It’s no joke-almost daily I find myself asking forgiveness for bitter, prideful and arrogant thoughts! It isn’t now until I’ve realized that this is seriously a struggle for me. Wow, God wants us to confess for a reason: To be forgiven, so we can be forgiven. He must be serious about this sanctification stuff, eh?

When I think about the amount of time that is needed in confession, I am definitely reminded that my sin is GREAT and my need for Jesus is a desperate one. The sermon over the weekend is continually on my mind. Through confession I’ve been “remembering” (as Paul calls the Ephesians to in 2:11,12) my desperate state. But as he goes on to say in verse 13 “but now in Christ Jesus you who were once far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” BUT NOW, though a sinner full of bitter, prideful thoughts, I have a hope in Jesus Christ to cleanse me from all unrighteousness. Yes, my sin is great but my Jesus is BIGGER.

Thank GOD for CONFESSION. Thank GOD for the BLOOD OF CHRIST.

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Psalm 51:1

5.24.2010

Student Appreciation


The school year is coming to and end L Some will be with us through the summer and some won’t.  So I’m preparing myself to say goodbye and I thought of some ways the children have been a blessing this school year. If there were a student appreciation day, this is what I'd say. 

It blesses me when…

You see me at a birthday party and run up to hug me.
You are willing to feed a disabled friend your string cheese.
You remember my middle name.
You teach your younger siblings our Spanish songs.
You’re walking to the bathroom and stop to give me a hug on the way.
You tell me why the chicken crossed the road.
You forgive your friends.
You say “Ms. Heather your shirt is gleaming!”
You see flowers at the store and ask your mom to buy them for me.
Your first response to our morning greeting is a big toothless smile.
You sing “Feliz Navidad” to yourself at the art table.
You take me by the hand to show me your creation.
You see a friend crying and give them a hug.
You apologize even though it’s hard.
You draw a picture of Jesus and I being best friends forever.
You remember my husband’s name.
You tell me after seeing the tire boot on my car,
 “Ms. Heather you can call my dad and he will handcuff them.”
Because, after all, he is a police officer.
You are excited that I’m coming to your house.
You correct me after I said “roj-a” instead of “roj-o”
You understand that “God is the boss of Ouwies
I’ve only been gone for half of the morning and you say,
 “Ms. Heather I’ve been looking for you everywhere!”
AND MOST RECENTLY WHEN….
You comfort me about missing you guys next year by saying,
 “but you will have more kids to teach Spanish to next year.”

God is sooo good to have let me have the experiences that I did with these children. Through conversations about Jesus to “Tiempo de Espanol” to building things with them, I’ve been extremely blessed that God gave me an opportunity to get to know each of them. I will soak up these next couple of weeks!

5.19.2010

The Hand-Holders

Just recently was Teacher Appreciation week. Among many gifts from the parents was a very special gift from our Director. During our break, she had us come into an extra room where she soaked our feet in warm eucaplytus scented water-while we read a special note and a poem. Though I wouldn’t take credit for having the most important job in all “the land” it is very cute and faces of particular children flashed in my head as I read it. Enjoy. 





“The Hand-Holders”

(A Tribute to Preschool Teachers)

There is no job more important than yours,
no job anywhere else in the land.
You are the keepers of the future;
you hold the smallest of hands.

Into your care you are trusted
to nurture and care for the young,
and for all your everyday heroics,
your talents and skills go unsung.

You wipe tears from the eyes of the injured.
You hold our precious children in your arms.
You encourage the shy and unsure child.
You make sure they are safe from all harm.

You foster the bonds of friendships,
Letting no child go away mad.
You respect and you honor their emotions.
You give hugs to each child when they’re sad.

You have more impact than does a professor,
a child’s mind is molded by four;
so whatever you lay on the table
is whatever the child will explore.

You give each child the tools for adventure.
You let them be artists and writers and more.
So they can fly on the wind and dance like stars
and build castles of sand on the shore.

It is true that you don’t make much money
and you don’t always get a lot of praise,
but when one small child says “I love you”,
you’re reminded of how this job pays.

5.17.2010

"This Was Grace" -Extended Version

John Knight not only has a child that is blind & autistic but his wife is also living in Stage 4 with Breast Cancer. Here is thier story and how he considers it to be grace on thier lives to be living in this situation...


"This Was Grace" Extended Version from Andrew Laparra on Vimeo.

5.12.2010

Kindness

(This is something I wrote awhile back on GUTS. But as I find myself in a similar place again-I wanted to re-post it. God is always Kind. Be blessed.)
Kindness seems to be a sweet, cute little word. You may tell a woman she’s kind to bake cookies for her co-workers, or you may tell children to be kind to their friends. However, lately God has been showing me his kindness…and his kindness is meant to lead to repentance (Eph 2:4). If kindness can do that, it makes me think it’s not just a sweet, cute little word.
I started thinking about this over the past couple months as I have been pretty distant from God. I’d been having such a lack of discipline in reading & praying. Even in times that I wanted to come to God, I had this cloud of guilt over my head. It was reminding me that I hadn’t been treasuring Christ and seeking him and therefore I didn’t deserve to approach him. So I didn’t. However, God will finish the good work he started in me (Phil 1:6) …and He will always have His way. So even though I didn’t read my bible or pray, God was going to reveal to me His kindness.
For that I praise Him.
So though I wouldn’t open my bible, I would read other things (blogs, books, etc- So religious!) about God. One of the authors was Charles Spurgeon. It was a sermon titled “The Treasures of Grace.”  Yet as I read it, it was as if I had my hand out saying “this is for those whom don’t know Jesus not me, I know better.” But I couldn’t get these words out of my head:

Love in the human breast is a passion. With God it is not so. Love is an attribute of divine essence. God is love. In men, grace and bounty may grow in a habit, but grace with God is an intrinsic attribute of his nature. He cannot but be gracious. As by necessity of his Godhead he is omnipotent, and omnipresent, so by absolute necessity of his divinity is he gracious.”
Basically, it’s God’s character to be gracious. Just as he is always fully omnipresent He is always fully gracious. God is not gracious some but all of the time. Every time I sin, he is there being 100% gracious. So though I said, “I won’t let this affect me” I couldn’t help but think about grace.
A bit later my pastor Tim preached on Election. That night I learned that election is full of grace & kindness. Election is about God destining people to know him. While many would ask: How is that fair? That question is answered by looking at the human condition. From Romans 3:23 we learned that ALL fall short of the glory of God, and from Ephesians 2:3 that we were children of wrath, and again from Romans 3:10-14 that ALL have turned away from God & that NONE are righteous.
Tim explained that if this is the biblical human condition and God is a Holy God…then compared to him, we deserve hell. Think about it- that’s what we deserve. Yet, while I was still sinner, Christ died for me (Rom 5:8), and even more, before the foundations of the earth were even laid God chose me (Eph 1:4)! How can that be?! How can it be that me a sinful child of wrath would be chosen before the foundations of the earth when I don’t even deserve Heaven? Sure it was faith-but even that was a gift! (Eph 2:8) Talk about humility.
So here I am- knowing what I deserve. I have done nothing good to deserve the salvation of Christ. I don’t read my bible enough or pray enough. I don’t serve & love my husband enough. I can’t do anything enough to deserve the love of God. Likewise, I cannot ignore the bible enough, keep from God enough, sin enough for Christ’s blood to uncover me. As my pastor said a couple of weeks ago “He is a fool who thinks his sin is bigger and more powerful than Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.”
You see this kindness has made me change my view of self and sin. I’ve been a fool- believing my sins have been bigger than Christ’s sacrifice (It’s why I avoided Him). And while it is true that I have been wrong in avoiding God and his Word, that I can do better at serving and loving my husband, and that I fall SO short of God’s glory and deserve Hell, the kindness of God is still constant-offering me grace.
For that I cannot help but say, “God, I’m sorry for my terrible thinking and ignoring you. Forgive me! Help me treasure Christ more. Thank you for your great kindness in my life!” And I am desperate to live like his grace is sufficient-because it is.
God is a KIND God. Kindness entails a lot of BIG implications. It has brought about repentance for me. May we not be so foolish as to think our sins are bigger than Christ’s powerful work on the cross. His kindness is meant to bring us to repentance. May we trust that he who began a good work in us will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ (Phil 1:6).

5.04.2010

Black Children-An endangered species?

A video worth our time....





Interesting, eh??