Friday, September 25, 2020

Names of God: Bread of Life

"Give us this day our daily bread"

Most of us are familiar with this line from the Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13).
When we say it, what are we really asking for?? 

our morning coffee,
chicken biscuit,
our favorite pasta dish??

Or maybe because the prayer is so familiar to us, 
are we even processing the words that we are saying?

While I do believe this verse has a literal meaning...
(asking for food/physical provision for the day and acknowledging that it is HE who supplies our essential,
daily need for food)
...I also believe it has another meaning,
more than just asking for physical food.

In John 6:35 Jesus says,
I AM the bread of life;
whoever comes to me shall not hunger,
and whoever believes in ME shall never thirst.

HE declares that HE is our bread.

When we ask God for our daily bread,
we are asking HIM to give us HIMSELF.
We are asking for HIS presence in our lives.
We are asking HIM to give us what we need of HIM for today.
We are in faith, asking HIM to provide just what we need, when we need, it for every circumstance the day may hold.

What do you need today?
food, strength for the journey, peace...

Jesus is our BREAD.
HE stands ready to meet our physical and spiritual needs.
Let's ask God for our daily BREAD
and let's mean HIM when we ask for it. 

We can trust HIM to meet ALL of our needs.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Names of God: Servant

"For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give HIS life as a ransom for many."
One of Jesus' names in the Bible is 

The word servant usually brings kings (or the rich) to mind. 
We think of the poor or lowly submitting to the authority of the rich or a boss. 
Is submission to the rich or worldly authority what comes to mind when you think of Jesus as a servant???? 
No, yet one of HIS names is servant.

I think what's required is a change
 in our definition and our mindset.

A good servant is someone who does what is good for others.
Now that is a picture of Jesus.

King of kings
could have had a million servants at HIS beck and call,
yet HE chose to serve and not be served.

HE left heaven and came to live with people on earth.
HE taught about God.
HE healed the sick.
And then HE gave HIS life for the sins of the world so people who love HIM can live with God in heaven forever. 

Jesus was the ultimate servant.

Next time we find ourselves picking up trash, plunging toilets at work and wiping down tables for the thousandth time.....think about how like Jesus we are.

Servant: giving ourselves for the good of others, 
and pointing other to Jesus.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Our Favorite Creation (and a FREEBIE)

We are on week 4 of school and things are going so well :) 
Praying the same is true for all of you!

Our first graders have started their study of creation.
Last week, we talked about each day and the wonderful things that God created on each day.

We added a flip picture to our journals,
hiding our favorite creations.

They glued across the top of the page...
and then flipped it up and drew their
favorite creation underneath.

Super easy, and they thought it was 
great to hide their pictures :)

You can have the flip page for FREE.
Just click on the picture below.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Names of God: Teacher

To: Teachers
About: THE Teacher
Of the 90 times that Jesus was addressed directly in the gospels, HE was called TEACHER 60 times.

HE never entered a "classroom" 
HE did not have a degree
HE didn't hang standards on the wall
or have a behavior clip chart,
the greatest teacher of all time.

HE always knew where HIS students were,
what they were thinking,
the message they needed
and how best to help them.

What a privilege to share the title
What an honor it is to get to do something every 
single day that is so like HIM.

However, let's not forget to flip it around.
HE is Teacher and we are all HIS students. 

Let us never stop pulling our chair up close to THE Teacher's desk and listen to and learn from HIM,
remain teachable,
read HIS book, highlight, 
take notes, soak it up, 
take in the things that HE did and apply it to our lives,
 and keep watch for what HE will continue to do. 

Then, after we spend time being the student, 
let's follow HIS final command 
(which was a teaching command). 

Matthew 28:19-20

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Back to School and a FREEBIE

We have had 2 amazing weeks back at school,
(ok 1 hard week & 1 amazing week).

Being back face to face with our kids has been the best!

This year, I am teaching Bible Study for grades 1-5 and
 I decided to do interactive journals with all of them.
Week 1 and 2 have been spent prepping our journals
and reviewing (since we've been out since March).
We dive into new curriculum this week.

Below is the cover that we're using for our notebooks.
If you click on either picture you can grab a FREE copy.
I'll be back with more of what's going on in Bible Study.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Names of God: The Great Physician

We FINALLY did it. We headed back to school after a LOOOOOOONG "Spring Break". It has felt like an eternity. Our staff was thrilled to be back in the building and anticipating our students' return. 

Our kids came on Monday and it has been a blissful, happy, exciting, exhausting, frustrating, hard (enter all the adjectives) week. But every minute has been worth it! 

In thinking about staff devotions and what message God had for us this year, I felt HIM whisper that we all needed a reminder of HIM. There is so much going on emotionally, physically, politically and also just so much anger and meanness on social media. It seems that we need to look at our God, get in THE Word and remind ourselves of who HE is. 

Due to circumstances, it seemed fitting to start with

A few years ago, my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer, that was added to a heart condition, epilepsy, chronic back pain, 2 hip replacement surgeries, etc. She went through chemo and radiation, 2 surgeries and was finally placed on the Survivor's List. We thank God every day that through every one of those circumstances, HE chose to let us keep her.

Many years ago, when I was working in student ministry at a former church, one of our students deveopled a brain tumor and passed away at 16 years old.

When we experience situations like these our first thoughts are normally......Why?

Why has God allowed my sister to live on this earth for so long, with so many health issues, yet still live a long beautiful life with her husband and kids?
Why did God choose to take J when he was so young and had his whole life ahead of him?

How do we make any sense about situations like these?
We could drive ourselves crazy with the whys and trying to figure it all out, but the reality is that there is no way to fully know until we are HOME. 

1 Samuel 2:6 says.....
The LORD gives both death and life;
HE brings some down to the grave
but raises others up.

Now I know this verse doesn't tell us why. But, it does tell us who to put our faith in.
This verse tells me that God alone is the author of life and death. It tells me that God gives us all life, HE heals us when we are sick and HE also allows physical death.

The first lesson I teach our kids in Bible Study is that God is Creator and King.
God created all of us (and everything) and HE can do whatever HE wants to with all of us. I don't believe that means HE is up there like a puppeteer making us jump. But let's never doubt who is "holding the strings".  HE is in charge, HE is the author of life and death. HE knows all things past, present and future. HE knows when our time on earth is done. HE decides when it is our time to die.

I think part of our problem with this is that we think that dying is losing. When someone we love dies, we think that God didn't come through for us, when actually the total opposite is true. Death for Christians is the ultimate healing. It's eternal life with HIM. It is heaven.

So what does all of this have to do with 
going back to school???

We have so many plans in place to try to 
keep our kids healthy.......
We are cleaning 
washing hands
wearing masks
wearing shields
putting up platic barriers
not sharing supplies
keeping our distance
on and on and on and on.....
but the truth is.....
our kids are going to get sick, our teachers are going to get sick (maybe not with Covid, but a hundred other things) it's just the nature of people getting together and it's the nature of life on this planet. 

I don't want us to get caught up in thinking that we are in any way in control of all that will happen. We can do our very best, we will be diligent and careful, we will do the natural, but let's not forget that God is supernatural and
HE will also do HIS part.

Sickness will come to some,
healing will come to most,
death will come to some
(and eventually to all).

Take comfort in the fact that HE is ultimately in control. 
HE is still in the healing business.
HE has not surrendered the throne.
HE is still working for our good and HIS glory.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Tower of Babel Craft

My first graders reviewed the Tower of Babel
in Bible Study this week.
We reviewed how the people disobeyed God
by doing the exact opposite of what HE told them to do.

After the lesson, we made "towers" of praise
deciding that instead of a tower to glorify ourselves, 
we choose to obey and praise God.

They were super easy to make.
I let them choose whatever color construction
paper they wanted for their background.
I only have my students for 30 minute blocks,
so I pre-cut a lot of "bricks".
I typed a title and JESUS IS LORD! 
in several languages.
 They glued them wherever they wanted to.
(You can click either picture and get the 
sheets to print out.)
See, super easy:) and yours for free,
in case you want to make them with your students.
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