Monday, October 31, 2011

And then Came the Fall...

One of the reasons why my husband and I fell in love with our home was because of the trees.

We bought our home in the spring and watched in delight as all the maples, oaks and lilacs in both our front and back yards sprouted different colored buds, blossoms and leaves.

Our delight continued throughout the summer, as those same trees brought much needed shade to our deck. And then came the fall...

The trees are still beautiful, the colors still breathtaking, the sight of the golden carpet that adorns our driveway still brings a smile to my face, but the raking is endless.

After another back breaking trip to the compost heap, hauling a tarp full of leaves that must have weighed almost as much as myself, I found myself could it possibly be that those single, tiny, insignificant leaves, with an individual weight of almost nothing, could combine together to weigh so much?

When I'm tempted to feel insignificant, and I find myself wondering if my efforts in children's ministry will ever amount to anything, I'm going to remember those tiny, weightless leaves and the tremendous weight of them when combined together.
We are not in ministry alone.
Together, you and I can make a huge difference.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Making Connections

 It is 4.30 pm on a Monday afternoon.

In our classroom, several little boys and girls are quietly reading. Some are lying down, some are sitting. All are surrounded by books.

Suddenly, the peace is shattered by an excited cry. 'I made a connection! I made a connection!' The other kids smile as little Johnny bookmarks his page so that he can share what he has found with the whole class later.

All these kids know that 'Making Connections'- to ourselves, another text, or the world in which we live is an important skill in learning to read. And learning to read is something that every child needs.

As we serve in children's ministry, each one of us is making a connection.

We have the privilege of being able to connect a child with God....and as we pray for them and share God's word with them; as we love them and lead by example, we are making that connection stronger.

And a strong connection with God is something that every child needs.

I am the vine; you are the branches. John 15:5

Question: Who connected you with

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hide The Bible

I recently came across a rather sad website called 'Hide The Bible.' Its purpose is to share stories and photographs of the ingenious ways that people have found to hide one of the Gideons' Bibles, which are placed in hotel rooms. In this bizarre game, people have hidden the Bible in the closet, in the ironing board, between the curtains and curtain rail, behind the artwork or TV, under the sink, inbetween adjoining room doors, and even behind the toilet. Ingenious, but sad.
And it prompts me to ask: What extraordinary power is there in the Bible that causes people to want to hide it and then advertise that fact on the WORLD WIDE WEB?? You can even follow this site on Twitter! What a great irony that in their efforts to hide the Bible, they are inadvertently drawing the attention of the world to it??
Friends- you and I are involved in hiding the Bible too.... but it is no game for us. Thank God that we are called to encourage children to hide His word in their hearts, where no-one will ever be able to take it away from them. Now that is powerful.
I have hidden your word in my heart. Psalm 119: 11
Question: What would you say is the most powerful Bible verse that we could teach our children?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Look up!

I was out walking around our neighborhood the other day. I looked down as I walked and saw soggy, wet leaves; the occasional piece of trash; the cracks in the sidewalk, and the dark stains of chewing gum, discarded long ago. Then I looked up. I saw the beauty of a blue October sky; the autumn trees tipped with gold as the sunlight bounced off them; birds flying high on the wing, and delicate leaves dancing in the breeze. What a contrast!
As we minister to our children, we have a daily choice. We can focus on the cracks, or focus on the creativity. We can look at the trash, or look at the treasure.  We can be aware of the stains, or be aware of the solutions. In other words, we can choose to look down and focus on our problems, or we can choose to look up and focus on our possibilities. I know which one I will try to choose this you?
Read about being transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Question: What effective way have you found of turning negative thoughts or situations into positive ones?

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Persistent Woodpecker

I was just sitting down for a quiet cup of tea when I was disturbed by a loud 'tap-a-tap-tap' sound, coming from the back of the house. It didn't take me long to find a Hairy Woodpecker, happily hammering away on the wood outside our family room. It was cute at first, but after several days hammering, my husband and I decided it had to go. We stood, leaning over the deck and loudly clapped our hands. The woodpecker merely turned its head to look at us. We shouted at it. It just stared back. Our research on the internet said that woodpeckers have an aversion to shiny objects. We spent an hour devising an elaborate device consisting mainly of a tube of silver foil and yarn. Together, we managed to string it high across the back of the house. The next day, our clever device had been pecked apart and was lying on the floor under the tree. The hammering began again. Next we purchased a 20 foot ladder and filled in the large hole with expanding foam. The woodpecker drilled it all out. Finally, my husband nailed a metal panel over the hole....success! We do not hear hammering from the back of the house any more- but now I hear it at the front. That little guy just refuses to give up.
As annoying as that Hairy Woodpecker is, I think I have learned a lesson from him. Persistence attracts attention. What dreams do you have for your ministry that you refuse to give up on? Be persistent in prayer. Be persistent in faithfulness. Be persistent in ministry. God hears our hammering and like that persistent woodpecker, we will attract His attention.