MITTEN TREE DAY

TL 12-6 MITTEN TREE DAY

 

12-6 TEACH CHILDREN CHARITY

I think of all the wacky and unusual holidays on the books, this one is my favorite.  MITTEN TREE DAY is so much fun for children, but it’s a great way for adults to teach them about selflessness and  how to put the needs of others above their own needs or wants.  Have you heard the story called “The Mitten”? 

The timing of this special holiday is perfect since it’s so close to Christmas.  I used to have my Sunday School kids make an outline of their hands with their fingers together on colored construction paper – it looks like a pair of mittens.  Then they put their name on the “mittens” and decorate them with glitter or crayons.  Then punch holes in the top of each mitten and run yarn through the holes.  Tie a knot in the yarn and hang the “mittens” on a small Christmas tree.

Once you have a mitten tree and have read the story to the children, you can easily Segway into conversations with them about how blessed we are if we own a pair of mittens – and how it would be nice if we were to give someone a pair of mittens if they do not have any.  Children learn how to be charitable.  It does not come naturally.

We usually talked at great length about how the little boy’s mitten helped all those critters stay warm.  Then we discussed how God has provided warm houses for us to live in and stay warm.  It’s never too early to teach children to count their blessings and be thankful for what they have.

There’s such a tendency in our country to want more and not be content.  Stories like “The Mitten” help us to teach children to think of others and want to share with them.  Let’s teach them about charity instead of teaching them that the government will force them to share.  True charity should be taught and come from the heart of individuals.  God loveth a cheerful giver.  THAT is what Christians teach children – give from the abundance God blesses you with.

May we always be allowed to give of our own free will as God leads – not as government leads.  ❤

If you are looking for a perfect Christmas gift, may I suggest a new devotional book by Lucinda Berry Hill?  Everyone needs a new devotional book to begin the new year!

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Click on the link below to order your copy!

http://bookstore.westbowpress.com/Products/SKU-000952694/A-Second-Cup-with-Jesus.aspx 

 

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SPECIAL EDUCATION DAY

TL 12-2 SPECIAL EDUCATION DAY

 

12-2 A GOOD IDEA

Raise a glass (of apple juice) for the 10th anniversary of SPECIAL EDUCATION DAY!  As we reflect and reform for the future, we also think back to the day that former President Ford signed  IDEA – the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

IDEA was ground-breaking legislation and provided education for all children with disabilities.  Although we’ve come a long way, we need to think about education in the future.  Back when I was in school, taking special education classes because of severe dyslexia, there was such a stigma that followed me and my friends everywhere we went.  It is extremely frustrating (even now) to be a slow learner.  Sometimes I don’t “catch” things very quickly and I hear someone say “duh”.  Just a quick note about that – it’s rude!  It’s also very rude to call us retarded or stupidIt’s sad that I even have to mention it.

I wasn’t diagnosed with dyslexia until my mid-30’s.  Long days and nights in the library in college produced a collection of C’s.  Twelve of 13 medical schools rejected me.  I was told that I was the least talented person in my residency and advised not to go into cardiac surgery.  Time and again, I was told, “Don’t do it.”  But sometimes the best advice is that which you don’t take.  Instead of listening to people who told me to quit, I heeded the quote that sits on a small placard on my desk:  “What can be conceived can be created.”  I discovered only recently that it was from a 1980’s-era car advertisement.  That’s OK, though, because it reminds me that dreams should be lofty.  – Toby Cosgrove, M.D.

I’m sure kids today are more tolerant of their classmates who need a little extra help.  There’s so much awareness these days about bullying and hopefully the kids in special education are not teased like we were.  Through positive thinking, a patient teacher and innovation a child with special needs can be taught and one day be a vital, contributing member of society.   Basic criteria include patient teachers, pro-active schools and loving parents.

This day was created to honor progress in special education and celebrate students with disabilities.  We tip our hats to the teachers, schools and the patient parents and wish to open up a dialogue between them so that the children might benefit.  Hopefully as a result, appropriate reforms will be made as needed.

One reform that was launched through Special Education Day is SpedEx, an innovative and successful child-focused dispute resolution model that is free for schools and parents.  It works to create trust between the parties. For information about SpedEx, please visit www.spedexresolution.com.

If you are interested in hosting  a celebration large or small in your school district or community, contact SED at info@specialeducationday.com

I’m happy to know that special education has advanced from when I was a kid!  Hopefully through good communication, reforms will move special education forward, improving the teaching and learning for kids with special needs.  😀

Everyone needs a new devotional book to begin the new year!  Lucinda Berry Hill’s poetry makes a great Christmas gift!

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Click on the link below to order your copy!

http://bookstore.westbowpress.com/Products/SKU-000952694/A-Second-Cup-with-Jesus.aspx 



NATIONAL SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHER APPRECIATION DAY

TL 10-19 NATIONAL SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHER APPRECIATION DAY

USE YOUR GIFTS(1) HAPPY SUNDAYSHOW THEM JESUSGOD CHOSE YOU3

Today is NATIONAL SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHER APPRECIATION DAY!  I started teaching Sunday School when I was only 12 years old, about the same time I began playing piano for church.  Believe me when I tell you it’s not for wimps!  God gives us what we need, and most of the time we need a sense of humor!

I appreciate those times when you have worked all day Friday, come home to fix supper for your family, get your Sunday School packet out and begin to organize the lesson in your mind – and put together all the fun games included in the lesson packet.  Hey, we do laundry and cook-ahead on Saturday, so the lesson plan has to be done on Friday night.

I appreciate the moments when you realize that there’s no way you’re going to teach this lesson on a level that is going to be understood by your kids.  Sometimes you literally have to take the words used in the lesson book and re-write them.  It’s a definite waste of time for you, but the kids will benefit from it  because at least they will get something out of it.

I appreciate the days when you smile even though you walk into your Sunday School class and Tommy has already spit gum into Suzie’s pretty brown hair.  See what I mean about praying for a sense of humor?  You handle this rather sticky situation with grace and finesse – you send Suzie to her mom and set Tommy in the corner for a time out.  Yep – all better now.  Of course, the first bell has now rung and you haven’t gotten around to doing any teaching, but hey…  stuff happens.

I appreciate the dedication you have for your kids.  They are a charge given to you.  When you walk in ready to evangelize to them and let them know they are loved not only by their Savior, Jesus Christ, but by you as well, it’s a very good and productive day.  Well done!

I appreciate the time you take to teach children.  In our church we had a lot of bus kids – kids whose parents didn’t think it was important to bring their kids to church, but they could ride our bus.  One little girl will be in my mind forever – Virginia.  For some reason, Virginia decided I was her favorite person on the planet.  She never wanted to go to Children’s Church after Sunday School.  She wanted to go into BIG CHURCH with me.  I think she would have come home with me if she could get away with it.  I’ll tell you a little secret – I would have let her!  That little girl is not so little anymore.  She’s probably a mother herself now.  I pray for her every day.  I pray that the words she heard in Sunday School (and in BIG CHURCH) stayed with her and that somewhere along the way, she accepted Jesus into her heart and life.  ❤

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (20)

KITTY LOU
These photos were posted by my friend, Jimmy Stone. I think these are his cats – I don’t know. The truth is, I don’t know a lot about Jimmy or his cats! He’s my friend on facebook. I know he’s very nice and I’m sure the cats are too.

I made up the name Kitty Lou for the adventurous little wild kitten child. When I saw the photo of the mama cat helping her little one down the tree, I was reminded of how God endowed animals with such patience with their young. It’s a patience that I wish more human mothers and fathers had with their children. Unlike the animal kingdom, adult human beings have to learn patience with children. We live in a time when learning patience is not a real priority.

No, I’m not a parent, but when I’m shopping and hear a mother screaming bloody murder at her child I just have the urge to beat the tar out of her.

What happened to our values, folks? What happened to making the raising of our children a priority? Part of making it a priority is seeing to it that you train them. There is not enough training going on. No, I’m not a parent, BUT I HAD PARENTS. How is it that my folks could straighten out my behavior without raising their voice or using foul language to get my attention? Nothing is accomplished by yelling and screaming – at anyone – ever.

If other things become more important than training up your child in the way he should go – then later on you shouldn’t ask why your child turned out the way he/she did. :-/

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (31)

https://youtu.be/7fvv9gMSYzU

And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples.  And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”   But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.   Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”  – Matthew 9:10-13

We are all born sinners.  I’m so thankful that Jesus doesn’t distance Himself from sinners, but reclines with us and inclines His ear to us.  No matter how hopeless a cause you think you are, Jesus is ready to come to your house and eat at your table with you.  He hears your heart when you speak, not just the words you say. 

 God’s gifts put man’s best dreams to shame. – Elizabeth Barrett Browning

One of the sinners in Christ’s day was the tax collector.  Matthew himself was a tax collector before he met Jesus.  I’m not a fan of tax collectors in our day either, but can you imagine Christ sitting down at the house of an I.R.S. agent?  Don’t laugh – it could happen.  He’s so much more patient than I am, that’s for sure.  God is love – and He loves everyone.

Imperfection is a part of humanity.  Our broken lives, whether physical or spiritual, does not take Jesus by surprise.  He can handle any degree of disease or sin in your life and mine.

 Saints are sinners who kept on going.   – Robert Louis Stevenson

God created us to have a relationship with Him and to experience true, lasting peace in this life.   Christ comes when we ask Him in to our hearts and lives.

He reclines and relaxes with us.  He inclines His ear to us and hears not only what we say, but what our hearts mean.