AS SUMMER VACATIONS BECOME MEMORIES …

August 18, 2017

Lord, you offer us

a foretaste of heaven

as we stumble through this world.

Let us taste its sweetness today

as we walk

side by side with you.

By Martha L Shaw ©2016

prayer

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AS SUMMER VACATIONS BECOME MEMORIES …

August 14, 2016

Lord, you offer us

a foretaste of heaven

as we stumble through this world.

Let us taste its sweetness today

as we walk

side by side with you.

By Martha L Shaw ©2016

prayer


Book Review – Guest Author – Payton McGrew

February 24, 2015
PAYTON
Book Review by: Payton McGrew Age: 12
 *
Wonder By: R. J. Palacio
The Julian Chapter By: R. J. Palacio
*
     Auggie Pullman just wants to be normal; that’s all any middle school age kid wants. But for Auggie it’s not too easy. He can’t just blend into the background  like any other ordinary person would. That’s because Auggie isn’t normal; he has a fascial defect that sets him apart from everyone else. Everyone, literally everyone notices him; the jocks, the populars, and even the ordinaries. Everyone criticizes Auggie, especially Julian. Julian and his parents definitely go the extra mile to make Auggie’s life horrible. Julian even started a game at school sorta like the stinky cheese game in Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Julian calls Auggie “the freak” and leaves mean notes in his locker. But all isn’t as it seems until you read the Julian Chapter. 
     The Julian Chapter is an audio book from the bully’s side of the story. I think this is unique because you always hear the good side of everything in a story. In the Julian Chapter, you dive deep into Julian’s personal life. You find out why he acts out, what he did and the punishments for his terrible behavior. Julian’s side of the story really puts perspective on how you should be treating others. I know it opened my eyes to see all the “Auggie’s” around me at my school and try to-not just put a stop to-but to understand the “Julian’s”; to help the “Julian’s” and to mend the friendships between the “Auggie’s” and the “Julian’s”. 
     I would recommend both stories to children ages eight to adulthood because of all the wonder in the novels. From Mr. Browne’s Precepts to Summer, the bystander, there is so much to learn from Wonder.

Rise and Shine!

August 23, 2012

Where I live,  this week begins the new school year.  I remember it well from my own childhood.  I remember the excitement of a “first day of school” outfit of new clothes, a new lunchbox . . . in lower grades, I recall new boxes of crayons . . . I recall eagerly getting up and ready to leave home for the bus.  Okay, I also remember this glee didn’t always last beyond the first few days, but it was still good. 

We want and need to grow, to learn, to make an effort, to do what we’re supposed to do.  We often, or I often, find that things were more challenging than I expected.  I love a challenge.  Okay, sometimes . . . often, even, but not always.  There are those days when I don’t want to get out of bed.  Sounds funny, and I am laughing at myself because when I try to “hide under the covers” it never solves anything and never EVER results in my peacefully slipping back to sleep.  I just stew a bit and find negative thought and dread piling up in my mind.  Unhealthy emotions take over.  When I face what lies ahead, for me it’s always better than hiding from it.  A favorite Bible quote says it well and when I designed my business cards, I printed this quote on them. 

“Arise, shine, for your light has come,
    and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. Isaiah 60:1


Is Cheap Really Better? Back-to-school Woes

September 9, 2011

So, by now you’ve done your shopping and the kids are back in school.  Where did you shop?  Was it the Mall?  Was it the designer shops?  Was it the huge discount chain store places that sell cheaply made stuff for cheap prices?  Will this stuff last?  This year many parents faced this challenge and dodged the “cheap” stuff and opted for outlet shopping malls and great discounts on quality merchandise.  Is this an answer for financially strapped parents?  Is it the answer for you?  Read my Technorati  article before you replace those torn and worn out “bargains” you thought you found.  You might be surprised. 

http://technorati.com/women/article/back-to-school-shoppers-race-to/

 


Rough Day?

June 21, 2011

Hey, I woke up this morning and it was just one of “those” days.  Nothing specific went wrong.  Nobody really did anything to cause it to be a bad day, I was just in a funk for no clear reason.  Tossed and turned more than slept last night and why?  Because I was excited for today day to come!  Our church Vacation Bible School is this week and those kids are such bundles of noisy joyful abundance and I was so excited that life enabled me to be a part of the celebration of Jesus this week.  So, all that silly tossing about made for a tired and somewhat off start to the day.  I handled it well, though – NOT.  I drank coffee and rushed out.  Didn’t stop to pray nor did I even open the Bible and seek encouragement.  Not until I got home.  Finally, I did what I should have done in the first place! 

So, if you’ve had a funky Monday, here’s to a great M0nday night and Tuesday.  Here are some bits of joy and peace and His encouragement.  It’s the best kind!

 I will be glad and rejoice in your love,
   for you saw my affliction
   and knew the anguish of my soul.   Psalm 31:7

I cry out to God Most High,
   to God, who fulfills his purpose for me.
3 He sends from heaven and saves me,
   rebuking those who hotly pursue me;
                         Selah

   God sends his love and his faithfulness.  Psalm 57:2-3

My soul finds rest in God alone;
   my salvation comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
   he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.   Psalm 62:1-2

 

 


For the Children

June 18, 2011
My church has Vacation Bible School this coming Monday, and today – Friday – was the first official “work day” for setting everything up.  Actually,  the preparation for this annual event started much earlier than today.  That being said, I simply must share my experience at church on this “first” day of setting everything up. 
 
Let me share what today was like for me.  It’s only my second involvement in VBS so my eyes are still fresh and the activities are not as familiar and well rehearsed to me as they are to some of the others on the team.  This is what I have experienced in viewing, listening, and participating in the preparations for our VBS.  We have a team of children, parents and grandparents and some who have no children but have love to give.  Our youngest helpers are 6 year old twin girls and work happily and respectfully, keeping busy and with no complaining, whining, or even yawning!  Okay, by 3:30 today (Friday) I was yawning. Not the twins.  I’ve had people call me to see if there was anything they could do to help and insist that I call if anything should come to me that they might do.  I’ve had others chat with me about how “outside their comfort zone” the project they were working on was and yet they took on more of it willingly and voluntarily.  I watched wall murals go from bargain priced bed sheets to art that will bring joy and laughter and learning to small children and these murals were created on the “honor” system by many hands who came during their free hours day and night, borrowed keys to get into the building if needed, and found brushes, paint, and whatever else was needed, found an unfinished (or not yet started) mural and just assessed the needs they could find and got to work.  I watched young and old take broken cardboard boxes, tin foil, paper plates, odd bits of scrap wood, remnants of fabric, and bits of fabric scraps, string, and plastic drop clothes and transform a fairly plain yet functional space into one that laughingly and happily is transforming before our eyes into a “beach bash” with Jesus.  I saw people with pain of one kind or another work through the pain because their heart was with the Lord and the children and the pain was less important.  I saw a crowd of high school students from Fort Dorchester High flock to the church multiple times to help paint, to help move heavy furniture, to decorate, and even to prepare things outside of St George’s and bring them in to add to the festivities – most of these are not kids from our parish, but students of one of our parish who excitedly wanted to help the children that their teacher was helping.   They are also going to perform skits to teach the children about Jesus.  I observed a young girl from this high school class sitting on our kitchen  floor, sore ankles and all, singing Christian comtempory songs to herself and painting a giant beachball onto a scrap of plywood and smiling all the while.  She came before her teacher got to the church and got right to work with the rest of us, never having met any of us before.  As it became late afternoon, a six year old with nothing to do got thirsty, heard an adult say “me too” and after I showed her where the ice was and handed her a scoop and placed a stack of plastic cups on the counter, she poured ice water for every single person she could find in the Christian education building. 
 
It is Friday and I write this jumble of words.  I am tired, I admit.  Like everyone, I’ve spent a lot of time running from place to place and shed to classroom, but it’s such a good tired.  I heard that tomorrow there would be so many more coming to help and I can’t wait to go back and be part of the group.  Regardless of how tired, hungry, or in pain some of the group will be during the day, nobody will give up until the transformation which has begun is complete as Vacation Bible School begins on Monday.  It’s all about Jesus.  Everyone wants to take part.  It’s also all about the children, but somehow I think that they are blessing us every bit as much as we are blessing them.  Next week will be wild, but I can’t wait for it to begin!  I am so thankful to be a part of it!  There is no telling what blessings are yet to be outpoured – Our Lord just never stops!
 
Stay tuned.  I’ll have more to share as it comes to pass!
 
 

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