Friday, September 14, 2012

Tomie dePaola Day


My kids and I love books.  We love to find an author who we all enjoy, and then we like to do an author's study.  We read about the author's life and career.  And, of course, we read several of the author's books.  Tomorrow is Tomie dePaola's birthday.  He is by far one of our favorite authors.  If you have kiddos (and even if you don't) I encourage you to check out some of his books from your local library.  Tomie uses his life experiences and turns them into whimsical stories that we all can relate with.  He also has a talent for taking old stories and giving them a timeless touch. 

Today, the kids and I read 14 Tomie dePaola books.  We watched a few YouTube videos of interview with him.  The kids have worked on comic strips, book reviews and some of their own dePaola-esque art.  We also had some Strega Nona Noodles for lunch...she's one of our favorite dePaola characters!  We hope you go out and find an author you and your kids enjoy and learn a little bit more about that person!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Poiema


As anyone who knows me knows, I am extremely intimidated by large groups of grown-ups.  This is why I prefer working with children and students.  A large group of women...nightmare city!  My friend, Shanna, and I are semi-hermits, creatures of habit.  We like our little routines.  We could easily just slip off and do our own thing.  But, this semester, we decided to team up and face the ladies' Bible study at church together.  At the Arden campus of BBC, there is an amazing women's ministry.  (We are are getting one rocking and rolling at East Campus, too...AWESOME!)  I was freaking out about going to the women's ministry Bible study, but I had some comfort in knowing my sweet Shanna would be there.

This past Wednesday, the Bible study started off with a bang.  The women's ministry is called Poiema (which translates to workmanship, masterpiece).  Shanna and I walked in together, signed in, and staked out a table a respectable distant between the stage and the back of the room.  Eventually our table filled up (with 2 ladies we knew, and 3 we didn't).  We were led in some wonderful praise and worship time, then Victoria Dunkle taught a fantastic lesson.  Afterwards, we broke had small group time, during which we were instructed to choose a table leader.  Shanna and Liz (another awesome East lady) kindly volunteered me...I tried to get out of it; I even nominated the perky lady across the table from me.  However, somehow (God's sense of humor at work, I think) I accepted the "table leader" position.  I am blessed and excited about spending time with and getting to know these ladies.  I'm doing my best to be an encouragement to the ladies in my group and am praying they will have patience with me as I learn along with them.  The subject of the Bible study is Privileged:  Living from You Status in Christ, a study in Ephesians.  I sent out an initial getting-to-know-you email, which I can't wait to read.  The following is the email I wrote today:

"I am really excited about this study...Privileged...what a powerful word when used to describe our status as daughter's of Christ.  Is there anything difficult for you to grasp about that concept?  There is for me!  When my family lived in Georgia, we attended a great church with that was traditional but learning to become a little more contemporary.  Whenever we had the Lord's Supper, the pastor would close the service by having us stand up and hold hands across the sanctuary.  Then, he would lead us in singing "Family of God."  Do you know that song...

"I'm so glad I'm a part of the family of God,
I've been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His blood.
Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod.
Yes, I'm part of the family, the family of God".

That simple song holds so much meaning.  The line that always boggles my finite mind is "Joint heirs with Jesus..."  What?  Me?  I'm a joint heir with Jesus?  I'm like...His sister?  Whatever Jesus inherits from God, the Father, so do I?  How is that even possible?  Who am I...who are we...to deserve that amazing privilege?  Truly, we are nothing.  We are dirty, self-absorbed, whiny, petty, despicable creatures.  BUT, thanks to God's sacrifice of His precious, perfect, clean, selfless Son, we are redeemed.  All we need to do is ask.  THEN, we become those joint heirs!  The Bible says in Romans 8:17, "Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ..."  The Bible says, it so it must be true.  Even if we aren't capable of fully understanding what all that means.  We are daughters of God, sisters with Christ.  We will receive blessings on this earth and in heaven.  We are promised so very much.  We are indeed privileged."