Twice the Teacher

So today, I was twice the teacher I used to be at church. I taught my normal women’s Bible study, then played keys and sang for worship, and then covered for the children’s Bible study teacher. This is what comes of being a reliable leader in a small church family. I thought I would be exhausted but I loved it. Don’t get me wrong, I was still worn out physically but spiritually I was revived. I am glad it isn’t all the time, but I am very glad I did it one time. I do love kids (I still am one inside, despite all odds) and we had fun.

Just one memo: volunteer to help with teaching somewhere sometime. It solidifies what you know and helps others, taking the emphasis off of self. It also gives someone else a break. We are never made to carry all the load ourselves.😄❤

Going Off Script

With my preteens (4th and 5th grade kids), I went off script. I realized these kids had grown up in church with knowing all the words but not usually getting the meaning behind them. So dig deep and find out if they really get it or just the lingo. So I took the tiny word “joy” and did a search and we explored that word in the old teatament, in worship of Psalms, in wisdom of Proverbs, in the Holy Spirit and the new testament. And the kids had fun and learned so much! And now when people throw out the “joy” word, they gets its true meaning and that is priceless. To see actual joy in preteens is something very precious!😄 Don’t be afraid to go off script with preteens. They love it.❤

Huge PE Class

So, we had 21 2nd and 3rd grade home schoolers in my PE class this morning! Big class. So, we played soccer. They had so much fun and we all had a great workout. It was fantastic.

I tell ya, 33 pounds less than last season I coached is a big energy difference. God was good to help me with that in just 3 months. I can keep up with the kids now, feels pretty good at 44. Praise God!❤

Our Tween Sunday School Class Grew

My Sunday School 4th and 5th grade class more than doubled this week. We talked about heaven. And here is what I have discovered in working with tweens, and I hope it helps you and grows your class also or just help you with tweens/preteens.

1. Do not major on the minors. They already do that on their own. Little comments, ignore unless you want more of them. Pass them by and keep talking. They are listening. They get it and read between your lines. They are uncertain often, rude now and then, disruptive maybe often, but always they are aware of everything and are listening. If they are doodling, they are still listening. If they tap on the table, they are still listening. This is a misconception that they don’t listen. The truth is they listen to genuine truth, conviction, what you know and are passionate about. They will ignore anything you are passive or insecure about. They are insecure enough to deal with your insecurity. Don’t open your mouth unless you know what you are talking about.

2. The rules are the rules but minimize that. I have a few rules everyone has to abide by but very few. The main one is that no one can insult or disrespect anyone. And that one, I will call out. Otherwise, let’s talk. You are free to be loved and supported here, free to learn and express, ask questions. That is the focus. If you want perfect quiet citizens with no problems or doubts, get away from tweens. Loosen up. Yes, with the few rules that really matter, adhere to everyone the same, but let other things slide for the purpose of encouragement and training.

3. Treat them like young adults because they are. Do not dumb down the truth or the lessons. Be practical and assume they know more than they should about the world and life. They get it. They see far too much and need truth for navigating it all. Involve them in the discussion. Treat them with respect.

4. Be real. Tweens can see though a fake in a hot honey running second. Clean up your act before trying to teach a tween truth. They will pick up on fake and reject it. In many ways, they need presentations of genuine truth. They are learning whether to accept or reject the truth now and need that genuine truth presented. Always be genuine.

5. Show love. Tweens are often unlovable. They change moods with their tidal hormone shifts and range from amazingly cuddly to revolting in the same hour! But they always, always, always need love. Love them. Do not withhold love ever. See past the stupid and see them as Jesus sees them, needing love. Love them.❤

Back from Tech Fast

Hi!! I spent a lot of time with the Lord this last week. I always want more time but unending time will be soon coming. For now, I have some thoughts:

1. Less is exceedingly more. I don’t think we can put a low enough priority on this world’s toys. They are meaningless. I mean entertainment, internet, news, trends, cellphone apps, boats, collections, etc. All can be used for good but you would have to be wise for that and very intentional. Things can easily distract us from the Lord’s presence and work.

2. Do it immediately. When someone asks you to pray for them, assume they want you to pray with them right then and there. If not, write it down in their presence and then do it. If God whispers in your ear to talk to someone, do it right then. If you are prompted to do something like read a verse of the Bible, do it right then. Waiting invites not doing and you may have missed an opportunity that you will be held accountable for missing.

3. Swallow your pride before any response or prayer. Everything is based on knowing who you are in Christ and that you are not Him. Pride is and declaration that God is not needed here and that is very dangerous. It defeats/hinders/occludes relationship with God and relationship with God is our goal. Pride is how angels fell. Pride kills the spirit eternally. Take the pride off. Visualize taking off the robe of pride and stepping into God’s presence with humbleness. God can grow and perfect and use humble but will come against pride. Remember that we are important because of God but we are nothing next to Him.

4. Serve and worship the right Master. Everyone is attending too someone. Who you spend the most too him and attention on is who you are closest to and who you worship and love and serve the most. That is your idol. And if your idol is anyone but God, it is idolatry and will be punished, either in this life and/or the next. God made us. God made everything. He deserves all the glory and worship and praise. Nothing else matters eternally.

5. God wants everyone saved. People choose to accept or reject Him. No one can change a person’s mind. We all choose for ourselves whether to be saved or not. God does not send anyone to hell. People send themselves. God is a God of love. He made hell to punish Satan and the fallen angels for corrupting and persecuting and destroying who He made and rightly so. It was not intended for people but those who follow and serve and obey these demons choose to be against God and be evil. God will not force and none to remain His child and none He made them. They choose to be with Him or be separated from Him forever. Separated is a really big deal and we should remember that we support one or the other with every decision and word and prayer. There is no both, no gray with God. He is far too holy for that. Be intentional for you arne without realizing it quite often.

6. God is not sterile and neither are we. Be you but represent God. This point hit home deeply yesterday. I just started laughing because this bird made the worst tweet/call I have heard as I was praising God for His creation. I said “not that one” or something along those lines and just laughed. God increased my joy, like He was laughing too. He would not have given people a sense of humor if He did not have one too. Look at the variety of living creatures He made and their behavior and movements and calls and noise. So many colors, so much movement. God is a God of vibrant life. Remember this when life seems dreary, because that is an indicator you are slipping away from God. He is lively and pure and just fun and sometimes downright funny. Celebrate life with Him. He loves that!

I am certain more thoughts will pop up but I wanted to share what I am learning on my journey in hopes you are encouraged. I missed you and love you!❤