A Day in the Life of Tim. Mood:
not sure Topic: General
I don't generally post diary or schedule type things. Perhaps I should more often. Today, however, has been such an odd, but strangely normal, day for us. Our days are always interesting. With three homeschooled boys, two with sensory issues and with parents that run a mission to low income housing folks, how could our days not be interesting? There are always phone calls and knocks on the door and arguing boys and...and...and... ! There were many things that happened today, though, that made me a little reflective about our world and life in it.
I got up early, fixed coffee, and my wife and I had our usual morning discussion in bed over a cup of hot brew. I recalled a touching story that an old highschool friend had written a few years ago. We just reconnected after 30 years on Facebook. She sent me the story and I had read it just yesterday.
Over the past year I have reconnected with literally dozens of old friends from high school or college. Julie, however, was one of those rare friends that I knew from elementary days. Our elementary school was small. Not one room, mind you, but six rooms one for each grade level (first through sixth), a cafeteria just large enough to serve the food (we ate in our classroom), a boy's restroom and a girl's restroom. That was it. The kindergarten room was in a portable outside. So, you were always with the same kids year after year. Occasionally someone would move away, or a new kid would come, but basically it was the same group. Julie was from that group. We never dated or anything like that, she was just part of a bunch whose friendship lasted off and on from grade school through high school.
Julie is now a writer. After some time away, she has moved back to the same town we grew up in, and writes for a local newspaper. She has also written a few novels, mostly local history, but, she sent me a short story that she claims is her most popular work. It had been published by a Salvation Army publication, so I don't think I can print it here, though I may ask. It was just a great little story that by the end had both my wife and I (me for the second time) in tears. Because it involved the Salvation Army and their work with the poor, it was near and dear to our hearts. Things like that always tend to set the day in a strange direction for me. I should have know that it would be a day of emotion and reflection.
Later that day, I was doing my usual computer surfing. Checking my blog stats, reading the TOS Crew forum, and checking BlogFrog. I've mentioned BlogFrog in a couple posts, but it is basically a group of bloggers that have their own forum. There are things on there where you can promote your own blogs, but there is also a discussion section where you can ask questions and basically begin chats. One particular discussion topic caught my eye and I began to read it. I wish I hadn't. The discussion had nothing to do with blogging or some fun thing, but discussed what should have been a personal family issue. Before long, there were blames hurled and people taking sides that didn't even know the parties involved. It was ridiculous. Sarah often says "Tim, don't argue with Pharisees". I know she's right, but I seldom listen. Yes, I interjected my two cents worth. I tried not to take sides, and just wanted everyone to stop and pray for the situation instead of throwing accusations. It didn't work. I just sat back, read the comments, shook my head and asked myself "what is this world coming to". Then I prayed. Prayed for the whole situation. I'm asking you to pray for it as well. You don't need to know details, just pray for an unspoken request. God knows.
Later, as we were settling down for the night, the phone rang. It was one of Sarah's ladies. Her baby, Chance, was at the emergency room and she wanted Sarah to come. While Sarah was there she found that one of her other, elderly, ladies had had a massive heart attack on Christmas day and was now in a coma. She was able to visit with the family and even go in and pray by Miss Marie's side. Miss Marie asked a few years ago if Sarah and I would speak at her funeral. I have spoken at funerals a couple of times, but that is really not my thing. Things look bleak, but Miss Marie could still recover. Please pray for her and her family. The doctors checked the baby and found that it was just something he ate. We are relieved at that, but please continue praying for Chance and his mother.
I, on the other hand, don't have any sense at all. While all of this was going on, I went and asked the boys to pray for Chance and Miss Marie. Joshua, our kind hearted asperger's child, fell to pieces. He knows both of them, and was worried sick about their health. He asked me time and again if Miss Marie or Chance was going to die. I tried to reassure him, but the damage had already been done. I shouldn't have mentioned anything until I knew some facts. He is happy that Chance it all right, but still concerned about Marie. Please pray for Joshua.
Finally, we are all in bed and I am typing on my laptop at a few minutes before midnight and thinking about the days happenings. I should be used to days like this. The comings and goings, the phone calls, the knocks on the door. It has been a reflective day - odd, but normal at the same time. Such is life.
The Reason For The Season Mood:
happy Topic: General
1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. 2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. 6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. 16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. 18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
Thursday's Child - Has Far to Go! Mood:
special Topic: Compassion International
I want you to think back. All the way back to the beginning. The beginning of my blog that is. A few of you have been with me from the start or at least close to it. Do you remember what my main goals were? Here is what I stated when I first set up my blog:
I wanted to create a blog about things that I cared about - My God, my family and my ministry. The name "Families Again" seemed good because not only does it include my family, but the family of God, and the family of prayer and financial supporters that we have for our ministry. It also was a good fit for one of the topics that I wanted to discuss the most-building stronger families.
Although my blog has evolved over time, the three things mentioned above - My God, my family and my ministry - are still the most important things that I want to write about. There aren't many topics that I have broached over the past 14 months that have not included one of those goals.
Recently I have been challenging myself to post something on my blog every day. It has been a stretching experience, but one that I have enjoyed very much. I have almost decided to continue this and possibly even challenge myself to writing an entry every day for an entire YEAR ! Yes, I said year! One of the most challenging things has been to find something to post about every day. So, in order to do this, I am devising a plan to have some days set aside for a specific topic. Mondays, of course, will be my Men's Monday Meme. Tuesday's will probably continue to be me Tueday's Toolbox entries. I want to blog more about the mission that we are under, BCM International, and about our specific ministry, so I am assigning one or two days for those items (more on that very soon - that's going to be exciting!). I need to save some days for homeschool product reviews, so some days will have to be open.
One thing, however, that has grown to be near and dear to my families' hearts is Compassion International. So, I have decided to set aside the fifth day of the week as my "Thursday's Child" day. I'm sure that you have all read the Monday's Child poem before, but in case you haven't, here it is:
Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go,
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for a living,
But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day
Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.
Why did I choose "Thursday's Child" as my Compassion International day? I actually thought of using Wednesday as that day. After all, a Compassion child is full of woe until someone sponsors him. But, I wanted to be more upbeat. I wanted to focus on the positives of sponsoring a child. Once you sponsor a child, that child does have far to go, but because of your help, he can soar to the moon if that is what God wills. You can't believe the joy and love that not just your financial support gives, but especially your love, encouragement, and correspondence gives.
Beginning next week, every Thursday, I am going to either highlight a child, a benefit of sponsoring a child, or an aspect of Compassion International. I will also have a section where folks can leave a link to a blog entry of their Compassion International experiences if they would like. It won't necessarily be a meme like my Men's Monday Meme, but the opportunity will be there to post a link if they want. I will also have a special Thursday's Child button that you can grab and take to your page if you would like.
Next week's very special child is going to me our own Marcelo Quispe. I have talked about him some, but next week I'm going to go into more detail on how this special child has changed our lives. As I close, however, I can't stop but mentioning, on this Christmas Eve., that I have still not found a sponsor for our Christmas Child, Mwende (click on her name to read more about her), yet. Please pray with us that we will find a sponsor for her soon. If you would like more information ragarding sponsoring Mwende, please leave a comment below, or email me at email@example.com and I will be more than happy to send you Mwende's profile. Sending the profile will not obligate you in any way to sponsor her, but it will be a little more information about her that you can pray over.
I am going to put a special Christmas post up tomorrow, but until then, please have a very Merry Christmas and don't forget to praise Jesus for his willingness to leave his beautiful home in Heaven to come to this earth. After all, that is the real reason for this season.
Tuesday's Toolbox - This Week's Tool - A Christmas Tree Mood:
bright Topic: Blog Carnivals!
Ok, so one of the rules of Tuesday's Toolbox is that it has to be an everyday object. I know a Christmas tree is not an everyday object, but it is an object found in most homes for a least a week or so throughout the year. And it is useful to teach some lessons in life.
Biblical - Of course we would have to mention the obvious. Usually people either put a star or an angel at the top of their tree. This is an excellent opportunity to emphasize what Christmas is really all about - the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The tree could also be used to remind them of why Jesus came to earth - to ultimately die in "the tree" to provide forgiveness of sins.
Math - How about how many ornaments are on the tree? How many blue, red, etc? What is the difference between the amount of green ornaments and blue ornaments?
History - Look up the history of the Christmas tree. Be careful though! Some history may contain non religious content. Do you have any ornaments that have been handed down from one generation to the next? What about studying about the historical significance of those ornaments?
Science - Do you have a live tree? What about studying pine trees? Ecology? Forestry? Even studying plants themselves - why do you have to water a Christmas tree? Where does the water go? Why do you have to keep filling the base with water?
Spelling and/or Vocabulary - Many words can be added to your word wall. For the younger kids - tree, bulb, pine, star, angel, etc. For the older - Christmas, ornament, present, coniferous, etc.
Language Arts - I could think of many creative writing topics:
Describe the Christmas tree.
What steps do you take in putting up a Christmas tree?
What is your favorite thing about a Christmas tree?
Art - Have them draw the Christmas tree or a favorite ornament.
Reading - Many books and internet articles are available about Christmas trees.
Geography - When I was young my parents subscribed to a great program - I think through Reader's Digest - called "Christmas Around the World". Each year we would get a box containing a traditional ornament from the country of the year, recipe cards for traditional dishes from that country, and a large colorful book that described Christmas in that country. I have inherited those ornaments, and they are one of the highlights of our tree. Why not start your own tradition and adopt a country every Christmas. Learn about their Christmas trees, ornaments and traditions. Make your own book.
Life Lessons - My boys are always fighting over who is going to put on the first ornament, or put the angel on top. This can be a great time to teach patience, sharing, love for one another, cooperation, etc.
There are many unit studies, lesson plans, and resources for homeschoolers to use at Christmas. Some can be overwhelming. When you focus on just one aspect of Christmas, however, it can be less of a challenge and more fun to use as a teaching tool. Even non-homeschool parents are looking for something for their children to do over the school break. The Christmas tree can be a great teaching tool for homeschoolers and non-homeschoolers alike. Have a Very Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year.