Kids need GRAPES

I am all for kids eating more fresh fruit, but that is not what I am talking about when I say kids need more GRAPES.

If you have read some of my earlier posts, you will know that I have been substitute teaching for the last few months. Several years ago I taught Spanish and Computer classes in a k-8 private school.  I have also had quite a bit of children’s ministry experience.

I recently sat down and thought about some things that kids need.  I am specifically thinking from a ministry perspective, but several of the points are very valid in a school education setting, as well as a home setting.

After much conversation, thought, and prayer, here is what I came up with.  Kids need grapes.

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Synergize your Team

Often there is a synergistic quality of a team, that is it becomes more than the sum of its parts. What we can accomplish individually is exponentially increased when we work together.

Take the story of the Tower of Babel as an example.

The people were united under a single language. The set out to make a great name for themselves. Their goal? Construct a large city with a tower that reached to the heavens.

Consider God’s words concerning the matter:

The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. “(Genesis 11:6 NIV) Continue reading

Samson: Silence is golden

Judges 16

Samson was faced with a choice.  He alone knew the secret of his strength.  Delilah begged him to tell her.  She had an agreement with the Philistine rulers that they would pay her eleven hundred shekels of silver if she could find out his secret.

She put on her slick charm and attempted to learn what he had never told anyone.  It was probably a difficult situation for him, since she said all the right things.  Basically she said “I am your wife, if you love me you won’t keep anything from me”.  So, not knowing why she wanted to know so bad, Samson made up an explanation for his strength.  As soon as he was asleep, she turned him over to the Philistine army, who attempted to take him captive.  He easily overpowered them.  At that Continue reading

Samson: The seduction

The key to Samson’s strength and success was the Spirit of the Lord.  He was set apart by God before he was born to do great things.  In spite of Samson’s actions, God did accomplish great things through him.  As great as Samson was with God’s help, he did have a weakness.  That weakness came in the form of a women–more than once.  Even when Samson knew that the women he was with was out to get him, he still stuck by her.  Even when she betrayed him, he still stuck with her.  When she set him up for failure, he still stuck with her.  Samson allowed his own desires and pleasure to come before God’s desires for his life.

The enemy knew his weakness, and he exploited it. We all have a weakness.  We know it and the enemy knows it.  Do you put yourself in situations that feed your weakness rather than feed your spirit?

Temptation is a normal part of life.  Our sinful nature is a normal part of life.  We can overcome that though.  Paul tells us to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor 10:5

When those thoughts come into your mind, reject them.  Choose to not entertain those thoughts.  Samson was not able to do this, but if we make the choice to live a life of obedience to God, we can ask his help and overcome those thoughts and even our own weaknesses.  My strength comes from the Spirit of God.  Remember, greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4)

Samson: The secret of his strength

The Spirit was the Secret to his Strength.

Judges 15:4 “The Spirit of the lord came on him”

When Samson was in a difficult situation, the “Spirit of the Lord” came upon him.  He was strengthened and able to overcome incredible odds.  He squared off with a lion and ripped it apart.  He faced 32 men at one time and was victorious.  If that wasn’t enough, 1000 men came against him, and with the jawbone of a donkey struck them down.  All 3 times he was in a situation that was larger than himself.  It was only with God’s help that he made it through on top.  Take a look around.  Are you in a situation that is larger than you are?  Does it seem like you can’t do it on your own?  First off, remember you can’t do it alone.  Second, remember you are often right where God wants you to be.  When everything around looks hopeless, God steps in and the impossible becomes possible.  The Spirit was the Secret to Samson’s Strength.  The Spirit is the source of my strength.  Who is the source of your strength?

Gardening Tips for Life pt 4: Dad teach me about…..

Gardening tips for life pt 4

Psalm 32:8
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you and watch over you.

This series has gone so well and has gotten so much feedback, I decided to continue it.

Now that the garden is planted, I like to spend time looking at the plants.  Each day in the afternoon I go out with my daughter to look at the garden.  The garden is our special thing.  We look though the plants, pick weeds that we see, look for evidence of bugs and bunnies, and hope for new blooms.  She even picked out a few plants on her own, and has some planted in her special pots.  It is a great hobby to share with her.

Last week while we were planting tomatoes, I mentioned that tomatoes grew on a vine, and the branches that touched the ground could grow roots and the plant would spread.  She sat and soaked in the information.
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Gardening Tips for Life pt 3: My Plants Have Enemies?

Gardening tips for life pt 3
My plant has enemies?

Time for a third gardening tip for life.

I have already talked about weeding my garden and pruning my plants.  Here is something I don’t always think about.  My garden has enemies.

Sounds crazy, but it’s true.  One year I lost my strawberries to slugs.  Another year I lost some of my beans to bunnies.  Then I tried to expand my garden to the side of the house, but it was too shady, and the plants did not grow well.  Bugs, critters, and shade are all enemies of my garden.
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