Year-long Thanksgiving

30 11 2011

Each Thanksgiving, I used to teach my second grade students this poem (below).

Feel free to share it with your children as a way of celebrating a year-long Thanksgiving. Perhaps it’s timelier to teach this poem during the weeks leading up to Christmas. It may help to shift the focus from the materialism of the holiday to the reason for the season: Christ’s birth.

A Talk with Jesus

Thank you, Heavenly Father,

For blessings great and small

But more so for my Savior

The greatest of them all.


There are so many blessings

I often fail to see

Many times they’re in disguise

Yet mean so much to me.


Thank You, blessed Son of God,

For loving me so much.

It does not take Thanksgiving Day

For me to keep in touch.


But I admit it’s mighty nice

To have a special day

For all the faithful to unite

In gratitude to pray.


Fighting Self-Pity

30 11 2011

Visit Chronic Illness Pain Daily Devotionals (Rest Ministries) to read a devotional I wrote (and find more devotionals written by other people with chronic pain or illness).  This recent devotional is entitled, “The Battle Plan for When Life Gets Stinky.”

Thanksgiving Devotional

19 11 2011

Visit Chronic Illness Pain Daily Devotionals (Rest Ministries) to read a devotional I wrote (and find more devotionals written by other people with chronic pain or illness).

Report Card Fears

5 11 2011

November signals the month for report cards.  Parents of children who
struggle sometimes dread reading comments written by the teacher.

Most people are familiar with Peter in the Bible.  Maybe it’s because
he seemed so human.  He seemed to have behavior problems…always doing something wrong…so impulsive.

Just imagine the report card comments he would have received. 

  • Although Peter runs at an average speed, he displays unusual strength. (John 20:4 and John 21:6, 11)
  • Peter requires further explanation in order to understand things at times.  (Matthew 15:15-17)
  • Peter often acts impulsively, although with good intentions.  (John 18:10)
  • He talks incessantly, not usually aware of times when he should not talk at all.  (Matthew 17:1-5)
  • He can be bossy and even talks back to authority at times.  (John
  • His boastful comments indicate he needs to develop more humility.  (Matthew 26:31-35)
  • On occasion, Peter curses and swears.  (Matthew 26:74)
  • He is overly concerned with other people’s business.  (John 21:20-22)
  • Furthermore, he seems reluctant to forgive others.  (Matthew 18:21)
  • He is preoccupied with rewards he will get for good behavior.   (Matthew 19:27-28)

Now imagine how a teacher or any adult might respond to such an unruly child.

Reflect on Jesus’ reaction to Peter.

  • He chose Peter to be one of his first 2 apostles.
  • He often specifically chose Peter to go with Him, providing lots of individualized attention and instruction (to the Mt. of Transfiguration, to watch while He prayed).
  •  He provided extra instruction for Peter. (Matthew 15:15-16)
  • He provided repetition. (John 21:15-17 ‘Do you love me?’)
  • He used nonverbal communication – silence and a look.  (Luke 22:61 after Peter denied him 3 times)
  • When He corrected Peter, He told Peter what to do.   (John 18:10-11 put your sword into the sheath)
  • He had plans for Peter.                                                                              “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”
    Matthew 16:18

Jesus demonstrated His love in how He interacted with Peter.  He saw
past Peter’s behaviors and saw the intentions of his heart.

What a comfort to know there is a Father who sees the intentions of your child’s heart.  He knows the effort it takes for your child
to simply receive passing grades.

Heavenly Father,

Please help my child’s teacher understand his effort and learning
styles.  Please reveal to the teachers my child’s heart and talents.  Give me wisdom to know how I can support his teacher.