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The “In the Way’s” of Psalm 119

Blessed are the undefiled in the way.

David took notice of those whom he described as in the way.  The in the way’s were giving off such a sweet savor of life that David desired what these people had with all his heart.

Who were these in the way’s? David left us a description of them in  the first eight verses of Psalm 119.

1) Undefiled

2) Walk in the law of the LORD

3) Keep God’s testimonies

4) Seek God with their whole heart

5) Do no iniquity (sin)

6) Walk in God’s ways

7) Keep God’s precepts

8) Keep God’s statutes

9) Respect God’s commandments

10) Know God’s righteous judgments

David said that the in the way’s were a blessed people.  Their way of life set an example for David to follow.  Their influence obviously  affected David in a tremendous way.  As a young man, David began writing psalms, singing praises to God, and living a godly life.

1 Samuel 13:14 tells us that David was a man after God’s own heart. He greatly desired a heart like God’s; and he definitely touched God’s heart in a  special way because God chose him to be king over His people.

Truly, as David became one of the in the way’s, his life was blessed beyond measure.

Everyday Nuisances that Spoil Our Vine

Summer is the time that creepy, crawling things appear. Snakes, grass fleas, ticks, and even ants become nuisances to our day-to-day activities. Although small, these creatures can wreak havoc in our lives. Just spread out a picnic cloth and see how many decide to come and visit.

Scripture tells us that it is the small foxes that spoil the vines (Song of Sol. 2:15). Small animals bite at the foundation of the vine and damage its structure preventing nourishment from reaching its outermost parts where fruit is produced.

In the same way, it is the small sins that seem to overtake us as individuals. The little things manage to get in our way and spoil our pleasurable moments. These small sins prevent the fruit that draws sinners to our Lord from being produced.

“Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour.” Flies are little flying creatures that can land on the ointment, get caught in it, and die; thereby, causing the ointment to spoil. The ointment thus being spoiled is devalued and cast aside.

“[S]o doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honor” (Eccl. 10:1). What we tend to take for granted as acceptable may possibly turn out to be the sin that so easily besets us and destroys our reputation and testimony. What may be classified by some as a small sin is still as harmful as any other sin because it cuts off the spiritual nourishment to our branches and renders us fruitless.

Just as steps must be taken to rid ourselves of those day-to-day nuisances of pests and other creepy creatures we dislike, we must also take steps to rid ourselves of any sinful thoughts or actions that displease our Lord.

“And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming” (I John 2:28). No one wants to be caught with little foxes biting at their heels when Jesus returns. We want our vine to be running over with fruit that brings glory to Christ.

 

 

Jelly Bean Math

Let’s have a fun math class today with our young child. Be prepared by purchasing a bag of jelly beans.

Parent to child:

“Let’s take a bag of jelly beans and put them on the table.”

“Let’s sort them by color.” You might work with the child or let him or her do this particular task on their own.

Continue with the following instructions.

“Now let’s compare the groups (sets). Which group has the most jelly beans? Which group has less jelly beans?

Which group has more — the yellow group or the red group? Which group has less — the red group or the green group?”

Put all the jelly beans back together in one group on the table. Give the child 2 jelly beans.

“How many jelly beans do you have?” Give the child 1 more jelly bean. “How many jelly beans do you have now?”

Continue the conversation by giving jelly beans and having the child give you jelly beans. At times, ask the child which of you have more jelly beans or less jelly beans.

“Separate (divide) the jelly beans into 2 equal groups.” Let the child do this on his or her own. Take note of how the child does this. Some children may separate by putting 1 in each of 2 groups one at a time. Or the child may place several beans in one pile; then several in another pile. Or they may line them up side by side in a line. This observation will help you to see how the child is processing this instruction. If they get the right answer, do not attempt to correct them or show them another way at this time. They will learn various ways as they continue to work with manipulatives.

In the simple exercises above, children are recognizing, classifying, categorizing, arranging, separating, adding, dividing, sorting, identifying, more than, less than, associating, etc.

There are so many mathematical skills than can be caught with manipulatives that are as simple and inexpensive as a bag of jelly beans. So think outside the box. Every math concept or principle does not have to be taught with pencil and paper. Sometimes it helps to just have a little fun and learn at the same time.

Enjoy your jelly beans.

Under Grace

 

“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin; but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” Romans 6:12-14

We are not to let sin reign or have control over our bodies. We are reminded that our bodies are mortal. In other words, our bodies will one day die.

We are not to obey sin or yield to its desires. Nor are we to allow our bodies to be used as instruments or tools of unrighteousness which results in sin or a sinful lifestyle.

Instead, we are to yield to God because in Christ we have been raised to new life and are therefore to be separated unto Him. Yielding means that we give God the right of way. We yield to His commands and to His desires for our lives. Our instruments which are our eyes, hands, feet, ears, mouths, etc., are to be used in service to Him.

As we yield to God, we are no longer under the dominion or control of sin. When we were under the law, we had no desire or ability to abstain from sin.

However, after we have been saved by Jesus Christ, we are set free from the control of sin and are able to live righteously because of the grace given to us by God. Because of that grace bestowed to us, we have the power to abstain from sin.

Therefore, sin shall not have dominion over us because we have experienced the power of God’s grace working in our lives.

This is the liberty that only the saved in Christ can experience.

Excerpt from Amy Carmichael’s Poetry

Amy Carmichael was an Irish missionary who spent her life ministering to peoples in Asia. She founded the Dohnavur Fellowship to minister to children who were rescued from the dangerous streets in South India. Her last years were spent writing and ministering from her bed.

Excerpt from Poem by Amy Carmichael
Excerpt from Poem by Amy Carmichael

Number Recognition of One to Ten

As parents we feel elated when our children first learn to count to ten. We feel especially proud when they can duplicate the number formations.

Both of these achievements are important goals; however, one further goal is that of number recognition. To see if your child has grasped number recognition, the following tasks can be given.

First, though, collect the needed materials.

  • 2 pieces of construction paper or cardstock
  • marker
  • cereal bowl or cup
  • collection of small objects such as buttons, paper squares or circles, metal washers, etc.
  • numerical flash cards (1 to 9)

Using the marker, draw a tic-tac-toe design to divide one of the pieces of construction paper into nine sections. Randomly draw a set of different shapes in each section so that each section represents one of the numbers from 1 to 9. For example, one section may have three triangles. Another section may have five circles, another two squares, etc. We will call this our game board.

Divide and cut the second sheet of construction paper into nine smaller sections to use as cover sheets. Now you are ready for task number 1. During this task, do not help or correct your child in any way. You will be observing to see if he or she recognizes the numbers correctly. Note any particular numbers that are not readily recognized.

Task 1: Tell your child that you are going to play a game together. Place the game board on a table in front of your child. In random order, hold up one of the number flash cards. Have your child use one of the cover strips to cover the number amount pictured on the game board. (Remember, do not help the child. This is for assessment purposes only.)

Continue holding up the flash cards one by one until all nine have been covered. Make a note of any numbers that were not recognized properly.

Clear the table and prepare for task number 2 by placing the collection of objects in the bowl. Place the flash cards face up in random order on the table.

Task 2: Ask the child to place the correct number of objects on top of the corresponding numerical card. For example, seven objects should be placed on top of the seven card. Again, do not help the child in any way. You are observing any hesitations or errors and making a note of them.

An alternative to this task is to place one flash card at a time on the table; then have your child place the correct number of objects on that particular card.

Task 3: Shuffle the flash cards. Have your child place them in correct numerical order on the table. There should be no pictorial help for this task.

If all of these tasks have been completed without difficulty, your child has successfully accomplished number recognition of one to ten. If there were any difficulties, then continue to do a variety of activities with your child that will help with number and amount correspondence.

 

 

A Psalm of Deliverance (Ps.18:1-3)

I will love thee, O LORD, (Jehovah, the Self-Existent One)

my strength. (my help)

The LORD is my rock, (my lofty fortress, my stronghold)

and my fortress, (my castle, my defense, He surrounds me with His protection)

and my deliverer; (He causes me to escape from harm, He carries me away to safety)

my God, (my Strength, my chief, He is the mightiest of all)

my strength, (He is my refuge)

in whom I will trust; (I choose to trust Him)

my buckler, (God is my protector)

and the horn of my salvation, (His power against the enemy makes me safe)

and my high tower. (He is the place I can run to for safety, the place where the enemy cannot get to me, I am hid in Christ)

I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. (I will call upon the One who has proved Himself to be worthy)

 

 

 

Struggling with Addition, Part II

Strugglers who find addition to be a chore may find it a fun adventure when given the opportunity to learn with manipulatives. The use of these hands-on objects leads to purposeful learning in a stress-free manner. Allowing children time to “play” with such objects increases their imagination, stimulates brain activity, develops motor skills, and lays a foundation for learning mathematical concepts.

Cubes, dice, building blocks, building logs, buttons, beads on a string, ice cream sticks, pinto beans, even army men — what do these have in common? Each of them are wonderful tools that can be manipulated in order to accomplish learning.

The use of such tools is an inexpensive way to build upon the knowledge that a child already possesses. During play with various objects, a child learns how to build up and take down, gather together and take away, group together and take from, and sort by his or her preference. At the beginning stages, however, a child does not know the official mathematical label that we would use for such manipulation, but through play the groundwork is being laid upon which we purposefully begin to teach the foundational concepts and principles that lead to the understanding of the processes of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, etc.

The introduction of handmade or purchased rectangular rods that are proportionally sized lead to even greater learning. Several companies have manufactured rectangular rods that are a great addition to your arsenal of manipulatives. However, knowing the limitations of household budgets, poster board or card stock can be used to create a representation of these rods, howbeit, they are not three-dimensional.

Place value is traditionally taught in some schools through the use of an abacus. Some students struggle with the use of the abacus because not all students have their own to manipulate. It is easier for a child to understand the concept when they have their own manipulatives to handle and engage in learning.

An inexpensive way to teach children place value is through the use of dried beans and ice cream sticks. Single beans are used for counting by ones, sorting into groups of equal amounts, etc. Ten beans will fit nicely onto an ice cream stick.

Using proper glue, allow the child to make his or her own “ten” sticks so he or she will realize that there are ten and only ten beans on each stick. Ten of the “ten” sticks can be placed side by side to create “hundred” sticks — just glue 2 sticks across the back to hold them together. A variety of mathematical concepts can be taught using these sticks.

So how can we use manipulatives to teach addition? By now, you probably have a variety of ways rambling through your mind, but we will give some direction in a later post. For now, begin to let your mind wander back to your childhood days when you played with blocks and logs. Yes, learning can be fun — at least some of the time.

Struggling with Addition

What can parents do when their child is struggling with addition?

One of a child’s greatest needs is to memorize the addition facts. This task comes easy for many; but some struggle and fall behind in their math studies because of this one single necessity.

What can parents do when they find their child struggling in this area?

Immediate intervention is needed. More complicated math utilizing the process of addition should be delayed until this situation is remedied.

Figure out why the child is struggling.

First, process why he or she may be struggling. Were foundational steps skipped or overlooked? Does the child understand what the individual numbers represent? For instance, does the child understand that the picture 8 represents a collection of 8 objects or 8 sets of objects?

When teaching numbers, sometimes this knowledge is easily overlooked. A child may be trying to memorize images of number figures without any understanding of what those images represent. For example, the picture 8 plus the picture 8 equals the picture 16 instead of 8 objects added to 8 more objects equals 16 objects total. Some children need more time to process this information.

Utilize manipulatives to teach concepts.

The use of manipulatives will aid understanding.

Yes, I know some teachers frown on the use of objects to help a student learn their facts. They insist on memorization. Yet, when students are struggling with a particular math problem, such teachers model the addition by the use of their fingers. This is a bad practice and greatly hinders the child. Children following this teaching model quickly learn to rely on fingers.

The use of manipulatives diverts the child away from the use of fingers. Each object is representative of 1 and when added together those 1’s become a collection of more than 1.

No matter the learning style of the individual, this hands-on approach to addition greatly increases the struggling child’s ability to understand and memorize the facts.

Just what are manipulatives and what are some ways that they can be used to teach math? We’ll discuss this in a later post. Right now, since you have read this far, you may have a struggler about which you are concerned. Hopefully, the next post will be of benefit to you.

©2016 by Peggy Clark

The Masculine Role in Nature, An Example

I had to separate a rooster from the rest of the flock this week. Even though he is in a separate pen, he continues to call for his hens every time he sees food bits.

A rooster will pick up food he sees and drop it, call his hens, and continue to pick up and drop the food. This is so the hens will find the food easily. He will do without to make sure his hens have what they need.

This picture of selflessness is an amazing example in nature of the masculine role.

Adding Geography to Your Bible Lessons, Part II

Introducing the geography of a particular Biblical event gives added understanding and enlightenment to the concepts being taught. Students are able to envision the scene in their minds and are able to engage in the action of the story.

What picture do you envision after reading the following statement? The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Colossians was written by the apostle Paul while he was imprisoned in Rome.

Compare that picture to what you envision after the following added elements.

Rome was the major city in the Roman Empire. The city remains to this day in the modern nation of Italy.

But what if we add more information. Let’s see if we can get the students involved in the learning process.

How many miles is the present-day city of Rome from the present-day city of Jerusalem? What route did the soldiers take as they brought Paul from Jerusalem to Rome? How did they travel? Would this have been an easy trip? What was the terrain like in and around the city?

Where was the prison located in the city? How would Paul’s prison have differed from a modern-day prison? Where would he have gotten his food and other necessities?

What route would Paul’s letter travel when being sent from Rome to Colosse? What modern-day city is near where Colosse once stood? How far did the Roman Empire extend beyond Colosse?

In what modern-day country would one find the remains of the city of Colosse? What type of roads would you travel in order to get there? In which direction would you travel in order to go from Colosse to Laodicea or to Hierapolis?

These “where” questions can be inserted alongside the other 4 W’s: who, what, when, and why.

Teaching all of the 5 W’s will make your Bible lessons come alive for your students.

Box Turtle Relocation

I found a box turtle in my driveway yesterday. It hissed as I picked it up and placed it where I thought it would like to be.

The location was moist. There was grass and probably some bugs or worms that could easily be snatched. It was a much lovelier environment than the rough spot that it was in originally.

I wonder how many times we hiss at God because He wishes to place us in an environment that is safer and more beneficial to us than our current spot is.

I can assume that as I reached down to pick up the turtle, he saw me as an intruder into his private world, possibly as an enemy that would try to destroy him. However, his view was not the view that I envisioned.

I envisioned him as needing a little help to get to that spot where he would get his needs met. I guess God envisions that for His children also.

Just as the box turtle had a limited view of things, we also have the same earthly limitation.  May God give us His eyes to see His grace extended to us from a heavenly viewpoint.

Adding Geography to Your Bible Lessons, Part I

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Public, Private, or Home Education?

At this time of year many parents are discussing next year’s plans for their children’s education. Private schools are advertising advanced discount rates. Home education curriculum publishers are filling e-mail boxes with sales pitches.

Before you let the advertisers decide what is best for your family, sit down and discuss what your goals are for each of your children. Is the current educational placement meeting or supporting those goals? If so, then you may continue down the current path. However, if it is not, then you need to seriously consider what needs to be changed and how that change can be attained.

Some consider private schooling to be the appropriate arrangement. These parents may be concerned about the subject matter being taught or the environment that is affecting their children in their current setting.

Others may consider home education as the proper alternative. They want control over the subject matter being taught. These parents also wish for their children to interact with all age groups, not just their peers.

Any setting for a child’s education must be taken seriously. The pros and cons of each must be weighed carefully. Whatever direction parents decide to take will greatly influence the future attitudes, work ethics,  and actions of their children.

Any authority that you place over your children will lead them in a certain direction. Is that the direction you prefer? You must decide.

 

Think! Part II

As a teacher I realized that my students needed more than just an assignment. They needed direction in completing that assignment to my satisfaction. I gave them a handout with the information in Part I Think! (previous post) along with the continuation below.

However, I just didn’t hand them the paper. I discussed each point thoroughly, giving them examples and encouraging them to keep the paper in their folders.

When my students felt they could go no further, we would discuss the items on the handout to get them thinking about what they could do to move forward in their assignments.

There are many types of assignments students will encounter. My goal was to help them discover how to process an assignment of any type and plan a method to complete it properly. Hopefully, these bullet points will be helpful to you and your students.

  • Look for the information you need to solve the problem, to help you understand the information, to help you complete a project, etc. Look at problems as a challenge that you can conquer, one step at a time.
  • Organize your thoughts.
    • Where are you going?
    • What do you want to end up with?
    • How much time do you have to solve the problem, read the book, write the report, etc.
    • Make a plan, schedule, list, etc.
    • How will you implement your plan?
    • What do you need to implement your plan?
  • Redeem the time.
  • Do the work, step by step.
  • Check your work after each step.
  • Do the best you can. If you truly did your best, you can be proud of your accomplishments.

Think! Part I

When I taught at a local private school, I would give my students a handout. The purpose of the handout was to help them with their assignment schedules.

It wasn’t that my students couldn’t think for themselves. They were just immature in their thinking abilities.

Let’s face it. Sometimes we all get stuck. When we are headed toward a deadline, we may get confused and panic which reduces our ability to think clearly. That happens with our students also.

So, to help with this, I would like to share some of the ideas I passed on to my students. Maybe they will help you in your schooling activities.

  • Make a mental picture of the information. Create a mental picture in your mind. If necessary, draw a picture on paper.
  • How does this relate to what I already know? Relate the problem to something you are already familiar with or to something you have already experienced.
  • Think out loud. Sometimes it helps to talk out loud to yourself or to someone else. Saying your thoughts out loud helps you to think things through, make wise decisions, plans, etc. Plans will come together. Ask yourself if this answer makes sense. Is this a good idea or not?
  • Make a chart or a graph. Make diagrams, lists, etc.
  • Brainstorm. On projects, seek out as many possibilities as you can before you make a decision. Then follow through with your decision.
  • Ask a lot of questions. Ask yourself questions. Ask others questions. Do you still think your plan will work? Is it a good idea? Can it be implemented? Do you have enough information? Your first idea may not work. Don’t give up. Keep at it.

I’ll continue this on the next post. Hope the thought processes discussed thus far will give you direction when you face that next difficult assignment.

 

The Book I Really Want to Finish

As I was working on my Goodread’s page I began thinking about the books I was reading or attempting to read. It seems I always have several by my bedstead waiting to be picked up again. I guess they get lonely and start calling out my name. I feel compelled to pick one up and read a few pages.

One book (set of two actually) that I have wanted to finish is The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn. A writing of over twenty years collected and translated for us (thankfully in English) to read and discover the day to day treatment of those who lived under the Soviet Union’s regime.

It describes in vivid detail the false imprisonments, labor camps, inhumane treatment of citizens, and propaganda that terrorized and help captive those under the icy fingers of Communism.

This book is a must-read for all educated citizens, no college student should leave school without it.  You might want to add it to your teenager’s reading list.

 

Did You Hear the Latest Message?

Did you hear the latest message? Have you ever been asked that question and suddenly realized that you couldn’t recall what  the message was about? It happens to all of us.

Sometimes life’s difficulties commandeer our focus and derail us from the track where our minds are suppose to be traveling. The bumps shake us up and suddenly our focus returns to the important.

Be thankful for the ‘bumps’ that turn our focus to the important things in life. Sometimes those bumps keep us from becoming a wreck in the ditches of life.