Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Writing Books

A talented woman was asked by a friend, "Why have you never written a book?"

"I am writing two" was the quiet reply. "I have been engaged on one for ten years, the other five.:

"You surprise me!" the friend said. "What profound works they must be!"

"It doth not yet appear what they shall be," said the woman, "But when He makes up His jewels, my great ambition is to find them there."

"Your children?"

"Yes, my two children. They are my life's work."

~ from The Shaping of a Christian Family, by Elisabeth Elliot

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Character Lessons from "The Little Princess"

Okay, so I admit that I'm a Shirley Temple fan. That is, a fan of her little girl movies. I'm not sure if I have a favorite one; I've seen them all, most of them countless times. At least I THINK I've seen them all. But for certain "The Little Princess," loosely based on a novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, is high up there. I never read the book, but from what I read at the YouTube video, someone said the ending to the movie is vastly different. I would love to hear from someone who could tell how the book ended.

But I wanted to take a few minutes to say some things about little Miss Temple's character in this particular story, Sara Crewe. There are a lot of other aspects of the movie I could talk about, and maybe someday will, but for now I want to focus on the character qualities displayed by Sara, which you may agree would be good examples for your children, both boys and girls. There's a good chance we'll be talking more here about this young actress who captured the hearts of many in her day. Not so much about the actress, but the movies and the stories they captured, some having many lessons. We'll see how that goes in the future.

So what of Sara Crewe, daughter of Captain Crewe who went off to war leaving her (he thought in good hands) at the girls school of the story's "villain," Miss Minchin? What can this "little princess" teach the young ones in your home about qualities of character that are universal and timeless? I've thought of five areas. Perhaps you could think of even more.

1. Her filial affection and respect towards her father. Surely this is to be desired in any household. She exemplifies Proverbs 6:20-22 in my opinion.

2. Her courage. In the face of dire circumstances, she was steadfastly brave and hopeful.

3. Her loyalty. I was particularly touched by her friendship with Becky, a servant girl much beneath her social status, which the social norms of the period would have prohibited. She loved and accepted Becky even before her decline in status. She didn't let the wrong opinions of others deter her from this.

4. Her unselfishness and generosity. At the birthday party, as she was a girl of means, you might have expected to see greed and selfishness, but we see none of that with Sara. Indeed, she seemed to find more joy in the giving than in the receiving.

5. Her trust in God. As we observe her prayer for the well being of her father and her temporary perception of a very speedy answer immediately after, we can believe this child had this trust as a basis for her expectations that the poem she recited at her father's departure (at his bidding) would hold true:

"My daddy has to go away,
But he'll return most any day.
Any moment I may see,
My daddy coming back to me."

With Sara as a fine example of a "good soldier," maybe you could watch this movie with your youngsters and talk about how a fictitious character in a fairy tale type story can teach them good things.

Maxine, a/k/a Nanna

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

They Must Know the Bible

V. Train your child to a knowledge of the Bible.

"You cannot make your children love the Bible, I allow. None but the Holy Ghost can give us a heart to delight in the Word. But you can make your children acquainted with the Bible; and be sure they cannot be acquainted with that blessed book too soon, or too well. . .

"See that your children read the Bible reverently...

"See that they read it regularly...

"See that the read it all...

"Tell them of sin, its guilt, its consequences, ...

"Tell them of the Lord Jesus Christ, and His work for our salvation,..

"Fill their minds with Scripture. Let the Word dwell in them richly Give them the Bible, the whole Bible, even while they are young."  ~ 

~ From The Duties of Parents, J. C. Ryle
(See our first post in this series) 

As you can see, I've given just bits and pieces out of this section. It's so rich. I do hope you'll read it all.

Unusual Ice Cream Cone

Now isn't this a good idea?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Standing in the Need of Prayer

This is perfect for today, especially in light of the happenings in Oklahoma.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Busy Little Bee

How doth the little busy bee
Improve each shining hour;
And gather honey all the day,
From every opening flower!

How skillfully she builds her cell,
How neat she spreads the wax!
And labors hard to store it well
With the sweet food she makes.

In works of labor or of skill,
I would be busy too;
For Satan finds some mischief still,
For idle hands to do.

In books, or work, or healthful play,
Let my first years be passed;
That I may give for every day
Some good account at last.

~ From "Little Susy's Little Servants"
by Elizabeth Prentiss

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

How Will This Affect Their Souls?

"Train with this thought continually before your eyes--that the soul of your child is the first thing to be considered."

"This is the thought that should be uppermost on your mind in all you do for your children. In every step you take about them, in every plan, and scheme, and arrangement that concerns them, do not leave out that mighty question, "How will this affect their souls? . . .

". . . A true Christian must be no slave to fashion, if he would train his child for heaven. He must not be content to do things merely because they are the custom of the world; to teach them and instruct them in certain ways, merely because it is usual; to allow them to read books of a questionable sort, merely because everybody else reads them; to let them form habits of a doubtful tendency, merely because they are the habits of the day. He must train with an eye to his children's souls. He must not be ashamed to hear his training called singular and strange. What if it is? The time is short,--the fashion of this world passeth away. He that has trained his children for heaven, rather than for earth,--for God, rather than for man,--he is the parent that will be called wise at last." [Emphasis mine]

~ From The Duties of Parents, J. C. Ryle
(See our first post in this series)

Monday, May 13, 2013

KOC Crossword

I feel I've been neglecting the Kids of Courage here a bit, and certainly don't want to do that. I notice today they posted a crossword puzzle which is a worthwhile activity for your children to do. They can learn and benefit a lot from doing this puzzle and I would encourage your family to bookmark and go to the KOC site from time to time. Surely the children of this generation can't be hurt by having something to pray for outside of their own interests and needs. For this particular puzzle, why not sit down together and finish the puzzle over there ?

Maxine, a/k/a Nanna

Monday, May 6, 2013

Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal-an Addendum

After my post earlier today, I ran across this picture at Pinterest (my favorite place) and feel compelled to add the pin to this blog in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal, as well as in honor of spring. After pinning it onto our Creator God board, it seems others like it too, since at present it's being repinned by quite a few folks. That's because these two are so precious. Enjoy them.

Lessons from Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal

Below is a female Northern Cardinal and I got this photo from Wikipedia.

The author’s name is Geoff Clarke.

 We’re all familiar with the brilliant red color of the male and see many pictures of him, but not so often of the female. But I think she has a beauty and loveliness of her own, though I'd say hers is a more subtle beauty. 

Most of my family and friends know how much I enjoy feeding the birds and not just feeding them, but observing them. It all started with a pair of cardinals who decided to build a nest in the bush right outside my kitchen window, giving me a “ringside seat” of the whole process. I learned a lot about birds from them, as their nest was a successful one and I got to watch the mama roosting on the eggs and all the comings and goings of both parents. And best of all, I got to watch and hear the parents calling and urging their two young ones out of the nest at the right time (now how do they know when that is?) and watch them “leading” them, walking backwards and flapping their wings, across the yard to safety in some branches in the yard in back. It was quite an amazing spectacle to to say the least.

I just wanted to take this time to say a few things about some behavior patterns that impress me about this father and mother. I like how with cardinals they both sing. A beautiful song. But I like it that he sings loudly from high in the trees, and she sings a softer lovely song from the nest. I like it that while she’s contentedly resting on her nest, he brings her food and places it in her mouth. I like it that when the eggs hatch, both parents bring food to their hungry offspring, but that she tends to stay awhile and clean things out a bit. And she keeps cover over them still, after hatching, in bad weather and during the night. 
I like it that when the little fledglings come out and begin life in the world, that both parents  call them out and both parents lead them where they want them to go. When I observed it myself, I liked how they flapped and flapped their wings at the little guys, not just telling them what they needed to do by the calling and chattering, but showing them how to do it. Then, it was the dad who really caught my attention and made me become a fan of this bird. Once the “children” are out of the nest, it’s their father who so zealously and tirelessly goes about the feeding and teaching and protecting of his offspring. Usually, you see them with him, and as they grow older, they follow him about from place to place until he no longer takes heed to their noisy pleas for food.  And from what I read, their mama is usually somewhere starting a new nest while their father teaches them the ways of the world. Until fall comes, that is, and then you may see the mom join in more with getting everyone ready for the winter.

Can you see any lessons to be drawn from the way God made this one creature in His universe? I think there are some nice ones to be drawn from this beautiful and familiar bird. Maybe nice applications for children in a science lesson or during family time. Oh, and one other thing I learned about Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal. They mate for life. Need I say more about that?

Maxine a/k/a Nanna

Saturday, May 4, 2013

"This Is My Father's World"

Very precious. And what I really like is that it's in China. God bless her.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013