The Lord is My Shepherd

I’m reading The Grand Weaver: How God Shapes Us Through the Events of Our Lives by Ravi Zacharias.  I came across this elaboration on Psalm 23 and thought it might encourage you all today too.

The Lord is my Shepherd–that’s relationship!

I shall not be in want–that’s supply!

He makes me lie down in green pastures–that’s rest!

He leads me beside quiet waters–that’s refreshment!

He restores my soul–that’s healing!

He guides me in the paths of righteousness–that’s guidance!

For His name’s sake–that’s purpose!

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death–that’s testing!

I will fear no evil–that’s protection!

For You are with me–that’s faithfulness!

Your rod and the staff, they comfort me–that’s discipline!

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies–that’s hope!

You anoint my head with oil–that’s consecration!

My cup overflows–that’s abundance!

Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life–that’s blessing!

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord–that’s security!

Forever–that’s eternity!

Author of Elaborated Material Unknown

Zacharias goes on to say, “This broad but specific, sweeping but individual, assurance came from the pen of a man after God’s own heart. Only when you see this pattern for yourself can you see the breadth of God’s care for the cosmic scene and his personal care for your life. ” p. 51

Keeping Christ in Christmas

Lights, presents and Santa Claus are just a few of the Christmas season trappings. How can we keep the focus on Christ…the real reason for Christmas? This article will present ideas on how to point our children (and ourselves) in the direction of glorifying God and honoring His Son, the greatest gift ever given and ever received.

The Nativity

“The first thing we do is put up our Nativity set the Sunday after Thanksgiving,” shares PEACH member Lee A. “It is the only thing we have for the first week.” Lee adds, “The next Sunday, we set up Advent candles and the light the first one with a reading. (The Nativity is in the living room and the candles are in the dining room.) Then the next Saturday we decorate our Christmas tree. I started doing it this way when my children were about 6, 4, and 2 because they would get SO excited over the tree and it suddenly hit me that what I wanted them to get excited about was NOT the tree.”

An Advent Calendar

Cyndy C., another PEACH member, shares that years ago she made an Advent calendar based on the names of Jesus. She used felt, sandpaper and a hot glue gun to make ornaments that represent the names of Jesus, such as shepherd’s staff, rock, gate and star. The back of the ornaments have sandpaper glued to them so that they will stick to the felt tree which she placed at the top of the calendar. The bottom of the calendar has 25 pockets that hold the ornaments. Each night a child takes a felt ornament and looks up the Bible verse that correlates with that name. The verse is read by that child or by someone who can read. Year after year the calendar remains a highlight in the Cusson family and the eternal benefit is memorizing God’s Word by the yearly repetition.

Blessing Basket

Another neat idea comes from a family Cyndy knows. They have a basket that is shaped like a manger and a doll representing baby Jesus that fits in it. Each night in December leading up to Christmas, they verbally share things that they have done that day to bless someone else. For every kind thing, they get to put three strands of yellow yarn into the manger, slowly creating a soft bed for Jesus on Christmas Day. The first strand represents God who is glorified through our kindness and the other two strands are for the people who are blessed by the kindness—the person doing the kind thing and the person receiving the kindness.

Give to Others

Lee A. also gave these ideas that her family has done. She feels that all of these activities have helped her kids realize that Christmas is God’s great gift to us and that the focus in on giving, not getting.

  • Singing carols to shut-ins
  • Buy a gift for a child in need
  • Make fruit baskets for the elderly in your church
  • With your Sunday School class, collect money all year long to purchase an animal through Heifer International for needy families.

Books and Online Resources

Family Celebrations for Christmas by Ann Hibbard

Treasuring God in Our Traditions by Noel Piper

http://www.easyfunschool.com/Blessed.pdf a unit study encompassing the symbols of Christmas. Lots of activities and suggestions are included.

http://www.stnicholascenter.org/Brix?pageID=23 a website that gives the story of who St. Nicholas was, traditions in other countries,  as well as activities, crafts, recipes and games all to do with the “real” St. Nicholas.

Wrapping it all up

In her book Treasuring God in Our Traditions, Noel Piper says, “Christmas is only one small part of a whole year of living, working and ministering in our churches and to our neighbors, of meeting our family’s physical needs, of teaching our children. Just one small part of the year—but with our hearts and spirits open in anticipation and excitement, what an ideal opportunity for remembering and teaching.” So, with prayer and planning, may you honor and glorify Christ this Christmas.

Geography Resources

This long list of geography resources was posted on a yahoo group that I belong to… Bringing the World to Your Living Room

It looks really neat and I only had time to look at one or two links.  I can’t vouch for all the links but I hope you get some good ideas and resources out of it.

I started using Galloping the Globe with my 2nd grader and it’s good. My oldest (in 8th grade) would like to do something similar except on a deeper scale.  I’d like to add in Window on the World, which came recommended by missionary friends of ours.   I really like to incorporate history/social studies and geography together. I’m looking for ways to do that without “reinventing the wheel”.

{Maybe this would be a good place to insert the following information: I need to change what I’m having my 8th grader do for history. I think we will be able to come back to what she was doing (hopefully), however it’s not working at this time. I’m learning that it’s okay to change, even though I really like the curriculum. :) }

Resource Central has this extensive list of geography links.

Do you have good resources–books, ideas, sites, etc. for social studies, history and geography? Please share them in the comments…then I’ll know you stopped by and we can all benefit from your ideas.

Library Interests

The PEACH Librarian is looking for new items for our library.  If you have any of the following titles available for sale, please contact the PEACH librarian via her email as posted in the newsletter.

Teaching the Trivium: Christian Homeschooling in a Classical Style by Harvey Bluedorn
Top 100 Picks by Cathy Duffy
Boyhood and Beyond by Bob Schultz
Created for Work by Bob Schultz
Preparing Sons to Provide for a Single Income Family by Steve Maxwell
Biology 101 DVD Series
Homeschooling the Easy Way (and other books) by Cindy Rushton
Tammy Teaches Lap Books by Tammy Duby of Tobin’s Lab
Preparing Him for the Other Woman: A Mother’s Guide to Raising Her Son to Love a Wife and Lead a Family
Young Men’s DVD Pack or other DVD’s from: http://WWW.franklinsprings.Com/films/youngmen/
Fallacy Detective
Thinking Toolbox
CD’s by SM Davis
Faith Lessons by Ray Vanderlaan
The Ultimate Geography Timeline Book
Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas
Sacred Parenting by Gary Thomas
Virtual Field Trips
Life’s Story DVD
Incredible Creatures That Defy Evolution
Moody Science videos/dvds
The Family Meal Table by Nancy Campbell
Drive Thru History DVDs
Vision Forum materials

Thanks!

God’s Wisdom for Little Boys and Girls

A friend showed me these two books–God’s Wisdom for Little Boys by Jim and Elizabeth George and God’s Wisdom for Little Girls by Elizabeth George. She purchased the books from the local homeschool convention and is going to give them to a friend who is adopting two children.

I really like these books as they are based off the wisdom of Proverbs. The illustrations are wonderful.

Thanks Karen for sharing!

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