Sunday School 101

photo credit: http://sunsetcongregational.org
photo credit: http://www.sunsetcongregational.org

Imagine the Brady Bunch on a Sunday morning, getting ready for Sunday School. Yeahhh..! If you are from a big family, you will understand what I am talking about here. Seven kids!

Getting up early so you could beat the rest of your siblings to the bathroom? Everybody’s scrambling to finish breakfast, drying hair and ironing clothes. I could be waking up early but by the time everybody was ready I would have spent an hour waiting but  we couldn’t all fit in the vehicle anyway, so I’d usually just walk to church -a good 30 minutes if I brisk walk. (Going back home to what looked like a tornado-ravaged zone is another story- clothes all over the place, dishes in the sink,etc.)

Maybe some kids don’t like going to Sunday School but I did. I was thrilled to see my “classmates” and I really had fun being in that group. Not to mention my teacher was funny, so it all worked out.

Acronym was fun and effective way to teach and learn. I would like to share some here with you.  It is just a guide not a legalistic ritual, so relax.

1. How to pray: ACTSPrayConstantly

Adoration. Praise and Worship first. It’s all about God and we worship in truth and spirit. Praise is the joyful recounting of all God has done for us. Worship is to humble ourselves before God and adore Him for who He is.

Confession. Ask the Father to reveal to us any unconfessed sin, so that we may repent of it and make it right with God. I always remember Psalm 139:23. Don’t forget to thank Him for the forgiveness, too.

Thanksgiving. This is where we can go crazy. Just thank Him for everything. From Jesus’ death, to salvation, to last night’s rain. No holds barred.

Supplication. Is the time to bring to our Heavenly Father all our cares, burdens and requests. Remembering people with prayer requests, pray for our nation, pray for leaders and more. He honors the prayers of the righteous.

This one was from Dr. Charles Stanley when I listened to his podcast awhile back.

2. When not to decide: HALTdecision-making-processes1

Hungry. Remember Esau’s story.

Angry.  Don’t let anger control you. Think back to when you were raging mad and acted on something. I know..ugly huh?

Lonely. “Owner of a lonely heart is much better than an owner of a broken heart.” (That’s a song) Meh, neither. But deciding solely on what will make you happy instantly could lead to a regrettable moment later on.

Tired. “I will sleep on it”. There is wisdom in that because when we are tired and with some level of sleep deprivation, our brain functions like that of a drunk.

I’m sure there’s more. Feel free to add your Sunday School acronym to the list.

GBU.

GRACE  –  Gods Riches At Christ’s Expense by Fantastic Betty.

Christians and Social Media

A fool takes no pleasure in understanding,
    but only in expressing his opinion.
-Proverbs 18:2

DontFeedTheTrolls2I have never seen anything like it. Internet trolling seems to be a permanent social media affliction. People are aggressive, mean and very disrespectful. My upbringing is such that we can present our argument within certain rules. We don’t berate, denigrate and attack personally.  I still have to find a thread without a troll.

Have you heard about agree to disagree? Nowadays, one can’t disagree without being labeled a racist, sexist or just a plain moron. One expresses his opinion and if someone gets offended, run the risk of  being boycotted or criminalized. The hypocrisy is overwhelming on all sides. We are encouraged to tolerate, but when we don’t agree with them, there’s the label again. 

Internet became a breeding ground for all sorts of crazies. It has become an avenue for scam, selfish agenda and or just propaganda. People read something, runs away with it as the truth and shares it blissfully. No fact, no cross reference. Just hit share and be done with it.

social_media_strategy111Social media is here to stay. In fact, technology will play a major role in the last days. We can benefit from it but we can also get grief from it. Information overload doesn’t exist anymore. However we want to use it should be done so with wisdom and understanding.

Not everything we read is true. Not everything we watch is real. May we be responsible and discerning of what we share and how we behave publicly in forums and platforms. Expressing opinion is not bad, but we  must exercise tact, be respectful and understand that people don’t think and act synonymously.

We have a powerful tool at hand, don’t be a fool but rather use it wisely.  Use it to encourage others, make someone happy, may people learn from us. Don’t use words and time idly, be an inspiration and share the good news.bible

*all photos are taken off google. credit goes to where credit is due.

Where’s the Coffee in Coffee Cake?

coffee-cakeI was watching a video instruction on how to make “coffee cake”, but I finished the video and didn’t see the coffee in the ingredients. (I was maybe thinking of Kahlua syrup). Sooo, dinner time I candidly said to my husband “where’s the coffee in the coffee cake? There is no coffee in coffee cake???  Laughing at me he said:  “You are like Jessica Simpson, are buffalo wings from buffalo meat? honey, you eat the cake with coffee, that’s  why it’s called coffee cake.”.  LOL …oookayy!

Last Saturday, we went to the store and while browsing through shampoos I saw one brand I like and it has melon in it , I picked it over avocado which they claim have real fruit extracts. At the kitchen isle,  I got me a dish soap with Hawaiian Aloha as scent and the other one has Citrus energy (no real lemon or citrus fruit in there).

Last stop was juices. I like my OJ with the most pulp. While waiting for hubby, I looked through the punches and other juices, they don’t have real fruit juice in the drink. It was all artificial.

I’m blogging this just for fun because every time I go to the bathroom and I see my shampoo, I would absent-mindedly smell my hair and go “mmmm, melon..”  and I couldn’t stop laughing. Then..light bulb!

warningaaI read an article about a minister pastoring a church, but he doesn’t believe in God. He said his church is a bring your own god church. He doesn’t believe in Jesus and Christianity, yet he is offended when people tell him he is not a Christian.

Christian without the Christ is..?

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
(Psalm 14:1)

Go figure.

spurgeon_no_christ

The Street You Call Home

compasionate-loveI briefly skimmed through an article saying Jesus was homeless so be emphatic or be kind or something to that effect. The socio-economic issue of homelessness is a sticky subject and  I don’t know the circumstance that landed them in that situation, so there is no judgment. I  just wanted to give my spin to the story.

Some people are compassionate towards them, some are indifferent. Different people, different reasons.  Fair enough statement, yeah?

When I was living in the Bay Area, I was a volunteer in one of our church homeless ministries through Abode. Another ministry team would go to the Tenderloin district of San Francisco and Oakland, where they distributed toiletries, food and just hang out sharing with them the love of Jesus.  Where I live now, my husband and I are also involved in feeding and blessing the homeless.

As followers of Jesus, we are  to love one another and help the poor, to name a few.  I was just instructed when I read the phrase, Jesus was homeless. It wasn’t so much about being homeless that bothered me, it was the incompleteness of the thought and the attachment of unnecessary guilt. Just by simply saying “Jesus was homeless too, you’d do to him what you would do to me,  so give.” That is manipulation, an emotional blackmail even.

True,  Jesus was homeless …but he was not lazy. 

Again, there are homeless people but are still employed. There are homeless people who are proactively seeking help and assistance, there are homeless people living out in the cold. There are homeless people who don’t know what to do or where to go. There is HOPE, and help is available.

alternatives-to-homelessnessBut if you are in your twenties, strong and asking me for money while you smoke your vapor-less cig?  I am a believer who will help, but I am not an enabler.

Jesus was a poor man until he died. But all his living years , he was working and built a career preaching,  performing miracles, raising people from the dead, casting out demons. He travelled, made and trained disciples. He was active and didn’t waste any time just being a busybody. He didn’t just sit in the curb, asking people for money.

If Jesus were to  walk the street of O’Farrell in Sanfo or Hastings in Vancouver, I believe that he would have compassion, he would feed them, preach to them but in the end Jesus would offer them something to do, like fish for people. Or refer them to agencies dedicated to help. There are agencies that help house the homeless while they transition. They teach them skills from resume writing, acing the interview , and other type of coaching until they are able to find a job and afford a rent, somehow.

homeless-laptopIf your homelessness is a lifestyle, I refuse to support that lifestyle.  I won’t pay for your coffee, nor your gas. If you don’t work you don’t eat.  If you are homeless because you are unfortunate despite your efforts, help is available.

http://www.homelessshelterdirectory.org
http://www.voa.org/homeless-people
http://www.voaut.org/homeless
http://www.homelesssheltersusa.org
http://www.voagbr.org/Services/Housing–Homeless
http://urbanstreetangels.org
http://www.abodeservices.org

Some, if not all would not go through the program and surprisingly go back to the streets for various reasons. One could be fear. Fear of the responsibility, it could be just plain laziness maybe, lack of motivation.  I don’t know. Whatever it is, our hope is to lessen if not eradicate homelessness and help in our own little way; but for those who are young and able to work, roll up your sleeves and stretch your muscles.

You are not victims, and you can get out of the rut if you are willing.

How Do You Love Your Kids?

"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."-Jesus
“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”-Jesus

I get emotional every time I think and pray for my nephews and nieces. Their ages range from 4 to 29. (3 are graduating from college, high school and kinder this month). Congratulations!

I have no kids, but they are more than enough to satisfy my longing for my own. My heart ache when they make mistakes but my heart is always filled with joy when they get up after a fall.

Watching them grow is a privilege. It’s like getting a front row seat to an elite opera.  From the darndest things they say as they learn how to talk,  to the way they think and view the world,  to the way they conduct themselves as young adults-a tap on the shoulder for their folks is in order.

But the biggest kudos and glory go to the Lord. He equipped us with the necessary tools to raise them. We  mess up sometimes but God’s guidance is never absent. With God as our driver, GPS is not needed.

Raising children is a full time job. They are our priorities, they come first and self second. Sometimes though, it doesn’t happen that way. When children are neglected and unnurtured, they grow up without the necessary skills to cope with the complicated world of adulthood.  Invest in them so they can reap the profits themselves.

If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you.
If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you.

More than just providing for their basic needs, we ought to pray for them. Like Hannah, she prayed and dedicated Samuel to the Lord.  We cannot be complacent. They are targets and they need the Lord’s shield to protect and keep them safe.

Impart biblical principles to them at a young age,

18 Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

and when they are old they will not depart from it.

*all pictures taken off google.