Sunday, April 17, 2011

Palm Sunday

Matthew 21:1-11

Now when they drew near Jerusalem, and came to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, "Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her.  Loose them and bring them to Me.  And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, "The Lord has need of them, and immediately he will send them."

All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken to the prophet, saying,

"Tell the daughter of Zion,
Behold, your king is coming to you,
Lowly, and sitting on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey."

So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them.  They bought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them.  And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road.

Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying:

"Hosanna to the son of David!
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest!"

And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying. "Who is this?"  So the multitudes said, "This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee."


Last year I was so organised for the lead up to Easter, with lessons and activities to take the children through Holy Week.  This year, not so.  That, however, does not diminsh the above record of Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem.  ;)

Only by His grace,

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Confessions Giveaway!

Remember this wonderful alphabet I printed up?  Well, it was the work of Erica over at Confessions of a Homeschooler.  I had actually meant to mention that in that post, but it seems it slipped my mind (sorry Erica!).

Anyway, she has created some amazing resources and has just finished developing a K4 curriculum as an expansion on her Letter of the Week preschool curriculum.  And to celebrate, she is giving a pack away!

So, if you, like me, have a little one at a K4 level, pop on over to Confessions and enter!

Only by His grace,

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Guess the Species

Tower Hill State Game Reserve is one of our favourite places to go.  Sometimes we go there and simply drive through, and other times we stop and walk.  We have a favourite walk - one that is easy for the children (and the parent pushing the pram ;)) and that they know well.

They enjoy looking out for the various animals that make Tower Hill their home - kangaroos, koalas, and emus are the 'usuals', but there are many others to find if you look.

I'm sure the changing seasons mean changes in which animals are around, when they are out, and where they are in the park.  For example, as Autumn has come the dragonfly population has dwindled to nothing and the snakes have become more visable.

This past Saturday we saw three snakes, basking in the sun off the edge of the boardwalk.  The children have enjoyed seeing them and watching them slither off to hide out of sight. And as you can well imagine, seeing snakes so close to the walkways has sparked great 'snake safety' conversations with the children. 

Can you see it?

How about this one?

This one you can't miss!

Three snakes - three different types.  Exactly what they are I'm not sure.  (Please post a comment if you know!)  The middle one looks like a tiger, but I really don't know my snakes so I shouldn't speculate.  Maybe we are due to visit with Mr. Barber again.  He has lots of information on reptiles of all sorts.  Or maybe I should just ask the ranger at the information centre at Tower Hill.

Ahh, I love having the world for a classroom!

Only by His grace,

Monday, April 4, 2011

A real-life parable

Do you ever find that God will speak to you through the things that happen in the course of life?  I do.  It seems He uses this method with me often.  In the Bible we find that He taught using parables - stories that made spiritual concepts come alive to the people who heard them.  My previous post described an incident that became a bit of a 'parable' in my life.

Before I became a parent I didn't think there was anything that could have such a hold on my heart.  But, it seems, the 'mother-child' bond is well and truly alive in me!

I've come to realise that just as my children are so very close to my heart, God's children are even closer to His.  And yet, just as my children do not heed me at times, so we do not heed Him.  We can confess to being a 'christian'.  We can try and 'live right'.  We can even go to church each Sunday.  But for the most part we ignore His rule in our life.  How often He must look out over His children and have His heart break!

When Naomi fell into the pond, Bethany didn't stand around and wallow in self-pity or blame her circumstances for her feelings or find an activity to do to cover things up.  No.  In all her pure 3 year old wisdom, Bethany ran straight to the closest person who could fix the problem - her Daddy.  It got me thinking.  Where do I run when things go wrong?  Where do you run?

The Lord is good.  When people are in trouble, they can go to him for safety.  He takes good care of those who trust in him.
Nahum 1:7 (NIrV)

As God's child I should be running straight to Him for He has the power to pluck me from my trouble - and my sin.  Jesus came into this world to live a sinless, perfect life; to die and rise again so that I may have free and unrestricted access to the Father.  Jesus' perfection covers my imperfection and I can freely enter into the presence of God.  I can run to my Daddy!  So can you.

In Whom, because of our faith in Him, we dare to have boldness (courage and confidence) of free access (an unreserved approach to God with freedom and without fear).  
Eph 3:12 (AMP)

This real-life 'parable' also got me thinking about the importance of having someone to watch out for you.  We all know the water-safety message - "Never swim alone".  It's a bit like life really.  "Don't do life alone."  We need an accountability partner.  Someone who can run to God on our behalf - or better still take our hand and lead us back to His throne of grace.  We all fall.  We all sin.  We are all tempted.  We all need a trusted someone to look out for us.

If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise.  If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself; but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding.
Proverbs 15:31-32 (NLT)

I'm so thankful that God has an open-door policy and that I can run to Him on a daily basis.  I'm glad that He has placed people in my life to help me grow and stay 'on track'.  The love I have for my children cannot compare to the love that God has for His children. 

But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord's love is with those who fear him
Psalm 103:17a (NIV)

Only by His grace,