Tuesday, April 21, 2015

God's Football

Last weekend, during a time when my church friends were praying and singing out to God, I found myself sitting still and quite. With my eyes closed, and as I listened to all the beautiful voices praising God, the Lord gave me a vision.

I saw Jesus, bigger than life garbed in a football uniform. He was huge. Clutched in His arm was a football. I heard Him say, "You're my football" and He began to run. I could see the green field as He ran, but it wasn't empty. Football players began running toward us. They were big! Jesus kept running. He was unstoppable. Player after player ran toward us to tackle us, but as they came near enough to us to almost knock us down, they went down instead. Jesus said, "Nothing is going to stop me from taking you to the End Zone."

In the past when I would face a trial many friends would say, "Ellen, remember, God is with you." And although that was true, being a visual person I envisioned something that did not bring me peace. I would see Jesus standing next to me holding my hand, walking side-by-side with me. I didn't like it. That image made me feel very vulnerable, naked, and afraid. I still had to walk. I still could get attacked. Yes, He was with me, but He held only my hand.

Jesus said, "I'm not holding your hand, I'm holding you."

In the vision of Jesus running down the field of life, with trials coming in every size and coming in from every direction, Jesus was holding me and taking me to my destination. He wasn't asking me to run down the field and get clobbered by football players double my size. He carried me and battled the trial for me. I was safe. I wasn't afraid. I believed I was actually going to make it. The walk of life didn't feel frightening anymore. It was exciting to see how Jesus defeated the enemy. It was exciting to be making strides. It was exhilarating to believe that I was safe and not alone.

The verse, "God with us" means so much more to me now. It comes from the Old Testament and the New Testament:

"Devise your strategy, but it will be thwarted; propose your plan, but it will not stand, for God is with us." (Isaiah 8:10)

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel." (Isaiah 7:14)

"The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" (which means "God with us."). (Matthew 1:23)

Although I believe God gave this vision to me to encourage me, I know it was not just for me. If God wanted to give me a vision meant for me only it would have been something that I know about like ballet. I know NOTHING about football. I have never watched a game. Do not get me wrong, God is using this vision in my life, but I firmly believe it is for others to hold on to for themselves. I encourage you to claim this vision for your life as well. Jesus is your football player and you are His football. He is unstoppable. Call on Him and believe!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

White Wicker Furniture gets a New Look

 Spring is here
and for me that means
cleaning, downsizing and Painting!

This furniture is pretty old and worn,
but I wasn't ready to let it go,
and honestly, I just couldn't afford a new set.

So, I waited for just the right sale at Ace Hardware...
buy one spray paint can,
get another free!

I bought the two cans,
or should I say one,
and painted the set.

An old chair and table
given a second chance
and a few more years!

Marble Painting

Today in Joy School
we marble painted our butterflies for Spring!

Each child worked hard!
While we waited for the paint to dry,
we had our Bible time
and Bible craft time.

Here are the paintings!

I love my students!
I'm so proud of each one!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

St. Patrick's Day

One of my favorite holidays to celebrate is St. Patrick's Day.
No, I am not Irish, but when I read about who Saint Patrick was
I began to love the day we celebrate him.
In teaching my students about St. Patrick
I read all about him first.

This book tells the tragic childhood of St. Patrick in a way
that isn't too scary for children.
It shows how he trusted in God even when he was all alone
 and how he listened for God's voice.
It's a great story for children because St. Patrick's young life
 is something that kids can have sympathy for.
After reading about St. Patrick we made our craft-
the shamrock.

Snack time...A Shamrock for each child to remember
that there is one God, but three Persons- Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Another great day rejoicing in all that God
 can do in the life of an obedient child!

Cups and Kids!

If any of you have kids
you probably deal with an array of cups all day long.
I have heard myself say,
"Whose cup is this?" one too many times.
And my dishwasher is always filled on top
way before the bottom is filled.
Something HAD to change.
I've been seeing mason jars of all colors,
shapes and sizes being turned into drinking glasses-
so, I decided to give it a whirl.
I watched many videos on how to make my own covers.
Drill, grommets, straws....yada-yada.
BUT I found a package of lids and straws at a local craft store,
used a 50% coupon and they were mine!
Four covers (with hole and grommet already done!)
 and straw-for $2.50
I bought two sets of 4 because I have eight members in my family.
Next step was to see if I could find
black chalk paint that didn't cost too much.
I did!
Be careful when grabbing your paint-
It must say: "GLASS CHALK PAINT."
The paint was less then $1.50.
I had my mason jars, washed them with alcohol
and then made my stencil.
I simply drew an oval, cut it out, tapped it to the jar
and began painting.
And here are my first four jars done!
Each child chose the color cover they wanted
wrote their name on it and it was their cup for the
I used two small pint jars for my two youngest,
and two, quart for the two older children.
I made four more in the quart size for
my other two children, hubby and me!

How cute is that???!!!

and here are the other four...




Easter at JOY SCHOOL

Easter at Joy School...
and we were ready!
When the students arrived we sat together and
 read about the true meaning of Easter.
(I love "Arch" books!)

After teaching about or reminding the children of
Jesus' death on the cross and resurrection
we gathered at the table for our craft.
We made our own Easter wreaths!
I found the wreaths and foam stickers at A.C.Moores,
and the stickers at Oriental Trading.
The foam stickers below have hearts, crosses,
Easter Lily flowers, and signs that say, "Happy Easter"
and "He is Risen!"
The kids got busy!

After our craft time we had snack!

Then I read another Easter book.
I love Easter literature books-I have a whole collection!

When I read this page,
from the book, What is Easter? by Michelle Medlock Adams,  
I had an opportunity to ask the children if they wanted Jesus in their hearts.
It reads:
"Today, he sits right next to God in Heaven up above,
He wants to live inside you too
and fill you up with love!"
One little boy said, "My mom always prays for me."
I said, "Well, this is a prayer that only you can pray.
You can ask Jesus into your heart. Then I asked him,
Would you like to pray with me?"
He said yes.
We closed our eyes and he repeated
the salvation prayer with me!
What an Easter Blessing!

 After that amazing time of reading about
Jesus' love for us and having the opportunity to
pray with my student,
we went back to the table to stuff our Easter Baskets!
Last week we sponge painted our baskets.
The baskets are in the shape of a bunny.
I taught them how to 'stamp' the paint with the sponge
and how to stamp and turn the sponge with the paint.
They all did such a great job!

Once the bunny baskets were dry
I stapled them up, glued on eyes and a nose and

I prepared these little goody bags for the children.
(I found the idea on Pinterest).
No-bunny loves you like Jesus!
After all that excitement we settled down 
for a great game of Easter Bingo!

I LOVE my students, each and everyone!
They are such a joy to me!
Happy Easter!