This book made me look at discipline in school very differently. Although parts of the policy will need to be re-written before being able to use it i...moreThis book made me look at discipline in school very differently. Although parts of the policy will need to be re-written before being able to use it in the small Christian school setting I work in, I think the concept and idea of it are exactly what we need. (less)
Two Shoes -Have you surrendered your walk? January 25, 2010 posted by Dawn Stephens
Based on Two Shoes by Beth Raitt
This is a great little, rhyming book...more Two Shoes -Have you surrendered your walk? January 25, 2010 posted by Dawn Stephens
Based on Two Shoes by Beth Raitt
This is a great little, rhyming book with an obvious spiritual message woven in its pages. The two shoes look up to discover there is something bigger above them that is making them move and has control of their life. They discover feet, then shins, then knees, two thighs, two hips, a belly and so on. Until finally they hear a loud booming voice above. The voice explains that He is their creator and sent His son to save the world. The shoes then understand they have a purpose in their walk. . . “To love the lord Jesus and spread the good news”
I am sharing it today because it seems to fit something God has been dealing with me on.-Surrender and control. The topic keeps coming up in “my daily walk” -and I thought about these little shoes and how they keep wondering why they move and who is in control of them. It seems simple when it is put into the perspective of how our shoes would feel if they had feelings. I thought about how I look up to see a small piece of God and as I keep searching my perspective of Him gets bigger and bigger. The shoes in this story do the same. the biggest picture is understanding God’s love and gift of his son. Once we accept that, we have purpose. – But before that can ever happen we have to surrender ourselves to His control. There is a song out – “Let me be your hands, Let me be your feet” I’ve sung the song but was reminded of it as I read this little book. These two little shoes make a discovery that we all need to make. First by accepting that gift and then by remembering it as we allow God to daily control our walk.
So many great little activities come to mind with this story. The first thing that I think would be extremely fun is to have children select a pair of their shoes. It could be an old pair that they no longer wear. Then they could glue eyes on them and write a creative story about the places those shoes have been. I think it would be extremely fun to for them to write the story from their shoe’s perspective. Then you could make even more spiritual ties into how they responded to God at those very same adventures. The shoes in the story are anxious to a share the love of Jesus with others, and the children may be able to write about a time they shared Jesus’ love too. You could even set out a new adventure. Give them as assignment of somewhere to go. Something like a mission field trip and when they return they could write about the journey their shoes went on. Can’t you just see children walking around with googly eyes on their shoes. (less)
Town Mouse, Country Mouse, Content Mouse Based on Jan Brett’s Town Mouse Country Mouse
This book was one that I always read to my students to help them...moreTown Mouse, Country Mouse, Content Mouse Based on Jan Brett’s Town Mouse Country Mouse
This book was one that I always read to my students to help them learn about the differences in rural and urban environments. It really is about the mice discovering that they need to learn to be happy with what they have and that the grass isn’t greener on the other side. The Bible also has a lot to say about us being discontented. And I’m ashamed to admit that I personally struggle a great deal with this concept. I think because I am a very determined and self driven person, I continually strive for more than I have. This trait has been a benefit to me at times because it is what drives me to achieve more and better myself. However, it has also been a fault within my relationship with God. Psalm 84:10 gives us an interesting perspective about the best place for us to live. In it David says he would rather spend one day being doorkeeper in the house of God than dwell in the house of the wicked for years. Basically he is saying it is better to just to be near God (by the door) than to live amongst the wicked or away form Him.
In this story, the country and city mice focus on the things that are wrong with the places they live. I tend to do the same at times. It seems easy some days to focus on the things that go wrong in my life. I assume that others have it better. If I could only trade places with them I’d have it better. If I had that opportunity, however, we all know that I’d see that their situation isn’t any better than mine. In fact, just like the mice, I’d quickly remember how good my life was. We tend not to appreciate things until we no longer have them. In Proverbs 30:15-16, we are warned about never having enough.
My struggle is in finding the balance between being content with what God has given me and is doing in my life, and then patiently waiting for Him to do more. I think the key is to measure success as God does and to be able to rest in Him. We are told to hunger and thirst for righteousness. That could indicate that a level of discontentment exists within the amount of righteousness we possess daily as Christians. Even Little Pot struggled with this as the potter emptied and filled it and it continually wanted more of something. I think the real issue is that we search for contentment in the wrong things. Even when it comes to God. We focus on the things God gives us instead of living in His righteousness. We are truly only content when we give what we have away and share with each other. Little Pot needed to learn that it wasn’t the things it would “hold” that would make it become useful. It was the ability to grow fruit and give it away.
The trouble the mice have in this story isn’t just that they find their current home unsatisfying. It is also that they are unable to cope in their new homes. If they had just taken the time to visit with one another and learn form each other, they could have had the best of both of their worlds. They would have found contentment not in what they got from each place but in the fact that they helped each other.
As long as I focus on me, I will remain discontented with life. If I focus on others, I will be closer to where God is. Even if I am only at the door of his awesomeness.(less)
Corduroy – The Search For a Friend Based on Corduroy by Don Freeman
This story first published in 1968 was one that we all grew up with. I can actually say I remember reading it as a child. There was something about that little bear wearing clothes that resonated with me as a little girl. The way Lisa rescued him was something I believed I did as a child to the stuffed animals that I owned. I felt I had also rescued them from the store and given them a home. Today, as I read it again, asking the Holy Spirit to speak to me through it. The connection to Him rescuing me became very evident. Throughout the story, Corduroy is searching for something. On the service it seems to be a button for his overalls. But in reality it is something much bigger. As he sets out to find a button and finds himself going up the escalator he says, “I think I’ve always wanted to climb a mountain.” Then when he reaches the next floor, he thinks he is in a palace. He then says, “I guess I’ve always wanted to live in a palace.” This pattern continues as he sees a bed and says, “I’ve always wanted to sleep in bed.” Clearly though Corduroy is still not happy because the minute he sees the button on the mattress he goes back to the search and tries to pull it off. That’s when the story gets suspenseful, and the night watchman searches and finds Corduroy. It seems Corduroy is right back where he started until the next morning when Lisa shows up and pays for him to take him home. (I know you already see the spiritual connection here – but there’s more) Once Lisa gets home, we discover she has prepared a place for Corduroy. Corduroy immediately says, “I know I’ve always wanted a home!” And even at that point Lisa points out to Corduroy that she loves him just the way he is, but wants to make him comfortable and therefore sews a new button on his overalls. It is then Corduroy discovers what it is he really needed all along was a friend. Don’t miss that he says, “I’ve always wanted a friend.” And Lisa’s reply is . . . “Me too!” If you haven’t picked up the spiritual connection here, let me explain. We are just like this little bear wearing corduroy overalls and waiting for something. We wonder what will come along in our life to make us feel happy. As we experience different things in life, we evaluate them. “I think I’ve always wanted this”. . . Or “I guess I’ve wanted this” – The truth is, we think and talk ourselves into things that we want because we are trying to fill a much bigger need.
And just as Corduroy believed that a button would make him worthy enough to be bought, we try to do things that will make us worthy too. But someone sees us just as we are, incomplete and not “new” looking. -And He has paid for us as well! Lisa used everything she saved in her piggy bank to buy Corduroy. Jesus died on the cross as payment for us. (1Peter 1:8) When we accept the payment he has made, we are redeemed and are now owned by our Heavenly Father. And it just keeps getting better. Christ has gone to prepare a place for us in Heaven. (John 14:3) He knows that we want a home there, and more importantly, He knows that what we really want is a friend. Just like Lisa, He wants that from us too. (Romans 5:11) When I read this story and compared it to what Christ did for me, I was so blessed. I just stared at the illustration on the last page. Lisa hugs Corduroy and Corduroy seems so content. I realized that through all my searching and adventures that I’m only truly content in my Heavenly Father’s arms. I remember reading the book as a child. But, today I read it as a child of God. I’ll never look at it the same again.
Disclosure: These ideas are that of this blog and teachers using this book, not the author or publisher of the book. (less)
The True Story of The Three Little Pigs and Truth Discovery Based on The True Story of The Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka
I still remember when I first discovered this book. I was an immediate fan! I had just begun teaching and built and had built an entire Kindergarten unit around Fairy Tales which included the three Little Pigs. I used the story of The Three Little Pigs to teach about natural and made-man resources and about staying safe at home. When this book came along, I found a whole new platform of discussion about discovering truth, judging others, and working through our differences.
If you by chance have never read this book, allow me to fill you in. This is the Not-So Big and Bad Wolf’s account of what happened in the story of The Three Little Pigs. The wold was simply making a cake for his grandmother while he had a very bad cold. He needed ran out of sugar and needed to borrow a cup from his neighbors, who just happened to be pigs. At the straw and stick house, he just happened to sneeze, destroying the house and killing the first two pigs. Since the pigs were already dead, he ate them. At the third pig’s house he tried again to borrow a cup of sugar, but the third pig was rude and refused to let the wolf in. The wolf got angry at how rude the third pig was being and as he tried to break down the door, the cops came. Once they found that the wolf had destroyed the other two pig’s houses and eaten them, the wolf was arrested and the story of Three Little Pigs and The BIG, BAD wolf was born.
Using this book in the classroom allowed students to see there are always two sides to a story. I challenged students to re-write other fairy tales from another characters point of view. How would the bears tell the story of Goldilocks? How would Goldilocks’s version have been different. It is an exercise that helps children to discover we all put our own selfish desires before that of others. It teaches students that when they have a disagreement with someone it is good to hear their side of the story. When the two sides do not agree, we wonder what is the truth.
Here is where God’s Word needs to be taken into account. It is the source of Truth. And if we can each evaluate our opinions and actions based on God’s Word, the difference in opinions we have with one another can be solved.
Let’s see what scripture says: 1 Cor 1:10-17 The Bible says we should agree with each other- Wow, that’s a tall order! It goes on to say though that the disagreements are because we follow different teachers. It is Christ’s teaching that we should be following. Other verses to consider are Cor 13:11, Eph 4:3, and Philippians 1:27. These verses refer to being of one mind and one spirit. Sometimes we just need to get with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and put aside the things we don’t agree on and focus on the one important thing we do agree on. The Truth of God’s word. All other issues pale in comparison anyway. Disclosure: These ideas are that of this blog and teachers using this book, not the author or publisher of the book. (less)
This is a great story with a great lesson for children, adults, and everyone in between. In the story seven little mice...moreSeven Blind Mice, by Ed Young
This is a great story with a great lesson for children, adults, and everyone in between. In the story seven little mice each examine a different part of the elephant and decide they know what the object is. However, it isn’t until the seventh mouse runs across, around, up, and down – over the entire elephant and reveals its true identity. The story ends with the moral: “Knowing in part may make a fine tale, but wisdom comes from seeing the whole.” I've posted a Bible Lesson using this book at my Blog site - Bible Lessons in Childrens Literature. - read it at:
This adorable story by Kim Norman reminds us of the great adventures many of us had withour dads. I remember as a little girls swimming in Lake Erie w...moreThis adorable story by Kim Norman reminds us of the great adventures many of us had withour dads. I remember as a little girls swimming in Lake Erie with my dad. Who didn’t love to pretend their dad was a crocodile or a shark swimming under the water. I can still remember my heart pounding as I fell deep into that make-believe world and he’d swim around circling me from under neath the water. I remember watching my husband play the same game with my daughters when they were young as well. It amazes me that no one teaches fathers to play this game. They just seem to know that the adventure and excitement of it is something all children love.
I love the way this book takes the little boy’s imagination and brings it into a story that all children can enjoy. -
"A favorite book with many lessons". Recently re-read this book in the "Read For the Record Day" - and used it as a book for my blog "Bible Lessons in...more"A favorite book with many lessons". Recently re-read this book in the "Read For the Record Day" - and used it as a book for my blog "Bible Lessons in Children's Literature" The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The VEry Hungry Christian http://dawnstephensbooks.com/2009/10/...(less)
The movie is only going to make this popular children's book an even bigger hit. For years it has enspired children touse their imaginations. I recent...moreThe movie is only going to make this popular children's book an even bigger hit. For years it has enspired children touse their imaginations. I recently used it as a book in my blog: "Bible Lessons using Children's Literature" Check it out at: http://dawnstephensbooks.com/2009/09/... (less)
This book is outstanding book to read with young children. They love to predict the words coming on the next page. I use the book in "Bible Lessons us...moreThis book is outstanding book to read with young children. They love to predict the words coming on the next page. I use the book in "Bible Lessons using Children's Literature" You can read that entry here: http://dawnstephensbooks.com/2009/06/... (less)
A friend told me this was her children's favorite book - So I chose it as an addition to my blog in writing Bible Lessons using Children's Literature:...moreA friend told me this was her children's favorite book - So I chose it as an addition to my blog in writing Bible Lessons using Children's Literature: In this story, a princess, named Elizabeth, “lived in a castle and had expensive princess clothes”. She makes a big change in her life. A big fierce fire breathing dragon helps her to re-evaluate her choices and perspective in life. As adults we sometimes experience a tragedy that changes our perspective. For the princess, she lost everything (mainly her beautiful outfits) in a fire caused by the dragon. Oh, and she also lost her handsome prince, Ronald. In her quest to rescue Ronald, she begins to see that she doesn’t need the things that she did originally. (expensive clothes and a snobby prince). She becomes a confident, self achiever wearing a paper bag! you can read more at - http://dawnstephensbooks.com/2009/06/...(less)