Monthly Archives: May 2012

Zuno’s Pick

 A birthday party at the local pool causes Edward some concern. When he refuses to part with his water wings, sneaky Georgina and Ivy disable his floaties and Edward finds himself in deep water. What will he do? Dive in to Rosemary Wells’s Edward in Deep Water. Is the water a little scary for you too? Tell me about it.

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Cross Training

The Benefits Package: Stock Options 

A benefits package includes all the perks you receive when you get a real job, things like bonuses, insurance to pay the doctors, or perhaps a company car. For the next several weeks, we’ll examine some spiritual benefits of being on God’s corporate team.

Psalm 103:1-5 (NIV)

“Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

Item four of the benefits package is stock options, something that gives you a personal stake or ownership in the company: “and crowns you with love and compassion.”

Crowns. Who wears them? I’m not talking about playing dress-up, or a school play or even Halloween. Who wears the real deal? You have to be royalty to wear the goods. Check out these verses:

Ephesians 1:5 (NIV): “he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will”

Galatians 4: 6-7  (NIV): “Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’ So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.”

I John 3:1 (NIV): “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”

Princes and Princesses, what kind of crown do you wear? One of love and compassion set on your head by the Father Himself. Deep, loving care anoints you. You are favored by your Father the King and an inheritance in His kingdom is yours.

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Gayle’s Gable

When author Eleanor Estes sat in school, just like you, a dog appeared at her school window with a pencil in its mouth. This dog inspired Ginger Pye, a story of an “intellectual dog.” When Jerry Pye proudly brings his new puppy home, his steps are dogged by someone in a mustard-colored hat. This unsavory character makes several mysterious appearances and then, Ginger Pye disappears. Has he been stolen by the unsavory character in the yellow hat? Will Jerry find Ginger? Check out this Newbury Medal winner. This book is a good choice for younger elementary aged students.

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Zuno’s Pick

Ocean waves. Radio waves. Nothing tops love waves. Love Waves send out signals that never drop. Working parents, this one is for you. Start a new tradition in your family with Rosemary Wells’ Love Waves. (Yes, I realize I’m on a Rosemary Wells kick, but I found some new ones and just loved them. Hope you do too.)

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Cross Training

The Benefits Package: Partnership

A benefits package includes all the perks you receive when you get a real job, things like bonuses, insurance to pay the doctors, or perhaps a company car. For the next several weeks, we’ll examine some spiritual benefits of being on God’s corporate team.      

Psalm 103:1-5 (NIV)

“Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

Item three in the benefits package is partnership: “who redeems your life from the pit”.

When I hear “pit,” I think of the movie, The Princess Bride, and the Pit of Despair where Prince Humperdinck holds Wesley prisoner and seeks to suck years off his life with the Machine. It’s hard to imagine being captured and placed in such a pit, so it’s even more difficult to understand, that as believers, we’ve actually been rescued from one. Check out Colossians 1: 13, 14 (NIV):

“For he (God) has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

Scripture states the existence of two kingdoms. God’s kingdom and the enemy’s. Satan’s kingdom thrives. Look around. Is your school full of kind children who respect authority and are always helpful and obedient or does bad language, put downs, and disrespect lurk in the halls? Jesus redeemed you and God brought you out of the pit, out of the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of His Son. You enter the kingdom, not as a worker, slave, or minion, but as a partner, a part of the family business in the kingdom of light.

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Gayle’s Gable

In Polish history, they tell the story of a boy whose trumpet call was cut short by an invader’s arrow through his chest. Trumpeters honor him by playing the tune, the Heynal, unfinished as it was the day he died. Author Eric Kelly, inspired by this story, crafted The Trumpeter of Krakow. The novel transports the reader to medieval Poland and a world of villains, knights, and alchemists. A secret treasure must be kept safe from enemy hands. Can Joseph and his father get it to the king in time? Watch for the trumpeter’s story woven into Kelly’s Newbury Medal winner.

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Zuno’s Pick

Nancy Shaw’s Sheep Out to Eat provides a tasty treat for young readers. Teashops may be great places for moms, but lunching sheep are more like bulls in a china shop. Will the teashop survive the dining experience or be put out to pasture? Nibble on this delightful tale by Nancy Shaw.

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