Monthly Archives: July 2012

Cross Training

Soak It Up

Water.

We splash in it to cool off, shower in it to wash away the dirt and grime, and soak in it to soothe sore muscles. We drink in cool iced water to replace summer’s sweat, and to keep our bodies well-hydrated.  

Plants and trees need water too. Without it, healthy green leaves turn brown and brittle. Our spirits can wither as well. God tells us in Psalm 1: 2-3 (NIV) that His Word gives to our spirit what water provides for a tree:

“But his (substitute your name here) delight is in the law of the LORD and on his law he (___) meditates day and night. He (___) is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he (___) does prospers.” (parentheses and italics mine)

A tree planted by a stream rarely lacks nourishing water. Because its source of water remains constant, the tree stays healthy and green and produces fruit at the proper time.

Likewise, God says the person who delights in (or looks forward to) reading God’s Word and spending time with Him (thinking and praying about what God’s Word said), that person will flourish. Their spiritual health will be strong and vibrant. No crunchy brown leaves or shriveled fruit.

As summer winds down, soak, splash, and swim in the pool or at the water park, but try soaking in God’s Word too. Plant yourself in His goodness and drink it in.

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Gayle’s Gable

This adventure/fantasy story whisks the reader into the exotic, mythological tales of India. In The Iron Ring, Lloyd Alexander brings his hero, young King Tamar, through innumerable challenges which shake his world, one in which the warrior’s code of honor is everything. Honor, caste, dignity. All are in question and Tamar struggles to redefine his understanding of honor, the warrior’s code, and how, he, as king, should live and govern. What will become Tamar’s new definition of honor? Alexander weaves a bit of magic, mischief, and mystery into this Indian tale.

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Zuno’s Pick

In Madlenka, by Peter Sis, Madlenka shares some very important news with her friends. As she visits each friend on her New York City block, she travels the world—and is almost late for dinner. Sis’s illustrations not only transport you from continent to continent, but also keep your eye busy with his tweaks in perspective. Use this little story to study new places, things, food, and people. Do you have friends from around the world? What have you learned from them?

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Cross Training

Unseen Guardians: Part 2

Last week, we talked about the guardianship of Mom and Dad’s words. Reread the passage below and refresh your memory:

“My son, keep your father’s commands and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. Bind them upon your heart forever; fasten them around your neck. When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you. For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life…”                                                                                  Proverbs 6: 20-23 NIV

We talked about how they guide you, watch over you, and speak to you. Solomon gave us pictures of light and lamps to describe them and reminds us that Mom and Dad’s corrections and discipline are the way to life.

Today, let’s look at our part. Zero in on verses 20-21.

“My son, keep your father’s commands and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. Bind them upon your heart forever; fasten them around your neck.”

What instructions do you see?

Keep          Do not forsake          Bind them upon your heart—forever          Fasten them around your neck

Keep. To keep something, you must first receive it. Accept Mom and Dad’s instruction and realize it’s a gift. Others don’t get such advice and training and must learn the hard way. You have a chance to learn some important stuff without making mistakes yourself, so receive it. Mom and Dad are looking out for you.

Do not forsake. Don’t hit the delete button in your mind just because you didn’t like what they said. If you don’t get the why’s behind their words, ask, then listen.

Bind them. Fasten. Make it part of who you are. Girls, wear and live those words like you would your favorite necklace. Guys, tie them to your heart the way you would tie your cleats before a big game, carefully, so they don’t come untied during an important play.

Though it may be hard to understand the reason behind each thing you are told, as you grow and mature, you’ll see and understand more and more. Until then, trust God that He’s put you in good hands with Mom and Dad. Not perfect, but good.

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Gayle’s Gable

Tentacles, Roland Smith’s sequel to Cryptid Hunters, sends the Wolfe team hunting for Architeuthis, the giant squid. However, Noah Blackwood is hunting the Wolfe team and only Grace is safe. Smith’s character, Dr. Ted Bronson, rivals Ian Fleming’s Q as some incredible technology appears in the novel. I love the sonic cannons. What could you invent that would help the Wolfe team in their quests for cryptids and in their ongoing struggle with Dr. Blackwood?

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Zuno’s Pick

A, B, C’s—scoot over, as 1, 2, 3 take their turn in Bill Martin, Jr.’s Chicka Chicka  1 2 3. The apple tree provides the setting for this adventure as the numbers climb its sturdy branches. Will Zero get a chance to join the number game? What will the numbers do when the bees claim the tree? Martin scores again.

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Cross Training

Unseen Guardians: Part 1

Silent sentinels. Wise watchmen. They guide our steps to the path of right choices. They give wise counsel when a problem confronts us. They stand guard when we sleep. They light our way and steer us back to the right path when we wander.

Who are these guiding guardians? These wise ones who seek to mentor us? Angels?

No.

Words.

Not just any words, but the words of our parents.

What ? Are you kidding?

No, I’m not. Check this out. Solomon tells us in Proverbs 6: 20-23 NIV:

“My son, keep your father’s commands and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. Bind them upon your heart forever; fasten them around your neck. When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you. For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life…”

Your father’s commands:

Take out the trash. Mow the lawn. Do your best. Show good sportsmanship. Tell the truth.

Your mother’s teaching:

Chew with your mouth closed. Pick up your clothes. Don’t hit. Share. If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. Say please and thank you.

Too often, Mom and Dad’s words are like prison wardens. We feel confined, locked up, and at the mercy of the mean prison guards. However, Solomon points out that Mom and Dad’s words are more like Aragorn as he watches over the hobbits in The Lord of the Rings—a guide, a guard, and a great one, though undercover. Trust Mom and Dad and receive their words. They’ve got your back.

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