Monthly Archives: May 2013

Cross Training

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(Wisdom is speaking)“If you had responded to my rebuke, I would have poured out my heart to you and made my thoughts known to you.” (Proverbs 1:23)

Like Pooh in the tree after too much honey, do you find yourself stuck spiritually? Not moving? Does God seems quiet?

Wisdom speaks in the above verse from Proverbs and she shows us an interesting link:

Obedience and Intimacy

When God, through Wisdom, brought something to the attention of His children, they did not respond.

What happened next? Silence.

Let’s flip the scenario. If His children had responded, what would have happened?

  • “I would have poured out my heart to you.”
  • “I would have made my thoughts known to you.”

Intimacy.

A new closeness with the Father.

So, are you stuck? Has God spoken and you’ve ignored Him? Ask Him where you got off track and respond with the next step of obedience.

Questions:

Have you ever gotten stuck, literally?

What was it like?

How did you get free?

Why do you think Scripture links obedience with intimacy?

Is that logical? Fair?

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Cross Training

cross-trainingTraining Wheels

“Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death.” (Proverbs 19:18)

When our kids learned to ride bikes, they were chaos on wheels. They swerved right. They swerved left. Starting required a curb. Stopping involved first aid.

They needed practice, so we started with training wheels. Then, we went to the local track and challenged them to stay in a lane. The lines marked a boundary and helped them control their body and their bike. Soon, they could ride, turn, and stop on a dime–without the need of the first aid kit.

Learning to maneuver through the challenges of life requires some practice too. Family rules and their consequences, chores, and the giving and losing of privileges provide training wheels and lane lines so kids progress to the sidewalks and streets of life’s neighborhood. These help kids master their wills to gain the self-control they need.

Bike accidents are ugly. I know. Yet, life’s accidents leave far more than scars and the memory of eight weeks in a cast. According to God, not to provide discipline is to be a willing party to a child’s death.

Kids, don’t fight the training wheels. Allow Mom and Dad to help you develop the self-control you need. Trust them.

Parents, keep at it. The harvest is coming.

Questions:

How did you learn to ride a bike? What safeguards did you have?

Tell me about your present level of cycling? Are there higher levels?

Now, examine your spiritual training. What safeguards have your parents put in place?

What could happen if those safeguards were removed before you were ready? How can you master a skill, like time management, so the safeguard’s removal is appropriate?

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Zuno’s Pick

Here’s what Zuno’s read this month:

The Boy Who Was Raised by Librarians by Carla Morris, Ill. by Brad Sneed (Four paws)

Widget by Lyn Rossiter McFarland, Pictures by Jim McFarland (Four paws)

Henry and Mudge Take the Big Test by Cynthia Rylant, Pictures by Sucie Stevenson (Henry and Mudge–always a favorite.)

Mr. Putter and Tabby Spin the Yarn by Cynthia Rylant Ill. by Arthur Howard (Zuno is a big fan of Mr. Putter and Tabby.)

No FIghting No Biting by Else Holmelund Minarik, Pictures by Maurice Sendak

Mouse Tales by Arnold Lobel

The Golly Sisters Go West by Betsy Byars, Pictures by Sue Truesdell

(All three are old favorites. The Golly Sisters are a hoot. Lobel and Minarik have authored many classics.)

Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons Story by Eric Litwin, Created and Ill. by James Dean

You? by Vladimir Radunsky

Wow! Said the Owl by Tim Hopgood

Elephants Cannot Dance by Mo Willems

Pearl and Wagner One Funny Day by Kate McMullan,Pictures by R. W. Alley

Hooray for Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold

Biscuit by Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Pictures by Pat Schories

A Snout for Chocolate by Denys Cazet

 

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Cross Training

cross-trainingStory by God

“The LORD works out everything for his own ends—even the wicked for a day of disaster.” (Proverbs 16:4)

I love a good story and the key to a good story is conflict. Problems. Obstacles. Bad guys. Without them, you have no story. Think The Lord of the Rings without Sauron and his orcs. The Three Little Pigs without the wolf. Madeline without appendicitis. Ruby without little brother Max.

The conflicts on our favorite stories often mirror those in real life. Bullies. Standardized tests. Tryouts. Siblings. God assures us in Proverbs–He has a plan. Take a moment and read the verse above. Note the word everything.

Everything—the wicked, the bad day, the conflicts, the obstacles—is being worked out for His ends, His goals, His purposes.

And He is good.

If today is filled with struggle, be the hero or heroine of your own story. With God’s strength, face your nemesis. Overcome your obstacles. Press through to your problem’s solution. You are not alone. God is working everything for His own end.

Questions:

What is your favorite story?

What is the story’s problem or conflict?

How does it shape or change the hero?

What is your greatest challenge?

What potential change can you see?

How can you and God see this through together?

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Cross Training

cross-trainingKnocking Down Blocks

“The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.” (Proverbs 14:1)

Blocks. Colored wooden ones in all shapes. Cardboard bricks. My boys used them to carefully construct castles, army barracks, and forts. A well-built structure provided protection for their valiant warriors, army men, cowboys, or caped crusaders, a place to rest, regroup, or dig in for a fight. Still, even after meticulous building, knocking down the blocks afterwards always brought a thrill.

As my boys grew older, they exchanged their blocks for Lincoln Logs and later, for Legos. Now, words have become our blocks and with them, we build relationships. Friendship fortresses. Camaraderie construction. Buddy building.

And building is fun. Some friendships are built for a season—peewee football or middle school band. Others endure for a lifetime.

Solomon warns us not to smash the blocks. We have a choice—to build or to demolish. Smashing a friendship has far greater consequences than picking up a pile of blocks on the floor. How are you using your words?

Questions:

What did you like to build with when you were little? What did you build?

Did your materials change as you grew older? Did your structures change? How?

Consider the different relationships you have: family, friends, teammates.

Describe the construction for each one. Are they different?

What is your tendency–to build up or to tear down? Positive words or negative ones?

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Gayle’s Gable

Here’s what been on my table or nightstand over the last month. What are you reading that you can’t put down?

Recent Reads

Adult: Down Range:Navy SEALS in the War on Terrorism by Dick Couch

Rogue Institution:Vigilante Injustice, Lawlessness, and Disorder at the Air Force Academy by David W. Graney

The Warrior Elite: The Forging of SEAL Class 228 by Dick Couch

YA: After the Rain by Norma Fox Mazer (Good story about a teenage girl and her relationship with her grandfather)

Scorpions by Walter Dean Myers (Interesting book on inner city life and gangs)

Fablehaven Book 3: Grip of the Shadow Plague by Brandon Mull (Fablehaven books are always a fun read for me!)

Gideon the Cutpurse by Linda Buckley-Archer (Interesting time traveling tale)

The Tail of Emily Windsnap by Liz Kessler (Fun modern-day mermaid story)

Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis (Older book, but interesting insight into the jazz era)

Dragons of Deltora Book 1: Dragon’s Nest by Emily Rodda (Fantasy, fun dragon story)

Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy by Gary D. Schmidt (Historical fiction, Schmidt is terrific.)

Things Hoped For by Andrew Clements (Different from Clements normal school stories)

Graceling by Kristin Cashore (Loved this adventure story except for the author’s romantic angle in which marriage was not a good option for the heroine, but living together was.)

Currently reading:

Adult: Seven Sacred Pauses: Living Mindfully Through the Hours of the Day by Macrina Wiederkehr

Mornings on Horseback: The Story of an Extraordinary Family, A Vanished Way of Life, and the Unique Child Who Became Theodore Roosevelt by David McCullough

Trident K9 Warriors by Mike Ritland (60 Minutes recently did a story on the author.)

YA: The Upstairs Room by Johanna Reiss (Holocaust tale, mild)

Theodore Boone: The Accused by John Grisham (I Love Theodore Boone. Grisham writes well for a younger audience. If you have a budding attorney, they will love it.)

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