Disciples In The Making II

In order to be a really good teacher, I believe you must continuously be a student. I see quotes, parables, and metaphors, all having one mission in common, and that is to help visually guide.

I once read that the famous quote, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn,” derived out of a Chinese philosophy book. The original paragraph read, “Not having heard something is not as good as having heard it; having heard it is not as good as having seen it; having seen it is not as good as knowing it; knowing it is not as good as putting it into practice.” I am not sure I agree 100% with the original paragraph, as much as I do the quote that came from it. After all, some things are better off when not seen, nor heard, or practiced. However, it is all good when it serves us well.

Every year, I do my best to put together a fundraiser, theatrical play and video, with my class. It’s in hopes that they can learn more about God’s love for them through involving them in tasting it, feeling it, and seeing it. Through these events I realize that we were not created to walk by ourselves, but with each-other. It is said that fruit rarely grows in isolation, but only together with others, being connected by the vine that gives it life and fruitfulness.

This year before our Easter production, I reached out to my students that are not fans of being on stage. I delegated the responsibilities of opening the curtain, playing the music, and filming. I have to say, they did an awesome job, I couldn’t have done it without them! From my performers to my crew, they are all truly disciples in the making. After all, we may be the only bible that the people we meet will ever read, or the last message given, through word and deed.

In the presence of God, we are sure to be protected, directed, and even corrected. My Mother-in-law once said it best, as she was helping me fold some clothes. I was just about to go up the steps when she handed me a stack, saying, “Don’t go up empty handed!”

Matthew 6:19-21 Treasures in Heaven “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. May His Risen, giving, loving presence fill us with every joy, motivating us to do our part to bring His Good News to others.

Thank you to all who have served and continue to serve, to protect us, and to defend this great nation. In celebrating this Memorial Day, may you and your family be blessed in abundance!

Deanna Danielle

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 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit…”                                                      John 15:5

One hand reaching out to hold another…

 

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National Anthem

One by one, their steps were quick and their faces were brightly smiling. Their arms were stretched out carrying trays of banana bread, muffins, donuts, brownies, cookies, and cupcakes beautifully decorated with colorful sprinkles, as they entered into the auditorium. They were prepared for service. Kids helping kids, they put on their aprons and were ready to raise money for St. Jude children, to help them fight cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

The rush was on. As the other teachers gathered their students to go to class, we had our first customers; one very generous teacher and her group. Then the silence came and the clock was ticking, uh-oh… I thank God for the gift of prayer. We prayed, and as I shared with them what a wonderful thing they were doing to help others, the sound of pitter patter was in the hall and we were up and running once again. When the younger class that came to purchase sat to enjoy their treats, out of the blue, my students started singing…

Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro’ the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watch’d, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro’ the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?…

This is the beauty of having the privilege to teach. It’s when your students “WOW” you, no money can buy that!

There are times in our lives when we hear a song, a national anthem, and it moves us. As I see our world today and wonder what we will leave behind for our children, I express warm admiration for the words of Mandela in the movie Invictus:

“I couldn’t help noticing the empty offices as I came to work today, and all the packing boxes. Now, of course, if you want to leave, that is your right. And if you feel in your heart that you cannot work with your new government, then it is better that you do leave, right away. But if you are packing up because you fear that your language, or the color of your skin, or who you served previously, disqualifies you from working here now, I am here to tell you, have no such fear. What is verby is verby. What is past is past. We look to the future, now. We need your help. We want your help. If you would like to stay, you will be doing your country a great service. I ask only that you do your jobs to the best of your abilities, and with good hearts. I promise to do the same.”

May God bless our Country and everyone in it always. May God bless our world that there may be peace, happiness and perfect health. May God bless you and me. For we are all a part of God’s great big family, if only we want to be…

Deanna Danielle

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For God so loved the WORLD that He gave His one and only Son, that WHOEVER believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

 

 

When God Came To Earth

I am so proud of my 4th grade class, they gave all they had to present a beautiful Christmas Pageant. Christmas is a season of great joy. It is a time of God showing His unending love for us, as we celebrate the birth of the Christ child.

God sent His Son, Jesus, into the world to be born. His birth brought magnificent joy to the world. Shepherds, wise men, and angels all shared in the excitement of knowing about this extraordinary event. They knew this was no ordinary baby. The prophets had told of His coming hundreds of years before. The star stopped over Bethlehem just to mark the way for those who were looking for this special child.

There is a pome that reads:
Christ has no hands but our hands to do His work today.
He has no feet but our feet to lead men in the way
He has no tongue but our tongue to tell men how He died
He has no help but our help to bring them to His side.

As we lifted our hands to pray before the curtain opened, it was our prayer to share this life given message, about a time when God came to earth, to share His love with us. A love that truly can not be expressed in words.

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! 1 John 3:1

Merry Christmas Blessings,

Deanna Danielle

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4th grade 2016

Don’t Put Your Light Down

As I set up for class, one of the first things I do is place a battery operated candle at the center of the room. Just recently, as I placed the candle on the stand, its light shut off. When I picked it up to see what was wrong, it lit up again. After several times of this (going on when I picked it up, off as I placed it down), my  student’s curious eyes started to watch me. So, I prayed, “Lord, is there something You would have me teach them through this?” And lo and behold through God’s grace, there was.

Picking up the unlit candle one more time, only to watch it light up again, I had the children pass it around to one another. Through every hand who held it, the candle shined bright. As it came back to me, I placed it in the stand. Just then one of my students joyfully called out, “It’s not going off anymore!” That’s when I proceeded to explain, “We are God’s hand and feet. This is what the word of God looks like, its brightness shines when it is in our hands and especially when we share it with others.”

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” John 1:5

In the United States, the month of November is known for celebrating Thanksgiving. Pondering the many blessings, to numerous to count, I think about all the people in my life that I am grateful and thankful for. As my thoughts take me deeper, I recognize the gift of prayer and how the love and knowledge of God has been passed down from generation to generation. Those of old, who have helped to make so many lives new.

Out of the book of Genesis we read how Abel, brought his heartfelt offering to God. Passing that love forward it reached many, including the lives of Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, many in-between them and many whom would soon follow.  It is nothing less than a privilege to have been given the right of the light to hold and share the word of God, who is indeed worthy to be praised, honored and glorified.

Christ Jesus, who loved and loves us more then we could ever imagine, sent His disciples out to all the nations to proclaim this great news of God. With so much gratitude, by grace  it is my prayer for you to take hold of this generous gift of God’s love, because their are so many wonderful people that only you can reach, waiting  for you to pass it forward to them. So don’t put your light down, but hold it up high for all the world to see. They need you!

Happy Thanksgiving Blessings,

Deanna Danielle

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Beautiful card made by, Valentina 4th grade 2016

 

 

 

 

Turning Water Into Wine

Marie Grace Barnett, how can I ever thank you? November 25, 2015, A Lesson From The Heart of a Classroom, was the last post her red pen would mark on my page. She was my personal cheerleader, writing mentor, editor in chief, friend, and Aunt. She was everything but easy when it came to my putting words on paper and composing texts. December 9, 2015 came too soon. That is the day she entered on to the Streets of Gold, in the Kingdom of Heaven. This is my first blog without her. I hope to make her proud.

Planning for the opening day of school as a teacher is always exciting. A new class, a new year, another opportunity to share the awesome love that God has for us all. We started our class with scripture and learning how to read the Bible. John 2:1-11, the marriage at Cana, was our first lesson. In offering a chance for anyone who could find this scripture to go into our treasure chest,  the whole class was searching through the Good Book with eagerness and enthusiasm.

In reading this Gospel account of Jesus, His mother and His disciples being invited to a wedding where the wine runs out, and where Jesus delivers a sign of His glory by turning water into wine… Being a visual learner, I felt the need to show them what this moment in time must have been like. So, with one full glass water bottle, I poured the water into another empty glass water bottle that had a dusting of cherry Kool-Aid at the bottom.

In all my years of teaching, I don’t think I have ever impressed my students as much as I did in that very moment. The “Wow’s!” and “What???” As their eye’s opened their widest, thinking that I too could turn water into wine, let me know that I had their full attention. With that, I quickly shared with them that unlike Jesus, I had to use Kool-Aid to make this moment happen.

Seeing how awed they were, blessed me with a great privilege to teach them that, this is what God’s love feels like… Getting to know the incredible love that God has for us will “Wow!” us even in the hardest of times in our lives. And, that’s the kind of love that is worth learning about, a Love, that never stops loving us!

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, ”declares the Lord,“ plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Blessings always,

Deanna Danielle

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In memory of, Marie Grace Barnett
November 13, 1931 — December 9, 2015

 

 

 

 

A Lesson From The Heart Of A Classroom

Our class begins in a prayer circle. The room is set up with 4 to 6 desks that create the look of tables. Adding a desk or two, I have the children share chairs so that everyone has a seat. In the center of the table we have a burning candle (battery operated). After they wash their hands, we talk about God’s love for us, events that are happening in our world, and I often share a life story with them.

While setting up class today, I realized that I did not have the candle with me. Wondering what to do, I prayed. As I asked God for guidance, instantly I knew what to do. As the kids sat down, I asked them if they noticed something different. They all commented that the candle was missing and that it wasn’t a very good feeling. It was a perfect opportunity to talk about the love that God has for us, and how incomplete life would be if we didn’t have Jesus in it.

I shared a story with them about a friend of a friend, a woman who was in her last hours with a disease called lupus. I told them of how in her final state as she yelled out to God, she heard Him ask her, “What is Love?” In her silence, she heard Him again, “What is Love?” At that moment, she felt His presence like never before. Through a vision of red-hot luminescent energy passing from one heart to another, she could hear God speak to her, “That which you are seeing is Love, I AM that Love. She wanted to bow down even further into a greater reverence to him. However, because she was lying on her stomach, she was unable to kneel down as deep as she wanted to.

I told them of how God explained a lot to her about why people do what they do in life and why things happen the way they do. He explained to her that there are only two forces here on this earth, and that when things come against us we can counteract them with the supernatural Word of God.

I was kneeling down to speak to them at eye level. As I put my hands up in an expressive gesture to continue to tell the story, I felt a hand go into my right hand, and then another go into my left, and what looked like a domino effect, one hand went into another until we had a circle of hands holding on to each other. If you could only imagine, as a teacher, what a beautiful feeling this was. This was a lesson from the heart of a classroom, the meaning of true love as we held hands to pray.

“That I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!” – Psalm 30:12

Wishing you and your family, a very blessed Thanksgiving!

Deanna Danielle

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Thank you to those that have given their lives to protect our freedoms. Many make the ultimate sacrifice to keep us safe and we thank them for that. God Bless the U.S Military, and everyone we love. Card made by Alex, 4th grade November, 2015 Let us come to Him with thanksgiving. Let us sing psalms of praise to Him. – Psalm 95:2

LOOKING FOR A TREASURE

Have you ever wondered how time goes by so quickly? I know when I was a child, it seemed as though the summer months lasted forever. However, as the years go by, they seem to be getting noticeably shorter.

Here we are, once again, at the start of a new school year, and I am excited to share with my class what I have learned about God’s awesome love for us.

As I held up the Bible and a small treasure chest, I explained, “If we are looking for a treasure, these are two places we are sure to find it.” As I looked around at my new 4th graders, their eyes widened, and beautiful smiles appeared on their faces.

I then explained, “The only difference between these two treasures, is that one holds something temporary (as I held up the small box), and one holds something that will last for eternity (as I held up the Bible).”

I told them that the Bible is not meant to be read as a history book. It is a love letter to us. So, starting today, we are going to be looking and exploring some of the greatest treasures through the lives of those who loved God in His beautiful words to us.

I heard a priest once say, “I fell asleep and had a dream that life was a joy. When I woke up, I saw the reality that life was a servanthood, and in serving, I realized that the joy of life was in serving others.”

Blessings always,

Deanna Danielle

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Pay attention to what I say. Listen closely to My words. Don’t let them out of your sight. Keep them in your heart. They are life to those who find them. They are health to your whole body. Proverbs 4:20-22