This is another great church bulletin thing from Father's Day. I just love stories like this!
Jack Eckerd was a businesmann, the founder of Eckerd Drug stores. In the 1980s, he became a Christian thanks to a friend, Chuck Colson. After his conversion, he walked into one of his stores, down the books and magazines aisle. The first thing that caught his eye- Playboy and Penthouse magazines. When he went back to his office, he called the president of the comany and said, "Take those magazines out of the stores." The president reminded Eckerd that those magazines make the company $3 million a year. Still, Eckerd wanted them out. So, in 1700 stores across America, by one man's decision, those magazines were removed. His heart was truly changed by Christ. His friend Colson called him and asked to use the story. He asked Eckerd, "Did you do that because of your commitment to Christ?" Eckerd replied, "Why else would I give away $3 million? The Lord wouldn't let me off the hook." Eckerd later wrote letters to all the drugstore operators, all the other chains and requested they also remove such magazines from their stores. Not one person answered him. He wrote more letters. Meanwhile, Eckerd stores had more customers, simply because the pornographic magazines were gone. Other stores took notice and removed them as well. All the while, the presidential porography commission was meeting in Washington, debating what to do, trying to develop recommendations for the president to consider stemming the tide of pornography. During this, 5000 7-11 stores also removed the magazines. The chairman of 7-11 happened to sit on Eckerd's board of directors and gave into the requests to pull the magazines. In a period of 12 months, 11,000 retail stores in America removed Playboy and Penthouse. They didn't do it because of a law, but because one man was committed to honoring Christ. ~ paraphrased
Whether it be Christian convictions or environmental rights or whatever we feel stongly about, how often do we really stand up for it? Do we keep it to ourselves, just living our lives? Or do we hold someone accountable for their choices too? Do we think we can't make a change in this world because we're just a regular person? Are we too scared of what people will think to do what we know is right?
I'm trying to live my life in such a way that is honoring to God. But, I'm human, and I sometimes fail Him. In my human-ness, I've hurt people's feelings. I've been scrutinized unfairly because I profess to be a Christian. People forget Christians aren't perfect. I'm going to keep doing what I know is right, trying to honor God in my words and my actions. I'm going to stand up for what I believe in. I'm going to make choices that show I won't compromise my beliefs. I want my family and my God to be proud of me.
Kevin and I celebrated 10 years of wedded adventure this month. To reward ourselves, we took a cruise, just the two of us, 5 days of ocean bliss. No chores, no kids, finishing conversations without interruption- good stuff!!! Even with technology of cel phones and internet available, it was great to disconnect from world and enjoy each other.
For the sake of sanity, we dropped the kids off with one set of grandparents then were allowed to stay at the other grandparents house for the night (even though we didn't bring the kids). We sailed right out of Galveston. I loved watching the brown water change to blue somewhere in gulf. It was just incredible to see the vastness of the small part of the ocean we were in, water as far as the eye could see.
Crusie ships are incredible! Our room was perfect, with a balcony just right to sit and watch the ocean. Every night, with turndown service, we had a cute towell animal on our bed and the schedule of events for the next day. You could keep yourself busy all day or choose to do nothing.
Not only does this ship house about 2000 passengers, but the staff and all the space for activities.
It was no big deal to see this 40s era Rolls Royce parked in the "hall", looking like a hotwheel in comparison to the size of the ship.
There were a few dance clubs, a casino, 3 restaurants, many decks, a mini golf course, a gym, a spa, several kids areas, the main stage area, shops.... Just incredible! Oh, and a library. LOVE IT! I didn't finish my book until the last day, so I never checked out from the library, but it sure was cool.
We never went hungry, to say the least. Pizza and ice cream available 24/7
Meals in various restaurant spots all day long. A tucked away spot with little treats, too. Hey, the strawberries were healthy :) We decided to take the stair everywhere we went, and it was a good thing.
Somewhere along the trip, out in the ocean, while enjoying the view, these little things would pop out of the water, glide along then go back in. Flying fish! How incredible to see! This picture was taken with my big zoom lens, then zoomed digitally. Sometimes, we'd see whole groups of them flying together. Just amazing! When I mentioned it to a cruise staff member later, she said it was the season for them. I feel blessed to have witnessed one of God's unique creatures of the ocean. This was an incredible trip. I really enjoyed spending time with my husband, celebrating such a milestone. I look forward to many more years of adventures with him. I also look forward to more cruises! :)
On Sundays, in our church bulletin, there's a story or letter from our preacher. Sometimes it's from his heart, sometimes it's copied. Every now and then, there's something that really makes me think. So, why not share that!
Committed to His Word The Bible is essential equipment for the human race. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." God's Word teaches me, rebukes me (repairs my way of thinking), corrects me and trains me in righteousness.
Years ago, the state of Kentucky had a law that every public school classroom post the Ten Commandments. The Supreme Court ruled against the state of Kentucky, ordering them to remove all copies of the Ten Commandments saying, "Having the commandments on the wall may induce a student to read, meditate upon and actually obey what is therein written." Even the Supreme Court realized the Word of God has the power to transform the character of the people who read it.
Would it really be so bad if students read and obeyed the Ten Commandments?
There are so many things you can do with the letter S. I think this has probably been the most successful letter yet!
We always start with coloring the letter and gluing it construction paper, along with pictures of things that start with that letter. That page becomes the placemat of the week. (Sorry it won't rotate)
We read books (some that also have songs we sang)- Snuggle Puppy, Twinkle Little Star, Itsy Bitsy Spider, Stuck in the Mud, Skidamarink
We made art- with stamps, S snake, S spider
We tried to trace the letter, but we have a long way to go with motor skills on that. We found poems and little books about spring and sunflowers. We sorted M&Ms by color. We practiced sign language signs for animals. We practiced shapes (and counting) with these great mini pages designed for color dot stickers or whiteboard magnets. Jacob LOVED the sticker part of this!
We learned a verse (KJV but shortened). It just amazes me how his brain can memorize these already! At the end of the week, we add his verse to a special treasure box of his verses. He already has a handful in there, and he's SOOOO proud to say them for me.
We played games- Straw Hockey, Silly Faces
But of all those fun things, I think this is the one that made the biggest impact. I took boxes from the recycling bucket and some solid color dot stickers. He looked to find the letter "S" on the box and put a sticker on it. From them on, he looks for the letter "S" everywhere- store signs, on clothes, in a book, on movie credits. Just incredible the impact that had!
I was expecting some cute little ceremony, but it was quite a production! The kids showed off the things they learned about in class during the year- phonics sounds, math facts, daily routine, fun songs. Each student had a part to play, usually more than one. We were pretty proud of Beth. She loved playing teacher, using the pointer to lead the kids in a phonics chart. They were supposed to keep it secret what they were doing in the play, and she did a great job. Although, looking back, I know why she was singing some of the songs I didn't usually hear her sing :) After all the performing and a quick sermon, the official graduation part began. As you would expect with 5 and 6 year olds, it was funny watching them trying to remember which hand to shake with and how to move the tassle. Hard to believe she's a first grader now! Thank you Mrs. Amenell. You did a great job loving and teaching the kiddos. You will always be special to us, as Beth's first teacher. Then, of course, what's a celebration without some Mexican food?! It was wonderful to have both sets of grandparents with us for this special day and around the table all enjoying each other. It was a great day!
On the last day of school, Beth's class went to the zoo. One of the things I love about her going to a small close-knit school is that so many brothers, sisters and even friends from other classes were able to tag along on this trip.
We had quite a crew- PreK3, PreK4 and Kinder, plus some parents and extra kiddos. Kevin had been out of town all week, flew in that morning and met us at the zoo. We were so happy to have him join us too!
Beth sure had fun with her friends! We finally got to see the new MOLA exhibit, which is basically the new reptile house. Beth is still fascinated by snakes and such. The kids had a chance to pet a live snake. Neither of mine hesitated for a minute! Jacob wanted to see the elephants and loved that one was playing in the pool.
It was a hot and unusually humid day for north Texas, but we still had a blast. As we headed to the exit to meet back up with everyone, we got to see this new baby animal and its momma. When we walked up, the baby was only about 15 minutes old and still wobbly on its legs. How precious!
What a great ending to an exciting first year of school!