Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Fill the Jars with Water?

“Jesus said to the servants, ‘Fill the jars with water’; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, ‘Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.’” John 2:7-8

In this story Jesus and his mother were attending a wedding. When all the wine at the wedding was gone, Jesus Mother wanted him to provide more wine. Jesus told the servants to fill the jars with water. Now in a practical world this makes no sense. You need wine so you fill jars with water? Huh?

But Jesus doesn’t always do things in a practical way; neither at this wedding feast, nor in your life and your single parent home. Sometimes He does the most impractical thing. Ever run out of money before the next paycheck? You may offer up a quick prayer but then you may start to look for the sensible thing to do.

Do you cut back on groceries? Do you hold the payment for the electric bill? Maybe you’re like me and you sit down and try and try to figure things out on your own. You’ve worked hard and you have really tried but then one of your children got sick and there went your skimpily trimmed budget. Happened to me more than once.

God doesn’t always deal in possibilities but sometimes he does the impossible. At the wedding feast Jesus told the servants to fill all the jars with water and then He turned the water into wine. Usually the bridegroom served the best wine first. When the servants took this wine to the master to taste, the master was amazed that this wine was the best wine of the wedding. He even complimented the bridegroom publicly for saving the best until last.

Allow Jesus to do the impractical for you. Ask Him to turn your problems into something you can manage. Or better yet, ask Him to take care of it for you. And then sit back, have faith, believe and watch what God does. He’ll make it better than anything you can imagine in your human and limited mind.

We learn that this was the first of the miraculous signs Jesus performed. But here is the most important part of the story, “He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.” John 2:11b (NIV)

By revealing the glory of our Savior in your life, your children can learn to put their faith in him also. 

This devotion and other devotions for single parents can be found at www.hlp4.com

Linda Ranson Jacobs
Healthy Loving Partnerships for Our Kids
Email:  Linda@hlp4.com 

© 2011 by the author

Monday, January 3, 2011

DC4K Evaluation

We are just finished our first DC4K session at Oak Grove Baptist Church in Youngsville, NC.  I hope some of the rest of you will evaluate your group and share your discoveries with me.

First of all the good things: 
* We had a fantastic co-leader. Miss Diane is the most organized person I have ever worked with. She makes my job so easy. She always has all the art projects set up; all the materials and supplies on hand and she studies the lesson plan. She is easy going and dependable. So my first suggestion for anyone that wants a successful DC4K - find yourself a Miss Diane who can be a strong behind the scenes kind of leader. 
* The kids had a good time. They laughed and kidded around a lot and seem to enjoy each other.
* The kids loved the read aloud stories. When it was my turn to do the stories, I was pretty dramatic and expressive. I did not use the questions at the end. We let the kids choose a blanket or a pillow to use during story time. 
* The kids seemed to enjoy and connect with the Safe Keepers and the Jr. Safe Keepers. 
* I think we connected pretty well with the parents. A lot of communication with the parent took place on Facebook after the kids were in bed. We did a lot of IMs back and forth. 
* This group of kids loved the group games. 

Some of the mistakes we made or bad habits we slipped into:  
*  We were never on time with our schedule. That's mostly my fault. We started at 6:30 but most of the kids were late. Then instead of directing the kids into stations, the kids milled around for awhile. Next session I'm going to work on training the greeter a little better and helping them understand part of their job is to get the kids into stations. 
* We got kind of sloppy with our stations. Toward the end our kids tended to wander back and forth between stations. We need to work harder next time encouraging the kids to finish what they are working on and then move to the next station. 
*  We need better boundaries at the snack and break bread time. We had a couple of kids that wanted to stand up and eat or take their food to another station. 
*  Our circle up time needs to be worked on. I think I'm going to move the circle up to a different area next session. Where we had it, the sound echoed and seemed to be too loud. 
* Our Treasure Box was a disaster. We need to figure out how to push this better next session.
* I kept forgetting to do the Alphabet Stretches. The kids did pretty good with them but I got rushed and forget them. Have to work on me!!!!
* Our music got completely lost. Next session we have got to do better with this. 

We have seen a lot of healing. I know this because of what the parents told me. After Facebooking about how much fun the kids had with the "Loving Is" charades, one of the moms whose child was sick that Monday wanted me to explain how to play it so she could play it at home with her sick son. How cool is that?