Kid Lit Book Review – The Hungry Fox

Overview

One of the things that I really like in a children’s book is that it teaches a lesson.  The Hungry Fox by Cole Adams does that and much more.  The story chronicles a fox’s journey to find food after waking up.  Along the way, he makes many mistakes and learns a lesson each time.  Each chapter is set up as an interaction with a different animal in the story and a different lesson.

Outstanding Points

The book itself is visually striking.  I love the illustrations.  They are mostly in the style of a mosaic pieced together using different geometric shapes. It is a very unique style for illustrating a book.  The colors are bright and engaging with a slightly fanciful air.

The layout of the Table of Contents is as unique as the illustrations.  It is set up as a map with the chapters laid out as way-points in a journey.  Again, in place of what could be a droll portion of the book, the Table of Contents is creative and visually engaging.

The Hungry Fox is written in the style of a fable.  Talking animals that are used to teach a moral.  In this case, each chapter teaches its own separate moral.  In Chapter 1, the fox learns about greed.  In Chapter 2, he learns about pride.  Chapter 3 is a lesson on honesty.  All in all, I counted seven different character traits/lessons in the book.

There is some very high level vocabulary in the book.  For example, in the chapter about greed, Adams uses the word avaricious to describe the fox.  This is a word that many children would not be familiar with at all.  However, being that the entire chapter is about greed, they can use context clues to determine its meaning.

Overall, the story reads well with a continuous and consistent plot structure.  The theme is evident throughout.

Teaching Points

If I had to label The Hungry Fox as any one genre, I would label it a fable.  It has all the classic characteristics of a fable and reads like one as well.  This lends itself very nicely to using it in a unit on fables and comparing it to the classic fables such as Anansi the Spider.  Doing a comparison/contrast activity with a classic fable would be a very good way to use this book.

Talk about the various character traits/morals that the fox learns along its journey and list them.  Have students try to think of other stories/movies that they have read or seen that would teach that same lesson.

I love using reading to spur writing.  Once the students have read and compared several different fables, have them write one of their own.  Assign the students one of the morals that The Hungry Fox teaches and let them create their story.  If some students are more drawn towards visual arts, encourage them to write theirs in a graphic novel type genre.

Select 5-10 of the high level vocabulary words from the book and have the students look them up and write the definition in their own words.  Being able to summarize and rewrite things is a huge skill necessary for most standardized tests.

Discussion Points

This book simply lends itself very well to discussion. The obvious morals taught in the book are great for prompting discussion with  your kids or students.  “What did the fox learn about greed?” and “Do you think that this is true in your own lives?”  are good examples of possible discussion questions.

Conclusion

Overall, I enjoyed reading The Hungry Fox a lot.  Again, I really liked that it was a more modernized version of the classic fable genre.  I would definitely recommend using it for a unit on fables.  I also really liked that the illustrations were done in a geometric/mosaic style.  It would be a fun book for an art teacher to use as a cross curricular aid to incorporate literacy into an art unit as well.

Where to Find It

The Hungry Fox is, I believe, a self-published book.  As of now, it is not likely to be on many book shelves at your local Barnes and Noble.  However, it is not at all difficult to find on Amazon.  Simply search for “The Hungry Fox Cole Adams.”  The book is very affordable.  The print version is available for 9.99 and the digital price is even less at 2.99. Even better, the author will sometimes put it on Amazon Kindle Unlimited for free at times.  Definitely worth a read.

As always, thanks for reading.  If you enjoyed the blog and want to follow it and receive an email anytime there is a new post, click on the link in the lower right hand corner of your screen.

Crockpot Pumpkin Chili (Vegan Option Included)

I really got into the whole “Fall” thing with this one.  We had a surplus of pie pumpkins at the house and I decided that, rather than let them all go to waste, I’d experiment with making a pumpkin based chili.  Pumpkin is also really really healthy. It turned out really good.  There’s definitely a sweet pumpkin flavor but it’s still chili so it has a bit of a kick to it as well.  As usual, I let the kiddos help out with it.  Enjoy

Ingredients

4 cups fresh cooked pumpkin or 2 15oz cans pumpkin puree.

4 cups water

2 green bell peppers diced

1 onion diced

1 lb ground turkey

1 tbsp each of cumin, chili powder, onion powder, and garlic salt

3 tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp each of pumpkin pie spice, black pepper, and salt

1 can each of pinto beans, kidney beans, black beans, diced tomatoes with chilis.

 

So the first thing you need to decide is whether you’re going to use fresh cooked pumpkin, or canned pumpkin puree.  If you’re using canned pumpkin puree, skip to step 3.

Step One

You probably only need one pie pumpkin to get 4 cups of fresh pumpkin.  I cooked up 2 and froze the leftovers to use in bread, pie, or pancakes later.  So start by cutting your pumpkin in half and scooping out the innards.  Set them aside in a separate bowl.

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Step Two

Placed the hollowed out pumpkin in a glass baking dish filled about 1/2 in with water.  Cook at 400*F for about an hour.  The pumpkins are done when the outside is soft and squishy to the touch.  While they are cooking, do steps 3, 4, and 5.20181029_122932.jpg

Once they are done cooking, let them sit for about 15 minutes and flip them over to cool faster.20181029_134543.jpg

Step 3

Brown the ground turkey in a skillet and add it to the crockpot.

Step 4

Drain the beans but not the tomatoes, and add them to the crockpot as well.  20181029_123144.jpg

Step 5

Add the cumin, chili powder, onion powder, garlic salt, pepper, salt, and brown sugar to the crock pot.  Stir together and set on high.20181029_123253.jpg

Step 6

Dice the green peppers and the onion and add them to the pot.20181029_130527.jpg

Step 7

Once the pumpkins are cool enough to work with without burning your hands, scoop the pumpkin out from the shell and place into a large mixing bowl.  Add the 4 cups of water to the pumpkin and whisk together.  If you’re using the pureed pumpkin do the same thing.  Then add this mix to the crockpot and stir it all together.

Step 8

Cook on high for about 4 hours.  Add cheese or sour cream or anything else you like on chili to top it off and enjoy.

*This recipe can be made vegan very easily.  Simply take out the ground turkey and add another can of kidney beans.  It won’t really change the flavor or consistency that much.

 

So, right now, you have the innards of the pumpkin sitting in a bowl to the side.  What should you do with that.  Well, click here for a second recipe for roasted pumpkin seeds.  It’s one of my family’s favorites.

As always, thanks so much for reading.  If you enjoyed the blog, please take the time to follow it by clicking on the link in the lower right hand corner of your screen.  Happy Fall!

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

So, you’ve just finished making a Jack-O-Lantern or using real pumpkin in a recipe and you have a slew of pumpkin innards.  What to do?  Make roasted pumpkin seeds.  They’re super easy, healthy, and delicious to boot.  Growing up, my mom used to make these all the time and we love them.  Pumpkin seeds are rich in Fiber, Protein, Omega 6 Fats, Vitamin K, Phosphorus, Manganese, Magnesium, Iron, Zinc, and Copper.

So the bowl of innards probably looks a bit like this.20181029_122739.jpg

The bad news is that your hands are gonna get messy getting the seeds out from the innards.  The good news is that if you scooped the innards out yourself, then your hands are probably already messy.  So a large bowl full of innards will produce a medium sized bowl of just seeds.20181029_125818.jpg

The picture shows the original bowl with the new bowl next to it.  Add about 3 tbsp of olive oil to the seeds and toss it together for about a minute to disperse the oil evenly.  Then spread the seeds over a large cookie sheet and sprinkle with garlic salt and black pepper.20181029_130312.jpg

Cook for 15-20 at 400*F or until the seeds start browning and are crispy. Put them back in the bowl and toss them again to spread the garlic salt and black pepper better over the seeds.20181029_132207.jpg

Try a seed pretty shortly after they come out.  They cool fairly quickly.  If they are not crispy enough, put them back in the oven for a little bit longer.  Enjoy.

 

Thanks for reading.  I hope you enjoyed this recipe.  Please take the time to follow the blog by clicking in the link in the lower right hand corner of your screen.  Happy Fall!

 

 

Kid Lit Book Review – Nellie Nutgraf: The Double-Best Reporter in History: A Hot Story

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Overview

Nellie Nutgraf: The Double-Best Reporter in History: A Hot Story, is a fun filled and whimsical journey of the beginning of Nellie Nutgraf, a newspaper reporter.  The story is spread over three different books, available exclusively on a website called getepic.com.  They are written by Tom Angleberger, who is best known for his Origami Yoda series.

The opening lines of the story are “Welcome to the least educational series of all time. Nellie Nutgraf is a newspaper reporter who covers the biggest stories in history.  But it’s not like the history that they teach in school.  It’s a wacky version where everything happens at once, including a lot of things that didn’t happen.”

That opening line gives great foreshadowing into what the rest of the books will be.  It features appearances by Paul Bunyon, Bigfoot, Congresswoman Shirley Chisolm, Albert Einstein, and Benjamin Franklin.  Although the story itself does seem scattered and random, as I read through it, I found that the plot was still continuous and unified.  These first three books followed Nellie from her birth through her first big story.  The book itself is loosely (very loosely) based on the life of Nellie Bly, one of the first investigative journalists in history.

Outstanding

There were several things about the story that stood out to me as being outstanding.

  1. The overall fun and goofy nature of the story grabbed my attention and kept me engaged in the plot the entire time.  Even as an adult, I still enjoyed reading it.
  2. The story features real characters from history.  Although Angleberger is very upfront and honest about the inaccuracy of their part in the story, the end of the books have sections that guide the reader to actual biographies about those people.
  3. Many of the characters are minorities and female. (Congresswoman Shirley Chisolm was the first African American female in Congress) I love seeing prominent roles for these demographics in children’s literature.
  4. Nellie suffers a failure in the middle of the story.  However, she responds to it very well and is more determined than ever to succeed afterwards.
  5. I really enjoyed the illustrations and how they were laid out in the story
  6. These specific books on getepic.com are read-aloud books.  The words are highlighted as the performer reads them.  It is easy to follow along and professionally performed.

Teaching Points

As a former teacher, I always seem to see the teaching points in a book when I read it.

  1. The story itself is written as a tall tale with things like Nellie getting blasted four miles into the air.  Even her birth is similar to those of Paul Bunyon, or Pecos Bill, or Calamity Jane.  This book would work well when teaching through a unit on tall tales or myths.  It would be fun to compare a modern tall tale to a classic one.
  2. As a tall tale based on a real historical figure, this book could also be used in conjunction with a true biography on Nellie Bly to compare her in the book to her in real life.  Based on that comparison, have the students try to write an accurate biography for someone like Paul Bunyan, Hercules, or John Henry.
  3. Have the students try to write a tall tale about themselves or a friend.  Have them illustrate how they would look in a tall tale.
  4. Have the students read Chapter One of the first book.  Have them list three things in that chapter that tell them that this is a tall tale and not historically accurate.

Parenting/ Teaching Discussion Points

Another thing I like to do when I read is to find things that I can use as discussion points for my own children.  These can also be used as classroom discussion questions for students as well.

  1. Nellie fails at her first try to write a story.  How does she respond to that?  What does this tell you about your own life?
  2. Nellie doesn’t seem to let anything in life hold her down, i.e. age, gender, etc.  What would you do with your life if you didn’t consider anything in your life too big to overcome?
  3. The first story that Nellie was assigned was seemingly very unimportant and boring.  How did Nellie approach that?  Was it useful later in her story?

 

Overall, I must say that I truly enjoyed the entire Nellie Nutgraf series.  I was entertained throughout and came away with several teaching ideas and parenting discussion questions.  I hope that Tom Angleberger is not done writing this series and I look forward to reading more from him.

As always, I appreciate you taking the time to read the blog.  I hope that you enjoyed it and came away with something meaningful.  You can follow the blog by clicking on the link in the lower right hand corner of your screen.

Angelic Wonderings

I wonder if angels grow old and die?
And if they do then at their funeral do the other angels cry?
Do they question God and wonder why?

Another thing I’d really like to know
Is if they’re living up in heaven then after death where do they go?
Would the afterlife simply be the status quo?

I wonder if any angels are scared of flight.
And do any of the angels have trouble falling asleep at night?
Do angels wake up with the morning light?

Can the angels travel through space?
And if they can do they go to Saturn just to get far from this place?
Do they wish that they could stay away?

I wonder if they’re sick of this whole Earth bit.
And I wonder if the angels ever wonder if we’re worth it?
Of protection do they think that we’re unfit?

Have they grown accustomed to wars or
I wonder if angels suffer post traumatic stress disorder?
Do they feel they’re always being ignored?

To the angels do we make any sense?
And do the angels know some demons who at one time were their friends?
Are any angels still sitting on the fence?

Do sunsets look as stunning from above?
And has there ever been a time an angel and demon fell in love?
Is she the one that he’s still dreaming of?

I wonder if angels ever have fun.
And did the angels shake their heads when humans first produced a gun?
Do they celebrate or weep when each battle’s done?

Would an angel die in a nuclear blast?
Will I ever know the answers to these questions that I’ve asked?
Will an angel be here with me til my last?

I wonder if there are questions that I’ve missed.
Oh yeah, sometimes I even wonder if angels actually exist.

 

 

Thanks for taking the time out of your day to read this.  I hope you enjoyed it.  Please follow the blog by clicking on the link in the lower right hand corner that says “Follow.”  Hope you enjoy the rest of your day.

25 Bible Jokes

I decided to combine my love of dad jokes with my love of Jesus and write some jokes based (loosely) on the Bible.  Some of them are really bad.  Be ye warned.

Why didn’t Joseph wear a necktie?  He always wore a coat of mini collars

What did Jesus say to the Mexican Jumping Beans?  Peas! Be still.

Why was Peter’s writing so lyrical?  When he was in prison, he was bound with Two Chainz.

Why don’t Jamaican Christians cut wood?  Their pastor says that God is one but He be made of tree parts. (Read in a Jamaican accent or it doesn’t make sense…it might still not make sense.)

Why did Moses want the Chief Wahoo logo gone?  He was always partial to the Red C.

What did Jesus say when T got too close to V?  I’m going to prepare a place for U.

What did Jesus say to the acorns that fell too fast?  Have faith and just be leaves.

Why did the disciples quit Black Lives Matter in the Garden of Gethsemane? They couldn’t stay woke,

Why did everyone think Jesus was a big gambler?  He was always talking about a pair a dice.

Why are beans the holiest vegetable? Jesus said “Blessed are the peas makers.”

Why did 3 John put pants on Jude?  He didn’t want any more Revelations.

When did Jesus get involved in the NBA? When he stopped James and John from fixing the Nets. (No wonder they’re so bad each year)

What would Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob name their football team? The New England Patriarchs.

What does Mike Tyson think is the hottest underwear in the Bible?  The Thong of Tholomon.

What did Festus say when Paul asked to go to Caesar? “Seize her? I didn’t even think you knew her!”

What did Jonah say when the fish asked if he wanted to be spit out? “Yes! For shore!”

When are bartenders mentioned in the Bible? When Jesus said “Blessed are the pouring spirits.”

Why did Jezebel want Naboth’s Vineyard so bad?  She thought it was just grapes.

Why do Christians drink soy protein? They believe Jesus is the only whey.

Why was everyone so happy that Saul missed when he threw the spear at David? If he had hit him, I’d could have been truly harp breaking.

What did Mary say when Jesus’ room was messy? “What were you, born in a stable?”

What is Jonah’s favorite spot in Jerusalem? The whaling wall.

Why wasn’t Noah good at math? He could only count two by two.

Why did Solomon have to be so smart? To remember all his anniversaries.

Why do Christians eat so much cheese? Jesus was always talking about having a grater love.

 

As always. Please follow the blog by clicking on the link that pops up in the lower right hand corner of your screen.  Happy reading!

Interview with Doris Zigler – Jesus Prom Organizer

One of my favorite and most worthwhile nights every single year is a night called Jesus Prom.  It’s a really cool event hosted by Northside Christian Church in Wadsworth, Ohio that I am proud to call my home church.  Today, I sat down with Doris Zigler, the event organizer and spoke with her about the event; what it is, and how much it means to many people.  Here is a transcript of that interview.

I’m here with Doris Zigler, one of the organizers for Jesus Prom. How long have you been involved with Jesus Prom?

Since the beginning when Seth Amerine was here and got it all started.

What exactly is your role with Jesus Prom?

I guess I’m the leader of all the leaders.I just keep things organized, plan the meetings, make sure everything is where it’s supposed to be, and answer questions.

Has that always been your role since the beginning?

Well I’ve done several things. The first year, I led the decorations team and then the next two years, I did hospitality. Those were the three years that Seth was here. He started looking for someone that third year to take it over for him since he knew that he was going to be leaving. He asked me that third year if I would interested in this. So for the last three years, I’ve been doing this.

If someone who had no idea what Jesus Prom was asked you what it was, what would you tell them?

Well, it’s a night where our church just celebrates and parties with people with special needs. It’s all about them. Everything we plan, we plan for them. It’s to give them a night to just be themselves and be free to wander and do what they want to do in a safe environment. It’s a good time for our church family to be around others who aren’t just like them and to come out of their comfort zone and meet somebody new.

So can you just describe what the night is? Like take us through the night as if you were a guest or a guide. How does the night go?

When they come in the front doors they are met with a group of people who are clapping for them and cheering for them and welcoming them. There is a red carpet spread out for them. This year they will be directed to an announcer who is going to announce them and their guides name. Then their guide will step forward out of the group and come and get them and help them to sign in at the hospitality table and then for the rest of the evening they will be free to do anything they want to do. We’re doing something different with the banquet this year. Instead of having everyone eat at the same time, there is going to be staggered times. So when they come in if they want to eat right away they can go see if the table is ready. If there are no tables ready, we’ll kind of do it like a restaurant. We’ll write their names down and how many is in their party and they can check back in. We’ve outgrown our banquet hall. So we decided to do this so that we could accommodate more people.

Speaking of that, How many guests do we have this year?

Today we have 176 signed up and we’ve decided that we are going to cap it at 200. So we have room for 24 more because not only is that 24 guests but it’s also parents and caregivers. So right now we’re at like 319 dinners.

Do you have anything for the parents and caregivers throughout the night?

Yes, if someone is in a condition where they need constant care and looking after, some of the parents who are caregivers will stay with them and eat with the in the banquet hall. We ask that there only be one so that we can accommodate more guests. The rest of the overflow go upstairs to the youth rooms upstairs and they set up tables up there. When they are done with the buffet, they can go next door amd we have a chiropractor that comes and does neck and shoulder massage for the parents. We have a nice relaxing meal upstairs for them away from the chaos downstairs.

How are we doing on volunteers?

We need a lot more volunteers. The smaller teams fill up. The kitchen team, servers, and paparazzi. But what we really need are guides. As of today, we probably need about 100 more guides.

What’s your favorite part of the whole thing?

Well, I love it all, but when they start walking in on the red carpet, I just cry. When they are all waiting in the parking and we go to open the doors, all the car doors fly open because they just can’t wait to get in here. And you can see them just rushing up here with the smiles on their faces. Some of them just love that red carpet because they can just dance and show off.
So one thing that I love about Jesus Prom is just how much the church comes together, especially inter-generationally. Have you noticed this and can you talk about it a little bit?

Yes, even just within the planning teams. We have 18 different teams and each one has their own leader. And we’re all different ages, men, women, a mixed group. And we probably wouldn’t have become as good friends as we are in any other setting because we all would go to a certain class or group on Sunday and they’re all based on age or whether you have children or not but yeah, I see that in all the teams. There’s older people and younger people and they all work together so well.

That’s awesome. As a high school leader in the church, I love Jesus Prom because we can tell our high schoolers that this is a way that you can be involved in the church and actually be the church. Have a lot of high school kids signed up this year?

Yes! Quite a few. I think that sometimes they wait til the last minute. It seems that November is forever away.

How many man hours would you estimate go into planning Jesus Prom throughout the year? Not just the night of but all year?

Oh golly. I don’t even know. I know how many I put into it. I would say probably 500 throughout the year. I know each team leader does their own thing like decorations meet throughout the year to plan and make the decorations.

So 500 is a conservative estimate?

Yes

So minimum 500 hours planning to go into a 3 hour event. Do you think it’s worth it?

Yes.

Why?

Because it just brings so much joy. You see the result of it. People who have never been to Northside before. Every time I see one of our special needs guests come forward to get baptized I just think that happened just because of a party. You know God can do amazing things in all situations. I think it’s also good for the parents to be loved on upstairs. Having a brother-in-law and sister-in-law that deal with this on a daily basis, I know that as much as they love their son, they get tired. I mean his constant energy and not being able to fully communicate with them. This night is a good night for them to be able to talk to other parents that are going through some of the same challenges.

What options are there for people still wanting to volunteer?

Well guide is the big thing. There are also still a lot of openings for people wanting to help decorate the building. Or people wanting to help with passing out the dresses that we’ve collected for the girls. There’s just two people signed up right now to do that. People are coming in on Thursday night to set up the tables and chairs and then that same group is going to put the tables and chairs away on Friday night since they already know where everything goes.

So the big need is for guides. Can you describe that job a little bit?

It is just being with the person and letting them do what they want and making sure that they’re safe. Some of them want to communicate more than others. You just let them lead the way. You tell them what’s available. Really the guide just needs to make sure that they get their picture taken and that they eat.

Some people might be hesitant to sign up to volunteer because working with special needs individuals can be uncomfortable if you’re not used to it. What would you say to someone who feels hesitant in that way?

I would say that if you haven’t been to Jesus Prom and you are uncomfortable with the whole idea, the first year you should come and just go to the karaoke room. You don’t have to really communicate with anyone, you just come and cheer for them. Or come and just walk through the hallway during the night and I think you’ll realize that it’s not nearly as difficult as you thought it was.

 

 

A huge thanks to Doris for her time to sit down and talk with me about Jesus Prom this year and for her time throughout the year planning it.  As she said, Northside still needs a lot of volunteers for this.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a member at Northside or have never set foot in the door.  If you want to do something to help someone else out and bring joy into their lives, please sign up as a volunteer.  Go here to sign up or just to find out more about it.  I can guarantee you won’t regret it.  As always, thank you for reading.  Please take the time to click on the link in the lower right hand corner of your screen to follow the blog.

Raindrops and Ripples

There’s a website for poets called The Prose.  Poets/Authors create challenges on there to spur on creative thinking and writing for other poets.  I know it sounds super cheesy and all but I really enjoy it.  I don’t create a lot on there.  I just browse the challenges to see if there is anything that piques my interest.  About two months ago, there was a challenge called “Micropoetry.” It was a challenge to write a poem in 32 words or less. I wrote this one called “Raindrops and Ripples.”  It didn’t win, but I figured I could share it here.  Enjoy.

One drop of rain

Can start a chain

Of ripples felt a mile away.

And one good deed

Can plant a seed

That grows to save a world in need.

 

The poem is pretty straightforward and simple.  The message is that nothing you do, no matter how seemingly small, is insignificant.  Any good deed that you do will impact the world around in a positive way somehow.

Thanks for reading.  As always, I would be honored if you clicked on the link in the lower right hand corner of the screen and followed the blog.  Happy Friday Everyone!

Your Love Defends Me

This past Sunday, I had the opportunity to do something that was way outside my comfort zone.  I stood up and read one of my poems as part of a special Sunday night worship service at our church.  It was something that I had never done before and I was legitimately pretty terrified.  It was really putting myself out there.  However, I found it to be one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had in worship and one in which I feel I grew as a writer, speaker, Christian, and person in general.

The topic of the poem was answering the question of whether or not Jesus is still relevant in our day to day lives.  I wrote it to lead into the song “Your Love Defends Me,” by Matt Maher.  So, if you’re reading this and you are a Christian, then read it as an encouragement that Jesus can be relevant in your life today.  If you’re reading this and you’re not a Christian, then try to come at it with an open mind and just appreciate the poetry and come to a deeper understanding of something that Christians believe.

Also, since this poem was written to be performed, not necessarily read, the rhythm and meter is a little bit quirky at times.  If you want to hear the song that this poem preceded, go to this link to find it.  I hope you enjoy this poem and come away with some kind of deeper under standing or enlightenment.

Who is Jesus? That’s a topic for deliberation.
I know that whenever it comes up in conversation.
There’s usually some kind of confrontation
It’s a question that can bring a lot of consternation.
But I think the issue that causes much of the strife
Is not who He is but what is His role in our life.
I mean is He still alive and active? Is He relevant?
Or are we talking and singing these songs just for the hell of it?
And when I say hell of it a pun is definitely intended
Because most of us see His role as just a ticket to get to Heaven.
But today I would really like to lay before you
Three ways that Jesus can be so much more to you.

First, Jesus can be a source of motivation
He increases our hearts’ emotions call it cardiac inflammation.
Jesus gives to our lives a meaning and a mission.
He places in our hearts a more extensive conviction
And sends us to go far outside our comfort zone
To do things that we never would dream to do on our own.
He might send you off to Africa to teach kids how to read
Or you might stay here with Agape or Jesus Prom and serve those with special needs.
He might send you to share His love and grace with your neighbor down the road
Or you may end up in Piedras Negras even though tu no hablas espanol.
You could help somebody clean their gutters by getting on a ladder
Or fight against racial injustice by joining a group like Black Lives Matter.
Either way my point is that we get comfortable and, now don’t call me crazy
That comfort causes us in truth to become a little lazy.
So, the first way Jesus has a function in our day to day
Is He gives our lives a purpose and He sends us on our way.

Part two
Some people say that Christians have completely lost their touch
They say this Jesus guy is nothing more than a simple crutch
What comes into my mind whenever words like these are spoken
Is that it seems like you just haven’t yet had your legs been broken.
And that’s awesome I mean please please don’t get me wrong
But I’ve found in life that eventually it simply won’t be long.
I haven’t lived that long but I’ve seen enough of this world in which we’re living
To look down at my cards and know it’s a loaded hand we’re given
See the history of the world begins in Genesis chapter One
Where we find God’s plan for how He wanted creation to be run
He created and it was good and that’s how it’s intended to be
Problem is, if you keep on reading that you’ll get to Genesis Three.
Where we come to the entrance of a little thing that we call sin.
And it corrupts the entire Earth and everything we find therein.
And everyone’s got a chapter full of dark and dismal days
The pain of them still lingers even though you’ve turned the pages.
And thinking we can heal ourselves is how the devil tricks us
When Jesus love is the only thing on Earth that can truly fix us.
So the second way that Jesus Love can be real to us today
Is that he has the ability to heal us from our pain.

Part Three
We’re in a battle and this whole world’s the battleground
Satan’s stationed at the center with his forces gathered round.
He’s got demons of depression, addiction, anxiety
And pressure to look perfect placed on us by society.
Hatred and bigotry
Lust and pornography
Christians fighting Christians just because of greed and jealousy.
He’s used these for millenia his tactics are tried and true
And if we ever solved them he’d just switch to something new.
See he’s got the human weaknesses all spelled out to the letter
We’ve been fighting them for years and believe me it’s not getting better.
No way on Earth can we protect ourselves from his attacks
He doesn’t fight a fair fight he’ll just stab us in our backs.
The problem is our thinking that we have to fight alone
We wander into battle just to struggle on our own.
But Jesus already won this war, he’s beaten Satan’s armies
When he is fighting for us there is nothing that can harm us.
So the third thing Jesus does to help us out along the way
Is he gladly comes to join us as we march into the fray.

So I hope tonight these words have helped to clear up some confusion
Of Jesus’ role today so let me say that in conclusion
We all get lazy so we need his love to send us.
We’re all broken so we need his love to mend us.
We’re all helpless so we need him to defend us.
His love defends us.

 

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