Friday, March 31, 2017

On the Road

Texas Bible Bowl is here!!  Six months of study, 28 chapters, 1,006 verses that will stick with the kids long after this weekend! As our group left the McDermott parking lot bound for Bandera, Texas we prayed for calm recollection of everything we’ve studied; grace in losing; and humility in winning.

From Plano to Bandera it was about a six hour drive.  Caleb also made the trip from Lubbock Christian University to Bandina Christian Youth Camp. The trip took him about five hours.  

Caleb came as a representative for the college and brought the scholarship awards for the top high school scores. 

This was the first year that Jon didn't make the trip with us and we missed him a lot! 

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves Philippians 2:3

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Playing Hard Ball

Another day, another softball game! Today the CHANT Chargers and Fort Worth Country Day traded the lead back-and-forth, but eventually the Chargers prevailed 9-6.  The Chargers took the lead for good in the eighth inning.

Our Chargers collected 13 hits and Country Day had nine in the high-scoring game. 

Abigail played catcher for five innings and 2nd base for three innings. She had 3 plate appearances, 1 at bat and was hit by the pitch twice. She brought in 1 RBI and scored once. 

After the game we stopped and refueled at Taco Cabana! 

Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load. Galatians 6:4-5

Monday, March 27, 2017

Chapter Heading Cards

In preparation for Bible Bowl each year I make chapter heading flash cards for my students to learn the events in text and the order those events occurred.  One of the games we’ve played is a sort of 52 card pick-up game.   I mix up the cards and the teams compete to get the events in order.  On the back of each card is the chapter and sequence for easy grading.

When the kids aren’t in class they can practice at home putting the cards in order.  It has always amazed me at how easy this skill comes for the kids!  This year we are studying the book of Acts which has 85 Chapter Headings!  I thought it would be fun to video Abigail’s process in sorting and working through the events in Acts.

Why is this an important skill?  Why would a Christian spend time learning the order of events or where to find them in the Bible?  Well, if you were studying the Bible with someone who had questions about baptism, wouldn’t it be easier if you knew where to find examples of baptism in the Bible?!

What is the Biblical example of baptism?  Does it require a class or months of studying? Are there only certain people who are qualified to baptize others?  If a Christian knows where events are in scripture they can accurately answer those questions.  If you’ve studied the book of Acts you could look at the baptism examples of Simon (8:13); or the Philippian Jailer (16:33); or Cornelius (10:46); or Ethiopian Eunuch (8:39); or Lydia (16:15); or Crispus (18:8) and the context in which those occurred!

Plus it's a fun way to study!

Always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.  I Peter 3:15

The Change Up

Today the CHANT Chargers took an early lead past Nazarene Christian Academy in Crowley, TX.  The Chargers were up by fie points in the first and continued to run rule the following inning. 

Our couch mixed up the girls to give them all exposure to new positions and to level the playing field for our opponent.  My catcher girl players a little 2nd base! 

The Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. 2 Timothy 2:25

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Giving Honor

Today the CHANT Chargers played a double header against the THESA Riders.  THESA is the other high school level, home schooled team in our area.  Every year the two teams play a double header with a time to honor the seniors for both team in between the two games.  

This year CHANT has two seniors, Jaylee and Breezy, both are strong pitchers for our team and will be missed next season! The girls were presented with flowers and gifts from their teammates.  

In the first game the Chargers fell behind early and couldn't come back in a 14-4 loss to THESA.  In the second game the Chargers built a four-run lead in the third inning and then held off THESA's charge for a 6-5 victory.

Pay to all what is owed to them: . . . respect to whom respect is owed,
honor to whom honor is owed. Romans 13:7

Friday, March 24, 2017

Just Ask . . .

The pantry our family volunteers at serves about 150 families per week.  Much of the food we hand out is purchased from North Texas Food Bank.  But we can only purchase what has been donated.  Yes, food pantries buy the food that was donated to NTFB, but it is purchased at a considerably reduced rate and is a fee to cover NTFB warehousing and delivering the food to the pantries. 

When NTFB doesn't have the food the pantry is needing we then rely on outside donations. I sent out a message to friends and family that we were running low and these pictures are the results!  This is just for this week.  My mom sent money for breakfast items; several church friends stopped by with pasta and sauce; another friend donated toothpaste and deodorant; and a pediatrician friend at church donated baby formula!

It such a blessing!  Our softball schedule has seriously interfered with our time with the pantry guests but I'm thrilled we've been a small part in helping out with the needs of others. Thanks to everyone for your generosity! 

Whoever gives to the poor will not want,
    but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse.
Proverbs 28:27

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Crown of Glory

A few weeks ago we ran into the Toni & Guy hair college to get our hair cut.  I had failed to tell Abigail that the she was getting a hair cut.  Some how she was mentally unprepared for the event!?!  I don't know, all I can say is she's sixteen!  

Anyway, Frankie and I got our hair cut and Abigail squeaked out of it. Today, mentally prepared for this seemingly life altering event, she had two inches cut off the back of her hair.  

All of those pony tail twisties have taken a toll on her hair, but she loves it long and long hair is easier to take care of.  I did get a kick out of the twenty-somethings who have dyed their hair gray as I'm hanging on to what hasn't turned gray! 

Gray hair is a crown of glory;
    it is gained in a righteous life.
Proverbs 16:31

Monday, March 20, 2017

Podiums for Pupils

Our home school group PEACH offers a public speaker's club for teens.  It is organized by a Master Toastmasters member under the guidelines of Junior Toastmasters.  It has been a great experience for Abigail. 

In elementary school she and Caleb participated in the DFW Speech Club until PEACH offered a similar program.  This is the fourth year Abigail has participated, and completed all five required speeches.  

We have exceeded the graduation school requirements for public speaking but I feel it is a life skill she will use.  The things she learns here she can apply to those college interviews, job interviews, presenting papers in college, or teaching a Bible Class.  

So many lessons can be learned from how to write and prepare your thoughts.  The kids also have to sign a waiver that the material they are presenting is their work and not plagiarized from another source, it's a great lesson in honesty and integrity. The kids have also worked on tone an non-verbal cues.  Again, some times you can say all the right things but your facial expressions or tone are sending a different message.  

The girl still smiles though every speech, she's a happy child.  She probably talks with her hands way too much, but she inherited that from me.  But she has a wit and charm about her quirky self that I love to hear her stories. 

Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.  Ephesians 4:25

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Equipping the Next Generation

Our preparations for Texas Bible Bowl are winding down, we are two weeks away from competition.  At this point I have presented all of my lessons over the twenty-eight chapters of Acts, now it's time to review. 

In class today I pulled out some of the kids favorite review games and we had some fun.  My favorite Bible Professor had to head back to school but he managed to hang around for a couple of rounds of Survey Says

It's been an interesting year teaching with so many younger kids in the class.  I'm hoping that the older ones have still felt challenged and will do well.  I know they've learned a lot but we've worked at a slower pace. 

The biggest success for me will be when it is all over and the kids want to return to study again!  It's my hope that they begin a love for studying the scripture.  In fifteen years I would love to find each of these kids teaching another group of thirty kids each! 

He commanded our ancestors to teach their children,
so the next generation would know them,
even the children yet to be born,
and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God
and would not forget his deeds
but would keep his commands.
Psalms 78:6-7

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Take Me Back to Tulsa

Nothing cries out Spring Break fun like a family funeral.  Abigail is in the midst of her softball tournament in Fort Worth when we got the news that Dad's cousin Joyce passed away.  

The family held a memorial service so I made a day trip up to Tulsa for the services.  Uncle David officiated the memorial.  Joyce was between Dad and David's age.  Joyce's father Gene and my grandfather Elmo, were brothers. 

It was good to see cousins and family members even under the sad circumstances. I was very grateful that Caleb was home for spring break and could share with the driving. 

Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. Hebrew 12:1-2


Today we are back at Fort Worth Christian in tournament play against THESA.  THESA is another high school league for home schoolers. The acronym stands for Texas Homeschool Educators Sports Association.  CHANT is Christian Homeschool Athletes of North Texas.  So today we had the Christian home schoolers playing the other homeschoolers.  It's a fun running joke between the teams. 

Both teams had a good game.  They played hard but in the end CHANT won 5-4. It was fun to watch two evenly matched teams play ball.  

When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
when you run, you will not stumble.
Hold on to instruction, do not let it go;
    guard it well, for it is your life.
Proverbs 4:12-13

Friday, March 17, 2017

Fort Worth Christian Softball Tournament

This weekend the CHANT Chargers are playing in Fort Worth Christian's softball tournament.   First up in the line up the Chargers faced Reicher Catholic High School.  After seven innings of play the game finished out tied 0-0. 

In the next game the Chargers faced Fort Worth Christian High School. Abigail had two good at bats and was the sub runner for our pitcher, scoring a run. Final score for this game was a Charger win 7-4! 

I run in the path of your commands,
    for you have broadened my understanding.
Psalm 119:32

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Chargers vs. Dallas Christian

In the second game of the tournament at Fort Worth Christian our CHANT Chargers faced Dallas Christian.  This is the team we faced earlier in the season that had one of their players relatives as one of the paid umpires. 

Today's game went a little better on an even playing field and with neutral refs.  Chargers lost 5-2, but it was a lot better game.  

Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us. Titus 2:7-8

Go Karts and Golf

The Chargers had a break in their tournament play today, a three hour opening between games while we were in Fort Worth.  One of the moms found a great spot for the girls to play a little putt putt golf and race go karts. 

The girls didn't really get into the putt putt golf manly because they were swinging with the club like it was a bat!  

But these competitive softball players REALLY got into the go kart racing!  The eleven players and Caleb took to course with custom racers with no fear!  They were running about 25-30 mph, powered by four-stroke engines with 15 hp motors.  

I was a little nervous that we were going to have to tell coach Craig how one of them got hurt being overly competitive.  Fortunately even though a few of them spun out no one was hurt.

The chariots race madly through the streets;
    they rush to and fro through the squares;
they gleam like torches;
    they dart like lightning.
Nahum 2:4

Chargers vs. Temple Eagles

Caleb was hoping to see Abigail play a little softball while he was home on break and it worked out that she has five games this week!   The CHANT Chargers are playing in a tournament at Fort Worth Christian. 

First up was the Eagles of  Temple Christian School.  The girls played tough and there was good camaraderie between the teams.  In the end Chargers won 15-0.

The streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets. Zechariah 8:5 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Growing Up in the Lord

What a great Lord's Day!  Many of the young people who grew up at McDermott were home for Spring Break.  The top picture is the graduating class of 2015 from McDermott.  Most of them have been together since first or second grade! They are all attending different universities but remain close!

The lower picture is the Burrow family.  They were part of our McDermott family for many years and then relocated to College Station about five years ago. Caleb, Andrew, Abigail and Emily competed in National Bible Bowl together for several years!  It was a great day surrounded by great friends! I missed having the Gungans with us because that would have completed these pictures of great friendship over the last decade! 

For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.  Acts 11:26

Friday, March 10, 2017

Bible Bowl Game Night

It's the first day of LCU's Spring Break and what better way to celebrate than with a party with a few friends. We had our first ever Bible Bowl Game Night with our McDermott and Southwest players and their families. I pulled out some of the kids trophies to get the newbies excited about our upcoming competition. 

We played a round of HA! and Jeopardy between the teams.  I also broke out the new Survey Says game.  It was two hours of great fun.  A couple of our ministers came out to cheer the kids on and to let them know how proud they were of every one's hard work.

It was a fun evening together and I can't wait until our weekend in Bandera, Texas! 

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

Supply for Every Need

Requests for food at the pantry are always high over Spring Break primarily because the kids are out of school and parents are having to provide more meals during the week. 

Today, right on cue God made sure there was a surplus of food donations waiting for us today!  At Tom Thumb we collected over $600 worth of breads and desserts.  

Everyone of our pick ups today had above and beyond their regular donation amounts of food.  

You shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be. Deuteronomy 15:8

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Yearbook Club

The PEACH Yearbook Club got together this evening to work on this year's yearbook.  Each of the youth have different sections of responsibilities like scouts, sports, running club, teen club, park pals, speaker's club, spelling bee and tech club.  

These kids are responsible for taking the photos, page layout and selling advertisement. Because we are a small group the printing runs around $60 per book.  But when the advertising is sold it brings the cost to around $35 per book. 

These photographers and artists have been very busy this school year working on a first class product!

Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men. Proverbs 22:29

Homiletics Class

Today Caleb presented his first lesson in his Homiletics class.  He was assigned the text in Mark 5:21-43 which covers Jesus healing a woman and the story of Jairus's daughter.  They video tape the students presentations and I asked him to send it to me! 

 your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease Mark 5:34

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Dallas Opera's Madame Butterfly

Tonight we joined our PEACH home schooling friends for the dress rehearsal for Pucinni's Madame Butterfly.  If you are not familiar with the story it is perhaps the most depressing of tragedies! Here's my recap: 

The Opera is set in the 1890’s, at the small house on top of a hill in Nagasaki, Japan.  Pinkerton, an officer in the American Navy, has arranged to take a Japanese wife, Cho-cho-san, with the help of an mediator. Sharpless, the American consul, advises Pinkerton that his actions are hasty. But Pinkerton ignores this advice.

Cho-cho-san is a 15 years old. She was born in a samurai family, but the death of her father ruined the family. She became a geisha. She is pleased at her wedding, and she has secretly become a Christian. But, her relatives, who are Buddhist, sever connections with her due to her conversion. 

In Act 2 Pinkerton has returned to America, three years have passed. Cho-cho-san believes that he will return. One day, Sharpless visits her with a letter from Pinkerton, but can’t reveal the contents of the letter. Because, she looks happy with her child. After Sharpless leaves, Cho-cho-san confirms that an American battleship to which Pinkerton is assigned, enters port at Nagasaki. She waits for his return.

Cho-cho-san has a sleepless night, but her husband doesn’t come back. While she and her child take a rest in her bedroom in the morning, Pinkerton and Pinkerton’s “real” American wife, Kate, appear in front of the house. Cho-cho-san’s maid, Suzuki, tells them of Cho-cho-san’s innocence. Pinkerton is filled with regret, and promptly leaves. He immediately departs leaving Kate to talk to Cho-cho-san. Cho-cho-san gets up, and when she sees Kate, suddenly everything is clear to her. Kate makes an offer to take in Pinkerton’s child, but Cho-cho-san refuses unless he comes to get his child.

Pinkerton unexpectedly reappears. Cho-cho-san has already killed herself with her father’s dagger!

The music is incredible and the vocal range required by the lead is extraordinary, but did I mention it is perhaps the most depressing tragic opera ever! 

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.  John 16:33

Monday, March 6, 2017

The Lady or The Tiger

In the Junior Toastmaster meet tonight our PEACH high schoolers gave their recitation speeches.  It didn't have to be a recitation from memory but it was a retelling of a story using the skills they've learned including gestures, vocal variety and stage presences. 

 Abigail chose a recitation of Frank Stockton's The Lady or The Tiger.  It's the tale of an unusual punishment imposed by a semi-barbaric king in which the accused must choose between two doors. Behind one door is a maiden and behind the other is a tiger. The protagonist is in love with the princess.  Enjoy! 

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  1 Peter 5:8 

Monday Ministry

Just another Monday hanging out with our friends at Metro Relief.  Today we had a full crew of home schooling friends including Gracie, Ella and Tessa.  Frankie, Ella, and Tessa worked behind the scenes stocking shelves.  Gracie and Abigail worked up front helping the guests shop.  Robin and I worked with Mr. Don doing intake.  

After a busy morning of serving fifty plus families we enjoyed a nice lunch together at Freddy's Frozen Custard and Steakburgers.   

And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Hebrews 13:16

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Survey Says Game

As we are getting closer to Texas Bible Bowl I wanted a new review game for my class.  After a quick web search I decided a fun game of Survey Says (like Family Feud) would be the perfect addition. 

2 - 24"x36" foam board
11"x14" Card stock
double-sided tape
Duct tape 
Yard stick 
Xacto knife
Hot glue fun

The idea was to make five pockets where I could put my answers and a sliding number card in front. I measured out five 2 1/2" x 12" slots, leaving and inch and a half between.  
I used an Xacto knife to cut out each slot. I lined the inside cut edges with duct tape to make them smooth. 

From the scraps of poster board that I had left over from the slot, I split each scrap in half yielding me ten 1 1/4" x 12" strips of poster board.  I wrapped each strip in duct tape.  Using my hot glue gun I glued a strip between each slot on the back of my game board. I added one strip above the top slot and below the bottom slot.  Working only to the left side of the slots I glued my last two strips.   This will allow me to pull the cards from the right side of the board.  

Next I cut my second piece of foam board to fit over the strips I had just glued down.  I used my glue gun to mount this to the back of my board. I now have five closed in slot that are open only on the right hand side of my board.  Perfect for sliding my answers and number cards in and out! 

Next was to center three Velcro dots on the bottom of the board for attaching the strikes.  Using the double sided tape I attached my "Survey Says" title.  The final touch was the light kit, which is simply using a dowel and poking the lights through the board! 

Here are the links for my graphics:

   Blank Game Answer Cards, add your own answers to fit your review material. 

   Game Title, this link can also be used for question cards. 

  Sliding Number Cards, laminate these because they will be used in every round.
   Strikes, to be laminated and add Velcro dots. 

The game was a great hit with my class!  Fair warning though, it is time consuming to cut out the sections with the Xacto knife and to build out the pockets.  But the final product is fabulous and can be reused for reviewing any material.  

My class is studying the Book of Acts, so one of my question cards read, "People's homes where the apostles stayed in Acts."  And Survey Says:
     1. Lydia (16:15)   40 pts
     2. Mnason (21:16)   25 pts
     3. Jason (17:8)   20 pts
     4. Simon the tanner (9:43)   10 pts
     5. James (21:18)    5 pts

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God,who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.  James 1:5 

Friday, March 3, 2017

First Friday Thrive

The first Friday of the month means we are packing fruits and veggies for the church's Thrive ministry.  Members of the church meet up at the Avenue F congregation to pack up one hundred and forty bags of fresh produce for residents in low income housing in McKinney. 

Each bag is filled in an assembly line process and includes contact information for the congregation along with an invitation to the World Bible Study with McDermott members.  Two of the boys that Abigail has been babysitting joined us today, Malachi and Noah.  Noah wanted to ride the church van so he could hang out with Abigail.  

We had the perfect weather for being outside today.  Malachi, Noah and Abigail even checked out play ground equipment at the park where we distribute the food. At one point I looked over and the girl was traveling across the monkey bars. 

Better to be a poor person who has integrity than to be rich and double-dealing. Proverbs 28:6

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Gungans and Softball

Time to play ball! The Lady Chargers played at Bethesda Christian School in Fort Worth this evening.  Abigail caught for the entire game and she had two really good hits. In the end the Chargers won 12-5.

But the best part of our day was that the Gungans came down to visit. And, they brought Hannah with them.  The kids got to hang out while Donna and I worked on Texas Bible Bowl stuff.  It was great to hear the kids laughing in the house together again.  They shared several stories with Hannah that had her in stitches.  I loved having them here.  Hannah sent us a house listing for a home for sale near them in Ada! 

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.  Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Dog Days

Today was bath day for Padme'.  The weather has been a little too chilly to bathe her because it takes so long for her to dry.  We headed up to Hakuna Matata where they have hydraulic lift tubs that make it easier for the old girl to step into for her bath.  The bath tub at home is just too much for the old girl, and too hard on my knees!  Padme' slept like a baby after her bath, such a sweet girl! 

Like one who grabs a stray dog by the ears is someone who rushes into a quarrel not their own.  Proverbs 26:17