Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Little Salt Goes a Long Way

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?” (Matthew 5:13 NIV)

Isabel sat up from her hunched position and stretched her arms and back. Ow! that hurt. She glanced at the clock and realized she’d been working on her mosaic project in that position for over two hours. The pieces of broken porcelain and sea glass were all laid out on Isa’s table, ready to glue onto the tile.

Tomorrow was Auntie's anniversary, and she wanted to finish the project tonight and let it dry overnight. Auntie liked frogs, so Isa had designed a frog sitting on a lily pad. Up close, it was hard to see the frog, but from a few feet away, the subtle colors blended together and the frog emerged from the pattern.

“Isa!” her mother called, “Chandler’s on the phone.”

Isa picked up the phone in the kitchen. “Hey, Chandler,” she said, walking back to her room as she talked. “Where are you? Isn’t this your small group night?”

“Yeah, but I didn’t go. I had too much homework. Besides, I decided I can be a good Christian without going to small group.”

Isa surveyed the mosaic layout on the table and frowned. “Um,” she said, distracted by her work. Something Chandler said didn’t feel right, but she couldn’t decide what bothered her. Right now, she only wanted to finish this project.

“Now I have to glue everything on.” She wedged the phone between her ear and shoulder and reached for the bottle of glue. This was the very best glue—it was super strong.

“What are you talking about?” Chandler asked.

“I’m doing a mosaic for my aunt, and now I have to glue it on.”

The bottle felt light. Isabel turned it upside down and squeezed, but only feeble trails mixed with air sprayed out. “Uh-oh, I don’t think there’s any left.” She looked at the clock again. “It’s too late to go to the crafts store—even if Mom or Dad would even take me this late.”

“Mix some water in the glue,” Chandler said. “If it’s super strong now, it will still work if you dilute it.”

“Good idea!” Isa squirted as much as she could get out of the bottle into a bowl. Then she added a few drops of water and stirred with a paintbrush. But there still wasn’t enough glue for the frog. “I have to add more water,” she said, but when she added more, there still wasn’t enough.

Besides, it looked really weird. Isa lifted the brush from the bowl, and the watered-down glue dripped and splattered like milk onto the table. “Um, that’s not even glue anymore. It’s not going to stick to anything. I’ll have to throw it out.”

Suddenly, she knew what bothered her about what Chandler had said. “You still there, Chandler? You know, you should have gone to your small group tonight.”

When Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth,” he meant that you as a Christian are unique—you stand out among people who don't follow him. As salt, you can help them come to know, love, and serve God.

Here are some questions for you:
1. What does glue do, and what was Isa trying to do with it?
2. What happened to the glue when Isa added water to it?
3. Why did Isa tell Chandler she should have gone to her small group meeting?
4. What are some things you can do to keep your saltiness?

God bless!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Day

Hi, Marilyn here! Today is Leap Day--February 29, a date that happens only once every four years. Did you know these facts about leap years?

- A leap year is divisible by 400. So, 2000 was a leap year, but 1900 was not. The next time leap year is skipped will be 2100. The next leap year will be 2016.

- If you were born on a Leap Day, you're called a "leapling" or a "leaper."

In 1700, Sweden had a February 30.

- Some famous people born on Leap Day:
Pope Paul III (he died in 1549)
Dinah Shore (an actress)
Al Rosen (a baseball player)
Antonio Sabato Jr. (an actor)
Morarji Desai (an Indian Prime Minister)
Joyce Kolinski (a sweet friend of mine)

- If you were born on leap year in:
1992, you'd be 5 years old
1996, you'd be 4 years old
2000, you'd be 3 years old
2004, you'd be 2 years old
2008, you'd be 1 year old

- Traditionally, women can ask men to marry them on Leap Day.

- If you were born on February 29, your official birthday would depend on the country you're in. In the United Kingdom and most US states, your birthday would be March 1. In China and New Zealand, your birthday would be February 28.
- There are also Leap Seconds. A Leap Second is 1 second that's added to the clock to align the earth's rotation with astronomical time (for example,the sun's rising and setting). The next time 1 second will be added to the clock will be on June 30, 2012, at 11:59:60 PM.

What are you doing with your extra day?

Leap (of Faith) Day

Why not use Leap Day to take a leap of faith? Do something you've never done before, or never thought you could do. Pray first, then listen for God's guidance. Maybe you'll try a new food or talk to someone who needs a friend. Maybe you'll try a new skill, like watercolor painting or ice skating. Or explore a new place. Go for it! Take a leap of faith that God will hold you up, and then catch you on the other side.

God bless you!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

10 Simple Ways to Let Others Know You Care

Hi! Sherry Kyle, here. Can you believe it’s February? Before you know it, it will be Valentine’s Day, the day to show your loved ones how much you care about them. But why wait till then? Consider these ten ideas to put a smile on their face, and warmth in their heart ANY day of the year:

1. Forgive something they did that hurt you without needing to hear the words, “I’m sorry.”
2. Send them a text that reads, “Thought of you today, and it made me smile.”
3. Look them in the eye and say, “I really appreciate you—just for being you.”
4. Compliment them on a job well done.
5. Give them something from nature that reminds you of them—like a beautiful shell, or a sturdy rock.
6. Ask, “How are you—really?” Then do nothing but listen for as long as they’d like to talk.
7. Encourage them to pursue their dreams.
8. Tell them which qualities of theirs you admire.
9. Notice when they do something that might have been difficult.
10. Go on the swings, get some ice cream, and let go of your stresses together.

By Sherry Kyle

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Quiz Book just for You

Later this year I have a new book coming out called The Christian Girl's Guide to Me: The Quizbook. It has 25 quizzes with titles like:
Are You a Good Loser?

Follow, Lead or Stay at Home?
Are You Clothes Crazy?
Are You Content?
What Does Your Room Say about You?

Besides 25 quizzes written just for girls like you, there are puzzles, crafts, stories and activities. This book will be fun to do alone, but will be much more fun shared with a friend.

Here's one of the quizzes (but when you see it in the book it'll have drawings and lots of fun activities with it)

Are You a Good Loser?

   Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might... (Ecclesiastes 9:10)

   It's fun to win, but it's not much fun to lose!  However, it's important for you to be both a good winner and a good loser. It's all about attitude. The key is to have a good attitude at all times no matter what happens. How well do you do at that? Take the quiz below to find out. Read each question and then circle the letter in front of the answer that sounds most like what you would do.

 1. Middle school cheerleading tryouts are taking place. It's your turn and you're doing great. Just as you do your final jump, your foot slips and you fall. What do you do?
A. Get up, smile, and finish.
B. Blame whoever was supposed to clean the floor.
C. Leave the floor and hope the judges liked the rest of your routine.

2. You arrive early at the science fair and discover that you won the grand prize. Then you notice that the girl who always teases you for being slowest in PE didn't place at all. What do you do when she walks in?
A. Find one good thing about her project to compliment her for.
B. Say, "Ha! You might be better in PE but I aced you in the science fair."
C. Ignore her and spend time with your friends, enjoying your moment of fame.

3. Your girls’ basketball team is playing a team known for fouling. You've been elbowed several times. But then you come down from a rebound and hit one of their players in the head with your elbow. What do you say?
A. “Oops, sorry.”
B. “Move next time.”
C. Nothing.

4. You and another band member are playing a duet at the city competition. You don't place well. What do you say?
A. Maybe if I practice more I'll do better next time.
B. Maybe if you would have practiced we'd have done better.
C. I guess the judge thought we didn’t  play well.

5. You pride yourself on being a good writer. You place second in an essay contest. When you read the essay that beat yours what do you think?
A. That's a really well-written essay.
B. Mine should have won.
C. I wish I had won.

How did you do?
If you had mostly A's, you are a good sport! You like to win, but you accept it when you lose. You try to congratulate the winner. And if you are the winner, you make sure to say something nice to the loser. Way to go!

If you had mostly B's, you need to practice your sportsmanship skills! We'd all like to win but that rarely happens. Don't blame others when you lose. Just determine to do better the next time. And when you win, do it graciously not rudely. Real winners have good attitudes!

If you had mostly C's, you aren't a poor sport, but you're not really a good sport, either. Go a step further and compliment the winner, or if you are the winner, say something nice to the loser. It's good to be able to both win and lose well.