Treating God like our 4th Grade Teacher

Treating God like our 4th Grade Teacher

Oct 29, 2014

Treating God like our 4th Grade Teacher  By Emily Watt, Central SDB Church, MD     This is my second year teaching fourth grade in a Title 1 school where the vast majority of students come from low-income homes and are largely raising themselves. When people learn about my work, they inevitably ask, “What’s the hardest thing about teaching?” Last year, my answer fluctuated between “teaching fourth graders to read” and “waking up before five every morning.” Teaching feels impossible sometimes. It tends to get a rosy tint in retrospect, so it’s hard to pinpoint the most difficult aspect of the profession. This year, I got my answer. Last year, I started the school year with forty-seven of the most poorly behaved students that my school had to offer. As an example, I took a sick day and the students had a substitute. They chased the substitute away before lunch. When I came in the next day and heard the report, I tried to talk to them about their behaviors but I started to cry. That set them off and they started to cry because they knew how disappointed I was. I knew how wonderful and promising they were, but they were never quite able to show it to other people. We worked all year long to get past dysfunctional families, emotional disturbances, and bad habits to become a working and cohesive family unit. It was a constant, uphill battle to get my students into a zone where they could learn without worrying about the crazy things that were happening at home. But, they left my classroom as responsible students who, I could honestly say, were ready for anything fifth grade could throw at them. This year, my old fourth graders came to greet me on the first day of school. I sent each and every one of the new fifth graders to class with a word of encouragement, and a reminder that I was so very, very proud of them. Before long, I was a witness to some behaviors that blew me away. It was like last year had never happened. They were back to their same old habits and were ripping holes...

Top of the List

Top of the List

Oct 29, 2014

Top of the List by Katrina Goodrich     Early one Sunday morning I was in my bed sleeping. I had gotten to bed quite late the night before due to the necessity of watching a college football game that didn’t begin until 9:30 that evening. I hadn’t gotten much sleep and it had been a pretty hectic week, so I was exhausted and enjoying sleeping in. Then I heard it. This sound, drawing me from blissfully unconscious into a groggy state, was extremely unpleasant. After a few minutes my mind finally identified this crude noise. My adorable niece and nephew were awake and urgently pounding four little fists on my bedroom door. I finally mustered enough strength to ask what was wrong. My four year old nephew responded with this, “I need to ride the elevator! Right now!”   Anyone who has met my nephew knows how much he loves elevators — to the point of obsession. He loves them so much that he pretends they are everywhere he goes. Some of his favorite pretend elevators are located right in my room. Needless to say I was exasperated with him and his little sister, who does exactly what her big brother does. I told them to come back later. The knocking didn’t end. I tried to get them to go away but they wouldn’t. After about ten minutes of this torture, I dragged myself out of bed, over to the door, and opened it.   A rude awakening was not what I needed that particular morning. When I opened that door and stepped out, I was so groggy I couldn’t think straight. Immediately I was bombarded with little bodies, enveloped in the biggest hugs two kids under the age of five could muster. I had been pretty busy for a few days so we hadn’t gotten to spend to much quality time together and they missed me. They weren’t as much interested in driving me crazy as they were in seeing their aunt and getting to play and have fun.   We are a lot like my niece and nephew in our relationship with God. We can go for days without thinking about,...

SDB Missionary Society Christmas Gift List 2014!

SDB Missionary Society Christmas Gift List 2014!   Clinton R. Brown, Executive Director Seventh Day Baptist Missionary Society     This year we were encouraged to get the gift list out early. Doing so, individuals and congregations could better plan how they could help other Seventh Day Baptists around the globe respond to needs and minister with the love of Jesus during this season of remembering the greatest gift of all, our Father’s sacrificial love for us.   Emergency Relief Funds 1 – Ebola Epidemic Prevention Supplies (Suggested Gift: $30) 2 – Emergency Medicine (Suggested Gift: $60) 3 – Clean Water for a Family (Suggested Gift: $15) 4 – Emergency Relief Supplies urgent need (Suggested Gift: $45)   Orphans and Widows Ministries 5 – Shoes and Clothing for poor (Suggested Gift: $25) 6 – Provide Help for an Orphan’s urgent needs (Suggested Gift: $35) 7 – Buy Seeds for an Orphanage Garden in Uganda (Suggested Gift: $25) 8 – Dengue and Malaria preventing Mosquito Nets (Suggested Gift: $10)   Gifts Under $15 9 – Boots for Evangelists sharing the Gospel (Suggested Gift: $7) 10 – Soccer Balls for Community Youth Ministry (Suggested Gift: $8) 11 – Life saving medicine (Suggested Gift: $12) 12 – Missionary Society Membership for a friend (Suggested Gift: $10) 13 – Pair of Sandals for Developing World Prison Ministry (Suggested Gift: $10) Evangelism and Discipleship 14 – Evangelist/Pastor training Bibles in Kenya or Guyana or Haiti (Suggested Gift: $25) 15 – Share of an Evangelist’s motor cycle in India (Suggested Gift: $110 / Share the Cost: $11) 16 – Shipping Christian Literature urgent need in S. Sudan (Suggested Gift: $15)   Construction Projects 17 – Freshwater Wells (Suggested Gift: $400 / Share the Cost: $40) 18 – Metal roof on a Constructed Church (Suggested Gift $1200 / Share the Cost: $10/sheet) 19 – Build a Church for Struggling Congregation (Suggested Gift: $8,000 / Share the Cost: $75) 20 – Build a House for a Low Income Pastor’s Family (Suggested Gift: $6,500 / Share the Cost: $75)   I hope that you will prayerfully consider how the blessings you have received may help you be involved in God’s ministry through the...

Sabbath School Teacher of the Year: Josephine Van Horn Rogers

Sabbath School Teacher of the Year:  Josephine Van Horn Rogers

Oct 28, 2014

Sabbath School Teacher of the Year: Josephine Van Horn Rogers   What makes a great teacher? One hallmark of a great teacher is that the teacher helps students be motivated, even excited, to learn. How can you tell if a student is excited to learn? By watching them and seeing how they react when opportunities come along. Consider this quote:   You can tell her students love her class as they quickly leave snack time and run toward the door when the bell rings for Sabbath School to begin. In my eight years of being the Sabbath School superintendent, I have never had a problem getting children to go to her class; they are always willing and eager. Jo has a special gift of knowing how to make learning about Jesus fun. That, along with a lot of patience and dedication, is why I feel she is an especially effective teacher.   Can you see in those words a group of motivated students? We sure could. We appreciated that Fedette Leda, the Sabbath School superintendent of the Salem Seventh Day Baptist Church (Salem, WV) concluded her description of Jo Rogers’ effective teaching skills and practices for the Sabbath School Teacher of the Year nomination form in that manner. Josephine Van Horn Rogers, much better known as Jo Rogers, is the 2014 Sabbath School Teacher of the Year and recipient of the Crystal Apple. She has taught a Sabbath School class nearly every year for the last 28 years — anything from preschool through fifth grade. Even when she was not teaching, the church knew they could count on her to be available as a substitute. For the past 4 years, she has been teaching the Pre-K and Kindergarten class. Jo’s teaching and influence extends beyond the class room. She encourages former students to stay connected with the church and to participate in the ministry of the church. One student, who was in Jo’s class in the second and third grades, later co-taught with Jo as the student moved through High School. She now teaches her own class.   Jo is an example of one great Seventh Day Baptist Sabbath School teacher. Almost all of...

Rising Up

Rising Up

Oct 28, 2014

Rising Up by Elianna Chroniger   As I started thinking about what to write for this month’s article, I really had nothing come to mind. Nothing, that is, until I visited the Bible Gateway website. The verse of the day read “[A song of ascents.] I lift up my eyes to the mountains — where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1-2)   This was especially wonderful for me to read because I had been having a rough day, even if it was only third period. My first period class consisted of some difficult math problems and I just could not wrap my brain around them. This was frustrating to me because I like to know how to do things and do them right. In our second period class, my friends and I had a test on some of our summer homework. I looked at the question and my mind went blank. I hate the feeling that you don’t know anything. I finally reached my third period study hall and was grateful for the mental break. As I sat in the counselor’s office trying to figure out what to write for this edition, I decided I needed a spiritual snack to satisfy my hunger that was growing due to stress. I went online and searched Bible Gateway, intending to look up a chapter and read it and just meditate. When that verse popped up on my screen I knew why God had told me to work on the article right now. The first four words told me that. “A song of ascents” hit me first. This verse is a song about rising up. THAT was exactly what I needed. I needed to know that Yahweh, the God of everything, wanted me to rise above the stress and move on! Then I read the last part of that verse. “The Maker of heaven and earth” is my help. It made me think that maybe the next verse had something special for me in it too! As I opened up to the whole chapter, I realized I was accomplishing my original goal of reading...