Christian Life Club was tonight. I almost have laryngitis coming off of some virus or other. Noelle was my helper and I thought I lost my clipboard with my music sheets, my scriptures for the magnetic board for a lesson, and some notes. So Noelle went to my car --I had to tell her, "Don't close my gas cap door --or it will take 2 people to open it. My husband and I opened it as I was almost on E. I have to press the electic button, while he hits it --and then it pops open. I was afraid somebody would close it before I got to the gas station. O the hardships of the needy!
Anyway, she finally found my clipboard. And we started our song by the Gaithers, "I am a Promise." For this month's badge to earn is about our uniqueness in the Lord. Our specialness to God. His purposes for our lives.
They sing so well--15 of them tonight. We were missing a few. A diverse group, 3 AFr. Am. boys, 1 from India, 3 white boys (one adopted from Romania), 3 white girls, and 5 black girls. And they do tend to all sit with their race--but they mix it up some --during the larger song times --and the main division is between the new kids bused in vs. the kids who have been together since nursery days whose parents bring them. They are open to each other, however, and not cliqueish. The black girls probably seem the tightest together. The 3 white girls are independents more than buddies of each other.
Then we went to our classroom and they were so quiet --and my notes had gotten out of order. I didn't start the way I intended --but there they were, all so attentive! It was miraculous as though the Lord were truly among us and I believe He was. I talked about CHARACTER --what we are like. Talked about how we may not all be the fastest, best ball players, strongest, prettiest, handsomest, smartest -- (and I told them they were a truly good looking group --and they are --and always clean and nicely dressed) and we may not all be musical or the best singers --but they do sound good --BUT NEVERTHELESS, while we may not all excel in various activities and talents, we can all be EXCELLENT in the qualities that matter to God. Excellent in loving, forgiving, kindness, honesty, unselfishness, moral purity (which I defined quickly as waiting for marriage before making babies --I have 3rd and 4th graders, some of whose parents may not have waited and may not be married now for all I know --my obligation is to the truth--I didn't linger there --I know some know how babies come and some don't--and my concern is for those who will start sexual activity too young). We could also be excellent in practicing the Golden Rule, which we discussed, and in loving God, family, neighbor, and enemy. We could all be excellent in humility --not thinking more highly of ourselves than of others --that God hates arrogance and thinking we are better or more important than others.
I stressed that we were a Christian Life Club and that we needed to show these good character traits to each other if we were to be called Christians. Christians are to be known by their love for each other --no matter what differences they have.
And then we got to the issue of how does one become a Christian. And they were still so reverent. It was a God-moment as we went through the scriptures on believing in Jesus as the resurrected Savior --how sin separates us from Him -- but Jesus died to give us eternal life --and to buy us back, redeem us from Satan who wants people to fail. And they closed their eyes and many raised their hands indicating they wanted to receive Christ and commit to follow Him "for the first time" in their lives. I led them in a prayer of repentance and faith --and you could have heard a pin drop.
--and then we finished up --making posters about us.
There are a few problem kids, one girl whom I know nothing about --who complains often that someone is being mean to her --and she wanted to call her mother. There was only a half hour left. She said her mother told her to call if anyone was mean to her. I showed her the phone in our classroom, but not how to dial 9 first as it was too close to closing time to have her mother start out early--or whatever she hoped she'd do. I don't always hear or see everything --and it's hard to know what to believe when they complain about each other --but it points out how the emphasis on honesty and kindness is so important for this age --or any age, for that matter.
We open and close with joint sessions with great music. "Rejoice in the Lord Always" --a delightful round. A swing version of Swing Low. "In My Father's House." Jehovah Jirah. Lift Jesus Higher --the Wotota choir song ending in What a Friend we Have in Jesus. I can Do all things through Christ who STrengthens Me. which is one of our memory verses.
And the Cartoon Song --"if cartoons could praise God...." Steph made a video for that with pictures of people from the church inserted. It's delightful.
I can't over-recommend our CLC program or the heart of the leadership (Inga) to see kids come to faith in Christ.
It's nice to be once more in a church (like i was in 2 such churches until 1974) which isn't fussing over worship music/style/Pentecostalism or issues of women's roles --but focusing on evangelism and the needs of the poor! It's really our basic mission! And we are focused.
"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible