Sunday Sermon: Your Own Personal Jesus

Pastor Ryan Jantzi from Zurich Mennonite Church.

Whom shall I fear God of angel armies by Chris Tomlin
Beautiful one by Tim Hughes
Good Good father by Chris Tomlin
In the garden by Charles Austin Miles

Scripture: John 3:1-21
Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” 10 Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? 11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

Sermon Notes:

Pastor started the sermon off playing this clip:

Johnny Cash lived a troubled life, fighting drug abuse.
This song was important to him

In history Jesus being shown as a personal Saviour
Shift now to seeing him as king of universe

He is our personal Saviour as well as king of the universe.

Nicodemus is invited to make Jesus his personal Saviour

A member of the Jewish ruling council, a faithful follower of God

Jesus tells him he must be born again.
To experience the fullness of the kingdom of God you need to be born again.

Moses and the snake

Poisonous snakes, people need to look to the bronze Snake in order to be healed from the poisonous snakes.

So people need to look to Jesus to be saved from the poison of sin.

Nicodemus represents people that need to respond to the truth of Scripture.
Nicodemus needed to know the personal Jesus.

We are just like Nicodemus,  needing to know Jesus in our heart.
People can know the scriptures well without really knowing God.

Hear Jesus today.   Be born again.

Reluctant Artist?? What do you do?

It's week five of the Virtual Curriculum Fair.   This week.. it's all about art and beauty.  See in artistic forms of music, art, dance and whatever form that takes in your household.  
The VCF is hosted by Susan

Week One: A Time to be Encouraged.
Week Two: Language Arts: Our Style.
Week Three: Practical math.
Week Four: Exploring the World Starting with Canada.

Today my topic is: What to do with the reluctant artist?

I would never say that I am an artist, but I have birthed a lad who has creativity tied into his bones.   I've worked to bring that creativity into our schooling...and this year and finding myself tying it in however I can.

BUT in all his creativity he's a rather deliberate lad.  He hates, absolutely HATES to waste his time.   Despises it with a passion... which sometimes creates a reluctant artist.. What's a teacher to do?

1. Talk to your student.   You are looking for what is causing the reluctance. 
 a). The Style - realism vs abstract, 3-D vs 2-D etc.
 b). The Medium - painting vs drawing, colouring vs pastels, oils vs acrylics etc
 c).  The Topic - A river vs. mountains, a building vs a landscape etc

2. Discover what about the reluctance causes concern.
 a). Lack of confidence - has never used this medium/style/topic before and has no idea about how to use, approach or even if likes the idea.
 b). Medium not correct for the type of project - topic of discussion sometimes the student is correct!  And then changes can be made.   Or change the topic or style and suddenly the medium isn't so bad.
 c). Fear of wasting time - This one is hard to get past, but I have a method that is proving to at least raise more curiousity and help!
 d). Dislike of style and not seeing the point of it - often a matter of showing the student a wide variety in the style until something appeals.   I saw this recently in my class on cubism... one student could not get a handle on it until he thought about doing shades of black!  It worked and turned out well.  
 e). Wants a different topic - Let them choose the topic if possible, it's their art.  You can set the parameters and then let them choose what they can fit within that.
 f). Page size - could be too small, large, wide, narrow etc.   This is so easy to change, some students do their best work in miniature and other need to express themselves in wide open spaces.   It's relative.

3. Take Action.  
  a). Remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder
  b). Learning new things is sometimes difficult.
  c). Sometimes helping someone with a new form of art takes away the pressure of wasting one's time if it doesn't work out.

Let me expand on the latter idea.
My son and I were going to create an abstract mountain art work but okay... it was MY idea to do an abstract mountain art work and my son stopped dead in his tracks.  All he could see was the potential of failure.

So after talking with him through all the different steps, it's still all he could see was "it's not going to turn out and I'll have wasted all my time.".

We decided that he could do his own thing (he wanted very much to do a pencil sketch with shading) and that I could do the abstract art.  We work side by side so he can see me work and I can see him.  It's a great time to chat, provide encouragement and ask questions.  

So I sit beside him and I modge-podgy tissue paper to my page and I talk about how I am not sure if this colour goes there, or what do you think if I do this for the mountains, do you think making sticky-up flowers will work?  He starts off very hesitant at first, so I show him how to make flowers that can stick up off the page and how if I crinkle the tissue paper I give it more texture, and he watches and thinks.. and the next time I come back and talk he tears off a piece and says, "I think this colour would work there mom".   

And after some time we get this:
It's not done yet, the lad and I are currently discussing if I should cut out a picture of a canoe for the lake or do abstract drops of colour.   We've talked about the pros and cons off adding birds, or how to add texture to a tree trunk and how to make clouds seem more real.  And through it all we look at pictures of the Canadian Rockies and see what they are like and the animals that live on them and what not.  We learn, we talk and we complete "what might be a waste of time".    Over time you see, tissue paper art, of an abstract nature is not as weird or unknown and just maybe someday a lad might take a chance on doing something different with his art that's a bit out of his way of thinking... and that's a good thing.  For now.. he's helping, he's talking art and helping me see what works and what doesn't.   The fluffy clouds.... I started...he finished.  The tree trunk I did.. but he made the branches.  We discussed how to give the tree trunk texture and depth...our first method didn't work, so we tried another.

Is it great, out of this world art?   I don't know, and it doesn't matter.  What matters is this... it's fun, and we're both learning a ton!  :)

If you need inspiration to do art with your students, check out my art series that you can find here and here

Now I invite you to visit my fellow homeschool bloggers who are talking about seeking beauty in their homeschools:

Links will all be live by Monday at 12 noon EST.