Need some ideas on what to give your child’s teacher for Teacher Appreciation Week? Here are a few that Dayspring shared with me, and as a teacher myself, I would to receive these from a family!
You May a Difference: 50 Devos for Teachers: This little book of 50 devotions offers scripture, prayers, and encouragement especially for those who dedicate their lives shaping the next generation academically, socially, and emotionally. $9.99
You Got This! Pen Set: This set of three black ball point refillable pens is lovely. The pens have inspiring messages on the barrels, feel heavy and solid, and write fluidly. $20.00
Thoughtfulness Thank You Cards Set of 12: If you need a colorful box of thank you cards, this is a great one! The colors and designs would work well for anyone, and it comes with 12 in a box–enough for all your kids’ classroom, specials, and support teachers! $6.99
“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles.” Psalm 34:17
Prayer is essential in the life of a Christian, especially in the times we are living. 2020 has been an incredibly tough year for everyone, me included. With the pandemic, political division, racial protests, and economic troubles, we all need prayer to sustain us. To make my matters worse, I’ve had various health issues that required surgeries and extensive recovery this year. If it weren’t for the power of prayer, and the peace that comes from an active prayer life, I’d have lost my mind!
But how do we pray? What’s the best method?
There are no right answers to those questions, because prayer is personal and dynamic. God’s Spirit guides us in our prayers. But I have found a few ways to pray that have helped to keep my prayers purposeful, focused, and powerful. Today I’ll share the first of several methods–the ACTS method.
I’m not sure where I first learned about it, but I’ve been using ACTS for many years. I usually write my prayers in a journal. This helps to keep me from distraction, and it provides a way to go back and look at how faithful God has been in answering my prayers. I go through four phases of prayer, each one represented by the letters in the acronym “ACTS”.
A – Adoration
“Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; His greatness no one can fathom.” (Psalm 145:3)
“A” stands for adoration. I begin by adoring God and praising His character. I focus on WHO He is. This is about His attributes. For example, I offer praises to God for His wisdom, His grace, His faithfulness, His compassion, etc. Starting with praise helps to bring me into a proper mindset, one that isn’t focused on me and my wants or needs, but more on God. It leads me into a reverent attitude. It also guides me to the next phase–confession.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
When I start my prayers focused on Him, I am then humbled by His greatness and character of holiness. I am able to see my shortcomings and failures in relationship to His perfection. I realize how sinful I truly am, in need of His saving power in my life. I’m better able to reflect and recall what I need to confess to Him.
Here I ask for forgiveness for things like my irritability, my neglect of important things, my disrespect and dishonesty. I pray over specific sins, such as a negative attitude, unsupportive things I’ve said to my husband, and inconsistencies in my life. Once I’ve done this, I’m brought to a place of thankfulness for His forgiveness.
T – Thankfulness
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.” (Psalm 136:1)
Praying with a grateful attitude helps me to be content with what God has provided and to focus less on my troubles and concerns. This is different from adoration and praise. Now I’m focusing on WHAT God has done in my life, specific things that God has provided or accomplished, such as protection in a car accident, my family and home, and my job. I thank God for His healing power after my surgeries, and for the supportive friends He’s blessed me with. Or a more-than-expected tax return. I even thank God for the difficulties that help to grow me. Thankfulness then properly leads me to supplication, the final step in this method.
S – Supplication
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God…” (Phil. 4:6)
Now that I’ve gone through the first three steps of adoring God’s character, confessing my sins, and thanking Him for His blessings, I’m ready to make my requests. Supplication means asking God to supply my needs and the needs of others. Here is where I intercede for others. Because I’ve gone through the others steps first, I’m in a better mindset to ask according to God’s will, not mine. I pray for my husband, my children, their safety, for neighbors, and my students. I ask for specific things regarding an upcoming event, or for my sons’ relationships. This week I’ve been praying especially for our nation and its troubles with Covid, politics, and injustices. Rather than seeing God as a vending machine who will give me what I ask for, I can now effectively pray for those things the Spirit puts upon my heart.
Praying the ACTS method is one of many ways to pray, but it is my favorite method. Its simple format is easy to remember and even easier to follow. Give it a try and let me know how it works for you.
Check out my YouTube process video where I made a page in my Bible about this method.
Today is the day I’ve been dreading all summer–today I send my middle child off to college. He heads off to Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan to study engineering. That’s 1200 miles and 17 hours away from where we live in Tampa, Florida! My oldest is already a junior in college, but he’s only 90 miles away in Orlando. Huge difference! I created a “release” Bible journaling page for him when he left for college, so I knew I needed to make something similar for Adam.
I love to document special moments and prayers in my Bible, much like scrapbooking. Here, I based my idea off of the t-shirt the university sent to him in his acceptance packet, which read, “World Changers Made Here.”
So I went with that idea and used Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV):
“Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
I know that I am sending my son to a place where he’s going to learn and grow in God’s Word and wisdom, and that he will be empowered and equipped to CHANGE THE WORLD for Jesus.
However, what gives me the most peace from this verse is that last part, where is says Jesus is always with us. I can’t be with Adam when he’s 1200 miles away–but Jesus can be and indeed IS WITH HIM! That’s good for my mama-heart!
I created this page using the Send Me stamp set from Sweet’n Sassy Stamps. I embossed the globe onto vellum card stock, and colored it with Faber Castell Pitt Big Brush Markers. I embossed Adam’s name on the vellum with the School Days Alpha stamp set. I stamped the words GO CHANGE THE WORLD directly on my Bible page. For most of this stamping, I used my new Original MISTI stamping platform. Not only did it help with the embossing and getting clean impressions, but it especially help to add a secure base while working in my chunky Illustrating Bible.
You can see the entire process over on my YouTube channel using the link below.
Hey Ya’ll! Today I’m excited to share with you the newest Faith Art Box from Creative Retreat Kits, entitled “Sweet to the Soul.” This Bible journaling kit has all the elements to help you creatively worship as you delve into the topic of the power of words.
I’m particularly excited about this kit because I wrote the devotional content. My good friend, Angela Senechal, IG@maker_mom contributed the beautiful handlettering for the design.
The kit comes with the devotional booklet, a 3×5 stamp set, a matching decor sticker sheet, an alphabet/numeral sticker sheet with a honeycomb design, and a beautiful coordinating washi tape.
You can catch my unboxing video over on my YouTube channel or using the link below.
I’m also giving away one of these kits. Here’s what you have to do:
Like and comment below how someone has encouraged you with their words.