by Nancy Tichy, Author for KidZ at Heart International
Visiting my Temecula family earlier this week I was delighted to discover that a granddaughter, newly turned a teenager, has decided to learn to sew. Spread out on a table was a half-finished apron she’d been working on, surrounded by pieces of bright, bias tape, yardage scraps and pattern pieces for a cleverly designed product. Of course, I was impressed. I told her she may have stumbled onto her own cottage industry if she decided she enjoyed it enough to take orders!
So for the rest of this piece, I’d like to offer a few ‘scraps’ of a personal nature to honor all my grandkids who are making a difference by their various creative endeavors. I trust you’ll find this interesting. And if you want to do a bit of grandparent bragging of your own, please let me hear from you.
- SCRAP ONE: I’m grateful to serve a Heavenly Father who makes mole hills out of mountains. Here’s one example. Involved in a near accident while driving to an appointment, I ruined the tires on my Camry in order to avoid rear-ending two cars ahead of me. A mechanic thought it might be all four, a significant expense to replace. It finally dawned on me that I should go to the establishment where I made the original purchase three years ago and get an expert, second opinion. It turns out that only two tires suffered enough damage to need replacing, and the cost became considerably less…happy news for this senior citizen on a tight budget, right?
- SCRAP TWO: This is deadline week for those of us contributing pieces that make up October’s issue of KidZ Kan for Families – our online family magazine that visits children around the world, one country a month. This time our focus will be Cameroon where Kidz at Heart sends a team every year to train people to reach and teach kids. This is our third ‘visit’ to this African country, and my contribution is a continuing adventure for a fictional character named Carine.
While doing research to turn up inspiration for a story plot line, I stumbled on to an amazing website created by an Italian anthropologist, professional photographer and poet who spent considerable time among the Pygmies of Cameroon’s rain forest. I urge you to gather your family together in front of the largest computer screen available to you and visit this incredible collection of sights and sounds.
For me, it was very much like returning to the interior of my beloved Liberia – so many similarities that I ended up homesick. Even more important, I have a new resolve to pray for these people and all other Pygmy communities across Africa – people living as their ancestors have for centuries with little change and little hope.
- SCRAP THREE: Recently I shared my views on the value of families reading together – silently or out loud, but doing this together. One resource I did not mention that is probably best known to my generation is hymnology. I’m not suggesting we return to the melodies of hymns, but to the verbal content. I recommend this because, although very different from today’s worship music, the poetry of hymns is still valuable. It contains relevant spiritual truth to bless family members of any age.
Among the books that make up my quiet time library is a slim, blue volume first published by Inter-Varsity Press in 1947. It’s probably one of the oldest items in my home that is still in use. If you don’t own a hymn book, you might look in a thrift store, or used books store to find one.
Try taking turns choosing a hymn from time to time to read with the family. Let this lead you to worship and praise our Savior. Below, find just one example. Individuals take turns reading each of the couplets aloud until the last one. Read the last two lines in unison substituting plural pronouns for singular ones.
I AM NOT SKILLED by Dora Greenwell
I am not skilled to understand what God has willed, what God has planned.
I only know at God’s right hand stands One who is my Savior.
I take Him at His word, indeed. “Christ died for sinners,” this I read
And in my heart I find a need of Him to be my Savior.
And was there then no other way for God to take? I cannot say.
I only bless Him, day by day, Who saved me through my Savior.
That He should leave His place on high and come for sinful men to die,
You count it strange? So once did I before I knew my Savior.
Yes, living, dying, let me bring my strength, my comfort from this spring
That He who lives to be my King once died to be my Savior.
Grace to you…and peace from God, our Father. Philemon, vs.3