Thursday, January 28, 2010

Snowman Snowglobes

A recent art project. . . the idea came from a colleague a {few} years back at my LCS days.
For a couple of years, we made crayon directed drawings of snowmen (or penguins for some students) and did a white wash (white paint watered down that will resist the crayon drawing--used for snow) over it. One year since I did a spray snow (store-bought snow intended for decorating windows) over this as well, just to change it up. One of my colleagues had this great idea to make these snowmen creations into snow globes. So. . .here is how I did it this time around.
(Please take note: at the grade one level, it might be wise to have parent helpers around or have the time to work one-on-one with each student if they are going to be involved in the wrapping of the plastic!)

Above is the finished globe. Below are a few of the finished ball part of the globes. You can kind of see and example of the drawings and the "wash" in this photo.
Here are some of the supplies--for after the snowman directed-drawing is completed and the wash is done--I'm assuming you know what to do for that.
We took a piece of Saran Wrap, put in a few snowflakes, and turned the snowman picture onto it.
Then we glued a circle around the back side, and taped the extra plastic wrap down. This just makes it not so bulky for the next step. . .which is putting glue on the back and putting it onto a background paper. I also cut out "bases" (the yellow part on the bottom) for the students to place their snow globes on, to make it look a little more real (see very top photo). These need to be pressed down well under books or heavy objects to keep them flat as they dry.
If your plastic wrap and snowflakes are not too static-y, the snowflakes should be able to shake around inside the snow globes.
These are going into our Grade One Scrapbooks, so we did some writing to go along with it. The students were asked to write a small story about the character in their snow globe. We talked about introducing our character, having a problem, and solving it. This is their first try at stories, so they are pretty rough. :) The first example here is a student who is somewhat low and also struggles with some speech. You can see the invented spelling this student is using. (But look at those great finger-spaces and neat printing!!!)
This student is quite capable of writing. (Note that these pieces were not edited by myself or peers. It was all student-writing and self-correcting at this point.) Sorry, no completed projects (art and writing together) yet. Hopefully that will be added soon!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Human love and the delights of friendship, out of which are built the memories that endure, are also to be treasured up as hints of what shall be here after.

-Bede Jarrett
Picture from http:www//

Monday, January 25, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Monday. . .
Last week. . .didn't follow the plan so well. Ran out of time in some cases, so we had things like perogies one night and some of the meals at the beginning of the week were big, so we had left-overs later in the week. Oh well--that is how it goes! So you'll notice a few repeats this week!

The "hit" of the week for last week's MPM was the Keywest Chicken. Try it--you will love it. And our kids did as well--so that is always a bonus! Next time, I think I might even make more of the sauce--not all to use as marinade, but just for dipping sauce or sauce to put on rice. It was delish!

Monday (easy)- Hamburger Helper (Cheesy Enchilada w/ toppings), corn, salad
Tuesday-Breaded fish and fries, mixed veggies
Wednesday-Baked Potato Soup (recipe is similar to what I make--mine comes from a Company's Coming book, I think), salad
Thursday (CP)- Tuscan Chicken Sandwiches, buns, salad
Friday (OAMC)-Noodles and Sausage Casserole, steamed carrots
Saturday's Snack- Easy Cinnamon Buns
Sunday-not breakfast today. . .Grilled Salmon (I usually do the NW barbecued from the LC cookbook, but this link looks good, so I might try it)--have to get rid of a salmon that is taking up space in the freezer, Greek potatoes, veggies (of some sort)

For Saturday's Snack . . .I had some crescent rolls to get rid of. The first round I made according to the recipe given. The second time I just made the brown sugar mixture--no extra butter and i found they worked out much better.

And sorry about the Hamburger Helper. The redeeming aspect was the "taco-type" toppings that we put on it--makes the healthy factor go up just a bit. But sometimes easy means a packaged dinner! :)

For more MPM, go on over to

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Penguin Art Homework Project

As part of our Winter theme, we focused on an animal that lived in the cold temperatures of the Antarctica--the penguin! One activity the students were asked to do was a Penguin Art Homework Project. Students were asked to make a 3-D penguin at home with the help and guidance of their parents. These penguins could be made out of anything the parents or students could think of. some suggestions given were Lego, paper mache, cloth, stuffed garbage bags, wire, wood and so forth. They could be any size, but the students had to be able to bring them to school when they were done! Once at school, students were given the opportunity to talk about their penguin in a small presentation. They had to talk about what they made, how they made it and what materials they used. Any other important information could be shared as well.

Below are the penguins that were brought in. The first is one student's Olympic Mascot: the Inukshuk Penguin.

Here is the class collection of penguins. They ranged in materials: paper, paper mache, balloons, pop bottles, paint, foam, material, clay, and even marshmallows! What a great and artistic bunch of penguin pals! Now we are looking forward to our Black and White Day, where we will act as penguin parents to hard-boiled eggs, play penguin games, have penguin centres, and enjoy some frozen treats!

Comparing Books- Reading for Information

At the grade one level, we read for information often. We read information books to gather a collection of facts. We collect facts for making mini-research projects or reports. (We did the same thing in grade four last year! It's amazing how much practice kids need in doing this!)

I also spend time reading story books for the purpose of gathering information as well. During the Christmas season, we read various versions of The Nutcracker. Most of the comparisons between books were made orally at that time. During our Winter unit, we have been reading various versions of The Mitten. This time, we filled in a question chart each time we read a different version of the book.
Here are the books we have used so far:
To do this, I just made a chart that asked questions about some of the differences between the books. We even came up with one as a class. Then, each time we read a book, we filled in the chart. Pretty simple. We have one more book to read, then we will highlight the information that was the same in each book.
This could be done as a Centres circuit--each center could be reading one book and filling in one column of the chart. This could also be done at the older grade levels--in a partners or small group setting, or as part of a Literature Circles activity.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Words from Wednesday

Lots of "Blah"

There has been a lot of "blah" lately. Lots of things going wrong. Lots of disappointments. Lots of discouragement. I feel as though the blues are on the rise.

And its true—everywhere you look, things are not exactly perfect. The world. . .disaster in Haiti, natural and man-made devastation, on-going corruption and war, poor economics—you name it. There are groups to join, petitions to sign and letters to write to the leaders of our country and cities in defense of the injustices we see all around us. Not spared from the "blahs" are our personal lives and the lives of those we care about. You don't have to look very far to see injustice and things that can weigh one down with discouragement. There are the sicknesses, illnesses, and diseases that are plaguing loved ones. There are the budgets and bills that come up again and again. There are the strained family circumstances, the unanswered prayers for relatives, the dashed dreams. There are the daily chores, daily struggles, daily fights, daily routines, daily days.

A friend of mine even summed up her day as being "craptacular."

It is in those blah times that we sometimes ask ourselves where God is. Why isn't he acting right here and right now? Why isn't he fixing this or preventing it?

I am reminded of the psalmist during these times. David was God's friend. He was a man after God's own heart. He and God were tight. But he still felt the same blahs we feel. Psalm 27 and 28 show David pleading with God to be merciful (27:7 & 28:3-6). Psalm 18:4-6 show a man in distress calling out to a God of power and might. The psalmist of Psalm 88 tells how he cries out to the Lord both "day and night."

Seeing hardships, experiencing disappointments and feeling discouragement is not new. It happened when the world was young and it continues as the world ages. But as time goes on, one more thing remains the same. We have a God who hears us, who listens to us, and who loves us.

In each of the psalms listed above, we not only hear the writer laying his burdens before the Lord, but we also hear the proclamation of the loving, saving and faithful attributes of God.

"O Lord, the God who saves me. . ." (88:1)

"The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer. . .in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." (18:1-3)

""The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?" (27:1)

"Praise be to the Lord, for he has heard my cry for mercy. . .The Lord is the strength of his people. . ." (28: 6 &8).

A quote we have all heard:

"God didn't promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way."

Quote taken from:

An old poem for the journey:

Footsteps In The Sand

One night a man had a dream.
He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the LORD.
Across the sky flashed scenes from his life.
For each scene, he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand:
one belonging to him, and the other to the LORD.

When the last scene of his life flashed before him
he looked back, at the footprints in the sand.
He noticed that many times along the path of his life
there was only one set of footprints.
He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times of his life.

This really bothered him and he questioned the LORD about it:
"LORD, you said that once I decided to follow you,
you'd walk with me all the way.
But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life
there is only one set of footprints.
I don't understand why when I needed you most you would leave me."

The LORD replied:
"My son, My precious child, I love you and I would never leave you,
During your times of trial and suffering,
when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you."

Author unknown

Taken from:

Monday, January 18, 2010

My New Friend

So. . . since I don't have to spend so much time reading post-graduate educational material or writing forum responses and assignments about curriculum and instruction issues this term, I've been trying to sharpen my crafty side once again (since, in about 15 or so weeks, that might be a very foreign concept to me!). Once a week, I decided to try to do some crafting. My two favourite things to do in the craft world is sewing and scrapbooking--neither of which I can even try to claim to be anywhere near expert-quality. Rather, they are hobbies I like to do.

Two weeks ago, I set out to my plan. I wanted to finally make a few more of those baby burp blankets. And so I set up my beloved Phaff 213, a precious sewing machine that dates back to my grandmother's era. It was noisy, clunky, heavy and full of problems. And that is when I had to lay her to rest. After an initial freak-out, a frantic call to my mom to make sure I wasn't doing something insanely stupid (I'm humble enough to admit that it does happen from time to time. . .and at this point in life I can blame it on pregnant-head!), and sheer disappointment for a wasted night of fighting with an old machine, I decided that she was done.

So, after finding a list of reasons to justify a new purchase to my hubby (which I didn't really need for him. His response is always, "Okay, sure, buy whatever you want." It is more me trying to make myself feel better over the dents I make in our dwindling bank account), I went out and bought my new best friend (for the time-being anyway--no offense to my other BFs out there!) Here it is:
I know, for all you avid sewers, this might not look like much, but in comparison to what I had before, this is a dream come true! My hubby can listen to the TV while I sew. I don't have to work on my biceps lugging this one around. It has a few more stitches than I need and it can do a buttonhole in one step! The tension doesn't spin out of control at random times and the power cord doesn't have to be titled just so at a certain position in order for it to work. It's smooth, it's quick and. . .it's pink! It's my new friend, the Janome!

So, here are a few of my creations, since my new arrival:
And then my mom gave me all of her flannel scraps. . . and boy do I have more sewing to do!

Menu Plan Monday

No big deal that I didn't post yet today--we just had boring leftovers! I'm going to try something new tomorrow I think. . .see my notes afterwards.

Monday- left-overs
Tuesday- Key West Chicken (from LC cookbook, p. 110*), noodles, coleslaw (dressing 1 or dressing 2--I like #1 better)
Wednesday- Cadet sausage, baked potatoes (i know, dumb link, but I have had a phone call or two asking how to make baked potatoes!), carrots & peas
Thursday (CP)-Tuscan Chicken (I use chicken breasts), buns, salad
Friday-Breaded fish and fries, corn salsa
Saturday- Blueberry-Apple Crisp (LC p.165) This is a second favourite of my hubby's. His favourite is regular my Apple Crisp.
Sunday (BFS)- bacon and eggs

*Key West Chicken. I found this recipe in the Lynden Christian Cookbook. . .I like to "waste" time by looking through cookbooks and flagging recipes that look good to me. So, with little inspiration to cook this week, I defaulted to the flagged pages. Then I also searched it on-line. the same/similar recipe came up. The only differences is that instead of vegetable oil and lime juice, the LC book has olive oil and red cooking wine. The LC book recommends marinading it for a longer time (1 hour plus) and says you can also bake it in the oven at 350F for an hour.

*As for the noodle recipe, a while back my friend, Mandy, told me about this website: You can type in a main ingredient that you have, add other things you might have in your house, and it begins to list recipes that you can possibly make. I found this noodle recipe there, and it looks good enough to try! (Otherwise, it would be a prepackaged noodle something!)

*The coleslaw recipe. . .needed a dressing, my store-bought one had gone bad (we don't eat it very often as the hubby doesn't like it!). So my search ended up with these two as possibilities. they are both good, i just prefer the first one. Just my humble opinion. :)

And finally. . .if you are looking for another GREAT and EASY crock-pot recipe, the Gingered Beef from last week's MPM was AMAZING!!! I've made it once before. the only thing I change about the recipe is that I add a few tablespoons of brown sugar. Here is it, pre-cooked:

And my post-cooked picture. . .is no where to be seen. We ate it too quickly before I realized I was going to take a picture! Oops!

Well, happy eating this week. . .I'll let you know how my week goes! More MPM can be found at

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Reading Enrichment

At the school where I teach, we have a school-wide Home Reading Program. Most schools have a programs similar to this, in which students are required to read each night. In grade one, I have my students take two books home. One of these books is a choice of their own (at the reading level of which they can read) and one is a guided reading book.

As in any class, there are always a few students who are reading above grade level or students who need additional challenges along with reading. Here is one thing I do for those students along with the Home Reading Program.
The student is given a notebook and a pack of Home Reading Response Cards. Each night, the student is encouraged to read one of the books he or she took home. Then that student can pick one of the response cards to complete.
Each card has to do with a part of the story. for example, one card talks about putting the events of the story into a beginning, middle and ending category. Another card asks what the main problem was and how it got solved. One card asks some questions about the characters. Students working on the response cards are asked to write the number of the card on the top of the page (so I know what questions they may be trying to answer!) and then write about 2-3 sentences in response to that card. If they choose, students can also draw a picture.
It is my hope that this activity gets the students to think a little bit more about what they are reading. Most of the kids, especially at the beginning of the year, work so hard on the actual reading part--sounding the letters out, deciding what sounds chunks of letters make and so forth. The students who work on these cards and books generally have that part of reading down already, or are somewhat advanced in their ability to do this, so they need "something more" to focus on.
Then I use their writing to formulate "mini-lessons" more specific to each child. While some of the students will use reading conference time with me to read and decode, these students will use this time to learn about writing skills or sentence structure, or matching words or ideas from their books to their writing. My goal is that, in these reading conferences, each student is learning a skill or two related to their individual needs.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Olympic giveaway. . .

My colleague over at Bluebird Notes is having a cute little Olympic giveaway! Go on over there and check out her adorable blog and the giveaway! Visit there before January 14! Happy Olympics all!

I couldn't copy her adorable photos onto my blog, so
this image is from:

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Yes, it's early this week! I'm in total shock with myself!

Monday-Chicken Enchilada Casserole, salad (from last week. . .we had left-overs instead of this)
Tuesday-Pork skewers, Creamy Dill Noodles, Mixed Veggies
Wednesday-Pizza Buns or left-overs
Thursday (CP)- Crock Pot Gingered Beef, rice, (carrots and peas)
Friday (OAMC)-Spaghetti Casserole (Hilda's recipe), salad
Saturday's Snack- Chocolate-Mallow Brownie Cake (see below)
Sunday-Dutch boy pancakes (This recipe is called Dutch Babies Pancakes. . .It is the same, only my recipe, which comes from the Lynden Christian Cookbook, is pretty much half this one and cooked in pie plates).

Chocolate-mallow Brownie Cake
I think this came from a LONG, LONG ago Homemakers magazine. Very rich, but very good! i was supposed to post this around Christmas time but never got around to it, so here it is now.

1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. granulated sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
1-1/4 c. chocolate syrup
1 t.vanilla
1 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
pinch salt
2-1/2 c. mini marshmallows
1/2 c. sugar
2 T. milk
2 T. butter
1/2 c. chocolate chips
1/2 t. vanilla

Cake: Lightly butter a 13x9" baking pan. Set aside. in large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until well-combined. Add eggs one at a time. Stir in chocolate syrup and vanilla. In small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Stir flour mixture into chocolate syrup mixture a little at a time until well-combined. Pour into pan. Bake in 350F oven for 40-45 minutes or until edges of cake pull away from the pan. Place on wire rack and cover surface with marshmallows. Set aside.
Note: I usually bake this in a glass pan and let it cool slightly, without removing it from the pan.

Icing:In heavy saucepan, combine sugar, milk and butter over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved. Add chocolate chips and vanilla. Stir until melted. Remove from heat, beat 2 minutes or until smooth and glossy. Drizzle over marshmallows. Let cool completely. Serves 10-12
444 calories; 15g-12 g. fat per serving.

*Photo (and another recipe. . .and cute food blog from my brief look) from here.
*See other MPM at Have a yummy week!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Few House Changes

My hubby and I both had some time off between Christmas and New Years. When we are both home, it is generally a good time to make some changes to the house here and there. What we wanted to do was change this
into this. . .
But instead we ended up ripping out carpets in three bedrooms and getting new stuff put in. We also had an area rug bound out of the same carpet for our living room. . .here it is (not that these pictures show it off very well!):
In the process, we found tried to fix some of those squeaky boards. J found one that was actually a bit broken and had to do some bigger-than-hoped-for fixing. On the plus side he was able to fix some electrical stuff that was just kinda old with the floor out.
Unfortunately, when you re-do carpet in the bedrooms, you also have to get rid of all the furniture for a while too. The family had some fun having a few nights "sleep-over" in the playroom, but our house looked like this for those few days! (And of course we had my sister's family visiting all at the same time!)
While we were re-setting up some of the rooms, we were able to keep our kids busy by having them play in "odd" spots. Who would have thought a bed frame with no mattress would be one of the most desirable places to play in the house?
This was all kind of a last-minute decision to make this change, and it was also a last minute decision to then change E's bedroom instead of re-setting up his room and moving him over closer to when the baby arrived. So. . .here is his "new" room--paired as the guest room. We have some major work to do down here (painting it blue or brown or grey, new curtains, organizing toys, decorating it a bit (not sure he is into Monet prints as wall-hangings). . .)
About the same time, we had our kitchen light burn out. It was one of those old fluorescent ones, and the other half had burnt out long ago, so now we had a chance to replace the whole thing. While looking for lights, we found this cute one on clearance, so I had to get it for "our princess."
Here is our old light spot. . .it needed a little fixing and painting. . .
Here is our purchase. . .
And here is the final product. . .minus one of the lights--it was broken and is on back-order. So while we wait for the fifth light, four will do for now!
So maybe now we will get around to doing something about that fireplace of ours. . .

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Late as always! But I tried out the carrot ginger soup recipe and now I can give you my opinion of it!
So here is my opinion. . .I'm not a huge soup fan at the best of times, and if I am eating soup, i prefer the creamy kinds. For this recipe, cut out the cumin. I followed the recipe, except that. . .
*instead of parsnips I added potatoes
*gauge how much salt is going in based on your broth
*I added a little bit of cinnamon and sugar to sweeten it a bit
*sour cream is a good topper!
Otherwise, my hubby and family gobbled it up! So feel free to give it a try with recommendations from our home to yours!
Monday- Chicken Milani and garlic bread (I've posted this one before, so see previous posts for a link!)
Tuesday-Carrot Ginger Soup, croissants (w/ turkey and Swiss cheese)
Wednesday-Sausage and Perogies, cut up veggies
Thursday (CP)-Cranberry Chicken or Cranberry Roast, rice pilaf, corn and peas
Friday (OAMC)-Chicken Enchiladas (already made in the freezer!), salad
Saturday's snack-Cappuccino Chip Muffins (see below)
Sunday (BFS)-Pancakes and bacon
Cappuccino Chip Muffins
This recipe came from my sister's roommate (I believe)back in the day (thanks Laura!) Pam was great at making treats for when I came to visit or when she came to visit me, and this is one that I loved--but you HAVE to eat them fresh. They grow somewhat dry if they sit around, so i wouldn't recommend making a big batch. My sister would always make them "Costco-like." You know, with the tops popping over and bigger than the bottoms? For some reason, that makes a muffin just that much better to me! :) I believe this came from a recipe book of her roomie that had 10 or less ingredients per recipe. Or maybe it was 5 or less steps in a recipe. I don't know anymore. Have no clue what the book is. I just like the muffins.
2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1T. baking powder
1T. instant coffee
1/2 t. cinnamon
1 c. milk
1 egg
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1/2 c. semi sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375F. Grease a 12 c. muffin pan. In a bowl, stir together first 5 ingredients. In another bowl, beat milk, egg and oil. Add to flour mixture until just combined. Mix in chocolate chips. Place in muffin pan--fill to the top. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
Serves: 8-12 muffins
Many more MPM at

Monday, January 4, 2010

I Choose

I Choose. . .Devotional
(Note: Much of the content of this entry came from long ago e-mail forwards, and therefore I was not able to give credit where credit is due. I tried where I could. Please don't sue me. )

In the Bible, Joshua said to the Israelites,

“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve. . . But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)

As we go into the new year, we are confronted by that taunting word. . .resolutions! A promise, a vow, a choice to make. As followers of the Lord, we have choices to make. . .and we have students/people who are in our sphere of influence who we have an opportunity to affect through our choices—ones about how we will conduct ourselves, how we will live, and who we will serve.

The following three selections deal with choices. The first one is a Russian folktale called, "The Woman of the Wood", more recently titled “The Choice.” The second is a poem by Max Lucado called “Which Will Be Your Choice?” (from A Gentle Thunder). The final selection is called “I Choose Love,” also by Max Lucado (from When God Whispers Your Name), which incorporates the fruit of the spirit with everyday choices in life. Finally there is a music video link for Brian oerksen's song, Today.

The Choice
There once were three friends—an artist, a tailor and a teacher—who went on a journey together. They travelled a long time, through the valley, up a steep mountain, and into a forest. One night, as the other two slept, the artist, who was keeping watch, carved the form of a woman out of a tree. The next morning his friends were filled with admiration. The tailor said, “I will create clothing for her.” The teacher said, “I will teach her to think and to speak and to read.” And so, they set to work. The wooden figure was transformed into a soft and charming beauty. The three friends were pleased with themselves, but not for long.
“She belongs to me,” insisted the artist. “I shaped her from the tree with my own hands. That makes her mine!”
“She’s mine!” the tailor protested angrily. “Without my eye for design and style, her form would be drab and lifeless.”
“You’re both wrong!” cried the indignant teacher. “She’s mine—I’ve taught her who she is and how to express herself.”
The friends could not agree, so they decided to seek counsel of a wise old man who lived in a quiet corner of the king’s palace.
“Tell us whom the woman belongs to,” coaxed the friends, “and we will honor your decision.” The old man listened to their arguments, stroked his mottled beard, and said: “Yes, I can see why the artist claims this woman as his own. After all, he carved her out of wood. . . On the other hand, the tailor has given her an exquisite and refined beauty. Why shouldn’t he claim her?” He paused, then added, “And what does life mean to any of us without knowing who we are, or why? The teacher’s claim is just, as well.”
The three friends held their breath, each confident of his own success. Then the wise man looked at the woman, who had not yet spoken, but only sat, quietly listening. This time he spoke firmly. “Do we not belong to God alone? How can your gifts—or even your sacrifices—pay the price of ownership?” The three friends were silent. The old man spoke again. “I say this woman belongs to none of you. She is free. If she wishes to choose one of you, she can. But not man can choose her. Not even you, who have done so much for her.”
Now the woman lifted her head. To the amazement of the three friends, she began to speak. “I thank you, artist, tailor, and teacher, for all you have given to make me what I am. I am grateful, yet sad, for though I am a person now, I am still wood to you.” Then she turned to the wise old man, whose wrinkled cheeks were nearly hidden by his spindly white hair and ragged beard. “You have done the most for me,” she said. “You have given me the freedom to choose. So I choose you.”
-from the Russian folktale, “The Woman of the Wood”

Which Will Be Your Choice?
On one side stands the crowd.
On the other stands a peasant.
Swollen lips.
Lumpy eye.
Lofty promise.
One promises acceptance, the other a cross.
One offers flesh and flash, the other offers faith.
The crowd challenges, “Follow us and fit in.”
Jesus promises, “Follow me and stand out.”
They promise to please.
God promises to save. . .
God looks at you and asks. . .Which will be your choice?
-taken from “A Gentle Thunder” by Max Lucado (Word Publishing, 1995, p. 103)

EACH DAY—I Choose Love by Max Lucado
Taken from:

It's quiet. It's early. My coffee is hot. The sky is still black. The world is still asleep. The day is coming.

In a few moments, the day will arrive. It will roar down the track with the rising of the sun. The stillness of the dawn will be exchanged for the noise of the day. The calm of solitude will be replaced by the pounding of the human race. The refuge of the early morning will be invaded by decisions to be made and deadlines to be met. For the next twelve hours I will be exposed to the day's demands.

It is now I must make a choice. Because of Calvary, I'm free to choose. And so I choose….

No occasion justifies hatred; no injustice warrants bitterness. I choose love. Today I will love God and what God loves.
I will invite my God to be the God of circumstance. I will refuse the temptation to be cynical…the tool of the lazy thinker. I will refuse to see people as anything less than human beings, created by God. I will refuse to see any problem as anything less than an opportunity to see God.
I will live forgiven. I will forgive so that I may live.
I will overlook the inconveniences of the world. Instead of cursing the one who takes my place, I'll invite him to do so. Rather than complain that the wait is too long, I will thank God for a moment to pray. Instead of clenching my fist at new assignments, I will face them with joy and courage.
I will be kind to the poor, for they are alone. I will be kind to the rich, for they are afraid. And kind to the unkind, for such is how God has treated me.
I will go without a dollar before I take a dishonest one. I will be overlooked before I will boast. I will confess before I will accuse. I choose goodness.
Today I will keep my promises. My debtors will not regret their trust. My associates will not question my word. My spouse will not question my love.
Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle. If I raise my voice, may it be only in praise. If I clench my fist, may it only be in prayer. If I make a demand, may it only be of myself.
I am a spiritual being… After this body is dead, my spirit will soar. I refuse to let what will rot rule the eternal. I choose self-control. I will be drunk only by joy. I will be impassioned only by my faith. I will be influenced only by God. I will be taught only by Christ. I choose self-control.

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. To these I commit my day. If I succeed, I will give thanks. If I fail, I will seek His grace. And then, when this day is done, I will place my head on my pillow and rest.

Here is the link to a Brian Doerksen video, called "Today."