Friday, May 11, 2012

Every Gift Begins With God

Matthew 7:11
If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!


We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. 
~ Native American Proverb

My husband, Danny, is the southeast region coordinator for EPA's Energy Star program.  As such, he gives often gives energy-conservation presentations to businesses and schools which invite him.

This past week, he has the honor of visiting a state-of-the-art middle school on the Cherokee Indian Reservation in North Carolina.  The vast complex, which also houses elementary and high school students, sits in a lush valley surrounded on all sides by the majestic Great Smoky Mountains.

I get to accompany Danny on this trip.  I am really pumped as I haven't attended one of his presentations in over two years.  They are always informative and exciting, with lots of eye-catching visuals, humor, and stunning power points containing compelling music, entertaining movie clips, and unexpected sound effects.

The middle school is celebrating their recently concluded environmental projects.  Danny's presentation focuses on their theme:  "No act is too small, and no one is too small to act."  He demonstrates throughout his talk all the simple ways everyone, down to the littlest child, can help save energy in the home.

Sixth, seventh, and eighth graders are a tough audience.  I know.  I have taught this age group.

Many are already suffering from the I'm-too-cool-for-school syndrome.  They would rather be caught dead than show genuine interest in some old guy who knows a lot about energy-saving.

But, like fish on a line, I watch as Danny adeptly reels them in.  Involves them.  Refers to the unique environment in which they live.

And, though he loses a few, he nets a fantastic catch.

Hopes he has planted a seed.  Ideas that will be shared with family, friends, and community.

Prays these children will understand they are borrowing from their future children's world.

And, will choose to pay it forward.
~
Are you doing all you can to leave good gifts for your children?

Will you join me in prayer?
Let us ever remember, Father, that this good earth is Your creation.  Let us tend it wisely for the sake of generations to come.  Let us teach the young to be good stewards of all the gifts You give.  Amen.

Readings
Psalms 106:1-18 or 106:19-48
Leviticus 23:1-22
2 Thessalonians 2:1-17
Matthew 7:1-12  

30 comments:

  1. Hi Martha:
    With a niece just being born in February and a nephew on the way in July, I have an awesome opportunity to pass on some of the knowledge I've received since I found my path. I so look forward to v=being able to share what I've learned these past several years.

    It will certainly be a fun ride as I discuss my worldview with them.
    --
    Chris

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    1. Wow, Chris! What an awesome opportunity for you to share with these little ones. I know you will enjoy every minute of being an uncle to them.
      Thanks so much for coming by!
      Blessings!

      Delete
  2. The little kids next door are obsessed with me and I try to have good coversations with them every time I see them. :)

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    1. Oh, that is so sweet of you, Rachel! Yes, never miss a teachable moment. :)
      Thanks for stopping by today!
      Blessings!

      Delete
  3. I have been watching my husband all week long in trial. I fall in love with him all over again when I see him "professionally".. good for you for supporting your husband too! My middle school kids tell me how "BAD" the kids are to speakers all the time..they are actually shocked at the lack of manners....definitely a tough crowd!!

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    1. Oh, it is such a tough age group!
      I'm glad you get to watch your husband in the courtroom - how neat that you find yourself falling in love with him all over again. That says a mouthful!
      Thanks for visiting today, Annmarie!
      Blessings!

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  4. What a wonderful story Martha. Kudos to your husband for taking the time to share his knowledge with all age groups...even if not all of them were interested, they still heard the message and that is a beginning ☺

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    1. I do hope you are right, Mary, about the kids soaking in something of what Danny said. They were, indeed, a pretty tough crowd. :)
      Thanks so much for coming by!
      Blessings!

      Delete
  5. It feels good to read what your husband has been doing and it truly appreciable. I am also trying to do my bit.

    I hope God hears our prayers - AMEN!

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    1. Thanks so much for coming by today, Privy!
      Glad to know you are doing your bit, too. Yes, we can rest assured that He does hear our prayers!
      Blessings!

      Delete
  6. What a valuable job your husband has. I try to do my best to save energy and conserve the environment as much as possible. I hope to pass it on to my grandchild too.

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Myrna!
      Danny absolutely loves his job which is a great thing. I'm glad to hear you are committed to helping the environment and modeling this behavior for your grandchild. Perfect!
      Blessings!

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  7. Habits and beliefs are instilled at an early age so it's good that Danny is out educating the youth of America. If only one child retains the information and applies it in life then the program is worth it. Kids today are more aware of conservation efforts than my generation was growing up so tthis is a win-win situation. Blessings!!

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    1. Thanks so much for coming by, David!
      I'm with you here - if just one child "gets it", that news can and will travel to many more. I like to think of it as a win-win, too!
      Blessings to you!

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  8. Oh how beautiful Martha and what an inspiration! I truly appreciate your husband's ministry to kids. Anything for the children, I guess that's my motto at the moment.

    I have lots of ideals on how kids should be raised and why families should be preserved but I guess the total reality of what's happening in the world would make me so much of a judge.

    We could only go as far as supporting them in their needs but decisions are taken by parents. We do have a big part in shaping and forming the next generation.

    I took a short break teaching the children. My mom says what I teach about God should also evolve in practical things and also teaching the children awareness and respect of their own bodies and others as well.

    I think the children are teaching me many things in return.

    I pray with you, May God bless them and preserve their innocence. May we be generous in becoming a part of the children's growth process.

    Love this :*

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    1. Thanks so much, Melissa, as always, for stopping by!
      Ultimately, yes, a child's parents are the ones with the most influence and decision-making power. But, we can all have a positive impact on a child's growth and development. I'm sure you've been doing a great job with the little ones you have been teaching about God and hope this short break you are taking will give you renewed energy and commitment in this.
      And, so true - we learn so much from the children we do teach, don't we?
      Thank you, my dear, for sharing in prayer. I love knowing that you always do!
      Blessings!

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  9. I agree with David...you start with the youth as they are the next generation of custodians of this beautiful Earth we call home. As we begin to understand our connection with the Natural elements of our environment and how it affects all life on earth our children benefit from these teachings...and yes todays children are far more informed. How wonderful that Danny has the opportunity to help to form positive information in todays young that will carry forward to positive actions when they become the adults of tomorrow...thanks for sharing this wonderful story....Always...( I am now following)

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Ravenmyth!
      So glad to know you are a new follower! :)
      Yes, Danny feels very blessed to be able to do what he does, reaching out and educating both children and adults about conservation. God expects us to be good stewards of His creation, not wanton wasters.
      Blessings!

      Delete
  10. I love your daily devotions! Everything about them. The verse you start with, the lesson you offer, and the additional reading. This is a great lesson about respecting this beautiful planet that God has entrusted to us. Middle school kids are a tough audience for sure, but they also believe they can do anything. I'm sure the presentation will ignite a few fires! And what a beautiful setting. We took several vacations in the Smokies when I was growing up in the other end of Tennessee--in Memphis, where the Mississippi River offers great beauty but the land is flat!

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Galen, and thanks for you all too kind words about the blog.
      Yes, I do hope Danny set a few fires during his presentation and that these young folks will help fan the flames in others.
      These mountains are my favorite place to visit in all the world; glad you got to see them, too!
      Blessings!

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  11. This was wonderful to read Martha! You must be so proud of Danny. We have the educate the little ones..they are the next generation and hopefully they will succeed where we fail. Happy Mother`s Day for Sunday!

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Nelieta!
      Yes, I can't help but be proud of him; he really does a fantastic job of presenting important info in a concise and entertaining way. :)
      Happy Mother's Day to you, too!
      Blessings!

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  12. What good works you and your husband are doing! I'm sure a lot of kids were affected in a positive way by his presentation. I don't have children, but I am always mindful of the way I act and the way I carry myself around kids as they are sponges. I am supportive and loving and I teach what I know so I hope that I'm affecting young minds in the right way as I travel on my own path. Love this!

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    1. Thanks so much for coming by, Tameka!
      Yes, Danny and I are very blessed in the opportunities we have been given. Children definitely are sponges, as you said, and we have to be ever mindful of our behaviors when around them.
      Your loving, caring attitude and demeanor shine through your writing, my dear. You are certainly a huge blessing to all who read your marvelous poetry!
      Blessings!

      Delete
  13. I admire your husband's enthusiasm in passing on his knowledge and wisdom to the young ones, Martha! What wonderful contribution in shaping the future for the next generation! I do hope and pray, too, that even if the kids could not understand how important your husband's talk is for them and for the generations to come at this time, when they reach a certain level of maturity, they will be reminded of the lessons they learned on that day and eventually do their part.

    And as for me, I wonder if shaping my own character and then sharing my wisdom to my future children would suffice?

    Thank you for another enlightening post, Martha! I'm way behind reading your posts but I don't want to skip any because each is able to teach me a lot of different things. God bless! <3 :-)

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    1. So glad you stopped by and enjoyed this post, Irene!
      Yes, I am so grateful that Danny can do this type of presentation for the young people. Teaching children in school was always a great joy for me, too.
      And, I've no doubt you will shape many lives with your wisdom over the years. You're already doing marvelously with the inspirations on your blog!
      Blessings to you!

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  14. Martha what a beautiful experience to watch your husband netting a good catch. My father always taught us to save energy by switching off all electrical appliances when not in use. So much so that I feel guilty to even leave my room for a short leaving the fans and lights on. I try to teah Ron this and hopefully he will teach his kids and so on. We are truly borrowing the earth from our children. I enjoy the way you put things together. God bless you and Danny.

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    1. Thanks so much, Rimly, for stopping by!
      I'm glad to know someone else was raised with the saving-energy dad; those lessons did stick and I'm sure you are teaching Ron well.
      And, yes, we are borrowing from our children and need to make sure we borrow wisely.
      Thanks for the sweet complement and I'll pass your blessings on to Danny.:)
      Blessings to you!

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