Resource Queen With Youth & Family Jewels

Greetings of peace, love, Joy and solidarity!

I am thankful. While I have my struggles with these shelter at home orders, I realize I am thankful for the opportunity to spend time with, good to know, and get to teach and encourage my 12-year-old son. I am grateful for the opportunity to spend so much time with my husband. I am thankful for the spirit of resilience and for my health. Remember that the best way to deal with these stressful situations is to control what you can and contribute where you were able to the welfare of yourself and others. Here, I am taking my own advice because Isee myself as a resource queen!

My son on his laptop

And, I am grateful for the opportunity to share with you some of my favorite resources for Aeducating and motivating children be at my own son or children and youth served by the churches I have ministered with. I hope these are of service to you or those you know and love.

K-12+ Resources

Youth and children resources are abundant, and if you have some, I welcome you to share. This is what we use a lot. They are apps and websites. #KeepYourHeadUp #Resources

Duolingo
https://www.duolingo.com

This one is why I put K-12+. My I love using this app probably more than my son does even. You can learn French, Spanish, Portuguese in almost any other language I can think of. my son mostly works on French, and I’ve worked on Spanish, French and Italian. Mostly, I’ve been building my skills for years in Spanish with this app.

– Prodigy
https://prodigygame.com/play

This is a great math games with levels to attain and characters they can purchase. I think my son has gotten about as high as the game currently allows, so we’re still waiting for some new developments. It’s a great site for learning math and having fun.

– Smithsonian Tween Tribune
https://www.tweentribune.com/category/teen/

Here you can create an account and create classrooms if you have one child or tons of children. You can assign the articles and the questions that go along with them. The articles are on all sorts of subjects and are geared toward age groups that you select. Have fun! Let’s teach our children about science, developments in the medical field, space travel and so much more. I love this.

– Newselahttps://newsela.com/

Current events including the current coronavirus latest news are here. The stories are customized based on age level. My son uses this in school and we’ve continued using it at home. Just this week, we’ve learned about penguins in the aquarium in Chicago which was forced to close, and Jean therapy, which could help those who have genetic blindness receive their vision.

Typing
http://www.typing.com

Pretty self-explanatory, but if you and your children wish to increase typing accuracy and speed, where else would you go beside a place called typing.com?

Lumosity
https://www.lumosity.com/en/

This app has games designed to help sharpen focus and increase brain function. If you have a preteen or a team, I know you are invested in helping them increase their focus! LOL! If I hear I didn’t know where I didn’t remember one more time…

– Khan Academy
https://www.khanacademy.org/

Another one the teachers use and encourage us to use at home to supplement our children’s education. Science, math, language arts, social studies, it’s all here!

– Los Angeles Public Library
https://lapl.beanstack.org/users/sign_in

Sending Virtual Hugs

We all have Library-‘s in our counties, of course! My son still loves physical books although we have Audible and Kindle and all the other digital formats. It’s interesting and will continue to be interesting to see how the library’s answer this current challenge. I pray for our library’s in librarians as keeping brick and mortar library is open was probably already a challenge.

It’s Me!

My prayer is that each parent and guardian take this opportunity to learn with and learn from their student. Children are blessings from God and even when they are at their most challenging, they encourage us to be at our best. I hope these resources help you enjoy your time just a little bit more. I’d love to hear any of your stories in the comments. enjoy the journey. You are not ever alone.

Fruitfulness – My Psalm 28 Story

Fruitfulness Devotional

Lenten greetings of peace, love and joy! Today is a special day! It is the 13th day of Lent. It is also the day that my devotion entry has been published by #PictureLent. I will include the link to it below so that you may see my contribution as well as the contributions of the other authors all the way up through Easter. I’ve also included the text here, because what are our personal blogs for it not to showcase the gifts and talents God has blessed us with??? Make sure you let me know what you think of what you read, and how God is blessing you through this look at Psalm 128.

Gardens, Children and Ministry

“How joyful are those who fear the Lord — all who follow his ways! You will enjoy the fruit of your labor. How joyful and prosperous you will be!” ‭‭ (Psalms‬ ‭128:1-2‬ ‭NLT‬‬)
https://www.bible.com/bible/116/psa.128.1-2.nlt

Walking this journey to the Cross with Christ is often demanding, rigorous and disorienting. I pray that you also experience Lent as hope-filled, energizing, and life-giving. On this, the 13th day of Lent, let us take a moment to breathe in that hope and life God provides as we breathe out the struggle and disorientation life sometimes offers. As the Psalmist prays for abundant blessings on Israel, I pray for abundant blessings upon you, your family and community.

As we walk, work, eat and drink, play and love, we seek to find the balance most pleasing to God. If we have children, we hold their hands so that they remain close to us and close to Christ. Scripture says we are blessed if we walk in the way of the righteous. So, I implore you to persevere on this journey to the Cross.

The Psalmist confidently asserts that all who fear/revere/respect and obey the Lord will be abundantly blessed. For Israel, if a person had fruitful lands and many sons, these were signs of God’s favor. Thus, the man blessed with a wife who bore many children who in turn worked the land and bore more children would have been seen as most highly favored.

Today, bearing numerous children and working the fields and vineyards may not be the symbols of fruitfulness in our culture. However, many of us, myself included, find happiness and blessing through our relationships with others, including our spouses, children, family, and friends. Lent is an ideal time to ponder the gifts God has given and still has in store for us. Now may be an ideal time to identify the gifts and talents we possess and how God is calling us to employ them for the journey.

Even today, we identify with the blessing of fruitful soil. Many of us live in urban areas where we are fortunate if we have small gardens where we may plant flowers, cucumbers, squash and potatoes. Yet, when we look around, we see the land bearing fruit. Down the street from my apartment, there is a family who grows oranges and another who grows grapefruit. Thank God for this fruitfulness.

Every summer, the children who participate in Saint Mark United Methodist Church, Los Angeles’ summer enrichment program work in the garden. We provide cups/containers and they plant and water their projects. At summer’s end, they take home the fruits of their labor. The children also help tend the garden and sometimes take home vegetables if they are ripe. God’s ministry through us is bearing much good fruit: literal crops planted, harvested and eaten; children and families who have the means to plant and eat healthy food; and a church and community better able to appreciate the amazingness of God’s creation and the vitality of our service as stewards. Inthese endeavors and others, only God truly knows how fruitful our prayers, plantings and plucking-up will be. Lord, bless your faithful people with fruitfulness.

Let Us Pray

Lord, take our stumbling, sometimes grudging and often uncertain steps, infuse them with your grace and assurance, and remind us that you are the source of our blessings and fruitfulness. You have given us Scripture to make straight and give light to our path. We give you thanks. Bless us, O Lord, as we scatter the seeds you have entrusted to us. May they bear fruit for your Kingdom for generations to come. Amen!

Let Us Do

Fruitfulness Bag: Put together at least one non perishable food bag to give away to a person in need. Please include applesauce or some other non perishable fruit cup, and if you include a juice pouch or box, please make sure it is 100% fruit juice. Preparing one bag for each household member or group member (if you are participating as part of a group or household) would be ideal.

Let Us Reflect

  1. In which ways has your life been fruitful (children, spouse, ministry, acts of kindness, answers to prayers, etc.)?
  2. How is your observance of Lent pruning you for greater fruitfulness for God?
  3. Discuss Holy and fruitful fear vs. debilitating and counterproductive fear. Which fear does God desire of us, and how does our understanding of fear impact our understanding of and relationship with God?

Website https://mailchi.mp/riotexas/picturelent-march-11-fruitfulness?e=e87b03a3e3

Through & With Christ, We Can

In the photo, you will notice that I put one verse above the cross and the other below. This is to highlight the importance of the cross in our journey with Christ. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us, and we can find contentment in any situation that life throws at us. It is through the Christ and through his cross that we have this joy and assurance.

How To Thrive By 45

“How To Thrive By 45” is a pretty good study plan. It’s one of the YouVersion ( https://www.bible.com/en/reading-plans/3457), and study devotions I’m doing. I’ve decided to include that here and in my scripture journal today, because the scripture is my favorite. Philippians 4:12-13.

When Jesus is truly our Lord, we can find contentment and all sorts of adverseconditions as well as the more pleasant ones, and remember to glorify God in all of them. I have a ring thanks to my husband that reminds me of Phil. 4:13 which is that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. He really understands me.

Me & Hubby After 2020 Primaries

I think these are vital verses to remember as we journey with Christ and each other toward the cross and beyond this Lenten season.

God Bless You

Blessed be! Today and every day, be thankful! Be courageous! Be humble! Be love! Yes, I said “Be“ Love.

Give Up Scapegoating for Lent

This passage has always made me sad. It’s just a for shadowing of the sadness I felt at reading of Jesus on the cross or experiencing the lamb who is the only one who could open the seven seals. We are to repent! And mean it!

https://www.bible.com/bible/111/lev.16.20-22.niv““When Aaron has finished making atonement for the Most Holy Place, the tent of meeting and the altar, he shall bring forward the live goat. He is to lay both hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites—all their sins—and put them on the goat’s head. He shall send the goat away into the wilderness in the care of someone appointed for the task. The goat will carry on itself all their sins to a remote place; and the man shall release it in the wilderness.”

Leviticus 16:20-22 NIV

Lord Jesus, I thank you for inviting us on this journey. I thank you that those of us who have made it this far or at least this committed to the journey and we thank you for the power we know you will give us to go all the way with you to the cross and glory. Thank you for being the ultimate scapegoat, sacrifice and atonement for our sins. May we be better and may we become more like you. In Jesus precious and holy name we pray, by the power and the gift of the Holy Spirit bestowed upon us by God the father, amen!

Firm Foundation

Greetings of peace, love and joy! It’s been a while and I’m hoping to start blogging regularly once more. HMMM… I wonder if anyone noticed I haven’t posted in a while.

Well, it’ll be great to get back in here. A lot of exciting things has been happening as far as passing my interviews for commissioning as a united Methodist deacon, finding the Faith Foster Family Network (3FN) and CrossRoads United Methodist Church and more! I’ve even been certified as a monitored visitation coach for Department of children and family services. For today though, I’m just going to drop a little line of reflection on Psalm 127:1 Dash two. Be wise, be faithful and be courageous until next time!

Life can be tedious, hectic, drama filled and challenging. Life can be joyful, inspirational, amazing and full of laughter. My goal is to remember what Psalm 127:1 tells us: we need to live life on purpose and according to God‘s ultimate purpose. #Psalm127 #YourWillBeDone #ComeHolySpirit #LiveOnPurpose #InVain #NotInVain #LordLeadMe

“Unless the Lord builds a house, its builders labor over it in vain; unless the Lord watches over a city, the watchman stays alert in vain. In vain you get up early and stay up late, working hard to have enough food — yes, he gives sleep to the one he loves.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭127:1-2‬ ‭CSB‬‬ https://www.bible.com/bible/1713/psa.127.1-2.csb-

Confirmation: choosing A Savior Who Already Chose Us

Greetings of peace and joy!

We are in the second week of Eastertide, and I haven’t blogged in weeks. Lent was so heavy this year. So much death, so much injustice, so much disillusionment and of course so much to do! I know my sufferings were nothing compared to that suffered by our Christ on the cross, but Lord!!! Jesus, it was tough. I hope you made it through intact, and that your struggles, Temptations and blessings remind you of the Jesus who chose us and loves us whoever and wherever we are. I’m praying for us all. It is a season of resurrection, new life and new Hope and I hope you are experiencing just that today.

So, What Do I Have To Say Tonight?

Confirmation Experience 2019 Flyer

Created by Ainise ‘Isama’u
Confirmation Experience 2019 is taking place as a partnership/collaboration between Saint Mark and Holman! These are both united Methodist churches in Los Angeles. Let’s pause for a brief exclamation for those who may not know what Christian Confirmation is. No, it isn’t only for Catholics. (A Question/sentiment I get a lot).
In the United Methodist Church, we believe in infant baptism, because we believe that baptism is a gift of grace from God. Just as God chose us even before we knew to choose God, the infant is baptized into the body of Christ without knowing to choose to do so. However, at some point, everyone must make a choice. So, at adolescence, we have a right of passage where youth choose to accept the grace freely given and accep membership in the church inherited. These beloved young people take a series of classes where they learn about God and the church, receive practical instruction on discipleship and ministry and experience life as members of a community and at the end we pray they choose to become full and active members of the church. The choice is theirs.

Session ONE Is Tomorrow

Session 1 is going to be fun, and if it goes well, it’ll definitely set the tone for the rest of the sessions. It will of course be the longest, because it includes our mission project. The youths and their teams, including a mentor and parent/guardian per youth, will work together to create Manna Bags. These bags Will comprise of non-perishable items the families can carry with them and pass out as needed when out and about in their cars. Following that, we will have pizza, and then, our first class, which is all about loving together, living together and traveling together will take place. Rather befitting! A huge part of this will be starting off by identifying ways we can pray for one another and our world, be present for each other and those hurting in our world, share our gifts with those who need them, serve each other and others, and bear witness to the grace and the love of God with all we come in contact with. This is all life together, and we hope to impart to our young people and those who surround them with the belief and knowledge that Christianity is an active faith calling for active discipleship and storytelling. We have to know who we are before we can tell others and invite others to travel together with us. So, keep us in your prayers!

1Timothy 4:12. Respect the wisdom of the young when the wisdom is God-given.Until I Write Again….

Be wise, gentle, courageous, bold, faithful and hopeful. When we seek God, God is found and when we don’t feel the presence of God, let us keep reaching and praying and asking that God reveal God’s self to us. Christ has risen and so too have we. Not fully, but within from the holder of the grave. God bless you.

Easy To Do; Easy Not To Do

What is easy to do is also easy not to do quote by Jim RohnGreetings of peace and joy to you! It’s been a long day, yet a satisfying one. I was able to collaborate with a colleague from a different church, which I always love. I got to play around with Google forms which, believe it or not, I’ve never done before. I enjoy that kind of thing. And I’m sitting here with a headache and thought Maybe I can skip my blog for today. After all, I’m writing most days for Lent, but not every day. Still, it was on my heart to write and I didn’t have a good reason not to. As my title suggests, The quote is on my mind that those who are successful do what must be done, and realize that certain tasks are eato do but just as easy not to do. If it encourages you that I am right in the trenches with you, it’s worth it! If you’re feeling like life is one never ending series of upcoming events and emergencies and everything is critical, take a deep breath and know I am fighting these battles as well.

Jesus, teach us peace, balance and give that’s proper perspective so that we can run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint,… Or burn out. Amen.

Surprise, I Have Been Reading!

leadership 2.0The last couple days, I’ve been spending a lot of time on professional development. I think God for mentors who can bring that perspective and encouragement. So, remember the other day I told you I took the Emotional Quotient, EQ, test? Well, I also started the Leadership 2.0 Book as well. I took the test, because when I have my next coaching call, I want to be able to discuss it. I’m not really going to read that book right away, because I’m going to focus on Sustainable Youth Ministry. I took the test, because when I have my next coaching call, I want to be able to discuss it. It’s nice to know my leadership strengths and areas of challenge. You have to purchase the books to get special codes to take the appraisals/inventories/tests, there may be another way, but I don’t know it. The company sells the test a standalone, I think, but that’s expensive.

Sustainable Youth Ministry book coverIn addition, I started, or restarted, Sustainable Youth Ministry. I’m having some fun imagining presenting some of these ideas and plans to our church leader ship! I’m usually amused! basically, the book talks about long-term strategic planning and hiring staff who are steady, educated, dedicated, committed and have leadership capacity. The book recommend strongly against hiring what he calls the superstar youth minister who is young and enthusiastic, but perhaps less skilled Andy gifted. No one wants to hear that it’s going to take time, teamwork and money, but all of these are crucial to a sustainable youth ministry. As one who is interested in growing with and in my position and sustainable discipleship models, I appreciate this book and it’s perspective.

Let Us Pray

God, we love you. When life is hard and we need love and protection, we know you are here. Thank you for joining in with us as we stumble, Walk, run and fly. Thank you for giving your son with whom we journey. There is none like you. May everything we do and say glorify you forever in the mighty name of Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit we pray, amen.

A Day In The Life

Greetings! How’s your week going? It’s only Tuesday and it’s already Tuesday! I’m not sure about you, but I’ve pretty much did nothing but work today and it’s been pretty fun. We’re ironing out our Easter production and celebration for the children, still getting ready for summer and for Youth Confirmation. I’m not going to speak a lot on any of that, because I have in previous posts and will again. What I’ll do today is upload some of the flyers for the event so you can see and comment if you wish. Some are still works in progress. I’m rather wordy, which you probably noticed. That might be good for blog posting and for sermons, but not so much for flyers. Still, I know I like to get all my information in one place, so I tend to cram it in.

I also took an EQ, emotional intelligence, test today. I did OK. We don’t need to get into that though. I also purchased the book that goes along with that, which is Emotional Intelligence 2.0. I know they’ve been saying for years now that the IQ is less accurate as a predictor of intelligence and success especially for minority populations, but I was amazed at how much more important EQ is. If I remember correctly, it’s something like only 20% of the most successful people had higher IQ versus EQ, or emotional quotient. That’s vital to this period of reflection, repentance and revitalization.

Let Us Pray

Christ, may we all know ourselves and love ourselves as your children, created in your image and capable of greatness! Your will be done. Amen!

Super Training University Vacation Bible School PosterConfirmation Experience Announcement Marks of Heroism Summer Enrichment Program Brochure

Hold On Until Your Blessing Comes: God Is Coming

And The Journey Continues

Cover Photo of KTLA NEWS STORY ON THE MURDER OF WRAPPER, NIPSEY HUSSLE, MARCH 31, 2019

Blessings of peace and hope to you! Today is Motivation Monday, and we need it. Today has been a tough one. Yesterday, I went to church as I always do, led Sunday school, worship and hosted youth group, as I always do. We hosted a table after church desplaying all our activities from now through Summer. We hope this visibility and engagement with the with entire congregation will gain enthusiasm and involvement for our youth programs. We need the adults to donate/invest that God’s love and joy may spread. Pray for and with us. 

Today, I called one of my youth to check in with her, let her know about the college prep workshop Friday and make sure she will be at the Easter production rehearsal Sunday. I wasn’t thinking about Nipsey or the impact his murder would have on my students who would know more of him than I do. She is the age I was when Tupac was murdered, so once I thought about it, my heartHURT for her.. That was heart-breaking for me, and this is for her. I hope the support I intended came through. I hope I offered the peace and comfort of Christ to her. I hope she sensed my love. I pray the pessimism I sensed from her will pass. When our young men and women continue to kill each other, it is difficult to keep hoping for a brighter tomorrow, but as God never gives up on us, may we never give up either. 

When we arrived home–my husband, son and I–we learned about the murder of wrapper and local hero, Nipsey Hussle. We are in lament over the death of this 33 year-old Black entrepreneur who came up on the streets of LA and worked to bring money, opportunity and hope to our inner-city. We often ask why our young and brightest grow up and leave for greener pastures, so to speak, and then something like this happens, and we know. I do not know all the details of what happened and why, but I do know envy, back-stabbing and alienation is the reality of what many face when they choose to be successful and return to pull others up. Returning to South-Central LA from attending college in Monterey, grad school in Pasadena and my first ministry job in Redondo Beach has been challenging. It is not easy, but it is worth it. Jesus, I am sure, thought the same when he returned to Galalee and faced suspicion and rejection. 

Even the most faithful believers ask "How Long?" (Psa 13:1-2)
Psalm 13:1-2

How Long? 

At times such as these, Psalm 13:1-6 ceaselessly plays in my head. It is the cry of my heart and perhaps yours, too: How Long, LORD! How long will I be rejected, poor, depressed and anxcious? How long will I/we have to struggle through with little view of the sun to come? I would read this to this student to let her know these questions are timeless and they are okay. We have and serve a God strong enough to bear our sarrows. We need to sit in the grief of Good friday and Holy Saturday. We need to support those in the desert with us, because together, we shall overcome. 

Lord, I pray we have the patience, peace of mind, assurance and courage to sit in our pain, and then I pray we also have the wisdom to learn from those hard times to ask for what we really need. When we ask, may our hearts be strong and full of conviction so we recieve our blessing, and may we then remember to return to you with praise and thanksgiving. We love you, Almighty God. You will bring us through. You will heal our hearts. You will use us to bring peace and love to this broken world. Walk with us and sit with us. Never leave us. We pray for those who grieve and those who cause the grief. Heal us so that we do not lash out in rage, anger, greed and selfishness to harm others. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen! 

Praise God In The Storm

May we never forget that the Psalmist moved from How in the first 2 verses to the concrete request for deliverence of verses 3-4 and ultimately the praises of verses 5-6. Whenn 5-6 were prayed, deliverance had not come; the Psalmist BELIEVED/KNEW it would come. Sit first where you are so that when you pass through the waters, you are sure God has been with you and has delivered you mightily. 

God A Reason For Hope

Psalm 13:5-6: Praise God in the storms and praise the Lord when deliverance comes!
Don Peterson, Pastor, “A Reason for Hope”

Christy Clark | April 2, 2019 at 5:06 am | Categories: Ministry | URL: https://wp.me/paM4qz-3KComment

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When we arrived home–my husband, son and I–we learned about the murder of wrapper and local hero, Nipsey Hussle. We are in lament over the death of this 33 year-old Black entrepreneur

Making Young Disciples During Lent & Easter

Alpha and Omega - Pass It On
Alpha And Omega

Breathe deeply, ask God to provide peace, patience and endurance, and remember why we work and strive every day to build the kingdom of God. Lent Is a season of preparing our hearts and minds for Christ death and resurrection; emptying out so that God can fill up. Advent comes before Christmas, end it tends to be more festive and feels more joyful. Both seasons, however, tend to get too hectic and frantic and busy and it is hard to keep the peace and hope of the season. Like Christianity itself, I see this as backward, but in a good way! God does not value what the world values and conversely, Easter is the season that should bring us much joy, because although Jesus being born as human is a critical point in our history, Jesus dying and suffering so that we can have eternal life is why we are here. Lent, perhaps can never be joyful and festive, because the focus is on repentance and on the struggling walk to the cross. But, Easter is a season, not only a day. Easter Season (50 days beginning with Easter Sunday) deserves at least as much joy and recognition as Advent and Christmas.

So today, I am talking to myself as much as other ministers and pastors. I am speaking to parents and teachers and all those who get busy with the practicalities and duties of the holidays. May we all find those moments to be Mary seated at the feet of the Messiah listening and enjoying the word of God and resist the temptation to always be Martha, hard at work. May we be aware of this tendency to do rather than be so that we can resist. How do we balance the two? Trust me, I am no expert, but I know the ONE who is, and I am praying, come Holy Spirit, come!

I am taking a moment away from work and I hope that this post will calm me and bless you. As I prepare for youth confirmation, Easter and into the summer, may I continue to have the wisdom and ability to take these moments to write and keep this discipline. May be a blessing and not another chore to add to the list.

Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

Passing On The Faith

Marks of Heroism Brochure, by Christy Ann Clark Speaking on passing our faith down to the next generations, Every summer, Saint Mark LA Host to summer reading program. This year, I have named it Marks of Heroism 2019. We will learn, play and pray together five days a week for six weeks during the summer. Here is the brochure I created. it is one of the fliers and announcements that will be on display after church on Sunday so that more of our church family made yet involved with all that we are doing and all the Holy Spirit is doing through us.

SJudges 2:8,10 after Joshua and his generation died, Israel reverted to their old sinful way.

Judges 2:8.10

ince I’ve been focusing on our youth confirmation so much these past days, it is not a shock that tonight my heart is set on why we as Christian leaders focus on making disciples for Christ. It took me back to the Old Testament, of course. After a faithful generation rose and served, an unfaithful generation often followed and I was thinking of Joshua here. After Moses and Joshua another generation died, but people forgot about God and failed to follow. Maybe that generation dropped the baton and got too comfortable. I cannot say. I’m sur the situation was entirely too complicated for us to assume we know anything. I do know that our example today can help brighter tomorrow for our children, and create a more hopeless world for our children. So I press on. We press it on.

We plant, water, nurture and reap, yet only God can really produce the harvest.

Let us rest well so that will have the energy, endurance, patience and wisdom to keep doing God’s good work, praying and playing with our children, and loving God above all! Amen.