Warning: At the end of this post, I am going to BEG you to repost and share it. If you don’t have time to read the post, just go ahead and repost it anyway. I assure you it is awesome. 😉 Still, I know there are a few of you who get all cheesed-off by constantly being asked to repost things because you see this as as a pandering, self-congratulatory manipulation of the blogger-friend relationship. While I concede that some of my other repost requests are purely for selfish reasons, this one is only PARTLY selfish. Thank you for reading AND VIEWING. There is a WAY-TOO-CUTE VIDEO of my kids singing as incentive for you, but you have to be on The Low Ryder site to view it, so if you are in your e-mail, click over now.
PART 1: How to Change your Kid and Yourself
One Sunday morning before church, as I LITERALLY dragged (in the manner of dragging a large bag of cow manure) my shrieking son across the middle of the auditorium, a man jokingly remarked, “I’m not sure if you are the best mom or the worst.” This man is my friend and knows I have a love of self-deprication, so I was able to smirk and say, “I think it must be a little bit of both.”
But as I sat down, pinning my writhing Dylan to his seat, I got to thinking about how much of what we do is such a DRAG. Try as we may to get our kids to obey, eat with utensils, enter the auditorium on their feet, and other such simple tasks, we often are just DRAGGING them along against their little dastardly wills. Sometimes they will comply, but really enacting our wills upon theirs is easier said than done. Getting them to ACTUALLY CHANGE from evil, self-absorbed, little brats into kind, gentle, productive members of society is . . . . uggh, exhausting.
Therefore, you will be thrilled, exhilarated even, to know that I’ve figured out a little manipulation TACTIC. Sweet! Also, if YOU (like the aforementioned kids) are an intractable, self-centered little beast, this will work for you too. (I know, because it is working for me–and I am all those things, except –little.)
Here’s the backstory on getting your kids to change. An embarrassingly long time ago, a brilliant friend of mine shared that she’d had her kids memorize a Bible verse for each letter of the alphabet. She even sent me a list of the verses they had used. Truthfully, I thought it was kind of cheesy and home-schoolish. (No offense intended. It’s just that I’m a public school teacher’s wife, and I make only pathetic efforts at teaching my kids things.)
Nonetheless, we decided to try it, but we changed the verses into songs. We got to the letter F song and we gave up. I got distracted. I forgot to print out the next verse, and the whole “Letter Verses” project was abandoned.
BUT, something happened. Despite our abandonment, the LETTER VERSE SONGS were STUCK in my kids’ brains!!! And in MINE!! During a few opportune moments, like when they were beating each other to a pulp, I would ask, “What does the ‘B-verse’ say?”
THEN out of their little fury-twisted faces would come the softening, anger-diffusing tune. It started out slightly forced, but eventually, it was for real!! “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you.” Then they’d make up with each other and start playing nicely. (It was nothing like that bit from The Poisonwood Bible, so just wipe that thought out of your cynical mind!)
WHAT!?! I mean, unlike my discipline, my screams, my threats, my rewards systems, my consequences, THOSE WORDS had POWER to transform!!! What is THAT about? They were actually, factually, CHANGING!
Oh wait. I knew that. Scripture is SUPPOSED to do that, but I guess I just didn’t really believe that it would.
And even for me, those songs were stuck in MY head, popping up into my thoughts. They were changing ME! The words were digging out all the crud and working their way into my heart.
It reminded of this passage (which I haven’t memorized yet, but I looked it up on the great and powerful biblegateway.com):
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double–edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
So . . . for the obvious reason that . . . . these letter verses have been virtually the ONLY TACTIC that has internally CHANGED anything about my kids, we’ve resumed our efforts.
We made up a few of the songs. We used a few from a Steve Green DVD/ CD combo called Hide ‘Em in Your Heart, which is hopelessly early 90s, but still quite catchy. (They have little skits that the kids LOVED. They didn’t even notice the frighteningly teased-out bangs-poof on the moms!) We also picked a few songs from some CDs called Seeds of Praise, Seeds of Hope, and Seeds of Faith. The Seeds CDs are amazingly non-cheesy and cool; you can listen on the website. I love listening to Seeds Cds when I get to drive the Providinator’s car. (My rockin’ Taurus wagon only has a tape deck. Stink.)
Anywhoo . . . here are my beauties debuting the “A Verse.”
Aren’t they precious! I would show you B-Verse (which is even MORE adorable), but YOU HAVE TO WAIT till next week because, as you might expect, I’m going to
force invite you to do this WITH US!!! You need to do this! You totally do. If you don’t like our verses you can pick your own, but YOU NEED to do this.
SO first, print this handy dandy A-Verse printable. Hang it near where you eat.
Second, try to discern a tune from the video, OR make up your own.
Third, sing it all week.
Fourth, be changed.
Five, follow along with us for 26 weeks, and you will have a verse memorized for each letter of the alphabet.
PART II: How to Change MORE than just YOU
You may know that the ProvidinaTOR and I were missionary teachers for a while. We worked for an organization that translates the Bible. They have a sister organization called The Seed Company that is doing some AMAZING things around the world. Several of my friends work with The Seed Company now, and I’m getting quite enthused lately about their relevant and practical approaches to Bible translation. Here’s a little video they made that you NEED to watch (to save me from explaining it all to you). The video is very clever whereas, I am not.
Amazing! And . . . I’m aghast! Even though I worked with a Bible translation organization, I’m totally flabbergasted by that pie chart showing how many people STILL don’t have the Bible in their languages.
No Letter Verses.
No Handy Dandy Printable.
No blogger easily linking up her kids’ verse-singing video, quickly and conveniently spoon-feeding in a little life-altering change.
340 million people just have NOTHING. No ACCESS! No hope for salvation–much less a little behavioral improvement.
That, my blog-reading friends, is a DRAG. That is a real DRAG.
WHICH is why the work of The Seed Company is SO awesome. They’ve started a campaign called One Verse, which enables regular non-missionary-ish people and churches to sponsor the translation of one verse of Scripture.
You ARE going to FREAK when you hear how much it costs to translate one verse.
It costs $26. Only $26. For $26, I can give someone, maybe a whole village of someones, one verse! A life-changing, powerful, transforming verse.
26 is how many letters are in the alphabet. $26 is how many dollars is costs to translate a verse.
THEREFORE, we Ryders are going to match it like we do in The Save to Give Challenge.
With that challenge, we try to save money on expenses so that we can give it away. But in this case, we are going to “SAVE” God’s Word in our hearts with the 26 letter verses, AND then will will match that by “GIVING” God’s Word to other hearts through OneVerse. For each verse we memorize, we are going to give a dollar to One Verse.
Do the awesome math. (I must say . . . I never thought I would put the word “awesome” next to the word “math,” but there it is.)
By the time, we’ve memorized the Letter Verses, each of us will have sponsored a VERSE for $26! Yippee. That’s four verses if we can all do it. I’m so excited. Addie and Dylan and the ProvidinaTOR are excited. It was especially cool to see the kids catch on to how THEY could help share Scripture by memorizing it. It was like a DOUBLE-WHAMMY of blessing. They learn the verses, are changed, AND maybe, start to care about missions and others a teensy bit?
I’m psyched, especially once I saw how EASY-PEEZY it is to give at One Verse. Want to join in the fun?!
Three Easy Steps.
1. Each week, I’ll post the Handy Dandy Printable for the Letter Verse, and hopefully, a video of the kids singing it. Please JOIN US with memorizing the Letter verses.
2. Then, if you feel led, help share One Verse or Two Verses or whatever you can with people who are just DRAGGING along hopelessly without it. God will transform them with His Word. He PROMISES!
3. PLEASE let me know if you want to join in with memorizing the letter verses. I’ll even post video of YOU or your kids if you want.