Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Chiasma

One of my Easter traditions is re-reading this beautiful poem my father wrote.  Hope you enjoy it too.
Chiasma in the Spirit of the Easter Season

By Shelley M Beckstrand
April 15, 1987

 Jesus Christ, the first born son of our Father in Heaven
          The Only Begotten Son of God in the flesh
                   Was born of Mary,
                             To die.

Obediently suffering death,
          Now offering exaltation
                   To those who accept him as
                             Their Savior.

With sorrow
          He atoned for our sins.
                   Being wounded on the cross, his heart burst
                             Broken for our transgressions –
                             To heal us if we will repent by
                   Sacrificing a contrite spirit and a broken heart.
          We thus abandon our sins
For peace.

                             His children
                   Are those who serve him,
          Nurturing hope in eternal life,
Enduring faithful to the end.

                             We live
                   Born again
          Of the Spirit, children of Christ,
Sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father.

Friday, March 29, 2013

March Madness - New Testament Scripture Mastery Style

This year I decided it would be fun to bring some energy into seminary by doing a March Madness activity.  It actually turned out really well.  We had three teams - Red, Yellow and Blue - and kept points.  Most of the points were earned through the "New Testament Scripture Story Grab Bag" activity.
This idea came from the February 1999 Friend.  I had the pictures in my file, but you can find them at Sugar Doodle.  After drawing one of the pictures, each team got points for sharing a story related to the picture, a principle related to the story, and a relevant scripture mastery verse.  They got extra points for extra stories and scripture masteries.  Every 100 points the team would pull a slip from the "mad" bowl.  Some of those were questions worth additional points, but most of them were "switching" cards.  They didn't particularly like switching teams, but were good sports about it.  These activities were mainly used as fillers, either before or after the regular lesson.

The last several days of the month we worked on the Scripture Bracket Tournament.  As the teacher I came up with 64 different scriptures in the New Testament.  I used the scripture mastery verses, took some from a list of "scriptures quoted the quoted in general conference" that I had, and picked a few of my favorites to round it out.  I was able to divide them into four "regions" by author - Matthew, John, Paul, and Others.  Then the students ranked their favorite verses from each region to fill in our bracket.
When it was time for the tournament, which lasted several days, we would compare the two scriptures "competing" and ask the question, "Which of these two scriptures would bring me as a teenager the most help, comfort, peace or understanding?"  For most of the rounds, the winner was the majority favorite, although we did do a round or two in a debate format.  (One team would present reasons for why their scripture should be chosen, another team did the same, and the third team made the decision.)  

Guess what the winning scripture was?  If I had filled out a fantasy bracket, I would have sorely lost!!

"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." Revelation 21:4

March was a wonderful month in seminary.  We had fun.  We felt the Spirit.  And we know some scriptures that we can turn to when we need help and guidance.

And you can find the prizes that were handed out at the end here.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Mayflower Descendants

According to this, we're related to Dick Van Dyke and Richard Gere. George Soule is our common Mayflower ancestor.  I wonder how distantly.  Anyway, isn't this a cool picture?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Young Women Class Handouts

Last month my amazing daughter-in-law shared what she does for her Young Women each week, and it was such a great idea, I asked if I could Pin it.  She said I could, but that it wouldn't do any good because her blog's private.  Oops!  So she gave me permission to write about it on my own non-private blog.

Here's what she wrote:

When I was called to teach Young Women last June, I started browsing Pinterest for all sorts of YW ideas, especially since I am also the Personal Progress Advisor. I wanted to find a way for the girls to remember at least a little bit of what they learned that 
1, didn't take too much time, 
2, didn't take too much money, and 
3, was something I could do consistently. 
I couldn't find anything online that fit my criteria. So I wanted to share what I decided on because I feel like it was complete inspiration and revelation. 
Every week I pick what I feel is the most meaningful quote that goes with what our lesson is on. All I bought was a small spool of ribbon, a 12x12 cardstock pad (a very cute one, of course, so they all coordinate), and some binder rings. It takes me about 20 minutes each week to do a set. The cards measure 4" x 2 3/8", which is one 12x12 sheet cut into 15 rectangles (that's about how many I need when we have a lot of visitors). No more random handouts littering your scriptures! And now each girl has a whole stack of quotes to look back on (or at least something visual to remember part of the lesson by) to use for spiritual thoughts or spiritual pick-me-ups.

Isn't that just an awesome idea?  And it reminded me of something one of my visiting teachers did years ago. Whenever she came across a quote she wanted to remember, she wrote it on a 3x5 card.  She also referenced it to a scripture.  Then she punched a hole in the corner of the card and kept them on a ring in "scripture" order (i.e. Genesis at the beginning and Articles of Faith at the end).  Her stack was a good six inches thick!

I was inspired to do the same, and started my ring of quotes.  However, it became just "one more thing to do" and I didn't keep up with it.  It's still a great idea, and I think I might start adding to it again.  This week I actually even found it where I had stashed it!  (When I was checking a drawer for index cards to make a Family Almanac as a gift for the bridal shower I attended, there it was!)
Mine's not quite as pretty - maybe I'll add a ribbon to the ring! - but it does contain some of my most favorite quotes, and they're all in one place.  It's definitely a wonderful source to go to when a spiritual pick-me-up is needed!