Small Churches Offer Opportunities to Love Jesus



My sister and I ready for church as preschoolers.

My sister and I ready for church as preschoolers.

Climbing big steps to enter a brick building through heavy wooden doors may not sound like something a five-year-old would enjoy, but I couldn’t wait to go inside!


My Sunday school teacher, Miss Winnie, had big teeth, lots of white hair, and a funny voice that sounded like she spoke through a tunnel. She greeted us each week with a smile. Then she taught us to pray and helped us put our quarters in the offering cup. She taught us songs like “His Name Is Wonderful” and stories from the Bible. I loved her.


After Sunday School, we children marched upstairs to sit with our parents for church. And I do mean “marched.” Every week, the pianist played “Onward Christian Soldiers” to introduce the preaching service. I always pretended to be a soldier, picking up my legs like I’d seen soldiers do on TV. My bent arms swung up and down to the beat like a human metronome as we walked up the aisle into the sanctuary.


After finding my parents, my sister Lyn and I would squeeze into the pew with them. That’s when the fun ended. For one long hour we had to sit until the preacher quit talking. Lyn and I passed the time making up games with the hymn books.


Sometimes Lyn and I “volunteered”, via our mother, to sing a duet for the congregation. Since we were the only children whose mother owned a piano, we were “volunteered” often.


Our favorite song was “Let the Sun Shine in.” Mom dressed us in matching frocks with white gloves and hats. I liked wearing a hat because if we didn’t, Mom curled our hair on wicked wiry rollers the night before. It was impossible to sleep on them. Ouch!




In summer our small church overflowed with children and fun during a week-long vacation Bible School. My favorite activity was playing with Miss Winnie’s child-size  tambourine and little drum. Rat a tat tat!  Miss Winnie allowed me to play it daily.


After recreation time, we’d have cookies and Kool-Aid. We could eat as many cookies as we wanted, something I never got to do at home.


My family attended this small church until I was eight years old. Then my parents decided we needed to attend a large church with a youth minister. Our current church did not have a youth minister.

So our family transferred our membership to a larger congregation in town. I continued attending there as a teenager and met my husband there. We were married there and have raised our own children in this church. We pray they will continue to lead godly lives.


My life was blessed by both churches, large and small. My kids have never had a taste of what it was like to attend a small church. In some ways I wish they could have. I want them to see that large churches don’t always have the advantages. A church’s size doesn’t matter when it comes to its members loving God. White-haired Sunday School teachers with big smiles and cozy Sunday School room can exist anywhere.


The End



Appearance Isn’t Everything in God’s Eyes

God can create such beauty like this rose from just a seed.

God can create such beauty like this rose from just a seed.

I work in a public middle school library. We begin classes tomorrow. I wanted to promote a devo here that had something to do with school/reading. This devo about the origins of a famous book /author seemed appropriate. Besides the message of the devo think about this – God inspired this author to create beauty in prison.

It is beautiful in its loftiness, the joy of the whole earth.”      Ps 48:2:


He was born in an agricultural community and learned the trade of tinkering from his father. He led a dissolute life until given a Bible. The tinsmith devoured the contents and began preaching. In 1660 he was arrested for preaching without a license and spent the next 12 years in jail.


John Bunyan used the time in jail to teach the Bible to fellow prisoners. Jailed a second time in 1675, he completed a magnificent allegorical manuscript about Heaven. “The Pilgrim’s Progress” (1678) attained such enormous popularity that, together with the Bible, it was almost the sole reading matter by Christians for many centuries.


Jerusalem was not impressive in size. Mount Olives to the East was higher. Yet, God had declared Jerusalem a holy city. The Psalmist believed it represented the idea of God’s place above the world, where God met Man, and holiness and sinner were bridged.

A beautiful physical appearance is usually impressive. But God takes something as it is and sees what can be with His help.


Prayer:  God, help us not to judge on appearance or manmade standards. You are the supreme Authority on what is good and acceptable and perfect. Help us to measure with Your ruler.


Taming Temptation


Dad teaching me to brush a colt. Look at my happy face!

Dad teaching me to brush a colt. Look at my happy face! Wonder what was tempting me then?


For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted. (Hebrews 2:18, New American Standard Bible)


The wind whistled through my ears and tears gathered in my eyes, blinding me. Desperately, I tried to grasp the reins that flopped against Lady’s neck, but they were too far away. I clung to the saddle horn, praying her foot wouldn’t find a hole in the field.


A farmer’s combine had entered the field we were walking in, but I had been too busy conversing with a fellow rider to notice. Startled by the combine’s loud noise, Lady bolted, jerking the reins out of my hands. She ran faster than we had ever gone and a fence at the end of the field loomed into view.


Lunging forward, I snatched the reins from Lady’s neck and pulled back hard. Lady fought against the pressure of the bit on her mouth, but finally stopped.


Whenever I read in the Bible about temptation, I think of my ride that day. It didn’t take much to cause Lady to lose control. Temptation is like that. When it occurs, we must call on the name of Jesus to help us resist. He has experienced every temptation and is willing to help us pull on the reins to stop from indulging in trouble.


God, temptation is everywhere. Each one of us has to face it as we strive to serve You daily. Teach us to see temptation for what it is and rely on Your strength and not our own to resist the Devil today. Amen.


New Feature! Reading Tips for Preschoolers

John and Maddie look at penguins at the zoo. At home they looked at a book of animals.

John and Maddie look at penguins at the zoo. At home they looked at a book of animals.

My husband and I have a 3-year-old adopted granddaughter named Maddie. We call her ‘adopted’ because her parents are good friends of ours and they allow us to entertain her sometimes. It’s great fun for John and me. He was a great help with her at the zoo recently—he figured out how to assemble her stroller and buckle her into the car seat!

Being a children’s book author, I especially love to read to Maddie. I’m always looking for creative ways to make reading fun for her. I thought, ‘Why not share ideas with my readers about fun ways to read with a child on my blog?’

I plan to share some of our favorite ideas here weekly along with a picture of the book we read. Most of the ideas will be relevant for preschoolers but you could adapt them for older children.

Animals in the Zoo by Beth and William Hoos

Animals in the Zoo by Beth and William Hoos

Today’s Reading Tip– This is simple. Following an adventuresome day such as a trip to the zoo, read a book to your child about what you saw/did. John read a book to Maddie that contained pictures of many of the animals we saw at the zoo. He reminded her of the Hornbill bird and feeding the goats and riding the pony. She pronounced all of the names correctly and it reinforced the day’s events.


Please let me know if you use one of the reading ideas posted here. If you come up with your own, I’d love to hear about that too! Send a photo if you like of you and your child reading together. Most of all, have fun reading with your child, no matter the ages!


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