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For Educators

About October 2017 issue

October 2017—Everyday Heroes          

What constitutes a hero in the eyes of a child? A superstar entertainer? An elite athlete? A world leader or historical figure? True heroes often seem hard to find, but perhaps we should look around our own neighborhoods, communities, churches, schools, and even homes. Maybe we would find an abundance of heroes among those we see every day. This issue should help children recognize and appreciate those everyday heroes—people who quietly work to help others, people whose efforts are often taken for granted, people who try to live the way Jesus taught us to live. We also want this issue to help children to recognize their own potential to be everyday heroes.

Stories:

In “Sharing Berry,” Anna struggles when it’s time to give up the future guide dog she and her family have been socializing. Ultimately, she realizes that someone else needs Berry’s gifts more than she does.

In “The Champ,” Miguel is excited to have the coaching of a more skilled soccer player. But when Miguel stops in the middle of a game to help an injured player and his “hero” gets angry, Miguel realizes that some things are more important than being the best at a sport.

In “Tree Frog Trail,” our continuing feature series, Nate confronts a bully and learns some surprising facts about the life of a beloved teacher.

In “My Dad the Hero,” Bree wishes her dad were a hero like the parents of some of her classmates who are police officers, fire fighters, and doctors. She soon learns that the way her dad goes above and beyond his duties as a teacher makes him a hero to lots of kids—maybe even her.

In “Hero-Shmero,” Jake is sick of hearing about what a big hero his older sister is because she rescued a dog from a flooded creek. But Jake soon discovers his own heroic side.

Pocketsful of Scripture includes readings from several Old Testament prophets.

Where in God’s World? looks at Uruguay.

Coming up:                                                                                                        

November 2017—Gratitude

Gratitude is (or should be) a hallmark of our lives as Christians every day, not just on the fourth Thursday of November. But at times we may focus more on what we don’t have that we wish we did or feel we should. How do we help our children cultivate gratitude in their everyday lives? How do our lives reflect the gratitude that we say we feel? If we truly are grateful, what kind of actions flow from that gratitude?

December 2017—Waiting and Welcoming

The December issue of Pockets takes on a life of its own as we prepare to welcome Jesus once again. We turn to Advent themes such as waiting, hoping, preparing our hearts; and Christmas themes such as sharing love, joy, and peace. This issue should help children begin to understand how Jesus’ birth, God’s incarnation, is made new for them each Advent and Christmas and how this sense of Emmanuel, God with us, guides our lives throughout the year.

January/February 2018—Think about These Things

One of the most common theme suggestions made by members of our Kids’ Advisory Board over the years has been “being positive” or “staying positive.” Our culture seems to value mean-spirited sarcasm over kindness, shouting over listening, and bullying over cooperation. But children long for a different way of being in the world. The words of Philippians 4:8 guide us as we think about this issue: “Whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable…think about these things.” We are not talking about ignoring or glossing over real problems in our own lives or the world. Rather, this issue is about viewing the world, even with all its problems, through the lens of the hope that our faith in a loving God offers. How might this viewpoint impact our lives, our relationships with others, and our communities?

March 2018—Jealousy

Jealousy is something we all struggle with at times. Wanting what we don’t have, feeling that others have an easier time, envying someone else’s talent, even resenting the closeness of a friend to someone else—these emotions come naturally to us. Yet we know that they are destructive to our own wellbeing and to our relationships. This issue, which will fall during the Christian season of Lent, should help children realize and be thankful for who they are and what they have. We want to help them learn, as Paul wrote, to be content with whatever they have (see Philippians 4:11) and to want the best for others.

April 2018—Listening

We live in a noisy world, so we hear a lot. But is anyone listening? Do we genuinely listen to family and friends, or are we busy thinking about what we’re going to say next, texting, or checking email or social media? Do we make the time and space to listen to God, or are we too busy telling God what we need or want (or too busy to pray at all!)? Do we even notice the sounds of God’s creation—the song of katydids on a summer night, the rustle of leaves on an autumn day? We’re under no illusion about turning back to clock to some time we think was simpler. But we want to help children begin to appreciate the value of truly listening to the world around them, to the people they’re with each day, and—most importantly—to God. In this Easter season, the theme of listening reminds us that the Resurrection is God’s ultimate message to us: My love for you is stronger than anything! How do our lives show that we are listening to that message?

 

mhooper

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