The Big Questions

 “Are we in the End Times?” Sprite asked.
I was not really surprised that she asked the question.
Gifted Children tend to think about the big life and death questions. Unless we manage to shield them completely from all forms of media and news coverage, they will know what is happening in the world and they will be concerned.
 Combine that with their enhanced capacity for combining facts from a number of various sources and synthesising them and drawing conclusions and inferences and also their heightened emotional sensitivity and intensity.

I had prepared myself to be asked that question by the children in my Church Sunday School group yesterday. We usually spend a few minutes at the start of each session talking about and praying for any concerns the children have. Sometimes they ask for prayer for sick family members or discuss their concern about things they have heard on the news. But when asked about their week yesterday, all the children talked happily about school and family events and so we carried on with the regular lesson.
But it was a topic of conversation amongst the adults.

We read in the Bible

Matt 24:6-8 (King James Version)
6And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

 7For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in diverse places.

 8All these are the beginning of sorrows.

This sounds like a vivid description of recent events in our world.

But  some people say there have been many other times in history when this would have been true. Some of the early Christians in the book of Acts believed they were living in the End Days and were not working because of that belief.

We are told in Matthew 24:36 (king James Version)

 36But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only

So we are instructed to be ready for Jesus’ return at all times like the 5 wise virgins of Matt. 24:1-13 who had oil ready for their lamps.

And that is what I would have told the children if they had asked and also that we have the promise from Jesus in Hebrews 13: 5 that He will not leave us or forsake us.

Mary had a Little Lamb

Sprite and the Dabrowski dogs were still discussing the unfortunate incident of the expulsion of Mary’s dog from the school grounds

Emotional: It wasn’t fair! He was a really cute dog! He looked just like Imaginational

Intellectual He wasn’t a dog. He was a lamb.

Emotional: No, he wasn’t!

Intellectual: Yes, he was. They even wrote a nursery rhyme about it.

Mary had a little lamb
Whose fleece was white as snow
And everywhere that Mary went
The lamb was sure to go
It followed her to school one day
It was against the rule
It made the children laugh and play
To see a lamb at school

The rhyme does not say Mary had a Bedlington!

See, there is even an article about it in Wikipedia. It says

The nursery rhyme was first published (as opposed to written) by the Boston publishing firm Marsh, Capen & Lyon, as an original poem by Sarah Josepha Hale on May 24, 1830, and was inspired by an actual incident.[1]

As a girl, Mary Sawyer (later Mrs. Mary Tyler) kept a pet lamb, which she took to school one day at the suggestion of her brother. A commotion naturally ensued. Mary recalled::”Visiting school that morning was a young man by the name of John Roulstone, a nephew of the Reverend Lemuel Capen, who was then settled in Sterling. It was the custom then for students to prepare for college with ministers, and for this purpose Mr. Roulstone was studying with his uncle. The young man was very much pleased with the incident of the lamb; and the next day he rode across the fields on horseback to the little old schoolhouse and handed me a slip of paper which had written upon it the three original stanzas of the poem…”[2]

There are two competing theories on the origin of this poem. One holds that Roulstone wrote the first four lines and that the final twelve lines, more moralistic and much less childlike than the first, were composed by Sarah Josepha Hale; the other is that Hale was responsible for the entire poem. Another person who claims to have written the poem and well known nursery rhyme is Mary Hughs, but it has been confirmed that Sarah Hale wrote it.

Mary Sawyer’s house, located in Sterling, Massachusetts, was destroyed by arson on August 12, 2007.[3] A statue representing Mary’s Little Lamb stands in the town center. The Redstone School, which was built in 1798, was purchased by Henry Ford and relocated to a churchyard on the property of Longfellow’s Wayside Inn in Sudbury, Massachusetts.

Sensual: That’s not how the rhyme goes. It goes

Mary had a little lamb,
A little beef,  a little ham.
Mary had a little lamb
With vegies and mint sauce
“Oh little lamb,” she said “I am
As hungry as a horse”

Emotional: Shush! You’ll upset Sprite! She wants to become a vegetarian.

Psycho Motor: No, that’s not right! It goes

Mary had a little lamb
She also had a bear
I’ve often seen her little lamb
I’ve never seen her bare

Imaginational:  Now you are just being rude and crude!
It is obvious that the poem about Mary is a parable about the separation of church and state and not being allowed to pray or teach Christian religious education in schools run by the state.

Intellectual: What makes you think that and what are your references?

Imaginational: Well, we know that Jesus was Mary’s Little Lamb. The references are all from the Bible – Matthew 1:18 He was the perfect Lamb of God without spot or blemish (white as snow). John 1:29 Isaiah 1:18, 2 Corinthians 5:21 Revelation 7:10

#gtstoogies 18 – How will the Dabrowski dogs spend Halloween?

“I’m really confused!” Sprite told me “I don’t know whether to celebrate Halloween or not! I read an article ‘Should Christians celebrate Halloween?’ by Pastor Scott Williams on his Big is the New Small blog http://www.bigisthenewsmall.com/2010/10/22/should-christians-celebrate-halloween/

He doesn’t tell you one way or the other. He says people debate about it every year and there are lots of good responses to his post too.

Intellectual Dabrowski was really interested in the whole debate and all the background history and found some great articles on Cybraryman’s page http://cybraryman.com/halloween.html – that Jerry Blumengarten has a page about almost any topic you can name!
There was a very interesting discussion about All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day at http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/family/halloween3.htm

Psycho Motor Dabrowski was just eager to go and play the apple bobbing games.

Sensual Dabrowski was anxious about the candy and the possibility of nut allergy problems after reading ‘Halloween and nut allergies – A scary combination’
http://www.sixtysecondparent.com/_webapp_418871/Halloween_And_Nut_Allergies_-__A_Scary_Combination
and also about the loud noises and scary costumes and wanted me to watch a short video on Safety tips for your pets at
http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/family/halloween.htm

Emotional Dabrowski, the resident drama queen, loves dressing up and acting out various characters; so she had a lovely time covering her face with green face paint (Sensual was anxious about that also!) and putting on a tall black hat to appear as a witch from The Wizard of Oz.
However, when she looked at her reflection in the mirror, she gave herself such a fright that she had to be pacified with doggy treats and we had to consult Dr Michele Borba for tips on ‘How to take the fear out of Halloween’ http://www.micheleborba.com/blog/2008/10/29/how-to-take-the-fear-out-of-halloween/

And dear little Imaginational Dabrowski dressed up as E.T. dressing up as a little ghost to go Trick-or-Treating in the film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. And he thought about how little Thinks He’s an Alien Black Dog had dressed up as a Pluto for Planethood Protester for Sprite’s P Party and how Thinks He’s an Alien Black Dog feels like an alien that had been left behind on Earth like many gifted people feel.
The Wikipedia entry about the film E.T. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E.T. says under the heading Themes.

“Other critics found religious parallels between E.T. and Jesus.[34][35] Andrew Nigels described the story of E.T. as “crucifixion by military science” and “resurrection by love and faith”.[36] According to Spielberg biographer Joseph McBride, Universal Pictures appealed directly to the Christian market, with a poster reminiscent of Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam and a logo reading “Peace”.[14] Spielberg answered that he did not intend the film to be a religious parable, joking, “If I ever went to my mother and said, ‘Mom, I’ve made this movie that’s a Christian parable,’ what do you think she’d say? She has a kosher restaurant on Pico and Doheny in Los Angeles.”[33]

As a substantial body of film criticism has built up around E.T., numerous writers have analyzed the film in other ways as well. E.T. has been interpreted as a modern fairy tale[37] and in psychoanalytic terms.[28][37] Producer Kathleen Kennedy noted that an important theme of E.T. is tolerance, which would be central to future Spielberg films such as Schindler’s List.[7] Having been a loner as a teenager, Spielberg described the film as “a minority story”.[38] Spielberg’s characteristic theme of communication is partnered with the ideal of mutual understanding: he has suggested that the story’s central alien-human friendship is an analogy for how real-world adversaries can learn to overcome their differences”

Imaginational Dabrowski decided that he and Thinks He’s an Alien Black Dog would visit the Planetarium together, eat Mobius Bagels and ‘call home’.

“So!” said Sprite “I am not quite sure how I will celebrate Halloween!”

#gtstoogies10

The time of the singing of birds has come. Song of Solomon 2:12

The Twitter birds joined a group of Australian birds for a sing-a-long.
Kookaburra tried hard to refrain from laughing, Wedge-tailed Eagle soared overhead seeking his next meal and the budgerigars were more interested in kissing (just a pair of lovebirds).
On the ground the Lyrebird donated  by 

Pearson Scott Foresman,  to the Wikimedia Foundation

held a full concert of his own complete with song dance and mimicry. If you would like to see Lyrebird’s concert go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjE0Kdfos4Y

 

Interdimensional Travel – Easter Devotional

The Easter holidays gave me an opportunity to pause and reflect on the central aspects of the Christian faith.
I am Sprite’s creator but it is only a delusion created by the April Fools Day blog entry that it is possible for her to physically visit my dimension and it is definitely not possible for me to physically visit her dimension.
But God, our Creator, both visited us physically in the person of Jesus Christ and by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ made it possible for us to enter and abide in His Presence.
Glory be to God!