Back to Preschool

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I remember a poster that said something like “Everything I Ever Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” Along that note, let me share what a savvy preschool teacher learned in childhood and later slowly taught her pupils, adding one line each week until they could say the whole thing by heart. (You could do that too!) And, please note, I have been unable to find the source. If you wrote this, or know who did, please say so!

Jesus! He’s got the power!

To make salvation mine,

To turn the water into wine.

He made the bleeding STOP!!

He made the lame man hop!

He made the blind man see,

He set the shriveled hand free.

He made the bent woman stand,

And fed 5,000 in the land!

He told the storm, “BE STILL”,

And walked on water at will.

He made the dead to rise,

And for us he died,

To wash our sins away,

So we can live with God one day.

Jesus is my King!!

He’s my King as well. And I’m in the process of memorizing this poem. I have no doubt it will be a go-to replay in my mind during troubled times. ‘Hope you’ll let it soak into your soul as well!

Six More Miracles

black textile on black wooden surface

Food for One Hundred

A man came bringing twenty loaves of barley bread, along with some heads of new grain. “Give it to the people to eat,” Elisha said.

“How can I set this before a hundred men?” his servant asked.

Elisha answered, “Give it to the people to eat. ‘They will eat and have some left over.’” They ate and had some left over, according to the word of the Lord.

A Skin Disease

Now Naaman was a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy. So Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.”

Although he balked at such a humiliating act, finally Naaman went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored.

A Floating Axe

As one of the prophets was cutting down a tree, the iron axhead fell into the water. “Oh no, my lord!” he cried out. “It was borrowed!”

The man of God asked, “Where did it fall?” Elisha cut a stick and threw it there, and made the iron float. Then the man reached out his hand and took it.

Supernatural Spy

Now the king of Aram was at war with Israel.

The man of God sent word to the king of Israel: “Beware of passing that place, because the Arameans are going down there.”  Time and again Elisha warned the king, so that he was on his guard in such places.

This enraged the king of Aram. “Tell me! Which of us is on the side of the king of Israel?”

“None of us,” said his officers, “but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom.”

Angel Armies

When the servant of the man of God went out, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked.

 “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

Blinded by the Lord

As the enemy came down toward him, Elisha prayed, “Strike this army with blindness.” So he struck them with blindness.

Elisha told them, “This is not the road and this is not the city. Follow me, and I will lead you to the man you are looking for.” And he led them to Samaria instead, right into the gates of their enemy.

After they entered the city, Elisha said, “Lord, open the eyes of these men so they can see.” Then the Lord opened their eyes and they looked, and there they were, inside Samaria.

Happy Thanksgiving!

May you be reminded every day that God is awesome. And how should we respond to that wonderful fact?

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever…Then all the people said ‘Amen’ and ‘Praise the Lord’” (1 Chronicles 16:34, 36).

photo credit: Justin @justinphoto via

I Missed My Turn but I Didn’t Miss God by Becky Keife

Do you believe it’s okay to fail? If you asked me, I’d be quick to say, “Yes! Failure is a part of life. Failing means you’re human. Failure is an opportunity for learning. Failing means you tried.”

But turns out, what I know is true doesn’t always translate into how I feel.

Recently I messed up. I was talking on the phone while driving (yeah, I know) and I missed a turn. I didn’t realize my mistake until much too late. So late in fact that by the time I turned around, backtracked, and made it to my appointment, I was told that the doctor could no longer see me. The appointment I had waited months for. The appointment I had taken time away from work and arranged childcare for.

I stood in front of the receptionist, flustered and sweaty and desperate to turn back time, and I started to cry. Tears of frustration and embarrassment. And also tears of shame. But as I drove home, silently wiping tears and berating myself for my mistake, I realized that my response was less about the inconvenience I caused and more about what I believe:

I believe I shouldn’t make mistakes.
I believe I should always be focused and timely and efficient.
I believe a string of bad nights’ sleep shouldn’t affect my clarity of mind.
I believe failure is an indictment on my character.

As I type these words though, I can name for myself all their slippery slopes and half-truths. I would never believe these things for you.

But sometimes it takes missing a turn and crying in front of a stranger to realize you’ve got some work to do in the department of self-kindness.

Self-kindness doesn’t mean making excuses or justifying poor behavior. But it does mean making space for mistakes. It means acknowledging that you’re human. Perfectionism is a myth. Performance-based living is soul-crushing. So why do we live like a mistake-free existence is the ultimate achievement?

I drove to my mom’s house to pick up my kids. I thought I had collected myself, but as I sat on a little stool while my mom putzed around the kitchen, the flow of tears started again.

“I just feel so stupid,” I confessed.

My mom hugged me and affirmed that failures big and small can just feel plain devastating. Then she made me a plate of sausage and sweet potatoes.

Space to cry. To be held. Loved. Fed. Those were gifts I wouldn’t have received if I hadn’t missed that turn and seemingly messed up my whole day.

And this is the beauty of God: He loves us at all times, and He works in all things for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28) — not just on the days when we have our ducks in a row and everything goes as planned.

Today I want to hug the me from that day and tell her that she is no less valuable or loved because she messed up. Today-me knows that appointments can be rescheduled and God’s mercies are new every morning. I cannot miss His love. 

For more reminders that your limitations don’t disqualify you from God’s love and kindness, check out Becky’s upcoming book The Simple Difference, available now for preorder.

This article first appeared on (in)courage. You can find the original article here.

I Missed My Turn but I Didn’t Miss God (

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Becky Keife | Home | Empowering moms to find their confidence in God

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The Mystery and Miracle of His Might by Rachel Kang

In the middle of the night, when all is dark and all is calm, and I am tired and trying to hold open my heavy eyes, I behold my newborn son and gaze down upon his small silhouette, his little life. In the darkness, I feed him. I change him. I burp him. I cradle him. I lull him. When I am done and simply stay there to hold him, I feel his hand on mine. Holding my finger, he grasps to keep me in his grip. And though he is but two months old, his hold on my hand is unbelievably strong, and it is both a mystery and a miracle to feel the cling of his clutch wrapped around the thin of my finger.

One year ago, when the pandemic put a pause on the world, I found myself announcing that it did not put a pause on God’s plan for my family, for life swelled and swirled within me. It was a gift, even in the middle of so much grief. And I could not have known then that when I chose to name the child within, he would really live up to the meaning of his name — that even at two months old, he would show himself to be small but strong.

Aaro is his name. Of all the different variations of meaning his name holds, “mountain of strength” is the one we chose because we want for him to see himself just as a mountain — to see and know he is not a small or hidden or helpless thing.

On a day like today when I am thinking about the mystery and miracle of might showing through the smallness of my son, I cannot help but hear hope for the here and now: Those of us who feel small and insignificant and unseen are, in fact, seen and loved greatly by the One who created the greatest galaxies.

He sees us for who and how we are and shines through us with a strength we could never imagine ourselves.

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Darth Vader

Renee is two. She and I were enjoying a few quiet moments, rocking and reading Curious George in my guest room, when her eyes fell on an old photo of Steve dressed as Darth Vader. Her reaction surprised me.

  • “Nana, why is he so loud?”
  • Covering her eyes, “I have to do like this.”
  • “I’m going to pretend to fast forward him.”

So loud? Renee uses the word “loud” in place of “scary.” She was fascinated by the photo, yet knew it was troubling her and that she needed to turn away. While she was comforted by my explanation that it was simply Pop dressed up in a costume, I still moved the photo out of sight before going back to Curious George. Later, as I replayed Renee’s reaction in my mind, I began to think more about her very healthy response to fear.

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Goose Down

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A little boy of particular importance said this to me last week.

“Mommy got me a new pillow. It’s made of eagle wings!”

Hmmm. Eagle wings. I had to think about that for a moment. Ahhh. He  wasn’t familiar with the term “goose down,” so his brain simply morphed those words into something more familiar. Goose = Eagle. Down = Wings.

A down pillow can be comfortable indeed. But imagine if we could all sleep on eagle wings. ‘Sounds delightful. Empowering. Full of rest, of soaring and trusting.

Come to think of it, doesn’t God offer us all of those things? Aren’t we able to go to him as the source of our power? Doesn’t he promise us rest when we trust? He even tells us about soaring on wings of eagles. And so, why don’t we, in a sense, sleep on eagle wings? I think, far too often, we all miss out.

We can rest every night in keen awareness of the delightful love of our Lord. We can begin every morning with a whispered prayer, “Lord, thank you for this day. Be in charge. Cause me to hear your voice, to know it, to trust, to obey. Empower me to do your bidding, and bring peace to my heart.”

Tonight, when you call it a day, whether your pillow be foam or down, I hope some part of you will imagine yourself cushioned by, or soaring on, eagle wings. The Lord loves you! So close your eyes and sleep on that!