July 2015: Bringing Parents to the Table… at VBS (Vacation Bible School)!

Parents responded with appreciation about what they would take back to the table at home.

Parents responded with appreciation about what they would take back to the table at home.

Is ‘this’ unique?  That’s a real question.  I want to know if any of you have seen ‘this’ before:  a ‘Parent Room’ for VBS.  I am hooked on the idea that our church has put it into place… for a bucket full of reasons:

  • Parents enjoy a free class on things that support your family life.
  • Save gas, transportation time and traffic stress.
  • Parents don’t have to ‘find something to do’ or go home and come back while their children are in our evening VBS.
  • Parents get a break; to regroup, share a meal and talk with other other parents about what’s important… or just laugh and relax!
  • Enjoy a complimentary dinner four nights during the classes.  (The last night is different.  Last year we had a hot dog party during the closing events for parents, kids and staff on the closing night).

I’ll be teaching one night on one of my favorite topics for families: Holding Your Family Together at the Home Table. To find out about the other classes, see the e-mail address below to Audrey.

VBS is @ Venice-Santa Monica Free Methodist Church July 6-10, 2015, Monday thru Friday, from 6:30pm to 8:30pm, 4871 S. Centinela Ave., Los Angeles, CA  90066

For more information, e-mail Audrey at venicekids@gmail.com.  And to reach me, go to susancella.org to ask questions about my class and/or to answer my opening question! Above is a picture from last years class, since we haven’t had the class yet.  Hope to see you there!  It’s a wonderful time!

 

Road to Emmaus Touches Heart

3-16-15

Cella,

I was very blessed by your visit last week.  The road to Emmaus opened up to me.  The things that were said opened my heart.

Carnetta

At the Table

KeywordPassageVerse
TableExodus 25:23“You shall also make a table of acacia wood; two cubits shall be its length, a cubit its width, and a cubit and a half its height.
BreadLeviticus 24:6You shall set them in two rows, six in a row, on the pure gold table before the Lord.
LevitesNumbers 3:31Their duty included the ark, the table, the lampstand, the altars, the utensils of the sanctuary with which they ministered, the screen, and all the work relating to them.
EmmausLuke 24:30-31When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.

The Church Analogy

Easter Choir backstage

The Choir Analogy

I’ve been in a choir two other times; once for a few weeks as an adult and in fourth grade for probably one holiday. So I haven’t thought much about what it means to be in a choir.  I joined our choir because I believe all art forms are to express God’s glory. And I like to support Patty (the Choir Director) and her Christ centered creative endeavors. I like to sing.  I wanted to grow.

I was quickly met by unexpected surprises as the choir came to life.  The idea that came to mind encapsulating my discoveries was how like a tiny church the choir is.  It’s a church analogy come to life.

When you join a church or a choir, you join a group that, ideally, comes together to worship and express love for Christ and each other.  You grow into what Christ wants you to be and do in the world: at church through the Pastor and the word of God;  in the choir through the Director and the biblical truths noted in the music.

The people in church have expectations of each other.  So do the choir members. Both groups do best when they keep their eyes on Jesus, through the Pastor or Choir Director, respectively, in the preaching and conducting.

Now, let’s say a choir member misses a note. Much of the time an honest, kindly reminder, correction, and a good model can bring them back, best when done by the Choir Director. This is a kind analogy regarding sin.  Let’s say a congregant sins.  Can a kind reminder, correction, good model bring them back?  Are we supplying that? Are we keeping our eyes on Jesus when we do?

The choir challenged me personally, artistically and worshipfully.  First I was surprised at my terror and deep discomfort at not ‘getting it’ faster than I did.  My pride caused a real fear of failing and looking bad.

‘Who am I really trying to please?’, I pondered.

‘At one point I asked the director for help.

Someone in the back  piped up, ‘You need help.’ and laughed with others.

I shot back, ‘And you need help learning to encourage others!’

I walked home crying.  I felt like I was in my fourth grade choir. Who knew dealing with sin would be part of choir training?

I was concerned that what happened would cause tension in the choir.  Should I tell him how my feelings were hurt? Apologize for snapping? Get over it? I waited.  The next time I saw him getting out of the car, I went ahead and opened the church door for him.

“You made my day’, he grinned with appreciation; and we were good.

Isn’t that just the way  of the Christian life, in the church and in the choir, at our jobs and in the shops, in our homes and with our families?  We practice the notes in the choir , and in life,  serve in and outside the church, even laugh and cry and eat dinner together, yet are we able to look at our own miss-notes, missteps and sins or do we think that everyone else is singing off key?  I repent in dust and ashes!

This season may our Easter Choir sing in the unity of the spirit, with the love of Christ in our hearts, doing our best, whether we hit the notes perfectly or not! May our brokenness and humble hearts leave room for the glory of the resurrected Christ to sing through us with joy pouring into the hearts of those who listen!  A Joyous Resurrection Sunday to you and yours!

From 2 Corinthians 13:11: encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.

Sing to the Lord a brand new song!  Sing to the Lord, all the earth!  Sing to the Lord and bless His holy name!  Sing for joy to the Lord!   (A song from Psalm 96.)

 

 

                         

At the Table: Tools, Technology, Touch… With or Without?

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Using seven minutes to speak about hospitality at the Community Bible Study Opener last Tuesday, I quickly unwrapped three scriptures, practical applications and examples, to clarify best practices in sharing regular meals together around your table at home with family and friends. First, ask yourself, who is at your table? Hey, do you HAVE one? Do you gather there? Studies show that eating at the table makes people happier, healthier, stronger and smarter. Why miss out? Run after this! Get many real and deep needs satisfied at home!
In Exodus 25:23-30 GOD instructed Moses to build a table, make plates, dishes, pitchers and bowls and to put the bread of the Presence on the table to be before Him at all times. Jesus is named in the bible as the bread of life. People, I have friends who do not have a table to eat at in their homes! So, TOOLS: the table and its settings are the foundational tools to nourish your family with food, faith, fun and fundamentals of family history and life. Set your table!
Look! Luke 22: 14-20! The Last Supper! At the table with Jesus! Breaking bread, drinking wine, remembering that the body and blood of Christ would be broken for the removal of our sins! Here, I jump to today… Technology at the table? UH, I don’t think so! Jesus was nourishing His people with Himself at the table, along with the food, with fulfillment of prophesy, with love, with friendship. He did that through their senses. How do you use your senses at the table? We are always trying to fill ourselves with something… why not family love, scripture, sharing, family history? Are you more connected with technology than the people in your lives?
Which leads us to touch at the table. That’s deep. Some families don’t have a table, parents, love, connection, food even. Touch is important. Physically, a hug when greeting each other, holding hands to pray, passing plates of food. And emotional touch. In Luke 24:13-33 Jesus was not recognized by two men he’d been talking to on the road about the meaning of what had taken place surrounding His death and resurrection. They recognized Him when He broke bread at their table!
A vivacious, interactive woman attended a lecture I gave on table principles. Though she expressed certainty that she was doing all I’d shared, I talked about enhancing the table above and beyond establishing it. We closed in on removing sarcasm, which she thought was fun banter, from the table. Later, I wondered if she’d follow through with some tips on encouragement in place of sarcastic ribbing and cutting. A few weeks later, her victorious story emerged. We ran into each other after church. Her eyes were bright as she shared that the family had been on a picnic. She told her teenagers that they were going to try something… She pressed on. They were going to share something they liked about the family member next to them. Results? All of them were balling buckets of tears by the time they were done! Emotional encouragement works to touch the hearts of our families.
So TOOLS, TECHNOLOGY, TOUCH! Turn the rudder of your lives back to the table! Your growing satisfaction will be worth the work and bumps in the road!
Here’s a blessing to take with you for your table, always thanking God for what He did for us, not just the food!
“Lord we gather at the table once again today, and we thank you for all your provision (name some, including the dinner and the cook!), especially the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ on the cross for our sins! Amen.
And remember: E.A.T.: Eat At the Table!

My Web Site

Being fearless in creating a website that expresses what I want is the goal!  This involves encouraging myself!  I use my gifts for myself as well as others!  So, I pray for a clear and effective outcome!

Love in El Salvador

Cella in El Salvador Happy New Year 2014! Here are two pics of my recent mission trip to El Salvador.
One is of me and our guide over a local volcano. [Read more…]

Merry Christmas! & My First Post

I like old hymns. Do you? I performed a Christmas skit at the Community Bible Study (CBS) Christmas Concert in Los Angeles on December 11, 2013. I wrote it. It’s called ‘Hymns for Him and the Promise is for You’. In it, a cheerful but slightly cynical woman opens an old church hymnal only to discover, through acting out the opening lines of many Christmas hymns, that the Nativity comes to life.

Glory Story

A Poem
by Cella

 

Windows open. Site given.
Shutters fly. Mistakes forgiven.
Elbows grease the journey
To flash God’s grace
With an electronic face
That shows His glory
Through gifts and story
Of one who knows who He Is
In all of the biz
That emanates from this site
Reaching to get it right.
With His love covering the uptight.
Depending on His might.
Jesus is God.