Short Story: Read the Instructions

Blender

BlenderSusie felt completely overwhelmed. She had so much to do…and she didn’t feel good on top of it. She decided to make herself a smoothie, hopeful it would give her some energy.

She’d never used her new blender, but that was okay. She was confident she could figure it out. She threw her ingredients inside, not stopping to read the instructions or the warning label on the top of the blender. She was sure she knew how to use a blender.

Now to put it into the glass. She took the lid off and poured, trying to get all of the blended mixture into her glass…

Sharp pain made Susie cry out. The blades of this blender had not stayed in the machine like Susie was used to–instead, they had fallen on her, cutting her finger badly in the process.

After a trip to urgent care for stitches, Susie went home and did what she should have done from the beginning: read the warning label. Sure enough, it warned her about those blades. Oh, she should never have just charged forward on her own understanding without reading that label!

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (KJV)

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105 (KJV)

 

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Short Story: Unconditional Love

Wedding

Lilly loved the golden bracelet she’d been given. It was a symbol of her fiancé’s love—something precious beyond measure. She reached out to touch it…

Panic gripped Lilly’s heart. The bracelet wasn’t on her wrist! She knew she’d put it on that morning. She must have lost it! It could be anywhere—she’d been on a long walk. Where, oh where, had it fallen off?

And how could she lose that bracelet? What must her fiancé think? She felt unbearably terrible and ashamed.

Unable to find it on her own, she told her fiancé; his reaction completely surprised her. He wasn’t mad at her. In fact, he assured her that all that mattered to him was her. He wept with her because he knew she valued the bracelet and assured her he’d work with her to find it if they at all could, but her actions had not affected his love in the least.

Wiping away the tears and the shame, Lilly began to realize that her fiancé wasn’t surprised at her failures—and when she failed, she should run to him, not away. His arms were always open wide; he saw her, not as the mess she was, but as his spotless, beloved bride.

“…Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” Revelation 21:9 (KJV)

“The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” Jeremiah 31:3 (KJV)

Math Blog: Wedding Math

wedding

Since I’ve been working on planning my wedding, I thought it might be fun to share a glimpse at how math applies in event planning. It truly is a tool we can use in various situations God places us in!

  • Total Guest Count – One interesting aspect of event planning is figuring out how many people are coming…which involves addition in adding up all the friends and families being invited.
  • Budgets – Trying to plan an event on a budget involves adding up all the expenses and subtracting that from the total you have to spend to see how much you have left to spend (or how much over budget you’ve gone…which could be represented with negative numbers). For example, if you’ve spent $25 + $500 + $120, then you’ve spent a total of $645. If your budget is $1,000, you have $1,000 – $645, or $355 left to spend.
  • Total Cost of ItemsAddition and multiplication are used extensively in figuring out how much you’re really spending on a specific aspect of the wedding. Take table centerpieces for example. Suppose your centerpiece consists of a $2 vase, a $1 candle, and a $1 a flower . It costs $2 + $1 + 1 = $4. If you have 25 tables to put centerpieces on, it will cost a total of $4 x 25, or $100. If you pay 5% (notice the percent!) sales tax on all of that, then the total cost will be $100 x 1.05 = $105.

As you teach math this week, remember to show your students why they’re learning the concepts they’re learning. Math is about much more than passing a test or solving meaningless problems—we want students to understand how to use this tool in their own life so they’ll be equipped for the various tasks God’s given them…and to do so while praising the great Creator whose faithfulness in holding all things together makes math possible in the first place.

Reminder: If you need ideas or help making math come alive, check out our math resources and curriculum.

Instantly Fit?

Instantly Fit?

Cherie knew she wasn’t as strong as she needed to be. Somehow, exercise just never made the top of the to-do list.

One day, she decided to change. She began exercising.

But as she did so, she quickly became discouraged. She couldn’t keep up with the people in the exercise video. Her muscles screamed at her after just half the repetitions. Plus, old injuries began hurting again. Hadn’t she already rehabilitated that knee? Why was it causing problems yet again?

“I just can’t do it,” she moaned to her friend Anna.

Anna’s reply surprised her. “Why, Cherie, did you expect to get fit overnight?”

“Well…” Cherie wasn’t sure how to reply. In a way, she sort of had.

“Cherie, it takes training and work to get strong. Don’t give up just because you’re not instantly fit.”

“Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:7-8 ESV

Story: The Most Important Thing May Not Be What You Think

Emma’s day started on a positive note. She had a lot to do, but she was up early and ready to tackle the list. She had her normal cup of water with breakfast, got ready, and headed to the stores to take care of some errands.

The hot summer day blazed down on her, but she didn’t take much notice of it. She had to get these errands done and get to work on time. She had water in her purse, but she didn’t take the time to stop and drink it.

The thought crossed her mind that she hadn’t drunken enough, but she ignored the thought. There just wasn’t time to stop and drink. At one point she meant to get some water when she got to work, but she soon became engrossed in other tasks and forgot all about it. While she was inside some of the afternoon at work, she had to go outside for periods too. But she failed to drink much at all.

This wasn’t the first day she hadn’t been drinking a lot either. Her liquid intake had become more sporadic for days. Life had just become so busy.

By the time night came, Emma was exhausted. She felt cold and clammy. And nauseous. So nauseous. Why were her muscles aching so? Why was she starting to shake?

Slowly, it dawned on her: she was dehydrated. A friend explained that dehydration had actually led to heat exhaustion, and that if she didn’t stop and hydrate, she could wind up in a serious condition.

As she lay doubled over in pain, she wished with all her heart she’d taken the time to hydrate earlier. The hydration she’d been putting off was what had really been the most important thing on her schedule, only she hadn’t realized it.


“On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.” John 7:37 (esv)

“For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.” Jeremiah 2:13 (esv)

Math and Music – Short Video

Music & Math

This short video offers a brief peek at the mathematical relationship between different musical notes. In it, you’ll see just a glimpse at how math (including algebra and pi) can help us describe the order God has placed in the sounds around us.

After you watch it, stop and think for a moment about math and music. Although we don’t always think about it, there’s a structure even to something like a song…and it’s math that helps us describe this order. God is the One who both created and sustains sound waves and who gave us the ability to appreciate and compose songs. Let’s praise His name.

Story/Thought: At Peace

Short Story

Short StoryIn the distance, Jane heard sirens and gunfire. While her body trembled sometimes at the noise, she wasn’t terrified. Her daddy was taking care of her.

One day at the playground someone said something very mean to Jane. The words stung. But then she smiled. Her daddy loved her.

Another time Jane messed up badly and broke a glass dish. She felt terrible—and so very clumsy. But her heart rested when she remembered that even so, her daddy still loved her.

At night, Jane curled up in bed and slept contentedly. She had no cause to fear. Her daddy was still awake.

She was at peace in her daddy’s care.

“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.” Psalm 121 (KJV)

God doesn’t promise everything will go our way or we won’t suffer (in fact, He warns we will have tribulations—John 16:33)—but He does promise to watch over us night and day, working all things for good (Romans 8:28). And despite how confident we are sometimes that we know what is best, God truly knows what is best—He sees eternity’s grand picture—and He is in charge of everything. We can be at peace in Him.

Math Tax Worksheet for Students

Math & Taxes

Math & TaxesWith Federal income taxes nearly due, I thought it might be fun to put together a worksheet you can use with students to let them apply math to filing taxes.

Download Math Tax Worksheet

The worksheet is an extremely simplified version of the 1040, with instructions and pretend numbers for students to use. To use it, students need to know multi-digit addition and subtraction, along with rounding (although you could round the numbers for them if needed).

Please let me know if you find the worksheet helpful. A few of you have suggested that I send out ready-to-go worksheets, so I thought I would give it a try.

Remember, one of the goals in teaching math is to equip students to use math in their own lives to complete various tasks. God created man to work, and math is a tool that can help us in that. We can use math because He gave us the ability; thus we, unlike animals, can even file income taxes. And since income taxes are due each year, it’s an example of how math helps us with real-life tasks.

Math Curriculum & Facebook Q&A

We’ve got math curriculum for elementary to algebra and geometry to help you teach math in a way that connects it with God’s creation and real-life tasks.

Have questions about any of it? Let me know–I’d love to answer them. I’m planning to do a Facebook Live Q&A sometime this week (follow our Facebook page for exact timing and to watch the recording afterwards) and will be addressing lots of common questions there too. Hope you can join in!

Story: Swallowing Poison Again?

Jared had been brought up on a very unusual diet—or I should say unusual to us. In the prison in which he was born to one of the prisoners, it was the standard fare. All of the inmates were fed poisoned food. Yes, that’s right—the food had poison in it—the sort of slow poison that gradually weakened and killed over many years.

The amazingly good news was that Jared was no longer a prisoner. He’d been ransomed and set free. In fact, he’d been adopted by the most wonderful father you could imagine.

So you might imagine Jared’s brother Ethan’s surprise when he walked into the room and saw Jared eating poisoned food.

“Jared, why are you eating that again?” his brother Ethan asked.

Jared shrugged. “I just can’t help it,” he mumbled. “I’ve always eaten this.”

Ethan grabbed the plate out of his brother’s hands. “You can to help it!” he replied. “Father set you free—you’re not a prisoner. You don’t have to eat this anymore. There’s lots of good food to be had.”

Jared reached for the plate. “Just leave me alone for now. I’m just so tired—I need this.”

“You’ll only get more tired eating that,” Ethan remarked. “Come on, Jared, don’t you remember how this poison works? It messes with your mind, so you can’t think clearly. It takes away your energy, so you’re unable to accomplish anything of value. It slowly destroys you.”

Jared did remember. Oh, why was he swallowing poison again?

“For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:2 (ESV)

“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” Ephesians 6:1-4 (ESV)

Pi Day Is March 14

March 14 (i.e., 3/14) is also known as Pi Day.

Pi, which begins 3.14, is a number that has long fascinated people, as it keeps going and going and going. In other words, it’s a number we can’t even fully describe, yet at the same time, it’s useful in an amazing number of situations (including in helping us measure circles).

Pi reminds us of our limited knowledge (we can’t even fully describe parts of God’s creation) and should cause us turn in awe and wonder at God’s greatness!

Yet instead, many get lost focusing on the number pi itself–worshiping the creation rather than the Creator (Romans 1:20-23).

For more thoughts on pi, check out “Thoughts on Pi,” as well as this lesson from Principles of Mathematics. They both have information you could share with your students now or whenever you cover pi; you could also have students apply pi themselves by finding the circumference of a few circles…or, for older students, by using one of the many physics formulas that utilize pi (see this Wikipedia list for ideas). Update: NASA has put together a Pi Day Challenge that shows just how useful pi is! Note that NASA does not come from a biblical worldview, so please use discernment (while most problems looked great, one at least hinted at finding life on other planets).

When looking at pi or any area of math, remember to point students to the Creator and not to the creation itself.

Reminder: We’ve got a lot of math resources (and even curriculum) to help you teach math as a real-life tool that points to the Creator.

Please share this post with your friends to help them see God’s handiwork in math too!