Who are you holding onto?

Rena Oynes: rkoynes@gmail.com

All my life I have held on to Jesus’ hand, once in a while letting go, but this picking his hand back up again.  This season I have particularly held on tight.  He is/was the only one I could trust.  My closest friends all pointed to Jesus, as the situations were tough.  Many earnestly prayed.  One knew my calling and knew I had been called to children ever since I was a small child.  When I was twelve I was asked to assist in the children’s department of my church.  This was my first experience and I just loved it.  Years came and went as my Mother also loved children’s ministry and was very creative using her crafting talents to tell stories.  She would often place flannel graph characters on the back of the sofa and then retell the story.  We were so fortunate to hear her stories over and over again.  As year went by I got to teach Sunday School myself and Vacation Bible School.  I was lucky to direct Vacation Bible School and get other young people involved in acting, teaching, and or assisting in handing out snacks or playing games with the little ones.

Later I took up education.  I knew God’s hand was in it.  At the time Reading/Writing Workshop was not being taught as a college subject, but God’s hand had me work in this area and many creative talents flowed through the students.  I also taught Sunday school at the same time and used my creative talents like my mother had role modeled for me.  I loved writing and dramatizing the scriptures.

I moved to Virginia and was out of teaching Sunday school as the wonderful home church I was a part of did not have a children’s program at the time.  Little did I know that this small church would be instrumental in bringing out the hidden sorrows of a brokenness of heart in order to bring healing for the next stage of my life.

After moving back to Mandeville and now retired from teaching, I thought of attending Bible Study Fellowship.  I had tried to attend many, many years prior but had gotten a call to be a full time teacher.

It use to be located in Slidell which is about a half hour away, but to my surprise I found from my internet search that they had relocated to First Baptist of Mandeville which was right next to me.  I signed up immediately and started attending right away, not believing it was my good luck, not luck really, God’s hand was in it.

Many weeks passed and I had signed up to help in the preschool program but had not been called.   I had prayed to God, “God you know I love working with children, it’s my heart throb.  If you could, would you open an area with children for me? The next week my team leader said to me, “Can you talk to me after the lecture?”  “Surely, I said, wondering what she wanted to talk to me about.

She said, “Rena I have been praying for you since the beginning of the BSF year, and I feel that the Lord is calling you to children’s ministry here at BSF.  I would like you to think it over and pray it through and then give me a call with your answer.  I couldn’t hardly believe that God had answered my prayer so quickly.  I asked if I could have a good friend here at thedailylily pray with me.  We did and I accepted the call.  I am in training now and can hardly wait to start singing, telling stories of Jesus, and pouring the words into the children.  I know God will provide all that is needed for this CALL. And, yours!


What’s on your mind today?

My, son Christopher recently sent me this article by David Burns:

By David B. Burns
“Isidor I. Rabi, the 1944 Nobel Prize winner in physics was once asked, ”Why did you become a 
scientist, rather than a doctor or lawyer, like the other kids in your neighborhood?”
”My mother made me a scientist.  Every other Jewish mother in Brooklyn would ask her child 
after school: ‘So? Did you learn anything today?’ Not my mother. She always asked me a 
different question. ‘Izzy,’ she would say, ‘did you ask a good question today?’ That difference 
made me a scientist.”
Isidor Rabi wasn’t just any scientist.  He was in the top one-percent.  In addition to his Nobel 
Prize, his work contributed to the invention of radar, the atomic bomb, the laser and the atomic 
clock. His excellence stemmed from asking good questions.  And he is not alone in 
understanding that success is driven by asking good questions.”
It’s never too late to ask the right questions? Whoa, when we hold those little ones so close and drive them back and forth to school, church, sports, music or vacation what are we asking? How have their lives answered us?

What’s on my mind today? As we look down the highway what will we see when we turn the curves of life each and everyday? Will I see an Engineer? A Statesman? Or, will I see my questions were in gear just to please me?


What did you want to be when you grew up? Or when you grow up?

 I wanted each child to have enough bread to eat, beautiful dress and bonnet to wear. And, yes, a perfect match of purse and shoes. The color and match suited for each child and not what another thought might be right for them. I would dress the little goats and lambs alike. (Literally the animal) I was shy@times so my voice could not express my heart. So off to the little Creswell stores to convince the owners to charge to my Mom’s account enough food and other to feed and clothe a hungry child. I would take my Mom’s crochet, and colorful fabric she needed for her own child and turn them into wraps that were weird, to say the least, but thrilled many a child. I have been able to continue my joy of being a grown up dressing and feeding the hungry child. I’ve travelled to Nations and given from my heart hoping to develop a gift of another’s heart. Yet, little it seems in the light of the needs. But, I won’t lose heart of wanting each child to be feed and clothe in beauty and loved regardless of _____? I believe your poetry, your art, your song, story and other’s gifts coupled with love continues to make a road for others to travel and reach their destinies and goals.Maybe I’m just a dreamer!

Susie, What Are You Thankful For?

In Kindergarten music class, one of the goals is to begin to help the students match vocal tones sung to them by the  teacher.  One of the little exercises I am using this year is to sing the child’s name and then sing , in a sing-songy question to which I have already demonstrated a muscial response….Susie, what are you thankful for?  All this on a 3-note melody line.  Then, as having demonstrated to the students, their response would be …”I’m thankful for___.”  [etc].  

The amazing thing about this little musical exercise is not so much that many of the  students in kindergarten can match pitches, but the nature of their responses. 

They respond that they are thankful for “my family; my friends; my grandma; my house; my parents; my little brother (or sister); my school.”  Once in a while I will get “my church”  Several will sing, “for God”.

But as I go up the grades from Kindergarten through 1st grade and into 2nd grade….the responses become quite different.  The older the student, maybe more “sophisticated, perhaps” the more they sing that they are thankful for THINGS.  “ My bicycle, video games, electronic gadgets;    They still sing my mom & dad or my parents, etc. but not as much as the little ones, who have just started school a mere ten weeks ago or so. 

I always encourage them to continue to be grateful and thankful for their families and those that love and care for them.  And for a God  that loves them.  Usually, the little ones take it from there and preach to one another. And for that I AM THANKFUL!

MG Henry, Fairfax County Music Teacher


Summer Quiz

When I was a child my Mother would give us a phrase she believed to be Biblical and we would have to search the scriptures of her most Holy Bible to see if truth or not? We only had one Bible then. That was the Family Bible. Now, most of us in our homes have many as well as online Bibles. Therefore, we should find truth fast. Yes, very fast in all areas of our life.

OK, let’s try it. Here’s my phrase!
“When I talk the “o serpent bites.”

Continue reading “Summer Quiz”