No Holding Back: Pt 5 By Your Fruit

No Holding Back: Pt 5 By Your Fruit

At the start of this series, I began with an imperative – do not waste the gifts and talents God has given you. 


In this blog I feel led to clarify that imperative – accumulating ‘achievements’ is not the same as using your gifts. 


Last week, in our church bible study, we looked at these words of Jesus from John 15:4:


‘Remain in me, as I also remain in you.  No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.  Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.’


It is possible to achieve a lot of stuff, and yet none of it have eternal worth. 


Qualifications, promotions, pay-rises, reputation, *fill in the blank*.  These are all good things that God can bless us with when we work hard.  But I guess the question we ought to ask ourselves is ‘are we chasing *x* to bring glory to Jesus, or to ourselves?’


If we are pursuing goals to get praise for ourselves, we are in a dangerous place.  We need to head back to the vine, stay close to Jesus, and use our talents to please and serve him. 


When we do, our achievements will not just die along with us. They will have worth right into eternity. And our lives will be marked by real fruit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)




One of the curriculums we enjoy a great deal is Exploring Nature with Children.  It is a year-long curriculum that looks at the nature around us, week by week, and includes a related poem and piece of artwork for each topic.


In fact, we have enjoyed it so much that, for a while, a few mums and I ran a co-operative study group based on the curriculum. 


The group was lovely, but sadly, proved too much work to keep up.  However, as a family we still try to set aside a day a week for nature studies.


Last week, we looked at snails.


We started with some twinkl activity sheets, which the children glued into their nature journals.

The kids then coloured in a picture of a snail with watercolour pencils.  They enjoyed blending different colours and seeing what happened when they added water.  

One child found an article about the Cuban painted snail in an old edition of ‘The Week Junior’, which he chose to copy. 

We took turns to read aloud ‘The Snail’, a poem by William Cowper.

We had a look at Matisse’s snail and found out a bit about him as an artist using a book from my favourite collection of children’s books on artists –  The Little Artist series by Catherine de Duve.

Then the children built snail models out of Lego, while listening to an audiobook – ‘The Adventurous Snail’ by Dick King-Smith.

Finally, it was time to go out snail hunting. We looked in nooks and crannies and found a few different specimens to observe. One was lucky enough to be brought home and put in our snailery.

First, we found a pot that had holes in the top. We added soil and sticks, and gave it a good spray of water. Then we added a small plastic lid full of water and some rocks. We ground up eggshells, adding a sprinkle to make sure the snail had enough calcium to keep its shell hard. Finally, we found out what type of snail we had and discovered what they like to eat. It turns out our pet is partial to cucumber and buttercups!

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