800 Juliana Drive, Woodstock, Ontario

Phone: 519-539-1492


March 2019


"When there is still snow on the ground and it is too cold to do most other outdoor projects around the homestead, maple syrup making seems like the perfect activity to welcome in Spring." Over the March Break I decided to tap the two maple trees we have in our backyard and produce some maple syrup. After five days of collecting the sap from the tree, I began the boiling process. This indeed is a process, it took three hours of boiling on our camp stove outside to remove the water content from the sap. I spent a bit of that time just watching the sap boil, watching the steam rise from the pot. While outside watching the sap boil, I also witnessed birds fluttering around, singing, and the warmth of the spring sun on my back. The bright clear blue sky. Over the past number of weeks at our church we have been encouraged to slow down the pace of our lives and appreciate the blessings around us. March Break is an opportunity for our school community to slow down and take in the blessings around us. I hope and pray that you and your family were able to do that. If not, I encourage you to take some time this spring to go for a walk in the woods, sit on a bench in a park, or even boil some sap in your backyard, and look and listen for the blessings God has given to us. Enjoying creation and seeing God there is also part of Walking and Talking with God. "Come near to God and He will come near to you." James 4:8 Source:   wholefedhomestead.com/small-batch-maple-syrup-making-you-only-need-1-tree/ 
T. Schaafsma
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On our road-trip back from our vacation this March Break, my husband and I stumbled across a radio station playing a pastor’s Sunday sermon. It was a lively sermon and the way the pastor spoke beckoned us to lean in and listen closely. We didn’t catch his name...but we did catch the message he was sharing with his congregation. He was speaking on Jesus’ words in Matthew 5 and shared something I had never reflected on about this verse before.

In Grade Two this month, we are focusing on Jesus’ Ministry during His time on Earth….and the verse the pastor preached on is part of our Memory Work for the month of March! It always makes me smile when things I’m teaching in classroom are directly related to things taking place in my own walk with the Lord. This was the verse: Matthew 5:13a, (NIV) “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?” {Maybe you’ll join us in memorizing this portion of the verse this week...}

Here is a paraphrase of what I took away from the pastor’s message. With his southern drawl and a few “Hallelujah! and Amens!” added for emphasis, he said this: “If we are called to be the salt of earth, then we should be making people thirsty.” This resonated with me. It reminds me that in all of my words and all of my actions, I can share the truth of Jesus. We should be living our lives in such a way that people become thirsty for more – thirsty for the Living Water. Jesus is the only one who will quench all of our thirstiness – once and for all. This is good news!

As you walk and talk with God, will you share this message of Living Water with those around you this week?

                                                                                                           Kristen Vanderploeg

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A Worker's Prayer

A Worker's Prayer
In the fall term, I introduced one of our theme songs for this school year, Before You I Kneel (A Worker's Prayer) by Keith & Kristyn Getty, focussing especially on the first verse of the song. Our students are learning this song, and to hear them sing it during Wednesday morning chapels is such a blessing! It gives me goosebumps every time. This song gets to the heart of what it means to walk and talk with God. Check out the third verse below. We are part of God's story and His greater plan and are reminded that we are His workers, using our hands and voices and minds for His purposes. When we become completely absorbed with our own task lists and our personal busy-ness, this song is a beautiful reminder that we have committed to living out the gospel of grace. As we finish second term, and head into the final stretch of the 2018-2019 school year, may what we do and what we choose bring glory to God's great name.
C. Verbeek
Before You we kneel, our Master and Maker;
Establish the work of our hands.
And order our steps to seek first Your kingdom
In every small and great task.
May we live the gospel of Your grace,
Serve Your purpose in our fleeting days,
Then our lives will bring eternal praise
And all glory to Your great name.
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