First meal in my new house, fitting it should be carne asada! #yum #rvliving #sherilsstationaryrvlivingjourney #missionarylife
October 19, 2018 at 08:06PM
via Instagram http://bit.ly/2NNhuww
First meal in my new house fitting it should be carne asada! #yum #rvliving #sherilsstationaryrvlivingjourney #missionarylife
First meal in my new house, fitting it should be carne asada! #yum #rvliving #sherilsstationaryrvlivingjourney #missionarylife
October 19, 2018 at 08:06PM
via Instagram http://bit.ly/2NNhuww
Just added some personal touches to the walls!!! Im loving it! Heres to hoping it stays overnight!! #rvliving #triumphthetrailer #stationaryliving #missionarylife #peelandstick
Just added some personal touches to the walls!!! I’m loving it! Here’s to hoping it stays overnight!! #rvliving #triumphthetrailer #stationaryliving #missionarylife #peelandstick
October 11, 2018 at 09:22PM
via Instagram http://bit.ly/2IPJTkx
I know what you are thinking. Prayer shouldn't be about fun! Prayer is a very serious thing, a conversation between you & God. And you would be correct!
There are many times where we gather corporately to intercede or pray on behalf of someone else. These times can be a little intimidating but they don't have to be.
I recall many times in youth group where we would be tasked with praying for each other or worse, in front of everyone!! For those who are shy, introverts, visitor, or a brand new Christian this can be very scary and may turn them off to the whole idea of prayer.
Here in YWAM we have weekly intercession days where we spend 30-45 mins praying on behalf of local ministries, countries and people groups around the world, our home nations, or just each other. Most of the time we simply break up into groups of 3-5 after we have heard some information about the topic/group and we spend time praying over prayer points given or waiting on the Lord to hear His heart on the subject.
Occasionally these times are a bit more interactive. Here are a few ways that we make that prayer time a bit more fun!
Speed prayer is kinda like speed dating. Yup, you read that correctly! Speed dating!
Basically what you do is split the group into two equal teams. You can do this by birthdays, ages, nationality, or just have everyone pair up.
One group will form a circle facing out and the other will form a circle facing the inner group. Each person should have someone directly in front of them.
There are several ways to go from here. With big groups you can have the inner & outer circles move simultaneously such as the inner circle moves to the right 5 times and the outer circle moves to their right 3 times.
For smaller groups, just have everyone move to their right once.
Each time you change "partners" you introduce yourself (if you don't know the other person) and then share any prayer needs you may have. Spend about 5 mins praying for each other (10 mins total). Switch & Repeat!
If you are comfortable with your group you can also do what's called prophetic prayer times. In this case, you would switch partners like normal but instead of sharing a prayer need, you would spend a few minutes seeking the Lord and then praying whatever you feel like He is saying. Now, this isn't for every group. This type of praying can be very intimidating even in Pentecostal churches because there is the fear that you will not hear God or that you will say the wrong thing. But I believe that everyone hears Him, they just may not recognize that it's Him.
Balloon Prayers simply require balloons and sharpies. That is all.
Everyone gets a balloon and a sharpie. They anonymously write a prayer request on the balloon and blow it up, tie it off (or you can blow them up, tie them off and then write on them).
Once everyone has written on a balloon and they are ready to go, everyone gets in the middle of the room and kinda like playing hot potato, you play some music and launch the balloons in the air. Keep batting the balloons into the air until the music stops. When the music stops, everyone grabs a balloon and spends a few minutes praying for that request.
Play the music again and repeat! Repeat as many times as you like. Make sure to pop all the balloons & pick up the pieces when you are done!
That's it. This is a great activity for any size group, small or large.
A great way to make prayer times interactive for small groups is Prophetic Prayer with some construction paper.
To begin, gather some construction paper and some markers (you can also use white paper and pens/pencils but I think the colored construction paper makes it more fun). We then had each person grab a piece of paper and then draw their hand on one side. Make sure you remember your color! This will help later.
Then spread the papers out around the room and have each student/person grab a marker and go to each page. They will pray over that person and then write down any encouraging words, scriptures or messages that they hear or think of while they are praying.
Continue this around the room so that each paper gets prayed over and written on. When you are done and every one has had a chance to pray over each paper, have each person/student find their own (if they've remembered their color this will be a little bit easier and they can match their handprint).
Spend some time reading the encouraging words and scriptures. Have the students share out any that really resonates with them. Students can take these home with them as a reminder that God is speaking to them.
One way to help with finding their own paper at the end, using a pencil gently write their name or initials in the corner on one side. This needs to be faint as it is best when this is done anonymously.
One thing we love to do during November is a Thankful Tree. Sometimes this is an individual project and other times this is a group effort. Sometimes it's big enough for the whole wall and others it is just an 8.5x11 sheet of paper.
I used my cricut machine to cut out various leaves in construction paper (you can laminate for a more sturdy version). You can also pick up some pre-cut leaves on Amazon or at a local teacher store, sometimes the dollar store also has them in the teacher/school supply section.
We had each person choose a leaf and then wrote things they were thankful for on their leaf and then taped them to to the wall (we used sticky-tack).
Throughout the month, have students go & thank God for the things on the tree, it could be their own or someone else's. Such a great way to remind us to be thankful for all things big & small.
What are some ways that you make prayer and intercession fun and exciting with your family, friends, or groups? Share them down below, I'd love to hear about them and maybe implement some things with our youth group.
Our kids ministry @metro_bhm is cooler than yours! #mater #metrokids #missionarylife
August 17, 2018 at 03:13PM
via Instagram http://bit.ly/2OGpyjo
As many of you know, I am in the process of starting a K-12 school on our YWAM campus in San Antonio del Mar, Mexico. Part of my time is also spent tutoring a few missionary kids who are either homeschooling or attending a local, private school. Some kids speak English and other speak Spanish, a few even speak other languages as well.
Most of my mornings are spent with kids who I am actively teaching. These are students who are currently homeschooling and I am helping their parents either supplement their own teachings or help them master subjects that their parents struggle with or don't know how to teach.
In the afternoons, I spend time one on one with several students working on specific subjects or mastering skills like multiplication or reading. Each student that comes to me in the afternoons receive an individualized and specialized learning plan and we dive into meet their needs. Sometimes these needs change from week to week and other times it's buckling down and mastering a particular skillset.
Sometimes, when the local school is out for the day (which happens quite often), some of our other friends join us. We run out of space very quickly but it is fun to see how the school will be when we have even more kids.
Luckily, I often have a volunteer or two around to help out. This makes it so much easier to meet the needs of each student. Currently my school has 8 students ranging in ages of 6-15. They are all on different levels and grades so it's like teaching every grade all at the same time. Some days this can be challenging going from counting, addition and basic math operations to multiplication and division and then over to quadratic formulas. My brain often hurts at the end of the day.
But it is all so very worth it when I get to see someone surpass their goals. This young lady, at the beginning of the year, could barely recall and recognize her letters and now, she is reading books! That is a HUGE accomplishment and we definitely celebrated that day!
What are some things you do everyday with little to know result? Have you been able to celebrate little triumphs? Share them with me in the comments, I'd love to celebrate with you!
For those who don't yet know, in addition to starting and teaching in a K-12 school on our missionary campus in Mexico, I am also a youth pastor for our local 12-18 year old missionary kids. This isn't that big of a stretch for me since prior to coming to YWAM & Mexico, I was actually a youth pastor and had served my home church for many years as a youth leader.
A typical meeting for us looks something like this: 6:30 Thursday nights we get together and spend some time catching up (which is kinda funny because we all live in the same community and pretty much spent most of our time together anyways) and basically spend some time being teenagers. Then we pray, share about our week, fun things we did or exciting news that happened, etc. Then we recap our theme or topic if we're continuing from previous weeks or we discuss the new topic. We dig into the Word, each person taking a turn reading straight from Scripture and then we periodically spend some time going over the section we just read, discussing it, pointing out any cultural or historical information to give a better understanding of what we have just read. We try to stick to the scripture not adding or taking away anything from it but occasionally we need a little more information about culture and history for full understanding. We try to end around 8:00 pm but sometimes our discussion goes over, yikes (I think this is a GREAT problem because the teens are really digging in & talking about Scripture!).
Most of our time is student-led. I ask some questions and typically steer the conversation but the discussion is mainly all about them and what they are seeing, observing, thinking.
This past month we have been focusing on the theme of Identity. We started out talking about what identity really is and where people often find their identity. The students shared ideas like:
Search Me, O God, and Know My Heart
We read through the scripture together out loud and then I had the students call out anything that stuck out to them in terms of identity. They looked back at the scripture to see if anything made sense to them or resonated with them. Here were some of their observations:
We expanded on that with some of the things we discussed earlier. We looked at what would happen to us if we found our identity in things like our looks and for some reason we became disfigured. We talked about what happens if we found our identity in our abilities and we were injured and could no longer do that. We discussed what happens if we find our identity in our friends and they (or we) moved.
We decided that it would best to find our identity in something that won't change. We decided that finding our identity in our Creator and the Rock would be a better option. But what does that actually look like in our day to day lives??
Tune in next to find out how we answered that question!
Over the course of the next few months I'll be sharing what our students have been learning in terms of Identity.
What stands out to you from Psalm 139 in regards to Identity? What do you think Identity means and where do you find your identity? Leave a comment below so we can expand our discussion.
Until then, peace & blessings!
How is everyone doing? I had a great spring break. I was able to get a TON of things done, still working on the Nursery Rhyme stuff though. I also was able to do some spring cleaning around my house which was MUCH NEEDED. I even took the huge sliding mirror doors off my closet and put them inside the back of the closet.
I don't know about you but I HATE getting rid of stuff that is still useful. Not sure if this is my teacher-brain, my missionary-brain, my growing up poor brain or just how I was wired by God, either way, I don't like throwing things out that still have "life" in them.
This past weekend, however, I was able to go through things with a very determined eye & while somethings were definitely still useful, I decided that they were no longer useful to me and therefore I could lovingly donate them to someone else. So, I loaded up my car with around 4 large trashbags of clothes plus a box or two of some household items that I no longer need. I will be dropping them off shortly to our donation trailer to be given to others who can use them.
Why is it so hard for us to get rid of the "junk" that is taking up space in our lives? Sometimes for me it is an emotional attachment, other times it is a money thing (I, or someone else, spent $$ on this so I'm throwing out money), and other times it's just pure laziness! Then I look around my room or home and realize that I can't find joy in my surroundings. I'm more stressed than joyful when I spend that extra time there. There is freedom in letting go. There is freedom in removing stressful things. I'm by NO MEANS a minimalist, nor do I want to be. I am, however, discovering the value in letting go of things that aren't really that important to me so that I can make space for the things that are.
The same is true of my spiritual life. Sometimes it is so hard to just let go of the "junk" or the people who are weighing us down. I find that especially true when there has been so much time and energy put into said relationships. I think of the wasted time or I get to thinking that I've come this far, might as well see it through. But sometimes, you just have to cut ties, throw it away, give it (or them) to someone else. There are for sure times that we are called to persevere! But there are times where we need to let go and let God because they are an albatross around our necks, dragging us down, stealing our joy.
I'll tell you, I still have much more to go but I was able for the first time in months to put clothes away in my drawers and close them. Because I took the doors off my closet, I'm able to actually see things in my space and I know that I will actually be able to use them!! I am an "out of sight, out of mind" kinda girl so my organizational style needs to be able to see what I have so I can actually use it.
Because of this out of sight mentality, going through clothes that were in the bottom of my closet and in boxes under my bed was like going shopping for free! I rediscovered a whole new wardrobe that I forgot about and haven't worn in probably years! BONUS!!
What is something that you have recently gotten rid of that was just taking up space in your life or house? How did that make you feel?
So, if you look at my past blog posts you will see a HUGE gap between them. I could sit here & make excuses that I'm so busy, that I don't have time to sit down and write, that I ...
The truth is, I don't feel like I have anything worthy to say. I also want to make sure that what I'm writing is relevant and real and sometimes I would rather it be perfect and therefore I just don't write!
BUT, that is going to change. I was reading a book my one of my new favorite authors, Chautona Havig, and it is a weekly serial. The book itself is called The Vintage Wren and is about a young lady, Cassie, who decides to challenge herself to be more ecofriendly and every week she gives up something that is wasteful or harmful to the environment. She starts a daily blog to share with anyone who will read (and she gains quite the following) her struggles, successes and the daily antidotes that come with this crazy life change.
Now, this all is being written by an actual author, which I am not. This is a fictitious story and a fictitious blog. I understand that, however, besides reading a really good story, what I am choosing to take away from this is that blogging doesn't have to be perfect. It doesn't have to look a certain way. It doesn't have to follow a certain guide.
I've always felt that my blog posts needed to be X words or X paragraphs but in reality, it can be short & sweet if that's what I'm feeling that day OR it can be super long if that's what I'm feeling that day. The main point is to share!
So I am making a commitment to be more consistent. No, I will not be blogging daily. I will, however, try to make sure that I share at the very least, monthly, what all is happening around here.
So, I leave you with this gorgeous picture of a sunset. We really do have the most beautiful sunsets on the planet! Every single night is different but equally as gorgeous!
For those who don't know yet, I have now officially switched over to full time K-12 school work. I am still overseeing some of the responsibilities of the Preschool but I have completely shifted my focus over to starting the K-12 school. I have been working with several students ages 6-14 everyday now since September 2017.
I have this one student that I am working with every single morning. His name is Landon. He is 14 years old and when we first started working together in October, he hated math. Actually, he despised math. Math was hard for him. It was just too difficult for him to do so he tried to get out of it every chance he could.
I'm not sure what his previous schooling was like other than he went to a public school in Las Vegas. But what I saw in him from the beginning was a lack of confidence in many areas. He was overweight and didn't really see himself as smart. He constantly told me that he couldn't do any of the math homework because he didn't know and because he was dumb. This really saddened me because he was believing a lie that had been told to him somewhere along the way.
This is NOT how I, his grandparents and God see Landon. Landon is an extremely intelligent, compassionate and kind young man. The good thing is, he is starting to see that for himself.
When he moved down to Tijuana to live with his grandparents in September, his grandmother put him on a very strict diet and made him exercise daily. He has lost a TON of weight and this in and of itself has gained some confidence in him. He told me one day in class that his neck used to touch his chest but now it doesn't.
When I started working with him in math he was used to just using his calculator to complete his math workbook but we started getting into fractions and I basically forced him to actually do that math. He didn't really like me at first. He was frustrated because he lacked the confidence in his own abilities and I was pushing him really hard. I was pushing him because I KNEW he could do it. I KNEW that he just needed to do it to prove to himself that he was smart!
Those first few weeks it would take us several days to do one page in his workbook, a page of only about 12 problems. By Christmas break we had completed 26 pages, in 10 weeks or 40ish days. That's an average of 2 and a half pages per week.
Now, after Christmas break, I cracked down and decided to push a little harder. He was gaining confidence in his own abilities. He was seeing that he could in fact do math. He started calling himself a math genius! So I upped the game a bit. I started requiring that he complete 5 pages a week, that's one page per day. That includes days that he is absent because I said 5 per week. I have pushed him to make this happen and guess what?! He has done it.
As of right now, he is actually ahead in math and we have started adding to his morning routine spelling (which he was doing at home) and social studies. So where before it would take him all morning long to maybe complete half a page of math, we are now doing 1 full page of math plus spelling and social studies.
This kid amazes me. Like he actually BEGS me daily to do math. I'm like, who are you?!? This week, because we are a bit behind on spelling and ahead in math, I'm making his focus on spelling to get caught up. He is still begging me to do math. The confidence he has in himself and his abilities are growing leaps & bounds and I am so very proud of him.
We do still have some struggles and there are days that I still have to tell him to focus but those times are few and far between. He is taking his education into his own hands. He is taking responsibility for his own actions and is seeing that when he applies himself, regardless of what others have told him, he can do great & mighty things, even conquering algebra!
I could not be more proud of this kid. Daily he rises to the challenges that I put before him and conquers them. He slays them!
So thank you! Thank you for allowing me to be here. Thank you for allowing me to help students like Landon find their confidence. This is why I am here. This kid and so many more like him are why I do what I do. Your constant "vote of confidence" in me allows me to do what I love and am passionate about. Your generosity allows me to push kids to be a better version of themselves. Your support through finances and prayer allows me to meet kids where they are and partner with their parents to see them succeed in areas that they never thought possible.
So THANK YOU!!
If you would like to donate towards our schools or help me stay on the mission field to help more students like Landon find their self worth, you can do so here with a tax-deductible donation. Make sure to put Sheril Brasher in the designation. Or, if you'd like to give directly to our schools, you can give that tax-deductible donation here. Choose Little Builders Preschool, Tijuana in the dropdown designation box.
This morning as we were praying, I looked outside the door toward the back of our ywam property. There was a group of guys mixing concrete for our newest building. As I was watching them mix the concrete, using a large mixer, God spoke to me.
God is constantly molding & mixing us but we keep throwing in things, impurities, that don't belong (lies, etc). The longer those things stay in the concrete the harder it is to remove them. When we/God do(es) remove them, sometimes they have to be broken off.
Sometimes the things we add are just flecks, almost like glitter, that are buried deep down that we think add beauty but are actually detrimental to the integrity of the strength of the concrete. Sometimes, because they are buried so deep or are mixed in so well, we don't even see them or know they exist.
What have you been adding to your life that doesn't belong, that God hasn't given you?
What do you need to get rid of to allow Him to fully reside in your life?
Ask Him to show you the areas of your life that you have been hiding away and allow Him to cleanse those for you.
I am on an amazing adventure traveling the world with Jesus. Join me on my adventure and learn what I learn.
*Add a note stating it is Staff Support for Sheril Brasher or Little Builder's Preschool