December 6, 2008

give Christ p.j.s. for christmas

for the "gifts" portion of the lesson i outlined in my last post, we did another special thing: we as a faculty challenged all our seminary students to give Christ "p.j.s." for christmas. p.j.s. = prayer, journal, and scripture study. the specifics included in p.j.s. were:
1) meaningful prayer morning and night
2) daily journal entries
3) constant, heart-felt scripture study
our seminary principal would like the teachers to be exemplifying this goal. is it horrible that, as a seminary teacher, i still struggle to live by this daily regiment?

... don't answer that.

with prayer, our classes discussed the intercessory prayer - one of the greatest prayers ever given. for journal, we listened to president kimball's three reasons for keeping a journal:
1) we are more likely to keep the Lord in remembrance in our daily lives
2) it's a way to count our blessings
3) it leaves an inventory of our blessings for our posterity
finally, for scriptures, since it is seminary and we already urge each student to maintain daily reading habits, we challenged them to make their scripture study more meaningful. some suggestions were to read longer, use footnotes and read the references, or even to read every reference in the topical guide under a special topic - such as 'atonement'. as a class, we read alma 31:5 as an example of the power scriptures can have.

after we went through everything about p.j.s. we read a poem about it and made bracelets with three pieces of yarn (one string of yarn for each letter... get it?) to help all our students remember their p.j.s. and how they were going to accomplish their goal of "giving" them to Christ for christmas.

here is the poem. now i have to explain that this was only used for our seminary students. though it was already written by someone else, i did change quite a bit so it would be especially applicable to our 9th graders. it was written by ricki edwards in 1991. whoever reads this, please know that this was just to help our 9th graders remember what is so special about p.j.s. and christmas.


by ricki edwards in 1991

as nightfall approaches, you're weary with care.
there's a big test tomorrow, and mounds of homework to bear.
will that cute boy or girl in your class notice you?
with all of life’s problems, did you bite off too much to chew?

you're tired, you're weary, and glad this day is thru.
now gather your p.j.s., head for bed to renew!
nothing feels better than the peace of this time.
your p.j.s. give comfort, they're exceedingly fine.

i don't mean those glad rags you’ve worn every night,
earthly clothes - warm and fuzzy - that bring such delight.
no I mean the p.j.s. that end each day in peace.
the p.j.s. for nighttime, that aren't made of fleece.

'p' is for prayer to our Father above.
if we pray to Him always, He'll guard us with love.
pray for His guidance as your late eve begins,
and again before bed to let His messages in.

'j' is for the journal He's told us to keep,
record in it nightly, before you do sleep.
in 3 nephi he tells us 'as we've written we'll be judged'
do you wish to explain why this task you have fudged?

's' is for scriptures, most sacred to us,
for these are God's wishes and we cannot rush.
they guide us through trials, give commandments, bring peace,
making eternity is possible. remember: our lives are on lease.

these are your p.j.s. that protect and warm.
with them you’ll be safe from satan’s storm.
and though putting on these p.j.s. benefit you the most,
giving Christ p.j.s. for christmas invites Him to stay close.