About Me

Van Walton

Fun Facts about Van Walton

My favorite smell: The way the earth smells after it rains.

My favorite sound: The first notes of a grand symphony.

My favorite way to relax: Sitting anywhere outside - on my front porch, on my deck, or by the lake, early in the morning with my first cup of coffee.

My favorite birthday dessert: a Peach cobbler baked by my husband. He’s my fave chef!

I will not eat: Avocado. They turn my stomach into a volcano that never erupts.

Technology I couldn't live without and why: My laptop - it takes me anywhere I want to go.

One thing that makes me smile: My sons' faces!

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My Resources



My book, From the Pound to the Palace, is available for $10
from Proverbs 31 Ministries.


Pound to Palace


My book, Little Halos, is available for $5.99 from Proverbs
31 Ministries.


Little Halos


Proverbs 31 Ministries












Links




Sponsor a Child in Jesus Name with Compassion

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

LIFT UP YOUR EYES



Just a week ago I stood outside the fellowship hall of a little church in the Ozark hills waiting for the school bus. When it came to a stop, groups of children appeared at the open doors and freed themselves by bounding and skipping down the stairs. They knew exactly where to go – they come here every Wednesday. Flying down the hills, backpacks trying to keep up, boys and girls with smiley faces run into the gym.

While children ran in circles – throwing off excess energy, I found a chair, put down my book and placed a large bag full of DVD’s beside me. Before the day was over each child would receive a gift from the church - the story I was about to read on DVD.

I was ready to read a story and they were prepared to meet the author.

“Children,” the afterschool leader called. “Come sit down. Our special guest has arrived.”

In no time a large group of boys and girls ranging in ages from 4 to 14 arranged them selves on the floor in front of my chair. They had been informed of the special guest the week before and they were ready.

Their mothers arrived also. They were here to sit with their children while they listened to a story of a dog, yet all the while they would hear`
a message of hope, compassion, freedom, and love.
I smiled and sat down with my book.

Thanking the children for their warm reception I asked them if they wanted to hear me read the book I had written about a true story, the story of my dog.

Their nodding heads, eager faces, and bright eyes agreed together. “YYYEEEEESSS!”



I showed them my book and began,

“Hi! My name is Air. Do you remember when you were little? When I was little I wandered away and got lost. Do you want to hear the story of how I was lost and then I was found?”

“YEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSS.”

All eyes focused on me and the story. Mesmerized, the children leaned forward. They could relate to the little dog who had strayed, maybe pursued a dream, followed a hopping frog, or chased after a butterfly. Then he realized he was LOST.



They also knew about animal shelters, kennels, and dog pounds – not happy places to be.

The little dog in the story says, “I didn’t like it there. I wanted out! I missed my family.”

Life for the dog became very lonely as he watched people come and go picking one pet and then another, never choosing him.

Finally, one day – the day that changed his life forever, a mother and her son walked into the pound. The mother reached out and touched the little puppy.

A MESSAGE OF COMPASSION
Matthew 20:34
Jesus was moved with compassion and touched them…


“And then, the mother put a leash around my neck. She was taking me away! I realized someone wanted me!”

Out of the cage, away from the animal shelter to a whole new life.

A MESSAGE OF FREEDOM
Isaiah 57:15

I give life to those who are humble…to those whose hearts are broken.



The dog continues telling his story. “I heard the mom say, ‘This is the one we want. We are taking him home!”

A MESSAGE OF HOPE
Matthew 20:32
Jesus reached out and said, “What would you have me do for you?”

“That was the greatest day of my life. I moved from the pound to the palace.”

A MESSAGE OF LOVE
James 4:8
“Come near to God and He will come near to you.”


After I finished reading the story the children clapped. They were happy for the dog.

Then we talked about the story.

“Have you ever wandered away?”

We have all wandered away like sheep. Each of us has gone their own way…

“Have you ever been lonely or afraid?”

Jesus will comfort you…

“What did the doggie’s master say?”

Come follow me…

“What did the dog do?”

He followed his master.

Then I asked them the most important question of all:

“Do you have a master? What is his name?”

“Tell me about the life of a boy or girl who follows Jesus. Where will He take you?

They all chimed in: “TO THE PALACE”

Jesus is preparing a place in His palace for you. I hope to see you there!


For more ideas on developing your child’s spiritual life, consider: Little Halos by Van Walton

12 comments:

Mommyluann said...

I love it!

Kelley said...

Hi Van,
I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your Prov. 31 devotion today. My morning started out very badly and I was just complaining to my husband about it when I opened my email to find your devotion. CONVICTED!! Thanks for the timely reminder to focus on my Master and not my surroundings!

Have a great day!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Van...
I love your approach to teaching God's adoption of us through your story book. From the pound to the palace! What imagery.

You are a weaver of words, my friend. Keep telling the story as often as you can. God's children need to hear.

peace~elaine

Anonymous said...

Hi Van,

God has richly blessed me with Proverbs 31 devotions and today is a perfect example. After a brief time at my son's school this morning, I was focusing on all the wrong things. It brought me to tears. Thanks for reminding me to focus on my Master and to realize He's got everything under His control. Now I can continue through the day confident as I lift up my eyes to my Helper. Showers of blessings to you and Proverbs 31.

Gail said...

Dear Van,
Mornings are sometimes difficult for me. With menopause came an increase to a chemical imbalance that began with a hysterectomy a few years before. I so depend on the Lord and His new mercies every morning. He helps me focus on Him and what my brain tells me rather than what my emotions are loudly proclaiming.
I wake up to a program called Morning Manna on the radio that always ends with these words: "Dear Lord Jesus, help me live this day in the light of eternity." Then He will have just the right P31 devotional in my mailbox to let me know He cares and wants to make me more like Him. This morning, the devotional was by you, and, as always, was just what I needed to read. Thank you for sharing it.
Many blessings.

Julie Coleman said...

Van--
Loved the devotional on P31. Getting our center before we even leave the bed is so important. I needed that today!!

I am a teacher. I have seen "unmotivated" children for many years. They are often "unmotivated" because of deeper learning issues. A true discrepancy between IQ and performance is a serious red flag for a learning disability. I would be happy to email you about this-- my site is juliecoleman.blogspot.com. My own kids exhibited similar problems and we discovered after testing that there were legitimate issues. But we did not discover this until high school-- so many years we could have dealt with the problem rather than the symptoms wasted.

Just one parent/teacher perspective.

Take Care--
Julie Coleman

Tammy Nischan said...

Van,
Your P31 devo really hit me today in a beautiful way. See, yesterday we found out that our son has yet another brain tumor. I know that My Master holds all things together and keeping my eyes on Him is the only way to make it through this next chapter in our journey. I still plan to be at She Speaks in June, and oh, I hope I get to hug you! Have a wonderful day! Blessings, Tammy Nischan Please keep Nick in your prayers...he turns 13 the day after his surgery (May 22nd) If you met him, you would LOVE him. God has a special plan for him; I just know it!!

Cheri said...

I can't even begin to tell you how much I loved your devotion on P31 today!

I had to keep reading. It was truly a MASTERpiece! :)

MrsProverbs31 said...

What a blessed story. Thanks for lifting my spirit through this story. God bless you!

Hey, is that your children's book? How could we get them?

Julie P said...

Van-
I loved your P31 devotional today. Oh how I needed it! I'm a mother of two little girls (8mo and 2 yr) and it is so easy for me to get focused on the day to day responsibilities and forget what my Master has for me. Thanks so much for helping me get refocused. It seems everyday He has just what I need in those devotions. I also loved this post- what a fabulous way of teaching about our Father's love.

LeslieinTN said...

Love your devotion yesterday! I read your post about your book and reading it to the kids - great story and a great way to make it all relate to them. Thanks for your devotions. :)

Julie Coleman said...

Van--
Thanks for your encouraging comments on my blog! I so appreciate you taking the time to cheer on a sister in Christ. I'm glad to hear you eventually got to the bottom of the problem at school. It now occurs to me you probably wrote that devotional a while back. Of course, to me, it sounded like yesterday!

Keep up the great writing. Your vulnerability and sincere walk in faith is an encouragement to us all.