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Going back to school
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"Loving a child doesn't mean giving in to all his whims; to love him is to bring out the best in him, to teach him to love what is difficult."

Nadia Boulanger, educator and musician.

 The yellow buses are out picking up kids this morning. The 2007-08 school year has begun in Newton County. Summer went fast, but the good news is that those days that used to stretch out the summer are now holidays scattered throughout the year - the next school break is the first week of October, a great time to take a trip to the mountains or the ocean.

As we begin a new year, please take a moment and pray for the Lord's blessing on the schools and the kids.

"Heavenly Father, we thank you for the gift of children. We are thankful for the joy they bring to us now, and we are thankful for their gifts and their potential to shape the world. We pray that you would surround the schools with your love and your protection.

"We pray that all entrusted in the care of the children may be filled with your love, wisdom and patience. We pray that you would help us to do all we can to nurture their growth. We pray for the staff at the schools, that they may be sensitive to the special needs of each child and be strong enough to lead all the children. We pray for the teachers, that they may have the strength and courage that their positions require. May they be able to impart both knowledge and a love of learning. We pray for the students, that they might see education as an opportunity, have the determination to learn, and that they might be an encouragement to each other. We pray for the parents, that they might be able to provide a good home environment, with accountability, discipline, and love.

"We pray that the parents might also attend to the spiritual needs of the children, bring them to church with the same commitment as they have to bringing the children to school. And Lord, we pray for those who drive those yellow buses, may they be alert as they drive, patient with the noise, and may they greet each child with a smile. Amen."