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    by Melissa Mathews

"It's Big Ears by a Nose!"
Date Posted: August 13, 2006

"Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another."

Our oldest son Max is a pretty sharp kid. He is listening all the time, even though it might not be obvious. We call him "Big Ears." But just because a kid is listening, doesn't mean he is understanding. It's especially hard to tell if a child comprehends a speech or lecture that you desperately want him to "get." This week Max passed his hearing test.

Student council elections were this week at Natomas Park Elementary School. Max had asked to run for President, but his already overworked parents graciously declined. It never occurred to Mark, our second son, to ask permission first, so he came home Wednesday as the newly elected student council representative for his classroom. So of course, on Thursday when Max's class voted for representative, he ran also.

As providence would have it, I just happened to be in Max's classroom during the election and got to see it all. About 9 kids, including Max, were listed on the board as candidates. The rules were: 1) every one can vote for two people and 2) the person with the most votes wins. After 70 thoughtful seconds of deliberation, Max's teacher collected the paper and pencil ballots, and started counting-right there in front of the class. Who knew fourth grade could be so exciting! She took one ballot, read it aloud, and put a tally mark by two different names. "One vote for Pravneet, one vote for Max." "One vote for Max, one vote for Christian." I'm telling you, every kid was on the edge of his seat as she methodically made her way through the ballots. "One vote for Sukapreet, one vote for Max."

And when all the hanging chads were swept away-Max was the winner by two votes. I was so proud of him! But I was even more proud of him when he slipped to the back of the room and whispered to me "Mom, I didn't even vote for myself." Hmm, I was so surprised that I didn't really know what to say. I was even more surprised to hear the rest of the story that night when Max was sharing the news with Scott.

"Guess what, Dad."
"What Max?"
"I won Student Council Representative for my class."
"You did? Congratulations!"
"And guess what else, Dad."
"What, Max?"
"I didn't even vote for myself."
"You didn't?! How come?"
"Because I knew that if God wanted me to win, He could help me win without my vote. I knew that if I did what was right, God would take care of me."

Wow. Max HAD been listening to all those speeches about humility, and putting others first, and trusting God. The words of 1 Peter 5:5-6 were making an impression on his heart:

You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you."

Max had trusted God, and God had been true to His Word. Max had humbled himself, and God had exalted him. So "Big Ears" had been listening this whole time. Now we might have to start calling him "Big Faith."

"Bible verse and quote" from Jan Couns

Bible and Quote - August 1-5

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Biography Information:
I'm a preacher's kid, pastor's wife, and southern belle who married a Southern California boy. Can you say 'culture clash?' Scott and I have four boys - Max, Mark, Jackson, and Grant who keep us busy with homework and sports.

Scott and I have been married 22 years and currently live in Northern California where we are beginning year five as church planters. I also teach 12th grade English and love it.

I would love to hear from you. Email me anytime at melissa.g.mathews@gmail.com
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