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By Eleanore Catolico,
Every night, Voncile Campbell transforms into a new fantasy character. A little boy hunting for treasure with pirates. An owl playing with a fox. A teddy bear king who can’t fall asleep.
Campbell is a math teacher at Bow Elementary-Middle School in Detroit, and since the school shut down she’s created a new role for herself as a bedtime storyteller.
By posting videos on the school’s Facebook page at 8 p.m. nightly, she’s staying connected to her students and letting them know they’re still with her in spirit during the closure.
“I thought about how we have a low return of homework and students who say that there’s nobody reading to them at home,” she said. “And I really just wanted to do something to connect with my students by reading to them at night because I wanted to show them that I personally am still thinking about them.”
The novel coronavirus pandemic has disrupted students’ routines. They’re disconnected from the classmates and teachers they’re accustomed to seeing every day. For Campbell, telling bedtime stories creates stability and calm during a time of uncertainty.
She begins every video with the same phrase: “Good evening, scholars and friends. It’s time for tonight’s bedtime story.” She recites each line softly and calmly, modifying her vocal level as she embodies each character.
Campbell’s videos are quickly gaining popularity through word of mouth. They’ve collected thousands of views and been shared multiple times in the last week. She’s received a lot of positive feedback and continues to refine her approach by adding colorful images from the storybooks. A picture from the story pops up on the screen while she reads. She also started dividing the stories into episodes, asking students to email her predictions on what will happen next.
Twila Godfrey, a counselor at Marquette Elementary-Middle School in Detroit, is a close friend of Campbell’s and has a fourth-grader at Southfield Public Schools.
Godfrey said the bedtime stories are a much-needed escape for her and her daughter.
“It provides a sense of normalcy and calm that our children really need because they’re so uncertain about things that are happening right now. And it kind of takes them back to a place where they feel safe,” she said.
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“That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.” ~ Psalms 26:7
We have to be grateful for the works of God that God works in our life. We have to tell people about the works of God, about what God has done for us in our lives. However, many people in the church are not grateful for the works of God that take place in their lives… about how God has delivered them, about how God has brought them out of certain situations that were detrimental in their life, situations that were painful and brought much turmoil in their life and in their circumstances. But the Spirit of God came in the midst of their circumstances and brought them out. Nevertheless, they are still walking around here in the church and out in the land with a spirit of ungratefulness.
“Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” ~ Romans 1:21
A sign of an ungrateful person is that they become vain in their imaginations. Vain means no real value, excessively proud, conceited, and unsuccessful. Unsuccessful thinking or imagination will lead one’s life into a pit. An ungrateful person does not glorify God. Glorify means to honor with praise, admiration, and worship. Another sign of an ungrateful person is that when they become vain, God will begin to darken their heart.
“Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
A grateful person rejoices in God and prays without ceasing. A grateful person, in everything that they are going through in life, manages to give God thanks during the hard times, during the good times, during the bad times, during the sad times, during the times where everybody has turned their back on them; they are able to give thanks to God. It is God’s will for your life to give thanks and rejoice in everything that you go through in life.
These are called character building blocks. When we are rejoicing in the bad times, and rough and tough times, that is a time that doesn’t feel good but we can’t go into a pity party, we can’t go into a rut, we can’t go into a pit, God is right there in our circumstances even though we don’t see Him He is right there.
“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me.” ~ Philippians 4:11-13
Sign of a grateful person: no matter what situation they are in, they are content. A grateful person will find contentment in any situation that comes into their life to bring sorrow, pain, misfortune, loss, happiness, or gain. Content means being satisfied with whatever season you find yourself in in life. It means being happy, being fulfilled. This applies even if a season has come up over you that has brought misfortune into your life, because whatever season that you find yourself in in life, that is the season that you are supposed to be in anyhow. So, we have to learn how to be content when different seasons come upon us. Another sign of a grateful person is that they know how to be abased which is to be humble, and they know how to abound, which is when they begin to prosper they know how to handle it and do not get stupid. Abound also means to be filled. When you know how to abound God will begin to fill you with His Spirit, and fill you with His goodness.
You can view Pastor Cedric Banks Facebook page titled: Cedric Banks Prophet. There you can see many episodes of incredible preaching, community events, accomplishments, the City of Hope radio show, etc. Also, be sure to watch The Community Shall Be Restored TV Show hosted by Prophet Cedric Banks every Saturday night at 8 pm on Comcast 90. Additionally, you can CALL IN and worship with us every Sunday at 3pm at The Heart of Jesus International Deliverance Church worldwide conference line CHURCH BY PHONE at 515-604-9311 access code 273973#. There is highly anointed Spirit-led teaching, prophecy, and a right-now Word from the Lord. All are welcome to join us! For more info we can be reached at 313-421-9977 or [email protected]