Thursday, February 28, 2008

Using Oysters to Train Our Children?

Q. What kind of noise annoys an oyster?

A. A noisy noise annoys an oyster!

Ok, so that's my pathetic attempt at humor around here. Even though I'd like to, I can't take credit for that joke. Sadly, someone else has more free time on their hands than I do and came up with that little ditty.

There is a book for children called Pearlie Oyster and the story is about the amazing life of an oyster and how a pearl is formed. Have you ever stopped to think about that? How exactly IS an oyster formed? I can honestly say I didn't know until now. All I knew is that they were beautiful and valuable.

Let me sidestep here for just a minute...

Our church began a 10-week revival the beginning of January and we have seen God do so much. I think there's been around 25 people saved! Isn't that awesome?

Even though I've been saved for a long time and been in church for most of my life, God is still not finished with me yet. There's still so much work He is doing in me. And that got me to thinking about pearls. These precious gems are mentioned several times in the Bible, our visiting minister even used them in his message tonight. But how do they come to be?

Well, it seems that whenever a foreign material ends up inside they the shell, the oyster produces something called nacre. That nacre coats the material that's not supposed to be inside the shell and over time a beautiful pearl is formed!

Isn't that how God is with us? He takes our sin, the 'bad, foreign stuff' that shouldn't be inside us and covers it up, and over time something beautiful comes from our lives because of it. How awesome is He and all of His creations?

This would be a unique and wonderful way to teach a life lesson to our children. It would be very easy to plan out a mini unit-study based off of the book I mentioned above, comparing how a pearl is formed to God's love for us. Then take time to learn about oysters, how they breathe, where they're found, the 'R' myth about eating oysters (betcha don't know that one, huh? I didn't!), oysters nutritional value, and maybe even cook up some yummy oyster recipes to top it all off!

If you do cook up some oysters, however, please be careful in your preparation of them. They are one of the most nutritionally well balanced foods, containing protein, carbohydrates and lipids. The National Heart and Lung Institute suggest oysters as an ideal food for inclusion in low-cholesterol diets. Oysters are an excellent source of vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C and D. Four or five medium size oysters supply the recommended daily allowance of iron, copper, iodine, magnesium, calcium, zinc, manganese and phosphorus. However, there is the potential risk of serious illness or even death from from Vibrio vulnificus bacteria, especially from raw or undercooked oysters, so be oyster aware.

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