What can you do with a coffee filter – besides make coffee? The food editor of the Canton Respository came up with a creative list:
1. Cover food to be cooked in the microwave. Good idea. A coffee filter would probably stay put better than a paper towel.
2. Pan protectors: Store and protect good dishes by placing a coffee filter between each dish. Just the right size Hey, this would work for storing old photos too – maybe cut the filter in half first.
3. Food wrappers: Great for holding popcorn or a taco.
4. Grease soaker for bacon or hamburgers. Now why didn’t I think of that?
5. Drip stopper for a popsicle or ice cream cone. Too bad my kids are grown and gone. They would I’m so clever – or crazy.
6. Cleaning windows and mirrors. After all, a coffee filter is lint free.
Sounds wasteful? Think about it. As the article points out, coffee filters are cheap – cheaper probably than paper towels.
I just love these ideas! They epitomize the educational philosophy I’ve had since student teaching: use every available resource to communicate your message. A preacher from my childhood, R. Lowell Applebury, gave that philosophy Kingdom purpose when he told me, “Use every available opportunity to proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord.”
Jesus visualized this basic principle in his parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30. Christian students often misinterpret this parable by getting tangled up on the word “talent.” Yes, we need to invest our money in church and mission projects that will expand the Kingdom and it’s a good idea to use the talents (abilities) we have for the Lord and His church. But I think Jesus had a far broader perspective than just money and abilities. His point was that we need to take whatever God has given us – small, large, insignificant and use it the advance God’s kingdom on earth. Instead of moaning that we can’t be effective because we have so little, Jesus wants us to get to work using the little He has given us – whether it’s money, volunteers, number of students or classroom supplies.
Use every available resource to communicate your message. Use every opportunity to proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord. Even coffee filters.
So how can you use coffee filters in your classroom? After just five minutes of brainstorming, here are my ideas:
1. Make snowflakes by folding the filter in fourths then snipping diamond shaped cuts in the folds and scalloping the edge Make flowers by scalloping the edge and sticking a small rod up the center.
2. Write the words of a memory verse, one word per filter. Stack the filters randomly and have the students put the words in order.
3. Demonstrate how a coffee maker works, that the filter is used to make the coffee pure, without any grounds. Discuss Bible verses that talk about purity, like Matthew 5:8 and James 1:27, that Jesus is like our filter that keeps us from being polluted by the world.
6. Take digital pictures of your students and print them out. Glue the pictures inside the coffee filter, using the filter as a frame. Make a bulletin board with the pictures. Your title could be taken from the verse in Psalm 139:14, “God’s Works Are Wonderful!”
Now it’s your turn. What could you do with a coffee filter to proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord? Look around your house and choose another simple, low cost item. How could you use it in your next lesson?
Jesus’ message is simple: Use what you have to build the Kingdom. Then watch God multiply the results!