Friday, August 31, 2012

classroom rules for success!

"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you." Psalm 32:8

As a teacher, what do you expect from your class?

1.  Pay attention; listen when the teacher is talking.
2.  Be prepared; read your lessons and do your homework daily.
3.  Apply what you learn to your work.
4.  Obey the teacher.
5.  And, if you need help, ask the teacher.

Would you agree that those expectations are building blocks for the success of the student? To help them get the most out of their studies? And, to reap benefits now and in the future?

We, also, are students and are under the watchful, loving eyes of the greatest Teacher of all... our Father.  Since we are in the classroom-of-life for Christ, may we follow the same guidelines.  He has the desire and ability to equip us with wisdom, discernment and power.  Let us listen to Him, read His Word, do as He instructs, and pray... in times of need and praise.

have an obedient-filled day!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

in for the long haul

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

The walk is a little slower, the smiles not quite as wide, the arrival time a bit later.  School is back in full swing and some of the normal patterns and habits of old are beginning to appear. Are you ready for whatever is in store for you this year?

The joy of the journey ahead depends a lot on us... our attitudes, our actions and our reactions.  We can influence for a better or eternal future in another, but it takes work, patience, love and a belief we can conquer the battles ahead.  Or i should say, a belief that God will provide opportunities for victories as we obediently allow Him to work in our lives. His calling in our life is for good... through our trust in Him, His glory will shine as a witness to others.

have a joy-filled day!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

a Mighty Word... August 28

"May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."   Romans 15:5-6
In the mighty cry of the Three Musketeers....  One for all, and all for One!
Let us find strength in Him with our unity.  Thank you, Jesus.

have a bless-day!

Monday, August 27, 2012

watch your weight!

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."  Hebrews 12:1

The summer was a great time to rest and even lose some weight.  I shed some worries, headaches and stress.  There was less pressure in my life, as well as, less anxiety.  But here it is the first week of school and i am beginning to sense some pounds sneaking back on.  An unplanned snack on computer woes, schedule conflicts, constant roll changes and forgotten procedures is enough to weigh anyone down.

Want to stay in better shape this year?  Let's keep the weighty obstacles at bay by throwing them all to our Father. He knows how to handle whatever comes our way.  His winning fitness plan is a simple 3-step process: 

give it to Him
leave it with Him, and 
go on with Him.

See you at the finish line!

have a fit-filled day!

Friday, August 24, 2012

a Mighty Friday Word

"This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad."  Psalm 118:24

I am rejoicing not because it's the end of the work week, but because it is the beginning of more time for refreshment and renewal in You.  It's been a good week, not perfect, but good.  There have been failures, mistakes, falls, and confusion; yet because i rest in You, i have peace.  And there is no other reason for that except for our precious time together.  Help me set aside our time together this weekend, so i may come back Monday with renewed strength and gladness.  With You, all things are possible.
Thank you, Father.

have a blessing-filled day!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

soil spreads

"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." Psalm 51:10

There is much scurry in the initial days of school as teachers race to tie up loose ends and add finishing touches to their rooms.  Caught up in their immediate needs, laminating is a top priority in the Media Center. Speeding through Mrs. Bar's laminating, i noticed the last few sheets looked dirty... and they were! She colored her first sheet, titled "Soil", with brown chalk.  Her creative artwork and my lack of awareness "soiled" my fingers, which in turned soiled every sheet i touched.

Lord, help me to stay conscious of keeping clean fingers, thoughts and heart today.  If left on my my own, i might pick up some impatience, spread some lies or gossip, or put down another.  I want every day to be about pleasing You and doing Your will.  Take my hands and keep them clean... let me touch others and only leave the fingerprints of Your love.

have a sweet-filled day!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

all A's!

"Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord..." Acts 3:19

There is nothing much better than the first days of school.  Everyone (even us) get to start with a clean slate... no strikes, no demerits, no detention, no zeros.  From grades to behavior, everyone has all A's.  No wonder the halls are full of smiles and good cheer! It's a wonderful opportunity and start for everyone, no matter what the past.

When we ask for forgiveness and approach the throne of grace, we have that same wonderful opportunity.  Our Father wipes away all the failures, shortcomings and sins in our lives and remembers them no more.  We are then able to turn to Him and serve Him in A+ style.  In need of complete, true refreshment in your life?  There is no better day than today... the "A" is yours merely for the asking!

have a thank‑filled day!

Monday, August 20, 2012

a mighty first day Word

"...Jesus said, 'Feed my lambs.'"  John 21:15

May we feed all our children/students with love, understanding, compassion, patience, kindness and truth.  And with God by our side, we can.  Thank You, Father!

have a wonder-filled first day of school!

Friday, August 17, 2012

the countdown is on for teachers!

"Be made new in the attitude of your minds..." Ephesians 4:23

The teacher's countdown:
Day - 5  return and enjoy co-workers :)
Day - 4  deal with problems and unexpected changes :l
Day - 3  meetings, meetings, meetings :/
Day - 2  dazed and glazed :\
Day - 1  panic as last minute preparations are done  :o
Day - 0  smile and greet the students :)

As the days and minutes tick by, so do the questions in my head.  Are all the lists done, have i left any children off the roll, do i have all the necessary materials? This is the last day to prepare before the arrival of the students.  Are you ready?

Even if everything is not perfect, that will be okay.  The most important item in the classroom Monday will be you.  Remember, first impressions are important and lasting.  Even if the room or paper work is not perfectly ready, let our minds be perfectly ready to receive and welcome some of our Father's most precious jewels...  our students.  They are ready to shine for you!

have a Light-filled day!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

flip flops... on hold

"Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord... Lift up your hands toward Him for the lives of your children." Lamentations 2:19

Where did summer go?  One blink of the eye, a couple of flips in the water and a new school season is here.  My bookbag from the end of the school never got put in the closet, and now it's time to use it.  Where do we start?

Whether a teacher, administrator, parent, grandparent, relative, friend or other supporter of education, i've got a winning solution.  Start with what is needed first and most of all... prayer.  Let's cover our schools and students in prayer starting today.  With God all things are possible.

have a prayer-filled day!

Friday, August 10, 2012

okra and children... not much difference

"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6

Not only has my roadside garden provided delicious eats this summer, but insight.  Are you aware of the similarities in raising children and okra?  I sure wasn't.  But the more i stayed in the okra patch, the more i was reminded of children.

For starters, both need to be planted in a good foundation... rich in dirt and Truth. If planted too closely to each other, they may look great from a distance, but actually produce less fruit. Adequate breathing space is needed for each plant.  Once planted a constant check is needed to insure proper "Son"shine and watering, so the roots receive essential nourishment and don't die.  Once the "bud" is visible, a walk around is necessary for optimum harvest.  A daily morning check of the plant from all angles eliminate the risk of overlooking the obvious. Baby okra grows up overnight, and if left unattended or haphazardly tended, will quickly become too big, tough and useless. One of the most startling lessons i learned was the need for whipping.  A family member told me whipping okra would make it produce more. And, he was right.  After whipping, new buds could flourished and grow from needed exposure to the "sun".

Wow, who would have ever thought a roadside garden would also become a lesson on parenthood... or living in the Word.

have a fruit-filled day!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

is the lifeguard on duty?

 “…I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him for that day.” 2 Timothy 1:12

You see them at the pool and at the beach… lifeguards.  What a comfort to know they are there watching out for dangerous conditions and for anyone in trouble in the water.  If I don’t see someone with that familiar, promising “cross-of-safety” on their swimsuit, my anxiety level increases and my confidence in the water declines.

There is one Lifeguard that never goes off duty.   He has promised to always watch over us and to guide and protect us in all our days.  Whether in water, on land, in the air or in summer, spring, winter, fall… He is always present.  Jesus was born for such a job… saving lives.

So, trust the One with the “cross” with your life every day.  He won’t let you d(r)own.

Have an uplifting-day!

Monday, August 6, 2012

living in your faith?

"Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food.  If one of you says to him, 'Go, I wish you well; keep warm and and well fed,' but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?  In the same way faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead." James 2:15-17

Have you ever heard a remark you couldn't shake out of your head?  In talking to a new neighbor, a non-Christian, our conversation turned to religions.  She bluntly told me, based on the Christians she knew, she had no desire to ever be one. Her comment stuck in my head like a painful thorn and serves as a constant reminder of the power we possess to influence others for our Father... for the good and for the bad.

Our faith should not be so much as a definition as it should be a way of living, thinking and doing... every day, every moment, every situation.  Lord, let my faith, love and obedience to You rise boldly over any religious righteousness. Our calling by You to go and make disciples requires this kind of heart.

"Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord." Hebrews 12:14

have a faith-filled day!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

chicken or not?

"Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievance you may have against one another... Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on LOVE..." Colossians 3:12-14

Why did the chicken cross the road?  To gobble down some tasty grub, to escape the hungry wolf on her tail feathers, or to find her mindless baby chicks?  Do we really know the answer? Whatever the reason... it was what she believed and felt was right. 

Why are people so different?  Do we really know the answer?  Was their home or social environment the determining factor, did they freely make the choice to be how they are, did God blink His eye and make a mistake?  I don't know how much the first two factor into our being, but i am positive God did not make a mistake.

As people battle who's right and who's wrong in the latest chicken tale, i remain still and in prayer. The heart of the matter centers on the Bible defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman, and most anything outside this as sin... including divorce, remarrying, affairs, living with a lover, and lust.

Right now, hold your hand out and point your finger at someone.  What do you see?  For every finger we point at another -- there are three fingers pointing back at us.

The truth is I and all are guilty of shortcomings and sin. And the list does not stop with the above. There is stealing, cheating, lying, deception, filthy language, anger, selfishness and greed to name a few. And I wonder where boastfulness, prejudice, arrogance, pride, and bigotry fall in the list.  I wonder if one sin is any greater than another. I wonder if some sin is consciously and freely committed, while another is not.  I wonder if God uses faults or sin to teach us how to become more Christlike.  I wonder if He allows (what many consider) outcasts to exist to see if we will turn our condemning eyes and hearts to ones of compassion. If we learn to live with our eyes always focused on Him, I wonder if we could possibly be the true disciples He desires. 

So, why are people different?  Only God knows and sees the complete picture.  Only He knows the genuine heart of another. What i know and believe is God expects me to love wholeheartedly. Love, not judge; that's our calling. Only Jesus can save a person, but He can use us to plant a seed for Him if we clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience... covered in LOVE. 

My greatest humiliation has come in witnessing the fleeing of "the church's finest" because people "too messy" wanted to be in the house of God. Would Jesus have closed the doors on them? In my experience, those who have been treated as outcasts due to skin color, lifestyle, handicap or other difference are some of the kindest and most loving people ever.  Many have survived triumphantly against ridicule, isolation, discrimination and harassment because of the love of Christ.  I know this because I can and do love them as family and friend.

Is it possibly to agree to disagree and still love?  What would Jesus do?  Are you going to cross the road in love?  I believe Jesus is waiting on the other side to see.

have a peace-filled day!