Tuesday, September 26, 2017

a Mighty Word ~ peace

"make every effort to do what leads to peace..." Romans 14:19

Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me.


we are loved and chosen by God,

may we live like we believe it,
veneal

Reminder:  SYATP is tomorrow, Wednesday, September  27 (730am at Pine, 7am most other schools)

For the last 25 years, See You at the Pole has been about one simple act—prayer, students uniting themselves in prayer before God interceding for their generation.  All around the globe, students will be gathering at their flagpoles, praying for their school, friends, families, churches, and communities. I look forward to praying with you there!

Monday, September 25, 2017

listen... today's bonus

Do you listen intentionally? Listening is important to developing close relationships and meeting the needs of others. It's also essential to hearing what God wants to tell us. But often our hearing is impaired by the distractions all around and even within us.

My friends Dalene Parker and Linda Gilden asked me to invite my Saltshakers for Him readers to join them for a fresh start in activating ordinary words in extraordinary ways. The word for this week is LISTEN. Please see their Facebook page Weekly Words to Live By for more details.

I'm tuning in to hear what God has to say to me this week about listening. What about you?

we are loved and chosen by God,
may be live like we believe it!
veneal

He knows...

"Be still, and know that I am God..." Psalm 46:10
Feeling alone and surrounded with mountains of uncertainties?
Stop and look closely...God is as near as our next breath.  He is with us every step of the way.  No mountain is too high with Him.

we are loved and chosen by God,

may we live like we believe it,
veneal

Friday, September 22, 2017

time for a change...

"Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are His.  He changes times and seasons;  He deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise  and knowledge to the discerning." Daniel 2:20-21
Today's the day.  There's a change in the air; Fall is here.  Besides crisp, cool days, God has other changes in store for us too:

A change of heart
Healing of the body
Direction in a relationship
Deeper faith
Increased love
Greater patience
A letting go of "stuff"

Father, it's time for a change, and we are ready.

we are loved and chosen by God,
may we live like we believe it,
veneal

Thursday, September 21, 2017

follow the leader...

"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;  I will counsel you with My loving eye on you." Psalm 32:8

In the hands of a caring teacher, one who's received little direction, encouragement or hope elsewhere is transformed into a precious treasure.

When we teach like Jesus, we love like Jesus... and lives are changed for the good.  You are making a difference in the future of others.

we are loved and chosen by God,

may we live like we believe it!
veneal

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

a Mighty Word ~ timing

"No sooner had they set their feet on the dry ground that the water of the Jordan returned to their place and ran at flood stage as before."  Joshua 4:18
Sometimes we think God's timing is off, but think again.  How many times did He respond too quickly or too late in the Bible? 

Father, help us remember You have a divine plan, and it will not be thwarted.

we are loved and chosen by God,
may we live like we believe it!
veneal

Monday, September 18, 2017

keep turning the pages...

"I thank my God every time I remember you... being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:3,6

If your life were a book, how would it read?
God has already recorded every part of our life from the beginning to the end. He knows every disappointment, every loss, every challenge. And the Good News is that with Christ, our story ends in victory! God has written out a plan to bless and prosper us. 

So how does it work? When we go through a disappointment, or through a loss, don’t stop on that page. Make the decision to keep moving forward. There’s another chapter ahead.

Keep turning the pages.  No matter what is going on now, our story gets better with Him.  And it definitely has a happily ever after ending.

we are loved and chosen by God,
may we live like we believe it!
veneal

a Mighty Word ~ brave

"For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you." Isaiah 41:13

I do not know what the day holds, but i know Who holds me.
Because of You, Father, i can face the day.  I am trusting You in any and all circumstances. Here's my hand, it's attached to my heart... thank You for holding it firmly in Yours.

we are loved and chosen by God,
may we live like we believe it,
veneal

Friday, September 15, 2017

the perfect top

"Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." Colossians 3:13-14

Top off your words, your actions and your ways with love. It makes all things better and bearable. Love is needed most in all circumstances.

we are loved and chosen by God,
may we live like we believe it!
veneal

Thursday, September 14, 2017

a Mighty Word ~ kindness

"The islanders showed us unusual kindness." Acts 28:2

May the unusual become the usual.  And let is start with us.

we are loved and chosen by God,
may we live like we believe it!
veneal

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

do you know the way?

"Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21

After 3 weeks of talking and practicing, we felt the fresh crop of kindergartners had mastered the routine and routes of library time at school. Then we had a pop test. During class, it was apparent Joey was uncomfortable. 
Asking to be excused, he darted to the front of the room like he knew exactly where to go. But suddenly and with wind beneath his heels, he took a quick, sharp turn to the right and circled to the backside of the room.  Before we could process what was happening, he opened the door to the supply closet. And then we knew. Joey had no idea where to find the bathroom. Immediately we redirected and led him to it. Whew.

Father, how often do you see that same panicky glaze in our eyes?  An urgent request erupts, a change occurssomething unexpected pops up and we take off running to "fix it". Before our feet hit the ground in three directions, may our hearts turn first to You as we ask and listen for direction.  There is a calming peace in Your way and path. Aah.

we are loved and chosen by God,
may we live like we believe it!
veneal

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

a Mighty Word ~ still

"Who is like you, Lord God Almighty? You, Lord, are mighty, and Your faithfulness surrounds You. You rule over the surging sea; when its waves mount up, You still them." Psalm 89:8-9
Thankful for God, thankful for still days.

we are loved and chosen by God,
may we live like we believe it,
veneal

Monday, September 11, 2017

9/11... again

"Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up." Psalm 71:20

9/11... 2001 - 2017

True news:  Troubles surround us -- What changes is the year, the month, the day.

Good news:  God surrounds us -- He is unchanging; we never face a single storm without Him.  

As i traveled this weekend, i witnessed many rescue vehicles and people rolling down the road, preparing for the hurricane's landfall.  It was a distinct reminder of God's faithfulness and love for His children.  Before the storm hits, He is already on it.



The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.



Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.




He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.


I have set the LORD always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.  Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure.

we are loved and chosen by God,
may we live like we believe it.
resting in God... no matter what,
veneal

Friday, September 8, 2017

in His eye...

"Keep me safe, my God, for in You I take refuge." Psalm 16:1

Even in the eye of the storm...we are still anchored securely to God.  NOTHING can shake, rattle, pry or yank us from His clutch.
May God continue to watch over, protect, strengthen, guide and comfort all in the path of the raging storms... those over the waters, on the lands and in our hearts.

we are loved and chosen by God, 
may we live like we believe it!
veneal

Thursday, September 7, 2017

the sky's the limit

"I will praise You as long as I live and in Your name I will lift up my hands... Because You are my help, I sing in the shadow of Your wings." Psalm 63:4, 7

When you've reached your limit...
remember with God, the sky's the limit.

Keeping looking up. God's got this and us.

we are loved and chosen by God,
may we live like we believe it!
veneal

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

what do you want to be?

"In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned..." Titus 2:7-8

What will they be?  Doctor, lawyer, Indian chief, teacher or one of a thousand other opportunities. 


No matter what career students choose, they will first be a reflection of those around them. Our decisions, attitudes and actions not only impact our life, but the lives of many.  

Be all God has designed you to be... and change the world for the better. Let's be the change we want to see in others.


we are loved and chosen by God,

may we live like we BElieve it!
veneal

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

a Mighty Word ~ hear

"Apply your hearto instruction and your ears to words of knowledge." Proverbs 23:12

My prayer for you and your students.  As you teach, may they desire to hear and apply your words to their day.

we are loved and chosen by God,
may we live like we believe it!
veneal

Friday, September 1, 2017

but, what about tomorrow?

"He will have no fear of bad news; his heart of steadfast, trusting in the LORD." Psalm 112:7

The past week has been excruciating and still is not over. With unexpected sadness and difficult news my joy has dipped.  But, last night i RE-remembered uncertainties in life are a given.  

I absolutely love my job. At the end of my first year in the library, Ms. B asked me if i were coming back the next year.  And with a smile of certainty, i replied, "i'm not even sure i am coming back tomorrow, only God knows for sure." It's 16 years later, and God hasn't moved me... yet.  I count my blessing each day.

The fact is tomorrow is not a given for any of us. 
Lesson learned - enjoy the moment, and trust God with the ones to come.

we are loved and chosen by God,
may we live like we believe it!
veneal

Thursday, August 31, 2017

a Mighty Word ~ together

"Be strong and courageous... The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:7-8

First days can be hard and scary...


But remember -- we never face them alone.

Thank You, Father, for Your promise of being with us from our first day (of school, work or whatever) to forever!

we are loved and chosen by God,
may we live like we believe it!
veneal

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

are you colorblind?

Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord." Leviticus 19:18

Among the hundreds of dramatic pictures in Texas, there is a reoccurring story-line... people helping each other, no matter what differences they possess.  It appears all in the path of such disasters are affected by a pure heart and by color blindness, and i love the effect it has. 

As our Great Teacher, God never misses an opportunity to teach.  Even in difficult times, God reminds us of important lessons. Could God be asking, "Don't you understand? It's not about who you are, but about what you are with Me. LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR... continuously. You all belong to Me."  

Color blindness, maybe we need to be permanently afflicted, what do you think?

we are loved and chosen by God,
may we live like we believe it!
veneal


Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are Mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you...

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

in His Arms

"He tends His flock like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young."  Isaiah 40:11
Through the waters and the tears God is still with us...
He comes in all shapes, in all colors and in all places with no hesitation...
Let there be no doubt...
"Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear." Isaiah 59:1

Father, through us, Your Arms are long enough to hold, comfort and save those in need. We pray for those in the path of Hurricane Harvey and give thanks to all extending their arms to aid their neighbor. Open our hearts and arms as large as Texas to create calmness and peace in our surrounding storms at home too.

Together is better.

we are loved and chosen by God,
may we live like we believe it!
veneal

Monday, August 28, 2017

which color is better?

"... watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned."  Romans 16:17


"Red, and yellow, black and white,
They are  ALL precious in His sight."

Colors... children don't know or judge about differences until they are taught it. 

May we teach and lead rightly with a heart for God and all His children.

we are loved and chosen by God,
may we live like we believe it!
veneal

Friday, August 25, 2017

best part of summer....

"Your love has given me great joy and encouragement..." Philemon 1:7

Students have various responses regarding the best part of their summer:
vacation
sleeping late
visiting relatives
swimming
camping out
visiting theme parks
going to camp
traveling
playing with friends
having sleepovers
beach

But for some students, the best part of summer was coming back and seeing you.  No doubt, you rank very high, if not on top, for best summer attractions. Just look at those smiles!

we are loved and chosen by God,
may we live like we believe it!
veneal

Thursday, August 24, 2017

leader of the pack

"Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock." 1 Peter 5:2-3
When we lead by example and with a servant's heart, the flock feels properly empowered and secure.  Hold on the dreams that ignited your fire to teach and inspire others to discover their dreams.

we are loved and chosen by God,
may we live like we believe it!
veneal

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

so, what do they think?

"... whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is 
pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Philippians 4:8

You are just what they dreamed about this summer...
Keep up the wonderful work!  You know what to do and you are doing it right. The smiles are showing all around you... below and Above.
we are loved and chosen by God,
may we live like we believe it!
veneal

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

a Mighty Word ~ look!

"But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father....Therefore keep watch... you must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him."  Matthew 24:36,42,44

Did you miss the eclipse?  Don't despair.  Keeping looking up!  

The solar eclipse is over, BUT the greatest show on earth is yet to come! And as a believer, NOTHING will cause you to miss it!  Thank You, Father!  

totally eclipsed in His love,
may we live like we believe it!
veneal

Monday, August 21, 2017

there goes the Son...

At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’  ‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’  But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.  Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’ But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’ Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour." Matthew 25:6-13
Do you have glasses? Where can i get glasses? Do you have an extra pair?  Is it really necessary to use special glasses to view the solar eclipse??

For years we have known the precise year, month, day, hour and even minute of the upcoming solar eclipse.  We've been blitzed by all news sources on the wonders and dangers of the eclipse, its exact path, what to do and how to view it safely.  YET,  here it is, The day, and many are unprepared. People are still frantically scurrying to get their hands on the special eclipse glasses. 

Are you ready for the Sun?
How about the Son?

As believers, we know the Son of God is returning. He is coming back to gather those who belong to Him.  Unlike the solar eclipse, we, and even the angels, do not know the exact day or time nor do we need any special equipment or preparations to see or be with Him. Preparation for Jesus' return calls for us to accept and believe the saving grace of Jesus as our Lord and Savior. He is available to all. 

Are you ready for the Son?  The answer is as close as your heart.  Isn't that a relief! Spread the Good News. 

But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God?,” he said... Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Confess and believe in Him... it's that simple.  

God our Savior wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

Thank You, Father! I'm ready for You.

we are loved and chosen by God,
may we live like we believe it!
veneal

Sunday, August 20, 2017

precious in His sight...

"Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen." 1 John 4:12

... because the Bible tells me so.

All God's commands hinge on these two:
Love the Lord with all your heart, mind and soul;
Love your neighbor as yourself

we are loved and chosen by God,
may we live like we believe it!
veneal 

Friday, August 18, 2017

fresh starts

"one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:13-14

With age and life situations, my memory isn't what it use to be... and i like it that way.  

It makes starting a new school year the way it should be... with new beginnings. Instead of remembering or reminiscing on shortcomings or disappointments, all i can think about is how happy i am to be back and to see everyone.  May an A+ attitude and A+ performance start within us and be contagious. 

Friend, God has an incredible plan for the year, and i don't want to miss a minute of it with you.

we are loved and chosen by God,
may we live like we believe it!
veneal

Thursday, August 17, 2017

first day encouragements

"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." 1 Thessalonians 5:11


As i walked the halls in the final hours of BC (before children), i was encouraged and inspired by all the positive energy, the team work and laughter.



The teachers, administration, staff/team members, construction and outside workers were all busy and focused on a common goal -- being ready for the Big Day.  







And bulletin boards in the hallway reminded me teacher preparations for this new school year didn't start last week or mid-summer, but actually started before school ended last year.


Encouragement... from various sources will greet students when they walk through the door.  Your encouragement will get them through hard times; it will push, drive, inspire and provide the needed boost of knowing someone believes in them... you are the driving force of encouragement for their future.

Can you do it?  Just look at their smiles... they believe in you already.  Be encouraged, you are equipped for this mission.

we are loved and chosen by God,
may we live like we believe it!
veneal