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

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

'Twas the night before school

"I will give you as a light to the nations, which my salvation may reach to the end of the earth." Isaiah 49:6
‘Twas the night before school and all thru the town,
Children were filled with delight and couldn’t settle down.
Their book bags by the door were packed with care,
Knowing a new school year was almost there.

The children were giggling and tossing in their beds,
While visions of great teachers danced in their heads.
Now, across the way, teachers were also finally at rest,
They had prepared for ‘day one - to their very best.

Then out came the sun, shining so bright.
The teachers feared they'd overslept the night!
With a deep breath they grabbed their glasses and peered at the clock,
Alas! there was plenty of time before the school doors were unlocked.

Arriving early for a final check of the room before the bell at 8, 
The teachers breathed easily for their classrooms looked great.
The books and supplies were stacked neatly on shiny, clean desks,
And the chairs were in perfect order… there was absolutely no mess.

Soon the bell rang, and one-by-one the children eagerly came;
What sweet music to their ears as the teacher called them by name.
Hello Ben, Hi there Emma, Louise and Jada,
Welcome to our class Anna, Tommy and MaKayla!

Come on in Craig and Lucy and you too, Donna Sue! 
Oh, my! Look at my list, what a wonderful crew!
Now find your seats quickly, the teacher said with a grin,
And she gave out classroom instructions so everyone could win.
 
Her knowledge was vast and she made learning a ball,  
What the teacher had to offer was her gift for all.
The children drooled over the information she shared;
Whether they learned quickly or not, they knew she cared.

The teacher lovingly taught all because she truly believed,
Each child deserved her best…and she wanted to meet their needs.
At the end of the day, students and teachers skipped away,
Both feeling happy and relieved it had been such a great day.

And I heard the students exclaim as they rode out of sight,
My teacher is great; this year is going to be just right!

Yes, my friends, you teachers have the power,
To serve the Lord, our Father and Teacher, each and every hour.
So to Him give your best in all that you do,
And you will make a difference in others, perhaps for an eternity too!
 
Shine my sisters and brothers, light up your classroom and world!
Tomorrow is the beginning of a fabulous school year!  And it all starts with wonderful you!

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

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

time to rest

"My soul finds rest in God alone... Trust in Him at all times." Psalm 62: 1,6

With much reservation, i left my comfort zone this past weekend to try whitewater rafting with my cousins.  I listened intently to our guide because i had one goal -- staying in the raft.  As we entered the runs he first called out how many times to paddle, and followed it with the command "rest", which meant for us to stop "helping".  My natural urge was to paddle harder, but it was not the right choice. As we rested, our all-knowing guide took complete charge of maneuvering us safely through the run.
The school year reminds me of my rafting experience.  A new journey/year is upon us, and the speed is picking up as we approach the day students return. There are many things still to do and loose ends to wrap up. The temptation to keep charging full speed ahead is strong.  But listen, i hear a command to rest. Our Guide, our Father, knows what is ahead this year. He knows every turn, and He knows how best to guide us through this year... through the calm waters and the rapid, churning waters to come.  

Do you see any white capping ahead yet? Don't panic. Instead of working harder, you might just need to trust and rest more in Him.  Our Guide knows the way and can navigate us through the waters safely without falling out. 

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

Monday, August 14, 2017

puttin on the shine

"...let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16

It almost called for sunshades...
On my first day back at school, i was immediately WoWed by the beautiful floors. While i enjoyed the summer, our custodial staff buffed, polished and worked tirelessly putting our building in spit 'n shine shape.  Their effort and dedication clearly glowed.

Father, as we prepare for the students to return this week, i pray they find Your Light shining through.  Brush off my weaknesses, erase my impatience, polish me with kindness  and let me shine with Your endless love.  It's a new year, and time to put on the shine and "Son"shades.

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

Friday, August 11, 2017

a Mighty Word ~ today

"This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24

First day back to school for me and many others... and soon everyone.
Are you rejoicing? Raise your hand, because with God we can!

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

Thursday, August 10, 2017

say what?!

"The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." Psalm 12:18

On the bathroom counter, they looked identical... same top, same size, similar back. But the contents were nothing alike! Thankfully, when grabbing a tube and twisting off the top, my nose got a whiff of a stiff medicinal aroma.
That wasn't toothpaste i was about to squirt on my toothbrush, but a cream for aches. What's good for achy muscles in definitely not good for the mouth.
Father, sometimes this terrible mistake actually happens within me.  As your child i want my words to encourage and build others up... BUT, instead of such words flowing from my mouth, they are sometimes icy cold or stinging hot. Words inflicting pain on others due to my own internal weaknesses and shortcomings.  Clean my heart, Father, and stop me from spewing icy hot comments. May the hope and joy of my love for You be the catalyst for all my words.

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

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

in the waters...

"He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul." Psalm 23:2-3
Some days the list is too long, the demands too great, the wants too many. And we spend our day running recklessly to and fro in many directions... like a split-personality tornado.

And God is there waiting. Waiting for when our tongue dangles, our feet throb and exhaustion fills every fiber. Waiting on when He can gently, yet firmly, lead us to where we need to go.  Waiting to take us to the cooling, soothing waters of the Holy Spirit. Waiting to provide healing, nourishment and refreshment to our weary soul.  Our Shepherd... what more shall we want?

The Lord is my Shepherd, I.shall.not.want.

we are loved and chosen by God,

may we live like we believe it,
veneal

Monday, August 7, 2017

down, girl...

"He makes me lie down in green pastures..." Psalm 23:2
When life shakes up our normal routine or walk... 

and the hills stretch up higher than we can see, the curves swallowed up the path ahead and the humidity strangles the oxygen, don't despair.

God sees and knows and will provide a place of rest and refreshment. 

The Lord is my Shepherd, I.shall.not.want.

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

Sunday, August 6, 2017

what do you want?

"The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not want." Psalm 23:1

Is this true?
Can i trust Him as my Shepherd, the One who will supply my needs?
Or, am i wanting for more?
IF the LORD is really my Shepherd, should i not be content?

Is He? Is He my Shepherd? Is He yours?

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