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!

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!

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!

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!

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:
sleeping late
visiting relatives
camping out
visiting theme parks
going to camp
playing with friends
having sleepovers

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!

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!

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!

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!

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!

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!

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!

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!

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!

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!

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!

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!

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!

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,

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!

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!