What Does Being a Christian Teacher Look Like? (The 5 Characteristics of a Christian Teacher) Part 2

 d5303eace105b7376d456dfdb06b14d9…but not the ones who harp all the time!😉

Last week, we began our series on the 5 characteristics of a Christian teacher.  Ultimately, we are pointing our students to Christ, with our character and actions in the classroom being our witness. Here is a quick recap:

  • Christian teachers are passionate about teaching.  (Even though we sometimes complain, we’ve got to get our teaching fix, because it’s our calling.)  See 2 Timothy 1:6

  • Christian teachers are fruit producers bearing love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. See Galations 5:22-23

Next on the list is…

  •  Christian teachers build relationships with their students.

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    You may be thinking that most teachers build relationships day in and day out with students.  And yes, they do! The difference is Christian teachers build them by serving and ministering to students.  For example, when we see a student in need, whether it’s small or large, we look for a way to meet that need.  Whether it includes pencils and paper, help with school work, or something bigger like clothes or even a mattress on which to sleep, we do our best to serve them at their point of need. After all, when we are serving our students, we are serving Christ.  

    More importantly though, it means taking time to listen and talk to students. Teachers are already spending time with students during class, but Christian teachers take that extra bit of “me” time and shave off a few minutes here and there, as well as time before, between, and after class to get to know their students better.  We serve our kids something more valuable than gold when we serve them with our time!

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    The most striking difference of all though, is that the most effective way Christian teachers build relationships with their students is by loving them and praying for them.  Stop and think about that for a moment.  Who do we pray for the most?  Is it not those with whom we have a close relationship?  With those we love?  It’s nearly impossible to not build a relationship with the people in our lives for whom we pray and love fervently. Amen?

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Next week we will continue with the 5 characteristics of Christian teachers.  Until then, continue with your passionate, fruit bearing, relationship building teaching dear Christian teachers!  God bless you and stay devoted.

#ChristianTeachersAreTheBestTeachers

 

 

What Does Being A Christian Teacher Look Like? (The 5 Characteristics Of A Christian Teacher)

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If a stranger came into our classroom, would they leave knowing we are a Christian teacher? Better yet, do our students come and go each day knowing, without a doubt, we are a Christian? Have you ever asked yourself these questions?

I guess the real question is this:  Are we pointing our students to Christ?  If we indeed are, then I believe these are the characteristics they witness in us…

                                       1 –   We are PASSIONATE about what we do.  

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Please click on this link, https://devotionsforteachers.org/2015/10/14/fan-the-flame/, for more on this topic!

                                                   2 –  We are BEARING FRUIT

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Please click on this link, https://devotionsforteachers.org/2016/02/14/no-fill-no-will-no-will-no-fill/, for more information on this topic as well!

Next week, we will continue with the next characteristic(s).  Until then, stay devoted and may God bless you richly in your classrooms this week as you point your students to Christ!

#OurCharacterPointsToChrist

Thanksliving

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Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow teachers out there!  May we all give thanks as well as live a life of thankfulness with joy all year round, remembering the multiplication effect of our witness to our students can change the world.

Be thankful.  Live thankful.  Be joyful.  Watch it multiply!

God bless you, and thank you for stopping by.

Stay devoted dear teacher,

Donna

How Well Do You Smell?!

Your attitude is like the aroma of your heart. If your attitude stinks, it means your heart’s not right.  ~Facing The Giants~

My students are watching this wonderful, inspirational film today, and those words come from a scene in the movie called The Death Crawl.  In the scene, a football player is challenged by his coach to carry another football player on his back while crawling across the field.  Blindfolded.

Let’s face it.  Teaching can be just as tough, right?  We all have hard days that test our attitude.  Likewise, we are blindfolded to the big picture of WHY most of the time.

Why is my student acting that way?

Why did my administrator say no to my request?

Why do we have to do yet another task for which we don’t have time?

And the list goes on… and on… and on!

Of course, you and I don’t have all the answers.  I do try to understand to the best of my ability, and I’m sure you do as well.  However, when we don’t understand, sometimes it negatively impacts our attitude.  Can I get amen?!  Have you ever tried to teach with a bad attitude?  It happens to all of us every now and then, but it’s a totally fruitless endeavor.  Don’t. Do. It!

Therefore, while we are blind, trying to find our way through the darkness, we have to trust God.  It’s easier said than done, but we know it’s true nonetheless.  Trusting God improves our attitude

Also, we can ask God to help us adjust our attitude. When we ask, here’s what He will do…

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I know this verse primarily is in the context of receiving Christ as our Savior, but I also believe it can apply to our attitude in that when we ask for a better one, He will graciously turn our attitude of stone into an attitude of flesh.

Just like in the death crawl scene, I believe God sometimes screams in our ears to demand our attention, because His work can’t be accomplished with a stinky attitude.  A good attitude gets the job done.

Are we getting the job done, dear Christian teachers?  Does our attitude need adjusting? How well do we smell?  May it be a sweet aroma to our students, fellow teachers, and our administrators!

God bless you in your classrooms this week, dear teachers.  Stay devoted!

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#YourAttitudeMatters  #AttitudeAdjuster  #SmellWell

 

The ROCK Is Between The Hard Place And You

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How would you describe your teaching career thus far?  Here’s mine in a nutshell…

Year:

  1.   Difficult

  2.   Good with a few rough spots

  3.   Good with a few rough spots

  4.   Wonderful

  5.   Difficult

  6.   Terrible

  7.   Terrible

  8.   Worst Ever

  9.   Wonderful

  10.   Wonderful

  11.   Wonderful

  12.   Wonderful

  13.   So far so good…

As you can see, the scales are favoring the good years over the bad years at this point. Praise the Lord!  Years 5, 6, 7, and 8 nearly finished me off as a teacher though.

Especially year 8.  At the end of that year, I had purposed in my heart to the Lord I was done.  I was out of there.  Clearly, teaching was not what He wanted me to do.  I had heard wrong.  Four back to back years of awfulness was all I could take, and after all, perhaps it was a sign from Him that it wasn’t His will for me to teach… or so I thought.

Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place! I can’t even come up with enough adjectives to describe the abyss I was in.  I wanted so desperately to teach and be a good teacher.  Having cried out to the Lord COUNTLESS times during those 4 years, NOTHING was happening…it was over…BUT THEN…!!!

Due to some faculty changes, I was the beneficiary of my current position.  It was a complete 180 degree turn at jet engine speed no less!

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You see, even though I had prayed and prayed and things had only gotten worse, God knew when I was at the end of my pitiful rope, things had to change RIGHT THEN.  He knew I couldn’t take anymore.  He knew my heart. He knows your heart too.  If you are in between a rock and a hard place, believe me when I say, the ROCK is between the hard place and you!

Ever been between a rock and a hard place?

Take a look at this picture!  Of all things, there is a sheep standing on a rock between a hard place.  Ha!  Remember, over and over again in God’s word, we are referred to as sheep, and the Lord is our Shepherd, our Rock, and Fortress.  The sheep is safe as long as it stays where it is. On The Rock.

Stand on the Rock, dear teachers!

If you’re experiencing some turbulent times as a teacher, trust God. Cry out to Him.  He is listening. Your prayers are not falling on deaf ears.  He is between you and that difficult circumstance.  He will come through. Every. Time.

One final thought.  In the big scheme of things, I firmly believe the enemy wants to take Christian teachers out of the classrooms of all our nations’ schools.  Amen?  What a victory for him that would be.  He about took me out!  Please don’t let him do that to you.

Therefore, remember we are in our classrooms everyday Representing Our Coming King! He is sufficient to help us press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14  He will see our calling through to completion if we stand on Him and His word. Philippians 1:6  And we can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us!  Philippians 4:13

I admonish you today and everyday to stand on the ROCK, my fellow Christian teachers, and ROCK on!  

God bless you and stay devoted.

#TheRocksBetweenTheHardPlaceAndYou  #JesusIsTheRock

The Steadfast (Steady & Fast!) Love of God and Teachers

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Psalms! There simply isn’t a better book in the Bible than the book of Psalms, at least in my opinion. Also (my opinion again!) there isn’t a better writer in God’s word than David, the author of many of those Psalms.  Psalms inspires me just as much as, if not more than, a beautiful sunset on the beach with streams of multicolored light reflecting over the water and painted gently on the sky. God truly gifted David with the written word in both prose and poetry, read or sung.  When times are tough, whether in my classroom or personal life, it’s my go-to book.  I really don’t know what in the world I would do without it.

Having listened to Psalms a lot lately, I’ve noticed a theme stated over and over and over again, that being The Steadfast Love of the Lord. This morning alone, I couldn’t keep up with how many times it was stated – that’s how often it was mentioned.  I read it appears more than 246 times in the the Old Testament alone in an article from the CS Lewis Institute. Wow!  It must be pretty important, amen? Therefore, it bears some discussion I would think.

Here are some words various online dictionaries give as synonyms for the word steadfast which match the biblical meaning from what I’ve studied:

resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering.
“steadfast loyalty”

If you break down the word steadfast into syllables, stead means –

the place or role that someone or something should have or fill (used in referring to a substitute), e.g. “you wish to have him superseded and to be appointed in his stead” 

and fast means –

firmly fixed b :  tightly shut c :  adhering firmly :  not easily freed :  stuck e :  stable  firmly loyal

Take about 5 minutes or so, as I did, and substitute those words for steadfast when quoting the phrase the steadfast love of the Lord.  For example, the resolute love of the Lord, the loyal love of the Lord, the unwavering love of the Lord, and the firmly fixed and relentless love of the Lord. I could go on and on about His devoted, dedicated, dependable, reliable, steady, true, and constant love, not forgetting, by any means, that His steadfast love was perfectly and completely exemplified by appointing Jesus in our stead as the substitute for our sins.  That will get any weary teacher through the day, don’t you think?🙂

Finally, let me ask you a question.  Is our love for the Lord and for our students steadfast? If we truly love the Lord then we can point to these same synonyms and say YES they describe our love for God.  And if we love God steadfastly, then it will spill – no POUR – out of us and into our students hearts.  It’s a love that simply cannot be contained.

Be steadfast in your love, dear Christian teacher. It makes all the difference in our lives when we receive it from Him and all the difference in our students’ lives when they receive it from us.

May God bless you in your classrooms this week and stay devoted (steadfast!).

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#SteadfastLove  #EnduresForever  #ThereIsNothingBetter

How Are You Doing? Pt. 2 (Pray Teacher Pray!)

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True or False:  How we are doing is directly dependent upon how much we are praying. Answer: True True True!  Therefore, we need to be honest and ask ourselves: Are we in prayer overdrive or prayer under-drive?  Remember, if we are in a fiery trial, and we don’t handle it according to scripture, we may be able to teach but ministering as we teach can come to a screeching halt.  We simply must minister. Period.  At all costs.  This is where praying heaven down comes into play.

Furthermore, as teachers, we’re always telling, or demanding🙂,  our students to listen and do as they are told knowing that if they do, things will go better for them.  How about we take our own advice and follow through when God tells us what to do fellow Christian teachers?! I’m thinking we will receive the same results.

Last week, while discussing how we are doing, our main points to follow through on were:

  • To remember God is with us always and never leaves nor forsakes us (Joshua chapter 1)

  • To be strong and courageous (Joshua chapter 1)

  •  To James 4:8 our trials and draw near to God

The next point, pray teachers pray, logically flows from drawing near to God, but can’t be overstated whatsoever. Radical, faith filled (believing), drawing near to the throne, prayers PRAYED OUT LOUD, are atomic bombs in the spiritual realm (see Psalm 18). Don’t forget that, ever!

Yesterday, on our way home from church, my hubby, Keith, put in a CD and played a song that I hadn’t heard in a long time.  It’s an upbeat song by Brian Free and Assurance.  Talk about a much needed lift to my spirit!  I used to sing this song and would substitute my name in for Daniel’s.  You might want to do that too, dear teachers!  Here are some of the lyrics:

Once there was a king that thought he got it right
Daniel wouldn’t last until the morning light
They led him to the dungeon and they threw him in
He was on his way to supper and the meal was him
But God knew how to change their dinner plans
Never throw a hungry lion in the den with a praying man!

Chorus
So pray Daniel Pray!
That’s the way you make through
Come on pray Daniel pray!
Don’t you let the devil get the best of you
Your troubles aren’t as bad as you thought they were
You can tame a lion, let your prayers be heard
Your faith is going to have them eating right out of your hands
Never throw a hungry lion in a den with a praying man!

When you hear their stomachs growling do what Daniel did
Call up to your Father like a little kid
Tell Him that they are big and you just heard them roar
Then get up and use your faith to block the door
When the fur starts flying they will understand
Never throw a hungry lion in the den with a prayin’ man!

Better yet, click here to watch and listen.  You will be glad you did!  If you’re like me, you need all the help you can get.  Amen?

When we pray, God just keeps giving and giving nuggets to get us through.  For instance, not only did He give me that song, but I just finished watching Beth Moore’s series, The Basket Case, which is a game changer for sure.  There are too many nuggets in it to count, but one thing she said that stuck with me was we are only as powerful as our prayers.  Well, ain’t that the truth brother and sister teachers!  That will preach!

One final thought on prayer is casting your care.  Are we casting our cares at the feet of Jesus?   If not, it’s another step on which we must follow through.

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When our ship is about to sink, we must cast, cast, and keep casting – that is, rid ourselves of the weight(s) that are about to pull us under, because God doesn’t want us to drown.  Be an active caster.  God can and will handle it.  He has all power and is well able to take care of our cares.  Praise His name!

My prayer is that we will listen to and obey His word to us:  PRAY TEACHERS PRAY, and CAST YOUR CARE!  When we do, we will have peace that passes all understanding.

God bless you in your classrooms this week as you teach and minister effectively to your students.  Stay devoted.

#Pray #Pray #PrayAgain