Action Needed!

images (1)

What are you doing in your classroom to mirror Jesus?

From Google:

mir·ror

ˈmirər/
noun
noun: mirror; plural noun: mirrors
  1. 1.
    a reflective surface, now typically of glass coated with a metal amalgam, that reflects a clear image.
    synonyms: reflecting surface; More

 

something regarded as accurately representing something else.
“the stage is supposed to be the mirror of life”
synonyms: reflection, twin, replica, copy, match, parallel

“his life was a mirror of her own”

To answer this question, perhaps we need to examine the verbs that are apart of our everyday behavior as we go about our school day teaching and interacting with our students.  Therefore, I want us to carefully consider the following statement:

Verbs describing what Jesus did should be verbs describing what we are doing everyday as teachers in the classroom.

After all, Jesus was the greatest of all teachers. Amen?!

As I list these verbs, ask yourself if this is an accurate reflection of you.  If you affirm that indeed, YES!, I am actively and effectively mirroring Jesus as stated, then wonderful! Good for you!  On the other hand, if your answer is woe is me, NO, I’m not doing so hot on this one, then get down to business, ok?!

Here we go…

Jesus LOVES the world.  John 3:16

Jesus GAVE His life.  John 3:16

Jesus SHARES the gospel.  John 14:6

Jesus FORGIVES (and forgives and forgives and forgives…)  Matthew 6:14-15

Jesus SHOWS COMPASSION on the multitudes.  Matthew 6:34

Jesus TEACHES with authority and in parables.  Matthew 7:29

Jesus WEEPS.  John 11:35

Jesus SPENDS TIME with God alone.  Mark 1:35-37

Jesus BELIEVES.  Matthew 6:30

Jesus SEARCHES for the lost.  Matthew 18:12

Jesus FEEDS the hungry.  Matthew 13:14-21

Jesus SPEAKS to those others won’t speak to and… John 4

Jesus SPEAKS truth!  John 8:32

Jesus DEFENDS the defenseless.  Matthew 18:14

Jesus HEALS the brokenhearted and the physically sick.  John 14:27, All 4 Gospels

Jesus PRAYS for others.  John 17:20-23

Jesus HATES sin.  Matthew 27:46-47

Jesus REBUKES the devil.  Luke 9:42

Jesus FORBIDS NOT that children should come to Him.  Matthew 19:14

images (2)

These verses are not all inclusive as they are just a small sample of the actions of Jesus. He was always going about doing good, and still is.  His life is an example of continual action.  Is yours?  Is mine?  Let’s mirror Jesus teachers!  Whip out those verbs and get to work!

Until next week, God bless you and stay devoted.

#BeAnActionVerb  #ActionNeeded

 

 

 

Joy = Energy

download (6)

If you are like me, then you are probably feeling the burn right about now… the burn of getting back into the routine of the school day that is.   It’s tiring isn’t it?!  Geesh, I’m exhausted!

images (1)

The question is this:  where can we go to receive a profusion of energy?  Why, to the Lord of course! He will deliver it to us in abundance, and abundance is what I’m standing in need of about now.  How ’bout you?

God states in His word that the joy of the Lord is our strength. When we are strong, we have more energy.  When we have more energy, we are more productive.  When we are more productive, we are ministering more effectively to our students. When we are ministering more effectively to our students, we therefore are getting the job done for the Lord!  As you can see, JOY IS ESSENTIAL IN OUR LINE OF WORK, my fellow teachers.  So, it’s important to know what joy is…

Joy

Joy is a state of mind and an orientation of the heart. It is a settled state of contentment, confidence and hope. It is something or someone that provides a source of happiness. It appears 88 times in the Old Testament in 22 books; 57 times in the New Testament in 18 books.^[1]^

Webster’s dictionary definition: 1) to experience great pleasure or delight : REJOICE, 2) the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires: DELIGHT. Hebrew dictionary definition: 8057. simchah, sim-khaw’; from H8056 blithesomeness or glee, (religious or festival):– X exceeding (-ly), gladness, joy (-fulness), mirth, pleasure, rejoice (-ing).

Greek dictionary definition: 5479. chara, khar-ah’; from G5463; cheerfulness, i.e., calm delight:–gladness, X greatly, (X be exceeding) joy (-ful, -fully, -fulness, -ous).

Now, I’m certain we can agree joy is extremely important in the classroom given it’s definition. To add to that, joy is contagious for sure.  What could be better than knowing we are spreading joy to our students when they come into our classrooms?

BUT, in order to become contagions of joy, exactly what is the expectation to obtain joy when we ask the Lord for it?  Well, Jesus answers this question for us in the Gospel of John…

images (2)

Since joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, we need to repent of sin, keep His commandments, and abide in His love.

It’s like this:  If you are married, remember the early days (and hopefully present days too!) when you just couldn’t get enough of each other?  You lived on love…you were abiding in love.  It’s the same concept, in that we always should be at the point where we can never get enough of Jesus.  It’s at that point where our joy is full.  We are loving Him, we are abiding in Him, we are obeying Him, and therefore we are full of joy! Amen!

I can tell a big difference in my life, and certainly in my teaching, when I’m not operating at full capacity because of a lack of joy.  Can you?  It stinks doesn’t it?  I have less energy, and because I have less energy I am simply NOT an effective witness for the Lord. A day without joy is akin to a day wasted in the classroom, and time is too precious to waste my friends. Every minute counts!

My challenge for all of us each and everyday is to repent of sin, abide in His love, keep his commandments, and receive the joy we need to fulfill the call He has placed on our lives as teachers.  Will you accept the challenge, my fellow Christian teachers?

God bless you this week as you minister with joy to your students, and stay devoted! When we are devoted, we are more excellent teachers for the Lord.  After all, devotion and abiding are similar aren’t they?🙂

#JoyIsEnergy  #Obey  #Abide  #Love  #Nehemiah8:10  #John15:9-11

 

Where You Are

download (22)

Welcome back to another grand and glorious school year serving God and serving students dear Christian teachers!

As we embark on this adventure together, I want to remind and encourage you to remember where you are

According to the scripture above, we are where we are because God has put us specifically there!  Think about that for just a minute or two and fill in the blanks…

  • God has me, ________ _________, teaching at ________ _______ School for the 2016-17 school year.

  • God has me teaching _____ grade and the following subjects: _______, _______.

  • This means that I will be teaching (# of) students each day.

  • Therefore, I have the opportunity to not only minister to _____ students, but perhaps to ( # of ) parents as well this year.

  • I also work with (approximately how many) teachers whom I can minister to as a bonus.🙂

Now, reread the scripture verses above!  We must not blindly begin teaching this year forgetting that God has placed us where we are to reach students and families on His behalf.  That’s our goal for our corner of the world.  It’s an all hands on deck mission for our neck of the woods.

This is our time. This is our place. This is our mission.

Seek God where you are.  Serve God where you are.

That is God’s will for you and for me.

God bless you this year my fellow teachers!  I look forward to serving you here each week at Devotions for Teachers.  May we love and encourage one another together and be used by God to reach a generation for Christ is my prayer.

Until next week, stay devoted!

#WhereYouAreIsImportant  #SeekGod  #ServeGod  #Acts17:26-27

GO TELL

(Note:  Today’s post will be the last one of the 2015-16 school year.  God bless you teachers and have a wonderful summer break!  Lord willing, Devotions for Teachers will resume August 14.)

images (17)

How can I shake up my world for Jesus?!  What can I do for God that will make a difference, both now and eternally, in our communities and our schools for Him? These are questions we, as Christians, ought to ask ourselves periodically lest we become stagnant as we travel down our pilgrim roads.

So I have an ah-mazing answer/suggestion to put out there for you to ponder and pray fervently about, asking the Lord if this is something He would have you put into motion…

This week in the West Georgia area where I live, area churches sponsored a GO TELL crusade.  The following is taken directly from GO TELL’s website at http://www.gotellministries.com/ministries/crusades:

GO TELL’s crusade ministry unites churches in a community who pool their resources to prepare the way for evangelistic crusades to be held in football stadiums, civic centers, and coliseums.  The nightly event features video, popular Christian artists, testimonies of hope and inspiration, and a clear Gospel message.

Reaching the lost takes vision, forethought, planning, passion, manpower, and resources that are limited in some communities.  For example, what small town can staff or fund a massive evangelistic event like a Billy Graham Crusade?

GO TELL teams up with local churches to provide leadership, vision, and resources to overcome these obstacles and give pastors and lay leaders the tools they need to win their communities for Christ.

What better way to shake up our communities and schools, turning them upside down, could there be?  I would have never thought about a local crusade until GO TELL came to town.  Seriously. It was just what our neck of the woods needed.  Nearly 600 people invited Christ into their hearts in the course of 4 nights – Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, & Wednesday. Christians were revived, rejuvenated, and reignited as well.  IT WAS AWESOME!  Praise the Lord!

Local newspaper article about the GO TELL Crusade

Local newspaper article about the GO TELL Crusade

Not only that, but the GO TELL team goes into local middle and high schools to share a message about character education which is much needed today, wouldn’t you agree? And they are an energetic bunch to say the least!🙂  At our school, a magician performed before a member of their staff presented to students, by way of sharing his own story, the importance of saying no to drugs and alcohol.  I’m telling you, you could have heard a pin drop in our gym.  It. Was. Riveting.

I’m now convinced that a local crusade is what communities in every state of our country (or the country from which you are reading today) need in order to bring about a positive change in our culture and our schools.  No doubt about it.   There is no way that our community will ever be the same. Zilch!

Please pray about this my dear fellow teachers!  We can be the catalyst for change.  If we won’t, who will?  If you are like me, I want my students to come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.  I don’t want to get to heaven and not see them there.  More than anything though, I want them to live the best life possible, and only through knowing Him can that be a possibility.

So GO TELL!  Visit the web address above or search Google for other local crusades. Let us be the difference maker!  God bless you and stay devoted!

#GoTell

 

To Opt In Or To Opt Out? That Is The Question!

keep-calm-school-is-almost-over (1)

25 days!  Yes! There are only 25 days left after this week until the end of the school year!🙂

We are in the throws of testing this week here where I teach.  Testing is no fun, but alas, we live in evil days!  I’m convinced of it!😉  Seriously though, the scenery of both anxious teachers and students pondering and conversing about the end results isn’t a most pleasant event to witness, but as one of my colleagues mentioned yesterday, opting out shouldn’t be an option.  Opting out of the test is an option here in Georgia, but, as she suggested, what would we be teaching our kids? When times are tough, stressful, and maybe even unbearable, it’s time to close up shop and give up because we can’t handle it? That would be akin to enabling them to fail and we enable them enough! 

Similarly, opting out on what God has called us to do should not be an option either, dear teachers! Unless we clearly hear from Him to lay down what He has called us to do and/or change directions, then we are to stick with it no matter the difficulties we face. Consider these verses…

Luke 9:62 – But Jesus said to him, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Galatians 6:9 – Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.

2 Thessalonians 3:13 – But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good.

Philippians 3:12-14 – Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

2 Timothy 3:14 – You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them…

1 Corinthians 9:24 – Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.

Isaiah 40:31 – Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.

Remember all of these verses were written from those coming before us who persevered through dire trials and tribulations.  I’m convinced they would repeat them to us if they were here today.  Jesus himself prayed for future believers way back in the Garden of Gethsemane and still intercedes for us today.  If that’s the case, then no matter what we go through, as long as we are abiding in Him and His word, we will overcome the difficulties life hands us so that we will accomplish His purpose for our lives.  (John 15 and 17)

Therefore dear teachers, we can make it through testing, we can make it through the last month of school, and we can make it through anything the Lord has called us to do. OPT IN!  NEVER. OPT. OUT!

God bless you and stay devoted!

Fight Fire With FIRE!

download (17)

For teachers who enjoy ordinary, run of the mill disciplinary issues (like me) reading the blog today, life in our classrooms is good.  Amen?!  But for teachers who deal with extraordinary disciplinary cases day in and day out, life in the classroom is not only tough, but can be down right dangerous.

While unwinding from a typical day in my classroom last week, I turned on the news to see what was going on in this chaotic world we live in. (Ironic I know!)  To my dismay, on the broadcast was a story about teachers being physically assaulted by their students. Cell phone video coverage displaying fight after fight of out of control students attacking their teachers, hurt me to my core as I watched.  What’s occurring in some of our nation’s classrooms is frightening. Truly, we are witnessing a battle against demonic forces, forces battling for the souls of our students. No doubt about it my fellow teachers. No. Doubt.

download (18)

So the question is this…  If you are in this situation, what do you do? Perhaps one solution could be to fight fire with FIRE! 

I don’t pretend to know all the answers (or any for that matter) for teachers in the middle of what seems to be hell if that is you, but I do want to encourage you not to waller in the mud of filth the enemy is slinging around, using, of all things, your students. Remember the veil is completely, but not irretrievably, drawn over their eyes presently, and that is why they are acting like rabid dogs.

Notice I said presently, because with the Word of God, the fires of hell are extinguished! Ephesians 5:26 calls it the washing of the Word of God…

just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.…

I believe when we stay in the word, we are cleansed, and when we are cleansed the Holy Spirit and fire (Matthew 3:11) burn in us, making a straight line to our students thereby robbing the enemy’s fire of its oxygen, extinguishing the blaze. Recall how firefighters set fires to fight fires?  That’s the idea here!  Yes, the firefighter is blameless too, because he was preventing destruction of lives and property.  See the picture?

Since we are fighting fire with fire, I pray that the following acronym will encourage and strengthen you as you face the fire in your classroom.  Remember, Jesus’ fire and the world’s fire are extraordinarily different…

F – Forgive!  Luke 23:34  Forgive them for they know not what they do.   Each day as you enter your classroom, you must unequivocally choose to forgive students whom you know are out to harm (or have harmed) you, but you must do it in word and deed! Remember Proverbs 25: 21-22  21 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; 22 For you will heap burning coals on his head, And the LORD will reward you.  Talk about fighting fire with fire, well there you go!

I – Instruction is key! Psalms 32:8I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.  This applies to your lesson plans (which should be well planned and well thought out as well as relevant) and instruction on how students should behave properly and be at peace with you and their fellow students. Perhaps if you are in an exceptionally frightful environment, spending at least 5 minutes per class each day to instill life lessons would be beneficial.

R – Resolve Conflicts Quickly!  Proverbs 18:15-16  15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.  Redirect students respectfully and if they don’t follow through, then talk to them privately immediately after class. If the situation warrants, send them out auspiciously on an errand so that you may meet them in the hall to talk with privately upon their return. Also, review as many classroom management articles as you possibly can!

E – Emotions Must Be Kept Under Control!  Proverbs 29:11 A fool vents all his feelings, but a wise man holds them back.  So count to 10, hold your breath, and repeat that verse in your mind before you do something that will add fuel to the fire!

Remember, it’s a spiritual battle!  So above all, put on your armor before the first student walks through your classroom door, dear teachers.

download (20)

 

Imagine looking in the spiritual mirror and beholding this person! Well, that’s how you and I look when we are armed and ready for battle, and that’s the person who will STAND!  Remember when Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were tossed into the fiery furnace?  The fourth man, JESUS, came on the scene and stood in the fire with them! Praise God! He will do the same for you and me too!

God bless you in this fight dear teachers.  I have no doubt in my mind that God is with you, and He will reward you for your work on His behalf.  I am praying for you and I invite all my fellow teachers to pray on your behalf as well.  Keep the faith, fight fire with fire, and stay devoted!

#FIRE


God With Us, God In Us, God For Us!

Think about that title… Truly if we meditate on it even for just a little while, it will deepen our faith in Him.

Our pastor, John Lemmings, preached a message on that subject last Sunday.  It was a like a birthday gift wrapped in glittery red paper, beautiful white ribbon, and a tag with my name on it! And I’m gonna pay it forward, albeit this is the condensed version tweaked for teachers of course.

Immanuel-God-With-Us

Matthew 1:23  Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel (which means, God with us).

God is WITH us always.  He’s in our classroom every single minute of every single day. He will never leave us nor forsake us! (Deuteronomy 31:6)  When things are going good, He’s with us. When things are not going good He’s with us. Selah! (Stop and think about that a minute!) Therefore, remember He’s with you when your days and your students are challenging.  Call on Him, because He’s with you, dear teachers.

jesus-sends-his-holy-spirit-rcia201213-20-638

Not only is God with us, He’s IN us in the form of the Holy Spirit.  Wow! The Spirit guides us as we teach our students, comforts us when we are feeling down, and helps us to love the unlovable… not that we ever have an unlovable student in our classroom.😉 AMEN! Thank you Jesus!

Image result for The holy spirits job

Finally, God is FOR us!

                                      download (4)

The object of our faith is not faith itself, it’s Almighty God… and God Almighty, the Ruler of the Universe, is FOR us!  (Insert happy dance!) He’s the most enthusiastic cheerleader we could ever want or imagine. Why?…Because He pours out a grand and glorious everlasting love upon us.  We are the object of His affection.

God is WITH us, God is IN us, and God is FOR us!  Now that’s a gift that keeps on giving. Thank you Lord!

God bless you dear teachers and remain devoted!