Sometimes it can be rather difficult finding favor in a select few of our students, amen? Just keeping it honest, dear teachers! Nevertheless, we should actively be on the lookout to favor students despite their faults. After all, if we wait until our students deserve it, it wouldn’t be favor, and, I might add, God doesn’t wait till we deserve it either!
Favor and grace in Genesis 6:8 are interchangeable. In fact, those two words are interchangeable in many bible verses. The following passage in Exodus 33: 12-19 is especially interesting as far as finding favor (grace) in our students is concerned:
12 Moses said to the Lord, “See, you say to me, ‘Bring up this people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.’13 Now therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people.”
14 And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” 15 And he said to him, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. 16 For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?”
17 And the Lord said to Moses, “This very thing that you have spoken I will do, for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.”18 Moses said, “Please show me your glory.” 19 And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.
Notice Moses imperatively states the only way others would know he and the Israelites had found favor (grace) with the Lord is –
He (Moses) knew the Lord’s ways. (Do our students know our ways? If we know the Lord’s ways, then they will mimic us and therefore the Lord.)
The Lord’s presence was with them. (Are we watching over our students?)
The Lord gave them rest. (Are our students at ease when they are in our classroom?)
He and the Israelites were distinct. (Do we and our students stand out?) 🙂
Just like favor made a life determining difference in Moses and the Israelites, teachers can make a big difference in students’ lives when we show them favor as well. Granted, sometimes it’s difficult and sometimes we fail to do it, but we can repent as we remind ourselves it’s a complete game changer!
My challenge for us all this week is to be extenders of grace – God’s unmerited favor – not only for the difficult students we teach, but for the quiet ones that want to fly under the radar as well. Find favor, dear Christian teacher, and be a life changer.
God bless you in your classroom this week as you find much favor in your students and dole it out graciously and lavishly! Until next week, stay devoted.
Today’s assignment? Parent/Teacher conferences. 😮
I know most teachers don’t mind them too much, but I am forever marked by a couple of memorable conferences that stamped dread for these days into my psyche probably until the day I retire. It’s been more than a few years now, but oh! I will never forget.
Let me share about one of these with you. Hang on to your seat tightly, it’s a true story!
Had I not known Jesus, I more than likely would be in another profession as I speak right now, because I would have been fired that day. We had, for lack of a better word and to keep the narrative honest, an aberrant mom who scheduled an appointment to see all the academic teachers who taught her twins. I wish someone had told me she was a few sandwiches short of a picnic! Some did know, but had failed to fill me in, that there were restraining orders put out on her in the past by a teacher or two.
Say what? Yes, you read that right!
I walked into the room, sat down, introduced myself, and stated the standard teacher graces. Then… she let ‘er rip!!! Oh. My. Goodness! I immediately tried to address her concerns, but she wasn’t having it. As she got increasingly agitated (she turned red as her voice topped out in a yell), I literally thought she was going to come over the desk she was seated in and duke it out with me. Believe me when I tell you, I prepared myself for the fight which I just knew was about to take place. If she hit me, then buddy, I was going to defend myself!
In the mean time, a couple of teachers walked by and heard the commotion. They then called for back up by the administration. One administrator came hurriedly down the hall, turned around, and stood outside the door after seeing who was in the room with me! Then came the counselor, and I’ll be dad gum, she did the same thing! It was bizarre! They had experienced her wrath before and were justifiably scared.
Fortunately, my fellow teacher friend from across the hall took the bull by the horns, so to speak (or literally to speak!), coming to my rescue calming her down. Thank God for friends. I still don’t understand how she did it, but then again, she’s amazing and just has a calmness about her.
I tell you my story in order to share this: Had I not known Jesus, I would surely have said something I shouldn’t have or who knows what else? It’s funny, but still scary, as I revisit it now. We really never know what’s just around the corner or what’s going to happen at school from day to day or, even more so, from class to class. Therefore, it’s good we know Jesus isn’t it dear teachers?
Knowing Him makes all the difference in any situation. Just think about this: What if we didn’t know Him? How frightening would that be?
All of us have our Had I Not Known Jesus stories. Think back to the past, or even recently, to an event where knowing Him changed the outcome of your story, especially those from the classroom. Remember, it would have been worse had both you and I not known Him. That, my friend, is the goodness of the Lord. Praise His name!
Knowing Him (and 1st John 4:4!) even makes Parent/Teacher Conference Day go a whole lot better. 🙂
God bless you, dear teachers, and be thankful you know Him. Stay devoted, and I’ll see you right here next week.
#HadINotKnownHim #GodIsGood #WeAreHis #Thankful #GodIsGreater
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…
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!
#YourAttitudeMatters #AttitudeAdjuster #SmellWell
Welcome back W O N D E R teachers!
Here we are! Today we are closing out our series, Wonder Teachers, with the letter R. Goodness, it has gone by fast. Amen?!
From W to R and all the characters in between, I’ve enjoyed sharing about the WONDERful men and women in God’s word from whom we can glean knowledge on how to walk out life daily in the classroom. Indeed, I’ll bet they never thought teachers might gain wisdom from their walk with the Lord many hundreds of years later!
I actually wrote this post a while back, tweaking it just a wee bit for this series. The title is from a southern gospel song with the same name. It’s probably my favorite of all the posts I’ve written. It’s also the post receiving the most visits. Why? Well, that’s an easy question to answer!… It’s about THE ROCK. Read on, dear teachers, and God bless you. Thank you for visiting today.
The ROCK Is Between The Hard Place And You
How would you describe your teaching career thus far? Here’s mine in a nutshell…
Good with a few rough spots
Good with a few rough spots
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 here. 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!
You see, even though I had prayed and prayed and things had only gotten worse, God knew I was at the end of my pitiful rope and things needed 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!
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 #WonderTeachers
Welcome back W O N D E R Teachers!
Goodness! I must confess the letter E in our series, Wonder Teachers, has me stumped like an elephant in a kiddie pool. This letter corresponds with too many wonderful, godly people in the Bible, and I simply can’t decide whom to pick.
These are just a few I’ve considered…
Eve? The mother of all living, created from Adam’s rib, perfectly formed by God
Elijah? 450 prophets of Baal slain, fire rained down on the alter, stopped the rain for 3 years
Elisha? Received a double portion of Elijah’s anointing!
Elizabeth? Mother of John the Baptist who was “righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless” (Luke 1:6–7)
Esther? Risked her life to save the Israelites
So what to do? Since I couldn’t figure out about which one to write, I thought we could discuss concepts in the Bible about energy (joy) or encouragement or both (as evidenced by the wings of eagles verse above – I even thought I might talk about eagles!).
Oh dear! 😮
Therefore, I am throwing this back your way. I want to encourage you to look at least one of these up and study them for yourself. Look for ways these characters or concepts could help you in your daily Christian walk and definitely in your classroom. Based on my personal study, these characters are my kind of people – people who inspire me to press on to do my best for God. They have that WOW factor.
Were they perfect? No! But just like David from last week, God worked everything out for their good and His glory. Amen? I have this quote frame on the windowsill of my classroom door – it is what students see first thing as they enter in…
That’s what these Bible characters did, and it’s what we need to be in the business of doing as well! Isn’t it awesome to know about the great achievements of our forefathers and fore-mothers in the faith? They set the standard of what can be done for the Lord when we put Him first. Which one do you want to be like, dear teacher? That’s the question you need to find an answer to and live accordingly.
Next week, we will be bringing the series to a close. I promise you this: I saved the best for last! 🙂 Can’t wait till then! God bless you in your classrooms this week and continue to be a WONDER teacher!
Welcome back W O N D E R teachers!
Ever known someone who could slay bears, lions, and giants? Ever known someone who was after God’s own heart? David did. David was…. And we can be too.
The letter D is front and center today as we continue our character study, WONDER Teachers. If you’ve missed out on any of the posts in this series, just scroll down after reading today and catch right on up with us!
I have to say, David is one of my favorite Bible people. I’m telling you, the man could write! The Psalms, of which he wrote quite a few, literally get me through the toughest of days. When I get to heaven, I just want to shake his hand, and tell him thank you from the bottom of my heart. But that’s not all I love about David.
Although he did crazy great things for God, he also screwed up royally. But. He. Repented… dusted himself off, and got on with God’s will.
God knew David would screw up, but He also knew that David loved Him with all his heart. Likewise, God knows we are human, and being human, we are prone to making mistakes, even messes every now and then! The most experienced of teachers can mess up too. But WONDER teachers, pick themselves up, dust themselves off, repent, and get on with God’s will just like David did.
Listen, we teachers can and do slay lions, bears, and giants EVERY day in our classrooms, in the spiritual realm, that is, but ONLY if we are teachers after God’s own heart. Amen? That’s how David was able to do it. His love for God pressed him to persevere, even when sin got the best of him.
When we mess up in the classroom or in our personal lives, let’s be like David, dear teachers. Loving God with all our hearts makes all the difference between just being a teacher or a WONDER teacher. Which do we want to be?
God bless you in your classroom this week. Next time, E is on deck! Until then, stay devoted.
#WONDERteachers #SpiritOfDavid #Persevere