How Are You Doing? Part 1

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Trials, trials, and more trials.  Ugh.  Teaching amidst the backdrop of personal trials and tribulations can be a daunting task sometimes.  My pastor always says we are all either going into a trial, in the middle of a trial, or coming out of one.  If you find yourself (like I am at the moment) in the middle of what seems as if it’s a bad dream, then let me ask you, How are you doing?  Personally, I’m hanging in there but will certainly be glad when my current trials are behind me.

So, the question I’ve been asking myself lately is how do I teach on all cylinders when the weight of the world seems as if it’s sitting on my shoulders?  I know you and I both want to be the best teacher we can be for our students.  For me, that includes teaching as well as ministering to my students.  Herein lies the problem.

Perhaps, you are like me and have been teaching for several years.  We can do the teaching part with no problem – just push the automatic pilot button and teach on, right? But the ministering part, well, that’s a different story, because now WE are the ones who are suffering, and therefore WE are the ones in need of ministry. And, let’s face it, it’s hard to put a smile on our face when all we feel like doing is crying our eyes out.  I personally don’t want or like to teach on automatic pilot though, and, I believe that God doesn’t want that either.  While I’m navigating through some heavy duty trials right now, there are some things the Lord has been impressing upon my heart to help me find my way through the darkness.

Although there are several passages about pressing on in the midst of trials in God’s word, the Lord has been graciously nudging me toward the book of Joshua lately concerning by current circumstances.  Three different times in the first chapter alone, God tells Joshua to be strong and courageous, and three different times He states He will be with him or never leave and forsake him. Hmmm.  We need to pause and think on that for just a minute as it must be important if it’s worth repeating 3 times…

 ESV — Joshua 1

God Commissions Joshua

After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, “Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun shall be your territory. No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Just think about leading a few million Israelites into the promised land.  The fear and difficulty could have easily overwhelmed and beset Joshua for sure. So what did God tell him?  What does God tell us? After all, we are his children too.  He loves us just as much as He loved Joshua.  When trouble rains down on us like hail in a thunderstorm, God tells us, just as he told Joshua and just like we would tell our own children, BE STRONG, BE COURAGEOUS, I’M NEVER GOING TO LEAVE YOU AND I’LL NEVER FORSAKE YOU. Remember, God is sovereign, He holds us firmly in the palm of his hand, and everything is filtered through His fingers of love.


He is the one that will be with us through the trial. He is the one cheering us on through the trial.  He is the one coaching us through the trial.  He is the only reason we will be able to function through the trial.  My fellow teachers, we simply cannot endure our trials without Him.  We can do N O T H I N G without Him… especially teach in the midst of it all when the winds are howling and threatening to extinguish the flame of the candle in our windows.

Therefore, I want to encourage and implore you today to do what James 4:8 says…images (20)

…completely, unequivocally, and at all times staying as close to God as possible.  It’s essential in triumphing through trials.

Please stop by next week for part 2 of How Are You Doing?  Until then stay devoted, and God bless you dear Christian teachers.

#BeStrong  #BeCourageous  #DrawNearToGod





Sow To The Spirit

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Asking questions primes the pump of better understanding.  So here is one for you to pour water into:  Are you sowing to the Spirit or are you sowing to the flesh?  

I heard this question asked about a week ago, and it’s been stuck in my head like a fly stuck to flypaper ever since.  I mean sowing/reaping, cause/effect, action/reaction – all are similar, but do we actually take the time to think things through before we do them? The big things, the small things – they ALL matter – whether we realize it or not.

Well, when a thought makes its home in your brain for a week, and you’ve chewed and chewed on it, then your behavior starts a changin’!  I’ve heard about sowing and reaping for most of my life, but sowing to the Spirit vs. sowing to the flesh not so much.  Most of my decisions in the past week have been preceded by the question am I sowing to Spirit or to the flesh in this situation?  I’ve even had to go back and make some changes, because I knew I had sown to the flesh instead of the Spirit.

Can you imagine what our schools would be like if every teacher put this verse into action?  You can bet if we applied this scripture to all that we deal with on a daily basis – from students, to parents, to meetings with administration and colleagues and everything in between – it would make a world of difference!  Amen?

Why?  Because the next verse tells us…

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…not to mention sowing to the Spirit is what God would have us do, AND it might just Save Our Witness.  (Now that’s pretty important my fellow Christian teachers, therefore, be careful what you sow!)

My challenge for us this week is to constantly and consciously ask ourselves if we are sowing to the Spirit or sowing to the flesh as we go about our school day.  Make a mental note of how you find yourself doing things differently as a result.  Better yet, right it down or leave me a comment.  I would love to hear back from you!🙂

God bless you in your classrooms this week, dear teachers!  Until next week, stay devoted.


The Living Dead…


…or The Walking Dead, better known as zombies these days, trickle into our classrooms everyday.  Usually it’s just a few, so sometimes they may go unnoticed. That blank stare, those sad eyes, the unwillingness to participate, and that I don’t care attitude are all indicators that although they are living, their souls may be lifeless.

As I write my blog posts each week, my goal is to encourage teachers.  However, sometimes encouragement isn’t achieved until we put our hands to the plow by looking into the eyes of our students, assessing if all is well, and if it’s not, reminding them of their purpose and destiny.  It’s at that point we are blessed and encouraged.

This not only applies to students in our classrooms, but to anybody we encounter who has that dead look in their eyes.  Amen?  I know of someone in my life right now who, because of some bad choices and circumstances, needs a steady dose of reminding that God has a purpose and destiny for him.

My challenge for you and me this week is to memorize Jeremiah 29:11 and recite it to our students as often as necessary. Tweak it if you have to because of public school policy, but tell them over and over and over again how much they matter, and that they have a purpose to fulfill and a destiny to attain!

Calling in our students’ gifts and talents will also help in this endeavor.  When we observe certain unique qualities in our students, we should make it a point to speak it out loud, pointing it out in front of others.  I’ve seen this do wonders for a student’s morale. Performing this one act may put them back on course in life, waking them up from the dead and breathing life back into their damaged spirits.

Remember the Valley of Dry Bones in Ezekiel 37?

4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD!
5 This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.
6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.’ ”
7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone.
8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.
9Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’ ”
10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.

Therefore, I’ll say it again!  We teachers can breathe life back into the dry bones of our students by our words just like Ezekiel. The word prophesy means to speak or preach. We serve Jesus, whose death, burial, and resurrection gave us new life, new purpose, and a new destiny.  Let’s share that with our students by declaring it aloud dear Christian teachers.  God has a plan for our students too.  Let’s speak it over them!

God bless you in your classrooms this week.  Until next week, stay devoted!

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#Future  #Purpose  #Hope  #TellYourStudents

Favor Finders

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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!

I love to read stories of how teachers inspire students thereby catapulting them toward a successful future.  If you have a few minutes after reading today’s post, there is a wonderful website, Inspired 2 Educate, containing stories of men and women who are in the field of education today because of a teacher whose passion ignited a fire in their souls and changed their lives, all because they were finding favor in their students!  They even have a monthly contest with a prize of $2,000 to an educator who shares their story with them.

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.

#BeAFavorFinder  #FavorChangesStudentLives  #Inspired2Educate


Persecution is a Privilege

Persecution is par for the course.  It means we are doing something right for the Lord!


Persecution is inevitable too, particularly in our education systems both here in the United States and abroad.  We read and hear about it daily on our news feed and wonder why it is choosing good over evil would bother people so much.  After all, why would anyone not want to choose what’s good instead of what’s evil?  Satan’s goal is to keep people hogtied and in the dark, blinded from truth – especially our students.

Fear not, my fellow Christian teachers!  Stand up and be bold anyway!  Remember, we are on the winning side even though sometimes it looks as if our defeat is imminent.

Therefore, today I want to remind you of the heroes of the faith who came before us. Because of word count, rarely do I post a whole chapter from the Bible, but serious subject matter calls for an exception. Hebrews chapter 11, fondly referred to as the Heroes of the Faith Hall of Fame, is, in my opinion, the go-to chapter for inspiration in all of God’s word.  Instead of scanning through it, may I humbly suggest drinking in it as parched souls longing to quench our thirst? Even if our cup is overflowing, I find it soaks in even more that way. Words in red are to remind us of persecution.

Hebrews 11 English Standard Version (ESV)

By Faith

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation.By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.

4 By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. 11 By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.

13 These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.

17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, 18 of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 19 He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back. 20 By faith Isaac invoked future blessings on Jacob and Esau. 21 By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, bowing in worship over the head of his staff. 22 By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave directions concerning his bones.

23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. 24 By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them.

29 By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as on dry land, but the Egyptians, when they attempted to do the same, were drowned. 30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days. 31 By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.

32 And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets—33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. 35 Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. 36 Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two,[a] they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated—38 of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

39 And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

There are parts of the world where the depravity of persecution spoken of here in Hebrews is still taking place and is as evil now as it was then.  Therefore, it should be an encouragement to us when we are persecuted, whether by the government, our administration, teachers, parents, or students, it could be much worse, amen?! Furthermore, it’s a reminder that if our forefathers and fore-sisters in the faith were persecuted to the extent Hebrew’s states and came out of the battle victorious, then we can too!

Keep this verse within eyesight in your classroom.

Keep this verse within eyesight in your classroom.

My oh my, that’s something to shout about!  Hallelujah!  May our faith journeys be marks of boldness blessing our Lord, the world (classroom) around us, and our forefathers and sisters in the faith. Persecution may come, but it will be a privilege and we will be blessed.

God bless you in your classrooms this week, dear Christian teachers.  Until next week, stay devoted.

#PersecutionIsPrivilege  #PersecutionIsBlessing  #Hebrews11  #HeroesOfTheFaith


Preach Teach!

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A parent sending an unwarranted e-mail, an administrator who’s a benefactor of burdens, a state department of education that overwhelms with nonsensical mandates – sometimes we must become the preacher to the teacher – preaching to ourselves, that is, in order to keep on keeping on my fellow teachers.

Kind of like this…

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Amen?!  Of course, the list is much more extensive, but you get the point I’m sure.  If we don’t learn to preach to ourselves, our teaching careers might not last too long!

I heard an excellent message the other day preached by Jentzen Franklin on this very subject and thought it would be an excellent one to pass on to my fellow Christian teachers. I practice what I post, so please know I have been preaching to myself, and it’s been a big help for sure. When you have time, please click on this link, and listen to the full sermon.  (You will be glad you did!)  Briefly, here are the main 3 points:

  • Preach to yourself, Jesus is with me! When we are overwhelmed, as was David when he was running from King Saul, remember Jesus is always with us.Hebrews13.5

  • Preach to yourself, God is at the bottom.  He’s not just on the mountaintop. When we are at the bottom, the rock bottom, the worst place we could be, He is there to help us and pick us (3)

  • Preach to yourself, God has given me the measure of faith.  When you think you don’t have any faith left, the word states you do. Believe God!  download

Our thought life must not go unchecked.  When the enemy of our souls is whispering in our ear – throw in the towel, it’s too hard, you are crazy, you are an idiot – brother and sister teachers we must preach to ourselves!  Jesus is with me, God is at the bottom, and He has given me the measure of faith I need for this situation.  It’s your soul.  Guard it. Defend it.  Now that will preach!

God bless you in your classrooms this week dear teachers.  Until next week, stay devoted!

#PreachToYourself  #PreachTeach



Use It or Lose It!

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God places us where we are to accomplish considerable exploits on His behalf.  He has great expectations for us.  It’s written in His word.  Therefore, as Christians, and Christian teachers, we instinctively understand we are to increase what He puts in our hands. Amen?

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Matthew 25:14-30 New Living Translation (NLT) 

14 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. He called together his servants, Christian Teachers, and entrusted his money to them while he was gone. 15 He gave five bags of silver[a] to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last—dividing it in proportion to their abilities. He then left on his trip.

16 “The servant (teacher) who received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and earned five more. 17 The servant (teacher) with two bags of silver also went to work and earned two more. 18 But the servant (teacher) who received the one bag of silver dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money.

19 “After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. 20 The servant (teacher) to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, ‘Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.’

21 “The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant (teacher). You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together![b]

22 “The servant (teacher) who had received the two bags of silver came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two bags of silver to invest, and I have earned two more.’

23 “The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant (teacher). You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’

24 “Then the servant (teacher) with the one bag of silver came and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate. 25 I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.’

26 “But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant (teacher)! If you knew I harvested crops I didn’t plant and gathered crops I didn’t cultivate, 27 why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’

28 “Then he ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant (teacher), and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. 29 To those (teachers) who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those (teachers) who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. 30 Now throw this useless servant (teacher) into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 

(Red words are mine for emphasis.)

You now understand the title to today’s post, Use It or Lose It!

I firmly believe we are to be actively seeking God as to how we can be better teachers for Him and His glory.  If not, something’s amiss.  God gives fresh ideas and innovative ways to get the job done each and every year we teach if we are seeking Him.  We do what we can do, and He then does what we can’t do.  He has blessed us with talents, and it’s up to us to go to work and increase what we have received and been entrusted with from God Almighty Himself!

I hope and pray each of us wants to do well in our classrooms and to hear these words…

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…or better yet, Well done, good and faithful teacher!  What could be better than celebrating with Jesus?🙂

God bless you in your classroom this week, dear Christian teachers! Until next week, stay devoted.

#UseWellWhatYouHaveBeenGiven  #UseItOrLoseIt  #ParableOfTheTalents