The Living Dead…

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…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

JuMp StArTiNg 2017 – Part 2

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There’s gold in them thar hills students!  

Before we continue Jump Starting 2017, let’s remember last week’s first tip, and that is to renew our minds daily in the word of God…

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Or, if you’re like me, showering your mind in God’s word works even better…

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Our last tip for jump starting 2017 is to remember the treasure we all possess as teachers. Treasure, as dictionary.com defines it, means:

treas·ure
ˈtreZHər/
verb
gerund or present participle: treasuring
  1. keep carefully (a valuable or valued item).
    synonyms: cherish, hold dear, prize, value greatly

    • value highly.
      “the island is treasured by walkers and conservationists”

But what treasure? you may ask.  We possess a good bit as a matter of fact!  Here’s just a short list right off the top of my head.  See if you can find the common denominator…

Mentoring children, shaping futures, making a difference in the community, city, state, and world in which we live, building relationships lasting a lifetime, enjoying today’s youth, having the privilege of watching youngsters grow up and mature, laughing it up in the classroom, observing the lights go on in a young mind, living and loving life together, taking care of each other in both good and bad times 

Did you figure it out?  Our treasure is our students!  It’s a privilege to serve and minister to them, isn’t it?  The question then becomes are we taking the time to treasure what God has given us?   Moments become minutes, minutes become hours, hours become days, days become weeks, weeks become months, and before you know it, months become years, and instead of having time before us, our time will be behind us.  Therefore, each minute we are with our students is precious!  We have limited time, so we must remember to treasure each moment.

Remember what Mary did?
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I know it’s easy to neglect this point with all the hurry and worry our day demands, but don’t be a worm in hot ashes and forget. Enjoy your time in the classroom. Take it in. Stop. Ponder. Treasure!  One more time teachers! (You may want to exclaim it out loud!) Stop. Ponder. Treasure! 

Implementing these two tips – renewing our minds in the word and remembering our treasure – will not only jump start 2017 but will catapult us into the blessings God has in store for us in the years to come as well.  And, when we receive these blessings, let’s share them with our students.  God bless you, stay devoted, and jump in 2017!

#2017  #Treasure  #Renew  #Jump

 

 

 

JuMp StArTiNg 2017 – Part 1

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Another new year is here, teachers dear

Let us pray it is God to whom we draw near

Ok. I just had to take a stab at poetry.  It is the first time (and probably the last) I will do that to you! 🙂

Seriously though, I’m praying we will make the best of this brand new year with which God has gifted us.  After all, time is one thing we can never reclaim. Amen? The question is… how DO we make the best of 2017?  Perhaps looking back at 2016 and asking the question how could I have made it better? would be a good starting point.

You may have experienced a resoundingly successful 2016 both in the classroom and in your personal life.  You may have experienced an unsuccessful 2016 in the classroom, but your personal life was just fine (although one effects the other in a lot of cases).  Or, you may have been like me in that your professional life was A OK, but 2016 presented a myriad of trials and heartaches in your personal life which seemed unending and left you asking God where are You in all this mess?  (And here again, one may effect the other.)

Regardless of the one with which we identify, we all can jump start 2017 by determining in our hearts to treasure each day and make it the best year possible by renewing our minds daily in the word of God.

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Let me ask you a question.  Have you ever binged on Netflix?  Binging on Netflix is fast becoming a mind numbing, socially popular trend.  I must confess over the Christmas break I have been a willing participant!  Just think what a transformation would take place in our minds if we binged on the word of God instead.  It could be that you binge on other unproductive pursuits.  Just replace the word Netflix with whatever it is on which you could spend less time pursuing the word of God instead.

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In our line of work it is vital that we are totally tuned in to God.  If we are not, we will suffer, and as a result our students will too.  STOP and think about that for a minute please!  It’s a quick read so don’t miss it!  The only way we are going to be tuned in to God is if we read, no binge, on His word.  Now, when I say binge I don’t mean read 10 books, 10 chapters, or even 10 verses a day.  We simply must take what we read and PONDER it.  Mull it over.  Meditate on it throughout the day.  Think on that thing teachers!

When things go wrong, think on the word.

When things are going great, think on the word.

When things are out of control, think on the word.

When it looks impossible, think on the word.

When times are tough, think on the word.

When you think you aren’t going to make it, think on the word.

When THAT student gets on your LAST nerve, think on the word!!!!

I believe, with every fiber of my being, God’s word brought me through 2016, but I could have, and should have, binged on it more.

We will continue with Jump Starting 2017 next week.  Until then, stay devoted by staying in the word of God.  We will all be more excellent teachers by doing so.  God bless you in your classroom this week!

 

 

 

Happy New Year!

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Blessings in 2017 dear teachers!

#2017  #teachers

 

Merry Christmas!

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Enjoy your Christmas break! 

God bless you fellow teachers,

Donna

The 5 Characteristics of a Christian Teacher (Finale!)

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Pointing our students to Christ – it’s where we began and will end this series.  It’s what Christian teachers are conscious of day in and day out.  It’s our mission, our purpose, our passion, and our commitment.  If we all could have a common mission statement, I believe Pointing Our Students To Christ would be universally agreed upon.  

Indeed, characteristics 1-4 drive us to do just that…

  • Step 1 –  PASSION

  • Step 2 –  BEARING FRUIT

  • Step 3 –  RELATIONSHIP BUILDING

  • Step 4 –  WITNESSING

Finally, we come to characteristic #5!  And that is… always endeavoring to IMPROVE our craft.  Christian teachers should be the best teachers in the profession.  Amen?  Of course, years of experience help us become better teachers, but we are by no means perfect.  We can always improve and need to be mindful of that fact.

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So how can we improve?  By looking to Jesus of course!  Jesus is our mentor and example of the perfect teacher. Who Was The Best Teacher, EVER?  is a blog post I wrote on this very subject.  If we can be just a smidgen of the teacher Jesus exemplified, then we will be just fine, and of course we will be pointing our students to Christ as a result.  Please click on the above link to access the post.

Of course, these are not all of the characteristics our students witness as we endeavor to point them to Christ, but it would be the 5 that would be the most recognizable to anyone who entered our classroom and saw us in action.  Jesus, for certain, is watching and surely smiles at what He sees. 🙂

God bless you, dear Christian teachers.  Until next week, stay devoted by pointing students to Christ.

 

 

 

The 5 Characteristics of a Christian Teacher Pt. 3

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We are pointing our students to Jesus, fellow Christian teachers….but how do we do this in the public school classroom?  Well, before we begin, let’s do a quick recap of the first 3 characteristics as to what students will witness in the Christian teacher’s classroom.

#1 – PASSION                    #2 – FRUIT                #3 – RELATIONSHIP BUILDING

(Please click on the above links for more info!)

So that now brings us to characteristic #4:  WITNESSING

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I came across this quote a while back and I LOVE IT!  It shares what we talk about at Devotions for Teachers all the time.  Isn’t it encouraging to know that since God is everywhere and He is in us, then He is in our classrooms and can change hearts and minds as a result?  AMEN!

Sharing Jesus was a topic on a blog post at the beginning of this year too. I am reposting it and encourage you to share Jesus however you can.  Just pray and ask God to show you what you can do, and He will!  Please click on the link below and may God richly bless you in your classroom this week.  Until next week when we finish this series with characteristic #5, stay devoted!

https://devotionsforteachers.org/2016/01/24/how-to-make-2016-the-best-year-ever-part-3/

#BeAnIntentionalWitnessForChrist