Reaping Encouragement


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Some days we may doubt it, must most of the time we know that we know teaching is truly what God has called us to do.  On the days when doubt about our calling scorches us like the desert sun, then perhaps we should drench our students with a flood of encouragement because we reap what we sow!

I have a student whom I have been pouring a flood of love and encouragement into since he enrolled in our school this year.  Let me tell you, this student is a gem, but he didn’t start out that way! He was quiet, unsure of himself, never had what he needed for class, and just looked disheveled most of the time.  Bless him.  I could tell he needed extra attention, love, and encouragement.  I know you have had the same experience many times like me over the years, right?

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I knew he probably didn’t experience a proper home life growing up, and probably had it rough.  I was right.  I won’t go into the details, but it would make you cry if you knew. He’s a trooper though.  As I have rained down the love and encouragement, he has done a complete 180.  Praise the Lord!  God is awesome and faithful to His word.

Never underestimate God’s word and the power of encouragement.  Not only does it make a world of difference to our students, but witnessing the transformation it can make in their lives can encourage even the most discouraged among us, my fellow teachers.  My student’s circumstances haven’t changed, but he has.  It makes me want to keep pressing on!

Bottom line – If we need encouragement then we need to sow encouragement lavishly. Our joy will be full and the result?  We won’t lose heart and we will keep pressing toward the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14)

May God bless you this week, and I want to encourage you in all your classroom endeavors. YOU. Are. Awesome!  And YOU are making a difference in this world! Stay devoted dear Christian teacher.

 

Seizing Cynicism

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Changes are a comin’ – changes which I’m not happy about.  Last week we were told that my all time favorite principal is transferring to another post next year.

I didn’t see that one coming. 😞

Since learning this news, I’ve fought a week long bout with cynicism… Cynicism about how everything will inevitably change next year, and even cynicism about my future in teaching.

It’s even depressing writing about it now.

I know there are thousands, if not more, cynical teachers just like me. Lord knows we teachers have more than our fair share to be cynical about, amen?

So what do we do when we are faced with cynicism my fellow teachers?   Well, I don’t have all the answers, but here is what God has taught me this past week.  I believe it can be applied to even the utmost cynical of situations.  Are you ready?…

Seize cynicism or it will seize you!

The meaning of seize is defined as:

seize
sēz/
verb
1.
take hold of suddenly and forcibly.
“she jumped up and seized his arm”
synonyms: grab, grasp, snatch, take hold of, get one’s hands on.

Obviously, we don’t want to be forcibly taken!

Nevertheless, cynicism seized me for 7 days before the Lord helped me to turn that thing around and seize it back.  It scares me to think about all the teachers who have been seized for whatever reason and for much longer periods of time. If that’s you, I’m praying God uses today’s post to help you.

So how do we seize cynicism?

  • Pray about it – Philippians 4:6-7 states:  6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  (A how to prayer guide if there ever was one!)

  • Cast your care on Him – Psalm 55:22 states:  Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. (Casting =  Sustainment + Unshakeableness)

  • Trust God, do good, and be faithful – Psalm 37:3 states: Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.  (We do while going through.)

  • Guard your tongue – Philippians 2:14 states: Do all things without murmurings and questionings. (Murmuring will cancel out all the others.)

  • Remember God is in control and causes everything to work together for good – Daniel 4:34 states:  All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; And no one can ward off His hand Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?…and Romans 8:28 states: And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (That’s why we can trust Him.)

  • Don’t lose sight of the big picture!  This is perhaps the most important one, because the devil would love to get us sidetracked, wouldn’t he?

Remember:

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Now, and in the coming months, we must actively decide not to be cynical. It’s tough but doable.  In order to be victorious, you and I must apply God’s word and get control of the situation before it gets control of us. Circumstances are not always going to be perfect, and that’s why we must pray, cast our care, trust God, do good, and be faithful all while guarding our tongues.  Furthermore, we will be the victors over cynicism when we remember He is sovereign and causes everything to work together for good, no matter the matter at hand.

Lord, please don’t let us forget our mission in the middle of it all!

#SeizeCynicism dear teachers!  Until next time, God bless you and your students and stay devoted!

 

No Fill No Will, No Will No Fill!

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Saturday night, after an extremely busy week, the crud I had prayed about and willed off for a week beckoned me to succumb, and succumb I did!  I took some NyQuil and slept through the night and most of the day on Sunday.  Nyquil is potent!  Indeed, I could still feel its effects Monday when I went back to school as I was not my usual self most of the day.  I know my students could tell it too.

So why am sharing this with you, dear Christian teachers?  Well, as I tried to make my way through the day Monday, I kept thinking… You know, if you’re not filled with the Spirit, you just can’t be as effective a teacher as you ought to, or want to be.  I certainly wasn’t bearing the fruit of the Spirit…

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When you’re filled with anything other than the Holy Spirit of God (especially NyQuil!), teaching becomes fruitless. Period. In other words – No Fill, No Will!  No will to be loving, no will to be joyful, no will to be peaceful, no will to be patient, kind, good, faithful, or gentle with our students, much less to top the day off with self-control. My goal was to just to get through the day and through with the day. That was all I wanted to do!

How sad is that?

We must ask God to fill us every day teachers. Every. Day.  There are other pre-requisites to being filled with the Spirit as well.  After all, we must be willing to receive the filling, or No Will, No Fill!  We have to be willing to do each of the steps that are included in the video blog I’m attaching that I posted a while back on this subject.  Towards the end, I even conduct an experiment for you on the topic. 🙂 I hope you enjoy it, and I pray that we all walk into our classrooms each day, filled and over-flowing with the Spirit of God. We will change the world when we do!

God bless you, stay devoted, and be filled fellow teachers!

https://devotionsforteachers.org/2014/03/02/march-3-9-2014-wanted-spirit-filled-teachers-john-15-4-11/

How To Make 2016 The Best Year Ever! Part 4/4

It’s been an exciting 4 weeks sharing this series on the blog!  Although we are arriving at the end, we still have 11 months ahead to put it into action!  Praise the Lord and amen! We teachers have a big assignment (although ALL Christians do) and God gives us the directions (like we do for our students) to make an A.  So before we get started, let’s do a quick review of the first three steps of How To Make 2016 The Best Year Ever.  I believe the Lord smiles when He sees us… 

1  – Loving Him  –

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2 – Loving Others –

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and 3 – Sharing Jesus !

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Number 4 is one of the pillars of the Church, and that is (drum roll please)…

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Jesus’ last command before He ascended to heaven was for us to do just this.

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The question then becomes:  Are we doing what He told us to do?  Perhaps we also need a reminder about just what a disciple is.  Dictionary.com defines the word disciple the following way(s):

1. Religion.
  1. one of the 12 personal followers of Christ.
  2. one of the 70 followers sent forth by Christ. Luke 10:1.
  3. any other professed follower of Christ in His lifetime.
2.  any follower of Christ.
3.  a person who is a pupil or an adherent of the doctrines of another;  follower

This is kind of tricky in public schools this day and time with all the Christian persecution taking place, but don’t distress, dear teachers!  We can remedy this situation by…

  • Building strong relationships with our students.  This takes time and energy, but it is the #1 way to get this accomplished.  Jesus’ relationships with His disciples are proof that if we want to disciple someone, we have to dedicate the time. After all, he spent 3 1/2 years building those relationships.

  • Putting steps 1-3 of this series into action with our students.  We are well on our way to making disciples when we complete these steps on a daily basis.

  • Sponsoring a Christian club.  Do you sponsor one? If not, why not?

  • Utilizing social media. I know some teachers don’t like to accept friend requests on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., but for the greater good, which is to make disciples, I always accept their requests.  Can students (or anyone for that matter) tell we are a Christian by what we post on social media?

  • Remembering to follow our Lord’s example.  Jesus served others and lived a holy life.  Are we serving our students?  Are we living a holy life? Are we imitating Him? (Ephesians 5:1)

Making disciples is worth every bit of the effort we put into it, and is one of the most rewarding experiences of being a Christian for sure.  We should be all about it, teachers!

Well, there you have it! Four ways to make 2016 the best year ever –  Love God, Love Others, Share Jesus, and Make Disciples!  Now how bout’ let’s git’ er’ done!!!!!!!!!

God bless, and I’m praying 2016 will be the best year ever for you in your classroom, dear Christian teachers!  I will see you next week here at Devotions for Teachers.