The Steadfast (Steady & Fast!) Love of God and Teachers

80a4f9caaa72f3608fda554db0f06264

Psalms! There simply isn’t a better book in the Bible than the book of Psalms, at least in my opinion. Also (my opinion again!) there isn’t a better writer in God’s word than David, the author of many of those Psalms.  Psalms inspires me just as much as, if not more than, a beautiful sunset on the beach with streams of multicolored light reflecting over the water and painted gently on the sky. God truly gifted David with the written word in both prose and poetry, read or sung.  When times are tough, whether in my classroom or personal life, it’s my go-to book.  I really don’t know what in the world I would do without it.

Having listened to Psalms a lot lately, I’ve noticed a theme stated over and over and over again, that being The Steadfast Love of the Lord. This morning alone, I couldn’t keep up with how many times it was stated – that’s how often it was mentioned.  I read it appears more than 246 times in the the Old Testament alone in an article from the CS Lewis Institute. Wow!  It must be pretty important, amen? Therefore, it bears some discussion I would think.

Here are some words various online dictionaries give as synonyms for the word steadfast which match the biblical meaning from what I’ve studied:

resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering.
“steadfast loyalty”

If you break down the word steadfast into syllables, stead means –

the place or role that someone or something should have or fill (used in referring to a substitute), e.g. “you wish to have him superseded and to be appointed in his stead” 

and fast means –

firmly fixed b :  tightly shut c :  adhering firmly :  not easily freed :  stuck e :  stable  firmly loyal

Take about 5 minutes or so, as I did, and substitute those words for steadfast when quoting the phrase the steadfast love of the Lord.  For example, the resolute love of the Lord, the loyal love of the Lord, the unwavering love of the Lord, and the firmly fixed and relentless love of the Lord. I could go on and on about His devoted, dedicated, dependable, reliable, steady, true, and constant love, not forgetting, by any means, that His steadfast love was perfectly and completely exemplified by appointing Jesus in our stead as the substitute for our sins.  That will get any weary teacher through the day, don’t you think? 🙂

Finally, let me ask you a question.  Is our love for the Lord and for our students steadfast? If we truly love the Lord then we can point to these same synonyms and say YES they describe our love for God.  And if we love God steadfastly, then it will spill – no POUR – out of us and into our students hearts.  It’s a love that simply cannot be contained.

Be steadfast in your love, dear Christian teacher. It makes all the difference in our lives when we receive it from Him and all the difference in our students’ lives when they receive it from us.

May God bless you in your classrooms this week and stay devoted (steadfast!).

steadfast_love

#SteadfastLove  #EnduresForever  #ThereIsNothingBetter

How Are You Doing? Pt. 2 (Pray Teacher Pray!)

james-5-16

True or False:  How we are doing is directly dependent upon how much we are praying. Answer: True True True!  Therefore, we need to be honest and ask ourselves: Are we in prayer overdrive or prayer under-drive?  Remember, if we are in a fiery trial, and we don’t handle it according to scripture, we may be able to teach but ministering as we teach can come to a screeching halt.  We simply must minister. Period.  At all costs.  This is where praying heaven down comes into play.

Furthermore, as teachers, we’re always telling, or demanding :),  our students to listen and do as they are told knowing that if they do, things will go better for them.  How about we take our own advice and follow through when God tells us what to do fellow Christian teachers?! I’m thinking we will receive the same results.

Last week, while discussing how we are doing, our main points to follow through on were:

  • To remember God is with us always and never leaves nor forsakes us (Joshua chapter 1)

  • To be strong and courageous (Joshua chapter 1)

  •  To James 4:8 our trials and draw near to God

The next point, pray teachers pray, logically flows from drawing near to God, but can’t be overstated whatsoever. Radical, faith filled (believing), drawing near to the throne, prayers PRAYED OUT LOUD, are atomic bombs in the spiritual realm (see Psalm 18). Don’t forget that, ever!

Yesterday, on our way home from church, my hubby, Keith, put in a CD and played a song that I hadn’t heard in a long time.  It’s an upbeat song by Brian Free and Assurance.  Talk about a much needed lift to my spirit!  I used to sing this song and would substitute my name in for Daniel’s.  You might want to do that too, dear teachers!  Here are some of the lyrics:

Once there was a king that thought he got it right
Daniel wouldn’t last until the morning light
They led him to the dungeon and they threw him in
He was on his way to supper and the meal was him
But God knew how to change their dinner plans
Never throw a hungry lion in the den with a praying man!

Chorus
So pray Daniel Pray!
That’s the way you make through
Come on pray Daniel pray!
Don’t you let the devil get the best of you
Your troubles aren’t as bad as you thought they were
You can tame a lion, let your prayers be heard
Your faith is going to have them eating right out of your hands
Never throw a hungry lion in a den with a praying man!

When you hear their stomachs growling do what Daniel did
Call up to your Father like a little kid
Tell Him that they are big and you just heard them roar
Then get up and use your faith to block the door
When the fur starts flying they will understand
Never throw a hungry lion in the den with a prayin’ man!

Better yet, click here to watch and listen.  You will be glad you did!  If you’re like me, you need all the help you can get.  Amen?

When we pray, God just keeps giving and giving nuggets to get us through.  For instance, not only did He give me that song, but I just finished watching Beth Moore’s series, The Basket Case, which is a game changer for sure.  There are too many nuggets in it to count, but one thing she said that stuck with me was we are only as powerful as our prayers.  Well, ain’t that the truth brother and sister teachers!  That will preach!

One final thought on prayer is casting your care.  Are we casting our cares at the feet of Jesus?   If not, it’s another step on which we must follow through.

 images (22)

When our ship is about to sink, we must cast, cast, and keep casting – that is, rid ourselves of the weight(s) that are about to pull us under, because God doesn’t want us to drown.  Be an active caster.  God can and will handle it.  He has all power and is well able to take care of our cares.  Praise His name!

My prayer is that we will listen to and obey His word to us:  PRAY TEACHERS PRAY, and CAST YOUR CARE!  When we do, we will have peace that passes all understanding.

God bless you in your classrooms this week as you teach and minister effectively to your students.  Stay devoted.

#Pray #Pray #PrayAgain

How Are You Doing? Part 1

download (24)

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.

big-hand-cartoon-characters-disaster-70931160

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

download (2)

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…

download (4)

…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.

#SowToTheSpirit