Stand Where You Land!

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The rain has been pouring down here in Georgia for the past few days.  I’ve even discovered there is a leak in our roof right above the kitchen as a result of all that water crashing down on the shingles like the falls of Niagara.  Nevertheless, it’s the trees surrounding my house that have me rightly concerned.  We sure enough will have quite a bit more than a leak if one of those towering timbers tumble down upon us. Yikes!

That, of course, got me to thinking.  When a tree falls, that’s it.  It’s history. Dead. It’s not gonna decide Hey! I think I’ll just get back up and keep on doing what God put me here to do – providing shade during the hot summer months, beautiful scenery in the fall, food for animals (because I could be a pecan or fruit tree, you pick), and a home for nesting baby blue birds.  No, that’s not gonna happen.

On the other hand, when we fall, we are given time… after time… after time… after time… after time, to get up, dust ourselves off, and start again.  To stand where we land.  We just have to make up our minds to do it.  Hard days and difficult circumstances are universal to every human on the planet.  Amen?

I remember stressing after a particular rambunctious group of 7th graders left my class the other day and thinking, I may be getting too old for this!  How much longer can I hold on?!  I remember in my younger years of teaching, that situation may have really gotten me down about our profession or made me a bit testy with my students. Thankfully, even though as I’ve told you before, I almost quit teaching a few years back, I prayed it through, stood back up (yet again) and stuck with it.

We must stand and finish what God calls us to, because He’s gracious enough to let His children do just that.  

Whether you make a stupid mistake, fear fetters near, or doubts appear, WHEREVER we land, we must choose to STAND.  For our sake.  For our students’ sake.  For the sake of the gospel. We will regret it later if we don’t.

God bless you in your class this week as you stay devoted and stand dear teachers!

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#StandWhereYouLand

When Surveyed, Here’s What My Students Think About Their Teachers

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I decided to do a quick survey the other day as I was wondering just what do my students think about their teachers?  How important have their teachers been in their lives, and what impact have teachers had on them?  I then asked them to explain their answers. Here are the results:

  • 38% responded teachers have been very important in their lives.

  • 62% responded teachers have been important in their lives.

  • None responded teachers have been somewhat important in their lives.

  • None responded teachers have not been important in their lives.

For their written explanations, the following are some of the responses I received:

Nice & friendly, I could tell her anything.

They help me learn so I can have a good future.

My teachers have taught me how to become independent, be myself, and how to be strong.  Teachers in my life are great.

Teachers become friends with me and other students. 

They’re teaching me what I need in order to become a successful human being in society.

They’ve always been there for me, and accepted me no matter what, and always made an effort to understand.  I’m thankful for that.  

Teachers have been very important in my life, because they have greatly influenced me. Teachers have helped me develop into the person I am today.  

Teachers have impacted my life by instilling good behavior, life lessons, and important information. 

They show me I am smart and can get into a good college.

Throughout my life, the teachers I’ve had, for the most part, are very thoughtful and good at what they do.  My teachers are always willing to help me if needed, and I know I can always ask them anything.  

My teachers make me feel confident in my work and continue to encourage me to do better.

Thanks to their help, I’m smart.

Teachers are the people I can confide in if I need help with something.  I can always expect a nice attitude if something is going on at home. 

There are some teachers I see as second parents.

WOW.  How ’bout that?   I could just smile and cry at the same time.

That’s what my students say.  Now, here is what God says…

One Body with Many Parts

1st Corinthians 12:

12 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. 13 Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles,* some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.*

14 Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. 15 If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body?

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                                                 Ephesians 4:16 puts it this way…

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Bottom line:  Our part as teachers is important.  How important?  Paul’s analogy of the human body makes it perfectly clear.  Every part of our body is essential for our overall well being.  So to is our role in the well being of our students and the building of God’s kingdom.  If we as teachers don’t do our part, our students suffer, and the kingdom suffers too.

I wanted to share this with you in order to encourage and reassure you that our students believe us to be an important part of their lives.  Furthermore, God tells us we play a key role, and the great significance of His big picture will help us to stand firm knowing our labor is not in vain.

Be faithful.

Keep giving 100%.

You. Are. Important!

Blessings to you as you stay devoted this week.

#TeachersAreBlessed

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