Super Psalms & Promising Proverbs

David and Solomon.  Solomon and David.  What a combination!  Between David and his Psalms, and Solomon and his Proverbs, I just have to shake my head and say WOW!  Both were wise, both could write like nobody’s business, and both were kings no less.  Both, however, were human, and therefore experienced failure along the way.

Successes and failures are universal to most people, including teachers. Amen?

I love this quote by Winston Churchill…

Many of us will experience a combination of success and failure.  Therefore, we should know how to handle each.  We don’t want success to go to our head and failure to go to our heart.  Neither is a good idea. Ever.  Unfortunately, they’re fairly automatic responses for foolish folk.

I myself, have tweaked, tweaked, and tweaked some more(!) new content I’ve been assigned this year.  It’s been frustrating trying to figure out what works best for my students.  At the same time, I’m kind of like an electrical load exceeding its available electrical power as I have begun teaching a GED class at the local college three nights a week.

All of this at the same time kind of makes me want to throw a pity party as success doesn’t seem like it is around the corner. However, I know that I know from experience it could be worse, so I’m refusing to allow what looks to be failure make its path to my heart!  Likewise, when I figure it all out, I won’t let it go to my head.  I will be thankful God helped me succeed instead. 🙂

So now let’s address the question at hand:  how do we navigate our way though failure and success?  Yep, you guessed it, in Psalms and Proverbs. David and Solomon. Two men God used to guide us through the ups and downs of life.  Here is a chapter from each book.  Please take, no make, the time to read each one even if it’s not at the same sitting.  Failure and success are addressed in both!

Psalm 118 New King James Version (NKJV)

Praise to God for His Everlasting Mercy

118 Oh, (teachers) give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.

Let Israel (teachers) now say,
“His mercy endures forever.”
Let the house of Aaron (school teachers) now say,
“His mercy endures forever.”
Let those (teachers) who fear the Lord now say,
“His mercy endures forever.”

I called on the Lord in distress;
The Lord answered me and set me in a broad place.
The Lord is on my side;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me?
The Lord is for me among those who help me;
Therefore I shall see my desire on those who hate me.
It is better to trust in the Lord
Than to put confidence in man.
It is better to trust in the Lord
Than to put confidence in princes.

10 All nations surrounded me,
But in the name of the Lord I will destroy them.
11 They surrounded me,
Yes, they surrounded me;
But in the name of the Lord I will destroy them.
12 They surrounded me like bees;
They were quenched like a fire of thorns;
For in the name of the Lord I will destroy them.
13 You pushed me violently, that I might fall,
But the Lord helped me.
14 The Lord is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation.

15 The voice of rejoicing and salvation
Is in the tents of the righteous (teachers);
The right hand of the Lord does valiantly.
16 The right hand of the Lord is exalted;
The right hand of the Lord does valiantly.
17 I shall not die, but live,
And declare the works of the Lord.
18 The Lord has chastened me severely,
But He has not given me over to death.

19 Open to me the gates of righteousness;
I will go through them,
And I will praise the Lord.
20 This is the gate of the Lord,
Through which the righteous shall enter.

21 I will praise You,
For You have answered me,
And have become my salvation.

22 The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This was the Lord’s doing;
It is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.

25 Save now, I pray, O Lord;
Lord, I pray, send now prosperity.
26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
We have blessed you from the house of the Lord.
27 God is the Lord,
And He has given us light;
Bind the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar.
28 You are my God, and I will praise You;
You are my God, I will exalt You.

29 Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.

Proverbs 3

My son (teacher), do not forget my law,
But let your heart keep my commands;
For length of days and long life
And peace they will add to you.
3 Let not mercy and truth forsake you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart,
And so find favor and high esteem
In the sight of God and man.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and depart from evil.
It will be health to your flesh,
And strength to your bones.
Honor the Lord with your possessions,
And with the firstfruits of all your increase;
10 So your barns will be filled with plenty,
And your vats will overflow with new wine.
11 My son (teacher), do not despise the chastening of the Lord,
Nor detest His correction;
12 For whom the Lord loves He corrects,
Just as a father the son in whom he delights.
13 Happy is the man (teacher) who finds wisdom,
And the man (teacher) who gains understanding;
14 For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver,
And her gain than fine gold.
15 She is more precious than rubies,
And all the things you may desire cannot compare with her.
16 Length of days is in her right hand,
In her left hand riches and honor.
17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
And all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her,
And happy are all who retain her.
19 The Lord by wisdom founded the earth;
By understanding He established the heavens;
20 By His knowledge the depths were broken up,
And clouds drop down the dew.
21 My son (teacher), let them not depart from your eyes—
Keep sound wisdom and discretion;
22 So they will be life to your soul
And grace to your neck.
23 Then you will walk safely in your way,
And your foot will not stumble.
24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet.
25 Do not be afraid of sudden terror,
Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes;
26 For the Lord will be your confidence,
And will keep your foot from being caught.
27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
When it is in the power of your hand to do so.
28 Do not say to your neighbor,
“Go, and come back,
And tomorrow I will give it,
When you have it with you.
29 Do not devise evil against your neighbor,
For he dwells by you for safety’s sake.
30 Do not strive with a man without cause,
If he has done you no harm.
31 Do not envy the oppressor,
And choose none of his ways;
32 For the perverse person is an abomination to the Lord,
But His secret counsel is with the upright.
33 The curse of the Lord is on the house of the wicked,
But He blesses the home of the just.
34 Surely He scorns the scornful,
But gives grace to the humble.
35 The wise shall inherit glory,
But shame shall be the legacy of fools.

Wise teachers overcome failure, and wise teachers acknowledge that all success belongs to Him because He is directing our path.  Amen and amen. Thank you, Lord!

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

#PsalmsProverbs  #Wisdom  #MakeOurPathStraight  #Success  #Failure

 

 

5 Proverbs to Pass on to our Pupils

 

Welcome back to the blog, dear teachers!

The book of Proverbs.  Have you read it lately?  If you have, good for you.  If not, dive in and pass on what you learn to your students!  After all, we should…

Amen?!

The key is to pass it on.  After all, Solomon, king of Israel and the wisest man to ever live, passed these Proverbs on to us, so we, as teachers, must do likewise.  It’s our duty!  It will do both our students and us a service.

Therefore, without further ado, here are five proverbs for us to meditate upon and share with our students this week – one for each day:

Monday – Know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight…Proverbs 1:2

Tuesday – Receive instruction in wise dealing, righteousness, justice, and equity…verse 3

Wednesday – To give prudence to the simple, to the young man (student) knowledge and discretion verse 4

Thursday – A wise man (teacher, student) will hear and increase learning, and a man (teacher, student) will attain wise counsel…verse 5

Friday – The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.  verse 7

Let us set out this week not only teaching the standards of our state’s DOE, but let’s teach God’s standards as well. Together, we can be mindful to rehearse, memorize, know the meaning of each verse, and share the wisdom we’ve gleaned with our students.  Squeeze it in that lesson or conversation somewhere teachers!  

We have our marching orders for the week.  Now, go get the job done fellow teachers!  Blessings to you now and always.  Stay devoted!

#Proverbs  #Wisdom  #PassItOn

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!

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

 

Had I Not Known Jesus…

Today’s assignment?  Parent/Teacher conferences. 😮

I know most teachers don’t mind them too much, but I am forever marked by a couple of memorable conferences that stamped dread for these days into my psyche probably until the day I retire.  It’s been more than a few years now, but oh! I will never forget.

Let me share about one of these with you. Hang on to your seat tightly, it’s a true story!

Had I not known Jesus, I more than likely would be in another profession as I speak right now, because I would have been fired that day.  We had, for lack of a better word and to keep the narrative honest, an aberrant mom who scheduled an appointment to see all the academic teachers who taught her twins.  I wish someone had told me she was a few sandwiches short of a picnic! Some did know, but had failed to fill me in, that there were restraining orders put out on her in the past by a teacher or two.

Say what?  Yes, you read that right!

I walked into the room, sat down, introduced myself, and stated the standard teacher graces. Then… she let ‘er rip!!! Oh. My. Goodness!  I immediately tried to address her concerns, but she wasn’t having it.  As she got increasingly agitated (she turned red as her voice topped out in a yell), I literally thought she was going to come over the desk she was seated in and duke it out with me.  Believe me when I tell you, I prepared myself for the fight which I just knew was about to take place.  If she hit me, then buddy, I was going to defend myself!

In the mean time, a couple of teachers walked by and heard the commotion.  They then called for back up by the administration.  One administrator came hurriedly down the hall, turned around, and stood outside the door after seeing who was in the room with me!  Then came the counselor, and I’ll be dad gum, she did the same thing!  It was bizarre!  They had experienced her wrath before and were justifiably scared.

Fortunately, my fellow teacher friend from across the hall took the bull by the horns, so to speak (or literally to speak!), coming to my rescue calming her down.  Thank God for friends. I still don’t understand how she did it, but then again, she’s amazing and just has a calmness about her.

I tell you my story in order to share this:  Had I not known Jesus, I would surely have said something I shouldn’t have or who knows what else?  It’s funny, but still scary, as I revisit it now.  We really never know what’s just around the corner or what’s going to happen at school from day to day or, even more so, from class to class.  Therefore, it’s good we know Jesus isn’t it dear teachers?

Knowing Him makes all the difference in any situation.  Just think about this:  What if we didn’t know Him?  How frightening would that be?  

All of us have our Had I Not Known Jesus stories.  Think back to the past, or even recently, to an event where knowing Him changed the outcome of your story, especially those from the classroom. Remember, it would have been worse had both you and I not known Him. That, my friend, is the goodness of the Lord.  Praise His name!

Knowing Him (and 1st John 4:4!) even makes Parent/Teacher Conference Day go a whole lot better. 🙂

God bless you, dear teachers, and be thankful you know Him.  Stay devoted, and I’ll see you right here next week.

#HadINotKnownHim  #GodIsGood  #WeAreHis  #Thankful  #GodIsGreater

 

How Well Do You Smell?!

Your attitude is like the aroma of your heart. If your attitude stinks, it means your heart’s not right.  ~Facing The Giants~

My students are watching this wonderful, inspirational film today, and those words come from a scene in the movie called The Death Crawl.  In the scene, a football player is challenged by his coach to carry another football player on his back while crawling across the field.  Blindfolded.

Let’s face it.  Teaching can be just as tough, right?  We all have hard days that test our attitude.  Likewise, we are blindfolded to the big picture of WHY most of the time.

Why is my student acting that way?

Why did my administrator say no to my request?

Why do we have to do yet another task for which we don’t have time?

And the list goes on… and on… and on!

Of course, you and I don’t have all the answers.  I do try to understand to the best of my ability, and I’m sure you do as well.  However, when we don’t understand, sometimes it negatively impacts our attitude.  Can I get amen?!  Have you ever tried to teach with a bad attitude?  It happens to all of us every now and then, but it’s a totally fruitless endeavor.  Don’t. Do. It!

Therefore, while we are blind, trying to find our way through the darkness, we have to trust God.  It’s easier said than done, but we know it’s true nonetheless.  Trusting God improves our attitude

Also, we can ask God to help us adjust our attitude. When we ask, here’s what He will do…

Image result for attitude adjustment bible verses

I know this verse primarily is in the context of receiving Christ as our Savior, but I also believe it can apply to our attitude in that when we ask for a better one, He will graciously turn our attitude of stone into an attitude of flesh.

Just like in the death crawl scene, I believe God sometimes screams in our ears to demand our attention, because His work can’t be accomplished with a stinky attitude.  A good attitude gets the job done.

Are we getting the job done, dear Christian teachers?  Does our attitude need adjusting? How well do we smell?  May it be a sweet aroma to our students, fellow teachers, and our administrators!

God bless you in your classrooms this week, dear teachers.  Stay devoted!

Image result for attitude adjustment bible verses

#YourAttitudeMatters  #AttitudeAdjuster  #SmellWell