Lemons to Lemonade… and the Time in Between

Welcome back teachers!

Just how do we make lemonade out of lemons?  Well, today’s post is a repost from The Christian Life blog written by Trisha Carter, and I hope and pray it’s a blessing to you and will answer the question at hand. Blessings to you from Devotions for Teachers!

3 bible verses to hold onto when life gives you lemons

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Life has become a journey of ups and downs. A journey of good and bad, easy and difficult that we probably will never get used to. We become so familiar with everything going well, that when the bad time comes, our faith is shaken. We forget how God brought us out of our previous difficult time into our good. This is expected.

Many times, I ask myself, “Is everything really working for my good?” “Is God really working it out in the background?” Where is the well in my life? We sing the song, “It Is Well” but is it really? I know these are quite a number of questions, but it is the reality that we go through everyday when we are faced with trials and tribulations.

And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”

Luke 22:31-32 (NKJV)

My prayer is always that my faith would not fail. It’s so easy in the bad times, to have doubt and unbelief. It’s easy to think that God has probably forgotten about us or that what He promised, He is no longer going to fulfill. However, these thoughts must not overcome us. Every thought should be cast down and brought into captivity.

Where is my well? Where is your well? 

Our well is found in the One who says that His strength is made perfect in our weakness. Our well is in God. I remember the many times when I felt life was turning upside down.

I remember the many times that life threw lemons in my direction. However in those times, I reflected on the words spoken such as:

Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV)

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

 Romans 8:18 (NKJV)

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.

Romans 8:28 (NKJV)

When life threw lemons, I made lemonade. I turned my situation around by reminding myself of the promises of God. 

This is not to say that it would be easy and after saying these verses, everything is going to change instantly. God works in mysterious ways and He is using our present situation to form us into what He has called us to be and into the image of His Son. We’re in the pruning process.

It’s ok! I admit the pruning process is not easy but it is worth it. You may not see the light at the end of your tunnel right now, but be assured that it is there. Be assured that even though it does not seem well, it will be well because God is working on our behalf and He is for us.

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About the author of this guest post:

Trisha Carter is a young woman from the island of Barbados and is the founder of The Christian Life Blog. She is a lover of God and seeks to use her gift of writing to encourage, empower, and transform those who read for the glory of God.

God bless you while you make lots of lemonade in your classroom as well as your personal life this week, dear teachers!  Until next week, stay devoted.

#LemonsAreSour  #LemonadeIsSweet  #MakeLemonade

Happy Spring Break!

Taking the week off to enjoy some fun in the sun!  See you back here next week teachers. Blessings to you!

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…

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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!

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#YourAttitudeMatters  #AttitudeAdjuster  #SmellWell

 

The ROCK Is Between The Hard Place And You

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How would you describe your teaching career thus far?  Here’s mine in a nutshell…

Year:

  1.   Difficult

  2.   Good with a few rough spots

  3.   Good with a few rough spots

  4.   Wonderful

  5.   Difficult

  6.   Terrible

  7.   Terrible

  8.   Worst Ever

  9.   Wonderful

  10.   Wonderful

  11.   Wonderful

  12.   Wonderful

  13.   So far so good…

As you can see, the scales are favoring the good years over the bad years at this point. Praise the Lord!  Years 5, 6, 7, and 8 nearly finished me off as a teacher though.

Especially year 8.  At the end of that year, I had purposed in my heart to the Lord I was done.  I was out of there.  Clearly, teaching was not what He wanted me to do.  I had heard wrong.  Four back to back years of awfulness was all I could take, and after all, perhaps it was a sign from Him that it wasn’t His will for me to teach… or so I thought.

Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place! I can’t even come up with enough adjectives to describe the abyss I was in.  I wanted so desperately to teach and be a good teacher.  Having cried out to the Lord COUNTLESS times during those 4 years, NOTHING was happening…it was over…BUT THEN…!!!

Due to some faculty changes, I was the beneficiary of my current position.  It was a complete 180 degree turn at jet engine speed no less!

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You see, even though I had prayed and prayed and things had only gotten worse, God knew when I was at the end of my pitiful rope, things had to change RIGHT THEN.  He knew I couldn’t take anymore.  He knew my heart. He knows your heart too.  If you are in between a rock and a hard place, believe me when I say, the ROCK is between the hard place and you!

Ever been between a rock and a hard place?

Take a look at this picture!  Of all things, there is a sheep standing on a rock between a hard place.  Ha!  Remember, over and over again in God’s word, we are referred to as sheep, and the Lord is our Shepherd, our Rock, and Fortress.  The sheep is safe as long as it stays where it is. On The Rock.

Stand on the Rock, dear teachers!

If you’re experiencing some turbulent times as a teacher, trust God. Cry out to Him.  He is listening. Your prayers are not falling on deaf ears.  He is between you and that difficult circumstance.  He will come through. Every. Time.

One final thought.  In the big scheme of things, I firmly believe the enemy wants to take Christian teachers out of the classrooms of all our nations’ schools.  Amen?  What a victory for him that would be.  He about took me out!  Please don’t let him do that to you.

Therefore, remember we are in our classrooms everyday Representing Our Coming King! He is sufficient to help us press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14  He will see our calling through to completion if we stand on Him and His word. Philippians 1:6  And we can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us!  Philippians 4:13

I admonish you today and everyday to stand on the ROCK, my fellow Christian teachers, and ROCK on!  

God bless you and stay devoted.

#TheRocksBetweenTheHardPlaceAndYou  #JesusIsTheRock

Where There Is No Vision, The People Perish – Proverb 29:18

(We will resume Fruit Frenzy at a later date.)

Since teachers are people(!), this verse could easily be restated as follows:

Where there is no vision, the teachers perish.  

Is that where you find yourself, dear Christian teacher?  Have you lost your vision?  Are you stumbling around in a thick fog, discovering you’ve lost your way?  Then I’m asking you to believe God again.

How would I know the root of the problem is unbelief when you’ve lost your vision? Well, my friend, because of what the second half of the verse says!… Because he that keepeth the law, happy is he. A study of the words keepeth and law reveals the rendering of this part of the verse could actually be translated because he that guards the teaching, happy is he.  Now. That’s. A. Big. Deal!

What’s the big deal?  The big deal is that what Jesus spent a good bit of time teaching us is to BELIEVE! So if you’ve lost your vision, it could be you forgot to guard the teaching, you forgot to keep believing, and therefore you need to ask God to help you see again! Ask Him to help you believe again. Ask Him to stamp the vision on your mind and on your heart. Write it down so you can see it everyday.  Put it in front of you as a reminder like in the picture below.  (It will be a good conversation starter too!) 😉

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A teacher without vision is not going to accomplish much for the kingdom of heaven. Therefore,  I pray and declare that you and I will…

  • Believe He wants us to do a great work for Him in our classroom (Phil 1:6)

  • Believe He wants to direct our paths  (Proverbs 3:5)

  • Believe He cares for us and loves us always  (Romans 8:38-39)

  • Believe He will give us strength to hang in there and not quit  (Galatians 6:9)

  • Believe our work for Him is not in vain  (1st Cor. 15:58)

  • Believe He hears our prayers  (1st John 5:14)

Please don’t lose your vision teachers!  Eternity is weighing in the balance.  Take your place, and be counted… counted for the kingdom!  Put on your spirit eyes and renew your vision.  Do it, NOW!  Remember, happiness comes in believing.  God bless you!

#Don’tPerish

#Vision

#BELIEVE

Fruit Frenzy Part 5 – The Power of Patience

THAT’S RIDICULOUS!!!  Did I hear right?  I did!  A student blurted those words out in a fit of anger after I told him he would have to complete the work he hadn’t turned in for weeks during the free time allotted for students who had finished their assignments.

Needless to say, I felt like a lion about to pounce on a gazelle.  His tone didn’t sit well with me.  At all.


Have you ever felt that way too, dear teachers?  I’m sure you have!  Wisdom whispers in our ears loseth not thy temper, but sometimes our temper doesn’t listen.  Amen?  Which, consequentially, could turn out to look something like this…

Fortunately, I gathered my wits about me and, in a loving but stern tone, stated back to him how nice it was to be given the opportunity to turn this work in and not receive a zero!  He complied. Thank God.  One more outburst like that and I might have actually pounced!

Patient, as defined in scripture and online dictionaries, effectively means the following:

able to accept or tolerate delays, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.
“be patient, your time will come”
synonyms: forbearing, uncomplaining, tolerant, resigned, stoical; calm, composed, even-tempered, imperturbable, unexcitable, accommodating, understanding, indulgent; informalunflappable, cool
“I must ask you to be patient”
persevering, persistent, tenacious, indefatigable, dogged, determined, resolved, resolute, single-minded;
“a good deal of patient work”

What then does it take to be patient?  Love of course!  The love of God enables us to do all these things and more.

 

And when we are patient because of love, it gives us power…

Powerful promises brought by persistent patience.

Love →→→Patience→→→Promises→→→Power (Repeat)

To be patient is to be powerful.  To be powerful is to be patient.  And love is the key.

Let’s learn to be as patient with our students as God has been with us.  He is patient because He loves.

God bless you with patience in your classrooms this week dear Christian teachers, and may we keep partaking of all the fruit available to us through our Lord Jesus.

#Love  #Patience  #Promises  #Power

 

 

Fruit Frenzy Part 4 – Peace, One Prayer At A Time

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Do you have an abundance of peace?  Without peace we starve ourselves of all the other fruit in our bowl.  Think about it.

Without peace…

…We love less

Our joy is not as jolly

And our patience turns to folly

Kindness takes a back seat

And goodness can’t compete

Gentleness isn’t so gentle, because, after all, now we’re mostly mental

Which makes our faithfulness fairly accidental – it’s hit or miss

And the self-control we kicked in the ditch

Calls to us shouting, Pray! Peace be still!  

Because peace, my child, peace is God’s will. 

So how do we maintain our peace, dear teachers?  Because we all know how quickly we can lose it, amen?  I was asking myself this same question last week while thinking ahead about peace, and God gave me a nugget I would like to pass on to you.

My husband, Keith, sings in a gospel group called Zion.  We were at a benefit singing a few days ago, and I heard another group sing a song by Kyla Rowland called One Prayer At A Time.  That song stuck in my mind like hot glue does to the posters on our classroom walls.

Verse 1:  I prayed for salvation that’s how I first met Him
I’ve seen wonders and great victories
There’ve been oceans of hard times but I’ve come through just fine
I’ve been crossing each one on my knees
Chorus:  Not one time when I pray has He turned me away
What love what compassion I find
At the edge of the river as I step into forever
I’ll cry, I’ve made it one prayer at a time
Verse 2:  Prayer made for healing, prayer for my children (*and students!)
Often praying all through the night
I’ll lay down all these burdens at the edge of the Jordan
And I’ll make it one prayer at a time
Tag:  I can rest there forever in a land beyond the river
And I’ll make it one prayer at a time

*My words

One.  Prayer.  At.  A.  Time.  And another.  And another.  One moment at a time.  One day at time.  Until Jesus comes again!  That’s how we maintain our peace and stay calm in the midst of the storm, whether it’s a crazy classroom full of kids at school or the chaos of trials and tribulations in our personal lives.

We will make it one prayer at a time, so never stop praying dear friend. 

Additionally, have you ever heard the phrase peace though strength?  In the world in which we live today, peace through strength refers to security measures a nation takes by beefing up its military apparatus.  Strength and power are synonymous.

We can do the same!  When we gain strength for battles through prayer, then we will have peace. Therefore, let’s beef up our prayer life, because the enemy is always lurking, and we will keep him at bay when we are on our knees.

Let’s sum it up as a math teacher would!…

Peace = Prayer + Strength 

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A fruit frenzy of peace is found through prayer, dear teachers.  We must partake in order for it to abound in us and our classrooms.  Lord knows, we all need more strength and more power to stay the course, amen?  So pray teachers pray!

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May God bless you in your classrooms this week with abundant peace.  Next week, we will talk about the fruit frenzy of patience.  Until then, stay devoted!

 

#Peace  #OnePrayerAtATime