Fruit Frenzy Part 3 – Lord, Give Me Joy!

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If you are like me, then you are probably feeling the burn… the burn of the day in, day out, day in, day out of the school year.   It’s tiring isn’t it?!  Geesh, I’m exhausted!

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The question is this:  where can we go to receive a profusion of energy?  Why, to the Lord of course! He will deliver it to us in abundance, and abundance is what I’m standing in need of about now.  How ’bout you?

God states in His word that the joy of the Lord is our strength. When we are strong, we have more energy.  When we have more energy, we are more productive.  When we are more productive, we are ministering more effectively to our students. When we are ministering more effectively to our students, we therefore are getting the job done for the Lord!  As you can see, JOY IS ESSENTIAL IN OUR LINE OF WORK, my fellow teachers.  So, it’s important to know what joy is…

Joy

Joy is a state of mind and an orientation of the heart. It is a settled state of contentment, confidence and hope. It is something or someone that provides a source of happiness. It appears 88 times in the Old Testament in 22 books; 57 times in the New Testament in 18 books.^[1]^

Webster’s dictionary definition: 1) to experience great pleasure or delight : REJOICE, 2) the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires: DELIGHT. Hebrew dictionary definition: 8057. simchah, sim-khaw’; from H8056 blithesomeness or glee, (religious or festival):– X exceeding (-ly), gladness, joy (-fulness), mirth, pleasure, rejoice (-ing).

Greek dictionary definition: 5479. chara, khar-ah’; from G5463; cheerfulness, i.e., calm delight:–gladness, X greatly, (X be exceeding) joy (-ful, -fully, -fulness, -ous).

Now, I’m certain we can agree joy is extremely important in the classroom given it’s definition. To add to that, joy is contagious for sure.  What could be better than knowing we are spreading joy to our students when they come into our classrooms?

BUT, in order to become contagions of joy, exactly what is the expectation to obtain joy when we ask the Lord for it?  Well, Jesus answers this question for us in the Gospel of John…

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Since joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, we need to repent of sin, keep His commandments, and abide in His love.

It’s like this:  If you are married, remember the early days (and hopefully present days too!) when you just couldn’t get enough of each other?  You lived on love…you were abiding in love.  It’s the same concept, in that we always should be at the point where we can never get enough of Jesus.  It’s at that point where our joy is full.  We are loving Him, we are abiding in Him, we are obeying Him, and therefore we are full of joy! Amen!

I can tell a big difference in my life, and certainly in my teaching, when I’m not operating at full capacity because of a lack of joy.  Can you?  It stinks doesn’t it?  I have less energy, and because I have less energy I am simply NOT an effective witness for the Lord. A day without joy is akin to a day wasted in the classroom, and time is too precious to waste my friends. Every minute counts!

My challenge for all of us each and everyday is to repent of sin, abide in His love, keep his commandments, and receive the joy we need to fulfill the call He has placed on our lives as teachers.  Will you accept the challenge, my fellow Christian teachers?

God bless you this week as you minister with joy to your students, and stay devoted! When we are devoted, we are more excellent teachers for the Lord.  After all, devotion and abiding are similar aren’t they? 🙂

#JoyIsEnergy  #Obey  #Abide  #Love  #Nehemiah8:10  #John15:9-11

Fruit Frenzy

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Adjectives describing fruit…

Juicy. Delicious. Colorful. Healthy. Replenishing. Fresh. Ripe. Bountiful. Organic. Luscious. Mixed. Sweet. Vitamin-rich. Immune-boosting. Harvested. 

The question is… do these words describe our fruit?  If not, it’s time for a full-fledged fruit frenzy revival, bountiful and overflowing, like the one pictured above.

Have you ever bitten into an apple with a big brown bruise on it?  You meant to miss that spot, but your misguided aim landed you a yucky mouthful of rotten fruit.  And how about this?  Have you ever bitten into a somewhat green banana?  Of course, you were hoping that it didn’t taste as green as it looked, but, nevertheless, it did.

Both cases present to us what may happen when the quality of our fruit is not quite right, leaving a bad taste in both our mouths as well as our students’.  Not good!  Sour. Rotten. & Smelly.

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In the next few weeks, we are going to conduct a full-fledged fruit inspection, in order to double check what condition its in and to make sure it is delightful, delectable, and yummy!

We will begin with LOVE next week.  Until then, dear teachers, stay devoted, and let’s experience a fruit frenzy revival in our classrooms together.  God bless you!

 

 

 

 

To Opt In Or To Opt Out? That Is The Question!

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25 days!  Yes! There are only 25 days left after this week until the end of the school year! 🙂

We are in the throws of testing this week here where I teach.  Testing is no fun, but alas, we live in evil days!  I’m convinced of it! 😉  Seriously though, the scenery of both anxious teachers and students pondering and conversing about the end results isn’t a most pleasant event to witness, but as one of my colleagues mentioned yesterday, opting out shouldn’t be an option.  Opting out of the test is an option here in Georgia, but, as she suggested, what would we be teaching our kids? When times are tough, stressful, and maybe even unbearable, it’s time to close up shop and give up because we can’t handle it? That would be akin to enabling them to fail and we enable them enough! 

Similarly, opting out on what God has called us to do should not be an option either, dear teachers! Unless we clearly hear from Him to lay down what He has called us to do and/or change directions, then we are to stick with it no matter the difficulties we face. Consider these verses…

Luke 9:62 – But Jesus said to him, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Galatians 6:9 – Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.

2 Thessalonians 3:13 – But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good.

Philippians 3:12-14 – Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

2 Timothy 3:14 – You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them…

1 Corinthians 9:24 – Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.

Isaiah 40:31 – Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.

Remember all of these verses were written from those coming before us who persevered through dire trials and tribulations.  I’m convinced they would repeat them to us if they were here today.  Jesus himself prayed for future believers way back in the Garden of Gethsemane and still intercedes for us today.  If that’s the case, then no matter what we go through, as long as we are abiding in Him and His word, we will overcome the difficulties life hands us so that we will accomplish His purpose for our lives.  (John 15 and 17)

Therefore dear teachers, we can make it through testing, we can make it through the last month of school, and we can make it through anything the Lord has called us to do. OPT IN!  NEVER. OPT. OUT!

God bless you and stay devoted!

What Time Is It?!

IT’S SPRING BREAK TIME!  

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Devotions for Teachers will continue next week.  God bless you and stay devoted!

“And the point is?…”

What’s the point?  Why am I here everyday in this classroom?  Have you ever asked yourself these questions my fellow teachers?

If so, then today’s video blog is just for you.  I know sometimes it’s difficult to see the forest from the trees, isn’t it?  Nevertheless, it’s imperative we do!

One of my students asked me this very same question, which as you’ll see, caught me off guard.  As I thought more and more about it though, I knew that I knew it is a question teachers are asking themselves.

With the state of education being what is today, I read more and more of good teachers, even highly credentialed, award winning teachers, calling it quits.   As Christian teachers we can’t, indeed we mustn’t, take this route.  Eternity is weighing in the balance!

I’m praying the blog encourages you in the “everydayness” of what you’re doing in your classroom.  Remember, by remaining devoted to God we will be better teachers!

#HangethThouInThere

So You Didn’t Win Teacher of the Year?

Well, I have a confession to make… I didn’t either, and I never have! I have to admit, I would love to win Teacher of the Year, and I’m thinking if you did some polling, most teachers would say the same thing!  I’m also thinking in that same poll, you would find a lot of disappointed teachers who wanted to be Teacher of the Year, but never won the coveted title.

Listen!  If you think you need to win Teacher of the Year to have credibility with your peers and administration, to some degree you could be correct. But if you’re a Christian teacher in the classroom fulfilling the call of God on your life by ministering to and serving students, then your credibility comes from none other than God Himself (and more than likely from your students, because they are going to see Jesus in you, the Hope of Glory, and are going to love you and love your class!).

I’ll even take that one step further – forget just being credible – God will take a work done for Him from just being credible and, instead, make it incredible!  God’s word proves this over, and over, and over again!  In the next few days on the video portion of the blog, we are going to take a look at some good ole’ ordinary folks whom God called to do a work for Him…folks about whom the world would say had absolutely no credibility –  ordinary people, just like you and just like me.

I love it!  God is so good!  You don’t have to win awards to do mighty things for Him! With God, ordinary becomes extraordinary, and credible becomes incredible. That’s the God we serve. Serving Him in the classroom is an honor in and of itself, my fellow teachers – no other awards needed!

We will begin with the 12 disciples and take it from there on this subject matter next time on the video portion of the blog.  You are invited to come back soon for another visit to devotionsforteachers.org. Until then, God bless you in your classroom and stay devoted to Him!

Awaken! Arise! Fight the Good Fight of Faith! 1st Timothy 6:11-12

“I want my life to be the song You sing”… is one of my favorite lines from the Casting Crowns song, Until the Whole World Hears. Do you want your life to be the song He sings?  I do!  I try to play this song as often as I can before going to school each day, because it just fires me up! Not. Kidding.  I am ready to do BIG things for God in my classroom and throughout the school day after I hear it. I challenge you to listen to this song every day for a week and see if it lights a fire in you as well. Click on this link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7qi2KlUffs, and it will take you right to it!  Seriously though, teaching is a BIG calling, and the time we have our students is short.  We need to be more urgent, so here are some important questions for you to consider:  Are you awake?!  Have you arisen?!  Are you fighting the good fight of faith?!  I hope your answer to each of those questions is a resounding YES!  If not, it’s time to reexamine our lives and perhaps reorder our priorities as Christian teachers. I hope the blog inspires you today!

Donna

PS. Here are the links for the other blogs mentioned in the vlog today:

https://devotionsforteachers.org/2014/10/02/arresting-apathy-revelation-24-5-2/

https://devotionsforteachers.org/2014/04/12/april-14-20-2014-a-big-teacher-revolution-1st-peter-31-2/