How To Make 2018 The Best Year Ever! Part 4/4

It’s been an exciting 4 weeks sharing this series on the blog!  Although we are arriving at the end, we still have 11 months ahead to put it into action!  Praise the Lord and amen! We teachers have a big assignment (although ALL Christians do) and God gives us the directions (like we do for our students) to make an A.  So before we get started, let’s do a quick review of the first three steps of How To Make 2016 The Best Year Ever.

 I believe the Lord smiles when He sees us… 

1  – Loving Him  –

download (8)

2 – Loving Others –

download (9)

and 3 – Sharing Jesus !

download (10)

Number 4 is one of the pillars of the Church, and that is (drum roll please)…

images (6)

Jesus’ last command before He ascended to heaven was for us to do just this.

images (8)

The question then becomes:  Are we doing what He told us to do?  Perhaps we also need a reminder about just what a disciple is.  Dictionary.com defines the word disciple the following way(s):

1. Religion.
  1. one of the 12 personal followers of Christ.
  2. one of the 70 followers sent forth by Christ. Luke 10:1.
  3. any other professed follower of Christ in His lifetime.
2.  any follower of Christ.
3.  a person who is a pupil or an adherent of the doctrines of another;  follower

This is kind of tricky in public schools this day and time with all the Christian persecution taking place, but don’t distress, dear teachers!  We can remedy this situation by…

  • Building strong relationships with our students.  This takes time and energy, but it is the #1 way to get this accomplished.  Jesus’ relationships with His disciples are proof that if we want to disciple someone, we have to dedicate the time. After all, he spent 3 1/2 years building those relationships.

  • Putting steps 1-3 of this series into action with our students.  We are well on our way to making disciples when we complete these steps on a daily basis.

  • Sponsoring a Christian club.  Do you sponsor one? If not, why not?

  • Utilizing social media. I know some teachers don’t like to accept friend requests on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., but for the greater good, which is to make disciples, I always accept their requests.  Can students (or anyone for that matter) tell we are a Christian by what we post on social media?

  • Remembering to follow our Lord’s example.  Jesus served others and lived a holy life.  Are we serving our students?  Are we living a holy life? Are we imitating Him? (Ephesians 5:1)

Making disciples is worth every bit of the effort we put into it, and is one of the most rewarding experiences of being a Christian for sure.  We should be all about it, teachers!

Well, there you have it! Four ways to make 2018 the best year ever –  Love God, Love Others, Share Jesus, and Make Disciples!  Now how bout’ let’s git’ er’ done!!!!!!!!!

God bless, and I’m praying 2018 will be the best year ever for you in your classroom, dear Christian teachers!  I will see you next week here at Devotions for Teachers. 

 

How to Make 2018 the Best Year Ever! Part 2

 

Last week, step #1 on our quest in making 2018 the best year ever was presented.  It’s not a magic formula per say, but I like to think of it as God’s formula for success.  As a review, step #1 is to love God.

Question:  Who can go wrong loving Him?  Answer:  Nobody!

I now present to you step #2:  Love Others.  

download (9)

I have to say, I love it when Jesus Himself speaks on a subject, and that’s exactly what He does in Matthew 22: 37-39.  So the logical question now arises:  Who is our neighbor? Jesus, again, answers this very same question Himself in Luke 10: 29-37…

Luke 10:29-37 English Standard Version (ESV)

29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side.32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him.35 And the next day he took out two denarii[a] and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”

Basically, our neighbor is anyone who needs our help to whom we can show mercy. Wow! We, as teachers, have plenty of neighbors in our classrooms everyday, don’t we?! 🙂 Goodness, we have more opportunities each and every day to love others than most folks in other professions.  Don’t ever lose sight of that fact, dear Christian teachers. Teaching is a special assignment from God. Amen!

I came across this poster recently that I would like to pass on to you.  It gives practical ways to love others.  Let’s put these into practice in both our professional and personal lives and make 2018 the best year ever.

IMG_6952

Let’s love as Jesus loves – on purpose each and every day, dear teachers. Our students will love us for it in return!

Next week, we will take a look at step #3.  Until then, love God, love others, and stay devoted.

God bless you.

#2018  #BestYearInTheClassroom  #LoveGod  #LoveOthers  #MakeItCount

 

 

 

How To Make 2018 The Best Year Ever! Part 1

Image result for fixing our eyes on jesus

Question of the day:  Is there a secret formula for success in our classrooms – or in any career as far as that’s concerned?  

Our loving heavenly Father graciously shouts the answer to this question in a collective amount of ways, but primarily though His word, and it’s a resounding YES!  However, we have to remember that our version of success and His version of success may differ somewhat.  I tell my students that a successful life is not one where we end up a millionaire (although that could happen and it would be nice!), but a successful life – a happy, satisfying, and exuberant one – is the result of purpose driven living, fulfilling our dreams by working hard and doing the right thing.  

Our pastor preached this timeless message a couple of years ago.  I’ve also added some tidbits of my own here and there.  It’s one that applies not only to 2018, but every single year we live our lives on Earth.  I’m paying it forward to my teacher friends hoping we will all make 2018 even better than 2017 in our classrooms. 

Without further ado, let’s begin!…

The first step to a successful 2018 is to… LOVE GOD.  

download (8)

Now that we know the first step to success is to love God, how exactly do we do that? Well, I believe the answer is found in fixing our eyes on the Author and Finisher of our faith, which is none other than Jesus Himself (Hebrews 12:2).

In my Sunday School class, we’ve been completing a study of Ron Dunn’s wonderful book called Faith Crisis.  If our eyes are not focused on the object of our faith (Jesus) we will simply not succeed in our Christian walk.  Period.  Our pastor also reminds us to GAZE at Jesus, and GLANCE at our problems.  We get this turned around most of the time by gazing at our problems and glancing at our Jesus.  Sad but true, isn’t it?

Just think back for a moment when you fell in love with your spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend.  We didn’t just glance at them did we?  We gazed, and gazed, and gazed some more.  Not only did we fix our eyes their way – we smiled, we admired, we celebrated, we loved, and we wanted to be with them all the time!  It’s the same way with our kids.  I fix my eyes on my children and just think WOW! (most of the time, lol) 

My challenge then this week is for you and I to FIX OUR EYES ON JESUS.  GAZE AT HIM, don’t just give him a glance.  Yes, we will have problems in our classrooms, and they deserve a glance, but Jesus deserves our gaze, indeed, our whole heart as our scripture states today.  He said it, because He knows we will have the victory – and success – if we love Him and put Him first.  AMEN!

God bless you in your classrooms this week, dear Christian teachers!  Be sure to complete the challenge.  You and I will be more excellent teachers when we do, no doubt. 🙂  I will share step 2 next week. Until then, keep pressing forward!

#Teach2018  #LoveGod

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all my fellow teachers! May God richly bless you in all you do for Him!


Bull’s-Eye!

 

On behalf of our students and ourselves!

 

Every morning as I drive to school, I pray pretty specific prayers for my students and me.  I guess you could call them bull’s-eye prayers…prayers that remind me of my mission for the day, and prayers that if not targeted, my mission might fail or be deemed less effective at best.

[Bull’s-eye → the small circle at the center of a target toward which people throw darts or shoot arrows or bullets. : a shot that hits the center of a target.]

There are two words (acroymyms) I use to remind me what’s important (for me) to pray for my students…

The first one is SHOW.  Although this part of my prayer is primarily for me, it’s for my students’ benefit, so I guess you could say it’s targeted on us both.  Specifically, I pray, “God help me SHOW my students You by…

  • Serving them

  • Giving them Hope

  • Being Optimistic

  • Winning them by my Witness”

The second one is SHAPE.  Here, I’m targeting their whole being by asking God to SHAPE them.  SHAPE stands for…

  • Save them!

  • Give them good Health!

  • Let them have an Awareness of You!

  • Let them know Your Purpose for their lives!

  • Lord, let them live an Excellent life!

(By the way, I pray this for my children as well!)

We, as Christian teachers, can change the world when we pray for our students.  Amen?  I know that I know you are asking, seeking, and knocking on heaven’s door for your students just like me!  I would love to hear from you as to how you’re praying for them.  Please leave a comment and share.

Targeting our prayer arrows on students positions them to hit the the bull’s-eye in life, and that’s the life God has in store for them! 

Until next time, God bless you in your classroom this week.  Stay devoted, dear Christian teacher!

#TargetedPrayers  #BullsEyePraying  #KeepAsking  #KeepSeeking  #KeepKnocking

 

 

Fan the Flame! Finale

Are you fanning the flame of your gifting, dear Christian teacher?  Stir up your gift!  The hotter the better. Amen?

Today, as we wrap up our short series, Fan the Flame, we are taking a look at our senses of touch and smell.

T O U C H 

mark-10-16-400x400

When we see the word touch in God’s word, especially in the New Testament, most of the time it refers to healing.

In Mark 10:13-16 Jesus wanted to bless the children by the laying on of his hands, but his disciples did not want Him to!  Wow.  Were the children unimportant?…Or were the disciples too busy?…Was it just too time consuming to actually physically lay hands on them?…

Why?  I don’t know the reason, but I do know we need to be diligent not to overlook any of our students for whatever reason. Always take time for students – if not that moment, then a little later. We can also be a blessing and pray blessings over our students.  A smile, a hug, and a nice pat on the back never hurts either. 🙂

Not only do our prayers touch our students, but also the nose of God(!), which leads to our last sense – the sense of smell.

S M E L L

12ee79845fcf7f502dcaff73b51ebe23

There’s nothing like the smell of a juicy steak cooking on the grill!  It’s definitely what I would call a fragrant aroma! 🙂  In the spiritual realm, our prayers, likewise, are a sweet smelling aroma to our Father God, which leads me to infer if we aren’t praying, maybe we kinda stink(?)!  I’m sure we don’t smell as good as we could right?  

A praying teacher is what our students need, and I might add, what our world needs this day and age.

Did you know there is a key verse concerning smell that coincidentally sums up our whole series, Fan the Flame?…                                         

                                                           II Corinthians 2:15

header1.

Are we a fragrant aroma of Christ in our classrooms?  Our students can tell by our smell!

Dear Christian teachers, when we fan into flame the gift of God by remembering our physical senses as well as their spiritual counterparts, our students who are lost will have a better chance of being found by the heat of the fire that’s blazing in our spirit!  AMEN!

So…

 FAN THE FLAME!!!!!!!

Until next time, stay devoted…you will be a more excellent teacher for it.  God bless you!

Fan the Flame! Part 2

images

Have you ever pondered the thought that our five senses have spiritual counterparts? In order to keep the flame of our gifts burning brightly, discernment of these will not only be helpful but essential for our gifts to flourish in the classroom.

                                                                      S I G H T 

images (1)

It’s not enough for our eye sight to be 20/20 in our classrooms.  Instead, 20/20+ is a must! Here, the + is opening our eyes to the spiritual realm, that is, asking God to help us see things from His perspective – which is an eternal perspective.  Don’t be blind, fellow teachers.  Ask God to stamp eternity on your eyes.  

In 2 Kings 6:17-20 Elisha prayed,  “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” Not once, but twice…

Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. And when the Syrians came down against him, Elisha prayed to the Lord and said, “Please strike this people with blindness.” So he struck them with blindness in accordance with the prayer of Elisha. And Elisha said to them, “This is not the way, and this is not the city. Follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom you seek.” And he led them to Samaria. As soon as they entered Samaria, Elisha said, “O Lord, open the eyes of these men, that they may see.” So the Lord opened their eyes and they saw, and behold, they were in the midst of Samaria.

Notice that the Lord answered his prayer and indeed they saw what they hadn’t before. My question to you is this:  Are you looking at things from a spiritual perspective?  If not, my admonition to you is to open wide your spiritual eyes and see what others may not see!

                                                                                   H E A R I N G                                    

tumblr_m5z8kjcruy1rqjui3

In John 10:27 Jesus says, “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” The word hear can be translated listen.  Are you listening to what God is saying?  Sometimes I hear my students speaking, but I’m not listening! Just being honest. 😦

When I listen, however, I’m making sure I understand what they are saying to me, and I don’t let distractions get in the way!  It’s the same way with God, don’t you think?  I believe He’s speaking to us all the time, and we hear Him, but are we listening for comprehension? When we do, we will follow what He says, and what He says may end up changing a student’s life. You. Never. Know!

T A S T E 

images (2)

I love, love, love Psalm 34:8!  Taste and see that the Lord is good, and blessed are all who trust upon Him.  What tastes good to you?  I delight in the first bite of a good blueberry cobbler. I delight being filled with a scrumptious blueberry cobbler!  My mouth waters just thinking a blueberry cobbler!  YUM!

Similarly, when we taste the spirit, we are filled.  My oh my, there simply is nothing to compare it to, right?! (Not even, you guessed it, a delicious blueberry cobbler!)  When we are infused with His spirit, we are in His presence, partaking of His goodness, His holiness, and His love… and, therefore, we are operating at maximum capacity.

Let’s ask the Lord to fill us to overflowing with His Spirit each day before our students walk in our classroom.  It is the key to a meaningful day, but most importantly, it is the key to being an effective witness for Christ.

Next week, we will take a look at our senses of smell and touch.  Until then, fan the flame and stay devoted my fellow Christian teachers.  It makes all the difference!  God bless you always.

#FanTheFlame    #ChristianTeachers