Had I Not Known Jesus…

Today’s assignment?¬† Parent/Teacher conferences. ūüėģ

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. ūüôā

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…

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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!

Image result for attitude adjustment bible verses

#YourAttitudeMatters  #AttitudeAdjuster  #SmellWell

 

The ROCK Is Between The Hard Place And You

Welcome back W O N D E R teachers!  

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Here we are!  Today we are closing out our series, Wonder Teachers, with the letter R. Goodness, it has gone by fast. Amen?!

From¬†W¬†to¬†R and all the characters in between, I’ve enjoyed sharing about the WONDERful men and women in God’s word from whom we can glean knowledge on how to walk out life daily in the classroom. ¬†Indeed, I’ll bet they never thought teachers might gain wisdom from their walk with the Lord many hundreds of years later!

I actually wrote this post a while back, tweaking it just a wee bit for this series. ¬†The title is from a southern gospel song with the same name. ¬†It’s probably my favorite of all the posts I’ve written. ¬†It’s also the post receiving the most visits. ¬†Why? Well, that’s an easy question to answer!… It’s about THE ROCK. ¬†Read on, dear teachers, and God bless you. Thank you for visiting¬†today.

The ROCK Is Between The Hard Place And You

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.   Wonderful

  14. ¬† 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 here. ¬†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 I was at the end of my pitiful rope and things needed 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  #WonderTeachers

WONDER Teachers & The Letter E

Welcome back W O N D E R Teachers!

Goodness! ¬†I must confess the letter E in our series, Wonder Teachers, has me stumped like an elephant in a kiddie pool. ¬†This letter corresponds with too many wonderful, godly people in the Bible, and I simply can’t decide whom to pick.

These are just a few I’ve considered…

  • Eve? ¬†The mother of all living, created from Adam’s rib, perfectly formed by God

  • Elijah? ¬†450 prophets of Baal slain, fire rained down on the alter, stopped the rain for 3 years

  • Elisha? ¬†Received a double portion of Elijah’s anointing!

  • Elizabeth? ¬†Mother of John the Baptist who was¬†“righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless” (Luke 1:6‚Äď7)

  • Esther? ¬† Risked her life to save the Israelites

So what to do? Since I couldn’t figure out about which one to write, I thought we could discuss concepts in the Bible about energy (joy) or encouragement or both (as evidenced by the wings of eagles verse above – I even thought I might talk about eagles!).

Oh dear! ūüėģ

Therefore, I am throwing this back your way.  I want to encourage you to look at least one of these up and study them for yourself.  Look for ways these characters or concepts could help you in your daily Christian walk and definitely in your classroom.  Based on my personal study, these characters are my kind of people Рpeople who inspire me to press on to do my best for God.  They have that WOW factor.

Were they perfect? ¬†No! But just like David from last week, God worked everything out for their good and His glory. Amen? ¬†I have this quote frame on the windowsill of my classroom door – it is what students see first thing as they enter in…

That’s what these Bible characters did, and it’s what we need to be in the business of doing as well! Isn’t it awesome to know about the great achievements of our forefathers and fore-mothers in the faith? They set the standard of what can be done for the Lord when we put Him first. ¬†Which one do you¬†want to be like, dear teacher? ¬†That’s the question you need to find an answer to and live accordingly.

Next week, we will be bringing the series to a close. ¬†I promise you this: ¬†I saved the best for last! ūüôā Can’t wait till then! ¬†God bless you in your classrooms this week and continue to be a WONDER teacher!

 

WONDER Teachers After God’s Own Heart

 

Teachers…

Welcome back W O N D E R teachers!

Ever known someone who could slay bears, lions, and giants? Ever known someone who was after God’s own heart? ¬†David did. David was…. And we can be too.

The letter¬†D is front and center today as we continue our character study, WONDER Teachers.¬†If you’ve missed out on any of the posts in this series, just scroll down after reading today and catch right on up with us!

I have to say, David is one of my favorite Bible people. ¬†I’m telling you, the man could write! ¬†The Psalms, of which he wrote quite a few, literally get me through the toughest of days. ¬†When I get to heaven, I just want to shake his hand, and tell him thank you from the bottom of my heart. ¬†But that’s not all I love about David.

Although he did crazy great things for God, he also screwed up royally. ¬†But. He. Repented… dusted himself off, and got on with God’s will.

God knew David would screw up, but He also knew that David loved Him with all his heart. Likewise, God knows we are human, and being human, we are prone to making mistakes, even messes every now and then! ¬†The most experienced of teachers can mess up too. ¬†But WONDER teachers, pick themselves up, dust themselves off, repent, and get on with God’s will just like David did.

Listen, we teachers can and do slay lions, bears, and giants EVERY day in our classrooms, in the spiritual realm, that is, but ONLY if we are teachers after God’s own heart. Amen? That’s how David was able to do it. ¬†His love for God pressed him to persevere, even when sin got the best of him.

When we mess up in the classroom or in our personal lives, let’s be like David, dear teachers. Loving God with all our hearts makes all the difference between just being a teacher or a WONDER teacher. Which do we want to be?

God bless you in your classroom this week.  Next time, E is on deck!  Until then, stay devoted.

#WONDERteachers  #SpiritOfDavid  #Persevere

Psalm 51:10-13

 

WONDER Teachers, Nazareth, & The Thing Is, You Never Know…


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¬†John 15:13 ¬†Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

Welcome back W O N D E R Teachers!

Let’s switch it up a little this week, shall we? Instead of a biblical character, let’s talk about a biblical city instead…

As I was mulling over the latest letter, N,¬†in our series,WONDER Teachers, I was struck by a verse I came across as I was collecting myself for another day in my middle school classroom. ¬†The verse? ¬†It came from John’s gospel chapter 1:

45¬†Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote– Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 46¬†Nathanael said to him, Can any good thing come out of¬†Nazareth?”¬†Philip said to him, “Come and see.”

How many times have we heard, or even said ourselves, something similar about a student? ¬†How many times have we prejudged a student before they’ve even stepped a foot into our classroom? I will be the first to remorsefully confess I have. ¬†Sometimes we do so without thinking about it (which needs to stop, right?).

Yet, as I read the passage I immediately thought to myself, “Wow Nathan, what a stupid thing to say! I mean really? ¬†This is Jesus we are talking about here. ¬†Of course, something good can come from Nazareth. ¬†He is the epitome of good! ¬†He came to die for your sins and my sins. Get with it Nate!” ¬†I’m not a Bible scholar, but it sounds as if Nazareth was perhaps an area that today we might call the wrong side of the tracks.

Just like Nathanael did, we sometimes come to the wrong conclusion about where our students hail from or rumors we’ve heard as to how they’ve behaved prior to arriving at our door. ¬†Remember, just because a student didn’t gee-haw with one teacher doesn’t mean she won’t gee-haw with you or me, my fellow teachers. ¬†I’ve seen this play out time and time again! ¬†Furthermore, if our students are from areas we deem undesirable, those areas can bring forth students like Jesus or students that need Jesus. ¬†Either way, Jesus died for both!

I’m overwhelmed with what came out of Nazareth. ¬†My Savior, My Lord… Your Savior, Your Lord. His death, His resurrection, His mercy, His grace…. There is no place on earth that is perfect, but as for me, I think if my Savior came from a no good place like Nazareth, then my students who come from the same types of places may have a little something to teach me and not the other way around. The thing is, you never know!

Greater love hath no man… Let’s demonstrate that love to ALL our students.

Wonder students and W O N D E R teachers come from all different kinds of places!  God bless you, dear Christian teachers, and stay devoted.

 

 

 

W O N D E R Teachers, Omega, & The End Game

As we continue our character study of WONDER teachers, today we land on the letter O.

Omega,¬†the last letter in the Greek alphabet, symbolizes endings and literally means great O.¬†How fitting, because God is the end of all things and His name is greater than any other name named in heaven and on Earth. ¬†Since our goal is to put Omega into context for the classroom, I will present some essential questions (ever hear of those fellow teachers?!) for us to mull over…

What is God’s end-game, dear teachers? ¬†What is our end-game? ¬†Should not they be one in the same?

As I have purposely pondered God’s name Omega, I keep coming back to this same question, “What is God’s end-game?” ¬†Ultimately, God has a divine plan and purpose for mankind, but for today’s post let’s call it teacher-kind.

Everything we do in the classroom should be predicated with this question in mind, or, I submit to you, it will be a waste for kingdom purposes.

So let’s get down to the bottom line, shall we?

In teacher-kind, God’s end-game is for us to acquaint as many students as possible to Christ, whether directly or indirectly, knowing when we do our part, He will do His. ¬†You may be asking, but how? Please keep reading for a few suggestions.

First of all, I always ask God everyday to help me be His witness by bringing anything and everything that’s said or taught during the day back around to Him if at all possible. ¬†For example, anytime I hear a student discussing their church, youth group, or Christian club activities, I take full advantage of that conversation, whether individually or in front of the class depending on where and when it’s said!

Also, I will give examples of whatever I’m teaching with a Biblical reference if possible. Today, in one of my classes, I was teaching the word allusion. ¬†The example I gave was one of a character in a story being swallowed up in a dust storm like Jonah. ¬†Jonah was swallowed by a big fish, so there’s the allusion! ¬†Opportunities abound. ¬†We just have to be ready on purpose, dear Christian teacher!

What happens as we purposefully take advantage of these opportunities a lot of the time? ¬†Bingo! ¬†A discussion does! ūüôā

Still another great idea is to volunteer to sponsor a Christian club in your school. ¬†Talk about a golden opportunity!… It offers a legitimate avenue to blanket your school for Christ. ¬†We must use our imagination as well as pounce on these opportunities as they come our way. We are in this for the purpose of leading our students to Christ. Therefore, we must take advantage of each moment when it rears it’s beautiful head.

Yes, we need to be all about our non-verbal communication and underlying values in our day to day demeanor as we imitate Christ, BUT we must also be consciously watching, listening, and waiting as we remember the end-game – acquainting our students to Christ – includes much more!

Prayerfully, we can accomplish our goal in a way that doesn’t get us into trouble with our secular school systems. ¬†But, if it does, He will take care of us. ¬†That’s His job… a job He is very good at, I might add!

Honestly, I stand amazed that our God has, on purpose, placed us in the great mission field of the classroom. Aren’t you? ¬†What a privilege to know we are part of His end-game! ¬†It gives us a purpose and passion like none other. ¬†Amen?! ¬†He is the Alpha and OMEGA. ¬†Keep looking up, teacher-kind, our ending is going to be like none other!

The letter N is up next time.  Until then, be a WONDER teacher! God bless, and stay devoted.

#WONDERteachers  #TeacherKind  #Omega  #GodsEndGame