Use It or Lose It! Fruit Frenzy, Continued

Today we continue with our series Fruit Frenzy, specifically the fruit of faithfulness. How faithful are we, dear Christian teachers?  How’s our attitude toward God and others? Are our actions toward God and our fellow man (students) high-yielding (fruitful)?  Our faithfulness will be a reflection of both.

Furthermore, if we are walking in the spirit, then we are living a life of reliability, faithfulness, obedience, and dependability in the classroom as to the call God has placed on our lives. On the flip side, if our fruit has lost its flavor, or is plumb rotten, then we are not walking in the spirit and therefore aren’t reliable, faithful, obedient, or dependable regarding our calling.  Oh me!

I am reposting Use It Or Lose It!, a blog post I wrote a while back addressing this topic. Let’s be faithful to not lose what God, in His great goodness and tender mercy, has called us to do.  How sad would that be? Walk in the spirit, dear teachers, and use the talent God’s given you to be a winner in your calling from Him.  It’s His will! 🙂


Use It or Lose It!

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God places us where we are to accomplish considerable exploits on His behalf.  He has great expectations for us.  It’s written in His word.  Therefore, as Christians, and Christian teachers, we instinctively understand we are to increase what He puts in our hands. Amen?

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Matthew 25:14-30 New Living Translation (NLT) 

14 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. He called together his servants, Christian Teachers, and entrusted his money to them while he was gone. 15 He gave five bags of silver[a] to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last—dividing it in proportion to their abilities. He then left on his trip.

16 “The servant (teacher) who received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and earned five more. 17 The servant (teacher) with two bags of silver also went to work and earned two more. 18 But the servant (teacher) who received the one bag of silver dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money.

19 “After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. 20 The servant (teacher) to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, ‘Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.’

21 “The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant (teacher). You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together![b]

22 “The servant (teacher) who had received the two bags of silver came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two bags of silver to invest, and I have earned two more.’

23 “The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant (teacher). You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’

24 “Then the servant (teacher) with the one bag of silver came and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate. 25 I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.’

26 “But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant (teacher)! If you knew I harvested crops I didn’t plant and gathered crops I didn’t cultivate, 27 why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’

28 “Then he ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant (teacher), and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. 29 To those (teachers) who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those (teachers) who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. 30 Now throw this useless servant (teacher) into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 

(Red words are mine for emphasis.)

You now understand the title to today’s post, Use It or Lose It!

I firmly believe we are to be actively seeking God as to how we can be better teachers for Him and His glory.  If not, something’s amiss.  God gives fresh ideas and innovative ways to get the job done each and every year we teach if we are seeking Him.  We do what we can do, and He then does what we can’t do.  He has blessed us with talents, and it’s up to us to go to work and increase what we have received and been entrusted with from God Almighty Himself!

I hope and pray each of us wants to do well in our classrooms and to hear these words…

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…or better yet, Well done, good and faithful teacher!  What could be better than celebrating with Jesus? 🙂

God bless you in your classroom this week, dear Christian teachers! Until next week, stay devoted.

#UseWellWhatYouHaveBeenGiven  #UseItOrLoseIt  #ParableOfTheTalents #FaithfulnessDemandsTenacity

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

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

 

 

Love’s Fruit Frenzy – Part 2

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It’s effortless to love lovable people.  Easy to get along with… they are fun, kind, good-natured, and likable.  On the other hand, it takes effort to love unlovable people.  They are just the opposite… mean-spirited, unhappy, and unkind.

Let’s face it.  Our classrooms contain both types. While most of our students are lovable, it’s the OTHER ones that test our love walk on a daily basis.  Amen?  I have a couple of kids right now who are doing just that.  How about you?

However, we are not administering a fruit test to our students.  Instead, we are self-inspecting our own.  Are WE lovable, easy to get along with, fun, kind, good-natured, and likable?  That is the question.  If we are, then there is a good chance our fruit of love is nearly ripe and ready to fill the souls of our students.  But not quite yet…

Dictionary.com defines love in the following way:

1. an intense feeling of deep affection.

“babies fill parents with intense feelings of love”

synonyms: deep affection, fondness, tenderness, warmth, intimacy, attachment, endearment;

2.  a person or thing that one loves.

“she was the love of his life”

synonyms: beloved, loved one, love of one’s life, dear, dearest, dear one, darling, sweetheart, sweet, angel, honey; More

Let’s hoe a little deeper. It’s also translated agape, which is the highest form of the love of God for man, and man for the love of God – a love that is unconditional.  We must continually receive God’s love so that we may give it away.  It’s vital.

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Here is a good place for us to ask ourselves:  Are we spending time with God asking Him to shed his love abroad in our hearts, then lavishly loving our students unconditionally, resulting in our students feeling a deep affection and love for us?  There are always going to be a few students who won’t love us, but if we are genuine in our love walk, unconditionally exhibiting a deep affection for them day in and day out, then love will abound in our classrooms.  Now our fruit will be ripe, delicious, and ready to be eaten and digested by our pupils.  It will be a full-fledged fruit frenzy!

How do we exhibit that love though?  Here’s how God says to do it…

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That’s plenty to ponder and practice isn’t it?  Maybe if we break it down focusing on 1 step each day for 16 days, then practice will make perfect.  Or group a few together and practice, practice, practice. Whatever works best for you.  Remember, fruit takes time to grow.

Here is an acronym to consider too…     LOVE…

Long suffering

Overflowing

Vital

Eternal in perspective

Let’s love and be lovable. Let’s make the effort to love all our students even the “unlovable” ones. Our fruit frenzy begins with love and no less during the week of Valentine’s Day!  🙂  Next week, we will talk about joy.  God bless you and stay devoted, dear teachers.  You will be a more excellent teacher for it!

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