Happy Thanksgiving!

Enjoy your days off!  Devotions for Teachers will resume next week! God bless you!

From Routine to Revival!

Do you feel like this dear Christian teachers?

Perhaps you’re like me.  Lately, I have been in the routine mode.  It’s as if I’m pressing the play button over and over and over and over replaying the same scene over and over and over and over…and the routine makes me want to bang my head against the wall!

Don’t get me wrong.  In some ways routines are good, especially for children and students, offering the stability and security they desperately need. We likewise are the benefactors of those same benefits.  However, once we plunge into the abyss of robot mode, then something needs to change, and fast!

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending First Baptist Church Bremen with the Y-Club.  Something the pastor said really stuck with me. He preached a sermon about Pilate and his dilemma with Jesus.  His dilemma was 3 dimensional in that it had political, physical, and spiritual ramifications. Take a moment and absorb that statement…

If we thoughtfully think that statement through, it could apply to most any dilemma we are facing, maybe not 3 dimensionally like Pilate, but perhaps 2 dimensionally (leaving the politics out in some cases). Perhaps you see where I’m going with this.

I believe there are some root causes of pressing the play button and letting our routines take over instead of the Holy Spirit.  Lack of motivation to pray and read our Bibles, being listless worshipers in Church, as well as not listening to God during the week are just for starters. The one that’s been the stickler for me is my preoccupation with other things. From the TV, to my phone, to my laptop, to entertainment, to doubt, to worry, to disappointment… and the list goes on. And that’s just the spiritual dimension!

The spiritual then leads to the physical which is the routine of life – life in the replay mode, which is essentially an unproductive existence both in the classroom and everywhere else.  For me, it’s lead to murmuring, complaining, and impatience with my students. The days are truly evil, and if you and I are wise, we will repent, put our eyes on Jesus, and get on with His agenda.  Our routine just simply WILL NOT get the job done. Time is too short to stay stuck in this mode for long!

I pray for God Almighty to deliver us from the routines that are keeping us from His best for our lives as well as our students’ lives.  Revival, not routines, WILL get the job done in the classroom. The Holy Spirit must do the work through us as teachers to reach a generation so desperately needing Him. Lord forgive us, fill us, let our hearts be as one with Yours!

Happy Thanksgiving dear Christian teachers!  Let’s redeem the time off by devoting our time to Him during this brief break leaving our routines behind. He will restore and revive our souls which will surely result in better teaching! God bless you!

 

still-waters

#StopBangingYourHeadAgainstTheWall

Dear Students,

Image result for thanksgiving in the sunday school classroom

Last week, I invited you to join me in extending Thanksgiving blessings to our students by writing them a letter. As promised, here are my letters to 1st and 2nd period, respectively. It didn’t take long to write them either!

November 16, 2015

Dear 1st Period,

I am thankful for you!  Both collectively and individually, you are a caring group of young people.  I love seeing you work together to help each other and me.  For example, you were eager to lend a hand when all those stuffed animals for Y-Club needed to be inspected and boxed up to be shipped overseas…all 327 of them!  You are also nice and respectful to each other, which is a breath of fresh air as I witness this day in and day out during class.   

I know each of you will be successful in life!  I’m thanking God for you this Thanksgiving.

Blessings,

Mrs. McBrayer

November 16, 2015

Dear 2nd Period,

I am thankful for you!  I have now had the privilege of teaching you not only in 6th, not only in 7th, but also in 8th grade.  My how time has flown by!  You have grown into some amazing young people.  Your energy and enthusiasm never ceases to amaze me (and wear me out on some days lol).  For example, everyone wants (even begs) to read the standard just to receive a devil dollar!  Why?…  Because you want to WIN! That competitive spirit is going to make every one of you a winner in life.  I have NO doubt about that!  

You are awesome and I am thankful to have taught you throughout your middle school years.  Now, get to work and behave! 

God bless you,

Mrs. McBrayer

Click on this link, The BMS Career Center, to read each period’s letter as I post them this week.  Here’s hoping it catches on, because I firmly believe, without equivocation, as we bless our students we will be blessed as well.

God bless you fellow Christian teachers!  I am thankful for you each and every day.  Stay devoted to God and you will be a more excellent teacher!

Dear 1st Period,

Two more weeks until we, with thanks I might add, receive one week off for Thanksgiving break! Hip Hip Hooray! Glory Hallelujah!  Can I get AMEN?!
More often these days than not, we find our friends posting on social media something for which they are thankful for each day of November.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a thankful person, but sometimes the exuberance of 30 days of thanksgiving posts from as many friends as we have on social media can be just a smidgen too much.  So I thought of something a little bit different to do this year, and I thought you might want to join me in participating in your classrooms as well my fellow teachers!…
Beginning next Monday, the week before our Thanksgiving break begins, I am going to write a short letter to each one of my classes telling them what it is about them and their class for which I am thankful.  These days we read a lot about classroom communities.  What better way to foster communities than this?  Furthermore, I think it will not only minister to their spirits but ours as well, don’t you think?
Class blogs are the perfect platform to post these on, but if you don’t have one just write it down (or better yet, make copies for each student) and read it to your class.  You could also use post it notes (see pic above) and invite students to write their notes of thanksgiving too!  That would be the turkey, dressing, and sweet potato souffle all at the same time, which would definitely be something to thank God for, amen?!
This is how I’m going to break it down:
  • Monday – 1st & 2nd periods
  • Tuesday – 3rd & 4th periods
  • Wednesday – 5th & 6th periods
  • Thursday – Y-Club (we aren’t meeting, but I’m posting it on our blog and our Instagram and Twitter accounts)
  • Friday – Open since it’s always hectic before a big break
Now, you may be like me and have a couple of challenging classes that make it difficult to think of anything they do for which to be thankful!  (Lol, but I speak the truth!)  In this case, we are just going to have to dig down deep and think of something.  I’m thinking out loud here, but I’m going to focus on the majority of the students in those classes who are trying to do their best and are behaving, not the few who aren’t.  Even those kids who make our day difficult are teaching us a little something though.  It’s all about perspective, you might say. Right?
I’m praying it will put a smile on their faces.  Mine too! 🙂  Please join our classroom blog, The BMS Career Center, next week and check out our week of thank yous and share with me if you participate. I would love to hear back from you!  Until then, stay devoted to God… you will be a more excellent teacher for it.  God bless!

Thanksgiving 2013: “His steadfast love endures forever.” Psalm 118

Thanksgiving break – what a wonderful blessing from the Lord, don’t you agree?! With a full week off from school, we teachers have the opportunity to unwind a little bit. Visiting family, shopping, going to the movies, and taking in the sights and sounds of the Christmas season are all on my to do list this week. In particular, I love going to see my mom in Chattanooga where she takes care of everything, and I mean EVERYTHING! I don’t have to do a thing – no cooking, no cleaning, no taking care of the kids (although they are older now, she still keeps them entertained!). We have a wonderful tradition that we began a few years ago where all us girls bundle up and go downtown the Friday after Thanksgiving to see the Christmas boat show on the river! We make a day of it and have so much fun. It makes me happy just thinking about it! 🙂 Similarly, our Heavenly Father has done everything for us, has He not? Think about all the blessings he has bestowed on us! Here are just a few: Jesus, the Holy Spirit, church, family, friends, forgiveness, grace, mercy, food, water, shelter, clothing, health, and the chance to make a difference in kids lives every day as teachers. The list goes on and on. It really is too much to comprehend, isn’t it? This week, join me in meditating on the goodness of God. Whisper prayers of thanksgiving as you do, and your week will be all the better for it. I want to leave you with Psalm 118 before I sign off of this week’s blog. Praise the Lord for His word!

Psalm 118

English Standard Version (ESV)

His Steadfast Love Endures Forever

118 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever!

2 Let Israel say,
“His steadfast love endures forever.”
3 Let the house of Aaron say,
“His steadfast love endures forever.”
4 Let those who fear the Lord say,
“His steadfast love endures forever.”

5 Out of my distress I called on the Lord;
the Lord answered me and set me free.
6 The Lord is on my side; I will not fear.
What can man do to me?
7 The Lord is on my side as my helper;
I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.

8 It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in man.
9 It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in princes.

10 All nations surrounded me;
in the name of the Lord I cut them off!
11 They surrounded me, surrounded me on every side;
in the name of the Lord I cut them off!
12 They surrounded me like bees;
they went out like a fire among thorns;
in the name of the Lord I cut them off!
13 I was pushed hard,[a] so that I was falling,
but the Lord helped me.

14 The Lord is my strength and my song;
he has become my salvation.
15 Glad songs of salvation
are in the tents of the righteous:
“The right hand of the Lord does valiantly,
16 the right hand of the Lord exalts,
the right hand of the Lord does valiantly!”

17 I shall not die, but I shall live,
and recount the deeds of the Lord.
18 The Lord has disciplined me severely,
but he has not given me over to death.

19 Open to me the gates of righteousness,
that I may enter through them
and give thanks to the Lord.
20 This is the gate of the Lord;
the righteous shall enter through it.
21 I thank you that you have answered me
and have become my salvation.
22 The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.[b]
23 This is the Lord’s doing;
it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.

25 Save us, we pray, O Lord!
O Lord, we pray, give us success!

26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
We bless you from the house of the Lord.
27 The Lord is God,
and he has made his light to shine upon us.
Bind the festal sacrifice with cords,
up to the horns of the altar!

28 You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;
you are my God; I will extol you.
29 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever!

Blessings to you and your students now and always,
Donna