Friday, May 6, 2016

Not just "now I lay me down to sleep"

“if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV. http://bible.com/111/2ch.7.14.niv

I think it is obvious, we should be in constant prayer for our nation. We are a nation divided. We are divided in so many ways, politically, ethically, and religiously. We will never see true unity as long as we, as a nation, continue to ignore God. For a dwindling Christian community it is easy to give up hope. We just can't give up. The more difficult the fight, the stronger our faith should be. Our efforts to share Christ should redouble when life gets tough, when things go against us. Satan uses our division as his greatest weapon. Prayer is our greatest weapon to fight the evil in this world. Healing occurs through prayer. Forgiveness occurs through prayer. Peace occurs through prayer. 

In our fast paced society, prayer is the first casualty. We are so rushed we just don't sit down to spend time with the Lord. We might be dedicated to going to church. We might be dedicated to living a life "the right way". That is just not enough. Parents might teach their kids, the cute prayers at dinner, they might even pray with their kids before bedtime (although this is more rare). Prayer is not just the recitation of the Lord's prayer. We can't save our world, the people heading to permanent death, without the power of prayer. We must devote ourselves to real prayer, not just "Now I lay me down to sleep..." prayer. We need real prayer, real conversation with God. We need to plead, pour out our hearts, laugh, cry, and just chat with the Lord. Why would we not take advantage of an open line of communication with the creator of the universe? We are missing out on the blessings, our communities are missing out, and our nation is missing out. Hope is through prayer!


Dear Lord, I ask your forgiveness for the missed opportunities to speak with you. I know you are there to listen and it is exclusively up to me to take advantage of your grace through prayer. Lord I love you and want to honor you with my life. Please Lord, come and save me, so I can save the world for your kingdom. Amen!


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Life's Journey

“Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?””2 Chronicles 1:10 NIV. http://bible.com/111/2ch.1.10.niv

This is one of my favorite prayers. Thirty  years ago, my prayers would have been for "stuff". I would have prayed for jobs, money, and getting my own way. I am maturing in the faith. Being a christian means you are accepting a life that is a journey. Our journey is different than the world's journey but just as exciting. We are not on a path to success as the world views it. We are on a path to gaining wisdom and knowledge. We are on a path to gain more wisdom and knowledge to help others. Solomon was one of our first leaders who understood that goal.

A group of teachers and our principal have been going through a book study called "Smart Strengths". It's a good book talking about identifying and using your strengths. Three of my identified strengths are "Love of Learning", "Curiosity" , and "Spirituality". I think these three strengths fit together perfectly. I have always been curious and love to learn about God. To me true wisdom is not knowing more math, or science, or how to run a successful business. Wisdom comes from the Lord. and knowing him is true wisdom. My life, which is wonderful, comes directly from knowing my savior and seeking him in all things. I highly recommend this adventure to everyone. Love the Lord, seek his will in your life, and share the wisdom gained through knowing him. That is our life goal.


Dear Lord, I treasure my relationship with you. I am joyful over the path you have led me. I am blessed beyond measure. I know I am not perfect and know you accept me anyway. Help me to continue to gain wisdom and knowledge that I can help others. I want to lead others to know you. That is my life journey and that is my adventure. Praise God for the adventure! Amen!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Loyalty

““And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.”  1 Chronicles 28:9 http://bible.com/111/1ch.28.9.niv

          I am devoted to my school. I am a Railroader! I have been a Garrett Railroader for nearly a quarter century. I love this community and I love my school. It is so old fashioned to be dedicated to your employer. Our mobile society is on the go and that includes switching jobs. The services of the average American are open to the highest bidder. Loyalty is a thing of the past. It is not just loyalty to an employer, loyalty to a place of worship is the same way. Loyalty to a spouse or family is also very rare. I am saddened that we don't have the wholehearted devotion to God, either. 

           I have been married for 38 years, I have worked for GKB for nearly 25 years, I am deeply devoted to my family, and friends. WE all need to devote ourselves to service to each other. Loyalty and devotion isn't fleeting. Loyalty and devotion stands through tough times. Loyalty and devotion understand that there are no perfect families, friends, churches, businesses, schools, or communities. We accept the good with the bad. We work to make things better and work to love each other through all things. God is our example. He alone is the perfect example of LOYALTY. He has and never will leave us. He is completely devoted to us. If we seek him he will be found. Praise God he loves me through all things!

Dear Lord, I love you. I am humbled by your greatness and that even with that greatness, you are there for me. I have followed you for 44 years. When I haven't been loyal you have always remained devoted and by my side. God you are great. May we all follow your lead and devote ourselves to each other. Amen!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Consequences

“So Gad went to David and said to him, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Take your choice: three years of famine, three months of being swept away before your enemies, with their swords overtaking you, or three days of the sword of the Lord —days of plague in the land, with the angel of the Lord ravaging every part of Israel.’ Now then, decide how I should answer the one who sent me.””1 Chronicles 21:11-12 NIV  http://bible.com/111/1ch.21.11-12.niv

Consequences. None of these choices were good choices. (It's looks just like our presidential election.) David was loved dearly by God. He was the start of the lineage leading to Christ. God led him into battles over ominous foes. He promised high blessings to his family for generations. But, when David, the beloved king of Israel, sinned against God, he had to pay the consequences. His sin wasn't killing someone. It wasn't stealing, rape, or murder. It was a minor infraction, but it definitely went against the will of God. After, this event and the punishment, God continued to dearly love David. We all make mistakes and forgiveness does not mean getting rid of the consequences. God loves us. God still holds us accountable. 

Or society is so fickle. We accept and encourage judgment on OTHERS. We will help build the gallows when someone else stumbles. Yet, when we sin, a dear friend sins, or simple mistakes are made, we want mercy and no consequences. Life just doesn't work that way. When we fail, God loves us. When we sin, when we make mistakes, God still loves us but he holds us accountable. He let's us suffer the consequences of our own doing, but he is there to share in our pain. We need to do the same. We can forgive. We SHOULD forgive, but instead of protesting the consequences, we need to share all the love we can while going through those same consequences.  There is pain and suffering in this world, in our country, in our communities, and in our own homes. Many times that pain and suffering is of our own doing. God loves us through all things, including the pain. That is real love!

Dear Lord, Thank you for the forgiveness of my sins. Thank you for your constant love through all circumstances. I praise you that your grace and mercy are perfect. I know this world must suffer the consequences of our own sins and mistakes. The punishments are necessary. I love you and praise you for walking beside me when I cause my own problems. I love you lord! Amen!

Monday, May 2, 2016

I have come a long way!

16Then King David went in and sat before the lord and prayed,
“Who am I, O  lord God, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? 1 Chronicles 17:16
We are winding down another school year. May is here. I am thankful for the year. I have been blessed with great students and great colleagues. The year is not ending as I had hoped, but I can not ignore how far God has brought me as a teacher and a person. 
I love what I do. I love teaching Math and life lessons to my students. I like them to know I am not perfect at Math or at life. I think it is so important that I am REAL to my students. I want them to know I care while pushing them to be grow uncomfortably. I really DO care. It's not an act. It's not something I am forced to do. I truly love my students and my colleagues. 
I think it is important to build relationships, to love unconditionally, and to serve in any way I can. When I learn how to do that like Jesus did, the world will be a better place. I certainly have not perfected my teaching. I'm certainly not a perfect person. Every day I progress down the path to where I want to be. I can not get there on my own. It is only through the grace, love, and power of Jesus that I am who I am. Praise God he has brought me along that path to where I am today! 

Dear Lord, I love you. I need your help as we finish this school year. I need your help as I continue to become the person you want me to be. Help me to love the way you would  love. Help me to serve as you would serve. You are amazing, Lord, and I am blessed to be called yours. I love you more today than yesterday. I will love you forever. Amen!