Monday, September 15, 2014

Somebody vs nobody

Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don’t see many of “the brightest and the best” among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these “nobodies” to expose the hollow pretensions of the “somebodies”? ......... (1 Corinthians 1:26-31 MSG)

As an educator we often pay special tribute to the best and the brightest. This Friday we are honoring three former GHS grads who have gone on to be highly successful people. We have National Honor Society to recognize the best of the best in our current students. We have special awards and honors that all point to those standouts in our school. God is not terribly impressed with those honors. God would rather take the lowly, the nobodies and bless them abundantly. 

Being "bright" is not a sin. But, God loves to take the lowest, the people society overlooks, to represent his kingdom to the powerful. I too have an afinity for the rejected. There are so many kids at school that are not with the "popular" , in crowd. I just love building relationships with these students. I love seeing them grow and mature as they step out into the real world. 

Praise God he loves all of us. He love the best and the brightest to the lowest of the low. He is there for all people equally, regardless of societies ranking system. Praise God for his wondeful love, kindness, and grace!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Christians should display your "Colors"!

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. (Romans 1:16 NIV)

I had a great ride yesterday with a local motorcycle club. Several of my CMA friends and I attended the Old Fort MC Ham & Bean run. It was an absolutely beautiful day.

 I love wearing my colors! For those of you not familiar with this term, motorcycle clubs wear special "back patches" on their leather vests or jackets to identify their club. As a  member it is an honor to wear your colors and you are never to treat those colors with disrespect. It's like the way we treat the American flag. In a motorcycle club you can only pledge your allegiance to one set of colors. With CMA (Christian Motorcyclists Association) our colors are even more powerful. Our colors not only identify us as members of CMA, it identifies us as Gods holy people. That Backpatch represents the gospel and the power of Jesus. If your embarrassed about the gospel you won't wear the patch. It sets you apart. It puts you on display. Your every move is watched, your life is now in a fish bowl. I love it! There is no better way to display the power of my savior for all to see. The responsibility is enormous and it really makes you examine your actions and words. 

All Christians should "display" their colors. People need to know your allegiance. They need to know how Jesus has made a difference in your life. They need to know that Gods love has changed your life. You don't need a leather motorcycle vest and Backpatch to show who you belong to. Share Gods love today!

I'm wrong!

Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe. (Proverbs 29:25 NIV)

"I'm wrong!" 

Those may be the most powerful, life changing, words you can ever speak. The admission of failure, the admission of guilt, the admission of sin, are great life changers. Yet, uttering this small phrase is rare. I'm not sure why. We all know that people make mistakes, nobody is perfect. Yet, it is easier to see others failures than admit our own. This is particularly true with kids, my students. 

As teachers we set ourselves up to be experts in our fields. Yes, it's important for students to have faith in our skill. However, giving the impression of perfection builds a barrier that is very difficult to overcome. In many ways the same is true of our biblical heroes. That's why God put so many "flawed" people on display in the Bible. He wants us to know perfection on Earth is in one man, only one man, his Son, Jesus Christ. All others are failed, flawed, and broken. Teachers and Christians need to open up and let all people know we are human. We make mistakes. We struggle with all the things they do. We doubt God, we get angry with God, and we don't understand his plans. We struggle with sin, divorce, addictions, and more. We need to fully expose those weaknesses to give others hope. We need to show our own vulnerability so others see the working of God in our lives. 

We hope in The Lord, not man! We don't care about ridicule and pressure from man, we only care about the thoughts of our Heavenly Father. We need people to know we serve a perfect God that understands our weaknesses and the sins in our lives. He understood that so much that he sent his son to die for our sins. His death and Ressurection provide a way to wipe out those flaws and make us perfect through his perfection. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

We've lost belief in US!

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8 NIV)

This week was the 13th anniversary of the horrific 911 attack here in the US. I remember the deep togetherness of our country afterward. Democrats, Republicans, blacks, whites, union, nonunion, people of different faiths were all standing together to fight the terrorists who would steal our freedom. 

What changed?  

We have forgotten. President Bush said it would be a long battle. We're still fighting it. As a matter of fact we've been fighting terrorists for a long time. The first I remember clearly, were the terrorist in the 1972 Olympic Games. I remember even prior to that MANY hijackings. Since then it's been a constant battle with these radical, extremists. I believe God is calling us to once again stand as a nation for what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable against those that would destroy all those things. We are called to defend the weak, the powerless, and the body of Christ. We need to do that now against radical Islamic extremists who would destroy God himself if they could. I know people don't look on war as lovely, or praiseworthy. But, God did send his people to war to defend against those who would destroy us. The battle against evil is excellent and it is praiseworthy.

We have lost our way. We are giving in too much to the power of evil. The line we draw in the sand is constantly moving in retreat. We must stop and take a stand, we must put aside our differences, not only to get along, but to support each other through rough times and to defeat evil. We can not do it divided. We are divided and do not come together to solve raven though least controversial problems. We are polarized, we are mean to each other, vindictive, and hateful. 

We need to come together. We need to think on things that are noble, true, right, pure, lovely, and admirable. It has to state now!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

"I'm Not giving up on you!"

And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the Lord has said, even among the survivors whom the Lord calls. (Joel 2:32 NIV)

I have the great joy working with teenagers. I don't always get the best and the brightest. I love getting these kind of kids. I love taking the kids no one else wants, helpings them see some success, and watching them thrive. It brings so much joy to my heart to see them work hard. I have found, in over twenty years in education, if you can get kids to believe, they can do anything. Most unsuccessful students have a terrible self-esteem. They often have no friends, are socially awkward, and have very little in the way of parental support and leadership. So, when you give them that support and unending patience, they will grow in leaps and bounds.
The key is letting them know you will never give up on them. The you must follow through. Most poor performing students don't want to fail. They have no hope. They have no way out. My job is to give hope to teenagers.

God never gives up on us. He will accept us into his kingdom even until the last days. He will accept us like the prodigal son. He provides hope and a way to eternal life. He will treat me like one of my special students. He won't give up and will be with me forever. That kind of grace is just the grace I want to show others. Praise God for his grace, love, and patience with me. I don't deserve it, but he doesn't care! He loves me anyway. He will never change.