Friday, July 31, 2015

Warning: Political Message inside.............I love my Governor!

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.............If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.” Romans 12:2, 8 NLT (http://bible.com/116/rom.12.2,8.nlt)

It's been several months since I posted, what I believe, is a political message. I've been laying low. I want to use social media to "build up", not "tear down". Our society has turned ugly. We are posting horrendous things about people. If you kill a lion it's fair game to threaten your life. It's so ironic and ridiculous! We love to hate politicians and are down right vile if we disagree with them. So I know this post will really get the ire up on many of my Facebook friends. I don't care! 

In keeping with my commitment to purely positive posts, I want to praise my governor, the Governor of the state of Indiana. I ride by a sign every day, in my neighborhood, that says "Pence must go!" Yesterday I got to shake his hand and tell him how much I appreciate him. I was able to personally encourage him to keep fighting the good fight. We talked and I was able to observe his interaction with a group of regular Hoosiers. I am proud to have a Governor that stands for religious freedom. I'm proud to have a governor who is fiscally responsible even when it requires tough decisions. I am proud of my state. Many of my educator friends hate Governor Pence. I might not always agree with him. I'm not sure I would ever agree with every decision of any politician. I do not agree with the handKing of the State Superintendent controversy. But, I support most of his policies. He wants competition in education. Im not afraid to compete with charters or private schools. I will stack my School against anyone, we provide the best education with the best staff, anywhere. He wants teachers evaluated and paid on merit. So do I. I don't want bad teachers to get the same pay as I do and I don't want them to stay in education. I'm not afraid to be evaluated. If I need to get better, I will. If I am doing a good job, I want to be rewarded. I WANT to be paid by the quality of my teaching. He doesn't want to spend money we don't have and he wants to save money for a rainy day. He doesn't want my religion to be the focus of ridicule and persecution. To sum things up, he cares about people and that gets my vote every time.

I love that my governor is a normal, cowboy boot wearing, ride through the rain on a motorcycle, talk to a biker, then goof around with a bunch of kids, kind of guy. I love it when he can poke fun at himself and accept a compliment with genuine humility. I love it that he would shake every hand of every state police officer and praise them publicly for the job they do. This is not an evil man as teachers union leaders, liberals, gay rights activists, and special interest groups want to make him out to be. He's my governor and I like him. 

Yep, you can go ahead and start hatin right now. You can unfriend me or post your furious outrage. I choose to lift up my leaders, support them, and most importantly, pray for them every day! Praise God Indiana has been blessed with a wonderful leader. Thank you Governor Pence for your support yesterday and I pray the Holy Spirit will guide you through the rest of your life. Amen!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

No school rules!

“So it is God who decides to show mercy. We can neither choose it nor work for it.  What does all this mean? Even though the Gentiles were not trying to follow God’s standards, they were made right with God. And it was by faith that this took place. But the people of Israel, who tried so hard to get right with God by keeping the law, never succeeded. Why not? Because they were trying to get right with God by keeping the law instead of by trusting in him. They stumbled over the great rock in their path. God warned them of this in the Scriptures when he said, “I am placing a stone in Jerusalem that makes people stumble, a rock that makes them fall. But anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.””    Romans 9:16, 30-33 NLT.  (http://bible.com/116/rom.9.16,30-33.nlt)

School is just around the corner here in northeast Indiana. The first few days of school deal with letting students know the expectations, rules, and consequences. Teachers have varied approaches to dealing with students. Some give great lists of dos and don'ts. It seems they spend most of their school year trying to catch kids messing up. They seem to revel more in discipline than the learning. They favor complaint students and deal harshly with those that aren't. My policies are simple. I want a professional environment that encourages students. I want to build a positive relationship so we can both trust each other and I want to instill the love I have for learning. I don't sweat the small stuff and am open and honest with my students. I want them to do the same thing.

I am so glad God is not sitting on his throne trying to catch me breaking a list of rules. Many people think he is. Grace and mercy prove that he's not. The Bible states, over and over again, we can't earn favor with God, we can't work to earn his love. We don't have a set of rules we must live by. We just need faith and trust in God. The older I get in the faith, the more I realize I can't keep a long list of rules. I'm a sinner and I mess up. Without grace I would be dead in my faith. God offers mercy and grace for all of us, even those that have lived despicable lives of sin. All we need to do is trust in him, devote ourselves to him, and promise to live life with him. 

Praise God for his mercy and grace. I promise to trust you with everything in my life. Amen!

A Father's Wise Advice

“My children, listen when your father corrects you. Pay attention and learn good judgment, for I am giving you good guidance. Don’t turn away from my instructions.” Proverbs 4:1-2 NLT (http://bible.com/116/pro.4.1-2.nlt)

I'm a father of three wonderful daughters. I pray for them every night that the Lord will give them good judgment. In my 35 years as a father I've given my share of advice. I have given advice on jobs, raising kids, faith, potential moves, and fashion. Yep, they really listen to me on that one! I get frustrated when my daughters don't listen to me. I have 55 years of life experiences and I hate to see my girls repeat mistakes I have made. But, they are adults and sometimes they need to learn for themselves by making mistakes. It still frustrates me and causes me pain when I see them struggling through life's challenges. If they would just listen to me and my experiences, their lives would be so much better!

It's about this time in my thoughts that I realize I have a Heavenly Father thinking the exact same thing about me! My daughters don't always listen to my 55 years of experience, but I have no excuse for not listening to the creator of the universe. Many times I won't even go to him for advice and when I do, I often ignore it. I turn away from his instruction. Busting out on my own without Gods guidance nearly always ends in disaster. Then I sheepishly return asking for forgiveness and a way to make things right. I've never been abandoned. My God is a great father. 

Thank you Lord for not leaving me when I ignore your wonderful guidance. Please be with my girls. Give them guidance, be with them, help them when they fail, and protect them from the enemy. I love you Lord and your grace is amazing. Thank you Lord for your patience and love!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

How Loyal are you?

“Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart.”  Proverbs 3:3 NLT. http://bible.com/116/pro.3.3.nlt

I'm a loyal fan. I've been a Yankee fan, a Dolphin fan, and a Hoosier fan my entire life. I even cheer for IU football. The Yankees have had some great years and some not so great years. We have battled controversies and haters together. But, I'm not sure this verse in Proverbs is talking about loyalties to sports teams. I wish people were as loyal to God and each other as they are to their favorite teams.

We need to be loyal to God and to the people in our lives. In my own life I have not been consistently loyal to the God of the universe. My mood, life's circumstances, and the busyness of life have kept me from being a consistent LOYAL follower. In my advancing years my loyalty has grown. I have seen the faithfulness of my Heavenly Father and am embarrassed by my wavering faith over the years. 

Our faithfulness needs to extend to the people we live with throughout our daily lives. Our society does not value loyalty. The decline of marriage is the best example. Being a loyal friend, coworker, or spouse is not as easy as it seems. It takes severe give-and-take and extreme levels of selflessness. To be loyal to God, friends, and family means putting them before yourself. Loyalty is a key cornerstone to our witness as a Christian. God sets the example. He is the epitome of a loyal friend. He promises to never leave us and he has sacrificed all for us. That is what we are to do with him and others.

Lord, I am sorry for my lack of loyalty. My faithfulness over the years is not what it should have been. Forgive me for not mirroring your faithfulness with others. Help me to show others the same loyalty you share with me. I love my family, friends and coworkers. Give me the guidance to demonstrate my loyalty and that love with my words and actions. I love you Lord and praise you for this wondeful life I live. Amen!

A senseless horse or mule?

“The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.””
Psalms 32:8-9 NLT -- http://bible.com/116/psa.32.8-9.nlt

The older I get the more I can see the truth of this scripture. The Lord has guided me along the best pathway for my life. He has watched over me. He has advised me and my life is wonderful. But I have to admit I have acted much like a senseless horse or a mule through parts of my life. 

I am constantly amazed at the love and patience of my wonderful Lord. How he can stay with me while I ignore his advice, try to make my own path, and fight his direction, is beyond my understanding. Even through my own resistance he has given me a wonderful life and I can't imagine there could have been a better pathway. I always come back to the knowledge that God, the Creator of the universe, knows best. Like most people, I have to constantly remind myself that HE is in charge and he knows what is best for me. Why I keep fighting him is a mystery. 

Dear Lord, I love you and am completely humbled by your amazing love. I cherish your guidance. I am thrilled with the path you have set before me. Please, Lord, forgive me for my stubbornness. Forgive me that I have fought your perfect plan and tried to substitute my own. I ask you to continue to provide me with your wisdom and guidance. My life would be a disaster without it. I praise you and honor you with all that I am. Amen!