Monday, July 30, 2012

The World Stopped!

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9 NIV84)

Do you ever get tired of doing good? I'm not talking about wanting to do something evil. I'm talking about being tired of all the work it takes to be a servant. If you're a devoted follower of Christ, you know the feeling. Serving at church and serving in other ministries along with a job and family can really wear you out. Sometimes it's not the physical labor, but the emotional and spiritual stress that wears you out.

Today, was an emotional day, again. On memorial day weekend, I participated in a motorcycle ride to honor fallen soldier, Jabraun Knox. Honoring someone who made the ultimate sacrifice with his life wears you out. Yesterday, I did it again. This one was even more difficult. I personally knew Army SPC Nick Taylor when I was Athletic Director at South Adams High School. My grandson is best friends with Nick's brother and went to the prom with his sister. Traveling the 40+ miles was an extremely emotional experience.

Leaving the Air National Guard Base in Ft. Wayne and traveling at a respectful 20-30mph was an endurance test for everyone. I am so proud of our communities and this wonderful country. To see the display of patriotisism, and sincere heartfelt respect for Nick was incredible. Every intersection, every home, and every roadside on the route was filled with supporters. This occurred as a crescendo, until its climax in Nick's home town of Berne. Along the way, people who didnt know Nick were weeping. The Amish, who are adamantly anti-war, lined the rural roads to pay respect. Cross County Rival Adams Cenral had their Football team, in uniform along the road. Fast food businesses closed down and the employees lined the streets. The world stopped for a day to show respect for Nick and his family.

I had the great honor to personally witness the arrival of Nick at the base and participated in the flag line for him and his family. I will never forget the day. I will never forget Nick's sacrifice. I was worn  out from the experience, but it's nothing like what this family is going through. Many people had to endure the heat, the slow traffic, and the inconvenience of rerouted traffic. Nick's family would give anything not to have to endure this pain. The leader of the Patriot Guard thanked all the riders who came. He said he hoped he never had to see us again for this purpose.

I agree.

I had to give a special hug and kiss to my grand kids yesterday. It is because of Nick and others like him that my grandkids are guaranteed the freedom to pursue their dreams. I had to say a special prayer for Nicks family. Thank you Jesus for people like Nick and others who sacrifice for us. Please Lord Comfort his family. Help them to cherish his memories and the love they shared.

Thank you Jesus for paying that same price for me!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Turning the Light Switch ON!

 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. (2 Corinthians 3:17 NIV84) 

Do you realize how limited we are as teachers? We like to think we can motivate kids to learn. We want to take kids that don't care and make them care. This is noble and really is a worthwhile goal. How realistic is it? Do we have it within ourselves to save a student?

No, not really! At least it's not COMPLETELY up to us. We can plant seeds, we can try many different methods, and we can be persistent. But, we can't force a kid to learn when he/she doesn't want to. The desire to learn has to come from within. Once that desire is present, THEN great things can happen. I have seen students where the "Light" switched ON and they just took off. You couldn't hold them back, even if you wanted to. That switch exists within each of us. The power is always available, but the switch has to  be flipped to ON.

The Spirit of the Lord is the same way. We have to switch the light to ON in order o access the power of Jesus Christ. As Christians, we are like teachers. There is only so much we can do. We can live by example, we can be there to comfort in loss, to support during difficult times, and love unconditionally. When it comes down to it, each person has to turn that switch on for themselves. Once we do and we allow the POWER of the Spirit to live within us, magnificent things will happen. We will no longer be slaves to sin, but we will be free. That Freedom is not like anything else you can experience.

YOU have to turn the switch ON!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

I'm with you!

You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant–not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. (2 Corinthians 3:3-6 NIV84)

E-mails, posts, tweets, texts, blogs, and phone calls are all great ways to stay in touch with friends, family, co-workers, and your PLN (professional learning network). I am as connected as anyone on the planet. I still prefer face-to-face. It is one thing to tell someone you are with them in spirit. It is completely another to actually be with them.

When I tell someone "I'm with you.", it helps to REALLY be with them. When I tell someone I'm with them in spirit, who does it help? More likely it helps me more than the person needing my support. It's not always possible to be with someone during a crisis. I know that. There may be a small level of relief to know someone is thinking about you, even if they can't be there. Still, there's nothing better than walking shoulder to shoulder with someone going through a crisis. You can really tell your key supporters if they STAND with you.

That's why Christ sent us the Holy Spirit. It's nice to know that "Jesus Loves Me". Jesus knew that we needed more. So, he sent his Spirit to live within us. Now, this concept seems foreign to non-believers. The Spirit of Christ is not the same as telling someone you will be with them. When I tell someone I am with them, I can not physically affect them during each step of the crisis. The Holy Spirit of Christ never leaves us and directly impacts how we feel and react during a crisis.

Those of us who have committed our lives to Christ, know of the presence of the Spirit in our lives. We have personally felt the affect of the Spirit actually comforting, guiding, and influencing us when we need it the most. If you haven't felt that kind of presence, you don't know what you're missing. You can feel that presence, you just have to ask. You just have to turn everything over to Christ and he will send that Spirit directly into each moment of your life. Truly, he is WITH US!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Are we there yet?

Revelation 1

New International Version (NIV)

The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place.

It's the middle of July and family vacations are in full swing. Like most people, I love vacation time. Now that all my kids are grown, it's just Stephanie and I. We have a great time. Our vacations are full of adventure, but are still very relaxing. The most important part of vacation is that I get to spend time with my best friend, ever. Our typical schedule is filled with school, school events, grandkids, family events, and serving others. We just don't have very much time for each other. That's what vacation is all about. We just got back from vacation to the UP of Michigan. It was wonderful. We traveled over 1300 miles on the Harley, camped in our pull behind camper, rode in the rain, ate "Pasties", saw a wonderful wedding, and got to spend time with each other. I'll say it again, I LOVE VACATION!

During family vacations, the kids always ask the infamous question, "Are we there yet?" Stephanie never asks that and I'm thankful. Young kids don't have a very good concept of time. Have you ever tried to explain to a preschooler how long it will take to travel to Florida? It's not easy. The excitement of vacation brings and abundance of Impatience from our kids. Eventually, we get to the destination. But, that only happens after hearing "the question" an infinite number of times. 

God looks at his children the same way. We don't have a very good concept of time when it comes to God's plan. I don't know about you, but I'm not very patient when it comes to waiting on God. When he says "soon" it could be today, tomorrow, next month, next year, or several years. We don't know God's timeline. That's really what faith is all about. Just like Children on vacation, we need to just accept our Father IS in charge and knows the path. He knows the destination, how to get us there and how long it will take. He knows the excitement and adventure we will face along the path. We just have to trust him and leave the trip to him. I can look back on my life and see God's amazing plan unfold in great and wonderful ways. Why should I doubt him when it comes to the future? I need to trust him and hold on for the adventure.  I need to stop asking "Am I there yet?" God doesn't reveal the trip so we will rely on him. If we knew the plan, we would leave him at the start. 

Thank You Lord for this wonderful adventure you have given me. I praise you for vacations, work, and play. Thank You Lord for guiding me and being patient with my childlike attitudes. I love you and look forward to more adventures!

Thursday, July 12, 2012


So now we have a high priest who perfectly fits our needs: completely holy, uncompromised by sin, with authority extending as high as God's presence in heaven itself.(Hebrews 7:26 MSG) Nobody's perfect. Teachers aren't perfect, mom's aren't, dads aren't, policemen aren't, grandparents aren't and pastors aren't either. We are all sinners and make mistakes. Some people think they're prefect. It is so hard for people to think of themselves as less than perfect. Oh, it's easy to point out someone else's faults with the "plank" firmly in front of our own eyes. It's ok, to not be perfect. God doesn't expect us to be. I love it when a pastor admits his own faults, his weaknesses, and even his sins. It makes them seem so real. As a teacher, it's important for me to also face up to my mistakes, especially to my students. It's also important for us to give our students permission to make mistakes. They are learning, for goodness sakes, they are going to make mistakes along the way. We reward perfection with A+'s. We give them special recognition and place them on pedestals. What about the kid that gets a C+? Frankly, I prefer a kid who knows how to fail, than one who doesn't. Life is going to be full of failures. Everyone needs to kow how to cope and rise above failure. Jesus was perfect. The only way he experienced failure was when he took on our sin at the cross. He made himself out to be a sinner, when he wasn't. He died for us so that in our faults and sinfulness, we could live like we were perfect. We can experience his perfection when we accept his sacrifice. Praise God for his perfection and his acceptance of me, an imperfect sinner.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Jude 1

New International Version (NIV)
]16 These people are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.

I know people who can find fault in anything. If God came down to give them a million dollars, they would complain it wasn't 2 million! I know people who have been given great gifts and blessings, yet they complain about their lives. I don't care what profession you're in or where you work, or how wonderful your friends and family are, we ALL are thinking about someone right now that fits that description.

I read an editorial in the newspaper today about people STILL complaining about the multi-class basketball tournament here in Indiana. Even though students, coaches, and administrators CLEARLY want the multi-class system, they want to go back. I know people who HATE technology and want to GO BACK to the way it was. Everything was PERFECT before technology!? Every year i hear from Middle School teachers that THIS CLASS is the worst class we have ever had, "Good Luck with them." Teachers find fault and grumble about administration. Students find fault and grumble about teachers. Administrators complain and grumble about students, teachers, parents, legislators, and everyone else they can think of. As a society we complain about our bosses, our jobs, our families, our tiredness, our entire life!

Do we believe God is in control? REALLY BELIEVE? Our lips say we believe but our words are shallow. IF God is in control, what right do we have to complain? 

Let me tell you, one thing for sure...... GOD IS IN CONTROL!

We are blessed beyond our wildest dreams and imaginations. We boast about how great we are and use others for our own selfish reasons. Where is our faith in God?

God has blessed me and I can find no fault in those blessings. He has taken care and watched over me AND my family, even when I don't deserve it. To whom shall I complain? Do I think I deserve MORE? I can complain about nothing. I really need to PRAISE GOD FROM WHOM ALL BLESSINGS FLOW! Thank you Lord for your endless love. Thank You for the wonderful life you have blessed me with. Thank You for my wonderful family, friends, and coworkers. Thank You for the wonderful students you have brought into my life. I will do everything to HONOR YOU in all I do. I will serve to bless the faculty, students, and community of GHS. I will do all to love my wife and family. I will do all for you. PRAISE GOD! PRAISE GOD!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Health and Happiness!

Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. (3 John 1:2 NIV84)

I have seen a few surveys that show that Christians live LONGER, HEALTHIER lives.

Read this Article: The Christian Post: Christians Live Healthier, Longer

Obviously, that's not always true.  God has blessed his followers with the great opportunity to live Healthy lives.Yet, some of us do our best to reject that blessing. Obesity, is rampant and even though many people suffer from diseases that contribute to excessive weight, most of us can control our weight. We CHOOSE not to treat our bodies like the temples they are: "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship."
~ (Romans 12:1) 

It is an act of worship to live a Health Life.  SurfintheSpirit. com had this to say about Christian Health 

I REPEAT, JUST BECAUSE YOU"RE OVERWEIGHT DOESN'T MEAN YOUR LAZY. But, I would have to say that MANY people who are unhealthy could GREATLY improve their own health. We are in control of our lifestyles and choices that directly affect our health. We, like the rest of the world, look for short cuts to a better life.  Instead of exercise, better nutrition, and greater rest, we look for quick fixes, energy drinks, weight loss pills and fad diets.  Losing weight is an endurance event. You can't do it in a week, a month, or even a year. It takes a life style change to REALLY become healthier.

Many of us have the same approach to our spiritual health. Instead of studying God's word, praying, worshiping, and sharing, we look for quick fixes. Their is no short cut to God and there's only one path to eternity with him. Your body's a temple, but God wants your heart. Just like losing weight, it takes a lifestyle change. It takes time and dedication to drawing closer to him. God wants you to follow him, He wants you! 

Sunday, July 8, 2012


Hebrews 6

New International Version (NIV)
6 -- 10 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.

I have not written one of these blogs for quite a while, nearly 3 weeks. So, I thought I should get with it. I have been busy completing my Summer Professional Development and traveling to a tech conference (ISTE2012) for educators. I've been busy. AND over that time I have added quite a few people to my PLN (twitter followers). SO, I might have some new readers. If you're coming here to as a PROFESSIONAL EDUCATOR and not interested in this type of BLOG, I apologize. Let me explain how this blog has come about:

For years I have journaled every evening as I studied my Bible. I am a Math Teacher, not a writer. I had always written for myself with the idea that it helped me focus on what I was studying. Somewhere along the line I took a Professional Development Course about Web 2.0 and decided to start BLOGGING. It is scary starting to share your personal thoughts with the WORLD. (Ok, it's not the world, but it seems like it!) But, it has been great for me and I have gotten comments about it, so I have continued.

For those of you who are not believers in Christ, I would love to change your mind, to convince you of the power of Jesus Christ. Even though that would be great, my main purpose for this blog is to just share my life, my struggles, my thoughts, and how being a follower of Christ is embedded in my life. I'm not perfect, my wife and 3 girls can attest to that. But, I am trying to live the life Christ would have me live. Sometimes, I am more successful than at other times.

Hebrews 6:10 -- God is just. God is just. God is just. Many times in my life I have had to repeat these three words to try to convince my weak faith. I have seen so much injustice in the world that I have a tendency to blame God. But, God is just. Why do his followers suffer? Why do "Christians" go through the pain of loss? 


It's an age old question with not very good answers. I wish I could give you a wise response. My reward is not here on this Earth. My reward will come later. So, this verse means a lot to me. God will not forget my faithfulness. He won't forget yours either. I will focus on loving him and sharing that love with the people I see every day. I will try to be the type of servant he wants me to be. I want to serve him. I'll worry about the rewards later. It's not easy living in a world filled with injustice. I know many of those injustices are because of our own sinfulness. Sometimes those injustices hurt the innocent. 

I struggle with that. 

But, I have seen God in action in my own life. I know he will bring me through all trials and tribulations. He has been with me through the good and the bad. I trust in his perfect wisdom and his amazing grace. This world is not perfect and I don't understand God's plan. But I DO trust him and love him. I have gotten to the place, I don't need all the answers. I'll leave those answers to him that created the heavens and the earth. He promised not to forget us. I'll rest in that assurance.