Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Back to School

I've been thinking a lot about going back to school as the new year approaches. I have more thoughts than I really care to have...some good, some not so good. Every year, about this time my heart starts drooping and I get pretty sad that summer is almost over. I absolutely LOVE the summer. I love getting to spend the day with my sweet girls with no agenda except going to the zoo, the park, the mall, or anywhere else that sounds like a good place to be. I love vacations and flip-flops and afternoon naps. No last minute lesson plans to make perfect, no midnight runs to walmart for supplies I thought I had for the lab the next day. No getting the girls up and off to school by 7:00, not to see them again till 5:00 later that day. Summer is so carefree and relaxing...can't the whole year be this way?

Then I think about all my students...all 150 (give or take) that I'll soon see everyday. Students that I will have the chance to burn a lasting impression in their lives and hopefully hearts. Last year I purposed in my heart to see my students as more than just students. I wanted to see them as God would have me see them. This changed a lot of my responses and I became intentional in what I said. Many students became very dear to my heart. I even got to share the Gospel with one entire class, many of whom had NEVER heard it in our own backyard that have NEVER heard the classroom is a true mission field. I pray that I will see it that way everyday.

All this sounds great, but most of the time I felt that I wasn't connecting the dots so that my students would see that it was Christ in me that made the difference in my attitude. Throughout the year, I would often question myself (or was it God convicting me?), "Does so-and-so even know that I'm a Christian? Do I speak unashamedly of His love and forgiveness?" In response, I'd defend myself, "Well, can't they see the kind heart I have? Can't they see how I don't respond in anger?" But, I knew that wasn't good enough. And then, this last Sunday, God spoke through Terry (our pastor) and convicted me again! He spoke about connecting the good deeds we do with the Gospel. We have to purposefully make the connection between what we do and say with Jesus. Doing good is not the goal! Even unbelievers do good! What makes us different is the reason behind the doing good...Jesus! And if I can't help my students see that the good flows out of Christ in me, then I'm no different than an unbeliever. I pray that this year, I will be bold and courageous so that Christ will be exalted through my "doing good."

Thursday, July 1, 2010

"Wanting" isn't enough

I want so badly to be used by God, to tell of His great love for us through the Cross and how He's worked in my life. I want to love God with all of my heart and love others more than myself. I want to have a heart for the lost and do something with my changed heart. But wanting doesn't seem to cut it. It's like almost. I almost made the basket that would have won the game. I almost went to state in track. But I didn't. I've found myself in places lately where I could have spoken up, spoken His name, told others about Jesus and all He's done in my life and in my marriage...but I didn't. I kept silent. Didn't say a word. Why is it that I want something to be true of me, but then don't make it true?

I read this verse today (convicting!), and I pray that I will apply in my own heart and life this encouragement from Paul (2 Timothy 1:8-9 The Message): "God doesn't want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible. So don't be embarrassed to speak up for our Master or for me, his prisoner. Take your share of suffering for the Message along with the rest of us. We can only keep on going, after all, by the power of God, who first saved us and then called us to this holy work."