Saturday, April 30, 2011

Plugged In

Two years ago, a man from church bought a new scooter.  His wife asked me if I would like to have his other one to use at school.  It was Texas Tech colors, red and black.  I had way too much fun with that scooter.  When turned from turtle to rabbit speed, that thing could move at a fast pace down the hall.  The scooter was a blessing in several ways, especially during fire drills, when I needed to be at a conference on the other side of the school, or I had limited time between events.

Every few days, I would make sure that I plugged in the scooter to recharge the battery.  One morning, I sat on the scooter, pushed the lever to make it go and nothing happened.  After several attempts of pushing the lever hard and then soft, to see if that would help; I noticed that the key was in my lap.  I quickly realized that I had all the power I needed, but if I was not “plugged in” it did me no good.

That is so much like my Christian life.  God has promised me His power, but every day I must choose to be connected, "plugged in", for it to be productive.  And He always moves at just the right speed, is always consistent, and never has to be re-charged.

Acts 1:8
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Ephesians 3:20-21
 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

2 Peter 1:3
 3 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

Friday, April 22, 2011


Luke 18:31-33
31 Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. 32 He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. 33 On the third day he will rise again.”

Luke 24:1-8
 1 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” 8 Then they remembered his words.

Luke 24:45-48
 45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things.

John 3:16
 16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 14:6
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Romans 10:9
 9 That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Birthday Gift

Ephesians 3:20-21
20 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

On April 19th, Larry will celebrate 60 years of life.  Usually, the birthday person is the one who receives presents, cards, phone calls, celebrations, and well wishes on their special day.  Although Larry will be the recipient of all of these, today I am overwhelmingly grateful for God’s “Gift of Larry” to our family, friends and especially me. 

Larry, I am continually blessed because you:
Seek God’s Kingdom first,
You are the spiritual leader in our home,
You love me like Christ Jesus loves the church,
You are a godly father and teacher for our sons,
You model a life of servanthood and service. 

Philippians 1:3-6; 9-11
Thanksgiving and Prayer
 3 “I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
 9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.”

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Encouraging Writing

2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
 16 “May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, 17 encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.”

For the past fourteen years, from the first of April through the middle of May, my evenings, Saturdays, and Sunday afternoons were consumed with hand writing letters of encouragement to each of my 120-140 students.  Since no two students were alike, it took time to compose what I needed to write to affirm and challenge each one.

There was an abundance of help from Larry and the boys during those weeks.  They willingly did extra chores so I would have time to complete the marathon of writing letters.  I toyed with the idea of maybe not doing them a few years, because of the time factor, but it didn’t take long to realize that it was a tradition I didn’t want to break.  Besides, the boys said that was not an option.

The day I handed out the letters was my favorite day of the school year.  I saved the last few minutes of each class period to give them to the students.  Before I handed them out, I told them that what I wrote was what I truly believed.  They each excelled in some way whether it was academics, sports, art, music, writing, communication skills, enthusiasm for life, making friends, humor...  My hope was that they would build on their strengths and be encouraged and challenged to add more attributes in the coming years.

Through the years, former students have told me that they still have and read their letters.  Two years ago, a girl was absent the day I gave out the notes.  When she returned the next day, I gave her the letter I had written to her.  On the way back to her desk she asked, “What is this?”  Before I could answer, the other kids said, “It’s a letter to make you feel good about yourself.”  “I had my mom buy me a picture frame so I could have it in my room to see all the time.”  “My mama said that was the first nice thing a teacher had ever written about me.”  That made it all worthwhile.

Whether written or spoken, may our words be an encouragement to someone this week.

Philippians 4:8
8 “Finally, brothers, 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.”

I Thessalonians 5:11
11 “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Coke Can

Health Update:  I was able to take two longer walks than usual this week, while visiting a friend in the hospital and one in a retirement center.

While teaching 6th graders in school, I always wanted my classroom to be a safe learning environment.  There were a few years that the students seemed intent on using words to hurt their peers.  So, one day, I took an empty Coke can to class.  I showed them how every time they used words to hurt their classmates it was like putting a dent in the can.  After a few examples, the can was quite scarred.  Then I explained that when they realized that person could help them with work, a project, or a competition they would soon regret their words.

I had them practice saying encouraging words.  Each time a student’s words were kind, they were allowed to try to get the dents out of the can.  Even though some of the marks would even out, the scarring remained.  From that day on, if someone spoke negatively about another student either the offended person or someone else who heard the comment would simply say “Coke can”.  Then the student who made the comment had to stand and say three positive statements about the person they had offended.  After one student had to perform the exercise several times, he commented, “I do this a lot don’t I”.  When his classmates agreed, there was a noticeable change for the better.  Within a few weeks, there were very few times we needed to stop and take care of a situation.

The teacher next door and I noticed that the kids were even saying “Coke can” at their lockers and telling students, who weren’t even in my classes, what they needed to say to make the situation right.  I did have a fellow teacher tease me because in the middle of her lesson a student stood and said 3 nice things about another student.  She was amazed, though, since those kids didn’t have a reputation of getting along very well. 

May our words be gifts of encouragement to the people we speak to this week.

Ephesians 4:29
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

Psalm 19:14
“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.”