Monday, July 28, 2008

Love, love, love, love (feel free to hum along)

The theme of love keeps coming up all around me. That is just sooooo like God. It's that time of year when I begin "full steam ahead" into school planning. I had decided at the end of last year that our first Bible lessons this year would be about love. In my classroom, in a private Christian school, I have the privilege to explore with children how God meant for us to love one another. You see we are not just an assortment of people there to learn reading, writing, and arithmetic; we are a community of believers there to love and support each other while we learn reading, writing, and arithmetic! We are there as a community of believers to draw closer to God and each other. I just love that about teaching in a Christian school. I’ve taught this way for so many years now that I’m not sure I could do it any other way. I have the blessing of not only being able to talk about God openly, but He's part of the curriculum!

For all the Christian teachers out there teaching in the public school systems, you have my admiration and thanks for teaching God’s values and love to your students without violating school board policies and politically correct requirements. You are true missionaries and heroes in the Kingdom and greatly appreciated!

For our study, I don’t want us just to study how much God loves us – that alone is an amazing study! I really want to dig in with my students and begin to develop an understanding of how He requires us to love each other. As I was getting ready today this quote came through in an email from Real Simple magazine's quote of the day:

“Love is not blind–it sees more not less. But because it sees more, it is willing to see
less.” Rabbi Julius Gordon

I love that! Here’s how God said it:

Proverbs 10:12
Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs.

Proverbs 17:9
He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.

1 Peter 4:8
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

May we learn to love each other the way the Father loves us!

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
1 John 4:7

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Why do we do that to each other???????

Have you ever caught yourself saying or at least thinking, “I would never …” ? I think when looking at the lives of other people, rather than our own (Matt. 7:3), we often are tempted by satan to think these thoughts. I know I am.

A post by Shane (God works powerfully through him) brought these thoughts to my mind fresh again today. How often when I see someone in a struggle with a particular sin, a fight for their child, their marriage, their occupation, or even their life do I immediately conclude, “Well, if they just would have …” or “Well, if they just wouldn’t have …”. Satan tempts us to pass judgment on others constantly.

Surely this is why scriptures speaks so much to Christians about not judging one another (Matt. 7:1-2) and yet admonishes us to “carry each others’ burdens”(Gal. 6:2), “cover a multitude of sins with love”(1 Peter 4:8), die to ourselves and serve EVERYONE !! What would our world be like if our love was so great for each other that it literally suffocated and choked out the sins of others? What would our churches by like if that was how we treated our brothers and sisters in Christ? Please God, help me to learn to love more perfectly!!!

Matthew 7
(1)"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. (2) For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. (3) "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

Galatians 6
(1) Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. (2) Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. (3) If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. (4) Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, (5) for each one should carry his own load.

1 Peter 4
(8) Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. (9) Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. (10) Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. (11) If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Awwwwwww, summer!

Well, I’ve been absent from the blog world for awhile! Since I lasted posted in April, my knee has gotten better and I’m doing fine most of the time with it. I also have turned 50 and don’t think I said much about that. Funny, but just today I came across a quote that describes the significance of being 50 yrs. old.

“The years teach much which the days never knew.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

I love that quote and I value every year. Yes, 50 is indeed fabulous!!!

In other news, school was finally out the end of May. This year I had taken the job of After Care coordinator as well as worker. I did so to pad the wedding budget which was good, but it really did add a lot to the stress and strain of the year. I’m glad it’s over, I glad I experienced it, and I’m glad I’m not doing it again next year! I’m looking forward to being able to concentrate my attention on just my classes. For now, I'm enjoying summer and finally getting to do some reading and studying that I've looked forward to. I'll share more on that later.

Still, in other news, our daughter, last child at home, our only girl and baby of the family – does that clue you in on how big a deal this was – got married on June 14th. I have to say it was one of the most wonderful, beautiful, and yet intense moments of my life!! She was absolutely beautiful and radiant, he was designed by God just for her, and the wedding was wonderful! She later thanked us for making all her hopes and dreams come true! I’d call that a successful wedding! I treasured each moment, but as with so many things in life, I’m glad it is behind us now.

Now, for the latest breaking news, WE ARE EMPTY NESTERS!!!! It is now just the two of us again. We are a couple again. Don’t get me wrong, your life is still blessed with your children and still very connected with theirs, but the dynamics do change. It is fun to suddenly be just the two of us. I just hope I can figure out how to cook for two again. Really, with our schedule from the last year, I just hope I can figure out how to cook again – period! We are enjoying more quiet moments even though our lives are still very busy and we talk to our kids quite often, being a couple again is amazing!