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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Redeeming the Time

S: "Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one." Col. 4:5,6

O:Wisdom, this wisdom comes from God. Therefore, we need to seek God to have the wisdom in how to reach others. I love that I'm learning to understand the word redeem. I read a book in May called Redemption by Karen Kingsbury. The book and scripture have got me thinking and making some connections. Christ is our redeemer. He took our place on the cross so that we could have a relationship with God.

A: Time flies by, and there are so many opportunities that we pass up without knowing it, some purposely, to be Christ-like to others. How do we start to make the most of every opportunity. First, pray to be used by God. Then check your speech. Is it full of grace seasoned with salt? Salt preserves, but it also stings in a wound. So we have to seek God's wisdom in how to careful in how we speak.

Do we pray for wisdom? Do we look for opportunities to serve? Do we pray for stretched time? Do we pray, "God, use me today." Is our speech different or does it look just like the world's? Is our speech full of grace, seasoned with salt, and encouraging others? Or is it complaining, gossiping, or throwing a pity party?

P: Lord, help me to see you moving. Help me to be sensitive to your leading and to redeem the time for your glory.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Holy Ground?

Exodus 3:4-5
When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, "Moses! Moses!" And Moses said, "Here I am." "Do not come any closer," God said. "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground."

(Paraphrase) Did God ask Moses to remove his shoes because the ground had all the sudden become holy or was it that it was holy the whole time and Moses had not known? Are we walking past burning bushes on our left and on our right everyday?
- Rob Bell, dvd 014 Breath, Nooma Series

Am I moving so fast that I miss chances to experience God? Am I so focused on what I feel, think, believe is important that I miss out on what God feels, thinks, believes is important? What would happen if I slowed down so that I could see things in real time instead of this blur that I tend to think is life?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Simple things are the best

I wish I was this creative.


S: "Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account." Phil. 4:17
O: Paul was thanking the Philippians for supporting him with prayer and financies. They were one of the few churches that did. He also realized that there is fruit in serving others. Yes, Paul benefitted, but so did the Phillipians.
A: Serve, not just because others need help; but also because God can mold you through the process. Our nature is to be self serving. It can be so refreshing to help someone with no obligations in return.
P: Lord, thank you for the opportunities to help others. Thank you that helping someone move can be used to your glory.

Aside: Now that school has started it is easy for me to be all consumed with school. There are some major challenges before me to reach my students, many of whom have English as a second language. But today I was so blessed to help someone move because it helped someone and it had nothing to do with school! I know it may sound crazy, but I know myself. I know that school has in the past taken over every part of my life. And I don't want that. So, helping some one was a help in its own way for me too!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The First Day of School

My first day at my new school was awesome! I have 24 students. It is so cool to have 6 groups of 4 instead of 7 plus. You'd think, awe, what's the difference. But trust me, it is huge!
They were pretty quiet yesterday. I got them chatting a bit today. We'll have to work on keeping it in check though because I heard this is a pretty chaty group.
My classroom was all ready for them. The walls look great! Their work is slowly getting up as we continue to work on some school projects. My kids are nice and polite. Yes, I know already a couple that I'm going to be several discussion with during the year, however they are overall all a great group! Praise God!
The assignments are going over great. I'm figuring out the copier; and yes, I've already decided that its job is to teach me patience. I'm figuring out bus and yard duty along with how the lunch line and timing works. Plus we don't have bells to tell us to go to lunch or recess. There are only bells to line up. I guess all of the bells to keep the three lunch shifts and various recesses were driving some important people in the office crazy. :)
Totally blessed!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

My Jesus

Todd Agnew - My Jesus
From the album Reflection Of Something

Which Jesus do you follow?
Which Jesus do you serve?
If Ephesians says to imitate Christ,
Why do you look so much like the world?

Cause my Jesus bled and died
He spent His time with thieves and liars
He loved the poor and accosted the arrogant
So which one do you want to be?

Blessed are the poor in spirit, do we pray to be blessed with the
Wealth of this land
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousness
Do we ache for another taste of this world of shifting sand


And who is this that you follow
This picture of the American dream
If Jesus was here would you walk right by on the other side
Or fall down and worship at His holy feet

Pretty blue eyes, curly brown hair and a clear complexion
Is how you see Him as He dies for Your sins
But the Word says He was battered and scarred
Or did you miss that part
Sometimes I doubt we’d recognize Him


Cause my Jesus would never be accepted in my church
The blood and dirt on His feet might stain the carpet
But He reached for the hurting and despises the proud
I think He’d prefer Beal St. to the stained glass crowd
But I know that He can hear me if I cry out loud

I want to be like my Jesus
Can I be like You
I want to be like my Jesus

Do you speak, look, and act like Christ or like the world?
Do you spend more time speaking with the clean shaven man in line at the grocery store or do you take time to speak with the dirty matted haired man on the sidewalk?
Are you poor in spirit (humble) or do you ask for and seek more earthly wealth?
Do you deny the image of God in the homeless, the poor, the haughty?
Do you seek to please men or God?
Do you read the Bible for yourselves or do you rely on what you once heard in Sunday school or from your grandmother and what the preacher said on Sunday?

"Cause my Jesus would never be accepted in my church, the blood and dirt on His feet might stain the carpet" - Would He be allowed in your home? Would He be allowed into your life?

May this song by Todd Agnew shake us all up and awaken us from our slumber in this dying world.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Trying not to FREAK OUT!!!

Last night Kyle and I went to a wonderful BBQ at my principal's house to kick off the school year. We were talking about the training that we'll be getting on Monday and Tuesday. I asked if we would be doing something similar on Wednesday, and I quickly corrected myself as I realize that Wednesday was the first day of school!
I was just about to fall asleep when I spoke in a panicked voice,"Kyle! School starts in four days!!!" Now mind you I have been very good so far. I haven't been like a chicken with no head. I even got a compliment on Friday morning from a Superintendent from another school. He said I looked very calm, and for the whole day yesterday I was good until right before I fell asleep.
"Tasha, you're NOT allowed to freak out."
Although he couldn't see me through the dark I gave Kyle a dirty look and thought, "Who are you to tell me not to freak out. I've been good so far. School IS starting and all..." Realize I thought all of those things in the brief pause it took for Kyle to take a breath and then continue.
"You can pray, and you can plan. But, you are not allowed to stress and worry."
Have you ever realized that you are forgetting something? In the moments when I was relaxed and reflecting on my day I forgot that God was with me.
This morning I was reading through Isaiah 40. Woah! Have you read Isaiah 40 lately? If not, you should, especially if you are working on not freaking out.

S: Isaiah 40: 28-31

28 Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the LORD,
The Creator of the ends of the earth,
Neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,
31 But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

O:Did you forget? Did you get so wrapped up in this world that you forgot that God is still on His throne. He isn't off His throne pacing, bitting His nails, and saying, "Poor me. Poor me! What am I going to do?." Nor is He saying, "Wow, now that's a surprise. I didn't see that one coming."

Our God is magnificent. He does not loose strength. He is our might Creator. I like verse 22.

It is He who sits above the circle of the earth,
And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers,
Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.

Did you notice that God told us the earth was round ,"circle of the earth"? I bet that was hard for people to understand long ago. But that didn't mean that God was confused about the shape of the earth. The same thing is for now. We are small like grasshoppers compared to all that God is. He has a plan and He isn't worried.

A: We will grow tired and weak,but our God doesn't. Through Him we can have strength and can choose to not grow weary of heart.

P: Lord, please use these four remaining days of summer to bring You glory. Help me to continue to learn about You throughout the school year, and to remember all that you have taught me this summer. Help Kyle and I to communicate as we encounter the wirl wind known as school. Amen

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

SOAP Gal. 6:1,2

S: "Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." Gal. 6:1,2

O: Paul is telling the Galatians to not be "Bible thumpers."

A: Pray for others. When they're making choices you don't agree with, pray for them. When you are grieved because you are watching that person you care about make mistakes that they might not even see, we are to be gentle in how we handle them. While trying to help, we need to pray for ourselves too. The reason being that we too might get swept away in the situation and loose sight of God's plan.

I'm reminded of what Pastor Roger said last Sunday. "You know that God's not done with you. Remember that He's not done with others either." (my paraphrasing)

P: Lord, help me to have wisdom to know when to help with actions and words, and when to be silent. Please help me to not give up on those that You haven't given up on. You are awesome and working. Please help me to remember those two amazing truths about you. Amen