Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Book of Esther - Part 8 of 11



St. Cloud, FL

If I find favor with you, O king, and if it pleases your majesty….” Can you imagine if anyone spoke like that in the school setting? What if we were truly concerned with authority, we would be open to addressing our superiors in a like manner and teaching our students respect.  In Chapter 7, Esther’s very life is at stake, so her motivation is much higher to address the king, but I believe she had confidence to know that he would protect her once he knew her petition.  When Esther explained to the king that she and her people were sold for destruction, slaughter and annihilation, the king was outraged and demanded to know who the perpetrator was.  Haman was exposed and disposed. What relief it must have been for Esther to experience the protection and covering of her king.


Our Protector and King is far more powerful and wonderful than any earthly king.  We can go to Him for protection and provision for all our needs with the absolute confidence that He will avenge our enemies and provide a way of escape for us.  Like Esther, I would like to propose that any time we have an idea, conflict, or even a proposal for our administrators, why not approach them like Esther?  Perhaps, opening the conversation with, “If it pleases you or I find favor with you,” may sound a little old fashion, there is no doubt that it will focus our administrator on our true heart.  If we have gone before our true King first and sought permission to make the request, then it would be wisdom to use the model He has prepared for us to petition our superiors. 


An example may be a field trip for your students that would be of great value, but most field trips have been disallowed. (unless, of course, all field trips are not permitted).  Seek God for the words to write up your proposal.  Do your homework and research the details. Present it in written format (perhaps a brochure to be unique) in order that you may leave your idea with your administrator for further thought.  Arrange for an appointment for his/her undivided attention and pray before the meeting for wisdom and the words that would communicate the vision.  When you begin the meeting, use Esther’s words, “If I have favor with you and it pleases you - would you allow me the opportunity to propose a field trip for my students?”  After a brief discussion, leave your written proposal and ask that your administrator take a deeper look at it when he/she has time to read it through.  Thank them for their time and leave it in God’s Hands.   Please understand that you are not trying to get your way through God’s approval, but that you are seeking to do only those things in your classroom that are pleasing to Him , your administrator, your students and their parents.  The beauty of asking God’s provision for even field trips is that we cannot always see through our own selfish desires and the Holy Spirit, the great Convictor, can guide and correct us.  It is my prayer that all Christian educators become prayerfully dependent up Him for all their needs and are gracious in word and deed to all on our individual campuses.


Please read Chapter 8 for next time! Don’t be shy. You can enrich this study with your own voice in the comment section.

As always, I am
Prayerfully yours,

K



PS. Don’t forget to spread the word about the 1:16PM Prayer Movement and Around the Word in 180 Days:
      Go to www.one16pray.com  and www.aw180days.com for more information.
      Visit,  "like", and add comments the 1:16PM Facebook page and the Around the World in 180 days Facebook page.
      Sign up for text message prayer prompts from Remind 101 
      Follow us on Twitter for the prayer prompts @one16pray


May God bless you with success His way this 2014-2015 school year.

Note: To more fully understand the 16-9 Movement, please read the first blog entry by clicking here.

Christian Educators Association International is the only professional association in the United States specifically for Christian educators in public schools.  CEAI protects our members first in prayer, next with excellent professional liability insurance and other benefits while helping them live out their high calling as a Christian in the public school. 



Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Book of Esther - Part 7 of 11



Cape May, NJ

One night the king could not sleep. He asked his attendants to read from the chronicles of record to lull him to sleep. Instead, he heard about Mordecai uncovering a plot to assassinate the king.  He inquired about what had been done to honor Mordecai, only to find out that nothing had been done. He immediately sought out that which would be the best way to give thanks to Mordecai and found Haman outside his chambers.  When asked what  one would like if they were being honored by the king, Haman conceitedly thought the king was about to honor Haman, himself and laid out an elaborate plan of display through the city streets for all to see.  Haman had the shock of his life when the king commanded him to bestow all that he dreamed upon his enemy Mordecai!

I love the way God works. He is the one who will make things right.   We are always so ready to work things out our way. Have you really considered casting your cares upon the Lord? He has promised throughout the Word that He will avenge our enemies, fight our battles, and satisfy our needs.  In the school arena, we constantly come into conflict with students, parents, administrators and fellow colleagues.  What are we to do as Christian educators?   Our reaction is going to be different if we truly believe that God is our Protector and can solve all problems.  The hard part is trusting God’s handling of the situation in the big picture when we don’t see the result we want immediately.

What would happen if every Christian educator prayed before a parent conference and sought God’s help with the wording of the meeting?  What would happen if every Christian educator sought God’s intervention before each faculty meeting?  What would happen if every Christian educator prayed for their students before they entered the classroom every single day of the year? What would happen if we found ourselves in a conflict with an administrator, parent, colleague or even a student and we humbled ourselves and prayed instead of worrying about our rights or how we look in the situation?

Like Haman, we need to be careful what we ask for.  It is my prayer that Christian educators everywhere step up to the prayer plate and take the high road, particularly in those difficult situations at school.  Be an ambassador for Christ in all that you say and do.  The students will remember us for what who we were and not what we taught.


Please read Chapter 7 for next time! 

K


PS. Don’t forget to spread the word about the 1:16PM Prayer Movement and Around the Word in 180 Days:
      Go to www.one16pray.com  and www.aw180days.com for more information.
      Visit,  "like", and add comments the 1:16PM Facebook page and the Around the World in 180 days Facebook page.
      Sign up for text message prayer prompts from Remind 101 
      Follow us on Twitter for the prayer prompts @one16pray


May God bless you with success His way this 2014-2015 school year.

Note: To more fully understand the 16-9 Movement, please read the first blog entry by clicking here.

Christian Educators Association International is the only professional association in the United States specifically for Christian educators in public schools.  CEAI protects our members first in prayer, next with excellent professional liability insurance and other benefits while helping them live out their high calling as a Christian in the public school. 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Book of Esther - Part 6 of 11



Deerfield Beach, FL

Esther was a huge risk taker.  Did you know that most people cannot imagine how we walk into classrooms everyday?  Many would consider it just too much of a risk. However, as a Christian Educator, you walk into the classroom empowered by the Truth, the Life and the Way.  Like Esther, once you really understand that you have been purposed “for such a time as this.” the risk does not go away, it becomes purpose. In Chapter 5, Esther risks her life to go before the king and he grants her favor.  He was delighted to see her and was willing to grant her anything she wanted - up to half his kingdom.  Now that’s favor!  What really impresses me is how Esther begins her request to the king (even though she knew he would give her just about anything).  Esther said, “If it pleases the king…..”  She asked if the king would consider granting her request at a dinner that she had prepared. The king quickly called Haman and they went to the dinner with Esther.  The king again asked her how he could grant her request and she asked if they could attend a dinner that she would prepare the next day. How clever.  She had his compete attention and his desire to give her anything and yet she delayed gratification and bought some time.  What did she do during this time? It is never said, but since we know that she and the Jews prayed and fasted before she went into the king, I am imagining that she prayed for wisdom and the right way to approach the king about Haman.  He walked away all puffed up and continued his devious plans to get rid of Mordecai and the Jews.  Esther was able to win the king’s favor and probably peaked his curiosity.  This is quite an example in our classrooms.

Very often we are called to present ideas, purpose change or to mediate peace on our campuses.  As Christian Educators, it is very important that we have a biblical worldview when we enter the presence of the king.  In our environments, it is most likely the principal to whom we will address our requests and concerns.  Have you ever thought about beginning the conversation with, “If it pleases you, I would like to…….” or “If it pleases you, would you consider…….” Esther’s approach to the king is an amazing model for important requests to authorities over us.  It would also be an excellent idea to delay the request a bit also.  Like Esther, it would lay the groundwork, give you some time to pray about the matter as you petition God for wisdom and favor in the “kings” eyes.  My husband always reminds me to “keep them wanting more.”  What better way is there to request an future audience in order to have the full attention of the one from whom you are making the request.  This diffuses any emotions and gives dignity to the conversation.  Depending on the importance of the request, consider a dinner.  There are very few times that I ever invited an administrator out to dinner, but one time in particular, I had a request of my principal and over a quiet dinner, we shared many family, school and success stories and then I made my request.  Later, she told me that she was so relieved that it wasn’t something more serious that she was so happy to grant my petition. Special time with special people can only be a benefit.  Guard those opportunities to represent our Lord, particularly with those who are in authority over you and try beginning your requests in the manner of Esther, “If it pleases you…..”

Please read Chapter 6 for next time! Don’t be shy. You can enrich this study with your own voice in the comment section.

As always, I am
Prayerfully yours,


K




PS. Don’t forget to spread the word about the 1:16PM Prayer Movement and Around the Word in 180 Days:
      Go to www.one16pray.com  and www.aw180days.com for more information.
      Visit,  "like", and add comments the 1:16PM Facebook page and the Around the World in 180 days Facebook page.
      Sign up for text message prayer prompts from Remind 101 
      Follow us on Twitter for the prayer prompts @one16pray


May God bless you with success His way this 2014-2015 school year.

Note: To more fully understand the 16-9 Movement, please read the first blog entry by clicking here.

Christian Educators Association International is the only professional association in the United States specifically for Christian educators in public schools.  CEAI protects our members first in prayer, next with excellent professional liability insurance and other benefits while helping them live out their high calling as a Christian in the public school. 

Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Book of Esther - Part 5 of 11



Santa Rosa County, FL

When Esther's words were reported to Mordecai, he sent back this answer: "Do not think that because you are in the king's house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?" Wow! These are some of the most powerful words in the Bible.  Who can’t see the riveting power of this message as it tears at Esther’s soul?  Everything that happens to us, happens with purpose.  We may never be in such a position as Esther, but as educators, we impact students everyday.  That’s huge.

Have you even found yourself in a situation in school when you had to “stick to your guns” for something you strongly held up as priority one. Having integrity as a Christian Educators is priority one.  We must always say what we mean and mean what we say.  We cannot just talk our talk, we must always walk our walk.  Consistency and honesty in the classroom will go much further than the newest trend in education to get the students’ attention.  You have their undivided attention when it comes to character issues.  They are always checking us out.  We may as well be entering the king’s court each day. In fact, it would be wise to view entrance to each classroom and each lesson as a privilege and honor.  We would be more likely to guard our words and teach with integrity. As Christian educators, it is important to recognize our calling.  When you realize that you work for the Lord and not just men, it is easier to see that you truly have “come to this position, for such a time as this.”  You may be the only teacher that particular child has ever had that showed them compassion.  You may be the only teacher that child ever had that told them they were destined for greatness.  You may be the only teacher that child ever had who encouraged them to think beyond the lesson.  Who knows, but that you may be the only teacher who showed that you loved Jesus by the way you wore His skin in your classroom?  Kids notice. Kids remember and kids will tell about what they have seen and heard in your classroom.

What a blessing to be a teacher! It is important to stand back from the difficulties of parent conferences, papers to grade, students who are hard to handle and administrators that you do not see eye-to-eye with and thank God that He purposed you to make an impact on the next generation.  Teaching is the one profession that affects all other professions.  We must take our calling seriously and with great purpose “for such a time as this.”


Please read Chapter 5 for next time. You can enrich this study with your own voice in the comment section.


As always, I am

Prayerfully yours,


K





PS. Don’t forget to spread the word about the 1:16PM Prayer Movement and Around the Word in 180 Days:
      Go to www.one16pray.com  and www.aw180days.com for more information.
      Visit,  "like", and add comments the 1:16PM Facebook page and the Around the World in 180 days Facebook page.
      Sign up for text message prayer prompts from Remind 101 
      Follow us on Twitter for the prayer prompts @one16pray


May God bless you with success His way this 2014-2015 school year.

Note: To more fully understand the 16-9 Movement, please read the first blog entry by clicking here.

Christian Educators Association International is the only professional association in the United States specifically for Christian educators in public schools.  CEAI protects our members first in prayer, next with excellent professional liability insurance and other benefits while helping them live out their high calling as a Christian in the public school. 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Book of Esther - Part 4 of 11



Wrightsville Beach, NC

In Chapter 3, the life and death issue of the annihilation of the Jews arises. The second in command, Haman had accumulated great wealth and position. Haman had it all. His wealth, his subjects, his children and his enormous mansion meant nothing to him as long as the Jew named Mordecai would not bow down to him. Mordecai, Esther’s, uncle/father, refused to bow to him and stood alone in his stand. As a Jew, he knew he could bow to none other than God Himself.  At great cost, Mordecai disobeyed the king’s command.  This opened a door for the Haman’s outrage. Not only did he want to see Mordeaci punished, but all of his people.  Haman convinced the king that ridding the kingdom of the Jewish people would be advantageous.  A date for annihilation was set and the edict made law.  The last line of the chapter states, “The king and Haman sat down to drink, but the city of Susa was bewildered.”  A bit outrageous, wouldn’t you say?


I have never seen or heard for anything so outrageous as the detestable hatred of Haman toward Mordecai and his people in any school, but I have definitely known teachers to have to take a stand for something they believe it against the mainstream of opinion. How do we handle ourselves as Christian educators when our beliefs are compromised or at least in question? We pray.  Please don’t think that is a contrite answer.  Prayer is the foundation of all our moves, all our plans and all our ways. When we pray, we are asking God to take on our burdens. We are casting our cares on Him because they are usually much bigger than us.  What happens if you are asked to do something that violates your conscience or you are convicted that it is wrong? Let the Holy Spirit convict you.  Be honest with your offender and deal directly with them.  Avoid bringing a crowd into the issue.  Our charge as Christians is to follow Matthew 18:15-17 -"If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.”   This applies at school also.  Go to the one who puts you in this compromising position first.  Pray for their heart to be softened and their ears to listen.  If you solve it at this step, you have not only gained a brother, you have stopped the issue from escalating and become a problem for the whole campus.  If no resolution can be made, ask two or three colleagues that you trust and who will be confident to be present with you as you try to resolve the issue again with the offender.  If this step doesn’t work, go to your administrator (or their administrator, if they are the problem).  If it is still not solved, you may be alone in your stand like Mordecai, but it may be a critical  issue that you have been purposed for.  Be wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove, always acting and reacting with love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, gentleness, patience, self-control and faithfulness.  Against these there is no law.

May God give you the strength to live the life of a Christian in an increasingly secular educational system and be the Mordecai of your time.

Please read Chapter 4 for next week! Don’t be shy. You can enrich this study with your own voice in the comment section.

As always, I am
Prayerfully yours,

K



PS. Don’t forget to spread the word about the 1:16PM Prayer Movement and Around the Word in 180 Days:
      Go to www.one16pray.com  and www.aw180days.com for more information.
      Visit,  "like", and add comments the 1:16PM Facebook page and the Around the World in 180 days Facebook page.
      Sign up for text message prayer prompts from Remind 101 
      Follow us on Twitter for the prayer prompts @one16pray


May God bless you with success His way this 2014-2015 school year.

Note: To more fully understand the 16-9 Movement, please read the first blog entry by clicking here.

Christian Educators Association International is the only professional association in the United States specifically for Christian educators in public schools.  CEAI protects our members first in prayer, next with excellent professional liability insurance and other benefits while helping them live out their high calling as a Christian in the public school. 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Book of Esther - Part 3 of 11


St. Cloud, FL

The king was feeling bad that he got rid of Queen Vashti, but his counselors came up with an idea to bring in the most beautiful virgins from across the kingdom in order that they may be trained and prepared to become the new queen.  Esther, daughter/cousin of Mordecai, was one of the young virgins brought to the palace, given beauty treatments and brought before the king.  I am particularly taken by the simplicity of Esther’s ways.  She is not needy, but obedient and gracious.  Although it may sound like it was a great setting to be in the palace and have perfume treatments and lavish experiences, Esther was nonetheless taken from her homeland and placed in a position she had not volunteered for.  That is why I believe that her graciousness and obedience was so attractive to others and ultimately to the king.  She was brought up by Mordecai to be obedient and to fear God.  Even though Esther was a beautiful girl (lovely in form and features) she found favor because of God in her.  The king chose Esther to become queen, threw a great banquet and gave her audience when she told of a plot to assassinate him.


None of us as teachers have ever experienced being place in the palace of a king against our wills, but often we are placed in positions that we have not asked for.  This may include being transferred to another school, given a subject to teach that is not necessarily our passion, having to cover for someone else who is not as faithful or even finding ourselves privy to information that we probably should not know. How do we react as Christian educators?  We pray. And when we pray, we are comforted by the understanding that we are not alone.  Teaching is one of the most isolated professions in the world.  Even though we are with our students all day long, we can go hours without adult conversation.  Many teachers find themselves isolated in their classrooms by location or sometimes by unfriendly forces on their campus. Whatever the situation, remember, we are not alone. As Christians, we have the very power of God with us all the time. Jesus told us the he would never leave us, nor would He forsake us. This is real.  When you are feeling like you are the only one with a certain issue or the only one in your building, pray and ask for someone to come along side you in fellowship.  Ask God to help you to form community and to collaborate with others.  Start a prayer group before or after school.  A simple announcement/invitation posted in the teacher’s lounge will stir the hearts of other Christians on your campus. Even if they are unable to come and pray with you, the bonding of our Christian hearts is power on a campus like no other.  I find it so amazing, that on every campus there is the same reaction.  Teachers that you didn’t even know were Christians are now suddenly hugging each other and sharing the love of Christ with a sense of peace that surpasses all understanding. 


I would like to encourage you to take a leap of faith, post an invitation to prayer in your room after school one day next week.  Pray for wisdom and grace as you begin to see the power of God move on your campus. Be sure and share what is happening at your school.  Be like Esther - gracious, obedient and be an attractive Christian with a fragrance that will give honor and glory to the One we serve. May you find favor because of God in you.


Isa. 43:2 - When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

Hebs. 13:5 - Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.


Please read Chapter 3 for next week! Don’t be shy. You can enrich this study with your own voice in the comment section.


As always, I am
Prayerfully yours,

K



PS. Don’t forget to spread the word about the 1:16PM Prayer Movement and Around the Word in 180 Days:
      Go to www.one16pray.com  and www.aw180days.com for more information.
      Visit,  "like", and add comments the 1:16PM Facebook page and the Around the World in 180 days Facebook page.
      Sign up for text message prayer prompts from Remind 101 
      Follow us on Twitter for the prayer prompts @one16pray


May God bless you with success His way this 2014-2015 school year.

Note: To more fully understand the 16-9 Movement, please read the first blog entry by clicking here.

Christian Educators Association International is the only professional association in the United States specifically for Christian educators in public schools.  CEAI protects our members first in prayer, next with excellent professional liability insurance and other benefits while helping them live out their high calling as a Christian in the public school. 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Book of Esther - Part 2 of 11



South Beach, Miami, FL

There were no supernatural miracles in the Book of Esther, yet every wondrous event points to God's invisible Hand. Occurrences do not have to be supernatural to be miracles. The special characteristic or attribute of seeing God in everyday life is the lesson of Purim (the Book of Esther). In Persia, there were no BIG miracles. The natural was used. There are no coincidences - only God-incidences! We need to see God's Hand in our everyday lives even when His name is not mentioned. 

In Chapter 1 of the Book of Esther, we find tension between the king and his queen, the threat to male authority and a great drama of how to handle the dilemma of a queen’s refusal to do what the king has requested.  No one really knows if the king had asked Queen Vashti to appear in a compromising position or if she was rebelling against his authority, but behind the scenes our Sovereign God is making a path for “the rest of the story.”  I love the way the king sought the counsel of his elders as they created a law that Queen Vashti could never appear before the king again. The men were more concerned with how their wives would react than with the relationship between the king and queen.  In their culture, an edict was delivered by horseman throughout the kingdom and made law.  The law of the Medes and Persians could not be changed.  Pretty serious stuff!

We find decisions made in our educational culture sent out throughout the land for all to comply. What do we do as Christian educators when we don’t like the latest edict that has come down the decision pipeline? We pray. We ask God to help us to do the right thing.  He is sovereign, He can change situations that seem impossible and He is the ultimate decision maker.  Should we bother Him about silly little decisions that we don’t like?  Prayer is our connection to the Supreme Commander-in-Chief. We have an open door to the One Who knows everything.  Who knows? The miracle He may perform may be the one that changes our attitude? One of my principals used to say, “Perception is reality.”  When God changes our perception of situations, the reality can often be changed as well. 

Please pray for your administrators and their leaders.  The decisions they have to make are not always in the best interest of the students and teachers, but what if we all prayed for them before they met?  Let them know that you are praying for their wisdom and ability to make the best decision and support them.  You will be amazed at what a difference it will make on your campus.


Please read Chapter 2 for next week! Don’t be shy. You can add your comments to this study.  It will make it so much more rich.

As always, I am
Prayerfully yours,

K



PS. Don’t forget to spread the word about the 1:16PM Prayer Movement and Around the Word in 180 Days:
      Go to www.one16pray.com  and www.aw180days.com for more information.
      Visit,  "like", and add comments the 1:16PM Facebook page and the Around the World in 180 days Facebook page.
      Sign up for text message prayer prompts from Remind 101 
      Follow us on Twitter for the prayer prompts @one16pray


May God bless you with success His way this 2014-2015 school year.

Note: To more fully understand the 16-9 Movement, please read the first blog entry by clicking here.

Christian Educators Association International is the only professional association in the United States specifically for Christian educators in public schools.  CEAI protects our members first in prayer, next with excellent professional liability insurance and other benefits while helping them live out their high calling as a Christian in the public school.