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. 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

The Book of Esther - Part 1 of 11


sunrise at Biscayne National Park, FL


As we return to school on Monday, January 5th, we all have amazing hopes of making a difference, making an impact and being an ambassador for our Lord. As public school educators, we understand the implications of our seeming limitations, but rejoice in the freedoms of "being" Christian. For the start of 2015, I am going to do an 11 week study on the book of Esther because it is a beautiful reminder of our high calling. Of course the most famous verse of all is from Esther 4:14 - "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 your royal position for such a time as this?" It is without a doubt in my mind that you have been called to your educational setting for such a time as this.

The Book of Esther - Part 1

The Book of Esther never mentions God’s name, yet God is clearly orchestrating all its events. This fact is important to the public school classroom because too often God’s name is not mentioned in our ever-increasing “God-free” zones, but He is clearly orchestrating the events of the Christian educators on every campus in America.  Prayer groups are being formed and petitions are being made to the Great Provider for wisdom and grace in our educational system.  As Christian educators, it is our firm conviction that we can make a profound impact in the lives of our students by the grace of our God Who is wonderful beyond description.  One of my favorite verses is Dan. 4:2 -It is my pleasure to tell you about the miraculous signs and wonders that the Most High God has performed for me.”  I believe that the Book of Esther holds the key to miraculous occurrences in the public schools.

"There are two ways to live your life - one is though nothing is a miracle, the other is though everything is a miracle." -Albert Einstein (1879-1955) Occurrences do not have to be supernatural to be miracles. By recognizing the magnitude of wondrous miracles, our lives can be dramatically improved. There were no supernatural miracles in the Book of Esther, yet every wondrous event points to God's invisible Hand. 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.

For the next eleven weeks, I hope you will join me in this study through the Book of Esther.  I reread the whole book this morning (it's only 10 chapters!) and even recorded it in my own voice for reflection.  It is a powerful story that can be shared as literature, history, drama and suspense.  I designed a presentation for students that models how the Jews celebrated Purim in the synagogue. It’s fun, it’s noisy and I will share more in the last study of this series. What a blessing to share this journey through the only book in Bible that does not mention God’s name, but stamps His hand print throughout. 

Miracles become daily events in the life of the obedient. Life is not a schedule of defeats, but a parade of miracles.Mike Murdock

For you homework, please read Chapter 1 of the Book of Esther for next week!


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. 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The 12 Days Until Christmas - 1 more day - Christmas Eve







Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.  I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe.



December 24, 2014




Hallelujah Chorus

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
For the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

The kingdom of this world
Is become the kingdom of our Lord,
And of His Christ, and of His Christ;
And He shall reign for ever and ever,
For ever and ever, forever and ever,

King of kings, and Lord of lords,
King of kings, and Lord of lords,
And Lord of lords,
And He shall reign,
And He shall reign forever and ever,
King of kings, forever and ever,
And Lord of lords,
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

And He shall reign forever and ever,
King of kings! and Lord of lords!
And He shall reign forever and ever,
King of kings! and Lord of lords!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Hallelujah!


Thank you so much for joining us in this preparation for tomorrow's celebration of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Merry Christmas.

As always I am

Prayerfully dependent on Him,
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. 





In Christian love,
K


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

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The 12 Days Until Christmas - Day 2







When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”
So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.” When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:
 “A voice is heard in Ramah,
    weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children
    and refusing to be comforted,
    because they are no more.”[b]

The Return to Nazareth

After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.” So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee,  and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene.








Joy to the World

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.
Joy to the world, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.
No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.
He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

Written by Isaac Watts,1719; music by Lowell Mason, 1848
Sung by Anoited, God With Us - A Celebration of Christmas

As always I am

Prayerfully dependent on Him,
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. 





In Christian love,
K


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

Monday, December 22, 2014

The 12 Days Until Christmas - Day 3







On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

Jesus Presented in the Temple

When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”, and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.” Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
    you may now dismiss[c] your servant in peace.
 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
     which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
    and the glory of your people Israel.”
 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”  There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage,  and then was a widow until she was eighty-four.[d] She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.  Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth.  And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.



December 22, 2014




O Holy Night

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
O'er the world a star is sweetly gleaming,
Now come the wisemen from out of the Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friends.
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
His power and glory ever more proclaim!

Words by Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure, 1847. Music by Adolphe Charles Adams, 1847
Sung by Out of the Grey, God With Us - A Celebration of Christmas


As always I am

Prayerfully dependent on Him,
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. 





In Christian love,
K


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