Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Faithfulness in the Classroom

What is faithfulness?  The Word describes God’s faithfulness to us in multiple ways throughout the Bible. I am always motivated to prayerwalk on the beach at sunrise because of His faithfulness. (Lam. 3:22-24 -Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.) Have you wondered what faithfulness looks like in the classroom? As one of the “9” of the 16-9 Movement, faithfulness plays a critical role as a Christian educator. Faithfulness is in the small things.

When you rise up in the morning, do you pray and ask for God’s vision and purpose for the new day? Starting the day in prayer and in the Word is the first step of your faithfulness as an educator. So many teachers have such early schedules that it seems impossible to squeeze prayer into the morning routine, but it is not only possible, it is critical to your success.  If it means rearranging your routine, look hard to find ways to juggle what you are doing now. If it means getting up ½ hour earlier, it will be the best investment in your whole day. 

The next area of faithfulness is our appearance. Do we dress professionally? When you select your clothes, why not pray about it? Ask God how you would represent Him best. To some it may seem silly to pray about what to wear, but that focus of dedicating your day to Him, makes decisions about appearance simpler. We all know that our students notice everything we wear and often have plenty to say about it. Being faithful to your appearance as an ambassador of Christ is noteworthy.

As you drive to school and process all the things that have to be gathered and organized, be faithful to guarding your tongue. Another great prayer is to ask God to help you prepare the words you will say and that you may be a blessing to your students. Being faithful to using words of encouragement, kindness and gentleness to our students does not always come easy, but that’s why we pray! 

Be faithful to the integrity of the content you have been charged to teach. Being compliant to the standards and rules set out by your district and principal are a sign of your faithfulness and help your administrators to see you as someone they can always rely on.

As a Christian educator, your expectations are higher since you work first for the Lord and then for your district. Faithfulness to prayer, your appearance, the words you say, and obedience to authority are signposts of an educator who understands their high calling. Being faithful is not always easy, but it is always rewarding.

3 John 1:3 - It gave me great joy when some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it.

Prayerfully yours,

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

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Call to Work

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by work? Has your school day at times seemed too much? Do you ever wonder if teaching is for you? The Lord has probably been tugging at your heart to look at how and why He has made you.  I just finished reading an inspirational book, “The Call to Work,” by one of our board members, Bob Erdmann who was inspired to remind you of your high calling.  Our God is a purposeful God, sending us out into all the world to do the job of continuing His creative works. Mr. Erdmann does a masterful job and blending research, calling and worship to the workplace. Although the book is not necessarily about teaching, it is all about what God wired you to do. When you are working in your passion, you are God-driven.  When you are working in misery, I believe one of two things is happening: you are not working in the field of your calling or you have forgotten that you are working for the Lord.

Ecclesiastes 9:10
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might…

Colossians 3:23
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters…

The book begins in the Garden and the beauty of creation. When you think about everything we do in school, the most important goal is to encourage our students to create.  It is the highest level of human ability, directly designed by the Creator Himself. Have you ever thought about the ability to create? There is no other creature on earth who can create, but man.  God has given us this stamp of Himself and charge to continue His creative beauty. That is why each of us is uniquely stamped with passions, interests and creative abilities unlike anyone else. How do we apply that to our workday? Recognize that teaching is a high calling.  It is no ordinary job. In fact, teachers in the field who work our profession as a job, collect paychecks. Teachers in our profession who understand their high calling, know they work first for the Lord and then for their students and administrators.

To begin to understand your “call to work,” start with prayer. Ask God to show you your calling.  If it is teaching and you have fallen into the drudgery of the daily grind or a difficult year of teaching, lay it before Him and ask Him to show you what He purposed You for.  If it is teaching, begin each day working for Him. This new focus will help you define your purpose from Him. Everyone receives his or her calling or purpose from God differently, but I believe you have not, because you ask not.  Ask. He will help you. About 10 years ago, I heard my calling and over time was able to write it down. “I have a dream to encourage teachers to be prayerfully dependent on the Lord, empower them to envision their high calling and equip them to know how.”  With the help of Rick Warren from the Purpose Driven Life, I have learned to say “Yes,” to opportunities and job requests that are within my purpose.  He taught me to ask three questions before making any decision:
1.     Is it purpose driven?
2.     Is it mission focused?
3.     Is it Spirit-led?
If I have the opportunity to work with teachers, I know I am in my purpose. If there is a possibility that I can bring them into fellowship with other Christians through CEAI, then I know it is mission focused and if I encourage, equip or empower them with prayer, fellowship or vision, with the help of the Holy Spirit, then I know it is Spirit-led.

You have been called to work. You have been called to create. What a gift. Don’t just go to work, be a creator at work, no matter what you do. Thank you Bob Erdmann for the encouragement and thorough job of inspiring us to be God workers. May the Lord help our churches to recognize secular work as missional when we are working all that we do for the Lord and not for human masters.

Prayerfully yours,

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

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

CIPE Prayer Breakfast

What do Christians do best when they get together? Fellowship! What a sweet time of fellowship, adoration and praise happened this past Saturday at the 11th annual CIPE Prayer Breakfast. Strategically placed at the beginning of the school year with enough time for classes to be fully in session, this amazing team of educators in Seminole County Florida hosted a classy and praiseful prayer event that was attended by more than 160 members of school communities across Central Florida.

After ½ hour of fellowship and greetings, the event kicked of with the powerful Seminole High Gospel Choir. This student-led choir sang two songs and gifted us with framing a morning of adoration and praise. After a prayer for the meal, breakfast was served by the staff at the Orlando Marriott in Lake Mary and was delicious.  Testimonies were given during the breakfast and then we heard from a very humble and godly man (and funny!), Robert Guy.  Mr. Guy’s commitment to hearing God’s calling on his life and bringing it out in others was inspirational.

The most profound time of corporate prayer that I ever experienced was led by Jane McCann, a teacher, who gave us the opportunity to pray about schools, community, nation and to give adoration, confession and thanksgiving in a private, yet corporate manner.  What would a prayer breakfast be without prayer?  The whole event was an offering to the God we all love and to give Him praise of helping us in our high callings. Kudos to the CIPE planning team for bringing so many heartfelt Christians who long to know how to be legal and graceful in the public schools.

The CIPE Team began with a calling on Nan and Gracia to begin prayer groups and has grown to reach out to all interested educators in Seminole County.  It is our goal to have a teacher prayer group in every school in Florida and the US. You see, as Jane said, our prayer groups are really PLCs – Prayerfully Loving Communities. If each school had a prayer group PLC, the petitions for that schools needs would be lifted up regularly. Prayer is the most powerful tool a teacher has. To know more about CIPE, please visit their website: Christians in Public Education. To learn more about CEAI – Christian Educators Association, International, visit

We encourage you to be in prayer for your students, colleagues, administration, parents and school community as much as possible. They need you.

Prayerfully yours,

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