Thursday, October 31, 2013

Courage for the Climb - Classroom Lighthouse Series #3

Be strong and very courageous.  Be careful to obey the law my servant Moses gave you.  Do not turn from it to the right or left that you may be
successful wherever you go. (Joshua 1:7)

Courage for the Climb

You stand before your classroom.   You have spent several weeks now establishing boundaries and routines getting your students ready for the long march through the high and long mountain range of academic objectives. You tell them, “Be strong and courageous when you face assignments you don’t understand. Be careful to obey all the instructions I have given you. Seek me and ask me for help when you need it and you will be successful.”
            You know it’s true – if the students listen, stay in their seats, do their homework, stay awake and focused in class, ask for help when they need it, and take the time to receive the help, then they will have a successful year.
            Tony was a student lost in a deep valley of depression. He was a twelve year old sixth grader being raised by his grandmother while his mother served time in jail.  Tony had never met his father. He did not even know his father’s name. Tony couldn’t climb the academic mountains or even the foothills his teachers were leading him into. He kept tripping over his broken heart. This young man was becoming rebellious and would randomly break out in tears several times a week.  He began failing several classes.  He was referred for special education services and qualified as emotionally disturbed.   Samantha (Sam) Keene, a special needs instructor, started working with him several hours a day as his math and language arts instructor in a resource setting.
            Sam didn’t have a masters or doctoral degree in psychology but she was the Master’s (Jesus’) teacher. Sam knew and believed that Jesus was a great physician. She went to him in prayer and asked, “Lord, what’s up with Tony? How can I help?”
            As Sam prayed for Tony, the Lord gave her a vision of a very young child standing on the edge of a deep dark pit.  The child was leaning over the pit looking down into it for someone or something.  Tears were streaming down his face and he was losing his balance. Soon after this vision, Sam spoke with Tony.  She told him, “Tony, when I think of you, I see you standing looking into a dark hole crying. Tony, your life is not in the hole.  Your life is out here.  You need to turn around and get on with your life.  Turn around!  You have a great hope and future but not at the edge of the hole. You must walk away from the hole.” She spoke to him in love firmly and emphatically.  She made no references to God or the words “vision” or “prayer”. She violated no separation of church and state issues; she simply spoke the truth in love to him as the Lord led her.
            Tony listened and was encouraged. He knew he was understood. He walked away from the pit and began to make good choices.  At this same time an adult male  mentor from the community took Tony under his wing as well. Tony soon stopped weeping and began making the honor roll. Six years later, Tony led his high school basketball team to a state championship, was named MVP, and got a full college scholarship. 
Tony needed people telling him to be strong and courageous at a critical crossroads in his life..  He needed teachers praying in their closets for him and agreeing in prayer for him, as they did at the school where Sam worked.  The prayers of righteous people [educators] were powerful and effective. (James 5:16) Sam didn’t have to pray with Tony or lay hands on him or take him to church.  Most of Jesus’ healings and deliverances took place beyond the synagogue, the church. Jesus believed and knew what his Father in heaven could do in and through him.
            Do you know what Jesus can do through you in your professional life if you give him a chance? Do you understand that no matter what student or how many students have been placed in your classroom or what administrative decisions are made, or what any parents may say or do to you or their children – through Christ you are more than a conqueror? Seek and ask Him for help when needed. Do these things and you will have the most successful school year of your career. 
Prayer:  Lord, help us to follow Jesus’ directions here where we work. Keep us on your narrow path, Keep us from straying to the right or left.  Thank you for the professional success we receive as a result of following you.
Application: Ask Jesus for help in your professional life and then follow his instructions.  Pray in your closet for professional needs.  Agree in prayer with other teachers for your professional needs and concerns on a regular basis.
Sharing:  When have you felt God supernaturally working through you in a special way to meet the needs of a student, parent, or staff member?


Prayerfully dependent,

PS. Don’t forget to spread the word about the 1:16PM Prayer Movement.
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May God bless you with success His way this 2013-2014 school year.

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

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