Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Be still my soul; the LORD is on thy side.

For God alone my soul in silence waits; truly, my hope is in Him. Psalm 62:6


And in every which way possible, I am a chatty person. Not in the good sense.

One of those sorts of people who always raises her hand first with my answer or especially blurts out my answer while everyone else is processing.  Before my brain and heart even engage.

In conversations I have to pause, take a deep breath, and choose to listen rather than let my mind gallop on ahead to where I am going next.

And oh, those imaginary conversations that hamster wheel around in my head, spinning and spinning into empty anxiety.

But the heart of the call here deals with my stepping into the Throne room of grace, standing before my LORD God in full bore prattle.

Full of excuses. Accusations. Murmuring. Suggestions as to how He could be doing a better job. 

Be still.

Take off your shoes and fall on your face, for I AM Holy.

Be still.

In silence wait.

Stand back and you will be amazed. 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase. -MLK

Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase. -MLK

You are righteous, O LORD, and upright are Your judgments. Your word has been tested to the uttermost, and Your servant holds it dear. The righteousness of Your decrees is everlasting; grant me understanding, that I may live. Psalm 119:137,144

But when you are handed over, do not worry about how to speak or what to say; what you are to say will be given to you when the time comes, because it is not you who will be speaking; the Spirit of your Father will be speaking in you. Matthew 10:19–20

He was despised and rejected by men,
    a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
    he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he has borne our griefs
    and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
    smitten by God, and afflicted. Isaiah 53:3-4

The manifold evils in the world are allowed to exist because one through them can the greater good be brought into activity. This greater good is not any external achievement, but the love and heroism and self-sacrifice which the great conflict calls into play. –W. R. Inge

Fortunate fall – fortunate fall,
That gained for us so great a Redeemer. -Audrey Assad

Well, of all things I am listening to Handel’s Messiah.
Depised and rejected.
A man of sorrows.

And this morning in the stillness of my heart’s room
I repent.
I grieve for any moment of self-pity
Or hamster wheels in my head,
Around and around
Me, me, me.
It’s not about me.

He is my LORD, and He is who I long to follow
Into the darkness
To shine.

To step out with firm steady courage
Against the injustice which has woven its lies into the very fabric of humanity,
Into the compromised Church who has put its comfort and security above righteousness.
I have been reading Martin Luther King essays all week long.
And rather than bemoaning the lack of correct citation and murky thesis statements,
My heart should sing,
“We shall overcome.”

And yesterday I graded papers for seven hours.
Essays, worksheets, lab journals, vocabulary tables.
And did not join the 15,000 souls gathered just down the street
To make a public stand against the tide of darkness.

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:7-9


When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.  Before Him will be gathered all the nations, and He will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And He will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.  For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’  Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?  And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’  And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to Me.’ Matthew 25:31-46


And so today, let me take up my cross and follow You.

Into the darkness.

Let my light so shine before man
that they may give glory to My Father
Who is in heaven.


His kingdom come, His will be done

On earth as it is in heaven.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

And the winter be done.

Your word is a lantern to my feet and a light upon my path. Psalm 119:105

And let us remember, when we are inclined to be disheartened, that the private soldier is a poor judge of the fortunes of a great battle. –W. R. Inge

 And I am inclined to be disheartened this fine morning, as the torrential rains splash down around me. And the stacks upon stacks of lab journals and Motion review and reinforce and quiz worksheets and Martin Luther King and To Kill a Mockingbird essays and the chapter 26 social studies Civil Rights Era test and the desperate need for six new seating charts and next week’s lesson plans and reviewing dozens of SARSEF science projects shared on before they are printed up and rubber-cemented to trifold cardboard displays. Oh yes, and addressing some of those irate parent emails. And, oh yes, the paper-clipped respectful letters to new President detailing an important issue, written while watching the inauguration.

My first day ever as a middle school teacher, Mr. Bowen taught me to toss one third of the papers, check in one third of the papers as completed, and actually only grade one third of the papers. So this is what I have left.

I pretty much feel like the worst teacher ever. My kiddos do not even sort of understand the simplest of velocity calculations such as average speed (really), and seemingly cannot write a coherent “power paragraph” about “Pizza is” or “Cupcakes are.” Thesis, support, support, conclusion. No way, José. I spent all day yesterday and the day before typing up lists of missing assignments and emailing them to students and guardians (hence all of the frustrated letters to which I have to respond) because the newest updated electronic gradebook (besides erasing half of the students’ grades all the way back to August) was not capable of generating the promised missing assignments option. Good thing I insisted on buying an old school Ward green teacher book from Jonathan’s this fall. Even if I had to spend my own money.

But what can I do?

Pull out my little (figurative) red flashlight and point it forwards. Onward and upward. One step at a time. I have a full box of Celestial Seasonings Herbal Tea Sampler and a plastic bag of carrot sticks and a tub of red pepper hummus. And a bunch of Jonathan & Melissa Helser Youtubes.

He is mighty to save.
Whisper my name so only I can hear
Call to my heart and chase away my fears.
Explode my soul.
Let the walls come down.
And all these prison doors crumble at the sound.
Won't you come surround me, so I can rise above?
Dear Father in heaven, we rejoice that You are our Father. We rejoice that You rule and guide each of us so that our path in life leads to what is good and genuine and we do not get stuck in this or that slough. Lead us, renew us, and again and again free us to go forward, finding new courage and joy.