Friday, April 30, 2010

Happy Friday!

The TAKS Testing is over except for the retakes in a couple of weeks and the veil of tension over our building is gone. Today was a day with lightness in the air and the feel of pressure being lifted and for a few days things will be back to normal. (Whatever that is!)

Luke 11:9 “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”

Students all over the state of Texas were seeking only one thing this week: answers. All of the classrooms were prepared for the taking of these tests. Helps and aids the students have been used to seeing all year long were either covered up or removed even down to the calendars. The students had to rely on the strategies they had been taught to answer the questions correctly. The tension was high as they worked so very hard to remember all they had been taught in order to do well on these tests.

If we look at this same concept as a spiritual issue we are kind of the same. We are faced with problems all the time. What we rely on when we have a problem is God’s Word and prayer. When we trust ourselves to prayer, study and claim God’s Word, we can count on honesty, order and love in abundance. God’s love empowers us with perfect harmony, perfect supply, and a sense of peace when life hands us difficult situations.

Over the last weekend one of the team members reminded each of us to F.R.O.G. This acronym is simply Fully Rely on God. She even gave one of our younger team members a small plastic frog as a reminder. I am ready to find a small frog and keep it in my purse as a reminder that when I surrender and take it to the Lord in prayer that I can F.R.O.G and in faith count on God for everything.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes, count your blessings and say your prayers. Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.
Happy Thursday!

It felt a bit strange not to go to class tonight. I usually look forward to my semester class being finished, but this time it was sort of bittersweet. I really enjoyed the class and all of the knowledge, but mostly I enjoyed the spiritual element it afforded. We started each class with evening prayer and a brief worship through the Book of Common Prayer. I still have my final to complete (I guess I should say start!) I have that slated for Saturday. It should be fairly quiet around the house for a few hours anyway.

Psalm 4:7 “You have put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased.”

Today the weather was really beautiful. I thought today school is never called off due to good weather! Spring has so many analogies to a relationship with Jesus. Have you ever noticed plants growing? They grow and stretch and turn themselves trying to face the sun. If plants are planted away from the sun, before long you can see them having changed their direction to get all of the warmth possible from the sun. The sun is their source of nourishment. Even plants know that without the sun they will die and never reach their full potential which is to grow, blossom and create more plants..

Can we take a lesson from the plants? Plants are creatures of promise. Everything that a plant is to become is created in that seed. When you combine the seed with good soil, water from rain and the warmth of the sun then all of the promise that plant has is revealed as it grows and matures. When God plants the seed of His love in each of us, He gives Jesus to us as the Son on which to depend for light and direction. When we plant ourselves in God’s Word and continuously seek the Son of God for direction then all of the promise of which we were created will blossom and we will grow and bloom into the person God created us to be. We will be ready for service to continue to plant the seeds of love and keep God’s promises ever flourishing. So friends, like the song says, “Bloom where you are planted!”

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes, count your blessings and say your prayers. Love you all Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Happy Wednesday!

I pray this writing finds you well and enjoying these beautiful even though slightly untypical spring days. The cold mornings and warm and windy afternoons make for interesting clothing choices. We are slowly getting back on track after the long weekend.

Matthew 6: 14 (from the Amplified Bible) “For if you forgive people their trespasses [their “reckless and willful sins, “leaving them, letting them go, and “giving up resentment], your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”

One of the parts of the Kairos weekend is a time of forgiveness. The brothers in white make a list of people they have offended on a piece of flash paper and throw them in a fire proof bowl. At the end of the forgiveness ceremony, the flash paper is lit and is instantly incinerated. This is a visual image of how God through Jesus forgives our sins instantly. Later they make a list of those they need to forgive and finally they must come to forgive themselves.

While on the Kairos weekend I heard a wonderful story in a chapel service and wanted to share it with you.

It seems there was this farmer who was famous for raising prize winning roosters. He also had a son of whom he was very proud. One day the farmer gave his son a beautiful brand new red sports car. The young man was completely excited as you can imagine and asked his father if he could go into town to show his friends. The young man drives proudly into town to show off his new car. After several hours of merry making and partying the young man discovered he had passed his curfew and drove a bit too fast going home. He rounded the corner of the driveway of his home with gravel flying and hit his father’s prize rooster. Feathers flew and rooster remains were all over his car while on the porch sat his father quietly rocking in a front porch rocker. The son picked up the dead rooster and took it up to his father and apologized and asked forgiveness. His father granted forgiveness and told him to get a shovel from the shed and bury the rooster. The son buried the rooster.

The next day, the son still felt so badly about what he had done that he got the shovel and dug up the rooster, brought it back to his Father and once again asked for forgiveness. The father told his son that he had already forgiven him and all is well. The next day the son did the same thing; dug up the rooster and took it too his father and once again asked for forgiveness. This went on for several days and this rooster is getting really smelly and decomposing. Finally the father asked his son, “How many times are you going to dig up that rooster?”

Each of us has done things of which we are not proud. But God loves us so much that His forgiveness is there just for the asking. God has the power to forgive and forget. We have the ability to forgive, but we still remember. What we need to remember is that if God can forgive us our sins and short comings then we must forgive each other and we need to forgive ourselves. So, stop digging up that rooster and accept God’s forgiveness and bask in His love and grace.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes, count your blessings and say your prayers. Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Greetings from Rm. 6

Good morning and happy Tuesday! This writing comes to you from Burton Hill Ele. In my tiredness from the long weekend, I went to bed uncharacteristically early and woke up this morning remembering I did not write.
Prayer Alerts! Geni substitutes at my school in a classroom that serves students who are challenged either mentally or physically. Some have Downes Syndrome or other conditions. One of the little boys whose name is Roberto is having surgery today. He is very young and has been having multiple seizures. It has been discovered that he has multiple brain tumors and then more were found behind the ones previously discovered. Geni asked me to ask all of you to pray for him this morning as he is having surgery today.

I also ask you to pray for all students this week who are taking the TAKS test. The students have worked very hard all year long as have their teachers and today is the day! Please pray for these students and teachers to be calm, have peace and rely on God to guide them through the days to come. The students will be testing for the next three days.

Ephesians 3:19 “(I pray) that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself.]

It is quiet in my classroom for just a few more minutes. The students are eating breakfast, or waiting in the auditorium or still on their way to school. But in a few minutes all will change as the noise and busyness of the day will begin in a flurry of activity and tension with the testing that will go on throughout the day. All has been done in preparation for today and now it is up to the children to do their best.

In this passage of scripture (I used the Amplified Bible version for today’s verse) the Apostle Paul prayed for the church. What He prayed for is that the church in Ephesus would come to know the love of Christ in all they know and experience. God did His all through Jesus to prepare us to receive His love and grace and now it is up to us to accept His love in all of its fullness. We accept His love through faith. Our faith is not dependant on experience, but is totally dependant on our relationship with God Himself. There are times we are simply aware that God is with us as we walk through the day and then there are times we absolutely need a huge outpouring of His love just for reassurance that leaves no doubt as to His presence in our day. So today I pray for each of us to be aware of God’s Presence throughout the day and know that all we have to do is receive His love throughout the day and He will be there.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes, count your blessings and say your prayers. Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis