Just Where You Are
Come sit on the porch with me,” I heard Mother call to all of us in the yard. “We have peas to shell.” It was June 1945. That afternoon became a memory for me. Mother was so excited that Uncle Mervin, Daddy’s brother, would be coming home soon. The war was ending. Victory in Europe was announced a few weeks before. Our neighbors were excited as they stood around the porch sharing. My dad was excited, hoping that he would be able to find all of the merchandise for his general store the community wanted and would no longer have to deal with rations. School would soon close for the summer and we students were hoping the sirens and drills would stop — meaning no more taking cover under our desks.
That summer held something else of value for me. I had turned 8 in December. My dad had promised me a clerk position in his store — after I proved that I could add long columns of money and be exact in giving change to paying customers. He celebrated with me when that day arrived in the summer of 1945. I worked with him from that summer until I left home for college.
So what does this have to do with your school today? I could list many things but one that stands out for me is that school is just where you are, doing what you are doing. During all of your family activities you are teaching, students are watching, listening and learning.
Set your school environment
What is consuming our thoughts, family, church and school right now? COVID-19 pandemic. I wanted to avoid this topic in this month’s Tips but was moved last night with these thoughts:
1) Would my attitude, fear, anger, actions, thoughts be different if I fully accepted that Jesus is right in my midst? Surely awareness of His presence would draw me to shout in praise, to bow in wonder, to converse in joy, to agree with Him to wait patiently while He uses these days to work His work.
2) This thought I learned years ago reading Joni Tada’s books but it came to me again last night. Would I respond to this pandemic any differently if I looked at it as a gift from God? Does He give such gifts to those He loves? If it seems impossible to me that this could be a gift from a good Father, might it be because I cannot SEE as He does?
How does this fit into school? Have you noticed if you are irritated about something, that irritation affects everything? So it is with being unsettled or concerned. As we deal with the concern we improve the teaching and the learning.
Training children — Your words
The impact of words spoken to a child can ring for a lifetime in their ears. Consider this example:
Nine-year old Janet wants to make 5 ingredient muffins and asks permission. You respond, “Oh, not now. I don’t have time to clean up the mess.” Perhaps your words are honest with no motive of belittling, but 40-year old Janet with 6 children sees her home as only messy because that’s who she learned she was.
Or consider this TRUE STORY of a close and precious friend. When she was about 12 years old, several years after experiencing the devastating crush of her mother’s death, her father responded to her, “You are a day older and two days dumber.” Hers was not a Christian home and she doesn’t remember what caused him to make that response or even if it was said JOKINGLY. But let me tell you what she does remember.
1) God is good. He provided for her neighbors who helped her know who Jesus is.
2) The description of being dumb lingers to this day. She continues, at age 70, to pray, search the Scripture and seek godly counsel about who she is to God.
This true friend has been in church leadership for many years. She leads an amazing ladies ministry. She is a daily student of God’s Word but she “feels less than.”
God has been faithful. He has used a very angry word to continue to show her His power. She truly is a woman who is moving mountains because God has chosen to so use her. And she does not hesitate to give Him the glory.
Parents, watch your words. One comment. Once in the entire childhood of my friend. From it she still fights and continuously returns to Jesus to accept His truth.
And for the times we fail, Dad and Mom, we do have hope in the redemptive power of God.
Knowing our power source
We can comfort one another with sure promises of God found in His Word.
1. He gives us a life that nothing can destroy.
John 11:25 “Jesus told her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.’”
2. He hears us when we talk to him.
Jeremiah 29:12 “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you.”
3. He promises us freedom.
John 8:36 “So if the Son sets you free you will be free indeed.”
4. He is always good to us.
1 Chronicles 16:34 “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.”
5. God abundantly provides all that we need.
2 Corinthians 9:8 “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”
In the Word there are many more promises to make us secure in Christ and to give us hope for each task.
For school we notice that any one of these verses and many more can be applied in the teaching of specific courses and the fulfilling of each assignment. Oh, and don’t forget Psalm 23.