“Be A Teacher”

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 “We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and His strength, and His wonderful works that He has done,” Psalm 78:4

 

       As a parent, I value what my children are being taught, not only in school, but in life.  I care about what they see and hear, and what information is being processed in their minds.  Our age of technology has a lot to offer.  A lot of ways to take things in but, as with food, everything that goes in is not good for you or your children.

            Over and over again in the Bible we see the importance of passing the wonderful truths on that we have learned.  I don’t care who you are.  I don’t care what your socioeconomic status is or what is your educational background, there are valuable experiences in you that come from living this life.  Things worthy to be passed on, to enrich another’s life with what you have learned.

            The cool thing about it is there are others who may not be in your family, but can still reap the rewards of what you have lived through.  They can glean off of what you have personally gone through to gain a better understanding of the world we live in and the God we serve.  You have something valuable to teach those all around you.  Your life becomes the classroom.

            “Shewing to the generation to come.”  What can you show them?  Are there pitfalls that one can avoid if they follow your advice?  Are there mountains another can summit by walking in your example?  You, yourself, have learned some stuff along the way.  Why not leave something along the pathway of this journey (Hansel and Gretel), for another to follow?  Don’t hide it, show it!  Don’t keep it all for yourself, mentor another.  Give them a good foundation to start off on.

            Don’t think within yourself, “I have nothing to offer.”  You have lessons learned from your whole life.  God saw value in you, to bring you through this far.  Let your life lead those who are coming behind you.  Breadcrumbs, if you will, on the road to help another find their direction.  Each of us has within us the ability to be a teacher.  To live a life others will want to follow.  To teach others the lessons learned.  You have a voice, literal or not, let it be heard.  Don’t shake your head at the generation coming after you.  Show them there is something better.

            Let them know why you praise God the way you do.  Let them know of “His strength, and His wonderful works that He has done!”  Let them know!  “Ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence,” (Isaiah 62:6).  We are losing a generation of believers – NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO BE QUIET!  Let the truth of your faith ring loud.  If you don’t do it, then who will?  Who will you leave the job to?  Isn’t that the problem now?  The responsibility of who should do this is being shuffled around leaving no clear pathway.  I say, we all need to stop the shuffling because this is not a game of cards.  This is about life!  We all need to be more active in our individual roles as teachers, models, tutors, mentors –  no matter what you call it, actively seek to be a participator and not a spectator.  Roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty.  There’s a lot of potential in those coming after us.  Potential that none will ever see unless someone is willing to teach them the way.

“Remember: I am just a prayer away.”

“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” 1 John 5:14-15

Memorial Day: For those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in serving, we salute you.

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“Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are stiffened.” – Billy Graham

“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” – Joseph Campbell

“A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.” – Christopher Reeve

To you all, the courageously brave with unrelenting service and sacrifice, we say “Thank you.”

“Be Confident”

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“Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident,” Psalm 27:3, KJV

I’d say, beyond a shadow of a doubt that confidence is something that is truly lacking among many. It’s a trait that seems to be disappearing as generations go by. The forefathers of our nation were made of sterner stuff. They had within them a pioneer spirit that allowed them to forge forward into unknown territories and discover new worlds despite the many obstacles that would try to block their progress.

How many times have we wished for that same fortitude of mind? How many times have we endeavored to push forth into our own unknown territories just to be pushed back again because we lacked the confidence we needed. God has many plans and many purposes for each individual but unfortunately many will never see them come to fruition because they don’t believe enough in themselves or enough in the God they serve to keep moving forward.

David declared in Psalm 27:3, “Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident,” (KJV). Can I tell you something? David may have been quoted as “a man after God’s own heart,” (Acts 13:22, KJV), but he was also a man of great troubles. Sometimes to the point, as the verse states, of feeling totally surrounded by enemies, struggles, and just the plain old everyday stuff in life that can strip an individual of that wherewithal to make it through; that tries to strip away the fortitude that it takes to prevent one from quitting and venturing into their dreams; stopping them from stepping out to be the person they want to be.

Rather, David said, “In this will I be confident.” In other words, no matter what else is going on around me in my life, my faith will not be shaken. I will stand tall as a good soldier, as a pioneer for God and move forward despite the obstacles that try to hinder me.

David knew where to place his trust. In Psalm 27:1 he said, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (KJV). Because of where his trust lays he was able to make the personal statement of “In this will I be confident.” I will be confident because I know that no matter where I am in life or where I’m trying to go; no matter the hosts against me or the stumbling blocks in front of me, GOD’S GOT MY BACK! One can never speak of that personal confidence that David had if they cannot declare this foundational truth: “The LORD is my light and my salvation . . .the LORD is the strength of my life.” That’s why Proverbs 3:26 opens up our understanding by telling us “For the LORD shall be thy confidence and shall keep thy foot from being taken” (KJV).

Whatever is trying to snatch the footing out from under you to knock you off your course, hold on today, be confident in God, then that will allow you to be confident in yourself. Once you have that sure footing you also can venture forth into your new territories, with your head held high because today you are confident!

“No Weapon!”

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No weapon! It’s not hard to see,

Every one that’s formed propelled against me.

It’s vanished, thrown into the dust.

It won’t prosper, in the Lord I trust.

 

I am fortified in the Holy Ghost.

Your condemning tongues falsify your boast.

Darts aimed, ready to take flight.

Target unreached, by His might.

 

Shielded in the heritage, I belong to the Lord.

Bought with a price I could not afford.

Redeemed and covered, renewed to excel.

All arrows and swords, He did dispel.

 

“No weapon formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn.  This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD,” Isaiah 54:17

 

“Sing!”

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“And I saw as it were . . . them that had gotten the victory . . . and they sing the song,” Revelation 15:2-3, KJV

Songs.  Movements of the heart and soul.  I don’t know how they come about.  Do they start with words that won’t let the mind rest until the lyrics are expressed?  Or, is it a tune, a melodious humming in one’s being that beckons to become more?

Songs come and go at anytime and there’s one for every occasion.  Most great songs come from one’s life experiences.  Whether in good times or bad, happy or sad, the man inside calls for a tune to join the ceremony.

Songs express joy and times of rejoicing.  A good song motivates one when it’s hard to push forward in life and lifts one out of times of sadness.  We see the power of this type of inspiring music in 1 Samuel 16:23, when David played the harp before Saul and the evil spirit left him.

Music is no doubt powerful.  The most precious and heart-felt songs come after times of hardship and struggles.  When we have gone through the wringer of life, made it to the other side, and have squeezed out a heart that expresses gratefulness to God.  Music that tells the world that yes, it was hard, but I made it to the other side.  After crossing the Red Sea did not Miriam put a tambourine in her hand and say, “Sing ye to the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously,” (Exodus 15:21, KJV)?

In the book of Revelation, we see songs of deliverance going up before God.  They had overcome “the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having harps of God,” (Rev. 15:2, KJV).  And, what did they do?  “They sing!” (Rev. 15:3, KJV).  Their praise cannot be constrained any longer.  They have never felt freer then when they had overcome.  That kind of joy starts to seep out every crevice of one’s being until it pours over in song, releasing praise to God!

Music and songs are wrought throughout the Bible.  The psalmist exhorts us to “Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.  Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing,” (Ps. 100:1-2, KJV).  When the Assyrians were prophesied to be destroyed, Isaiah 30:29 emphatically declares, “Ye shall have a song!” (KJV).  When Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises, the earth quaked and prison doors were opened (Acts 16:25-26).  After the Last Supper “they had sung a hymn,” (Mk. 14:26, KJV).  James said, “Is any merry? let him sing psalms,” (Ja. 5:13, KJV).

Sing!

We may not have the best voice but we have a praise in our soul that has to get out!

Sing!

We may be shy in front of other people, but we are living to please an audience of one!  It doesn’t have to be in front of a crowd (yikes!).  A praise can wring out of your spirit at anytime and in any place.

Just, Sing!

Give your heart – your spirit – your soul permission to rejoice.  God has been so good to us – so, Sing!

You are an overcomer also.  “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us,” (Rom. 8:37, KJV).

So, SING!

Those in Revelations had every right to sing, and so do you.  Just sing!  He’s worthy of it today!