Life is like a vapor Death grins when the pulse is weak. Smiles when breathing ceased. Light gleams in darkness. Shatters the stillness of time Death, where is your sting? Past and present one. Dominions lost victory. His love set us free. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Arms yours self with the Gospel; it is time to fight. How? Prayer and fasting is the key to winning this fight. Find your prayer closet, your church pew, and get on your knees. 2 Chronicles 7:14: If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
As a teacher, my first thought when I saw the word teach was Bloom’s Taxonomy which is very applicable to the Christian life.
Knowledge is remembering, discovering, naming, and labels. Hearing the Word is the first step. Matthew 28: 19 & 20, Go, therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always even to the end of the age. (This is the church’s directive now and will again be Israel’s directive after the rapture with the 144,000 Jewish men.)
Comprehension is understanding and discussing. I Peter 2:1-2 Therefore, putting aside all malice and all guile and hypocrisy and envy, and all slander (judgmental attitude) like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the Word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.
Application or applying is your testimony, young and immature but yours. Allow the Holy Spirit to work in your life to change the desires of the flesh. 2 Peter 1: The whole chapter. As you grow in God’s Word, expect a more profound understanding, but you must move away from things found in I Corinthians 3:2-3.
Analysis or analyzing is to break apart the whole to grasp a deeper meaning. Inspect God’s Word compare scripture to scripture, don’t rely on others to tell you what to think. Romans Chapter 5 illustrates this progress or growth beautifully- Peace, introduction by faith, tribulations produces endurance or perseverance, to proven character to hope. And hope does not disappoint. Also, read Romans 5:8-9
Evaluation- measure what you know by God’s Word with understanding, with application to your heart and soul by standing on the solid rock of God’s Word, not being an ignorant doormat—calling sin a sin. It’s adultery, fornication, murder, and it’s a lie, it’s is a depraved mind, it is witchcraft, etc. It is a deception, subtle and insidious. John 14:6 Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the LIfe, no one come to the Father but through Me.” Time to measure scripture by scripture, if you believe there are many ways to God; know that it is not so. Scriptures call for you not to be subtly deceived by the empty philosophy of this world. God calls for the renewing of your mind by faith and understanding will come. Hebrews 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, who have their senses trained to discern good and evil because of practice. (Ouch!) Colossians 2:8.
Synthesis. Go and tell the world with full meaning and understanding, no longer babes on the milk of God’s Word but dine on the meat of God’s Word with full awareness, able to stand against the winds of empty philosophy.
I moved this paragraph to the end instead it being the first paragraph because blaming teachers for what a student isn’t learning is just wrong. Kids must come to school with basic skills. I will say teaching children to be quiet on Sunday morning is a skill that kindergarteners need. I agree that a teacher is full of knowledge but may not have excellent classroom management skills. Management skills comes with experience. Today, teachers are not allowed to discipline students, fail students, and are mandated what to teach. But that story is for another time. But even an inexperienced teacher can teach what they know, they may not manage a class well at first, but they can still teach. What a student learns is always up to them, not the teacher. The rate one learns is always depends on the individual: willingness, ability and determination. Teachers know this. So does God.
Grey shrouds disallow. Perseid, wherefore art thou? My wish bound by clouds. by Tony @TonyPictureBook
I didn’t catch the meaning of this Haiku until I looked up the word Perseid. Before reading further, stop and look it up if you need to.
Once I read the definition, I instantly understood, and a burst of conflicting emotions rolled over me. If you love star gazing, then you will instantly understand. If you watch action movies, then you know where the names of heroes and villains come from.
A once a year event was disallowed. The grey shrouds that streak brightly across the sky when entering our atmosphere were hidden behind the clouds. But there was a double meaning in this Haiku for me.
It was early August in the 90s on a clear night. Schools didn’t start so early. My two children each had a friend spend the night. I got them up a 4:00 am. They wrapped up in blankets, set in lawn recliners, sipped hot chocolate, and watched the Perseid Meteor shower. It was fantastic. We stayed out till the sun rose, then went to McD’s for breakfast.
My children have families of their own and live very far away. I ask my husband if he wanted to drive out in the middle of the night to watch the meteor shower this past week. His response was that he would be asleep. I was a little sad. I wondered if my kids took the time to watch. I thought of how much fun we had. Then, I laughed.
Yes, we did have fun. It was a spectacular meteor show that night, and I have a precious memory.
A Haiku is a 17 syllable verse that captures an image, or a moment that when the reader graps the meaning, touches the heart.
Accountability rings with drudgery. It comes with duty, work, follow through, keeping your word, task after task, get it done, then go play.
Everyone loves summer fun: swimming, picnics, vacations, family visits, etc. Everyone loves the leaf turning green, flowers in spring, the return of summer fruit and vegetables. Everyone loves the colors of fall and the first snow flake.
When I look at those spring bulbs in full bloom that I planted last fall, I smile and think effort well spent. When I take out a package of sweet corn that I put up this summer for Thanksgiving, I will smile and remember the taste of summer. When I am raking up leaves, I will remember that I planted that tree and how I relish the shade it provides in the summer heat. In the depth of winter, I will remember the seeds planted, steps taken, tasks finished, things still to do, and know that God is good. When I looks at things accomplished and see smiles, I will think this was time well spent.
A view of accountability from the backside…
Haiku by RL Brown
Let’s go to the pond. Fairytale fishing is best- when Gramps comes along. No buckets, no boats, And no carrying large totes. Just Grandpa and me. A pole in each hand Grasshoppers by the pond bank Gramps catches our bait. A nibble, a tug- A fisherman feels the line- Waits to jerk the hook. A flip-flopping, splash Reeling in a big fat bass. Little ones go free.
From there to here, here to there, God’s Presence is everywhere.
From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD’S name is to be praised. 4The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens. 5Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high, 6Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth!
The uniqueness of creation is that God’s fingerprint is present from the tiniest of molecules to the vastness of space. Sometimes we lack perspective to see the whole picture.
In Job, God rebukes Job’s counselors by saying, “Who is this that darkens counsel by word without knowledge (of ME)? (Job 38:2) Have you ever in your life commanded the morning and caused the dawn to know its place? (v.12)
I stop here thinking the science behind that statement is immense. God set boundaries for the sea and made a cloud its garment. He binds the chains of Pleiades and loose the cords of Orion (v. 31). Is it by my understanding that a hawk soars or nature fulfills it course? Of course not.
Then God asks Job (paraphrase) Do you condemn me to prove yourself right?
Job’s reply: (paraphrase): Whoa, I shut my mouth!
The book of Job is a lesson in perspective from heaven to earth, earth to heaven. God’s Presence is everywhere.
Have you ever been on a drive then have a flat?
Writing picture books seems like that afternoon drive on the Natchez Trace. Car windows down, trees limbs hanging over the payment, casting shadows with intermittent sunlight. You and your best friend chatting and laughing away.
Boom! Screech, and you wheel-off to the side of the road. FLAT Tire!
Sometimes your best dreams get flatten. Goals you have struggled with go a rye. You get another rejection letter in the mail.
What do you do?
Well, you fix the flat, sometimes with a bit of help from a critique group, talk to a friend, listen to the positives more intently. Discover what is good about your dreams and hold on for the ride. It is hard work to attain your dreams. Drive and perseverance go hand in hand.
Then work on your dream, fix the flat(s) in your stories, and resume your drive down the Natchez Trace. Happy Writing!
There is calmness in God’s order. Step out early in the morning to watch the sunrise, hear the birds sing, enjoy the stillness. In the morning, I will lift up my voice to the Lord. (Psalms) As I watch the sunset and the moon rise in the evening, I must admit I reflect on the beauty of what I see and try not to remember the chaos of the day.
Peace brings order, a calmness to one’s soul.
When peace like a river attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well with my soul.
This song was written by the author after watching a ship sink with his wife and daughter. God provides an order, a calmness that our souls desire. Even in the depth of sorrow, God’s word offers comfort that goes beyond human comprehension. And I will admit beyond my comprehension and level of trust at the time. Even though I leave my troubles and burden at Jesus’ feet, I often pick them up again.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
When I pick up my burdens again, I repeat this verse. Even though the seas may rage (at times my troubles) surround me, I can walk in peace. God can order my steps (and tongue) to speak out His Truth in peace. A kind word turns away anger.
(Dichotomy) When you speak a kind word in God’s Truth, you will incite others to anger. No one likes to be confronted by their hate for God. It will create a sea of turmoil. Trust God’s word.
I exist in God’s order and live in the turmoil man creates. Understanding this, I rest in God’s hand, I can walk knowing God orders my steps, I can be a peacemaker by a kind word in Truth, I can put my faith in God’s Word (the engine) and not my feeling (the caboose), I can let God be the fixer and trust in HIs plan. I can trust in His well-ordered plan. This well-ordered plan is based on a relationship with Jesus.
How do you keep this relationship in order?
Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9 That is the first verse that came to mind along with the song. But real strength, Christ-centered strength is a hard calling. First, it does not call you to be a doormat. You must speak the TRUTH. God tells us how.
Let all be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil, or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead. 1Peter 3:8
Do you ever have trouble with ANTS: Automatic Negative Thoughts?
Does it come out when you’re driving? How about a neighbors junkie yard? How about when you see an unruly child or parent? How come there is never anything good on TV? Why are they dressed like that in public? (I have more but I will stop.) Ant bites sting. Too many bites, then a volcano of emotions are likely to erupt.
Being strong in the Lord means so many different things. It takes strength to trust the Lord with your wayward child. It takes practice to turn a kind word when you feel angry. It’s hard not to desire that evil gets repaid and wait on the Lord to be the judge. It takes prayer to walk humble with our God. It takes a powerful amount of trust, when you are blinded and cannot see the way.
For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous and HIs ears attend to their prayers. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil. I Peter 3:12
How are you Strong in the Lord? It comes in so many different ways.
Twirls and whirlybirds in the wind, playing with cousins and friends.
Walking barefoot in the grass and hoping summer will last.
No school, outside and free, it’s the time just to be me.
Cousins on the porch swing, shelling purple hull peas.
I will snap green beans instead, if you please.
Summer snacks come straight from the garden.
We enjoy the evening breeze when the chores are done.
Climbing trees, city pool, river-side camping, and sandy shore
are childhood summers that make me wish for more.
I’ve watched my kids and now grandkids enjoy many summers too.
Their memories are intertwined with mine both old and new.
What more can I say, summer is a time to play.