Love Our Kids – Back to School

Colossians 1:11 We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy.

For most of you school is starting this week. It’s an exciting time…this is your calling! The summer has been great, but The Lord has another group of children to place in your care who need your unique giftedness.

Calling or not – it’s not easy.

You may have a challenging student – Ask The Lord to show you what makes them challenge you. Are they crying out for help?

You may have some challenging parents. Pray for the parents as much as you do the children.

You may have a challenging co-worker. Seek to understand their need.

Maybe your boss is a little irritating. What is the pressure on him/her for better results this year? Can you be a supporter rather than a back-biter?

God’s power can give you the wisdom and endurance you need…and JOY!

Love Our Kids: A Devo for Teachers – Loose Lips Sink Ships and Cause Other Troubles

I hardly spend time in my “paper” Bible any more. I am so thankful for the electronic options that allow me almost unlimited access to translations and commentaries. But today I was flipping through my Bible I’ve had since 1990 and reading some of the notes.

On one page in particular in Proverbs I had underlined four verses and three of them were about the trouble your mouth can bring you. For anyone who’s known me for a long time, it is probably not surprising that God has had and continues to have a lot of work to do on me in that area.

“A fool’s lips bring him strife and his mouth invites a beating.” Proverbs 6:18

In fact, my last spanking, at age 16, was for telling my Dad I shouldn’t have to get the milk at the supper table because my brother sat closer to the refrigerator. I’m such a slow learner!

Here I am at age 50+ still needing the Lord’s instruction on listening before answering (v 13) and the power of the tongue being life and death (v21).

Lord, help us to be gracious in all our responses today. There is some child, parent or co-worker who desperately needs a word from You today and I may be the only one they encounter who can give it to them.

Colossians 4:6 NLT – Let your a conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.

Love Our Kids – Are You Being Fair?

While I started a degree in elementary education, I didn’t complete it. I can see now that the desire I had to teach starting at a young age has been fulfilled as I train and develop adults in the workplace and through teaching adults at church. Kids are definitely not my strong suit. 

And yet, as our church needed Wednesday night children’s workers, I felt like I had to help. So I started helping. . . grudgingly. The Lord has really had to work on my attitude.

I am a big “rule follower” and I’m not very patient when kids (or adults, for that matter) seem to ignore the rules or not care enough to find out what they are. Praise the Lord, He is more patient with me! I am sure that I have been known to make rules that weren’t fair or necessary. And I am even more sure that I have disciplined kids when they didn’t really need it because it was more about my pride than their behavior.

I know, O Lord, that your regulations are fair; you disciplined me because I needed it. Psalm 119:75

This scripture hit me hard this morning. Help me, Lord, to impose only regulations that are fair. Help me not to react and create rules or punishments that are really based in my frustration, rather than the child’s behavior.

Loving Our Kids Devo for Teachers – Getting things in perspective

Matthew 6:33 – Steep your life in God- reality, God- initiative, God- provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

I like this paraphrase of a familiar scripture from The Message.

So today when you’re dealing with the children entrusted to you (or a parent or co-worker), take a second to think about God’s perspective of the situation and take action based on that instead of what your flesh feels.

I find that my first response to a situation is based on how I think it makes me look. That makes me want to start “protecting myself” and making sure I don’t look a fool; making sure I am “respected.” Unless I seek the Lord’s perspective, I am making it about me, when it very often has NOTHING to do with me.

Lord, help us to seek your reality and to see how you are at work. Praise you for your provision in everything.

Love Our Kids – Back to School

I hope you have had a good summer. I’m sure it’s hard for you to believe it is almost over.

I pray that as you prepare your classroom that you
1. Will spend time praying over each desk/table/seat.
2. Will ask The Lord to show you what each child needs from you – both scholastically and as a gift from him.
3. Will ask The Lord for a servant’s heart that will serve each child with the same attitude.
4. Will ask The Lord for special grace for those students who seem like trouble-makers, but who may just be crying out for basic needs his parents aren’t providing.

You have a daunting task, but a powerful ministry opportunity.

“And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory.” Philippians 4:19

Love Our Kids – Grace Upon Grace

Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. (John 1:16 NIV)

Or the NASB says “grace upon grace.”

That’s a lot of grace. John also tells us in v14 that Jesus was full of grace and truth.

I don’t know about you, but I’m a lot better at the truth part than the grace part. And yet, Christ was full of both.

I pray that whatever you’re dealing with today with kids, parents, co-workers, or your own family, that you will seek God’s grace to guide you through it. Remember the grace that has been given to you – over and over again – and pass it on.

Love Our Kids: Seeking Good Judgment and Knowledge

Psalm 119:66    I believe in Your commands; now teach me good judgment and knowledge.

What a prayer! I’ve been a believer for over 40 years and yet the good judgment and knowledge is very hard sometimes. My own nature is speak first and think later, which still gets me into trouble after years of being aware of the problem and working to get better.

As one who works with kids each day, it must be humbling to realize that these kids are looking to YOU to teach them good judgment and knowledge. I’m sure there are times when it seems like they want to learn anything else. And yet most of them crave what is right.

I pray that you will be faithful to seek and model good judgment and knowledge before your students, your co-workers and your family. Clearly, this is a biblical request, so as you pray for it, you can guarantee it will be answered.

Love Our Kids – A Devo for Teachers – God’s Way is Perfect

God’s way is perfect. All the LORD’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to Him for protection. 2 Samuel 22:31 NLT

Despite what may be going on in your life – school or otherwise – it is great to be reminded that God’s way is perfect.  He is the original “promise keeper”!

Are you allowing him to be your shield, protecting you from Satan’s arrows?  According to Ephesians 6, faith is the shield.  If we aren’t trusting in him, then we open ourselves up to great injury and pain than when we rest in him.

Reading on after this verse you’ll see many of David’s favorite names for God – rock, strength, fortress. Are you claiming those as your own?

I pray that today you will claim His promises, walk in his way and that you will have opportunities to share this truth with someone else.

Love Our Kids – Devo for Teachers – The Key is Asking for Help

O Lord, You are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask for Your help. Psalms 86:5 NLT

Father, how we thank you today for your unfailing love and your forgiveness. I thank you for each of these people who are working with kids in some capacity through school. I pray today that we would have a forgiving spirit and demonstrate your love faithfully to those who asks us for help. I pray that each of these teachers were walk in your power and wisdom and not in his/her own. We know that we cannot be what we need to be or do what we need to do without you.

Love Our Kids – Devo for Teachers – What Are You Afraid Of?

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise– in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?   Psalms 56:3-4 NIV

What are you afraid of?  Be honest before God and ask Him to replace your fear with praise.  Trust Him.  He has been so faithful.

Now think about the kids you are responsible for each day.  What are they afraid of?

  • Physical abuse?
  • Sexual abuse?
  • Being left alone
  • Not having enough to eat?
  • Moving . . . again?
  • Parents splitting up?

I pray that today you can give them stability – perhaps the only stability they have in their life.  I pray that you can be sensitive to needs – even when you don’t know what they are.  I pray that you will allow the Lord to replace YOUR fears with praise and trust.