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Thursday, October 18, 2012

His Problem Student

One of the countless blessings...

          It’s been a short work week. I have tomorrow off and I am so very glad. Ten minutes before the last bell today, one of my ‘problem’ students decided it was time to do his thing: the classroom was too quiet, so he started to whistle a few bars. He stopped right away, but when I released the class to put up their work, I called him to my desk. He ignored me. I repeated the request and he shuffled and bribed, “Man, it’s time to go, I don’t got t’ time!” To which I responded, “Then go to the office. You still have time for that. And I hope you enjoy your in-school suspension!” He was half way out the door when he received his next inspiration which was to mock me just outside the door, just as the bell was ringing.  
          I made time to go to the office for a discipline referral before heading home to take my sick kitty to the vet. Wesley hasn’t been himself for a few days. Turns out his temp was 105, apparently the result of a very bad, delayed reaction to the vaccinations he received almost two weeks ago.
He and I are both feeling better now, although I’m grateful to God that I have a three-day weekend, courtesy of an optional (they must be kidding!) state teachers’ conference.  His recovery can be credited to cortisone and re-hydration; mine to a renewed realization.   
          I have always had a heart for believing the best of people. It took me years to realize that the reason I received so much abuse was because of this belief. That doesn’t make me a fool. It makes me a person of love. It also makes me vulnerable. These little enemy ambushes are designed to trip me and strip me of my focus on my goal for myself and for my students. I am not ignorant of his devices. Still, I am human, and I rely on God’s strength.
         God is not only my Father and provider, He is also my defender. And when someone proves by his or her actions their intent to harm, He will avenge, defend and protect me. He will reveal His plan to me and He will not be mocked. That student is not my problem student any longer. That student and a few others like him are God’s problem now.
          Though I was angry, I did nothing wrong, and still, I regret even wasting the time on anger. But that is why we need this relationship with God. As I read in my precious quiet time with God this morning, “To accept grace is to admit failure, a step we are hesitant to take. We opt to impress God with how good we are rather than confessing how great He is” (Max Lucado). Thank the Lord, He’s not impressed, and I am humbly stepping aside. I am desperately in need His grace!
          It has been a productive week in the progress of bringing the music and the word of Cafeteria Covenant to the ears of the hearer. I should not be surprised at the little foxes sent to spoil the vine. Livingwell Seed Co has more than 1200 followers on Twitter since its first tweet one week ago tomorrow. Rock of Ages Lullaby will be sent around the world by radio again this Christmas with two upcoming promotions. There are countless other little blessings that came my way, but I once heard Joyce Meyer say that sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is go to sleep… Yes. Amen.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Beware the Writer

(reposted from my author's blog)

When you really want answers, and you ask for them (Ask and you shall receive) you may not always be prepared for them. This can be a difficult thing for the parent who has been praying for answers about their child, and finds herself gasping for air when the cold water hits. But it isn't always bad. I think not knowing is worse.

So often, we are so busy with the business of living that we don't take time to stop and say, "Hey! I need to pray about this. I need to ask the Father for some answers, for the light to break at the end of the tunnel, for..." Well, you know. That's just how it is sometimes. It's the enemy's dance and he's enjoying it. Faster, faster... that's right! He smiles, puffing a big cigar.

It may have been yesterday morning, it may have been today, I found myself asking. "What's the next step for marketing the book and the album? You led me, You gave me the songs (even though some would rather have me say, they were inspired), You showed me what to write. And I believe You have more songs for me, because I sing them every morning and that means more finances to produce them, but You are my provider... and as You know, I am not doing any concerts right now, or book signings, or whatever You want me to do. So, I believe You will show me what You want me to do... thank You, Father."

When I arrived at the school where I teach, there was a new substitute across the hall. A nice enough guy, it seemed. Dressed appropriately for any other day, but today was Friday, and "We pay into a scholarship fund so we can wear jeans on Friday," I told him, explaining my jeans. He nodded, proceeded to tell me he'd come from a Bible study, and in a few minutes more I learned he was also a singer and a worship leader. Not having a lot of time to think, I tucked it away with a this may be a path to pursue, and determined I'd ask him later what kind of music, if he also wrote music, etc.

When lunch time came, I asked, "So where do you lead worship?" He mentioned a conservative denomination. "That's nice. I'm a singer-songwriter and I'm always interested to hear what other singers are involved in."

He nodded again and his eyes dropped from my eyes to somewhere between my waist and my knees, then he turned and walked away.

I was glad I was wearing my wool jacket, even though it was a little itchy on my neck. At least I was able to warm up again. I pulled it tighter.

Okeedokee, I thought. Moving on. I closed my door and took a seat at my desk. A new email was in my inbox. It came through the contact form at one of the music community websites, one I'd only rejoined a week ago. It was from a young woman at a  marketing company for Christian musicians wanting to inform me of a new opportunity, so I checked their website and requested more information.  In a return email, she said she liked my website and wondered that I didn't have a Twitter account... (OK - I've just been waiting for a good reason to have one, so I do now). She told me exactly how her company could help and how reasonable it would be. By evening, another marketing company had contacted me about my book (not quite as reasonable, but not crazy either).

So, I guess this weekend, I'll be spending more time in His presence, following the direction He's been taking me, exploring Twitter, and hoping that those who really love God won't mind if I wear jeans to work on Fridays to support the student scholarship fund.