Thoughts from Great Expectations #1

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“…I have often thought that few people know what secrecy there is in the young, under terror. No matter how unreasonable the terror, so that it be terror.” – from Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

I have come to understand this more the older I get. Last year our grandson went through a long patch of waking up afraid in the middle of the night. It wasn’t an easy fix, because it was difficult to understand just what was going through his mind. No matter how unreasonable his terror may have seemed to an adult, it was real to him.

Last week I experienced the crushing heartache of a young boy gripped by a real fear. His aunt had overdosed and was not expected to live. Here he was at school, with all the ridiculousness of middle school going on all around him, and he was worried, afraid, and grieving for someone close to him that he may not ever see again. She was miles away in another town and he was helpless.

I’ve had students who have lost siblings and parents while under my care. I’ve known some who have attempted suicide and others who have been tugged through a messy divorce.

As teachers, we are a part of a student’s life for hours on end. We can make the most of our relationship with them by being more perceptive and understanding. But most importantly, we can take them to the Lord in prayer.

Stay Gold

So, the prompt for Day 19  of PAD was to write a cool or uncool poem. My mind must have still been on  Day 11. I also remembered a poem from PAD 2009. So, I’ve included that, also. A big thanks to S.E. Hinton for the inspiration.

Bruloos

photo by Bruloos

 

That’s Uncool

I don’t care if your hair is pink
your opinion is just what you think
but don’t poke fun at the quiet guy
don’t put him down because he’s shy

you might be a football star
a game player is what you are
that doesn’t mean you count for more
you need to work on your rapport

yes we know you’re very smart
but what is the state of your heart?
what matters if it’s four-point-o?
have you helped the average Joe?

look around and you will see
lots of people just like me
with lots of thoughts and love to share
did you know it’s cool to care?

Outsiders

Radical, dissenter
Inside out
Exterior, interior
Full of doubt
Break the façade
Scale the brick wall
Ponyboy, Sodapop
Please don’t fall
Shut out the world
Curl up in a ball
Fling back your shoulders
Strong and tall
Odd man out
Youthful and bold
Loner, loser
Just stay gold

When They Don’t Have the Words

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As a grandparent, I’m learning to be more aware of the feelings of young children who can’t express what it is they are feeling. Sometimes these little ones just don’t have the words to tell us that they are tired or frustrated. Being aware and patient could actually help us deal with people of all ages.

This awareness really hit me one evening when my grandson asked me to read a book for the third night in a row. It is called “Animal Daddies and My Daddy”. I was taking care of him and his sister while their parents were out of town and I think he chose that book because he was really missing his daddy. The other book he chose for me to read was Eric Carle’s “Animals Animals” because he said it was his mom’s favorite book. This was his way of being close to them while they were away and he was missing them so.

Kids go through so many stages as they grow up.  Around 5 or 6, as they become more aware of the world around them and understand things better, they may develop new fears. One common occurrence is fear of the dark. My grandson is going through this right now. As I was reading to him and his little sister  from The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones, I found a wonderful version of Psalm 23. I shared it with my daughter-in-law, thinking this could help calm the fears of the little guy who is a superhero by day, but not so much by night.

Psalm 23 From the Jesus Storybook Bible.

God is my Shepherd

And I am his little lamb.

He feeds me.

He guides me.

He looks after me.

I have everything I need.

Inside my heart is very quiet.

As quiet as lying still in soft green grass.

In a meadow.

By a little stream.

Even when I walk through

the dark, scary, lonely places

I won’t be afraid.

Because my Shepherd knows where I am.

He is here with me.

He keeps me safe.

He rescues me.

He makes me strong

and brave.

He is getting wonderful things ready for me

Especially for me

Everything I ever dreamed of.

He fills my heart so full of happiness.

I can’t hold it all inside.

Wherever I go I know

God’s Never Stopping

Never Giving Up

Unbreaking

Always and Forever Love 

Will go, too!  

 

You can read more about The Jesus Storybook Bible or order one at http://www.jesusstorybookbible.com/index.php

Conversations

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The conversations we have at the water cooler, coffee machine or lounge can be used by God to transforms people’s lives. People meet Jesus in unusual places all the time. ” – Woodrow Kroll

Think about the woman who met Jesus at the well, or Zacchaeus who was summoned down from the tree where he had climbed. Or the fishermen who were called away from fishing to follow Christ. Jesus preached in the synagogue, but He didn’t stay there. He went to where the people were. That’s something to think about.

And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house’ – Luke 19:5

The Salt of theEarth

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Notes from 9/14/14 and today

Salt enhances flavor. I’m learning this more and more as I’ve been cooking a lot of beans lately. Too little does little good. Too much can burn. Applying this to the idea of Christians being salt in this world, it makes a lot of sense. We are not to be over zealous, especially in the way we talk. We are to be gentle and meek.

Do I give flavor or suck the flavor out? The gospel itself is offensive to the lost, but my character should not be offensive. Salt also creates thirst. So, too, should my life cause others to thirst after Christ.

If I am the salt of the earth, then the earth is being seasoned by me – one of His people.

How salty am I? How consistent am I? How intentional am I?

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men” Mathew 5:13

Religious?

Image   I took a “Social Attitude Test”   online today. Not sure what to think of myself. It says I am a tender-hearted  moderate conservative. It also says this is the profile one might associate with a sincere clergyman! I am “Trusting of religion and have a compassionately humanistic attitude toward humanity in general”. Hmm.

I’m also said to be economically right-wing. And politically I’m an idealist with few strong opinions.

So, what in the world does this gobbledy-gook mean? I like the part about being tender-hearted. That’s a nice way to think about myself.  I’m no clergyman, but I hope I AM sincere.

 It’s the trusting of religion part that bothers me. If I go by most of the world’s thoughts on religion, that could mean a lot of things. I don’t want to be religious in the Webster’s dictionary sort of way which says “relating to or manifesting faithful devotion to an acknowledged ultimate reality or deity”. God is so much more than an ultimate reality.

But, the Bible does give us a definition of religion in James 1:27:

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

So, if someone calls me religious, I would hope it is for this reason. I am a Christian, and this is the kind of religious I want to be. 

(Ilustration “Love” by graur razvan ionut)