Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Teacher at heart

In looking back at past posts, I realized that I have been remiss in telling God's plan for my teaching. It's always HIS plan and HIS timing.

Until last summer I was content to substitute now and then and have time for art and other pursuits. Knowing that Carrie was a senior in high school prompted me to look again into teaching, but not full time. I applied for a job as a tutor at a local business, and in spite of a good interview, was not hired. I didn't stress about it, knowing from experience that God was in control of our finances, my employment, and our children's education.

I took a job at a scrapbook store in Atlanta (and enjoy it--especially when I get to teach classes there.) I have also cared for a darling little girl since she was three months old (January 2007) once a week. So, I settled in to budget more and wait.

In December I received an unanticipated call from the Independent Studies "co-op" at JFBC. Their 10th and 12th grade Literature teacher would be leaving mid-year and would I be interested in interviewing? The administrator who made the call had no idea who I was or that I attended JFBC. She got my number from the tutoring service where I had interviewed months before. (Apparently they liked me, but had no place for my unique collection of skills.) The IS program meets in classes on Tuesdays and Fridays, with periodic workshops on Wednesdays. The students are home-schooled the other days of the week.

To make a longish story shorter, I took the position and LOVE it. The times are ideal and the students are a ton of fun. I've been offered a contract for four classes next year---and the amount is about what we'll need to cover Carrie's college costs after the Hope scholarship. God is good---all the time.

Always trusting---because HE is trustworthy!

Sunday, March 02, 2008


Easter comes early this year (earlier than this generation has seen or will ever see). So, even though March has barely begun, it is already time to begin to ponder and meditate on what the Passover/ Easter season really means.
Separation from God is a fearful thing indeed. Yet, without some atoning work, man will always fruitlessly chase after that which is Holy. How arrogant man is to think he can find fulfillment and happiness in himself! Man was created for relationship with God. Anything less is, as Solomon wrote, "chasing after wind." (Ecclesiates 2:17) Solomon knew better than anyone that no action of man can bring fulfillment; he tried it all. He began with hard work and then acquiring knowledge and then all the pleasures of the physical world. As far as the human eye could see, Solomon had it all: wealth, wisdom, and power. But Solomon looked at everything he had and summariezed his life: "To the man who pleases Him, God gives wisdom, knowledge, and happiness, but to the sinner He gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind." (Eccl 2:26)
God spoke through the ancient prophets and sent signs and wonders--including the Passover lamb, but the heart of man is naturally unwilling to let go of the idea that SELF is enough for very long. Pride always has been the downfall of man. So, there is a quandry--continue to chase after the wind of self-actualization or accept the futility of continuing unhappiness. In either case, there is no peace and no fulfillment.
Still, the love of God reached out one final time. Knowing that the vast chasm between seeking man and Holy God is cannot be bridged by sinful and prideful man, He sent the final Passover Lamb: Himself in the form of His Son, Jesus. There is no fulfillment or peace without relationship with God. There is no relationship with God without sacrifice. There is no sacrifice made by man sufficient to restore that broken relationship. But Jesus, God Incarnate, could--and DID--become the final atoning sacrifice for sin, allowing those who seek after God with a broken and contrite heart to come back into relationship with Him. (1 John 2:2, Psalm 51:16-17)
The hardest part about entering fellowship with God is relinquishing self-pride. The reward is so much greater than any human accomplishment, but it can be frightening to give up control of the natural inclinations to self-actualization and self-fulfillment. Even Solomon had difficulty allowing God to direct his steps. He replaced God with women and conquest and political stategy. As a result, his children rebelled and Solomon died with his kingdom on the verge of war, his family divided, and his relationship with God broken. (recorded in both 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles)
In all things, God gives peace to those who rely on Him. To those who recognize Jesus as promised Messiah and atoning sacrifice for sin, joy is complete. Life on this earth is still difficult. There are always tragedies and trials. But to rest in the everlasting arms of Jesus brings peace. It sounds trite and cliche, but it is true. Jesus keeps His promises, and He promised that no matter what the world brings, He gives peace. (John 14: 27, John 16:33)
Peace---that elusive thing all men chase after---is possible, but only in Jesus, the Christ.