As long as I live there will be something worth fighting for, worth writing for, and worth dying for.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I have to tell you that I absolutely love "Behold" moments. They happen suddenly and don't last long. Usually, when my mind is wandering, I will stumble across some thought and trip over it. When I look to see what it was, I find a shining jewel. I like to stick it in my pocket, bring it home and share.

I was pulling into the garage yesterday listening to our local Christian radio station when "We Fall Down" by Steven Curtis Chapman and Chris Tomlin began to play. I am all for private worship, and though I will not raise my hands and whatnot in church, I will definitely do it in my car when I am alone (and while the car is not moving). Yesterday, I turned the engine off, shut the garage door and just let the music play.

"We fall down, we lay our crowns, at the feet of Jesus. The greatness of mercy and love, at the feet of Jesus. And we cry holy, holy, holy. We cry holy, holy, holy. We cry holy, holy, holy, is the Lord."

A thought struck me right after the first line. "This song is in present tense." Being a writer, those things are important to me, because I know they are important to fellow writers. I thought about what could be meant by this.

I had always thought this song was in reference to Revelation and Heaven where we lay our crowns at the feet of Jesus. There is a conflict in that interpretation though because both the writer and myself are alive and are therefore not in Heaven. So, how can I be currently laying down my crowns at the feet of Jesus? Surely Heaven's worship must be possible, if on a much lesser scale, here on earth.

A verse I read recently came to mind. Proverbs 25:27 "It is not good to eat much honey: so for men to search their own glory is not glory."

My glory. Insteresting thought. That I would have glory. Isn't God supposed to have all of the glory? Then came the realization. Men have glory. We have glory that does not belong to us. It belongs to him.

Our crowns are our glory. The praise and the applause of man graces our heads and gives us places of honor and prestige. But we don't get ourselves there. God puts us there, so all of the glory both now and forever, every crown I will ever wear- whether placed by God or man- has been given by God and belongs to Him.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Busy with God

Life can have ebbs and flows. These last few days have been crazy. These next few days could be crazy. School is wrapping up meaning less work for the students but more work for the teachers as we try to wrap up our year and motivate the unmotivated students. Couple that with the countless year-end activities, graduation parties and field trips and life gets exciting. That is just school.

It is at times like these when it is easy to lose focus. The daily planner can become overwhelming and it feels like we even have to pencil in time to breathe. Sleep becomes a luxury and food an if-maybe. Life kicks into high gear and we often feel we are being dragged behind, struggling to stay on our feet. We race and race and race and pray for it to be over. When the spinning stops, we stand still, catch our breath, and say a prayer of gratitude for surviving. We take two steps before being swept away again. Life is a relentless cycle.

To some the journey is much more rewarding. When the focus is where it belongs, business turns to blessing. Instead of being overwhelmed with a to-do list, we are overwhelmed with God's goodness. We feel blessed to be able to serve in the capacities we are called to fill.

When we focus on God and busy ourselves with the things of God, we open the floodgates for blessing. Priorities are still important, but when serving God is first, days seem to gain hours and life seems more controlled, because instead of living it for ourselves, we are living it for someone else. In that life, we find satisfaction and fulfillment. Joy unspeakable and peace.

Friday, May 15, 2009


Today was a day marked by change. I had to fight back tears as I watched some of my students clear off their desks. Tonight, as I sat front row, I watched young men and women walk the aisle, never to set foot in this school as a student ever again. My moment in their lives had finished. My time, my opportunity to influence them, to be a tool used in their development, had ended. As they crossed that platform, and I snapped a picture of them receiving their diplomas, I had captured on film the very last moment that Miss Jessica would touch their life.


It made me think of where I have left my fingerprints. Did you know that you leave fingerprints on everything you touch? It's true. And those fingerprints are identifiable as yours. They are no one else's. They are yours. They prove that you touched whatever it is you touched.

When I touch a life, I leave a fingerprint. Now, it could either be one that helped to mold that life, or one that helped to push that life farther away. Either way, I have left a finger print. Every little thing I do leaves a fingerprint. Even something seemingly simple and insignificant.

Teaching is a big deal. It has been quite the year, and I do not take lightly the opportunity for ministry and impact that I have in the lives of my students. Because of that, it is sometimes easy for me to categorize my ministry. Now, teaching has become more important than scrubbing the toilet in the hall bathroom. Besides, no one sees me scrubbing the toilet, right? Everyone sees me teaching. Though I don't do it for recognition, I am well aware I am being watched by my students, my fellow teachers, and the parents of my students.

What I had forgotten was that the little things matter too.

Wednesday night I had every intention of sitting in on youth group once again. As I played sand volleyball with the teenagers, herds- yes, herds- of AWANA kids came out to play on the inflatables set up in the field behind me. My mother was leading the way, and I ran up to make sure she was OK (she has been suffering from an allergic reaction or something) and, due to my proximity to the moon bounce, I was shanghaid into running the moonbounce.

In that moment, I was given a choice, and it was one I negotiated bitterly. I really really really wanted to go back and work with the teenagers, but looking into the hyper eyes of fifteen 5-9 year-olds and then the eyes of their worn out and well outnumbered leaders, I struggled. There were four more groups like this one. My decision was made. So, I kicked off my shoes and initiated the moon bounce :-D

No one asked me to, it is just something I did. I barked out orders, gave the rules and timed the bounce time. I was flung back into my first year of Bible school when, as a member of the Children's Ministry Team, I did this very thing. Fond memories. I sat there, watching these children jump and leap and twist and laugh, and couldn't help but laugh myself. Somehow, I had captured joy. There it was, trapped inside four inflatable walls, and the youth just 50 yards away inside their thin walls faded from my mind. The whistle blew, and off the little ones were to the next activity.

At the end of the night, I kicked into tear down mode. Thankful for the training in college, I tore down one of the moon bounces and had it nearly rolled up before 'the men' were there to help.

No one would remember my name. I added to no one's fun. All the kids will remember is the bouncing they did in the moon bounce and how much fun the moon bounce was. I was blessed, but figured I had been the only one. And that would have been fine. I was raised that you take pride in your work regardless of how insignificant or unimportant it may seem. I figured I was the only one who cared how well I could count three minutes. Tonight, I found out I was wrong.

After all of the emotion of graduation. After watching my eleven seniors walk that aisle, a father pulled me aside. I have worked with his daughter this entire year as she has struggled to finish on time and well. She has come over to my house even for some late-night study sessions in order for her to pass her trigonometry. She has spent countless hours at my desk, patiently waiting for me to work with my geometry kids. She did it. She graduated valedictorian. Her father, however, is also the Awana leader at the church. His wife is my boss.

Of all the things he could have said. All the things he could have thanked me for. He did not thank me for helping his wife this year. He did not even thank me for teaching his daughter. He thanked me for running that moon bounce. He said he was refreshed by the fact that someone was willing to step up and help. All I did was stood on the grass (in bare feet) and tell them when their three minutes was up. Anybody could have done that. The key is, somebody did.

No, the whole world doesn't care who ran the moon bounce. There will be no thank you speech six years from now with some kid thanking me for teaching him how to tell time, but I left a fingerprint.

Everything you touch will bear your fingerprint. Everything you do not touch will not bear your fingerprint. I have to say that I believe the more you touch, the more you bless and the more you will be blessed.

Where did you leave your fingerprints today?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

What if...

A Christian author just brought up an interesting point on his facebook status. What would life be like if you were the only one? If you were, indeed, God's favorite. His exact question:

What if you were God's favorite? I mean, what if everyone else was really an android or something and it was all about you. Heaven and Hell perched on the edge of their seats to see what you will do next... and you don't even know it. Think about it. Set your mind free, my child. No theology lessons please, just run with it and see where it takes you.

The discussion has been intriguing to say the least. You have those who sit there and say, "Well, aren't we all God's favorite?" In the sense that Christ would ahve died for any one of us, yes, of course, we are, but I think the point of the question is "what if you were God's only favorite?"

What if you, alone, were the one person in the world who had an immortal soul. How would you love God? Would you feel you needed His love? Would you feel worthy of His love?

Can you imagine if all of the powers of Heaven and Hell battled for your time and attention? Can you imagine if angels and demons sat enthralled, waiting, just waiting to see what you did next?

You would not only be God's favorite but Satan's favorite...

It would all come down to which was your favorite.

And isn't that what it comes down to anyway?