Monday, November 21, 2011

What’s in a Name?

Friends have asked me, “How did you get the name Ween?”

It’s a long story - beginning years ago.  Remember the first day of school when the teacher would call you by your proper first name? “Edwin, are you present?” Hated it! I was named after my dad’s brother that had died before my birth. I learned that my name meant “rich friend.” Right! I still hated that name as a child.

As my nieces grew, Amy, Sarah, and Leah decided upon “Edweiner.” No girls, that won’t work – we can say Ween. Thus, it is Uncle Ween or Tío Ween. Love it!

Over my teaching career the name Fitzgerald has been a challenge for some. I once received a letter from a parent of a student addressed to “Mr. FrenchGeneral.” I am not lying, saved the letter. I was often called Mr. Fritz, Mr. Fish, and Mr. French. Finally, I settled on letting students call me Mr. Fitz.  As a principal, I was called other names that are not printable.

I’ve been thinking about names. Many of my friends are grandparents and have chosen special names other than grandma, granny, and grandpa. There is something special about a name.

What comes to mind when you hear someone’s name? Edwin identifies me, but it doesn’t tell anyone about me.

There is a name that should tell others about us and that is the name Jesus gives us when we accept Him as our Savior and Redeemer. Christian – it let’s others know that we are identified with Christ.
  • The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch. Acts 11:26
  •  How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. I John 3:1
  • The nations will see your righteousness, and all kings your glory; you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will bestow. Isaiah 62:2, NIV

  •  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it. Revelation 2:17
  • He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels. Revelation 3:5

The Bible tells us that we will have a new name, it will be written on a white stone, and it will never get blotted out from the book of life. Our name will be acknowledged before God the Father and His angels.

What is your name? Is it written in the Lamb’s Book of Life? Do you know the man named Jesus?

Holy and Almighty Father in Heaven, thank you for your sending your Son, Jesus Christ, to redeem us and allow us to be called your children. Thank you for your faithful love, mercy, grace, and blood of Jesus that cleanses us when we, your children, fail. For the Holy Spirit that gently leads us, I thank you. Cover us, your children, with that Holy Spirit so as we live each day we bring honor and glory to the name of Christ. Humbly asked through the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

Be bless-ed ~ tÍo ween

by Frederick Whitfield

There is a name I love to hear,
I love to sing its worth;

It sounds like music in mine ear,
The sweetest name on earth.

Oh, how I love Jesus,

Oh, how I love Jesus,

Oh, how I love Jesus,
Because He first loved me!

It tells me of a Savior's love,
Who died to set me free;

It tells me of His precious blood,
The sinner's perfect plea.

It tells me what my Father hath,
In store for every day,

And though I tread a darksome path,
Yields sunshine all the way.

It tells of One whose loving heart
Can feel my deepest woe,

Who in each sorrow bears a part
That none can bear below.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly – God is Still GOOD!

Often when things are going our way, we are quick to say God is good.  Even when we are struggling and our lives are in chaos – God is still good.

When trouble strikes or there is a disaster some will ask, where is God? Why did He let this happen? In difficult times – God is still good. He never changes.
  • Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8

 When He answers a prayer in a different way than we requested – God is still good. It’s all about His will being done.
  •  your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:10

When we neglect to worship Him, honor Him, or disobey Him – God is still good.
  • For the LORD is good; His loving kindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations. Psalm 100:5

 When we think we have it made and the success has come from our good hard work – remember that no one is good except God.
  • "Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good--except God alone. Mark 10:18

 When those good and perfect blessings come to us, we praise Him and thank Him for those blessings. God does not change.
  • Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17
  • For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, I Timothy 4:4

Thank you Father for the blessings that you, a good God, lavish upon us. Help us Holy One, to glorify and honor you for your faithful and steadfast goodness. May we truly praise you through the good times and the bad! May we remember that the chaos Satan uses to discourage and defeat is infinitesimal when it comes to the triumphal and victorious resurrection of your Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ.

God is good all the time – all the time God is good!

Be bless-ed ~ tÍo ween

Monday, October 24, 2011

Cleaning Day Reflection

Retirement, what a joy! Now on Monday mornings I clean my house, wash the sheets, and enjoy the start of the workweek. This morning while I was cleaning, dusting, and mopping the floor these scriptures came to mind.

Psalm 51:1-12
   1 Have mercy on me, O God,

   according to your steadfast love;

according to your abundant mercy

   blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,

   and cleanse me from my sin.

3 For I know my transgressions,

   and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against you, you alone, have I sinned,

   and done what is evil in your sight,

so that you are justified in your sentence
   and blameless when you pass judgement.
5 Indeed, I was born guilty,

   a sinner when my mother conceived me.

6 You desire truth in the inward being;

   therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;

   wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness;

   let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins,

   and blot out all my iniquities.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,

   and put a new and right spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from your presence,

   and do not take your holy spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,

   and sustain in me a willing spirit.

But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.  I Samuel 16:7 NRSV

I am not sure if it is my attention disorder or the fact that I want to stop cleaning, but felt compelled to blog at this moment.

Yesterday at church, I read the scripture from I Corinthians 13:4-7 and prayed during the morning service. I wore a suit and a pink tie, even had on my grey colored shoes. The outside looked good. Yet, God and I are the ones that knew how clean I really was.  This morning as I was cleaning and talking to myself, I wondered why I felt the need to “clean up” for church.

At this moment the house reeks of Pine Sol®, Arm & Hammer Pet Fresh®, and Pledge®.  There’s a blend of odiferous scents  wafting through the air. I know that I didn’t move the couch; vacuum under the bed, or dust behind the piano but on the outside this house seems clean.

As I was scrubbing the floor, I found a deposit made by Tuter (my Hairless Chihuahua). I had to scrub and scrub. Then I had to scrape and I wondered what I had fed her. It hit me –  LORD what's inside of me that you've had to scrape and scrub. There are sins in my life that I know God has and continues to scrape because of my stubbornness. His cleansing agent, the blood of Jesus is powerful and will cleanse me white as snow.

If anyone walked into my house they would say, “It smells clean." Under closer inspection they would realize it’s just a cover.  

Thank you Father, that you wanted a relationship with us even though you knew how filthy we would be…. and thank you that through your grace and mercy, you continue to cleanse us in the blood of the Lamb. Father, you love us with an unconditional love even when we continue to mess up and fail. Help us Father to love each other with the love you demonstrated by sending your Son, Jesus Christ to redeem us.

I thank God; He is better at cleaning than me.

Be bless-ed ~ tío Ween

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Like Little will you receive them?

And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3 NIV
Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. Matthew 19:14 NIV

For the first time, I was able to experience the start of the school year for Sophia, Hilary, and Henry. The night before they were all agog. Thinking about their teachers, seeing their friends, and entering a new grade. Sophia was ready for homework! Hilary wanted to see her friends, and it was the first time that Henry would get to wear a uniform! Grandma had to get up early for the photo opportunities (photos can be found at EPAMF).  The kids mother, Sarah, was nervous.

This beginning will happen all over again on Monday morning in Lubbock. 

On Sunday night there will be jitters, nervousness, and excitement for students, parents, and educators. The first day of school is challenging for everyone. Students are hoping that their teachers will correctly pronounce their names so no one will be embarrassed. Showing up in style is so important - hair, clothes, and school supplies. Teachers are hoping there is enough work to keep the students busy and remain on pace with a kaleidoscope of lessons to complete on the first day. Parents are on edge as well - hoping their child gets the perfect teacher.

What is important? Why did Jesus say the kingdom of heaven belongs to the children? A child depends on adults to care for him/her. A child is trusting - believing what the parent or teacher speaks. Jesus looks at the heart (I Samuel 16:7). When we look at the heart, the inside of children, we realize kids are all the same. 

What about the children that don't trust or depend on adults? Often school is the best place for these children. There are many teachers that must first win trust - developing a relationship before any learning can take place. Students love their teachers. Teachers are caring and loving adults that have been placed in the lives of these students. This year, as a teacher, commit to looking at what matters - the inside. There is a Maytag commercial that ends with the phrase "what's inside matters".  It's what's inside the school, inside the classroom, inside the students, and inside the teacher. The reason we must become like children is to trust and depend on Jesus. When we try to do it ourselves it doesn't work. 

This year students come to school all excited - ready to trust and depend on their teachers. If you are a teacher, will you allow the children to come to you and receive them as Jesus did? Prayers have been offered for those educators and students that are starting this new school year BUT many hours of prayer have been offered for the school special to my heart. Have a great year as you trust and depend on Him!

Be bless-ed ~ tío ween

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Back to School Blues

As so many others this time of year I have the back to school blues.

I always loved the start of school. It was a new beginning - a time for everyone to get a fresh start. So you messed up last year, it was a time of grace.

This year I have a new beginning - that of retirement. As I think of my friends returning and the students coming next week, I would be lying if I said, "I don't miss it." I do - after thirty-six years it is a strange feeling. Although I am not there in body I will be there in spirit. I will continue to pray for Parkway - for I know that God is watching over His children.

Before I retired I wrote a poem for my staff.  I pray that all that read it will be lifted and encouraged for the coming school year. Teachers have the greatest job and I pray that if you are a teacher you will remember that you are a gift to your children in your classroom.

Hope you have a bless-ed year! ~ tio ween

A Gift from Above

I may not have been planned or asked to be born
My life is so hard and I may seem forlorn.
Problems at home and now there’s trouble at school
Believe it or not sometimes I act a fool.
I need you to teach and care with your passion and love
Won’t you remember that I am a gift from above?

Dirty, disheveled, not a popular child
I’m mistreated and sometimes even reviled.
Strangely but true it’s not only my peers
I hear adults talk about me which causes tears
I need you to teach and care with your passion and love
Please remember that I am a gift from above!

My dad may be locked up and it’s hard on my mom
She hides it so well and tries to stay calm.
It’s tough being single, working, and caring for me
Bills have to be paid and food for the family
When I act up care with your passion and love
It may seem hard but I am a gift from above.

Words can be piercing and cut to the heart
I know I am different but don’t set me apart
Time for my pills and I return just the same
My feelings are real though my behavior is tame
I may act like I could care less for your love
But I do because I am a gift from above.

Every child deserves the best every day
I may not show it because of things that I say
Got to save face and make the others aware
It’s a mask that I wear to show them I don’t care.
I want to be taught with passion and love
Because I am a gift from above!

I haven’t realized my true value or worth
My life’s been in poverty since I came to earth
You do so much more than merely educate me
A relationship is important I guarantee
I will make it with the help of God’s love
For this time in my life, you are a gift from above.

-Eddie Fitzgerald 12/09 (copyrighted)
Dedicated to Team Parkway 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Second B Blessing

This has been a tough week.  Teaching is a tough job and especially the end of the year.  Students are tired. Teachers are tired. Parents are tired.  The focus still must be on teaching and learning.  Since I woke up at 3:00 AM today, I am exhausted. But I been revived because of my brothers and sisters at Second Baptist Church.

Four years ago, Second B started Kid's Hope at Parkway. Tonight the celebrated as they have graduated the first class.  The mentors have worked with some students for the entire four years. I attended the program and learned that each mentor and child had a person praying for them and the school. God is so good, and I give Him the glory for bringing this program to my students.

Violence, drug abuse, neglect, and other things of the world are teeming around the school. In the midst of all that turmoil there is a building that is a haven for the students. Parkway! A few years ago I ministered to an inmate in the county jail. His words to me were - when he was released he was not going back to the neighborhood because it was too rough. I reminded him that my children walked home everyday through that rough neighborhood. I thank God that the members of Second B chose to participate and be light and salt to those children.  As I've watched the relationships that have formed and the strong bond I know that this is all part of God's plan - to take care of His children. It's nothing that I have done.

God puts things on our heart. The Holy Spirit speaks to us.  We do not always respond. I am so grateful to those individuals that chose to be obedient when this was placed on their hearts.  It's all about relationships - and I give God the glory for allowing our paths to cross. Thank you Second B for sharing the Kingdom with my kids.

But Jesus said, "Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children."  Matthew 19:14

Be bless-ed ~ tio ween

Monday, May 2, 2011

People Matter

I sat with a friend today while her husband had surgery. It hit me that friends can be like family. This couple would do anything to help me, since I have no family living here. 

I was off work today and I missed the students, staff, and parents. They are like my family too.

People matter.  

We are His creation and made in His image. In His likeness.  In my thinking I believe it means as humans we can be kind, giving, loving, and forgiving.  Just like Jesus!  Many scriptures tell us how we are to treat one another.

Do to others as you would have them do to you. Luke 6:31 (NIV)

Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32 (NLT)

To the teachers that I work with I have always told them to treat the students the way that they would want their own children treated.  

Today, take time for a family member, friend, or co-worker. Let them know you care.  

I love my family, friends, and my Parkway Family.

Be bless-ed ~ tio ween

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Family is important.  Yet, I have more family that I love and that is the church family.  We are God's creation and His children.  I am thrilled that my immediate family is also a part of the family in Christ. Many years ago I began praying for their salvation.  God answered those prayers. 

On the drive home from church it was nice to reflect on the Christian Family. There is an old hymn that expresses this better than my words.

    You will notice we say "brother and sister" 'round here, It's because we're a family and these are so near; When one has a heartache, we all share the tears, And rejoice in each victory in this family so dear.
      Chorus I'm so glad I'm a part of the Family of God, I've been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His Blood! Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod, For I'm part of the family, The Family of God
    From the door of an orphanage to the house of the King, No longer an outcast, a new song I sing; From rags unto riches, from the weak to the strong, I'm not worthy to be here, but PRAISE GOD! I belong!
See what love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3:1 (NIV)

Praise God I not only have a large family - I am an heir, because of Jesus Christ.

Be bless-ed ~ tio ween

Why Now?

It's the first of May and I have decided to start this blog. 

After thirty-seven years in the field, I've decided it's time to reflect. I might have words that encourage someone. They might even deem them as wise. It will be interesting to see how long this last, since I could be the picture on a poster for adult ADHD. 

My family gave me the name Ween.  How you get Ween from Edwin is beyond me. My sweet nieces - Amy, Sarah, and Leah called me Ween when they were young.  You must admit it's better than Edweener.  Now their children call me Uncle Ween or Tio Ween.  There's nothing like Hilary saying - "Uncle Ween" or Henry saying - "Uncle Wee" or hearing Caleb say - "Tio".  Whatever the term of endearment, I have learned that family is important.

Today I want my family to know I love and appreciate them.

Have a bless-ed day!