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