Wednesday, December 19, 2012

On God in Schools....from a teacher

I'll start this off by saying that you may not agree with me. I'm okay with that. Actually, that is kind of my point about all of this.

The first position I take on this is that I am unashamed to say that I am a Christian. Not a Christmas & Easter or only on Sundays Christian but a person who has a genuine faith in Christ and seeks to live my life differently because I trust in His teachings. I believe in the seen and the unseen. The temporal and the eternal.

The second position I take is that I am a teacher. I have taught in both public and private schools. I have been employed to teach students about the world and how to be good citizens of the world. I have been employed by the church to teach students about God and how to be citizens of Heaven.

Thirdly, I am American. I have traveled out of the country and I have experienced third world conditions and governments who oppress their people through laws or intimidation. I love America. I love our diversity of land and people. I love that we have the freedom to move within her borders and express our opinions, disagreements, and elect our leaders.

With these three understandings I would like to talk about my position on God in schools.

I start with sharing my belief in the character of God. I believe his Word to inform and form my understanding of Him. Psalm 139 asks the question "Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?" The passage continues to answer the question....there is no place on Earth where the presence of God is absent. In the book of Job, God finally gets his say and begins to question and instruct Job (and us!) about how the earth and its inhabitants live. God is big enough, capable enough and qualified enough to be anywhere He chooses. So, I firmly believe that God is present in schools.

I have had the experience of attending and teaching in public schools. My experience was positive and a privilege. Never once was I instructed or restricted from expressing my personal faith. I decorated with posters that had verses, offered to pray with students and coworkers, and shared by interpretation of facts, literature and history from a Biblical Worldview. I was never reprimanded or discouraged from these expressions. In fact, legally a teacher can address the topic of faith in the classroom. Students can also discuss faith. Many secular literature textbooks contain large portions of the Old and New Testament as literary examples. Many states have time within the school day to attend religious instruction.God is discussed and studied in schools.

We live in America. We fundamentally value the freedom of/from religion. The pilgrims fled to this land because they were not free to express their faith as they wanted. Do we forget it was "The Church" that pushed them out? As a believer, I want there to be a separation of church and state. I do not want anyone and everyone to have the opportunity to teach their interpretations of "god" to my children or my students. By demanding public prayer in school or the insistance that the 10 Commandments be posted, we are also opening the door for each faith to have equal time or position. Isn't that fair? Isn't that America?

When people wax on about God being erased from schools, I think they are looking for something different than God. They are seeking societal morals. Governmental religion NEVER works. Look at Europe and how they have become a secularized society in rebellion to the state church. Look at Asian nations that have used Atheism as a method to rule their people. Religion cannot be legislated. Values are passed from person to person, generation to generation. So, the question we believers must ask is am I passing my values to another person or the next generation?

Are we asking God to do a job He has already given to us? He is present in the schools. He has invited, instructed, and equipped us to be His representative in the lives of others. Have you taken every opportunity to be loving and kind to "the least of these?"Every class seems to have at least one kid that has been set aside because they are weird, different or difficult. Has that kid come for dinner or a sleep over at your house? Have you invested in the outcasts of society to show them love and compassion? What would our schools, our society, look like if each person felt valued and as though they were living out God's purpose right now?

Perhaps before we demand prayer in school, we should demand ourselves to be "the change we wish to see in the world." What a great honor and so very humbling that God has chosen such imperfect and weak people to be His representative! Oh, that God would consume my words and deeds so that I may live His teachings.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Memory Verse Week 1

Joining in on a great idea #SheReadsTruth. This is the first week's memory verse and a new study will start soon. Check it out at!

Thursday, March 22, 2012


We're up to discussion chapter 3 of Jen Hatmaker's book, 7.Check out our discussions with Marla on Chapter 3: Possessions.

This was probably on of my favorite chapters....I loved it...I hated it. You see, this particular topic is something God has been doing some corrective love in my heart about for a few years. Years! (I am comforted at times that the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 40 years)

To be totally honest, in our past, my husband and I were really too busy and mostly too lazy to keep up with our stuff the way we should have. We were both working two jobs, we never saw each other and we didn't enjoy much of life. So, what does this have to do with possessions? Our home became last place. We didn't put much effort, time or care into it. Then God started to do stuff.

God did some big stuff. He showed up in ways that are undeniable. The result: we had to really grow up. We made some tough decisions. We had to pack up all our stuff in about 24 hours. It was at this point we were faced with what we had been doing (or...ahem..not doing) in our home. I was overwhelmed with the volume of things that we had collected and the layer of dust and cat hair that had settled upon it. God worked in us and showed us as we sorted and cleaned. We recognized that our lifestyle was keeping us from living out our calling. We saw that by not taking care of what we had we couldn't open our home to others or be available to to be used by Him in the ways we knew he had called us.

So as quickly as we could we purged and sorted. We donated, pitched and gifted. We moved across the country and God gave us an amazing gift. We restarted. His mercies are new and we had a chance to do things differently.

As I've mentioned before, we are on our way to adoption. A new opportunity from God to clear out the unnecessary to make way for His blessing. We have dug deeper through the boxes that remained unpacked for a few years. All the boxes are gone! The stuff that was in the way of people is mostly gone...(we are still in debate over a box or two of VHS tapes...I mean really, we don't even OWN a VCR!!).

This chapter about possessions tied in deeply with much of what happens in chapter 7 Stress. We were too busy to enjoy/take care of what we had. We were too busy because we had to be in order to keep the stuff we had. Crazy, right??

We have been blessed beyond measure since our heart change. We have been able to live out our dream of having people in our home to meet to live out Jesus. We can have college kids come do their laundry with out quarters....and a maybe a meal that doesn't involve ramen.

This heart change has flamed great conversations about how we would like to train up our child(ren) in regard to possessions.

The pain we inflected on ourselves because of our disobedience, our mistrust, our hard-hearted-ness.
God's transforming has been more than worth it.

Thank you, Jesus! Thank you for new mercies and second chances!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


     I wasn't sure how this chapter would impact me. The general challenge of this chapter was to examine the excess clothing that soaks up so much of our resources. Jen limited herself to 7 articles of clothing (not including undergarments) for an entire month.
      I'm in no way a "fashionista." I appreciate those who can pull together an outfit that represents their personalities. I'm not really one of those people. I also know that being "plus size" limits my ability to find clothes that are affordable AND fashionable....and addressing the "plus size" is part of what God has worked on in me over the last year or so. But, THAT is another story....I'm sure more of that will come up later.
     Despite not being driven by clothing options I did get some worth while things from this chapter. I still have far more clothing options then I need and certainly have clothes that I don't/can't/won't wear. My pledge is to do the purge!

     Jen writes: “As I gaze upon their hopelessness [the families of her Ethiopian children], I imagine them calculating what I’ve spent on clothing alone, realizing that same amount would’ve kept their family fed and healthy for thirty years.” I've been thinking about this a lot. I recognize that I am blessed so that I may in turn bless others. How horrifying it is to me that it my unnecessarily extravagant living could be used to help others live. I believe that God does immeasurably more in our lives...and the purpose of that is to bring Him glory by blessing others.
     I can choose to adjust my budget so that I can provide relief to someone else. I can choose to be responsible in my clothing choices so that those involved in the process are being treated with dignity.

My goals in this area:
-purge the closets
-buy from socially responsible suppliers
-use what we have before buying new (I see a trend....)

Friday, March 9, 2012


I am a little late on the discussion this week. We've had some big happenings going on at our house. I'm sure I'll blog more about the process soon but we're officially finishing up our home study for domestic adoption.

This was a great chapter to kick things off. I have been, over the last two years, been trying to work on this area of my life. We believe that it is best for us (nutritionally, financially) and our community to buy locally. We like the idea of knowing where are food is grown/raised and the name of people doing the work. We bought our beef directly and we bought into a CSA (community supported agriculture). I highly recommend it! Our CSA is open for us to be part of the fun. There are lots of varieties of CSA arrangements.

So, we addressed the buy local area that we felt God was calling us to. I've felt that there was more. There is the obvious to those who know me in real life that I'm overweight so I know that there is a food issue. I've been working with my doctor to get healthier....and all my numbers in every indicator of health are really improving! I'm trying to keep up the work. Make wise choices. Stop being lazy...which is hard because eating out is so much more fun and easy.

My new goals:
-Use what we have first.
-Shop every 2 weeks.
-Stick to the meal plan.

I've been praying:
O, God,
      We've wasted
             We've complained
                   We've grumbled
      We've misused our resources
      We've confused
              our needs
                    with our wants.
For these sins,
      Father forgive us.
Help us
      reset our priorities
            according to Your will.


-Norma Johnson (Lobatse, Botswana) 
(I found this in the More-With-Less Cookbook by Doris Janzin Longacre)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

7 - the introduction

Apparently, I'm kind of dense. It is a good thing God is patient. Over and over again for quite a while the idea of simplicity and coming to terms with "enough" has been coming across every area of my life.

Enter 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker. this book...well, God used this MESS ME UP!

Today I've joined several other people with a read-along blog to discuss the book. I had already read the book and was swirling stuff in my head about it so I was excited with Marla announced this for the discussion.

7 is all about:
"Seven months, seven areas, reduced to seven simple choices."
  • food
  • clothing
  • possessions
  • media
  • waste
  • spending
  • stress
"7 will be an exercise in simplicity with one goal: to create space for God's kingdom to break through."

I was so excited to read someone else's practical application of how to cut back, live a full life, to believe in the idea of "enough." 

Jen poses the question: "What in my life is just too stinking much?"

I'm asking God about this. I'm listening. I'm praying for a listening heart and his power to be obedient to change it. 

What about you? What is just too stinking much in your life? How are you changing it?


I've had a couple of out dated entries and old blogs that no longer serve the purpose they were created today I've taken some time to get things reorganized. I've deleted some posts and added some posts from other places. So there will likely be a few posted added today.

Also, BIG NEWS for today! I've joined the 7 (by Jen Hatmaker) read-along. Check it out over here. Thanks Marla! AND....welcome fellow 7ers. I'll be posting about that sometime today. Lots of thoughts still swirling around.

Hopefully, you find here a chronicle of my journey. As this grows we will see what happens but I'm looking to develop a few different areas to discuss with the world. I've been "radio silent" for a bit as God has worked through some junk in me. What I would like to talk about here are slices of my God story (and please share yours!).

Thanks for coming back. Please feel free to comment.

He works on us in all sorts of ways. But above all, he works on us through each other. Men are mirrors, or “carriers” of Christ to other men. Ususally it is those who know Him that bring Him to others. That is why the church, the whole body of Christians showing Him to one another, is so important. It is so easy to think that the church has a lot of different objects – education, buildings, missions, holding services…the Church exists for no other purpose but to draw men to Christ. to make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became man for no other purpose. It is even doubtful, you know, whether the whole universe was created for any other purpose.

- C.S. Lewis