“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit;apart from me you can do nothing.” -John 15:5
My prayer today is that I would be as dependent upon God as a plant is to sunlight. Plants can no more reach up to push the clouds out of the way and get to the light of the sun than I can clear my life of sin and hardship to experience the God’s unadulterated glory, but I want to be fueled by the Living Water, stirred by the wind of His Spirit, nourished by the light of His presence shining on me, and deeply rooted and established in faith, love, and the Word.
I work in an after school program with 1st and 2nd grade inner city children (ages 6-8), and I often struggle with behavioral issues in my class. With everything from yelling and screaming to kids threatening each other with scissors, making vulgar or sexual comments, and trying to escape school grounds, I spend most of my day disciplining students and corralling them, moving behavior markers and managing drama. One of my biggest questions to God lately has been in trying to find a place for grace in my classroom.
"If I’m disciplining the kids all the time, where and how can I show them love? How can I as a teacher extend grace without enabling their behavior?"
I had set the question aside for a few weeks in my frustration and consternation, but I felt God gently bring His answer to my mind tonight.
"Son, grace without discipline enables foolish behavior. People need to see and receive discipline before they can understand grace."
What a relief… I felt Him saying that if a person (especially a child) doesn’t have a foundation of knowing discipline and understanding that their actions have consequences, then they have no conceptual basis from which to understand grace (the merciful, willing pardon from the deserved consequences of one’s actions). I may not see the fruit of this statement yet, but as I continue to grow as a teacher, I feel I now have freedom to proceed knowing that by introducing discipline, I am allowing God to set the stage for grace to enter their lives.
#godperspective #sewingseedsplantinglove #staypositive
Thoughts: joy -
Happiness exists mostly in the absence of struggles, pain, and sorrow. Joy persists in the midst of them.
Do we mostly run on happiness, or do we mostly run on joy? Deep joy? Persisting through rough situations, problematic people, and crap with a steadiness of heart, a clarity of perspective,…
Great reminder of how we live our lives.
Sometimes the hardest conversations to have are the ones you need most. Speaking the truth in love often hurts, but it is in that pain that I am led tonight to take a hard look at myself and acknowledge my desperate, desperate need for God’s grace and guidance. It will take time to process and adjust, but I know that this conversation was one that needed to happen.
We must all pass through the garden of Gethsemane. If Christ played with doubt, so must we. If Christ spent an anguished night in prayer, if He burst out from the Cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” then surely we are also permitted doubt. But we must move on. To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation. —
Life of Pi
This passage said so much to me that I cried.. I have been so immobilized… but how to move on? How to resurrect my faith again?(via jwhoaaa)
I feel God calling me into a season of stretching and reevaluation. To that end, I have decided to start a blog to log my experiences in working out and exploring my identity in new ways. Feel free to check it out! http://thetransformativejourney.tumblr.com/
Or ask me a question, drop a comment, share some wisdom at http://brassman42.tumblr.com/ask
What I felt Jesus saying while reflecting on my life tonight:
Jesus: What are your goals for this year?
*Growing increasingly daunted, I formulate a list of life goals for the year*
Jesus: You’re going to try at these. You’re going to fail at many of these many times. But remember: your victory is in Me. As long as you believe that, never once in all of your failures will you ever have truly failed.