Archive | February 20, 2012

Face to Face

In this increasing world of technology, we find that meeting people can happen anywhere from church, school, or the grocery store, to internet chat rooms and online games.  I happen to have met a gentleman online over 7 months ago.  We have spent time IM-ing and emailing and then progressed to texting and talking on the phone and are about to meet face to face.  Many are skeptical, saying there must be other ways to meet someone so you can know them better, on a more real world level.  Others are adamant that online meeting is taboo, creating a sense of relationship without connection.  Others feel it is an awesome avenue, especially for those opposed to the bar scene or who are too busy to get out and hang with others consistently.

I personally stand on the fence, to be honest, for I have had bad experiences and good experiences from meeting people online.  I have also met people who have had horrific experiences online, but I also know two couples who have actually met someone online and are happily married.  Either way you look at it, you have to admit, in this world of technology and the ever shrinking global community, meeting online is becoming the norm in today’s society.  With much caution, even more prayer, and the hope that God will lead my heart and mind in His ways, I excitedly look forward to what God brings into my life, be it someone who lives down the street, someone who attends my church, or someone I meet by chance in the grocery store or online.  There is an excitement and air of giddiness when you have talked to someone for months and will finally be meeting face to face.  It is kind of like pen-pals that finally get to put a face to the personality they have been getting to know letter after letter.  I happily proceed into the technology of online friends and online dating, but remain open to the people God places right in front of me as well.

I have been single for 10 years now and have been growing ever stronger in my walk with God, trusting that He will only open doors that He desires me to walk through, and knowing with full confidence that He will close the doors He wants me to walk away from.  The primary struggle at this point with any relationship is that of the flesh.  The desire to move faster than God intends due to fleshly desires and emotional loneliness that pulls one down toward temptation is strong and must be combated consistently and fervently with prayer, meditation on God’s word, strong boundaries, and Christian accountability partners.  With full assurance that as I walk in obedience with God He will give me the desires of my heart, I wait on His timing and allow Him to lead me in all my ways and give me strength to resist temptation and WAIT.

For anyone else embarking on the journey of online friendships and dating, I caution you to take things slowly and trust and seek God’s guidance through His word and in prayer.  I also ask that you find Christian friends in your inner circle to keep you accountable to God and self.  I pray you enjoy life as I have and that you remain open to whatever God has planned for you my friend.   May the Lord bless you and keep you in the palm of His hand, fill your desires to the fullest and pour continual love into the emotional loneliness of life.  All my love.

I wait on the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in His word I do hope. Psalm 130:5

Face to Face

Excitement building
Anticipation rising
The chance encounter now becoming real
Meeting face to face
Wondering how it will feel

Giddy as a school child
Nervousness abounding
Trying hard to surrender it all
Unsure of what is to come
Attempting to let expectations fall

Anxiously waiting
Feels like forever
Utterly amazed at where God has taken me
Hoping for a true friend
Perhaps more, but I have to wait and see

Online freedom
Personal fears
Meeting in the middle of uncertainty
Allowing God to lead
Trusting in His sovereignty

Astonishing admiration
Marvelous complexity
Desires of the heart at an impasse
Waiting to see
Protecting this heart of glass

Future unknown
One day at a time
Releasing emotions to my Lord, my God
Continuously surrendering
Knowing we both are flawed

Euphoric calm
Beautiful peace
Resting in the God’s grace
Wanting to see you
Waiting to finally meet face to face

Children of Tomorrow

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. –James 1:17

Children of Tomorrow

Anxiously we watch
Wondering what the future holds
Letting precious time slip away
Like sand in an hour glass

Hoping our kids will grow and learn
But stifling them with old fashioned views
They are digital natives
Existing in a world their grandparents never knew

Technologically smarter than their parents
Navigating globally like never before
We teach them reading, writing and math
Forgetting there is so much more

Schools are so completely out of touch
Becoming museums filled with books that don’t relate
Ultimately it is our children that suffer
Forced to stay in an era that has long been erased

Teachers are curators of things once known
Standing archaically amidst historical remains
Will we accept the challenge or completely fall
The future is indeed in our hands

I was attending a two day conference this past week listening to knowledgeable people who have researched the realm of education for years and studied this ever changing world of social technology. I was surrounded by 300 or so highly educated and respected teachers, administrators, superintendents, and others in the profession of teaching. As these wonderfully intelligent speakers proceeded to enlighten us on what is to come with common core standards and smarter assessment tools, I found so many teachers baulking and ridiculing the new shift in teaching today’s students.

Whether we like it or not, the world is not as it was 10 years ago, or for that matter, 5 years ago. The education system that once prepared America’s children for the college and/or transition into the world workplace, has recently been failing miserably. The ability of today’s children to become adept, societal contributors is decreasing by the year. Why? Because we, as an entire system of education, are stuck. We are stuck on teaching things that are not applicable in this ever advancing world of technology. We are stuck on prohibiting the very use of technological advances our children are accustomed to using for fear of dumbing-down our children, instead of utilizing it to prepare them for the job force.

Personally, I stand amazed at the ineptitude of teachers to change and adapt to what is coming in the future. There are those that are gung-ho and ready to make dynamic shifts in the way we teach our students, but unfortunately those numbers are few and far between. Perhaps because of our own ineptitude in the world of technology we stifle our children. The current generation of children are indeed digital natives, with a comprehension and understanding of technology way beyond the average adults in their lives. They have grown up using computers to communicate, write, and learn. They have, in an instant, information that used to take us weeks or months to research and find in the library, pouring over microfiche film, periodicals, and reference books. They can get information from around the world within seconds and yet we deny them the use of such things in the classroom. While fundamentals of education remain the same, the way it is taught must change if our students are to become productive, successful members of society.

The seminar and training I attended had some of the most vibrant, excited, and forward thinking teachers, administrators, superintendents, and district representatives in attendance, yet still there was a nervousness that filled the room as the speakers continued to show the new ways of learning and teaching that will better prepare our kids for the future. If the most forward thinking among the education realm are uncertain and reluctant, what does this say about the rest of our teaching professionals? What about the ones who are stuck in their ruts and still have yet to adopt the current standards and ways of teaching because they think that their way is working just fine?

Change is here and we, as educators can choose to embrace it and help our children succeed or we can baulk at it, saying it will cost too much, be too difficult, and take too much time and ultimately fail our children and society. The fear of embracing change has been ever present throughout the ages in the world of academia, but like it or not, it is here and we have no choice but to shift our ways of thinking. We must quit asking questions that focus on the teachers and the districts in which they teach, and start asking ourselves, “what is best for our children and what will benefit them the most when they are no longer in our academic institution?”

Change has brought wonderful things in America: freedom for slaves and rights to live as everyone else does, women’s right to vote, freedom of speech and religion. Change has been at the forefront of every advancement our country has made, so why do we think any differently about our children’s education? Children are indeed a gift from the LORD and we are to be their protectors, their security, and we are called to teach and prepare them for the future that is to come. Therefore, for those of you who teach, I challenge you to embrace the changes that are coming, expect greatness from your students, and be the one teacher in their life that they remember forever because you could relate to them, knew what they were facing, and equipped them to succeed in this rapidly increasing global economy. Stand up, speak out, accept reality, and stop being curators in the museum of education! Be the forerunners that change the world, one child at a time!!

Heartfelt Gift

Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
–Romans 12:4-6

Heartfelt Gift

Heart filled with sympathy
Aching with pain for so many
They hurt, I feel
They struggle, I ache

This gift sent from above
Helping me extend compassion
I cry, they heal
I pray, they feel

A connection I will never truly understand
The Lord must guide me in this gift
My heart breaks, God renews
My mind races, God calms

Wondering sometimes what I can do
Always coming back to God
I seek, He heals
I release, He strengthens

God has so richly blessed every one of his children with gifts that are meant to glorify his kingdom and build his people up. There are numerous gifts that have been bestowed on the body of Christ. You may be an encourager, the mouth of the body, building and edifying those who are discouraged or stumbling in their walk. Perhaps you are the server or helper in your church, the hands of the church that reach out to those in need with a meal during hard times or a hug or shoulder to cry on when they are in despair. There are also those who have been given the gift of wisdom or knowledge, those who teach. They are the minds of the church, continually digging deeper to find meaning and facts to support the truth of God, to teach who God is, to teach the ultimate truth to the body of Christ. There are those who evangelize, others who perform great miracles, others who prophecy, and still some who are called to be leaders, pastors, apostles, and so much more in the the body of Christ. I do not know what gift you possess for that is between you and God. Through prayer the Lord will reveal to you the gifts He has so richly blessed you with.

I have, in time, come to learn my own gifts and to increase in knowledge of how I use them and apply them to my own life and the lives of those around me. There is one gift however, the gift of mercy, that I am still learning how to use. The gift of mercy creates within my heart a deep sense of compassion for others and the ability to feel with them, or to walk, so to speak, in their shoes. I have found through the years that this, of the gifts God has blessed me with, is the most difficult for me to get used to, especially when so many of my friends are suffering and going through such difficult times. The emotions for me are as real and intense as the emotions they are feeling. The urge to cry or hit moments of despair are strong, especially when the person is close to me. The compassion God has placed within my heart for others means that I hurt when they hurt. It has called me to a life of prayer in which I have to constantly surrender those people, their situations and their emotions to God. If any gift could be a burden, this one is for me because the emotions are so intense and the pains are so real to me even though I am not the one going through the storm! As I pray for them, I pray too for me…that God will give me the strength and wisdom to use this gift well and to bring him glory despite my weak heart and fallible mind.

It is from the gift of mercy that my other gifts flow. I have come to realize that though this beautiful gift is often hard on me mentally and physically, it is what enables me to understand the hearts of those around me and it allows me to really use the other gifts God has given me more effectively and efficiently. I am able to encourage and come along side my sisters and brothers because I can understand the trial they are going through because I can feel it so intensely. I am able to focus my prayers more clearly for I truly know what my friends are going through. The gift of mercy has also made me a better listener and has opened doors that have allowed me to share the love of God more freely and has helped me understand the hearts of others so as to help guide my conversations with them. God has said that our journey in this life would not be easy but that He would equip us with all we need to carry out His plan for us. We can truly bring God glory when we honor the gifts He gives us by using them to the fullest.

I urge you to seek, to pray, and allow the Lord to use you, to use the gifts He has given you. Though it may be difficult, the fruit that is produced is both miraculous and beautiful. May you find yourself in the hands of God, living according to His will and being an instrument sharing God’s melodic tune with all those you encounter. All my love.