Tag Archives: Titus

WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER

What can I say – it’s a High School Musical type of night.

Some nights are just designed to kick back, forget the aches and pains, the troubles of the world, and just sing – (come on – I know you know the tune) –

“We’re all in this together
And it shows
When we stand
Hand in hand
Make our dreams come true.”

Were you clapping your hands? Moving to the music? Couldn’t you just see – somewhere – in a magical moment out of time – the world rolls out the marching band – joins the curtain call – harmonizes chordal nuances until the the body just can’t sit still – fingers tapping, toes dancing – souls reaching hand to hand – making “all of our dreams come true.”

Can’t help but smile, can you?

And yet – – – some of you are sighing.

The world’s people could choose to dance instead. We could choose to find the hidden talents in each other. We could choose to not bully others to think the way we do. We could choose to throw away the team playbook or the dramatic clipboard. We could choose to reach out our hand to those standing beside us.

We could choose to sing in harmony and create our own movie musical – – a World Musical – – a Garden Musical.

“For we also from the first were without intelligence and without conviction. We were deceived and Servants to changing lusts and were employed in wickedness and in envy. We were despicable and hating one another.” ~Tiitus 3:3

It is easy to get caught up in the sniping these days – the undermining – the possessing of things – the bullying in relationships – the anger boiling in our bellies. Much harder to to be still and listen. Listen to the words. Listen to the pain. Listen to the dissonance. Listen to the soft voice inside of each of us that is still singing… “We’re all in this together…”

“But when the sweetness and the loving kindness of God, Our Lifegiver, was revealed, Not by works of righteousness that we had done, but by his own love [when] he gave us life, through the washing of the new birth and the renewing of The Spirit of Holiness, Whom he poured upon us richly by Yeshua The Messiah,Our Lifegiver, That we would be made right by his grace and we would be heirs by the hope in eternal life.” Titus 3:4-7

Tonight, kitten is burrowed deep in the corner of the chair beside me – purring and occasionally stretching her claws to knead my leg. Dogs are snoring and Hubby has already retired into the coolness of our bedroom. Since i’m yawning, I know I’m not far behind all the other creatures of our quirky home. But tonight, after prayers have been said and I crash on the bed, I think I will go back to that magical moment out of time once again. When I will close my eyes, listen to the harmonies and remember…

“When we reach
We can fly
Know inside
We can make it – – –
We’re all in this together…”~Nevil/Gerrad

25 NAMES OF CHRISTMAS – TEACHER

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajoTFpwHJoAjesusourjewishsaviour

The past couple of days have been filled with some teary nights. In fact the past week has been filled with some sporatic outbursts – here and there. This normally would not be a good thing, but this week has been different. It has been as if My Father has been lighting candles on the menorah within me for each day of Chanukah. And – – – as my dad said so many years ago, “…most of that light comes through the children.”

“Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.”~Titus 2:78

This past week several of my former students have shared their memories with me about our times together. The candle they lit in this fogginess of our housing dilemma has been a blessing. A gentle light just bright enough to see the next step, trusting in a path I can not see clearly enough for myself without their gift.
“You then who teach others, do you not teach yourself?”~Rm 2:22a
The last candle of Chanukah was lit today. Since it is also the last week before Christmas break, not many students had homework, so only my 8th graders needed some time. Got to admit, it is still my favorite age group to teach. Grown-up enough for serious conversations and yet, even the most “hardened” ones still have dreams in their eyes.
Work was finished quickly, and we spent most of the time talking. Talking about books (they had just finished the Giver). Singing a Chanukah song from a child of a mixed linage (she learned it so that she could get her Chanukah gifts) while we shared a cookie she brought as a gift. Listening about the drama of the latest cheer competition. Laughing about music notes that the trumpet player could play but not name.
Wow – I have missed these types of encounters with my students, so my candle burned just a little brighter with joy.
Being a teacher is never easy. Low pay, Lengthy in-services. Long hours. Life hazards. (Believe me – between projectile vomiting, jumping bugs, germs, angry encounters (luckily for me – only a few – yes indeed – teaching can be hazardous). Most of us chose this job for one reason or another – not knowing what all it entailed. Yet – there is One who knew all of the bad stuff that went with the job description and still volunteered.Yeshua teaching
 
“You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am”~Jn 13:13
I have thought about these teaching verses in the WORD often during my career. Each one providing a little more light on the kind of teacher I wanted to be. While I did have some wonderful teachers that served as role models for me, it was a small town Rabbi that truly held me captive in the way He taught.
“Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.”~Jn 3:2b
Those verses and a few others have kept me striving to try harder, to search longer, to pray constantly. As I listened this week to Syrian Christians express their willingness to die for this teacher,I pondered these verses again.
  • Can I not try a little harder?
  • Give a little more?
  • Pray a little more often?
I am broken once again in the simpleness of the story.  A man born long ago. Humble beginnings in a cold stable and surrounded by animals and excrement. Swaddling clothes instead of a ton of onesies and a multiple outfits.
A single candle lighting the darkness. A rabbi who walked with his students A teacher willing to sacrifice all for those who followed in His steps. A professor who waits to see if we have the courage to seek His wisdom and follow His steps into the unknown.
“Teacher, we know that you are true and do not care about anyone’s opinion. For you are not swayed by appearances, but truly teach the way of God”~Mk 12:14
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BLESSING TRIAD #19-21

The Nineteenth Blessing

Today, November 19, 2015, I am thankful for music – in particular accapella vocal music.Perhaps it is because I know how hard it is to do it well. Perhaps it is the way I imagine it is how the angels sounded at creation or on the birth of Yeshua or on the morning when He rose from the dead. Whatever it is – I am thankful when I wake up with this song in my heart. What a way to start or end a day. “Praising our Savior all the day long….” (I guess I have more songs than one in my heart tonight) 🎵 🎶

“We all do extol Thee, Thou Leader triumphant,
And pray that Thou still our Defender will be;
Let Thy congregation escape tribulation;
Thy Name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free!”
~1597 Adrianus Valerius

The Twentieth Blessing

A Grandson’s conversations, hugs and questions, “Do you know everything, Grandma?”

Closing on the house Tuesday – yikes.

A small sentence in a fiction book I found at the “free” shelf in Saxapahaw:
“I believe strongly in prayer,” Silas said with obvious conviction. “It’s the key to each new day and the lock for every night.” p167 Wanda Brunstetter “The Hope Chest”

Our Father talks to us in so many ways. Sometimes the clutter of the day, the noisiness of the world, and the laziness of our own sin nature gets in the way. But if we listen – if we force ourselves to still the distractions – the BREAD is there. We only need to remember to use the key and the lock each day. Pray for the world, our country, our leaders, our friends, our enemies, our veterans, our sick, ourselves and give thanks to the One who never fails to hold us close – if we only let Him.

Today, November 20, 2015, I am thankful that PRAYER IS AWESOME.

The Twenty-first Blessing

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Today – November 21, 2015, I am thankful for the Harlem Renaissance. In college, I fell in love with the poetry, the literature, the music, the fashion – Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Ella Fitzgerald, Scott Joplin. A time between wars – a time of change – internal/national strife – depression – spiritual growth – – – sound familiar?

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,” Titus 2:11-12

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There’s never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek—
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one’s own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean—
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today—O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That’s made America the land it has become.
O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home—
For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,
And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came
To build a “homeland of the free.”

The free?

Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we’ve dreamed
And all the songs we’ve sung
And all the hopes we’ve held
And all the flags we’ve hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay—
Except the dream that’s almost dead today.

O, let America be America again—
The land that never has been yet—
And yet must be—the land where every man is free.
The land that’s mine—the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME—
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose—
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,
We must take back our land again,
America!

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath—
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain—
All, all the stretch of these great green states—
And make America again! ~Langston HughesLangstonHuges_NewBioImage