So much is different, every part of my career has changed for me over the past few weeks. The days have been long, and it’s not been an easy journey for many educators. Every aspect of my job has had to be amended. It’s been especially difficult to see so many of my friends and family members who are also educators, burdened with the weight of this school year…
I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with brotherly affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Never flag in zeal, be aglow with the Spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints, practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; never be conceited. Repay no one evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends upon you, live peaceably with all.
– Romans 12:1-2, 9-18
“Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you; therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. Yea, O people in Zion who dwell at Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when he hears it, he will answer you.” – Isaiah 30:18-19
I remember well the events of that morning, 19 years ago. It started out like any other work day. Aimee and I were in the car, on our way to work. I remember hearing the DJ on the radio say, “We are not sure what has happened, it might have been a bomb, but something has happened at one of the World Trade Towers.” I spent most of the day answering phone calls at the First United Methodist Church of Altus. We did our best to offer comfort and peace to our community. Like everyone who called in, I was worried about the future and deeply troubled by what we were seeing on TV…
I can think of several people who are my opposites, but these are ones who don’t share my political, religious, or other views, and I wouldn’t characterize our relationships as hilarious. In fact, I’ve allowed them to become more than opposites; they’ve become opponents…
In a cross-country race, doing one’s best is often defined by the time it takes to finish the run. However, for Sean Rausch, a high school senior running in the state championship, “best” was defined by his willingness to help his injured teammate. During the race, Blake Lewis fell 400 meters from the finish line when his leg broke. Sean Rausch was close and saw what happened…
When I think about odd couples in the Bible, the story of Jesus and Zacchaeus comes to mind. The Bible describes Zacchaeus as a wealthy man. As a tax collector, our assumption is often that he was greedy and not well-liked. Jesus on the other hand was from humble origins and the crowds followed him because of his kindness and love. Two very different people with two very different lives…
Labor Day is traditionally observed on the first Monday in September. It is often celebrated as the “unofficial end of summer.” Today, people all over the United States will spend time at the lake, grilling their favorite foods, traveling, spending time with family and friends, and simply relaxing and enjoying a long weekend. Labor Day first became a holiday in 1894. During a time of tremendous unrest in the United States, industrial workers began to organize and fight for better working conditions. There were multiple strikes across the country, many of which turned violent. The first Monday of September slowly became known as the “Working man’s holiday.”
So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul; and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church, and taught a large company of people; and in Antioch the disciples were for the first time called Christians.
“How lovely is thy dwelling place,
O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, yea, faints
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and flesh sing for joy
to the living God.
Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young,
at thy altars, O Lord of hosts,
my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in thy house,
ever singing thy praise!”