Monday, September 29, 2008

Pace of Life

I was driving up I-85 on my way home tonight and I noticed all the cars were going 70 mph (or more). I couldn’t even see what was happening around me. It reminded me of my life. My life sometimes seems like a blur. I get up, go to work, come home, work at home, go to bed, get up and start all over again. There is very little change to my routine – other than going to one of my daughter’s softball games occasionally. Life is incredibly fast-paced, complex, pressured, and pressurizing. I am typically strained, burdened and breathless. My life is duty driven and I am going full speed just to keep caught up with everything I have to do. Rarely is there ever time for anything I want to do.

I wish I could just take a time out. I wish I could escape. What God wants me to know is that he loves me and that he is there with me through it all. I don’t believe that this is the life he would want for me. The rat race tends to take my focus off of him. I get caught up with deadlines, to do lists, budgets, meetings, etc.. and that makes it hard to remember that God is with me every moment of every day.

“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.” Psalm 62:5

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Little things matter

I had an interesting phone call at work this week. As the technology director, I manage a fairly substantial technology budget. Included in my budget is the purchase of toner for all the printers on campus. We spend thousands of dollars every year on toner. I have spent quite a bit of time over the last couple of years getting prices on toner and selecting a providing company. I received a phone call this week from another toner company wanted to win our business. He told me that they had a superior product and competitive pricing. He asked what color printer we used frequently and I told him. He quoted me a “set” of toner (one of each color). I quickly calculated what that toner would cost me from my current company and I told him that his price was about $100 more that what I was currently paying. I said I was sorry but I couldn’t justify paying more. He then said he since he really wanted to earn my business he would do me a great deal. He said if I would take four sets of his toner at a certain price, he would throw in a Nintendo Wii Game system. He said he could even ship the Wii to my home address and the toner to my school address. When I checked the price, it was going to cost my school about $400 more money than I was currently paying. I again told him that it would be unethical for me to do that. He indicated that this was standard practice for all their new customers. He didn’t seem to see anything wrong with it. He was very pushy. I was equally resistant as there is no way I was going to ruin my reputation and Christian testimony over a Wii game system. In the end, I had to firmly say,” No, thank you,” and hang up on him. I wondered how many people gave in to his pressure and then regretted it later. I wondered how many people do things like this and cost their companies money and then enjoy the perks themselves.

I need to do all I can to avoid all appearances of evil. (1 Thes 5:22) I need to do all I can to do the right thing all the time. I need to protect my witness. One wrong choice can ruin a lot. I have a lot of people depending on me to make right decisions. Remember - little things matter.

God wants me to seek him first, to trust him, to obey him, and to do things that will help point others to him.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Jesus Loves Me……

I grew up singing Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so. As I look on my life, I wonder, is it really that easy. Is that really the foundational truth of life? It’s not about my love for Jesus; it’s about his love for me.

Psalm 107:43 tells us, “Whoever is wise, let him….consider the great love of the Lord.” I need to understand that pure, strong, foundational love. God desires for me to come close to him. He wants me to “grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3: 18 – 19)

God loves me. That is a part of who He is. His only requirement for me is that I believe and accept his love for me. I am to take his offer of salvation seriously. He doesn’t want anyone to perish but he desires for all to have eternal life. (2 Peter 3:9)

It is because of his great love that we were made alive in Christ. It is by his grace that we are saved. (Ephesians 2: 4-5)

His love surrounds me. (Ps 32:10) His love supports me. (Ps 94:18) His love is unfailing. (Psalm 13:5) His love stands firm forever. (Ps 89:2)

“You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you.” (Psalm 86:5)

(1 John 3:1 KJV) “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God” Behold it – look at it, study it, think about it, to watch it, to see with attention.

Study the One who loved you so much He gave his life for you. Jesus loves me – that really is what it is all about.

“May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love.” (Thessalonians 3:5)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Random thoughts on Faith

2 Corinthians 13:5 “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.“

1 Corinthians 16:13 “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith;“

Galatians 2:20 “I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Colossians 2:6 “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him,”

Hebrews 11:1 “faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

Faith is having the kind of trust and confidence in God and in Christ that leads you to commit your life to him.

Faith in God must be from the heart. It is not merely intellectual. It is spiritual. "For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Romans 10:10)

Faith causes you to know in your heart before you see with your eyes. "For we walk by faith, not by sight." (2Cor 5.7)

To live in faith means to do and say what you believe is right, without doubting.

"The just shall live by faith" (Romans 1:17). We must live by faith in order to be considered by God "righteous”.

Why must we believe God? Hebrews 11:6 says, "But without faith it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."

"Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Romans 10:17). Constant attention to the Word of God produces faith

For faith to be real, it demands obedience. James 2:26 “so faith without deeds is dead.”

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Don't quit

This might not be the best writing. I’m still trying to piece together my thoughts on this subject.

I was thinking today about how lucky I am to be a part of a Christian ministry. I’ve been teaching in Christian schools since 1987. I really feel like it is my calling. I believe in Christian education. I have seen kids' lives changed. I’ve seen kids I’ve taught go into the ministry. I’ve seen kids I’ve taught go to the mission field. I’ve seen kids I’ve taught go on to successful businesses and marriages and then send their kids to Christian school. I’ve even seen one of my former students grow up to serve on the school board of a Christian school I taught at. But, I’ve had moments, like everyone else in ministry, where I’ve just felt like chucking it all. I wondered - was it really worth it?

As I was reading through 2 Corinthians chapters 2 and 3, I was reminded of some things. Ch 2:14-17 talk about the power of the ministry. Paul contrasts the beginning of the chapter with the end when he says “But thanks be to God …” When we are living for Christ, we are a sweet aroma. This aroma is sometimes differently received. To the saved, we are an encouragement. To the unsaved, we are the smell of the death they have chosen.

It is important that we live for Christ. It is important that people see this in our lives. If we are saved and don’t live like it, we are making light of everything Christ has done for us. If we try to make people happy instead of challenged or we hold back truth, then we are cheapening the ministry and everything that Christ died for.

Then in Chapter 3:1– 3, Paul talked about the people of ministry. He talked about the people he had led to Christ as being his recommendation to others. They validated his ministry. He was saying take a look at their changed lives and you can see the power of God. So the natural question is – where are my recommendations? Are there people I have been working with whose lives are changed because of my ministry? My influence on them might not have been leading them to Christ but it might have been encouraging them in their faith, encouraging them to make a right decision, encouraging them to be truthful, encouraging them to treat others correctly, encouraging them towards a deeper commitment, etc...

Paul continues in Chapter 3: 4–6 talking about who can meet the demands of the ministry? Only as we trust Christ to work in and through us, can we meet the expectations and demands that are placed on us. Our competence comes from God. What’s the need of the hour…….people dedicated to Christ who really believe that God can and will do what he promises. Where are we going to get these people? Our best hope is the next generation of young people.

Chapter 4 starts out with the idea that it is only through God’s mercy that we have a ministry. When God calls you to a ministry, he supplies you with the strength you need to carry it out. So, if I ever feel like quitting, I need to remember that I have given my life for the most meaningful mission on earth. With God’s help and strength, I can carry on and continue to impact the next generation for the cause of Christ.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Renaming God

I read an article on the Internet that got me thinking. This is from a news article from August 2007. Here is a quote from the web site: (

“A Roman Catholic Bishop in the Netherlands has proposed people of all faiths refer to God as Allah to foster understanding, stoking an already heated debate on religious tolerance in a country with one million Muslims. … Allah is a very beautiful word for God. Shouldn't we all say that from now on we will name God Allah? ... What does God care what we call him? It is our problem."

My first reaction was that of anger. Who does he think he is to rename God! How arrogant! This is just wrong! Then I thought I wonder how God feels….

Names in Biblical times were very important. They revealed a person’s character. As we read through Scripture we can see the importance of names. God has revealed to us his many names. Each name reveals more about who he is. His names represent his attributes, or his nature. It is important to know the names of God. AND none of them is Allah! I think God would be really offended for us to have the nerve to try to give him another name. And, not just any name, but the name of a false god. How different is this from Aaron and the Israelites building the golden calf?
Some of God’s names from Scripture are:
  • El Shaddai - God Almighty or The God Who is All Sufficient
  • Adonai Jehovah – The Lord our Sovereign
  • Jehovah- Lord; The Self-Existent One, I AM WHO I AM
  • Jehovah-Jireh - The Lord our Provider
  • Jehovah-Ropheka - The Lord our Healer
  • Jehovah-Nissi - The Lord Our Banner
  • Jehovah-M’Kaddesh - The Lord Who Sanctifies
  • Jehovah-Shalom – The Lord Our Peace
  • Jehovah Elohim – The Eternal Creator
  • Jehovah-Tsidkenu - The Lord Our Righteousness
  • Jehovah-Rohi - The Lord Our Shepherd
  • Jehovah-Shammah - The Lord is Present
  • Jehovah-Sabaoth - The Lord of Hosts
  • Jehovah-Hoseenu – The Lord our Maker
  • Jehovah-Eloheenu – The Lord our God
  • El Elyon- The Lord Most High
  • Yeshua - Savior
  • El-Olam – The Everlasting God
  • El-Gibhor - Mighty God
I am not about religious tolerance. I worship the one true God and I will not try to give Him a new name. He doesn’t need me to do that. If you choose to worship Allah, that’s fine. Call yourself a Muslim and go to a mosque.

I think some of the underlying meaning is that false idea that it doesn’t matter what God you worship as long as you worship one. Buddha, Allah, Mohammed, Harre Chrishna, Jesus Christ – they aren’t all the same. Only one of them is a part of the trinity. only one of them is the Son of God. Only one of them chose to live here on earth as a man, die for my sins, and then rise from the dead. Only one offers me eternal life for trusting him. I choose Jesus.

Friday, September 19, 2008

What if God took a day off .....

I get migraine headaches. In order to get over them, I have to take medicine and lie down in a dark quiet place for at least 24 hours. I had one yesterday and into today. As I lay in my dark quiet bed, I thought about a few things. One particular idea was what if God took a day off? What would the world be like? What would happen to us?

What if God said, “Hey guys! I’m checking out for a few days. You’ll have to fend for yourselves.” Sometimes we forget everything that God does for us and everything we wouldn’t have if he took even one day off.

Here’s a few things that God does: (Psalm 104)
· He makes springs pour water.
· He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for man to cultivate-- bringing forth food from the earth
· He brings darkness, and it becomes night

Think about what would happen if the sun didn’t rise. Everything would freeze to death. Or if the water quit flowing, everything would die. Our very existence depends on God being there every day. God controls all of nature ……. earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunami’s, hurricanes. “He looks at the earth, and it trembles; He touches the mountains, and they smoke.”

He sends the rain and snow. He makes the wind blow. And when he chooses to, he causes them all to stop.

What an awesome God we worship. He created all things and he sustains all things. Whether we acknowledge him or not, we couldn’t make it through even one day without him. I am so glad that God doesn’t take a day off.

Want to think about this some more, read through Psalm 104.

Dear Mr. Obama

I'm going to get political on you today. Take a look at this YouTube video. This was done by a soldier who returned from Iraq last year.

I think it says it all.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Bible Class - Good Idea or Bad Idea

My daughter attends a Christian school and is taking an Old Testament class. She is busy memorizing all kinds of things - names, places, events. She is able to recite family trees in the Old Testament. She knows all about the Old Testament covenants. She asked me to help her study tonight for a big test tomorrow. I was amazed at all the stuff she knows. She knows more than I do and she has enjoyed learning it. My prayer is that she wll remember this information for the long term. When I think of the opportunities that she has had in Christian school, I realize how lucky she is. I never had those opportunities as a child. I pray that she will continue to trust the Lord and follow him her entire life.

I have been asked if I think making kids study the Bible as an academic subject turns them off on religion or in their desire to follow Christ. I'd have to say the opposite has happened with our child. She loves learning more about the Lord and she loves studying the Word. She has been fascinated to learn how all the facts in the Old Testament are tying together. There are probably some children who get turned off by having to study all these things. However, for the child who really loves the Lord, this is actually fun and exciting.

So, do I think all schools should have Bible classes? I'm not sure. You should make sure that the Scriptures are taught correctly and you should have a teacher who loves the Lord and can make the Scriptures exciting and fun. They must be taught as absolute truth, not stories. Everything from Genesis to Revelation is there for a reason and it all ties together and it all points you to Christ.

However, the flip side of that argument is that anytime someone is reading the Word of God, it can speak to them -- Even if the teacher is doing a bad job. The Bible can make it's own impact on lives and it doesn't need or depend on us to teach it correctly.

FYI - In 2006, "Georgia became the first state in memory to offer funds for high school electives on the Old and New Testaments using the Bible as the core text. " In these courses, the Bible is being studied as an historical document and literary piece. This is the opposite of the philosophy in our Christian school where the Bible class is required and the Bible is treated as the inspired inerrant Word of God.

So, what do you think? Should Christian schools force kids to study the Bible? What if they don't like it or don't want to study it? Should it be an elective in the public school? If so, how do you determine who can teach it and what they can teach about it?

Hebrews 4:12 "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. "

Isaiah 55:11 "so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it."

The Case for Teaching The Bible -,9171,1601845,00.html

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Seek Him

Matthew 6: 33 "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."

To seek means to go in search of, to look for, to try to discover, to ask for, request, to try to acquire or to gain, or go to or towards.

I am to seek the Lord. I am to go in search of Him. I am to try to discover what life is like with Him. I am to try to find out what He wants me to do. I am to continue to seek Him. I seek him in order to have a relationship with him. I am to seek Him first – above all else. He should be my first priority.

I am not to be a bystander in my relationship with Christ. God tells me to do stuff and he expects me to do it. He calls me to action. He demands responsibility. I am to seek Him. God is not obligated to do anything as a result, but in his mercy, he can be counted on to respond in love towards me. If I pray, he will hear me. If I repent, he will forgive me. If I am humble, God will give me grace. If I ask Christ into my heart, he will come in and will save me. He is full of mercy, goodness, and grace but expects me to turn to Him in obedience in order to receive it.

Think about the idea that the God of the universe, the God who created everything, the God who is everywhere all the time, the God who knows all things equally well, the God who knows every detail of my life, he knows my every dream --- that God hears me when I pray and responds when I seek Him.

That idea amazes me. Think about it and see if it amazes you, too. Then go out and seek him …

Sunday, September 14, 2008


I was thinking about how blessed I am to be surrounded by Christian friends. I work in a Christian environment. I have many friends at work. I also have some other great friends. It is great to have somone with whom you can be real. You don't have to pretend everything is wonderful, when it isn't. A friend encourages, shares, and speaks the truth in love.

The friendship between David and Jonathan is known for devotion, trust, and love. Jesus and his disciples were friends. He encouraged them but he also confronted them when they needed it.

For a friendship to be "godly", it has to be centered on God and his truth. Keeping Christ at the center will enable us to endure for a lifetime.

Encourage your friends in godly ways. If a friend is struggling, stand with him/her. If a friend is doing well, celebrate with him/her.

During difficult times, remind each other of God's faithfulness and love.

Never forget to thank God for the wonderful friends in your life. They are a blessing.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Humble Yourself and Give Thanks - even if you don't want to ...

Pride, arrogance, greed and selfishness are rampant today. We are conditioned to look out for ourselves and fight for what we think we are entitled to. More emphasis is placed on self-fulfillment than morality and our children are taught that it's more important to feel good than to do good. We don’t live in an environment that is conducive to humility and/or thankfulness.

James tells us to humble ourselves. Paul tells us to give thanks in all circumstances.

I had a particularly hard day today. It was hard to give thanks. It was hard to be humble. I started to think about how do you “be humble”. You actually have to humble yourself in order to be humble. You have to give thanks in order to be thankful. It is what you choose to do, not what you feel. And it is often not what you want to do. If you make humbling yourself and being thankful a part of your daily routine, eventually it will become a part of your personality. It will just happen when you least expect it and you won’t even have to think about it.

Start today. Humble yourself before God and tell him you will do whatever he wants you to do. Give thanks for all the good things in your life. “Count your blessings.”

James 4:10 “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”

1 Thessalonians 5:18 “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus”

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Salt and Light

I gave some more thought to my post from Tuesday. I agree that the church should be trying to attract more younger people. However, we cannot forget that we are to be "salt and light" to the world. We shouldn't change just to attract more people or please others. We are to stand apart and be different. If changing allows us to reach more people for Christ and doesn't contradict Scripture, then we should consider that change. However, we should never compromise our testimony just to attract more people. We also need to consider the idea of doing something just because that's the way we've always done it, isn't a good reason.

Salt - is used as a preservative. It adds flavor and enjoyment to food. We are to be salt to the world. We are to preserve biblical truth but at the same time we are to enjoy life.

Light is used to expose darkness. It is also a symbol of truth. It is a symbol of guidance - you can't make your way through the darkness without light. We are to be light to the world.

We need to remember the message and do what we need to do to deliver the message. We should speak the truth in love but we should speak the truth. That doesn't mean screaming at people that they are going to hell but it also doesn't mean avoiding the subject.

Our testimony needs to be personal and attractive. It needs to draw people to Jesus. We draw people with blameless lives, gracious speech, scriptural insights, and practical usefulness. The gospel will do its own work if we just tell it the way it is.

Matthew 5: 13 - 15
"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.

You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.

Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house."

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

They Like Jesus But Not the Church

I didn’t intend this blog to become a book review site but I have read some good books lately. Right now I am reading They Like Jesus But Not the Church: insights from emerging generations by Dan Kimball. I find it an interesting book. I don’t necessarily agree with all of his points but he does make me think. He decided that it was too easy for him (as a pastor) to get caught up in his own little Christian subculture and ignore the unchurched. He decided to start going to the local coffee shop (he lives in California) to work on his research and sermons. There he was able to build some relationships with the “regulars” and he was able to ask them some questions. He defines emerging generations as people in their late teens to early thirties. He chose this age group because he sees them as the largest missing segment from the church.

“Three-fourths of today’s high school graduates leave the church as soon as their parents stop making them go.”

Some basic ideas about this emerging generation:
  • They don’t have a basic understanding of the Bible.
  • They don’t have one God as the predominant God to worship.
  • They are open to all kinds of faiths and mixtures of faiths.
  • They no longer believe that Christian ministers are the “good guys”.
  • They are interested in Jesus. They like and respect him.
  • They are suspicious of organized religion.
  • They would not go to church to seek God or spiritual growth but they would see these things on their own.
  • They don’t want to be told how to pray, dress, think, or act.
  • They see church as “religious Simon Says”.
  • They see the church as driven by its own social and political agenda.
  • They want to express their ideas but feel left out of all areas of leadership.

I’m only about 1/3 of the way through the book so perhaps I’ll have more to share in a few days.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Sara Palin video

I don't usually share my political thoughts. One of the criticisms of the church from outsiders is that we have a political agenda.

However, I want to share a video clip of Sara Palin speaking in her home church in Wasilla, Alaska. This clip is about 15 minutes but well worth your time. She makes it very clear that she is a Christian.

You'll need to click the play button and be sure your sound is turned on. It may take a few seconds to load.

Feel free to let me know what you think.

Friday, September 5, 2008


It has been a long week and I am exhausted. I need strength and rest.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matt 11:28

"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty." Psalm 91:1

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Law of Exposure

This also comes from John Ortberg's book, If You Want to Walk On Water, You've Got To Get Out of the Boat.

"The law of exposure - Your mind will think most about what it is most exposed to. What repeatedly enters your mind, eventually shapes your mind, and will ultimately express itself in what you do and who you become."

It amazes me to see how many people think they can live as they want and that they can avoid this law. They think they can read anything they want and it won't affect them. They think they can watch bad images or listen to nasty music and it won't affect them. Scientists are just now proving what the Bible has said all along. If we input junk into our mind, we will output junk in our actions.

Isaiah says, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind has stayed on thee."

Paul tells us in Philippians chapter 4 to think on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy.

In 2 Corinthians 10:5 we are told "take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."

If I really want to become more like Christ and grow in my Christian faith, then I need to focus my mind on thoughts that will help produce those qualities in my life.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Go Water Walking

I've been reading John Ortberg's book If You Want to Walk On Water, You've Got To Get Out of the Boat. It is a study on Matthew 14:25- 32. The disciples were on a boat on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus came walking out on the water to meet them. They were scared and thought it was a ghost. Jesus told them not to be afraid. Peter answered and said," Lord if it is you, command me to come to you on the water." Jesus told him to come and so Peter stepped out of the boat and walked on the water towards Jesus. Then Peter noticed the wind and the waves and started to sink. He cried out to Jesus to save him and Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. Jesus asked Peter, why did you doubt?

There are lots of things that come to mind when you read this story. Peter was the only one who asked to walk out to Jesus. He was the only one with the faith and courage to step out of the boat. It was a big step of faith to leave the security of the boat and walk on water. It is a picture of what you can do with God's help that you can't do alone. Jesus told him to come and he did. He didn't stop to weigh his options or ask questions. He simply stepped out in faith and obedience.

God asks an ordinary person to engage in an act of extraordinary trust - getting out of the boat.
There is always fear in a situation like this.
There is always reassurance - God promises his presence.
There is always a decision - you must decide for yourself - no one is making you go.
There is always a changed life.

Obedience is no guarantee of being spared adversity. The waves and wind didn't stop when Peter stepped out.

What is your boat? It is anything that represents safety and security to you apart from God.

When you walk on water, you have to keep your eyes on Jesus. What are the wind and waves in your life that take your focus off of Jesus?

Accept fear as the price of growth. The decision to grow always involves a choice between comfort and risk. To be a follower of Jesus, you must renounce comfort as the ultimate value of your life.

It was Peter's willingness to risk failure that helped him to grow.

There are good reasons to get out of the boat. The water is where Jesus is. Peter didn't ask for a guarantee - just an opportunity. The disciples who stayed on the boat treasured safety over growth.

I found myself feeling sorry for Peter. He was the only one who had the faith to ask and then to obey. Yet, Jesus rebuked him for doubting. When they got into the boat, everyone worshipped Jesus and they knew He was the Son of God. I wanted to know why Jesus didn't ask the others where their faith was, why they didn't ask to come to him ....... Perhaps that's just my question.

Are you sitting in the boat, or getting out to go water walking ........

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

It comes from the heart ...

I am not usually the crying type. I can cry at sad movies but I don't typically cry at real life scenarios. This one will get you though. I work at a school. My 15 year old daughter had to go to school with me during our preplanning days. She had softball practice in the afternoons and there was no way to get her to practice unless she went with me in the mornings. So, since she had time to waste, she volunteered to do some work for some of the middle school teachers, the middle school principal, and the administrative assistant in the middle school office. She enjoyed herself as she loves to be around people and she loves to help others. On Friday, the principal had sent her a gift card for $20 for Target for all the things she had helped them do that week. If was a very nice surprise and my daughter was thrilled. Then, the first thing she says to me is, "Mom, I know what I want to buy. I want to buy ingredients to make cookies for the teachers." I just about lost it. Her first thoughts were to take that gift and turn it around to bless others. Well, I told her that she didn't need to do that, that I would buy the ingredients. So she spent most of Saturday baking cookies and delivered 57 bags of cookies to teachers' mailboxes Monday night. She wanted the teachers to arrive to school this morning, after the long weekend, and have a treat waiting for them. She made little labels that said, "I hope your year is off to a great start." I was so amazed. I take no credit. You can't teach that kind of thing to a kid. If comes from the heart.....