Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Take up your cross

What does it mean to “take up your cross?”

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”  (Matthew 16:24)

For the disciples. the cross was not a necklace.  It was not an ornament.  It was not even a symbol.  It was a lifestyle.  It was the willingness to follow Jesus in every thing and in every area of their lives.

For us to do that, we must surrender our lives completely to Christ.  We must set aside our desires and put others first.  It means getting rid of selfishness. 

We must have complete faith in Christ and loyalty to Him – no matter what it costs us.

“taking up our cross” is a total buy-in to the lifestyle and way of Jesus.  It is making our character match the character of Jesus.  It is considering what He would do in every situation.  It is being completely “sold out” to Christ.

When Jesus used the phrase “pick up your cross”, he was letting us know that following him won’t be easy.  There will be times that you are going to want to quit, deny him, run away, etc…  There are going to be times in your life when not following Him would be much easier.

Day by day, moment by moment, make a consistent, constant choice to follow Him.  Cutting corners, little white lies, “going with the flow” are simply not acceptable.

God calls us to a life of obedience and self-sacrifice but the rewards will be great. 


Thursday, May 13, 2010

To Wesleyan’s Class of 2010

I sat and looked through the yearbook.  I reminisced about a lot of you.  I met many of you during your freshman year.  You entered high school with high hopes and dreams.  Many of you struggled with the transition to high school but you persevered and made it through.

As I looked at each picture I did not think about what you have accomplished or how you have performed.  In fact, I taught many of you but I have no memory of what your grades were.  That’s not what remains important in my mind.  My thoughts are based simply on who you are.  What values do you represent? As a Wesleyan graduate, you should be a person of integrity, honor, joy, and purpose. If you haven’t picked up those values, then you’ve missed what Wesleyan is all about.

God has a specific and special plan for each one of you.  He has his hands on your lives.  As a class you are blessed with a lot of great abilities and talents. Hold each other up and accountable as you move forward. 

Remember to keep balance in your lives.  Studies are important but they aren’t everything.

Never forget to give back to others.  Be a servant.  Bring joy to the lives of the people around you.

You are abundantly blessed.  You come from great families.  Families that loved you enough to send you to Wesleyan.  A lot of your families did that at great sacrifice.  Never forget that they love you and want the best for you.

As you move on with a new chapter in your lives, I pray that you will abound more and more in the true knowledge of God and His Word.  I pray that you will grow in discernment so that you will make the wisest choices and decisions.  And my final prayer for you is that you would live your lives to bring honor and glory to God.  After all, that’s what really matters.  (Philippians 1:9-11)

May God richly bless you. 

Congratulations Class of 2010!


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Leaving a Legacy

Wow – I can’t believe it has been 10 days since I last posted something.  Things have been really busy.  In the last 2 weeks my husband had a birthday, I had a birthday, today is Mother’s Day, I had an MRI, and I spent 2 days out of town visiting some other schools. 

I’m reading a book for graduate school.  It is not one of my favorites and I am struggling to get through it. 

Life is just really busy.  I haven’t had trouble carving out time to read my Bible but I haven’t really taken the time to really meditate on what I’ve read.  It is in that meditating, thinking, researching, cross referencing that I learn the most.  I also digest it as I write about it.  I need to write this blog – it is really for my growth.

So – what am I going to write about today. 

I have been thinking about leaving a spiritual legacy.  What can I do that will effect future generations. 

This week a former student left me a birthday wish on my facebook and said “you are part of the reason that I am a teacher today.”  I can’t begin to tell you what that meant to me.  He was an amazing young man when he was in high school.  I was his high school algebra 2 teacher.  He worked hard but struggled.  I spent a lot of extra time with him that year and we got through it.  I am sure he is an excellent teacher as he understands how hard some kids have to work to learn.

Proverbs 13:22 talks about leaving an inheritance for your children and their children.  There are different things you can do to leave a legacy.

- talk to your children about Jesus
- live a godly life (all the time)
- build your life upon Scriptural principles
- let your good deeds shine forth and touch the people around you
- share your faith in Christ with others
- share the wisdom you have gained through the years with others.  Spend time with young people.
- Be involved in your local church.  Do what you can to make it a beacon of truth in your community.
- be a blessing to the people in your community

Now the big question – how do I find time to do this?

That’s the one I am struggling to find the answer to.