Category Archives: SCHOOL WORK

Stories about working in a Public School.

Email Classic: “Prospective Teacher”

After being interviewed by the school administration, the prospective teacher said:

“Let me see if I’ve got this right.
You want me to go into that room with all those kids,
correct their disruptive behavior,
observe them for signs of abuse,
monitor their dress habits,
censor their T-shirt messages,
and instill in them a love for learning.

You want me to check their backpacks for weapons,
wage war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases,
and raise their sense of self-esteem and personal pride.

You want me to teach them patriotism and good citizenship,sportsmanship and fair play,
and how to register to vote,
balance a checkbook,
and apply for a job.

You want me to check their heads for lice,
recognize signs of antisocial behavior,
and make sure that they all pass the final exams.

You also want me to provide them with an equal education regardless of their handicaps or race,
and communicate regularly with their parents in
English, Zulu, or any other language, by letter, telephone, newsletter, and report card.

You want me to do all this with a piece of chalk,
a blackboard, a bulletin board, a few books,
a big smile, and a starting salary that qualifies me for food stamps.

You want me to do all this, and then you tell me …
I CAN’T PRAY?

 

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Prayer Returns to Public Schools

Hi Friends:

This is another one of those times when I ask you to place the title in context.

There is a thought which says that prayer isn’t allowed in Public Schools.
There is also a thought which says that God isn’t allowed in Public Schools.
Both are just not true. Why?

I go to School every day.
I pray in School every day.
I bring God with me to School every day.
I am reminded of a story told by Evangelist R.W. Schambach:
A man enters a church, sits down, and remarks to the lady sitting next to him, “God is in this place.”
The lady turns to the man, and in a voice which only Rev. Schambach could replicate, says, “How do you know that?”
The man answers, “Because I brought Him with me.”

Yes, there are two distinct problems surrounding this “prayer in Public School” issue.
My Pastor once said that he sent his kids to School to learn about Science, Math, English, etc. Not to learn about God. Again, think of the context. They were supposed to learn about God at home. From Godly parents. I think you can see the problem there.
Then, let’s go back to this “I bring Him with me” issue. The ones who have learned about God, even know God … don’t act like it, once that bell rings. Again, this won’t fit everyone, but please understand the context here.

So, here it is, today. January 20, 2017. Inauguration Day here in the United States. What I wish is that everyone in the United States would learn about how governments are in other countries around the globe. That every American citizen would learn about what is happening “everywhere else.” Again, context. How so many nations are in political turmoil. How Christians are being killed, just because it was “found out” that they were Christians. How, in so many countries, it is illegal to convert to Christianity … how much suffering is going on … and, hopefully, everyone would realize how “good we’ve got it” over here. How many countries have their media “state-run.” Etc.

What I am getting at, is how blessed we are, to have a day like today. Something we’ve heard so many times, but take for granted: “The peaceful transition of power.” The peaceful transition of power.

I am hopeful that many Schools … I would think that all Schools … carried the Inauguration today. I’m not speaking about the Inaugural Address here. I’m writing about the ceremony. Boy … governments love ceremony … Anyway, I would hope, because of the great opportunity to see history, right in front of our eyes … that many Schools carried the Inauguration ceremony today.

Let me get this one out of the way right now: I’m not speaking as a Republican, or a Democratic. I am speaking as an American. An American citizen.

Here goes: I remember, back during the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan, as the President was being prepped for surgery, President Reagan looked up at the doctor, which was getting ready to operate. President Reagan said, “I hope you’re Republican.” The doctor answered, “Today, Mr. President, we are all Republican.” I heard this from President Reagan himself.

That’s what I mean. Today, we are all Americans. A remarkable thing has happened. And … it happened right in front of our eyes.

Back to the School … I’ve written how, in our Library, we have a large-screen television, which I use, sound muted and CC on, to carry news, weather, slide shows, and, especially, important news coverage of events happening “right now.” Certainly, an historic event like the Presidential Inauguration, qualifies for “live, streaming” coverage … with sound …

So, that’s what we did today. First thing this morning, I tuned the television to continuous, live coverage of the events, with sound … I must admit, I learned a lot, and was captivated by the historical tidbits the news anchors shared … I learned a lot …

If what I saw, and heard, happened in every Presidential Inauguration, then I may be saying too much about something that happens every Inauguration. But, for some reason, this one seemed different. The amount of prayers. The mention of God. And, especially, the mention of “the name of Jesus.” I mean … I heard Jesus mentioned a lot. Even “the powerful name of Jesus.” Somehow, it seemed like God was mentioned more this time … there were more prayers … the name of Jesus … more than any Inauguration I can remember.

So … innocently … and, I do mean innocently … there I was, with the television on, loud enough to be heard throughout the Library … and, as the ceremony got underway … time, and again … I heard a prayer … I heard Scripture being read … live on television, beaming out to the world … including Schools … prayers … Scripture being quoted … God being mentioned … a lot … Jesus being mentioned … a lot … the name of Jesus … being called on … in front of me … in front of the School … in front of audiences all around the globe … the name of Jesus … “in the name of Jesus” being said on many occasions … right in front of me … on television … in public … at a government ceremony … right in front of me … on television … in Public School … my School … it seems like there were three separate prayers before the Inaugural Address, and three prayers after the Address …

I heard “America the Beautiful.” I heard prayers. I heard Scripture being read. I heard our National Anthem. Ok, I’ll say it … when was the last time you heard these two songs during the same program? Yes … I heard our National Anthem many times last weekend … Football, remember?
I heard … yes, I heard and saw … the Mormon Tabernacle Choir … When was the last time, on National Television, you heard the Mormon Tabernacle Choir?

Quickly, allow me to mention this: One of my teacher colleagues, who is not a Donald Trump fan … I heard him proclaim, after the Republican Convention, “If he gets elected, I’m moving to Canada” … this same teacher, as an American citizen, could not believe that there were government officials who were not going to the Inauguration … this same teacher, who understands the importance of this “peaceful transition of power,” regardless of political beliefs … joined me, in the Library, during the Inauguration Ceremony … when the announcement was made to “please stand and honor our country during the singing of our National Anthem” … this same teacher, stood with me, side-by-side, during the singing of the National Anthem … I’ll never forget it … I also have made the decision, during televised sporting events, regardless of how comfortable I am, to stand during the Anthem … and, Monday, I plan to just walk up to him … and shake his hand … because he “gets it;” it’s not about “me,” but about “us,” as in United States …

So, today, there is a School-wide event, so I leave the television on in the Library, lock up, and head to the gym … When I left the Library, the Inaugural Address and benedictions had ended, the former President and First Lady had left the ceremony, and the Parade would follow … I lock up, again, leaving the television on, and enjoy the School event in the gym … When I return to the Library, as I enter, I can hear the television … but … it’s not coverage of the Parade being covered … it’s rioting, taking place, just a couple of blocks from the White House … rocks are being thrown at police … businesses have been damaged … a riot is taking place …

I don’t know what to say, or think … this is the United States, this is Inauguration Day, and this is less than 2 blocks from the White House … I hear, and see, reports about rocks being thrown at police … rocks being thrown at police …

Boy, does our country need prayer. Need to hear the Scripture. Need Godly examples. As I write this, I don’t know how all this turned out. I do know this: Many people can’t handle freedom. Even “the peaceful transition of power.” There are people who don’t have “peace within;” didn’t have it then, don’t have it now … won’t have it later, until they know this “Prince of Peace,” this “Jesus;” the One of whom so many heard the name of today … in the Library … in Public Schools … all across the globe …

Here goes: The Inauguration happened in Washington, D.C. If it had been held in any other city, yes, any other city, there would have been people to “show up” there as well … there will always be “those people” who can’t wait to throw rocks at police, or throw a brick through a business window … they’ll even travel for the opportunity … if this is a “demonstration,” it certainly is … let’s say that again … if “making your point” involves the destruction of property, or throwing projectiles at police … it certainly does “demonstrate” something …

Just 4 days ago, we celebrated the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, who said, “The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral; begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it … Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness … War is a poor chisel to carve out tomorrow.”

God, help us. As I heard in the Inaugural Address, as all the world heard … as Schools all over America heard, from our President, the most important “help” we can get … is from God …

Blessings to you, and your family.
And, God, please, bless America

Richard. Vincent. Rose.

 

Shared E-Mail Classic: “Work”

Note: I got this several years ago (at work), and the numbers have changed … but, the intent hasn’t changed. Enjoy!

For a couple years I’ve been blaming it on lack of sleep and too much pressure from my job, but now I found out the real reason:

I’m tired because I’m overworked.
The population of this country is 237 million.
104 million are retired.
That leaves 133 million to do the work.
There are 85 million in school, which leaves 48 million to do the work.
Of this there are 29 million employed by the federal government, leaving 19 million to do the work.
2.8 million are in the Armed Forces, which leaves 16.2 million to do the work.
Take from the total the 14,800,000 people who work for State and City Governments and that leaves 1.4 million to do the work.
At any given time there are 188,000 people in hospitals, leaving 1,212,000 to do the work.
Now, there are 1,211,998 people in prisons.
That leaves just two people to do the work.
You and me.
And you’re sitting at your computer reading jokes.

 

Keeping Up With John Adams/Thomas Jefferson/The Stone Library/ Just “Keeping Up” (Remembering July 4th, 1826)

I can’t believe I used that title …

I have always considered John Adams to be the most under-rated President we’ve had, if I may use that term.
And … Abigail Adams … incredible …
When I think of people “ahead of their time,” I always place Abigail at the top of the list.

One of the great thrills Carol and I have had is the opportunity to visit the John Adams birthplace, on Franklin Street in Quincy, Massachusetts. On the same property is the birthplace of John Quincy Adams, their son, and 6th United States President. I also consider John Quincy Adams the most intelligent President we’ve had, with his learning and ability to speak so many languages.

We have visited “Peacefield,” the home and farm purchased in 1787 by John Adams, and lived in by their son, as well. It is also lovingly called “The Old House.” What a thrill to visit “the Library out back.” What a thrill to step into that Library! The Library! The Stone Library, built in 1873, contains more than 12,000 books that belonged to the family.

Here is an excerpt from the Will of John Quincy Adams, dated January 18, 1847:

“I give and bequesth my library of books, my manuscript books and papers, and those of my father, and all of my family pictures…to my son, Charles Francis Adams, trusting that his mother shall at all times have the use of any of the books in the library at her discretions; and I recommend to my said son…to cause a building to be erected, made fire-proof, in which to keep the said library, books, documents, and manuscripts safe…and I especially recommend …that he will, as far as may be in his power, keep them together as one library…”

Take it from someone who just spent, on Saturday, during what others call “Summer Vacation,” seven hours working inside a High School Library … If you get a chance to see “The Stone Library” …

Carol and I also have visited the crypt, underneath the church, which is the final resting place of John Adams, Abigail Adams, John Quincy Adams, and Charlotte Adams. There just aren’t words to describe what it was like, being there. Standing there. I can still feel it.
It was a trip, made with our Pastor and his Wife, which we will never forget. The images just won’t leave.
I’m grateful for that.

This is another one of those great trips we’ve taken, and is “on the list” to share photos. We often get requests from friends who have joined us on some of these trips, who keep asking us, “When are you going to put together the video” or slide show, etc. Or, “When are you going to send us the pictures?” Even on trips when we’ve left the United States, we haven’t “gotten around yet” to sharing the stories or pictures from these trips. We usually don’t mention our trips publicly, but, on occasion, I’ll slip up and say something like, “Yeah, I remember seeing something like that in South America” or something, which is always met with something like, “I didn’t know you went to …”

One day … we’ll get around to it, I’m sure.
I always feel like I should be talking/sharing about something else besides us.

So, we’ll try to do better with sharing. If it’s any indication, this trip to the Adams Homestead … with our Pastor and Wife … was something like 12 years ago … or, longer …

I still consider the book “John Adams,” by David McCullough, the best biography I have read. David McCullough won the Pulitzer Prize for this (I was an early advocate) and for his book on Harry Truman. I must also mention in this writing how much I enjoyed his “1776” book. His descriptions of individuals knows no equal. I still vividly recall, from his book on John Adams, his physical descriptions of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. I read the book, and wrote the excerpt below, well over 10 years ago. It is never “my time,” but “the time” to write or share, so, here now, is the excerpt I wrote over a decade ago:

On this day in early July, the week of our July 4th, I think back to reading this from the book on John Adams:

“That John Adams and Thomas Jefferson had died on the same day, and that it was, of all days, the Fourth of July, could not be seen as a mere coincidence.
‘It was a visible and palpable manifestation of Divine favor,’ wrote John Quincy Adams, in his diary that night, expressing what was felt and would be said again and again, everywhere the news spread.

In the weeks and months that followed, eulogies to Adams and Jefferson were delivered in all parts of the country and largely in the spirit that their departure should not be seen as a mournful event. They had lived to see the expanded greatness and consolidated strength of a pure republic. They had died amid the hosannas and grateful benedictions of a numerous happy and joyful people. And, on the nation’s 50th birthday. Which, said Daniel Webster in a speech in Boston, was proof from on high that our country and its benefactors are objects of His care. Webster’s eulogy, delivered at Faniel Hall, on August 2nd, lasted two hours.”

I just remembered … we’re flying out early Monday morning … to spend several days in the Deep South … I haven’t finished writing about our last trip there … several years ago …

Blessings,
Ted and Carol

P.S. Following 12 years of bitter silence caused by their disagreement over the role of the new federal government, these two old friends managed to reestablish the discourse of their younger years spent in Philadelphia, where they both served in the Continental Congress, and Paris, where they served together as ambassadors to France. In 1812, Benjamin Rush, a Patriot and physician from Philadelphia, initiated a renewed correspondence and reconciliation between his two friends and ex-presidents. The correspondence continued until Adams and Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence that all three friends had signed in 1776.

 

Shared Email Classics: “Work”

Hi Friends:

I am working on a follow-up piece to an earlier post, which just happens to involve population figures for certain countries around the globe.
I discovered this old, “Classic” email, which lists the U.S. Population at 237 million, which was the figure at the time I first received this email, years ago. Today, the U.S. Population is listed at 324,119,000 … So, it also stands to reason that the other figures have changed as well … but, the humor of this piece still stands. Hope it brings a smile …

“Work”

For a couple years I’ve been blaming it on lack of sleep and too much pressure from my job, but now I found out the real reason:

I’m tired because I’m overworked.
The population of this country is 237 million.
104 million are retired.
That leaves 133 million to do the work.
There are 85 million in school, which leaves 48 million to do the work.
Of this there are 29 million employed by the federal government, leaving 19 million to do the work.
2.8 million are in the Armed Forces, which leaves 16.2 million to do the work.
Take from the total the 14,800,000 people who work for State and City Governments and that leaves 1.4 million to do the work.
At any given time there are 188,000 people in hospitals, leaving 1,212,000 to do the work.
Now, there are 1,211,998 people in prisons.
That leaves just two people to do the work.
You and me.
And you’re sitting at your computer reading jokes.

 

“Confirming” Creation

Hi Friends:

First, I am really getting a lot out of the study of Psalm 119 (previous post). Several days so far!

This week, due to conversations I’ve had, and things I’ve heard, I was reminded of what I consider to be the greatest statement regarding “Creation vs. Evolution” I had ever heard.
First, in case there was any doubt, I believe 100% in the story of Creation as written in the Bible, in Genesis. Period.
Guess what? I believe, 100%, in the rest of the Bible, as well.

Why is this, this discussion of whether we believe in Creation exactly as written, so important, anyway? Do I really believe that God created everything in 6 days?
Yes.
Why?
Because that’s what the Bible says.
Period.

What’s the big deal about this 6 “days,” anyway? Can’t I believe in the Creation story, and believe that God’s Creation took millions of years? Can’t I believe that, in between “days,” could have been a period of thousands, even millions, of years?
What’s the big deal?
Yes … I have heard Christians say that it didn’t matter to them how many “days” it took … that it’s not important, this thing about “days.” As long as we believe that God was the Creator, it didn’t matter how much time may be involved. Oh, and also … yes, the most important thing was that you believed that Jesus was Who and What He said He was, and that you believed in Him … As long as you did that … Who cares how many “days” it took?

Of course, I agree that the most important thing in life is your relationship to God, through Jesus Christ. The most important question you will ever have to answer is still, and always will be, “Who say ye that I am?” Jesus is, and will always be, the only way to the Father, and our only means of Salvation, and eternal life.

So, what’s the big deal about this “day” business?
What’s the big deal if we don’t believe that “God created the heavens and the earth” exactly as written?
Why can’t we believe in evolution?

*** Please note that in using the term “evolution” for this writing, I am directly, and only, speaking of what is called “The Theory of Evolution,” as pertaining to the evolution of man from a monkey, or an ape, or whatever … ***

By the way, science fans, it is still a “theory.”
And, so … it must remain …
(I know that bothers “them!”)

Yes, I know that creatures “evolve” over time. Of course they do. But they don’t become a totally different creature! For example, over time, even our bodies change, due to things like environment, etc. I read where people are now born without an appendix, for example, because an appendix is no longer a necessity; or, how about tonsils? I can remember when “having your tonsils out” was something it seemed a member of every family went through. I can’t remember the last time I heard of someone “having their tonsils out.” Again, just an example, but … even if a creatures’ bodies change, adding or subtracting something that is either needed or not needed, they still don’t become a different creature!

Ever really thought about why the “link” was missing?
Never found?
It, simply, can’t, and won’t be found … because, simply, it doesn’t exist.

Scientists aren’t stupid.
Again: Scientists aren’t stupid.
Any more than we were stupid before we discovered the Truth.
Scientists aren’t stupid.
They’re just blind.
Just like we were blind … before we discovered the Truth.

So … this Creation thing, this Biblical account, that God created everything … just like it is written … What’s the big deal about whether we believe the Genesis account or not … exactly as written … What’s the big deal???

Well … Here’s the Big Deal:

How come the word used for “day” in the Creation account always means a 24 hour day everywhere else it is used?
It is only debated when it is used in the Creation account. Why? What’s the big deal?

Well … Here’s the Big Deal:

The very first verse of the Bible says, clearly, that God created everything, and then goes on to describe how He did it … including the creation of man …
If I can get you to doubt the first verse … maybe … just maybe … I can get you to begin to doubt the rest …
Plain and simple, that’s the “Big Deal.”
The first story, off of that first verse, describes, well enough for me, how God created everything … and created man …
If I can be made to begin to doubt that first verse … then, maybe … just maybe … I will begin to doubt the first story, off of that verse … then … maybe … just maybe … I will begin to doubt the rest … Ultimately … and, this is the key to the enemy’s defense …. Ultimately … maybe … just maybe … maybe … just maybe … I’ll begin to look at the Gospels … and the rest … with a little doubt … just maybe … just maybe …I know it may be a “stretch” for the enemy … but, maybe … just maybe … just may be … it could work …. Maybe not for everyone … but for someone … maybe … just maybe … just maybe for a lot of someones …

I use Map Quest for directions. What would a do if I printed out directions and then discovered that the first group of directions weren’t accurate? What would you do? We’d probably, at the very least, doubt the validity of the rest of the directions … Maybe … just maybe … just maybe … we’d just rip up the directions, toss them in the trash … and … find another source for directions … At the very least … the seed of doubt would be planted … wouldn’t it?

You can’t deny that this “doubt” strategy is a major “genius” idea. Did I just say the enemy was a “genius? I don’t know: Did it work? Let’s never forget out enemy is smarter than us, stronger than us, and has been at it for centuries … And … That’s exactly why we need the Truth … the Truth of what? The truth of Scriptures!
Let’s see … if we can begin to doubt the Scriptures … how hard does the enemy now have to try to defeat us???

When I was at the Elementary School, Substitute Teachers would come to the Library for lunch. One such Sub was a friend of ours from Church, and would come to enjoy the quiet of the environment. I would always use the time to take advantage of an empty Library to catch up on paperwork, etc., but, sometimes, I’d engage in conversation, if I knew the person. So often, for no particular reason, questions about the Bible would come up. Maybe it was a lesson I was working on, or a book I was putting back on the shelf, but, on this particular day, the question of Creation, and in particular, evolution, came up. That was when this lady made the statement of which I referenced at the beginning of this post, came up.

She didn’t understand how someone could “buy” the “theory” of evolution. Here is what she said:
“If that’s true, how come we still have monkeys? How come we still have apes?”

I haven’t forgotten that statement, after all these months. I agree:
I know that at one time, there was only one dog (I know there had to be two, but for illustration I’ll only say “one”). As time went by, there were a lot of dogs, and a lot of different dogs … maybe, over time, there were thousands and thousands of “different” dogs. They became different breeds, different types of dogs (long hair, short hair, tall, short, poodle, etc.). But … no matter how much they changed … they were still dogs!!! They may have been different, totally different, St. Bernard to Poodle … but, they were still dogs! They didn’t become an entirely different animal.

How about cats? Same thing … Every animal: There became many, many different types … but, they suddenly didn’t become another animal.

For our science fans, every instance of this type of “evolution” has been “horizontal” evolution … not “vertical” evolution … The animal just didn’t change into a different animal. The dog was still a dog, a cat was still a cat …

So, months later, I still remember that question she had … thinking about writing something about this “theory” business … when, all at once, as I was watching an old TV show on “TV Land,” they ran a promo about a new show, which just happened to be about Teachers. It’s still true: I don’t watch network television, except for football games … during which I get to see promos of all of the “great new shows” … I know I’m not making this up, but is there actually a new TV series where “Lucifer” is a good guy? Where there is an “Angel from Hell” … and it’s a comedy? Surely, I must be making this up. Surely there would be an outcry against such programming, right? Surely this wouldn’t be acceptable??? Next thing you know, we’ll be believing that man came from an ape!!! That the Biblical account of Creation is incorrect! Now … And, please don’t get mad at the atrocity I am suggesting might happen if we keep going … Next thing you know … we’ll be teaching our children that the Biblical account of Creation is incorrect … No … that’ll never happen …

Anyway … I’m watching a promo for this new show … I’m also thinking about how “TV Land” used to have family shows … I think about the “evolution” of our society, just as demonstrated by what used to be on “TV Land” vs. what is, somehow, allowed on there now … Anyway, in the middle of this promo about Teachers in a School, here is the statement I heard as part of the promo:
“If evolution is true, how come we still have monkeys?”

So, I’ve been thinking about this … about how this statement was confirmation of what I have discussed with Teachers at School all this week … about “How come we still have monkeys/apes?”
How will I write about it?
How should I write about it?
Should I write about it?

The Substitute Teacher which made the original statement … I haven’t seen in several months, not since I was at the Elementary School. But, I have been thinking about her and the statement she made, ever since I saw this promo for the Teachers TV show.

Today, while doing the grocery shopping for the week, I had just entered the grocery store, and was stopped in the first aisle, just to the right as you enter the store. Guess who came into the store, and, not seeing me … walked right up to me? This same lady, the Substitute Teacher, who had made the original “evolution” statement months ago, and whose question I had heard repeated a few nights ago … a lady I have never seen out in public before, and hadn’t seen since the Elementary School …

I knew then, what to write about.

In closing, I’ll offer this:

I can’t remember what animal it is that started out as a bird, or maybe it was a bird that started out as another animal, but I still hear this phrase from time to time: “When Pigs Fly!!!”
Keep going … and they’ll try to convince us that, at one time they did …
Maybe … just maybe … just may be … that we’ll believe it …

Blessings,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

 

New Year, New Resolve: Part One

Hi Friends:

If it is one thing which God has been trying to show me over the past few months, as He’s guided me through the series, “Wealth Stored for the Righteous,” it is for me to both realize-and be thankful for-the things which He has already provided for me, the things He has already given me, the things I already have now. As if Salvation and His Spirit dwelling inside of me weren’t enough, I have been blessed beyond measure in so many other ways.

I have seen God’s hand involved in so many circumstances in my life over the past months, and seen direct results from so many prayers, and so many things which I have done … acting strictly on faith, my own personal belief, that He would bless us. It is so easy to say something like “I really, really, really believed that God would come through for us, and He did.” But, that’s a true statement, and I can’t put it any other better way. And, as things go along, progress, as God continues to be faithful to His Word and His promises, it helps to build my faith even more.

I am writing this to encourage you, and all of us: Just look at things in your life which have happened over the past few months. Just think about how blessed you and I have been, in so many ways. I know … I know … there have been tough times, times of trial and struggle … times we’ve had to work long … work hard … then work more … then work harder … But, God has given us the strength, and sometimes just plain courage, to keep on. To keep on working, and to keep on believing. I always say that the best students get the toughest tests. I just told that to a student in High School today.

I’ve written so often, and will continue to do so about this: Thank God every day for what you have … or, to be more specific, what He has allowed you to have. How blessed we are. Every day. To start your day with prayer and Bible study.
Start right.
End right.
Every day, I thank God for electricity, running water, running hot water, shelter and protection through the home he has provided for us. For our vehicles, to keep them running safely. Yes, I’ve had auto repairs. I prayed that God would give us favor. He did. We re-built our home over the Summer/Early Fall months, which took great leaps of faith, every step of the way. We asked for favor in many, many areas, involving a lot of different people … and, God tied it all together, and gave us favor in every single step.

After the re-build, we had a lot of painting and other work to do … which required warm weather, as paint, mortar, etc., has to have some degree of warmth to cure or dry properly. God gave us favor … every step of the way. We had the warmest December on record (for example), and November was especially kind to us. Last year, for example, we had between 1-2 feet of snow on the ground over the Thanksgiving break … this year, we had none. I had mortar and concrete work to do … I caulked windows on Thanksgiving Day, had concrete work to do the first week of December. The warmest weather ever. I just finished the last “outside” detail the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Was wearing short sleeves in the house, and our pellet stove over the past few weeks has been kept as low as I could get it, without turning it off. I see God’s hand in everything. As long as I keep doing that … He’ll keep putting His hands in.

These are just some of many real-life examples of how God has blessed us. There are so many more. I also pray, every day, that God would give both Carol and I favor on our jobs. He has. I pray every day that God will continue to bless us financially. Whether we like the concept or not, “financial” is a big part of life. We just have to remember that money doesn’t have a lot to do with “being successful.” Remember that Joseph, for example, was a “prosperous man” while he was still a slave. Because “God was with Joseph.” That’s the reason Joseph was a successful man, and that’s the only way we can be truly successful, truly prosperous. Only if “God is with us.”

And … as I’ve written so many times … if God is with us, just like in the case with Joseph, if God is with us … those around us-even at work-will know it. And, the same is also true if you don’t have God with you: Those around us-even those we work with-will know it.

I say all this to encourage us all to just be thankful for what we already have. Remember that it is a Biblical principle that God will give us a little … to see what we’ll do … and how we act-and react-will determine the future course.

I pray that God will allow me to see others the way He sees them. That way, my compassion for others will grow. This will lead to opportunities to “show Him” to others.
I pray that God will allow me to see myself the way He sees me. That way, I’ll be able to “see what I’m doing,” and ask for His help in specific areas I need to improve in.

I pray that God will help me be the man He called me to be, in order to do the things He’s called me to do.

I’ve always said that there are things I need to do more of, and there are things I need to do less of.
I should add one thing to that: There are things I need to do none of.

I’ve discovered the lasting, “every-day in every-way” benefits of prayer and Bible study every morning. I’m also beginning to realize the same benefits if I close my day with prayer, to re-cap the day … and ask for help for the next. This, literally, works miracles.

“The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad” (Psalm 126:3). Let’s thank Him more … so that He will do more … which really means, between-the-lines-I’ll do more.

I’ve also decided that I should be more grateful to those around me who bless me. Whether it’s at School, or on the job, or where ever it may be, it seems that we spend most of our time and concern over those few who cause us trouble. So many meetings, rules, etc., are done and made to counter-act, or due to, the very few who don’t follow the rules, or cause “all the trouble.” I, jokingly say, in the course of a day, “Welcome to America … where everyone must pay for the actions of a few.” I need to let those people who do follow the rules, who do make our jobs easier, that we appreciate them. That we are grateful to them, and for them. That I do notice them, that I do know who they are, and that I am so much thankful for the way they conduct themselves, etc. We just never know how much we would bless someone else just by doing this one thing.

We are all so blessed.
In closing, allow me to repeat a couple of the closing lines from “Wealth Stored for the Righteous”-Part 14:
“What incredible treasure we have! What incredible wealth we have! What incredible riches we have! The best part? It is for now … and for eternity!
And, yes, I’ll say it: The more of this treasure you give to others … the more you receive!!!”

I pray that we, and we all, thank God every day for what He has already provided for us, what He has already given us, and to be thankful for what we already have.

I’ll continue the thought next time.

Blessings to you, and your Family,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.