Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Praise Jesus for the Truth

Today's a teacher work day for my district, one we get in an effort for teachers to see more of what our students are expected to do once in the real world. So early this morning I headed to the local United Way. It was eye-opening to say the least. In my beautiful part of the world, seventeen percent of the population, ages 17-60, are illiterate. My county has the highest percentage of domestic violence per person in the US (it's first in child abuse and second in spousal abuse). It made my heart bleed for my students, both from last year and this year. And it also made me view the question of exactly why I am at the most urban middle school in my county a bit differently. Now I'm beginning to ask myself why not--why should students who have such desperate home situations, such pain in their lives, such needs, why should I not share with those in society that need it the worst? And yet, those are the ones that I seemed to fail last year.

Yesterday, as a part of my inservice/work time, I went over with my principle my gains and losses on my state's high-stakes test. And while I gained with my upper-level students (by a significant margin), I feel like I failed with the others. The ones that needed it the most. The ones that need the education the worst. The ones that have trouble in school because of problems at home or because they're hungry. Or because they don't know where they're going to sleep that night. I failed those children. And all I can do is ask the Lord--and them--for forgiveness, and try my best to do better this year. I think I've been beginning to try to remedy this--though I don't know how well I'm doing yet this year. What I have been doing so far is this--I've been trying my best to make a connection with the students I have, knowing that if I develop a good, solid relationship with my students, they will want to perform and work for me. And I'm hoping--praying--that this will help my students this year on THE TEST. Though the test has never been my goal. My goal is to show Christ to my students and teach them something they can use to help them in life. It always has been, and always will be.

I've been spending way too much time on YouTube lately, and I've found and watched some videos of Brother Branham. (I wasn't wasting my time then... ) Parts of "Deep Calleth to the Deep" are online, as well as a Chicago prayer line that is truly powerful. And there's a video of Bro. Branham's voice, describing the crucifiction of Christ, with the images from The Passion of Christ. While it's a powerful video, I can't stand the way Mary enters into the movie, stealing the credit and glory from Christ. And for that reason, I've never watched The Passion all the way through--perhaps not a justifiable reason to some, but I'd rather not.

The Maryolitry of it--that's what gets me. My absolute favorite homeschooling blog (this one) is from a Catholic mom. I love what she has to say on homeschooling and "mom-ing" in general. I was poking around her site because of her sewing post, and ran across this blog. I was a bit put-off by her profile--much the way I can see some others being offended by mine--but I decided to read her post anyway. I read on, until I got to this:

I know what it means to live on a rock. The rock of my faith --
the Catholic Church ...

And this, I thought, is what the Catholich Church creates: pagan worship of a church instead of Jesus Christ; dependence on a system and a novena to Mary instead of a direct advocate to the Father; a wafer of bread, digested and expelled, instead of the gift of the Holy Ghost, living and breathing inside of you? I can't help but think how decieved, how utterly pagan, and how deceiving--as they still claim the name of Jesus Christ. And I think back to Bro. Branham, pounding away at the systems and denominations, declaring that Jesus Christ is that rock. That revelation that I need, and that others need.

Too often, I've been slow to share the truth with those around me. I've been reluctant, asking myself what they'd think if they knew--if they knew I believed in following a man. But the more I see of this sad world, the more I'm convinced that it matters not a whit what people think. This world is so full of people following the wrong men, why should it matter if I follow the right one--the one who displayed Jesus Christ in this hour? Despite this world's crazy ideals that make the truth sound insane, I want to be a witness. Wherever I'm supposed to, I want to witness. Lord, help me to witness. Because I've been so blessed to know the truth--it found me.

2 Lord Jesus, Thou the--the Fountain, inexhaustible Fountain of Life, flow through us today, Lord, and cleanse us from all unbelief and all sin, that we might stand in Thy Presence now, knowing that there is need among us, that we know that we are sinners and not--not worthy of any blessing. But then when we think of Him Who came and took our sins! Then, when His Blood is there, it's not--it's not us in the Presence of God, it's Him. It's just our voice through His Blood. His Blood is speaking. O God, then cleanse our hearts from sin and unbelief.
3 Give to us the desires of our heart, for we truly have these desires to serve You. In these weakening conditions and afflictions, and things of the world that's put upon us sometime, to perfect us; we've been told that. Then He said, "Think it not strange that these trials come." They're only working out for our good and to perfect us, and bring us into that place. These great deserts of experience, where righteous man are molded into saints, we--we thank Thee for these experiences, Lord. We would no mean, no wise want to do anything contrary to Your will. But we pray, Father, that in this we'll be brought closer to You.
4 And when the burdens are so heavy we can't go no farther, then we raise our hands and scream to our Father. Then hear from Heaven, Lord.
Heal us, make us well, for the Kingdom of God's sake.
Bless Thy Word this morning, Lord. Thy Word is the Truth.

God Bless.


Alysa said...

Marie... I loved this post. All of it!

You're so right about the "Why NOT?!" As humans (well, myself, anyway) have a tendancy to take the easiest path. But it is often the most challenging that is the most rewarding, and those that are lacking need the most serving. Keep your goal to always show Christ to your students, and I pray that they see Him in you so much they begin to get thirsty too!

It's so sad that people think they can build their faith upon anything less than the spiritual revelation of who Christ is! Praise God for a prophet to open our eyes to these things!

That quote is beautiful. "Sinners, not worthy of any blessing." That is so true. I am not more worthy than any of these others that you have blogged about... and I pray God's grace blesses them, too!

I'd keep commenting, but then my comment would be longer than your post!

Keep blogging... you're blessing me!

Love you!

Gordon said...

That part on witnessing. Oh I need to do more I feel. Often drop a tidbit and see if there is nibble.

For some a more direct, others just the tidbit does. It's the some I've got to be bolder.

There are on occasions I do let go and tell as it is. But not often.

As each person is an individual so probably is witnessing.


Bro Trevor said...

Nice post.

May God help you as you connect with those that are harder to connect with, but need it so desperately.

Good insight into the struggles of a teacher...I never knew it was like that.