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In Need of God

Seeking God starts with needing Him. Let us face it. We never seek something that we do not need. It is the same with seeking God. We only start to genuinely seek God the moment we realize that we truly need God in our lives.

All who seek God have experienced a hole in their lives that nothing and no one else could ever satisfy. Unless a person experience this need of God, he or she could not honestly seek God.

Some may ask, “why would I need God?” or “why am I in need of God?” The answer is simply because we are not perfectly self-sufficient whether mentally, physically, emotionally, or spiritually. We lack the ability or the power to live life with meaning and purpose without the power of God working in our lives.

But he answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.'”

– Matthew 4:4 (WEB)

We need God. We need Jesus Christ. So, seek Him while there is still time. While breath and strength are our comrades in this earthly life, seek the Lord. Seek Jesus. It is not only rewarding to do so, but seeking Jesus is finding life.

Seek you Yahweh while he may be found; call you on him while he is near:
let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to Yahweh, and he will have mercy on him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says Yahweh.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

– Isaiah 55:6-9 (WEB)

Tomorrow may be too late. Start seeking God today. Now. Let us forsake our sinful ways and unrighteous thoughts. God’s sweet words of assurance are that He “abundantly pardons”. No sin is too great for God to not forgive us. He is unlike man that keeps a record of sins. He forgives lavishly and cleanses us from sins when we put our faith in Jesus Christ. He enables us to turn away from sin and live godly lives through the power of the Holy Spirit. He changes our hearts from hearts of stones to hearts of flesh. He is a loving, gracious God, full of compassion and mercy. We only need to come to His presence in total surrender.

Seek God with a glad heart. May your days be God-seeking and God-fulfilling!

She is a Worshiper of God

What are you known for? Fruits have their scents that help us differentiate one from the other. Flowers have their fragrance which makes each one distinct. We also have one characteristic that makes us distinct from others.

I have a friend who is known for her gregariousness and sincerity. Another friend is like a burst of joy with her energy and optimism. Then there is one friend who is famous for her being sympathetic. I also have a friend who is known for her being a great listener. Each of them is known by their special mark. When we hear each of their name, their positive attribute always come to mind. Their name brings a positive imagery of what they are best known for.

Sadly, not all people are known for good things. Have you encountered a person known for being grumpy all the time? Have you met a person who is known for his or her uncontrollable temper? Have you been with a person who is known for his or her big mouth? Whether positive or negative, each of us possess a distinct trait which people around us came to recognize and know about us because of how we consistently behaved when we are around people.

I often wonder what my students think when they hear my name? Does my name evoke fear, intimidation, and wariness? Or does it spring up feelings of respect and love? What they think and how they feel about me are largely dependent on how I have treated them inside and outside my class.

When a kid hears “mama” or “papa”, there is an immediate recognition of the name. The name “mama” or “papa” may speak care, security, and love for a child.

This idea about being known by our most distinct trait as a person is demonstrated even in the life of Saul, who was later called, Paul, the Apostle of Jesus Christ. Whenever the early believers of Christ hear the name of Saul, they tremble in fear for he was known as the persecutor of Christians (Acts 8:26). When Saul met Jesus Christ and experienced a miraculous turn-around of his life and personal convictions, Saul’s name became Paul and the name of Paul stirred up another distinct impression to early believers. Paul was known as the Apostle, missionary, and church planter, who brought the Gospel to the Gentiles.

But there is one event in the Book of Acts that inspired this topic. Her name was Lydia. Paul and Timothy met her in Philippi, a City of Macedonia.

– Acts 16:13-15 (WEB)

There is a little description of Lydia, but the short description is prominent. Lydia was described as a certain woman, a seller of purple, and a worshiper of God. I could imagine what she was known for. Perhaps, when her name was mentioned, people would immediately say, “Oh, the seller of purple!” But what a greater honor to be known as the “worshiper of God”. She was not just like any other businesswoman who sells purple cloth. She was a businesswoman who was known to worship God. Thus from the account, the Lord opened Lydia’s heart to the teaching of Paul and she and her whole household believed in the Lord Jesus Christ.

I also would like to be known as not just a mother of two, but a mother who worships God. I pray that when my name is heard, people will not only think of me as that teacher but as that Christian teacher who loves Christ.

Let our name be a trademark of faith in God that when people hear our name they would not only know us by our family, profession, or position but most importantly by our love for God.

– Matthew 5:16 (WEB)

A Teacher’s Reflection

I never dreamed to be a teacher. I became one because my parents wanted me to. But, I realized that nothing is out of God’s plan when we submit to Him so even my being a teacher is part of His sovereign and perfect plan.

In later years, I came to savor the rewards of being a teacher. It is both esteemable and humbling. There are many lessons learned and, for sure, still many will be. There are many realizations I have gained from my profession.

Being a teacher in a public school can be very challenging. We do not have air-conditioned classrooms. Many times we lack classrooms, tables, and chairs. We do not have complete resources. Many times we lack it. These are the physical resources where we are often limited. We get used to it and we find ways to solve the problems with the help of the students and parents foremostly in areas where the school could not be able to supply due to limitation of funds for such a big school. These are normal challenges for us. And we take it as it is and find solutions as needed.

There are also challenges we encounter with the different students we deal with. There are behavioral problems and academic problems. Both could be difficult to address especially if the academic problems stem from the family economic status of the student.

If I will sum up my experiences and feelings about my life as a teacher it would be with these two words: challenging and fulfilling.

Challenges are part of it. But when a teacher perseveres to do his or her job responsibly, the fulfillment is there regardless of the challenges along the way.

My greatest fulfillment is to see my students learning and happy in my company. What I mean by happy is that in my class I like to see my students comfortable with me where they feel heard, respected, and treated fairly. I may not be the best teacher or the smartest teacher in school, but I hope and pray that through how I deal with them, they feel what my heart’s desire is. May they feel my respect for them. May they feel that I honor their thoughts and that I hear their ideas. May they also realized how much I care to be inside the class to teach them. I wish that someday when they look back to their high school life and maybe remember their research teacher, they will remember me as someone who came to class to teach them well.

I am not a sociable teacher, but I see to it that I treat them kindly. I am not the kind of teacher that acts like “I am one of them” or being peers with them, but I make sure that my students know that they can approach me if they need me.

As a teacher of 17 years in the service, I have not yet mastered on how to deal with difficult students, but I learned some things which could be worth sharing.

  • Recognize the individual personality, skill, and ability. No two students are equal in all respects. A teacher should never compare.
  • Treat students with respect. Students will listen to you more if they feel heard and respected. It also establishes the teacher’s credibility and authority in class.
  • Be honest with grading or scoring reports. Like adults, we know when we are cheated on or not. Students know if they deserve the grades or not. Welcome questions and be transparent. Give honest feedbacks and be timely as much as possible.
  • Smile more, frown less. The teacher could not possibly know everything that is happening to students in his or her class. Always bring a positive attitude in class. We may not know that there can be students who are troubled with family issues, personal concerns, and mental health issues, but it pays to initiate a friendly and positive environment.
  • Allow them freedom with accountability. Let them decide and do things by their initiative but set conditions and limitations to ensure that work is done responsibly and within acceptable manners as dictated by the regulations in the school and the class.
  • Give honest praises where praise is due. Correct the ones where corrections are needed. Correct and discipline misbehaviors in a positive light. Do not embarrass them in class.
  • Be a responsible handler of ideas and knowledge. The teacher is the highest authority in class. Students can easily believe what a teacher says and teaches. Teach what is good and true. Teach them to respect people regardless of personal motivations or beliefs. Do not use the authority to convince them to wrong sentiments or ideals toward others.

Above all, as a Christian teacher, it is my desire they see the light of Christ in my life. I am not perfect, but by the grace of God, may they see a difference because I experience the love of Christ in my life. May what I do show that the love of Christ is in me.

Let all that you do be done in love.

– 1 Corinthians 16:14 (WEB)
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