Monday

Temptation Victory

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I’m tempted by chocolate and ice cream and pizza. What comes to your mind when you hear the word temptation? If you asked your students, what would they say were their temptations? Copying answers from their neighbor or breaking classroom rules?  All of these are temptations to sin.

Thursday

Forgiveness Is Hard to Do

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What’s harder for you to do, to forgive or to receive forgiveness? Both can be hard, but this prayer reminds us that the giving and receiving of forgiveness are intimately connected. Just as we love because God first loved us, we can only forgive because we are first forgiven through Christ’s redemptive work on the cross on our behalf.

Wednesday

A Big Loaf of Bread

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This part of the Lord’s Prayer is not difficult for me to pray. I love bread! But perhaps I pray this section a little too flippantly and without real meaning because, yes, I do love bread and food and the things of daily life. I have never had to go without such things. My cup of blessings has always been full, thanks be to God.

Tuesday

The Devil on Our Roof

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Early in my teaching career, year one or two, I recall being stunned and heartily discouraged by some of the conflicts that arose in the Lutheran schools I was part of. I did not grow up in a church-work family or have the opportunity to go to a Lutheran school as a child, so perhaps my expectations of life as a church worker in a Christian school might have been a little idealistic. I soon came to understand that the devil parks himself on the roof of Lutheran schools and works diligently to stir up trouble and prevent the spread of the Gospel.

Monday

My Will

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I must confess that sometimes this part of the Lord’s Prayer is hard for me to say. Not because I don’t want the will of God to be done in my life, but because I’m afraid that God’s will won’t match up with my will. Sometimes I really like my own will. I want things my way. No, I’m not five years old, I’m a full grown adult, but I still want it my way sometimes.

Thursday

Your Kingdom in Our Classrooms

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Generations ago, in the days of the one-room schoolhouse, a teacher was the queen of her classroom. While she (or he) had a school board to answer to, she was the ultimate authority in her schoolhouse domain. Well into the twentieth century, even as schools and classrooms grew in size, the teacher could close his or her door and be the benevolent dictator, undisturbed by outside forces. Teaching is no longer a solitary, close-your-classroom-door, experience. It tends to be much more like a team sport today, with our classroom doors wide open. Regardless of the size of the school, teachers often work with one another, and with administration and volunteers.

Wednesday

Grace and Truth, Love and Light

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Generations ago, in the days of the one-room schoolhouse, a teacher was the queen of her classroom. While she (or he) had a school board to answer to, she was the ultimate authority in her schoolhouse domain. Well into the twentieth century, even as schools and classrooms grew in size, the teacher could close his or her door and be the benevolent dictator, undisturbed by outside forces. Teaching is no longer a solitary, close-your-classroom-door, experience. It tends to be much more like a team sport today, with our classroom doors wide open. Regardless of the size of the school, teachers often work with one another, and with administration and volunteers

Tuesday

Who Taught You That?

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Have you ever had this experience when you are working on a project with someone new? You’re working together and maybe things aren’t going quite as well as they should be. Then the voice of an outside authority scolds, “Who taught you how to do that? You’re doing it all wrong. Tsk, tsk.” Their head shakes in disapproval and you feel embarrassed and ashamed. You think to yourself, “Who did teach me that? Why did they teach me the wrong way?” You feel betrayed by the one who taught you.

Monday

What’s in a Name?

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If you’ve been teaching for any length of time, you’ve created an internal list of names that you can never use for your own children. Mine include Justin, Tommy, and Jimmy. Thomas and James are fine, just not Tommy or Jimmy. My particular list of names brings to mind the pictures of little boys’ mischievous faces and students who caused my teacher blood pressure to rise on too many occasions.

Thursday

With the Authority Vested in Me

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In your classroom, you (hopefully) have authority. You determine the rules and procedures of the classroom, and you must enforce consequences when your students choose to break them. You set the schedule for the day, and teach your children a variety of subjects. In your classroom, you have the authority, and this is normal. Students are not shocked at your teaching.