My pastor said this in a sermon a while back. He was referring to coming to Christ for the first time, but I heard it differently. It stuck. It’s been rolling around in my head for months now. If I could “believe now,” then I could make a Godly choice in every moment. You see, my failures and bad decisions are usually based upon some sort of unbelief.
I don’t believe He will provide for us, so I choose to worry about our financial situation.
I don’t believe that my body is a “temple for the Holy Spirit” (I Cor 6:19-20) or that God really cares about my health. I tell myself, “It’s not that big of a deal”, so I eat more than I should.
I don’t really believe sin kills, so I speak rudely to my family and my wife.
I could go on and on. . . . but you get the point. If I could “Believe Now!” I’d probably make better choices. I’d probably represent Jesus better and become more like Him. If I could “believe now,” I’d probably say “Yes” to different things and I’d be involved in new things. I’d probably say “No” to some other things as well.
Prayer:LORD, help me to “Believe now.” Keep this phrase in my mind. Train me to remember it in the moments that I struggle. Guide my heart to believe constantly, moment by moment. LORD I believe, but I want to believe more often, more consistently. “LORD I believe. Help my unbelief!” – Mk 9:24 AMEN.
Mr Mahoney was an older man (maybe early 70s) who worked at Sears in the sporting goods department. He was always smiling and would be the first employee to jump on the treadmill and start running to demonstrate the product to his customers. I was in High School, but hoped I’d be active like him when I reached his age.
I didn’t work in sporting goods and so I had a pretty casual passing-in-the-stockroom-type relationship with him. When I’d see him, I almost always said, “How’s it going?” He always answered, “Better.” I never really gave it much thought, but one day Mr Mahoney didn’t come to work and the word around the store was that he had been admitted to the hospital for some sort of cardiac treatment. We wondered if he’d ever return, but after a month or so, he did.
He didn’t really run on the treadmill like he had done before, and we all wondered if he’d be able to keep up with the job. As I passed him in the stockroom later that week, I greeted him with my usual “How’s it going?” As soon as it came out, I felt guilty, but his response was still the same. “Better.”
That particular day, we had a little more time and so he went on to explain that every day was better than the one before. Even if things were looking down or not going so well, he knew that he was a stronger man and would grow through whatever circumstances he endured. He knew that each day prepared him for the next and that he was a better man each and every day in spite of his circumstances.
I think I became a better man that day too.
Philippians 4:12b-13 “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation……I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
Romans 5:3b-4 “….suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame.”
I am always surprised by the things God does. How He provides. How He speaks. How He. . . .
However, when I look back over my life, I see His consistency in all things. He is always faithful to provide. He is always speaking. He is always working, loving, guiding, intervening. . . He is always. . . He is God.
If I reflect on His character and our relationship, it’s not surprising at all that He would do these things. Why am I surprised?
Maybe my surprise reveals my lack of faith? Or maybe it reveals the greatness of God? He is beyond my imagination and comprehension.
I really believe that the most amazing woman in the world has married me. We’re coming up on 6 years of marriage and I’m more and more amazed by her each day. Let me tell you about the her most recent extravagant efforts: As many of you know, we’re going through a tough time right now. I need to find a way to support my family by January due to some financial troubles in our church. (They’re making all full-time positions part-time – due to finances, not performance.) Anyway, God had been making it clear to me that He wants me to begin moving in some different directions. I chose not to say anything to Miranda for a couple of reasons. 1. I have come to understand that women need to feel secure. Stability and consistency are highly valued among them. 2. All my contacts and my reputation is in youth ministry. I could probably get a youth ministry job relatively easily. 3. The timing was horrible – I just lost my job and it would not have been smart to tell her that I was planning on seeking another position the hard way.
Here’s what’s so amazing about her though: I came home from work one day about a month ago and she sat me down saying that she had been praying and God had revealed something to her. She went on to explain that she would be willing to let go, even lose our house and sacrifice/scale back on our living expenses in order to wait for the “right” position. She knew that God was leading me elsewhere and wanted to give me the freedom to chase the lion that she knew I was being called to.
Whew!!. . . For me, this was incredible! I was feeling tons of pressure to “provide” for her and the kids in the same ways that I had been doing so for the past few years and yet I also knew that this new calling would probably mean we’d have to make some sacrifices. I have the most amazing bride!!! One who seeks God and who is willing to follow Him even when it’s hard to make sense of the things He’s calling us to do. She not only came to those decisions, but also recognized that out of my love for our family, I was in an awkward position – wanting to provide and wanting to follow God. So she took care of it. Before my stress grew too large to handle – even before I came to the place where I needed to find a way to tell her what I was feeling, she alleviated the stress. She is good. I love her more today than any other day. I know we’re probably going to see some hard times ahead, but I wouldn’t want to go into these uncertain times with anyone else. I’m so blessed to be able to walk through this life with her by my side.
I want my students to live in the “First Circle.” Let me explain.
When I was a youth minister, someone once showed me the “First Circle” concept. I honestly don’t know where it originated, but I have reworked it a bit for my students. Here’s how it works:
The “First Circle” is where students work diligently on the things they are asked to do. When they do so, they are successful learners and end up being happy with themselves and their work. They make good choices and usually good grades as well.
Students enter the “Second Circle” when they come to a crossroads and make a bad choice – when they choose to break the class rules/procedures. There are usually consequences for these bad choices and they also disrupt the class. The learning process is also disrupted if a student enters the second circle.
Note: I have many student who enter this circle and then apologize. However, when they continue to misbehave and then apologize again and again without behavior change, they never return to the 1st Circle. The words of a true apology is backed up by actions and behavior change.
Students can enter the “Third Circle” pretty quickly if they choose not to apologize. This circle is NOT where I like my students to be. They end up disrupting the class repeatedly and will suffer consequences both in the classroom and out (ISS/Parent Phone Calls). Many times they destroy the learning process for themselves but also for the class as a whole. These students are usually too angry to apologize and end up causing more problems out of anger. However, when they cool off, they still have the opportunity to apologize and then start making better choices to work their way back to the first circle. they have destroyed the learning process for themselves and sometimes for the class as a whole.
Anyway, this is just a concept that I thought was worth writing up. Like I said, I didn’t create it, but I’m not sure who did. I just adapted it from a discipleship concept that I learned as a youth minister. (They used “sin” and “repentance” as the two decision points.)
After church today, we came home and went outside in the back yard. Here’s the conversation I had with Kasen. (3yrs)
Kasen: Daddy, where does the wind come from?
Me: I don’t know Kasen. We can’t see it, but we can feel it.
Kasen: We can’t see Jesus, but we can feel him too.
Wow!! We’ve had a similar conversation before, but I didn’t think he’d remember it all so clearly. I told Miranda about it and she said she had talked to him about it as well. It makes me so excited to see him understand so much about God at such an early age.
The sermon today was from John 3, where Jesus is talking to Nicodemus about the work of the Holy Spirit and relating it to the wind. Seems like the wind is what God is wanting us all to remember today. I love it when His voice is so clear!!
I have been working as a 6th grade Social Studies teacher for the last semester and will be “let go” this May due to the financial struggles of Brazosport ISD and the status of my contract. The decision does not reflect my ability to teach or work with my co-teachers/administration. My principal, Robin Pelton has written a recommendation letter which you can read here: Principal’s Recommendation
I’m NOT just looking for a job, but a position that I can passionately pursue – one that I’m excited to do each day – one where I can truly make a difference in the world and impact/influence people. My teaching experience this semester has reaffirmed my desire to teach and I plan to continue pursuing this career in spite of the current situation in our district.
Previously, I worked as a full-time youth minister for 18 years. I did not have an educational background in the school system, however, I believe that my experience teaching students within the church has been a real asset. I entered the school system this year, with much more real life teaching experience than other first year teachers and I have a real love for students.
My academic background includes two years of engineering at Texas A&M, two years of music education at Texas Wesleyan, and two years at the College of Biblical Studies where I received a Bachelor of Science in Biblical Leadership. I believe that I am a great teacher and would love the opportunity to work with students in your school.
I have completed the “act houston” Winter 2010 Institute for alternative certification and passed the 4-8th Generalist content exam with a score of 282 out of 300. This makes me “highly qualified.” I have received a Probationary Certificate from the State of Texas and am currently working through the remainder of my internship requirements.
I have a Bachelor of Science in Biblical Leadership from the College of Biblical Studies and have written many articles describing my philosophies/ideas about leadership. If you’re interested, you can check out some of these articles here:
During this time in our lives, God has granted us peace. I’m not sure how to explain it, (Jesus is the “Peace that passes understanding.” Philippians 4:7) but we are resting in the fact that He has never let us down and that as His children, He loves us. We don’t know how we’re going to survive and keep our house from one month to the next, but we feel that He is leading us down this road toward a teaching position. I ask for your prayers, your advice, and your help. We need our friends (the body of Christ) to help us through this difficult time. Galatians 6:2 says, “Carry each others burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”
Want to contact me? Steve Corn Dv84JC@yahoo.com 979-415-4522 (cell)
I want to teach my students how to live this life on earth. To face it’s struggles & it’s strife & to improve their worth. Not just the lesson in a book or how the rivers flow, But how to choose the proper path wherever they may go. To understand eternal truth and know the right from wrong, And gather all the beauty of a flower and a song. For if I help the world to grow in wisdom and in grace, Then I shall feel that I have won & I have filled my place. . And so I ask your guidance, God, that I may do my part. For character and confidence and happiness of heart.
– James J. Metcalf
Integrity is the amount that your words, actions, and beliefs line up with one another.
As a teacher, I witness my students’ lack of integrity every day. When they misbehave, I follow our classroom procedures to reprimand them. They almost always say, “I’m sorry.” However, I’m not sure they really are. Often, their words don’t really line up with their subsequent actions. There’s an integrity problem.
I’ve heard that integrity is “being the same person all the time” – no matter who else you’re around or what situation you find yourself in. “It’s who you are when you’re alone.” These definitions are centered around “consistency” which is also what I was taught in my Leadership Studies @ the College of Biblical Studies:
Integrity is the amount that your words, actions, and beliefs line up with one another – it’s how consistent you are in each of these areas.
Integrity is the “white” section.
Where our words, actions, and beliefs all agree with one another.
Here’s what it looks like when someone has a lot of integrity:
The first type of integrity problem is that of the Liar:
People lie. Sometimes we can do the right things and believe the right things, but peer pressure (or some other pressure) causes us to lie in the moment. (I guess it also works the other way – We can believe the wrong things and do the wrong things, but lie to make ourselves look better.) When we lie, we compromise our integrity. Even the “little white lie” can be dangerous. Each time we lie (no matter how small), we make ourselves more comfortable with lying. We must also remember that others are watching us. When the phone rings and a 3yr-old hears daddy say, “Tell them I’m not here,” he is learning something from his daddy.
The second type of integrity inconsistency is that of the Coward.
The coward says what he believes, but just won’t actually take any action. He’s too scared or too busy to follow through. I’ve certainly had this problem. I believe I should do a lot of things and even talk about doing them, but often get too scared to actually take the necessary steps to move forward. It easy to say that I’m just too busy, but ultimately, maybe it really is just simple fear that paralyzes us all.
The third type of integrity inconsistency is that of the Politician:
The politician will say (words) and do (actions) whatever it takes to get what he wants regardless of his own values or beliefs. He might have great beliefs, but they don’t have any deep roots. He is willing to compromise them at the smallest temptation. In general, he is simply out to fulfill his own desires regardless of anyone else. He is a dangerous person to be around.
The final type of integrity problem is the most inconsistent. You never know what you’re gonna get with these guys. They are often out of touch with reality and clueless about themselves. They have no integrity at all. (At least with the others, there are 2 of the three which line up. You might be able to predict something based on those two areas.) With the final type, there’s no predicting anything.
Notice that there is no integrity(white area) at all.
I hope my little exploration of integrity has been helpful. This information is all stuff I learned from my Biblical Leadership classes at the College of Biblical Studies.
I told the story tonight before we sent the kids to bed and Kasen wanted me to tell it again. When I explained that it was bedtime, he began telling the story again himself. I caught the second half of it on video here.