For the word of God is alive and active…Hebrews 4:12
It’s pretty accurate to predict eye rolls and some quiet groans when I happily announce a writing assignment to the middle lovelies. Recently I was met with exactly that as I explained to the Young Disciple group that they would be writing a little something for me about the mark they will leave behind at St. Mary School. The assignment was to look back on their year in the group and evaluate what kind of legacy their words, actions and attitudes would leave behind. I wanted them to honestly look at their experience as a disciple in the school and write something for me. Then the assignment took and unexpected twist when I handed out 2” by2” inch cards for the assignment. The final instruction was that their writing could be done using only one word. Some were thrilled and I heard one lovely say, “For real, we only have to write one word for the assignment; that’s awesome!” I assured him that he was correct but instructed him to choose the word wisely. As they sat to think, the task proved to be a little trickier than they thought.
As I was reading through their cards I was both surprised and impressed. Their answers were very honest. I got lots of great answers like kindness, faithfulness, honesty, patience and funny. To be honest those were the words I was expecting but then I came to some that caught me by surprise. One said “Again” and another said “Disappointing” and the third that caught my attention was the one that said, “Un-noticeable”. There was some great discussion with some of these beautiful young disciples. The ones that provided those last three answers all admitted they wish they had tried harder and been more consistent. They reported having done some great things for others but they didn’t do all they could have and they didn’t do all Jesus had called them to do. I was so inspired and impressed with their honesty.
When we meet the last time in early June, I will remind them that we can’t wait to be disciples. The world and our Heavenly Father need us to start now. We can’t wait until we get ourselves in perfect order, or until our schedule lightens up or until we’ve rested up a bit. It’s time now, the world needs people with a passion to love and serve the Lord today and if we don’t get started, we aren’t going to be able to leave much of a mark in his honor. So, go ahead…pick just one word to describe the impact of your discipleship.
A Seed To Plant: Prayerfully think back over the past year and write down just one word to describe your discipleship at home, school and in your community. Do you need a new word? If you do, take it to prayer and pick a new word to motivate you.
Blessings on your day!
I do believe Lord, help my unbelief. Mark 9:24
Last Friday was the 6th graders last all school Adoration. They wanted to lead Friday Adoration prayers and leave a powerful message with the 220 younger students at St. Mary School. The event was a cross between the early scenes of the movie Do You Believe and a flash mob. It was powerful to say the least. After encouraging everyone to think about what they believe, they offered six challenges for living like you believe. These six ideas were a combination of their thoughts and plans. They are an amazing group of middle lovelies and I thought their work offered a strong challenge to us all. So…compliments of a wonderful group of 6th graders, here’s your Monday message.
Number 1: Pray more…not just at school, not just at church and not just before you eat. Make time each and every day to sit still and talk with Jesus. Tell him how much you love him and need him and ask him to show you what he’d like you to do for him. Pray for people you are angry at and people who have hurt you. Pray for forgiveness and kindness.
Number two…Don’t be selfish. Give other people your time if they need help or if they are sad and need someone to cheer them up. Be generous with your toys and stuff. We have way more stuff than we need and there are so many people who don’t have enough so we should share.
Number three, show Mercy. That means be kind to everyone, even if they aren’t kind to you. Jesus didn’t pick on people and he didn’t ignore people or embarrass them. If you believe in what he did for you, show his mercy.
Number four…Don’t be afraid to make sacrifices. We can be pretty spoiled and take things for granted. Believers are willing to put others first. They let others line up in front of them, they are humble and not afraid to give others credit for things. They think of other people before they think of themselves.
Number five…Be brave! Have confidence that God can do anything he wants to with your gifts and talents. Don’t be afraid to live like you believe. Be brave enough to pray in a restaurant before you eat, be brave enough to wear a crucifix or scapular. Don’t be afraid to tell people about Jesus and be brave enough to act like you believe.
Number six…look for Jesus! We are all created in the image and likeness of God so he is in each of us. Every time you invite someone to join you, you are inviting Jesus. Every time you say something nice instead of something rude or mean, you speak kindly to Jesus. Believers find a way to love everyone…not just the people it’s easy to like. Believers do the hard stuff and they remember to ask Jesus to help them when it’s hard to do the right thing. He will always be there to help.
If we try really hard to do those six things then Jesus will know we believe and we will share his love and the power of his cross with others so they can come to believe too.
I think there is power in their words for believers of any age so I hope you’ll put their words to use and be more conscientious of not just believing, but living those beliefs for Jesus and others to see.
A Seed To Plant: Take a careful look at these six things and pick one to work on this week.
Blessings on your day!
…I came so that you may have life and have it more abundantly. John 10:10
It’s a big week at school! The middle lovelies have carefully turned and tended 30 pheasant eggs for the past three weeks and the hatch has finally begun. I’m amazed that watching a baby bird work for hours to escape from its tiny shell just never gets old! It’s incredible how 30 boisterous kids can stand quietly, mesmerized by a wobbling egg or a new hatchling. Hatching with big kids is a new experience and to be honest I wasn’t quite sure how they’d react. I’m happy to report that the enthusiasm, excitement and joy were equal to their little lovely counterparts!
As I type, it’s late Wednesday evening and I’m sitting at my school desk waiting to see if anyone else hatches and needs to be moved from the incubator to the brooder. It’s quiet and still and dark in the school and I’m pondering the day with a sense of wonder and awe. At one point today there were about 30 middle lovelies crowded around the incubator cheering on Pheasant number 2. They were kneeling, standing and climbed up on chairs to get a good look. There were more “oohs and aahas” than the 4th of July as he struggled for an hour to make his way free from the sticky shell. As I stood watching the kids I couldn’t help but think about our struggles here on earth and the cheerleaders we have in heaven.
As the kids awaited the little one, I realized Jesus is awaiting us with the same excitement and enthusiasm. As the kids would see a beak poke out they would cheer and then it would disappear back into the shell and they would sigh with disappointment. I assume that’s what Jesus does when we trust in him or avoid sin; he cheers and then we slip back into our old ways and he sighs. Thank goodness the kids didn’t give up hope until that chick had broken free from the hold that shell had on it; Jesus will never give up on us either! Sometimes the world gets overwhelming and we can feel alone and misunderstood in our struggles. Today’s cheering section at the incubator reminded me of the cheering section we have in the Communion of Saints. Father Joe Krupp once described walking into Spartan Stadium with the MSU Football team and being overwhelmed by the sight, sound and complete magnitude of the capacity crowd. He related that experience to a teeny tiny version of the Communion of Saints and their constant cheering, roaring and supporting encouragement of each earthly soul seeking heaven. Watching those kids cheer on the pheasant today reminded me of that story and of how lucky we are. The only job of the Communion of Saints, or heavenly souls is to help us get where they are. I guess today was a vivid reminder that we are never alone in our struggle and strife!
It’s been a good day. I didn’t get any papers graded like I needed to tonight and I didn’t follow the lesson plans I’d made but the day was filled with lessons far better than any I could pencil into a box in a book. I’ve told myself I need to go home even though there are several eggs working hard to enter the world. I guess God has one final reminder for me today as the incubator has become quiet and still like the halls of the school and it’s as if he’s telling me to go home, tomorrow is a new day, brimming with hope and life and surprises. That’s enough to make me sleep happy! I think my last thought as I melt into the covers tonight will be, “thank you Jesus for such sweet, simple joyful reminders of your love, support and presence in this world!”
A Seed To Plant: Just take a minute to thank God for life!
Blessings on your day!
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