A Teacher’s Impact

#Jesus, #inspiration, grace, teacherThe radio announcer posed an interesting question. He asked if there was anything we learned from a teacher that still had an impact on us today.

Although it’s been many years since I was in school, it wasn’t difficult for me to think of something.

In high school, I was fortunate to have the same English teacher two years in a row. He was widely respected as being firm but fair. At the beginning of my second year with him, I turned in an essay that received a much higher mark than I expected. At the end of the class I was called aside and told this essay didn’t deserve the grade I’d received but he knew I was capable of high-quality work so had marked this one with my potential in mind. I was given grace I didn’t deserve.

This teacher’s faith in my ability gave me the confidence to believe in myself. I worked hard to affirm his decision and reach the high standard he envisioned.

Since that time I have had many teachers or mentors in my life. Some have taught me work-related skills while others have taught me compassion and resilience. All have helped to shape me into the person I am today.

Jesus is the greatest teacher of all. He taught not only with words but with example. The lessons he taught over two thousand years ago are still impacting people today. The model given through his life inspires all of us to be better people. He gave us grace we didn’t deserve and I, for one, want to live up to the potential he entrusted me with.

I am convinced that God, who began this good work in you, will carry it through to completion on the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6 GWT)

Rescued

Jesus, God, inspiration, compassionOn the outside of the patio door stood a cat that seemed to be pleading to be taken in and loved. It was mid-January and extremely cold in Northern Alberta. A young family was visiting aging relatives when they saw this pathetic creature.

It was obviously malnourished and the long hair was dirty and matted. The older couple said the cat had adopted them and they put bits of food out for it when they could. There was no intention of making this animal a member of their household. In the ice and snow they weren’t even able to go outside to show it any attention.

The young son of the family was enthralled with the cat and finding it to be gentle, spent much time bundled up and sitting on the deck holding it in his lap.

His dad knew the cat wouldn’t survive if left like this. Compassion took over and the decision was made to rescue it and take it home with them. The children were thrilled.

With proper nutrition and a loving home the cat has flourished. I wonder if it realized that the decision to adopt it was life-saving.

When I learned about this situation I thought of the rescue mission Jesus performed on my life. I was lost and seeking the love and acceptance that only he could give. Jesus adopted me into the family of God and gave me the spiritual nourishment I needed.

This has allowed me to thrive rather than just survive. He rescued me in this life and ensured that I will be with him forever more. I will be eternally grateful that Jesus brought me into his loving care.

And they speak of how you are looking forward to the coming of God’s Son from heaven—Jesus, whom God raised from the dead. He is the one who has rescued us from the terrors of the coming judgment. (1 Thessalonians 1:10 NLT)

God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. (Ephesians 1:5 NLT)

How Do We Teach Compassion?

inspiration, Operation Christmas ChildMy husband and I took three of our grandchildren on a special shopping trip. It was explained to them that we would be picking out items to put in shoe-boxes for Operation Christmas Child. After dinner we would go to our church and join with others to pack the boxes.

The question of, “Do we get one too?” was something we expected to hear from six-year-olds. This is where the teaching began. My husband sat patiently and explained that these packages would be going to children in who lived in poverty and didn’t have all of the things we had.

Later we arrived at the church and placed our items in the assigned places. There were spots for school supplies, toys, clothing, personal hygiene items and more.

At the starting time each of the girls took a box and we guided them through the lines to choose what to add to theirs. Then we went to a finishing table where the boxes were labeled for boy or girl and the appropriate age group. As we waited in line for the label I bent down and told my granddaughter that this box would be the only gift a little girl received and she had been the one to fill it. She beamed and couldn’t wait to pick up another empty box to fill.

We had only expected them to fill one box each. Instead they continued putting together gifts for children who needed them. The seeds of compassion had been sown.

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. (Proverbs 22:6 NIV)

Election Issues

God, inspiration, heaven, compassionAlberta, the province I live in, has just gone through a Provincial election. On voting day I worked in a polling station. Most people were in good spirits during the day and I enjoyed the atmosphere. There were a few issues, though.

Many people who arrived to vote had not been previously registered. Perhaps they had just reached the legal age for voting. In some cases, people had recently moved so were not listed for their current area. In order to register new voters we needed identification with their current address on it. Many people had not brought identification with them. They were either upset or disappointed that they were not able to register and vote unless they returned with the needed information.

I came home feeling grateful that there are no elections in the kingdom of heaven. God doesn’t require us to provide documents to prove that we reside with him. There is no need to line up and vote to choose a leader. My leader remains constant, never changing. I have complete confidence that God has compassion for each of us and will take care of our needs.

The Lord is good to everyone and has compassion for everything that he has made. (Psalm 145:9 GWT)

“I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel. “For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end.” (Daniel 6:26 NIV)

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8 NIV)