Geometry Honors and Answered Prayer

Even before school began, I knew that Claire’s first semester school schedule was a mess.  My stomach hurt every time I thought about the classes that she wasn’t assigned to.  So I prayed.  I prayed that when the guidance counselors got to school, they would make the necessary changes to her schedule and everything would work out perfectly.  Approximately half of the 1200 students at Cape Fear would like changes made to their schedule in some way, shape, or form.  Not everyone can get what they want. The odds of an unrequested change in class schedule happening out of the clear blue sky are slim to none, so I knew that this was only something my God could change.  We made the requisite trek to the school before the fall semester started and made our requests by filling out some paperwork.

Image Source:  www.nationalbetaclub.org

I wanted Claire to be challenged again this year like she was as a freshman last year.  She was a mediocre student in elementary and middle school, but last year, her academic exuberance exploded and she made the honor roll all year as a freshman, carrying a 99 average in Algebra I, a 100 average in World History Honors, and a 98 average in English.  She was chosen for a coveted spot on the yearbook staff.  As a result of her hard work, she was invited to join the Beta Club.

Image Source:  www.winpossible.com/lessons/geometry

On her original schedule, she had not been placed in the yearbook class.  Mrs. Basham, her advisor, took care of that, but she wasn’t placed in Geometry Honors.  She was so upset over this that I called the school, left messages, got a bit of a runaround, was connected to a guidance counselor that couldn’t even help me because she only handles junior students, and ever-so-politely told not to come to the guidance office unless I had an appointment.  After two days of this, I was left feeling generally ignored and a little discouraged.

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But God would not allow me to quit.  I initially said, “Okay God, if you want her in that Geometry Honors class, do Your thing.”  As I continued to pray, God nudged me and said, “You have a voice.  You have Me on your side.  YOU do YOUR thing.  I’ll back you up.”

Image Source:  www.iwannawatch.net

So, I asked a few hundred friends on Facebook to pray with me.  I called all my relatives and said, “I need you to pray that this move will come to pass.”  I even prayed through the night last night, waking up at least a dozen or more times to lift my daughter up in prayer.

Image Source:  www.facebook.com/pages/Cape-Fear-Class-of-1987-Class-Reunion

This morning, I finally was able to talk to Claire’s guidance counselor.  I shared with her that I’d spend almost two weeks praying about this.  I apologized for being a pest and assured her that I just couldn’t let it go because God wouldn’t let me go.  There was a moment of silence and then Mrs. McMahan said, “You know, looking at Claire’s transcript from last year, she should be enrolled in all honors courses.  I want to see that happen for her next year.”  And I agreed.  It was the same conversation that I had with Claire last night before she went to bed.  Since the Geometry Honors class meets during the same time as the class in which Claire was currently enrolled, she told me that if the teacher of the Honors course agreed, then they would make the lateral move.  My end of the bargain was that Claire would enroll in core Honors courses in her junior year.

Image Source:  www.i-heart-god.com

And by lunchtime today, my prayer miracle had occurred and Claire was indeed in Geometry Honors.

Come, let’s worship him and bow down.  Let’s kneel before the Lord who made us, because He is our God  and we are the people He takes care of, the sheep that He tends.   Psalm 95:6-7 (NCV)

If God has wanted to work this out on His own, it would have happened without any need of my involvement.  Even though I was involved in this miracle, I know had no power in it.  God was “tending” Claire  and “taking care” of Claire.  I was just one of His instruments.

Image Source:  http://projectismylife.wordpress.com

My lesson for today was this:  for all things I did to help Claire to find a way into this class, God does a million and more things for me to help me find my way.  I would be lost without Him and shame on me when I forget that He is there!

Now, what kind of miracles has God been unfolding for you?

In a Single Quote: Max Lucado

To lead the orchestra, you must turn your back on the crowd.  (Max Lucado)

Image Source:  www.chumpysclipart.com

So what are YOUR plans for the weekend?

shr

HCIKFS: Your Name

The Lord wants to show his mercy to you.  He wants to rise and comfort you.  The Lord is a fair God, and everyone who waits for His help will be happy. Isaiah 30:18 (NCV)

Randy Phillips, Shawn Craig, and Dan Dean (of Phillips, Craig, and Dean) have this amazing feel for choosing a song.  Some of the most meaningful songs I’ve come to love have been their hits:  Mercy Came Running, Friend of God, Favorite Song of All, Revelation Song, Hallelujah (Your Love is Amazing), and a host of others.

Phillips, Craig, and Dean at the Dove Awards

Image Source:  www.wikipedia.com

You know what I like best about PDC?  While they record amazing hits, tour the country promoting the love of God, and win Dove Awards right and left, they each pastor their own churches in Texas.  They are devoted family men.  If anyone knows the true meaning of Isaiah 30:18, I feel like they do because it is evidenced in their actions.

“Your Name” is a PCD song that is speaks to me on many levels.  Mostly, it speaks to me of God’s mercy and how great our Creator is.  My favorite line is: “Nothing has the power to save, but Your name.”  When it all boils down to it, God’s saving grace is all we need.

YAHWEH

Image Source:  www.heartofwisdom.com

I’m ready for a little mercy and comfort today.  I am ready to wait for His help.  And as for being happy?  When I yield myself to the Lord’s will and His perfect time, I am always happy.  Do I always feel happy immediately?  No, because I am a stubborn human being who wants things my way and in my time.  In my fifty years, I have found that waiting on the Lord brings incomparable joy.

How about you?  Are you ready for some mercy, comfort, joy, and happiness?

Your Name” (Phillips, Craig, & Dean)

Prayer In School

Pray in the Spirit at all times with all kinds of prayers, asking for everything you need. To do this you must always be ready and never give up.  Always pray for all God‘s people.  Ephesians 6:18 (NCV)

I visited Kelly’s classroom yesterday.  Hundreds of memories about my days as a teacher flooded my mind and my eyes teared up.  As he showed me what he’s been working on, an enormous surge of pride filled my heart.  It is plain to see that God created Kelly to teach Public Safety, which is the prerequisite to the upper level Criminal Justice courses.  He has a vast knowledge and expertise that will make this course a success.

Image Source:  www.123rf.com

I told Kelly that many people can instruct, but teachers are molded by God.  I have no doubt that he will change lives at Southview High School.  Those now-empty desks will be occupied by students of all economic and social statuses on August 27, 2012.  He will be mentoring Christians and non-Christians.  Some will be rule-followers while others will be rule-breakers. There will be serious students and students who are occupying a seat because it’s the law.  There will be many needs that Kelly has to meet this school year.  It is a great responsibility to be a Christian educator in a public school system.

Image Source:  www.123rf.com

As I perused Kelly’s classroom, I prayed.  I walked (or “crutched” as it were) between the rows and touched the desks.  I prayed for the students that would sit in each desk.  (Kelly has a full course load of ninety students — thirty students per period.)  I prayed over the furniture, textbooks, and computers.  I prayed over the chalkboard and Smartboard (a wonderful technological tool that allows classroom discussions and activities to be conducted a little like “Family Feud“).  I prayed in the hallways and parking lot.  I prayed for the faculty and staff and for the student body as a whole.

Image Source:  www.rwlj.5u.com

There are parents across the United States who meet before the school session begins each year who do the same thing I did.  I believe that God hears those prayers with special consideration.  I love Isaiah 30:18 for its encouraging message.  Carefully note the phrases “pray in the Spirit” and “you must always be ready and never give up” and “all God’s people,” for these are great instructions for parents, teachers, and school personnel in every department and on every level.  Don’t tell me you can’t pray in school.

Image Source:  www.groffandassociates.com

Have you ever done something like this, either as part of an organization or group or as an individual?  Are you a teacher who prays over your classroom?  Share your experiences with me and I’ll add you to my prayer list.

shr

HCIKFS: Get Back Up Again

Source Image:  www.wallpaperstock.net

Both of my sons are going through a rough patch in their lives right now, and there is nothing I can about it.  At first, I wanted to step in and help them fight their particular battles but that is neither good for them or me.  It’s taken all the strength I have through God to withstand this motherly urge.  But God has shown me that for me to do nothing at this moment is the right thing to do. So, I’m kneeling on the side of the battlefield in prayer.  And I’ll stay here until the battle is over.

Image Source:  www.battleforpurity.com

They are both adults.  They both have made some less than stellar decisions that make their current situations difficult.  I fully expect them to come through these times with a few battle scars.  And I also expect that they will reach the pinnacles of their pain with the realization that only God has their answers.  It’s how my husband and I raised them.

Image Source:  www.liveinvictory.org

But right now, they believe there is still something in their own power they can do to change things.  We all know that feeling — like anything we could ever do might have the power to change God’s will.  Both of them are praying for God to answer them.  I’m pretty sure they’ve been getting some answers from Him.  The truth is, they don’t like the answers.  So they continue to pray for what they want rather than God’s will.

Image Source:  www.transitionslifecoaching.com

I recognize myself in their situations:  in the need to “talk God into” my way and the desperation of unhappiness that comes from walking far away from God.

Image Source:  www.raptureintheairnow.com

So, I have spent much of this day praying that they will see beyond “the moment” and that they may be knocked down, but they can get back up again and fight their battles with the Lord’s almighty strength.

I was in the mood for a little uplifting and truth.  No song can do that better than this one:

Get Back Up Again”  (Tobymac)

shr

Friday Five: Tickling Your Funny Bone

Dear Friends:  As we start our weekend, I want to share with you some amusing items I ran across on the Internet this week.  I hope they bring a little smile to your face and you can find some of God’s truth in the humor.

Image Source:  www.onlinebibleworld.com

Image Source:  www.religiousforums.com

Image Source:  www.purechristiangraphicdesign.com

Image Source:  http://glasbergen.com

Image Source:  www.reborndolls.com.au

Now, as the hillbillies say, “Git yer hide ta Sunday meetin’!”  I’ll meet you here on Monday!

shr

HCIKFS: Before the Rocks Cry Out/Let’s Just Praise the Lord

A Note for My Friends and Followers:  I have been writing this blog now for eight months.  Those of you who follow regularly can probably guess what HCIKFS means, but for those who are new, it stands for “How Can I Keep from Singing?”  When I write about my favorite music from now on, I’ll be using HCIKFS to help keep my titles shorter.  As always, thanks for stopping by!

*****   

Have you ever had a piece of news that was so good you thought you’d burst if you didn’t tell someone and tell them quickly?  Me, too.

Image Source:  www.really-learn-english.com

Don’t you think it would be fantastic if Christians treated the Good News of the gospel of Jesus Christ in such an exhilarating manner?  Me, too.

Would you consider it a miracle if we could almost have spontaneous combustion if we didn’t get the Victory Message of the Cross out of our mouths and to the attention of other people?  Me, too.

Don’t you want to be that kind of Christian?  Me, too.

Image Source: http://beyondborders.wordpress.com

Side Note:  I am a Christian first, but I am a patriot second.  I love our country, even when we are going through tough economic times like now.  I love our country even when we have leaders who aren’t equipped for the jobs they occupy.  Given all the problems that our country is going through, I would rather live in the United States of America than anywhere else in the world.  I watched the news last night and at one of the Occupy rallies in California, there were protesters yelling, “I hate living in this country” and “America is the toilet bowl of the world.”  My advice to those who speak badly of our country is to move to another part of the world and live there awhile.  Absence would make the heart grow fonder and, if they were lucky, wiser. (If you have opinions different from mine, you may respectfully share them.  That’s one of the great things about the USA — you have a right to express your beliefs and opinions if you disagree.  Okay, I’m getting down from my soapbox now.)

Image Source:  http://writemywordsinmythoughts.wordpress.com

When I was in the Cape Fear High School Chorale (led by the lovely and talented Jo Anne Yates Swartz) we did a musical entitled “Sweet Liberty” at the end of my junior year in high school (1979).  This was my first foray into praise and worship music that wasn’t from a hymnal.  I love all God’s music.  I love hymns.  These are the songs that my mother and grandfather taught me. They are the songs that first made me realize that I loved Jesus and needed Him to live in my heart.

Jo Anne Yates Swartz

Jo Anne Yates Swartz

Image Source:  www.facebook.com/joanneyatesswartz

But I have to tell you that the songs from “Sweet Liberty” awoke a new kind of “worship animal” in me.   This entire musical is a rousing patriotic tribute to God and country, full of praise and worship songs that will touch you in ways that you will never forget.  “Before the Rocks Cry Out” is one of my two favorite songs from this musical.   The other is “Let’s Just Praise the Lord.”  (Click here to listen to a version of that song from the Gaither Homecoming DVD series.)

Image Source:  www.worship.co.za

The version of “Before the Rocks Cry Out” in the video I found on YouTube was released in 1977.  It’s a rousing gospel rendition that will make you want to get up, clap your hands, raise your arms to heaven, and stomp your feet.  To get the full effect, turn up the volume on your computer.  Expect to shout “Praise the Lord” and “Hallelujah” quite a bit.

Some Pharisees from the crowd told him, “Teacher, get your disciples under control!”  But he said, “If they kept quiet, the stones would do it for them, shouting praise.”  Luke 19:39-40 (The Message)

Image Source:  www.lakcountryhop.com

I don’t want to have to stand in front of my Savior in Heaven and explain why the stones and rocks on the earth He created had to praise His name when it was my job.  I want someone to tell me to get myself under control because I just can’t stop praising my God.  I want to fall in love with Jesus over and over and over again.  I want to have butterflies in my stomach and break out into a cold sweat because the thought of my Savior erupts waves of desire in my soul.  I know I’m not there yet, but I want to be.  I want to be that kind of Christian.

Image Source:  www.worshippingchristian.org

 Praise the Lord, the God of Israel.   He always was and always will be. All the people said “Amen” and praised the Lord.  1 Chronicles 16:36 (NCV) 

Feel free to join me in praise to the Father and share how praising His name makes you feel!

shr

Before the Rocks Cry Out”  (Sara Jordan Powell)

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