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Having Done in Room 1501 (Week 14) Rat Race…

This week in Room 1501 and the rest of “my world”…I’m convinced I had the busiest week of my life.

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  Below is a list of things that took place in a short 5 day period.

Obviously I had 6 Bible classes of school each day with Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors…7:15AM to 3:15PM.

The Mission Organization I founded and lead called “Return Hope International,” began drilling 3 fresh water wells in Africa.  Uganda Africa is 10 hours ahead of Arizona Time, so you can imagine the crazy times I was corresponding to move on with the details of it all.

My two High School Football boys started their year end football state playoffs. We won our first round and are moving on!

I’m the Assistant Coach of the Joy Christian High Varsity Basketball Team.  Practice began Monday and was everyday from 7-9PM.

I prepared and led our All  Staff Devotion at 7AM on Wednesday Morning, then Joy High’s state playoff girls volleyball team devotions on Thursday at 3pm.(They made it to the 3rd round of state before their season ended…that’s pretty incredible.)  And…I led the football team in a quick devotion on Friday at 2:45pm before their game. (It is such an honor to do Bible Devotions anywhere anytime. I’m humbled by the opps)

I had a Wedding to officiate this week, which meant a Rehearsal on Wednesday Night and then the actual Wedding on Friday night.  I was able to get done with the Wedding just in time to get to Joy’s 1st round of State Playoff Football game by 7PM!  Did I say we WON?!

I’m Grateful.  But full! (I’m probably no busier than the rest of you reading this.)

The past two days…I’ve been trying to do NOTHING!

If your life is as crazy as mine…then maybe the 10 things I had to be aware of this past week, might help you too.  

1.  When you know what you are about to do is going to have great results, then Don’t wait for approval, or permission…go for it.  Deliver! Worst case scenario…if it doesn’t go well…then ask forgiveness and move on.  At least an attempt took place.  Usually when you are waiting for approval…the opportunity to react/respond/act or move, expires…and you miss the opportunity to act all together.

2.  It’s okay to commit mistakes. When things are moving so fast and hectic, there isn’t always a lot of time to stop and think.  Sometimes the temptation is to jump out of the race and stop moving and doing.  But I say, Don’t quit. Get it done.  Go for it!  

3.  Run…Run some more.  Fast…steady…focus on the good work that needs to be done.  Focus on the most important.  You are going to have to prioritize when you have a crazy busy schedule.  Prioritize the most important stuff first…not the urgent.  Many times you’ll end up chasing all the urgent and then suck at the important stuff that needed to be done well.  There is nothing worse than being really good at stuff that doesn’t matter…I fear some live their entire lives doing what I typed in that previous sentence.

4.  If something must be done…Then doing it even a little mediocre is better than not doing it at all.  (Sometimes you just have to live by the “GOOD-ENOUGH” principle.  (Ignore this point if you are building bridges, doing surgery on me, or dismantling a bomb.) CAN YOU THINK OF SOME OTHER THINGS WE CANNOT DO IN A MEDIOCRE MANNER?  Share them with me on my Facebook page where I posted this…or in the comments section of this blog post…it’ll be fun.

5.  If something does go wrong…Own it!  Accept responsibility.  I’m determined in my knowledge of the fact that ANY BOSS hates to fire people.  They just want somebody to accept responsibility, correct the problem, and keep the mission/vision/goal/idea/dream… moving forward.  If bosses hate to fire people, then take advantage of it, by being a risk taker for good.  If you succeed…thank the people who may have contributed to the success.  Give them the credit and trust God to take care of the credit you think you deserve.  Accept Responsibility when things go bad, give credit to others when things go good!                                                

6.  The people in your circle of influence…especially in teaching world, because that circle is youth…will take the inch you give them + an extra foot.  i.e.  If you allow students to enter the classroom one minute late for a week.  They will enter 2 minutes late next week.  3 the next.  If you allow students to sit on the floor while teaching, thinking it will help them pay attention because it’s different…they won’t pay attention even more.  (Veteran teachers are thinking I’m such a ROOKIE right now…It’s because I am!!) Not everybody in your circle of influence has your best interest in mind.  If you leave your classroom unlocked AND leave your Ray-Ban sunglasses laying around…they will get stolen.  Yes…even in a Christian School.  It’s okay…God’ll pay em back later! 🙂  (Just kidding…but not really!)

7.  Winning is everything.  Who are we kidding if we think otherwise.  What’s more important, though, is knowing what a WIN is.

8.  The only way your party/team/wedding/organization/school/church/business/game/etc…can truly move forward and win is by having EVERYBODY on the “team”, supporting each other’s decisions and keeping that united forward movement.  Even one, that is not fully united, can keep any forward potential stuck in the mud.  The previous can only happen with exceptional communication, frankness, and keeping the mission more important than your personal preferences.

9.  It’s very difficult to be friends with the people you lead.  It is possible…but extremely difficult.

10.  The cross of Jesus and the Empty Tomb of Jesus are the only things in this physical life that won’t let you down or fail you…BUT…don’t rely on them.  Rely on the ONE who conquered them both!  He is the real deal.  Only the things we do for Him will last. You better be quick…He moves fast.  If you try to follow Him you will run a rat race, all your life.  You will have to understand what a true win is.  You will have to sacrifice.  You will have to put your personal preferences to death.  It will be the greatest race you’ve ever run.  I pray the following two verses will inspire you to run on…

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing”.   –2 Timothy 4:7-8

24 “Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!25 All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 26 So I run with purpose in every step.”  — 1 Corinthians 4:7-8

It’s a rat race like none other and you get to run in it.  Me too!

On your marks!

Get Set!

Go…into all the World!


Having Done in Room 1501 (Wk 13) Fuel to finish strong?

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13 weeks ago, I sat in a classroom at Grand Canyon University with all the teachers and administration from Joy Christian School to be trained and prepared for the coming school year.  13 weeks!  Crazy how fast that time has gone by.

In the training from 13 weeks ago, I remember Joy’s Executive director challenging us to keep our eyes on Jesus and to be really bad at looking back.  Great advice.

We are now approaching the halfway mark of the school year.  We only have 6 full weeks of school before Christmas Break.

I’m new at Joy Christian this year.  Rumor has it that Joy School has had some drama in the past…what org hasn’t and doesn’t?  LOL!  I haven’t seen any of that drama this year.  Forward movement is a wonderful thing.  We all have problems and obstacles that will try to throw us off course.

This week-13 in Room 1501, I have had to lead students who are dealing with education fatigue.  I have heard a lot of talk about being worn out, and ready for a break.  These are obstacles and distractions, that if not confronted, can grow into full blown drama.  I don’t know who said it, but the following phrase is true.  “Tough times never last, tough people do!”

NO ONE LIKES DRAMA….don’t let drama get you all nasty!  Toughen up and last!

So…Christmas is almost here.  That means 2015 is right around the corner.

What is distracting you?

What are some obstacles/problems/people that you want to control and change?

I’ll bet these things are causing you great frustration.  The problem is…the only way you can change them…is if they are about you.

Everything else…Is God’s job to change.

Get your eyes back on your job and your purpose.  Leave everything else to God.  Get rest.  Drink more water.  Eat a little better. Read God’s word.  Choose to find the good and praise it.

When you want to critique…instead…find something positive to say.  Find it!

What is your alternative?  Crankiness? Grouchiness? Fruitlessness?  Complaining to others?  Those things suck.  When you get caught up in them, it causes you to suck too!

You don’t want any of that.  Others don’t want you like that either.

This past week in Room 1501 I am just trying to do my job to inspire the students to love the Lord, learn the Bible and be drawn closer to their creator.  I want to lead by example of how great Joy School is and how bright its future is.  When I keep my eyes on that…Life is good.

Everything else is someone else’s job…mostly God’s.

I just want to lead by example.  You do to.  If you are a teacher.  The semester is almost over.  Finish Strong.  If you aren’t a teacher…Christmas is coming…Year End too.  Finish Strong!   By the way…we’re all teachers…whether vocational or not!

In the process…I’m leading Return Hope International and striving to make a strong spiritual and economical impact in Uganda Africa.  I could say everything above fits exactly for it too.  So this is proof to me that whether I’m in Room 1501 for Joy School or in my office at home administratively leading Return Hope International…its all the same.

We are facing year end….which means new beginnings are coming!

I leave you with 1 Corinthians 10:13,

13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.”

You got this!  Finish strong.

🙂

Trent

 



Having Done in Room 1501 (Wk 11) Parent/Teacher Conference…

Just finished Week 11 in Room…

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This week was one of those weeks that forced me to practice patience and be reminded that High School is a lot more than the classroom and academia.  This week was PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCE week.  It also was a NO SCHOOL Monday with Columbus day, so we only had 2 full days of school this week.  Thursday and Friday were 1/2 days because of Parent Teacher Conferences.

This week was the first time I have ever been on the teacher side of Parent/Teacher conferences.  I didn’t know what to expect.  When I used to attend Parent Teacher conferences from the parent side of the meeting…I always felt like it was time for the teacher to think that I was a bad parent because my kids weren’t doing as good as they could be.  I was always nervous going in, as a parent, on parent/teacher conferences.  I was always a bit insecure about what kind of parent the teacher thought I might be.

I think those past experiences helped me to help the parents who walked into Room 1501…relax.  I love their students and I was excited to tell them how good they are doing and how proud I am of their kid(s).

I could tell that some of the parents coming in were nervous.  I could see it in their eyes and body language.  It was obvious to me how much the parents loved their children.  It was fun to watch the parent’s nerves calm down when I began to mention their student by name, express gratefulness that their student was in my class, share details of their talents and strengths, and tell them that I felt they had a great kid.  Some parents teared up a little.

My experience from the Teacher side of Parent/Teacher Conferences taught me that every parent thinks and wishes they could do a better job of parenting.  I learned that every parent gets nervous, when confronted with what others think about their child, and how it might reflect on them as a parent and person.  I learned that every parent has a bit of panic, mixed with hope, that every teacher is helping shape their child to be successful in the world.  It was obvious to me that most parents recognize that they cannot raise their child(ren) on their own.

Every day, every parent releases their child out into the “wild” and out of the control of their loving arms.  I can really see it in the moms of the world.  I’m convinced nearly every mom…even when deeply frustrated with their students of Room 1501…wonders if they will see their child again at the end of the day.  What if the car crashes?  What if there is a shooter at the school?  What if there is a tragic accident on the sports field?  What if?  What if?  Seems to be a lot of worry in our world.  I guess it begs to ask the question as to if worry is sinful.

I heard a preacher recently talk about how worry is sinful and evil.  I was frustrated at the lack of Biblical truth behind that teaching. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that worry is evil.  It may say that worry is useless, but it is not evil.  I do not think that worry is a sin…I think worry is useless and a waste of time.  I challenge any “disagree-ers”…to show me the Bible verses that say Worry is evil or sinful. Some might argue that worry is a lack of trust in God.  I”m not sure you can prove that by using the Bible.   Worry could be an intense love for the things you care deeply about.  Worry might be because you recognize that God asked you to steward some things of His and you want to do an excellent job.   The only way I will agree that worry could be a sin is if the worry consumes us, controls us and causes us to behave sinfully.  However, I do not think that worry in and of itself is a sin.  The Bible is loaded with a lot of “little” things that it calls sin…worry is not one of them.

(At the end of this blog…if you’d like to do a Bible Study on Worry, I will include some Bible verses for you to do so.)

I would venture to say that Jesus worried.  I think it is a fair guess to say that Jesus, in the Garden of Gethsemane, had such anxiety, stress, and pressure, that blood came to the surface of skin.  This condition is called Hematidrosis. (read about it in wikipedia here). Jesus begged the Father, three times, to let Him out of the crucifixion.  I think Jesus was worried at that moment…without sinning.  I don’t want to get off subject too much, but the reality is…worry is useless…but I do not think it is evil or sin…in and of itself.   In fact…agreeing with that might cause you to worry less. 🙂

When I met the parents of the some of the students of Room 1501…and noticed a little worry on their faces…I know for a fact that I was privileged to be able to help them relax and worry a little less about their students.  Their worry/concern helped me to realize something about being a teacher…

I think the greatest thing I learned by being on the Teacher side of Parent/Teacher Conferences was…as the Bible Teacher in Room 1501, I get to spend more time with these parent’s kids than they as the parents get to.  I have lunch with them everyday, I have them in class in a Question and Answer format…everyday.  I see them walking through the corridors and hanging out with their friends…everyday.   I see them laugh, fight, love, work, play and relax, every day…Monday through Friday…everyday…did I say every day?

So…as a first year teacher experiencing my first Parent/Teacher Conference…I will never take teachers for granted again.  (I recognize I have said that phrase a lot since becoming a teacher)…

Teachers do not just educate our personal children, they are one of the most critical contributors of turning our boys and girls into Men and Women.  Can you think of another person or organization that gets to spend that much time with our kids?  The Church on the corner doesn’t get that much time.  Our kid’s friends down the street don’t get that much time.  Television doesn’t get that much time. Teacher’s do.  Where your kids goes to school might be one of the most developmentally important decisions we as parents make in our children’s lives.  Hmmmm.

I learned a lot this week from my experience in Room 1501.

End of Blog________________________________

Beginning of Worry Bible Study…if interested…

  • Matthew 6:25-34

    “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life ?  “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?  So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
  • Luke 12:24-34

    Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life ?  Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?  “Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!  And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it.  For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.  But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.  “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.  Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
  • Matthew 11:28-30

    “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
  • John 14:27

    Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
  • Colossians 3:15

    Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
  • 2 Thessalonians 3:16

    Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.
  • Psalm 55:22

    Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.
  • Proverbs 12:25

    An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.
  • Philippians 4:6-7

    Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
  • 1 Peter 5:6-8

    Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.  Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
  • Psalm 23:4

    Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
  • Hebrews 13:5-6

    Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”  So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
  • Psalm 56:3

    When I am afraid, I will trust in you.
  • 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.
  • Romans 8:38

    For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,

 


Having Done in Room 1501 (Wk 10) No Looking Back!

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I can’t believe I just completed week 10 at Joy Christian High School as a first year professional teacher.  I love Room 1501 and even more the students that darken its door everyday.  I am still “taking notes”, and “the jury is still out” in regards to me speaking about the differences between being a Bible Teacher in a teaching profession, and being a Senior Pastor of a large and growing Church.  Having now done both…I’m having fun comparing the two.  One little thing I’m noticing, which I will blog about in the future…is that whether I am teaching in a classroom setting, leading my mission org called Return Hope International, or being a Senior Pastor of a Church on some street corner….they are all the Church.

I believe our Christian culture has done a huge disservice to the work of the Lord

by compartmentalizing Jesus’s bride.  

What do I mean?  We have mission orgs, Christian schools, other Jesus centered industries, but for some reason we only call the building on the street corner The Church.  I don’t want to get off track as to what this blog post’s purpose is, but the day is coming soon where I will blog about this huge disservice.  The Church is way bigger than what we have dismantled it to be by compartmentalizing it the way we have.  Sadly, we as the Church are the ones who have done the compartmentalizing.  We must change this.  (Another blog, another time.)

So on this week 10...I only want to blog about one day of it…and it was actually something that did NOT happen in Room 1501, but in the Library of Joy Christian School at 7am on Wednesday.

Wednesdays at JCS are not only chapel days for our whole school, but they are also Staff Devotion day for the JCS Staff.  I have been asked to lead these devotions and I consider it a huge honor.  I am very grateful for the trust and acceptance that the Joy Administration and the Joy Teaching Staff have entrusted to me.  I will never take it for granted and I always look forward to Wednesdays.

Week 10’s devotion was only a half devotion due to the fact that Scott Brown, JCS’s Executive Direction, asked if he could have 15 minutes to speak to the whole staff.  I think Christ-like character is displayed when the boss asks instead of tells.  When Scott asked to have the 15 minutes, he could have just told me, but he asked.  I love to follow this kind of leader.  If you are reading this blog, I ask you to lift the Administrative Staff up in prayer as they make tough decisions to lead Joy into the future.  It is not an easy task and they need our prayer and support.

Today’s blog is not focused on what I said on Wednesday at the devo, but what Scott Brown said in his 15 minutes immediately after the devotion.

Before I blog about his 15 minutes, I think it is apropos to first take a look at some phrases I wrote down at All Staff Training Day back on June 30, 2014, before JCS school officially started.  So…back on that June 30th training day…

Scott said,“It’s time to change the conversation.”  

He also said, “Be terrible at looking backwards.”

So, this past Wednesday was a refresher, on those two phrases and others, that we as Joy Christian School staff all agreed on when we signed up to accept the teaching and administrative positions we were offered.

Scott, taking the time to remind us of our commitment to keep Joy moving forward with positive change and growing academics at JCS, is the mark of a strong leader prodding our team to stay in alignment.  He challenged us to focus on the positive, to think about the things that are admirable and to work extra hard to keep focused on what the main mission is at Joy Christian School… “Building Christian Leaders.”  He talked about how we will fail in attempting to accomplish that mission if each one of us do not keep our eyes on Jesus, and check our actions to make sure they are matching Jesus’s.  I know all of the JCS leadership and teaching team agree that we want Joy to move forward with great success in its mission.  I think it is headed in that great direction and it will take many other challenges from our leader and each other to keep the focus on that forward movement.

What was amazing to me about this past Wednesday’s devotion, which was split up into two 15 minute segments, is that the theme was the same and Scott Brown and I didn’t plan it that way.  It’s amazing to me how God knits things together.  Before Scott stepped up to re-challenge us all, I read the passage in Scripture that Paul wrote in Philippians 4:4-8.

“4 Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

I hope that passage impacts you as much as it does me.  I like to say, “You and I will find what we are looking for.”  What does that mean? It means that if you want to find negative about JCS, you can go looking for it and I know you will find it.  The same can be said for your part in your marriage, your work, your attitude, your life.  If I want to find negative about any one or all of those in your life…if I look and start asking around….I will find it.  It is a fact that you and I will find what we are looking for.

So…let’s look for the positive…I know we will find it too!

If you totally focused on the Scripture passage above throughout the rest of this week…I’ll bet you find yourself having a great week.  In fact, I don’t think you’ll find a great week.  I don’t think great weeks are found…they are made.

So, as a very dear friend to me often says…

“MAKE IT A GREAT WEEK!”  

Great days/weeks are made, not found.  And I think it’s all about attitude and focus on the good that is happening all around us.  I pray that your week is a great one and that you will make great decisions that lead to more Christ-like unity and impact.  I’m trying to do my part and I’m always looking for others who are contributing to the great as well.