New School Year!

New School Year!

The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: for gaining wisdom and instruction; for understanding words of insight; for receiving instruction in prudent behavior, doing what is right and just and fair; for giving prudence to those who are simple, knowledge and discretion to the young–let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance–for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:1-7 NIV

Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them. Do not forsake wisdom and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you. 4:5-8 NIV

Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many. I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble. Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life. Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way. For they cannot rest until they do evil; they are robbed of sleep till they make someone stumble. 4:10-16 NIV

Though there are those in the WH administration who do not think an education is important, those of us who know The Lord, know wisdom and knowledge go hand-in-hand and we should never take access to a quality education for granted.

So, on this first day of a new school year–I’m praying for the students who are entering schools all over the place. I know that some schools (not in Michigan) started weeks ago, but this is the first day for many of our public schools and having access to education through public schools is important.

Of course, Betsy DeVos will never understand that and neither will trump supporters since they think getting an education makes a person “an elitist,” and therefore they are happy to stay ignorant and trump is also happy for them to say ignorant; he can continue to dupe them into believing anything he says. I guess they don’t realize he has a Bachelor’s degree, but then again, the way he talks and writes, no one would believe that anyway.

I’m straying from what I need to say: to the students who are crossing that threshold of your school building–have a wonderful first day and a great exploration throughout the school year. Stay respectful and inclined to learning.

This is a particular emotional day for me since my grandson is beginning his last year of high school–at 15 years-old and will soon be driving (in a few days) on his own. Time flies and next year, he’ll begin his first day of college.

I pray that every student, in every school, will clear their minds of old lazy habits and prepare to receive wisdom and instruction from every teacher in every classroom; by the end of the school year, all will be more knowledgeable about every subject taken than when they were on the first day.

For those 17 years-old and older–pay attention in your history and government classes so you will vote wisely and consider country over political party agendas.

Have a safe and wonderful day!

circumstances

Misplaced Confidence Causes Chaos!

I called upon the LORD in distress: the LORD answered me, and set me in a large place. The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me? The LORD taketh my part with them that help me: therefore shall I see my desire upon them that hate me. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes. Psalm 118:5-9 KJV

Confidence–the belief in a person’s trustworthiness and reliability or in oneself. Integrity and honor displayed in people will usually garner confidence in them by others. But the real problem with having confidence in people is–people change–from one moment to the other and when they change–any confidence or trust we have placed in them, crumbles.

In this psalm, we see the writer asserting that they called upon the Lord when they were distressed and the Lord responded to them. We are at a time and season when we see just how fallible man is and why we cannot place our confidence in them.

In the political arena–we see candidates rise and fall at the whim of the feelings of the people who have bamboozled by all the glitz and media attention garnered by those who have demonstrated a lack of self-discipline–with all the trading insults, openly expressed bigotry, and blatant ignorance of their understanding of how government works.

In the legislative arena–in Michigan and probably elsewhere–politicians who have been elected to safeguard the people and protect the interests of all have ignored the needs of students in the Detroit School District and have blamed the teachers–who care more about the students than some of their parents–for all of the financial woes and dysfunctional administrative decisions made for them, not by them. 

In the schools–where those in authority are expected to act with professionalism and encourage confidence in their ability to lead–we have dysfunctional agents of chaos and greed. When people in authority show their true selves in how they handle conflict, how can we expect students to respect them, when they lie and steal from students?

When we see that we cannot trust those in positions of authority and watch the chaos that results from our misplaced confidence, the only person we can call upon to straighten out the mess is The Lord! We can count on Him to resolve issues without bias and to minister just judgment. This is not true of people who think they are worthy of respect but have not shown themselves to be respectful of others.

In our society today, it is difficult and almost impossible to teach kids to respect adults  when the adults become the problem. We see the results of our misplaced confidence in the media–teachers, coaches molesting children, principals absconding with funding intended for students, other adults abusing their positions of authority to manipulate kids into doing wrong things–who is it that we can trust with our kids?

I have concluded that we cannot place our confidence in the adults who are in our kids lives, so we must earnestly and vigorously train our children to act with integrity and to be mindful of those adults who will either steer them in the wrong direction or who will intentionally target them for various reasons. We cannot trust adults to always tell the truth when we catch them in a lie–for any reason! Our trust and confidence can only be placed in The Lord, who will never lead any astray.

We need to trust our kids to tell us the truth and they will when they know we are listening. We need to trust our relationship with God to lead us in all decisions, especially when it comes to electing political candidates. We need to stop thinking we know everything we need to know and trust in The Lord, only and hear Holy Spirit when He speaks!

 

Set Apart!

“Know that the LORD has set apart his faithful servant for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him.” (Psalm 4:3 NIV)

Believers–who are faithful to God–have been set apart to do His bidding in all manner of settings. Most think that it is the “church” who has been set apart and if we understand that the Body of Believers is “the church” then that would be true. However, many people confuse the Body of Believers with the “physical building” which can do nothing apart from those who work within.

But let’s beyond that. Every individual Believer has indeed been set apart by God to do a specific work and the work is different for everyone. Some have been set apart to be prophets, apostles, evangelists, pastors or teachers. Some have been set apart to be worshippers. Some are set apart to be praisers. Some are set apart to show compassion and consideration to all. Some are set apart to serve–in whatever capacity there is a need. And some–have been set apart–to learn and live before others–their faith, without doubting.

We’ve all been set apart to do something that promotes the Gospel of Jesus Christ. No position within the building is more important than another and the sooner, church leaders understand this, the sooner we’ll see growth in attendance–when people know–all are important and respected.

We are not set apart to lord who we are over others. We are set apart to be the key used to bring them into the kingdom of God, not our own personal kingdoms where we reign and not God.

What have you been set apart to do? The calling on my life to pastor and teach His Word is ever-present, no matter where I go. I preach and teach online, as well as pray and counsel, and live my faith daily. No, I’m not perfect, but I’m open to hearing Holy Spirit when He speaks. I acknowledge my faults (impatience, primarily) and strive to do better. As long as He is working on me to get things right, I know I am loved and valued by Him.

I am set apart–to bring others into the knowledge of the Most High God, His great love for us, demonstrated by the work on the cross, and the hope we have in Him for all eternity.

Republicans vs Democrats in Michigan

Reviewing the Michigan Votes Updates, I discovered a significant pattern in the content of bills being introduced. The bills themselves can be viewed through the legislative website at http://www.michigan.gov. But this is what I’ve noticed:

Bills introduced by Republicans are aimed at “controlling others” and keeping themselves in a superior position. For instance, they want to reduce high school graduation requirements, give teachers guns to take into the classroom, and don’t want the poor to receive any realistic assistance (financial or otherwise) in order for the poor to live a life with dignity.

Bills introduced by Democrats aim to alleviate struggles and strains felt by the disenfranchised masses and help elevate them in life. They want justices for everyone, everyone covered by medical insurance, and teachers and other public servants treated with dignity and professionalism they deserve.

Thank you–all the Democrat legislators–for looking out for everyone and putting your egos on a shelf. We, the people, appreciate it!

 

 

The Gene Pool

If we look closely at some of the tragic events in our society, we cannot help but wonder, what makes people do the things they do?

What makes a police officer decide to play God and kill people out of some distorted sense of revenge?

What makes a son decide to shoot up a school, killing innocent children who could not have possibly caused him any harm?

What makes a teacher (male or female) ruin a young person’s life by engaging in illicit sexual activity?

What makes a mother snuff out the life of a child she birthed?

What makes a father force his children to endure unwanted sexual advances or engagement?

What makes children (adult and younger) decide to kill their parents?

What makes old white men decide to kidnap children who couldn’t possibly do anything to appease them?

What makes people decide to pick up an assault rifle and randomly shoot people who don’t even know them?

The answer to these questions quite simply is—the influence of demonic activity in the atmosphere.  People are subject to the influence of satanic influence when it is embedded in their genes, or when they refuse to believe in God and live according to His Word!  Whether people believe this or not is really not the issue.  The real issue is how we combat senseless killings and destruction of families in our society.

For every person who is addicted to drugs, alcohol, and other ungodly behavior, every time you participate, the devil is laughing at you.  Can you picture him now?  Every time you pick up a crack pipe, inhale marijuana, swallow a pill, keep a bottle tilted, lose money gambling, give into the desire to steal, or hop into bed with someone for illicit and immoral sex—he’s raring back—laughing his butt off because you were such easy prey. Can you hear him? Look at your life!  You’re going nowhere fast except deeper into the rut you’re digging and don’t even know it.  You’re creating disaster after disaster because you don’t have enough sense to see how your actions are impacting your family and your community.  You’re angry at life because you refuse to wake-up and acknowledge that you have allowed the enemy to take charge of your life.  Look into the mirror and get a grip!  Just because members of your family didn’t shake the devil’s influence, doesn’t mean you can’t.  Just because your daddy was stupid and mean—doesn’t mean you have to be.  Just because your mama was a prostitute and a drug addict—doesn’t mean you have to follow in her footsteps.  What’s really in your genes?

When we accept Jesus Christ, we accept our place in the kingdom as joint-heirs with Christ.  We develop a Christ-like nature—a nature that desires to please God and not flesh.  When we acknowledge that we can do absolutely nothing without Christ in our lives, we set ourselves in position to receive God’s best and we no longer allow the enemy to influence us into doing ungodly things.

Today is the day because tomorrow might just be too late.  Are you ready?

Repent of anything that you know would not please God and turn to Him to direct your path in all things.  Believe in your heart that Jesus came to earth to bring us back into right relationship with the Father, accept Him as your Personal Savior, and determine to live a life that can only bring you the rewards waiting for you from heaven to enjoy here on earth.  God’s goodness and love is in your genes—why are you waiting?

If Parents Cared Enough…: Johnny and Juaneshia Could Read by Mary M. Hall-Rayford

If Parents Cared Enough…: Johnny and Juaneshia Could Read by Mary M. Hall-Rayford.

Plight of Teachers

In one school district in Michigan, teachers are being shoved about Imageand moved around like pawns on a chessboard and there is no outcry from outraged parents; especially since the children are the victims of the incompetency prevailing through what is normally called, “human resources”.  This department needs to change its name to “inhumane resources”.  That would be a more apt description for what they provide.  This is “almost” the end of the first semester and teachers are moved from classrooms where they have “almost” developed a relationship with students and the students have “almost” connected with their teachers.  Now that connection has been broken and knowing the students the way I do, the next teacher they have is really going to catch it.

Parents, where is the outrage?  Why don’t you care enough about your children to file a class-action lawsuit against Detroit Public Schools for disrupting your child’s education, perpetuating a constant state of failure, and total disregard for the process of educating inner city students?

Students in Detroit–if your teacher has recently been transferred–revolt and demand the district to consider your needs, first and foremost.

DPS–Dumbfounded, Perplexed and Stultified–refusing to “see” themselves as the culprits for failing schools and always laying the blame squarely on the shoulders of the teachers who do not make foolish decisions and do not have any control over the ineptness constantly displayed by those who are at the helm.

It’s time to wake up folks if success is ever going to be possible for this district and its students!