Monday, November 28, 2011

Message from Jeff Blake, High School Teacher

Psalm 100 (the Message, a paraphrase of scripture)
A Thanksgiving Psalm

1-2 On your feet now—applaud GOD! Bring a gift of laughter,
sing yourselves into his presence.

3 Know this: GOD is God, and God, GOD.
He made us; we didn't make him.
We're his people, his well-tended sheep.

4 Enter with the password: "Thank you!"
Make yourselves at home, talking praise.
Thank him. Worship him.

Lisa and I enjoyed a time of celebration of God’s provision over Thanksgiving! And in that I have taken some time alone with God to recognize that giving thanks is a discipline—and one I am not good at (in the meditation of my own heart).

Over the years, our extended family has been exceedingly gracious to my immediate family with money, gifts of service, and devotion. Yet, in my own heart I experience shame (which is not from God). Privately I struggle with the need to do it all on my own. Privately I struggle with the perception that other’s assistance to me is a sign of my weakness.

And in this place, I objectively know that all good things flow from God and my dependence upon my Creator is total. God is the Provider. In my experience family is a tool the Provider uses. And so here I am in this place of paradox and learning. God simply will provide how He sees fit—the conduit is not up to me. The Provider is in charge.

And in this reflection, another tool by which our Provider uses is our school community.

Did you know . . .?

Our elementary students have provided a TON of plastic bags and egg cartons to a food ministry in Mexico and border communities.

Our elementary students provided nearly 30 shoe box gifts to Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child.

Our junior and senior high students will again spread out in our community to provide just short of 1,000 hours of community service on Friday, December 2.

Some of our junior and senior high students are raising money to support Invisible Children’s endeavor to end the abuse of children soldiers in the civil wars which grip Uganda. Some of our senior high students have contacted members of Congress to pledge their concern for this injustice.

On Thursday, December 8—62 needy students from MC Cash Elementary school will be bused to our campus for an evening of crafts, dinner, Santa, hayrides, and God’s love from our JH and SH students.

Our junior and senior high students have collected nearly 300 pairs of shoes in support of Mr. Harmon’s ministry to children living in poverty.

My point is that my Thanksgiving was not laden with laughter—but interpersonal embarrassment as I am coming to grip with my own needs. Psalm 100 is a powerful reminder of celebration! We are the body of Christ. Guided by the Spirit we have an opportunity to serve and give our lives away to each other and most of all—God!

Father, this day I choose to make my self more at home in your chosen means of Provision! Thank you! That is my “password” this day. Thank you that you provide in your own way! May each gift of provision be an opportunity for myself and others to be ever more at home with You.

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