Honored to have my article, In Step with My Father published on Southern Ohio Christian Voice. You may click here to read it and while you’re there please check out their other great offerings. 🙂
In Step With My Father
(For fathers, children, and not just for Father’s Day)
I remember Daddy holding my hand as we entered the gates to the botanical gardens, Wrigley’s gum, Elephant Ear pastries, Matchbox cars, him carrying me when I was hurt, and scraping every speck of black pepper off my food. And bumper cars. I hated them, but I never told him because I liked to hear him laugh—and we were together.
Daddy was pale and shaky after riding the corkscrew roller coaster. We made kites with bamboo and tissue paper. They always crashed, but that was okay. He drove way too fast on the windy island mountain roads in his little ultramarine Triumph Spitfire… Cont. Here: http://sohiochristianvoice.com/in-step-with-my-father
Please forgive me for my quietness here. I have much to share and am currently working on a few articles as well as a couple new exciting writing projects. I’m looking forward to catching up with you in a few days. Thank you for joining me on this writing journey. and for your prayers.
The highest place you’ll ever step is down to serve another who has nothing to give back—except maybe their heart and a changed life because you invested in them.
Teachers spend their lives investing in the future of others. They deserve our support and listening ear. It is my honor to host these eleven teachers from five states.
Why did you become a teacher?
Jeff Fauver, Physical Education Teacher and Coach, Marion, Illinois:I became a teacher largely because my father was a teacher/ coach. I saw the impact and influence he had on young men’s lives. They would come by and visit years after they had graduated. I’ve taught and coached for over 30 years—elementary, middle and high school.
Doctor Laura Seabury, Professor of nursing at Cape Cod Community College:
When my kids started school, I wanted to take courses at college. I chose nursing and I loved it. I never thought I would be a nurse or teacher when I was young. So whatever led me on this road was the right road. I have my Doctorate in nursing education and I’ve been teaching since 1997.
I was a nurse before a teacher. I graduated from this program at Cape Cod Community College and knew as a student that I wanted to be a teacher here. I worked at several hospitals, such as Massachusetts General and Jordan Hospital in Boston. When I got my Masters degree I returned to work as a clinical instructor at Cape Cod Community College full time teaching at the lab. Three years ago I became a lecturer and I teach clinical also.
Clinical involves teaching students caring for patients in the hospital setting, a medical surgical unit, two days a week. Each student takes care of one to two patients.
I noticed the sticker on your door: “Save a life. Be a nurse.” 🙂 It’s also Nurse Appreciation Week and you are both a nurse and a teacher, so I’m thrilled to have you participate in this interview, Dr. Seabury. Thank you for answering the call to a combination of two of the toughest professions.
Elementary School Special Education Paraprofessional, Cape Cod Massachusetts:I love, love, love my job as an assistant teacher. I’ve worked with children from kindergarten to fourth grade for 20 years. This year I’m one on one with a second grader with significant special needs and I don’t have a minute to spare.
Social Studies Teacher, Fort Worth Texas, 6 1/2 years teaching:To build a better future for a generation that’s lost its drive to go further.
Steve Perkins, High School Latin Teacher, Author and Speaker, Indiana Teacher of the Year 2014:God called me to teaching when I was a high school junior. This is my 28th year of teaching Latin. I have taught in Missouri, Texas, and Indiana at the middle school, high school, community college, and university levels.
Middle School Math Teacher, Texas. (17 years teaching high school and middle school math and science.):I became a teacher because I really loved school and saw it as a chance to make a difference in lives.
Middle School English Teacher, Massachusetts: Because it’s important for the youth to be educated; they are the future.
Special Education Teacher currently for 3rd and 4th Grade, Massachusetts: Different careers interested me as I grew up such as lawyer and nurse. In high school I took a class that included exploration of careers and spent a day on the pediatric floor of a hospital. It was a heart wrenching experience. I realized that day that I wanted to work with children, but I did not have the gifting to be a nurse. It was at that point that I directed my attention to becoming a teacher.
I was drawn to the hurting and needy, wanting to make a difference in the world somehow. Special education was a new field of study when I entered college. Supporting students with learning disabilities piqued my desire to make a difference in the lives of children. I’ve been a special educator for over 25 years and I can say for certain that I made the right choice.
Leshil Holder, 4th Grade Reading Teacher, Tennessee: I became a teacher because I wanted to make a difference in someone’s life. My main goal is to glorify God in my classroom. I will begin my 10th year of teaching in the 2019-2020 school year.
Angela Georgantas, 12th Grade English Teacher, Writer and affiliate with The Fellowship of Christian Athletes club at her school, Texas:English was always my favorite subject, but I didn’t want to be a teacher. I majored in marketing but only worked for two years before I became a stay at home mom for a decade. When my kids went to school, I subbed to make money. I tried elementary school for 2 weeks and made a second grader cry. I tried junior high for one day and ran screaming from the building, (metaphorically). I tried high school, and it was like the gears of the universe clicked: God had called me to teach, and I was home. Within two months, I was back at school to get my teaching certificate, and I have loved it ever since. I have taught for 14 years.
Professor Patricia Allen, Professor of English, Cape Cod Community College: I teach because I was the kid who dropped out, the kid who hit the wall of hopelessness. I teach to keep other kids from hitting that wall. I have been teaching for 22 years.
I dropped out of high school when I was 16, I got my GED and found my way to community college when I was a thirty year old mom with five kids and an injured husband. Amazing teachers kindled a fire to learn inside me and I transferred to Wellesley College, then Harvard for grad school. Now I am back to the community college where I was taught, trying to kindle fires in my own students.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10
This is a terrible way to introduce an article, Bryan! You’re supposed to grip the reader with a compelling opener, but since you’re the boss of this contest here goes: I am participating in the Writing Contest: You Are Enough, hosted by Positive Writer.
I really like you Bryan, because you’re real, an overcomer, and your is heart to encourage and equip others.
Did you miss the memo that anything worth doing is hard? Writing is hard work. For me it is mentally, physically, and spiritually exhausting. And exhilarating too—but that usually comes after the exhausting. It is time intensive and demanding. But it’s worth it. Your calling costs something too.
Life happens. Sometimes all you can handle is small steps and bite sized pieces, but they will get you where you’re going. Instead of overdrive on the Autobahn you might need to take the slow country road for awhile. Somewhere between doing nothing and doing everything, there is balance.
Update from Massachusetts Family Institute on Massachusetts Senate Bill 70 (The Counseling Ban)
Updated April 9th, 2019
MA Senate Bill 70 violates freedom of speech, parental rights and religious freedom
SEE YOU IN COURT! Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed the Counseling Ban last night, April 9th, 2019.
Massachusetts Family Institute is already hearing from potential PLAINTIFFS and is prepared to help them protect their rights in court.
PLEASE CALL or TEXT my cell phone at (978) 204-9131 if you know a minor (age 17 or younger) and parents that want therapy to escape LGBTQ lifestyle OR a Licensed Therapist that desires to give such therapy.
The only way now to protect free speech and access to therapy is through the courts. We NEED your help!
Read more about current LGBTQ activist plan to continue to assault religion and family values here: https://tapit.us/lYiuO Please SHARE with EVERYONE YOU KNOW!Michael King www.mafamily.org
(978) 204-9131 (cell)
UPDATE Friday 3/29/19: Unfortunately, Senate Bill 70 passed on Thursday March 28th, 2019 with a vote of 34-0. But I urge you to read this post if you have not already so you can be informed and know what next steps to take to try to stop this threat to freedom of speech, parental rights, freedom of religion and the safety and well being of children. Massachusetts Family institute is urging residents to call Governor Charlie Baker at Phone: (617) 725-4005 NOW and ask him to veto the bill which is set for signing early next week.His office staff informed me today that you may leave a message voicing your concerns after hours and your request will be tallied. *I added more information on the results of the vote and some of my thoughts on them at the end of this article. (A strike-through indicates that information has been updated.)
The Massachusetts Senate will votevoted on Senate Bill, SB. 70, (the Counseling Ban), this Thursday, March 28th at the State House. If this bill goes into law it will violate freedom of speech, religious freedom, and the rights of parents to raise their children according to their moral and religious convictions. This bill would force counselors and parents to go against their beliefs about human sexuality and violates rights to privacy of patients and counselors.
Some think this bill will not affect them as they aren’t facing the situations it addresses. But regardless of where your convictions fall on gender identity and sexual orientation, and whatever your religious persuasion, bills like SB. 70 endanger the freedoms of all. Other states have also been pushing similar bills.
HB. 140/ SB. 70 would make it illegal for licensed health care professionals to offer counselling or talk therapy that encouraged a gender-confused minor to feel comfortable as the biological sex they were born, or to change, suppress, or stop any behavior or feelings in regards to their opposite-sex gender identity or sexual attraction toward others of the same sex. But they would be legally required to promote hormone therapy and sex-change surgery. This applies even if the minor is the one seeking help to change sexual attractions or behavior they don’t want to continue.
Parents who opt for counseling the state doesn’t sanction for their gender-confused child rather than cross-sex hormones or surgery, would be subject to DCF intervention which could result in the child being taken from their home and then receiving sex-change treatments without parental consent.
This bill mis-labels certain counsel as child abuse and dictates and limits healthcare workers in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Prohibiting licensed counselors from guiding those who seek help with their struggles by freely discussing and exploring a patient’s symptoms and feelings is negligent medical practice and abuse. If one doubts a healthcare worker’s advice they can choose to get a second opinion.
Many who identify as one sexual orientation shift to another, or between several categories over time. They change their minds. So why the push to alter one’s body with hormones or surgery? What’s the rush? This is especially true for children who do not yet have the capacity to fully comprehend the choices and their long term ramifications.
If a child identifies as a dog should the parent allow them to undergo treatment to become like a dog?
If a child thinks he is Superman, is it abuse if their parent doesn’t allow him or her to leap from buildings with a single bound?
If a white child declares they are a black child trapped in a white body, or a black child identifies as a white child, should their parents be forced to let them undergo treatment to permanently change their skin color?
Missionaries upend and sometimes risk their lives to serve the Gospel in restricted nations. They are often bold in the face of opposition, while many people in America display passivity in the face of peace, and take for granted our freedoms rather than being grateful for them. American Christianity is uncomfortable with inconvenience. I pray these messages from missionaries who left the comforts and security of their homeland to proclaim the message of Jesus’ love, deliverance, and salvation, will stir your heart.
Anonymous Former Missionary to China: Sharing the Gospel wherever you are is all about leaving the comfortable whether it’s leaving our home or going beyond ourselves. Compassion and caring for people can awaken anyone to go beyond intimidation and our own limitations. We were missionaries in China for four years—that was our commitment. We had a house church, although a lot of our missionary friends had their church in a building.Continue reading “Messages from Missionaries”
It is my pleasure to share Pearl Allard’s guest post with you today.
I had just settled on the couch, grateful to have crossed the day’s finish line with two kids intact and in bed. I eagerly reached for a book I’d been longing to read, when my six-year-old padded out of her room—one bare foot and one slipper-socked foot. I bristled, wondering with the psalmist, how long, O Lord?
Dear daughter held up the partner slipper sock in one hand and a gray pom-pom in the other. The slipperhad (past tense) a pair of dangly gray pom-poms attached at the top which I was preparing to mentally curse. She wanted me to fix it.
Yeah sure, kid. No problem. I’m on it. And by the way, you’re supposed to be in bed!I choked back the destructive spew and accepted the extended slipper sock and offending gray pom-pom. I examined them (come on, you know that deserved a gold star right there), but I informed her it wasn’t getting fixed that night, if it was even fixable. She looked crestfallen.
I peered at the small mass of gray fibers coming loose in my hand. I’d wait until she was in bed and then throw away this whole fraying mess.
“Do you think you can fix it?” Her little voice held such angst.
It was a gray pom-pom for crying out loud, not a broken limb, or a break-up with a boyfriend, or a life-or-death matter, not even a blip on the radar of important…to me.
I looked up into her earnest expression watching me. Hoping. Trusting.
I sighed. When she’s grown, will she remember me shoving aside what she valued? Or will she remember me caring about even the outlandish details of her life? I sighed, again.
“Couldn’t you sew it back on?” I sensed her trying to lighten the workload, offering the most helpful suggestion she knew.
It was just a mess on my lap, and it was all kinds of unimportant and…it mattered. I sighed for the third time.
“Yes, I can probably sew it on,” I admitted. That seemed to satisfy her since she smiled and, with both feet now in one slipper sock, hopped her way back to bed. Crazy girl. This mothering thing…yeah.
I set the book aside, hauled my rear off the couch, and rummaged through craft supplies, shaking my head. Was I actually comparing shades of gray thread?
Back on the couch, I stitched the fraying mess – and realized I was actually stitching up something far more significant. Isthis what real love does?Stitches things, people, back together? Reconnects the disconnected? Takes the time to do crazy for the sake of demonstrating love? I marveled at the way the eye of a needle opened my eyes.
I paused and looked up. Hanging over our fireplace were three crosses – just small hot-glued branches – beneath small heart lights I’d strung around the mantel. The cross, a symbol of the most crazy love ever. And small hearts connected together because of it. Radiating light. In that moment I tasted a richer flavor of God’s love for me. Why does He love me? Me with a wandering heart and reluctance to share what’s been lavished on me. Crazy-amazing love.
How fitting so near Valentine’s Day.
I tied off the knot and surveyed the repair. It didn’t seem nearly so costly a sacrifice anymore. Those few interrupted minutes a disguised opportunity to participate in something much larger than irritating gray pom-poms. Any investment of love, no matter how small, is really part of something big; because God IS love. I’m slow to see, slow to look up. But thank God, I didn’t completely botch this. (Lord knows how many other times I have!)
May this Valentine’s Day bring a fresh awareness of how much God loves you with a crazy-amazing love. Romans 5 is an amazing chapter to reflect on, if you get the chance today. But the verse below from John is a good summary.
Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him would not be lost but have eternal life. John 3:16 ERV
Pearl and I met two years ago as members of The Jerry JenkinsWriters Guild and joined the same writing group, currently comprised of nine women from around the world with a passion for Jesus and to honor Him with our writing. Pearl is a precious sister in the Lord, a down to earth, gifted and anointed writer and speaker, a prayer warrior with a heart to glorify God and encourage others. She has written for (in)courage, Keys for Kids, and Breathe Christian Writers Conference.
Pearl is an imperfect Son-follower learning to enjoy grace. Sunflowers are her spiritual metaphor, because they track the sun’s movement as Christians seek to follow God’s son, Jesus. She is happily-mostly-aftered, work-at-home mama to two, and lives in Michigan. She writes at LookUpSometimes.com.
Progress is slow as I recover from an inflamed nerve which makes it difficult to work on a computer. Eleven of twelve articles are posted for my current series of interviews with pastors and pastor’s wives. I will post the final article in the series, (which features missionaries), as soon as I am able. This link will also bring you to my interviews with pastors and pastor’s wives from prior years.
I was waiting for perfect, but it never showed up. So I decided I’d better start the journey without it. I thought I needed to be the perfect Christian, wife, mom, have the perfect family, and coin the perfect phrases. Then I’d have something to say. Then God could use my writing. I mean, who am I?
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. ―Martin Luther King Jr.
The King of all creation, Jesus, shouldered our sin and calls us to bear one another’s burdens.
..in the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. —Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I Have a Dream, speech
“the time is always right to do the right thing”―Martin Luther King Jr.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love oneanother; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. John 13:34 (NKJV)
We are not our skin; it’s just the stuff we live in. Strawberry, lemon, chocolate, vanilla—let us savor the flavor in each other’s cultures.
Some believe themselves superior while exhibiting inferior behavior toward others. With large mouths, shriveled hearts and tiny mindsets they eke out finite lives in their effort to undermine noble ones. Others say they want equal rights but demand special privileges.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”―Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
What if instead of looking out for ourselves we looked out for each other?
Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Philippians 2:3 (NKJV)
The Bible says:
And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, Acts 17:26 (NKJV)
The Great Seal of the United States of America says we are. “E Pluribus unum, out of many, one.” Our pledge of allegiance states, “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all,” and our national motto says, “In God We Trust.” But when we seek our own and trust in man, as some do, we end up divided. See, the Gospel has the answers—it is the answer for all that ails us.
We are meant to marvel at the majesty of the Creator in His creation.
There is a root that sustains
There is one Vine—
How marvelously He colors our lives with vibrant brushstrokes of many hues—
Facets of Himself reflected in our differences
Let us recognize our common ground
The ongoing work of the The Master Artist.
Portrait of Martin Luther King Jr. by Jean Colby
Link here to read: One Blood, A Civil Rights Story, as told to me by Jean Colby, my mother-in-law and Sara Clay, my sister-in-law about their experiences as Civil Rights activists, about the March Against Fear, MLK, and James Meredith. (Scroll down in my post, See, Stand, Speak.)
What are your thoughts on the current racial tensions in America? What do you feel has fueled them and what do you think we as a nation and the Church can do to quell this and bridge the racial divide?
…The tensions are high and so political. The whole thing upsets me. People’s lives should never ever be political playing cards, and yet they are. They always are. I believe that what we did during the time of slavery was horrifying and we should not be dismissive of those whom it is still impacting today. I believe…
…My wife is Chicana from west Texas, and I, (though Texan as well), am actually a fifth generation Cherokee that left the… Click here to Continue.
Some words get thrown around like confetti in January— “Happy New Year! What’s your New Year’s resolution?”
But what about when it’s not happy? What about when you don’t know which way is up, and what if you can’t see any resolution for issues in your life, much less make a resolution? While some began the new year with fireworks and hope, others look out on the future through the fog of uncertainty. What then? Continue reading “Now (Guest Post on Southern Ohio Christian Voice)”