As many people start the year with a fresh start and New Year’s Resolutions, it’s a time to look toward the upcoming year. The same is true for me. I’ll be participating with my church in a 21 day challenge involving 21 days of prayer, discipline and bible study. During the month of January, I will be spending some time in concentrated prayer. As part of my prayer time, I will be spending time praying for my blog, readers, and subscribers. I plan on praying for each person on my subscriber list individually.
There will be some general areas that I will be praying for each of you, which I’ll detail below. However, I’d also like to take this opportunity to reach out to you and see if you have any specific needs or prayer requests that you would like me to pray about. I would love to hear from you!
You can let me know your requests by:
Posting a comment below (at the bottom of this page)
You Might Be Making a Difference Without Even Realizing It
A lesson I’ve learned over the last couple of weeks is that sometimes you might be making a difference without even realizing it. I shouldn’t be surprised by this. I pray for this all of time. I even claim this as a positive confession from time to time. In fact, I have some daily positive affirmations that I have saved in the notes in my phone. One of them says, “People see Jesus in me. I win people over by the way I live without saying a word.” One of my heart’s desires is making a difference in the lives of the people I encounter. Sometimes though, I just don’t even know I’m doing it!
Dare I say the worst semester ever?
OK, I’ll try to make a very long story short here. This past semester of teaching was…well…horrendous to put it lightly. I mean, it was bad. So bad that I came very, very close to turning in my resignation. The college class that I teach had undergone a complete overhaul and the outcome was an exponential increase in my workload and a decrease in pay…and nearly a complete loss of autonomy, and a severe increase in stress, and tremendous loss of time with my family, and loss of joy in teaching, and… OK I’ll stop there.
This workload (and everything else) also increased significantly for the students as well. It actually felt like our class and new changes were hurting the students instead of helping them. Grades were significantly down compared to previous semesters, and more students were failing than ever before. This is what weighed on me the most because I truly believe in making a difference in a positive way in the lives of my students, and this class typically allows for that. However, that was not the case this semester. Or so I thought.
Making a difference? Yeah right! How about: A lost cause
“So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.” Matthew 5:23-24 (NLT)
I decided to take a break from discussing insecurity this week. I promise we’ll go back to it! I stumbled onto something pretty cool this past week that I thought I’d share with you. I think you’ll like it too! It’s a free personal profile to discover your “apology language”.
I’m a HUGE fan of Dr. Gary Chapman, who is best known for his New York Times bestseller: The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts and the series of books that go along with it. A few years ago I was listening to one of the Focus on the Family podcasts, and Dr. Chapman was discussing the Five Love Languages and how there are also five languages of apology. He’s co-authored a book with Dr. Jennifer Thomas titled When Sorry Isn’t Enough: Making Things Right with Those You Love in which they detail the study of apologies and how people give and receive them. Listening to the podcast, I found this very intriguing because I’ve noticed myself sometimes having a hard time receiving somebody’s apology simply because of the delivery or because it didn’t feel genuine to me. Dr. Chapman mentioned that “If you receive an apology that omits your apology language, chances are you won’t fully accept it or even recognize it as an apology.” The goal of their book was to help people “learn the techniques to effectively recognize and deliver apologies and watch relationships thrive as a result”.