Archive for January, 2014

School Bus 6

 

 

There is one student that rides my bus that has yet to be dropped off at his actual home.  I have never taken him to his house at the end of the Pre-K day.  However, most days of the week he gives me a line, “My mom is home.”

See, he gets dropped off at another student’s house that lives next door, but almost every day he has the anticipation of being dropped off at his house, with his mom waiting there to hear about his school day.  I cannot tell you the disappointment he has when he looks at his house as we pass by and pull into the neighbor’s driveway and he realizes that his mom is not actually home.  In fact, this happened yesterday.  He watched eagerly out the window and searched the yard and driveway for a familiar vehicle and found none.  He looked up at me in the rearview mirror with a pouty face and said, “My mom’s not home.”

What is it about home?  About family that young kids connect with so much?

This same student shares a song with us all on the bus some days.  It goes to the tune of Frere Jacques:

Meme and Pawpaw
Meme and Pawpaw
We love them
They love us
Let’s go to their house
And eat lots of food
Let’s go now
Let’s go now

No, I am not kidding.  That song is, I am afraid, permanently burned into my song memory bank; that’s how often he sings it.

It is good to hear that he has a love for his Meme and Pawpaw; and as the song goes, they love him too.  But again, what is it about family and home that younger kids connect with so much?

Of course I have a few thoughts, thanks for asking.

First, I believe it has to do with being able to be yourself.  Your family usually knows if you are a messy person, a neat freak, or somewhere in between.  And often you have a place that is your own.  The first true ownership.  My bed, my room, my corner, whatever it may be.  There you are able to let go of the reins and be relaxed.  You take comfort in being able to be comfortable.  It is often this same truth that brings many to Christ.  He does not ask you to change.  He meets you as you are and you change as a result of meeting him.  Romans 5:8 “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  Christ came for the sick.  He came for the needy.  He came for the sinners, of which we all are.

Secondly, there is always the anticipation of home.  After traveling, it is nice to sleep in your own bed, use your own shower, go to your own couch where you can watch your own shows on your own television.  AS Christians, do we anticipate our home?  Do we look forward to the home where we will dwell with God?  Like a child yearns to find his mom at home waiting on him, do we have that same yearning for the Father to welcome us and accept us as faithful followers?  Do we want to tell him about our day?  Do we look forward to meeting with him?  John 14:23 “Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” 

I urge you to look forward to going home.  Have the desire to see your Father waiting there with open arms, maybe even running to you.  He will have a feast waiting for you and you can “eat lots of food” as the song above goes.

Hebrews 11:16 “But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.”

In Christ’s Love,
Josh

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School Bus 6

 

 

This blog post is going to concern the ladies on the bus.  A new career has erupted on the bus that apparently every Pre-K girl seeks to master.  It is the ever so lucrative career of the cheerleader.  Yes, we go from Christmas songs, to animals, to cheers all within a matter of moments.  It really wouldn’t be that bad, but those cheers are just so darn catchy!  I will catch myself saying them, in my head of course, later on in the day long after I have parked the bus.

But here comes the problem.  There is one lady who has not quite learned spelling yet.  And apparently has not heard the real cheer enough to know when she is doing it wrong.  The most popular cheer these days on the bus goes something like this: (be sure to use your best and most perky cheer voice as you read this) “T.L.C…K.L.E…Tackle…Let’s Go Big D!”  No, that was not a typing error on my part.  She believes that is how the cheer goes.

Some of the other ladies that have been riding the bus have tried to correct her, but to no avail.  In fact, instead of correcting her, she has had an influence on the other ladies.  Now, they all say the cheer wrong.  And if I am honest, sometimes I catch myself saying it wrong in my head.  I can’t help it; it’s just so catchy!

So where do we go from here?  Do we look at how one wrong cheer can influence a bus?  Do we look at how we sometimes just want to do it our way and it doesn’t really matter if it’s wrong?  Or shall we discuss how instead of many influencing the one, the one has overpowered the many?

Well, I’m going to touch on something different.  See, what I did not tell you earlier as that the young lady that is saying the cheer incorrectly is new to the school.  She arrived as the new semester got under way.  That means that she has missed out on seeing the real High School or even Junior High cheerleaders do this cheer because the cheerleaders are only around during football season.  Then where could she have heard this cheer?  From her classmates.

Her classmates are the ones that taught her the cheer and then became upset with her when she did the cheer incorrectly.  But in her mind, that is exactly how the cheer is supposed to go.  The cheer was never portrayed clear and crisp enough for her to understand it completely.

What messages are you sending or teaching other people?  You may not be going around your workplace, home, or school yelling out cheers, but messages are definitely being sent.  How clear are those messages?  Can anyone pick up what you are laying down and be able to imitate you?

I Corinthians 11:1 “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.”

How clear is it who you follow?  How clear is it what you stand for?  How clear is the message you are sending?

I’m not talking about putting on T-shirts, bumper stickers, or even Facebook posts that represent your viewpoint.  I’m talking about the life you live.  The everyday grind.  The real you.

T-shirts, bumper stickers, and even Facebook posts can cover up the real person.  We can portray whoever we want.  And you may fool others that only encounter you on Facebook or just in passing.  But anywhere you spend a majority of your life, they already know and have interpreted the messages you are sending.  How clear are they?

While in prison, Paul prayed for clearness of message.  His desire was that his message, both spoken and lived, would be so clear and point so directly to Christ that there would be no other possibilities.

Colossians 5:3-5 “At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.  Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.”

Messages are everywhere.  Being sent knowingly and unknowingly, deliberately and in passing.  Be aware of the message you are sending.  Know that others are picking up on what you say and do.  Make sure that there is no mud in the water.  But rather there is a clear flowing spring that comes from Christ and runs through you to others.

How are you sending clear messages?

In Christ’s Love,
Josh

School Bus 6

 

 

This past week I had an average of five students that rode the bus home.  That may not sound like much, but I do drive a short bus that only has three rows of seating for the students.  Each student gets their own seat, no sharing.  Therefore, in order to talk to one another or have fun on the bus, yelling is usually involved.  I have learned to tune a lot of it out because I know they have bundled up a lot of energy at school.  One ride home there was the usual noises occurring in the back of the bus, laughing, singing, slight yelling, and talking that I just can’t seem to understand the words to; when all of a sudden a zoo broke out in the bus.

There were two students roaring like lions, a monkey, an elephant, and I think a dog, but I’m not really sure on that last one.  They weren’t being overly loud so I let it slide until one of the lions started trying to eat the monkey…couldn’t let that happen, at least not on my bus.  After the zoo closed for the day, I began thinking about it more.

The students went for the staples.  When you go to a zoo, you want to see certain animals.  Everyone wants to hear the lion roar, see the elephant shoot water from its’ nose (them imitate it later), and see monkeys pick fleas off one another and eat them.  But rarely does a person, especially a small child, go to the zoo to see the caterpillar or the worm.  Some may be intrigued by the reptile center because of the deadly venomous reptiles that lurk only inches away from your face, but the desire to see a normal tree frog doesn’t really get the blood pumping.

Are the worms and caterpillars unimportant to the animal kingdom?  No, of course not.  In fact, they are quite crucial in the breaking down process for new life to grow.  But most view them as less than the lion, less than the white tiger, less even than the simple tree frog.

However, we must remember that God has called us to be the worms and caterpillars of the world.  We have been called to break down the bad in order for new life to form.  We are called to be the least.

Matthew 11:11 “Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”

Often I catch myself, as you may also, trying to be the lion in the jungle.  Wanting to be the king, the best, the greatest among others.  But this is pride.  This is arrogance.  This is not godly.

In order to be the greatest, you must become a servant.

Mark 9:35 “And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”

Greatness is not taken, it is given.  Greatness is given by God and other people.  If greatness is taken, then it is not greatness, it is arrogance, for true greatness is how we treat others.

Proverbs 27:2 “Let another praise you, and not your own mouth a stranger, and not your own lips.”

In what area of your life do you need to relinquish the pursuit of being the lion?  Where do you need to focus on the caterpillar more?  Just as the caterpillar transforms into something new and better, so too will you transform into something great when you choose to be servant of all.