Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Back to School!

Morning traffic is heavy, notebooks and bookbags are prominently displayed in stores, kids are walking around moping, and parents have big smiles on their faces. It can only mean one thing. BACK TO SCHOOL.

I thought it would be appropriate to take a moment and thank all the teachers out there to their dedication to their challenging - and often thankless- profession.

I found a great prayer on the LPM blog that took the words right out of my mouth! If you feel so led, please pray this prayer over all the teachers and students heading back to school this year:

Lord, thank You for the men and women who dedicate their lives to educating children. I ask You to bless them with strength, joy, favor with students and parents, and a strong sense of purpose. Make them fruitful in every way. Give them wisdom, creativity, patience, insight, and endurance. Give them Your supernatural love for each student, so much so that those kids go home each day with a keen sense of being loved by You. Use these teachers to make an eternal difference in the lives of their students. I pray that their families will have an easy and peaceful transition into the school year.

I also pray for all of our students, particularly those who are entering new schools this year. Father, please give them courage, peace, and joy. Let them make friends easily and connect well with their teachers. Let them find their security in You, Lord. Please sharpen their minds and help them learn. Build godly character in them. Use our Christ-following sons and daughters to draw others to You. Help them let go of what others think and to love the unlovely. Help them obey You even when it's really hard. Father, for our sons and daughters who have not yet made decisions to follow You, let this be the year. Let them see their need of You and surrender their precious lives to You.

Thank You in advance for the work You're going to do in our teachers and students' lives this year, Lord. I pray all of these things in the strong and mighty name of Jesus. Amen!

And here is a challenge for you: if you know a teacher in your life, tell them you'd like to spend $20 (or any amount that is appropriate for your financial situation) to get supplies that could assist them in the classroom this year. Teachers have been handed a tough burden right now - state governments across the country are in debt and are slashing the already small budgets teachers have to prepare their classroom for the year. On top of that, many families are barely making ends meet without having the additional burden of providing back-to-school supplies. You might be surprised how a relatively small contribution you make could really make a big difference to a student.

Case in point, at our church Chad and I volunteered to be a "bookbag buddy" to provide a child with all the school supplies they would need for back to school. I think we spent less than $30 and were able to get: a bookbag, notebooks, looseleaf paper, glue sticks, magic markers, colored pencils, #2 pencils, scissors, pencil box, kleenex, ziploc storage bags + sandwich bags, among other items I cannot remember. For ONLY $30!!! It was almost a challenge to see how much stuff we could get. At places like TJ Maxx, Big Lots, Wal-Mart and the Dollar Store you can get a lot of quality stuff for a real bargain!

So take the $20 challenge - and report back with what great items you were able to get!

And thank you, thank you, thank you for all you great teachers! Especially a favorite new teacher of mine... miss MJK. :)

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