Friday, May 29, 2015


Scenario: I had to write-up two of my students for hitting (one is a 1st grader, the other a Pre-K) so I decided to have a little discussion with all of my Elementary and Pre-K students.

Me: What are you supposed to do if someone hits you?
Students: (in unison) Hit’em back.
Me: No, No, No,No.
Students: Well, that’s what my momma said. And that’s what my daddy said.
Me: (silently to myself) Oh, Lord.

Hey Everyone. Hope you are having a wonderful day. For those of you who may not know, I’m a School Bus Driver. This is my second year; it’s been by the Grace of God that I can say; I love what I do. Although, the whole training process and the first few months of driving was truly a challenge, my consolation was knowing Jesus was with me every mile of the way and I do mean every mile of the way… WON'T HE DO IT!

How did you like my little Scenario? Unfortunately, it's true. This is the advice children are being given by their parents, I'm pretty sure they were given that very same advice as children, also. I know because my dad once told me the same thing, while my mom was in the background saying, "no that is not how you handle it, you let a teacher know or someone in authority so she or he can resolve it." People who think like my dad (who meant well); must come to realize those playground tactics don’t work anymore; it only brings about serious consequences that no one is really prepared to face.

When it comes to my students there will always be treason's (snitching), 5 minute wars and small fires to extinguish. My Middle Schoolers can be a little iffy at time; my High Schoolers are pretty laid back, they don't require as much attention. Now--- my Elementary Kids... OMGosh they are SOOO DRAMATIC!!! There's never a dull moment, it only takes one of them to take what could have been a tranquil bus ride--- down the path of catastrophe--- sometimes all I can do is shake my head, but once the heavy rains of the monsoon have subsided, I'm then able to reason with them which is no easy feat. It's difficult to get children to understand and do what most adults won't do... turn the other cheek, but I will say this about children; once they're done pouting, they go back to what they were doing as if nothing ever happened.

Handle your business?

"Carolyn, sometimes you just gotta handle your business or you will keep getting bullied and pushed around, mistreated, abused... if you want respect you've gotta demand it, you gotta fight for it." But, if you have to fight for it, is it really respect? I'm also aware that there are varying degrees of tolerance, and I don't believe God wants any of us in an abusive situation, whether it's physically or verbally... that's not what I'm referring to. Nor, am I relating this to helpless, defenseless kids who are being threatened/hit and need a grownup's involvement for protection.

My Way or God's Way...

This is a message for "MATURE" Christians, regardless of age, I say that because there are young people who demonstrate christian maturity and faith better than most adults. AMEN!!! There is a right way and a wrong way to handle anything... we may need to adjust our tone of voice, be conscious of our facial expression, watch our body language, listen more than we speak. Just a few, small preventative measures will keep molehills from becoming mountains. Now, I know that it may not always be that simple, some people are just Hell bent on making your day miserable, but they can only succeed if we give them the power and right to do so. Situations are going to arise on a daily basis and TEST us beyond our limits, but remember we serve a limitless God.

Doing things our Father's way can be a hard pill to swallow, it's hard because His Ways are humbling us. He's not trying to get us beat up or leave us defeated and humiliated, He's showing us a better way of living. He's PREPARING us for things to come. As Stephen was being stoned to death, he prayed for the ones who were stoning him, which was only possible because he was filled with the Holy Spirit. ARE YOU FILLED HOLY SPIRIT FILLED? That stubborn pride in all of us, a.k.a our evil nature can be a hard task master, but we must never forget who the real enemy is... Satan. (Satan is our enemy and I will remind us all of that again by the end of this post).

 The solution to our problems is loving and praying for our enemies, which I must confess seems easy until I have to do it. BEFORE Christ hung on the cross, He was loving and praying for us, AS Christ hung on the cross, He was loving and praying for us. If God had not been drawing us to Him, we would not be able to call ourselves Christians, we would still be an enemy to God, it hurts to even think of myself as an enemy to God, but I was. In a sense, I believe that is why He requires us to this burdensome thing. He's making us more like Christ.

In order for us to do what Christ is asking us to do, we must be Born-Again. My stance is this, Christ wants us to TRUST and REST in what He has already done for us (the FINISHED work of the Cross). It takes faith in Christ to turn the other cheek, to walk-away, to keep silent, to speak, to give. to do anything really. Let us not allow our fleshly emotions to Rule in us, but let Christ Reign instead. I tell my students this regularly,"once you retaliate you are now just as guilty as the other person, I can not defend your actions", in essence this is what God is saying to us, if we repay a sinful action with another sinful action, we unwittingly restrain Him from helping us... because God hates sin.

John 16:33 I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace, In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. (NIV)

Do what God says do and leave the consequences up to Him. - Dr. Charles Stanley

Matthew 5:38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth." 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[i] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love YOUR enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what REWARD will you get? Are not even the TAX collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.(NIV)

 What does it mean to turn the other cheek?

Observation and the word of God has brought me to this conclusion. We live in a fallen world, it's evident within our families. We all come up short from time to time; just miss the mark completely and we need our Father's grace and mercy to get us back on course. Sometimes we end up giving our very last to help someone. We may even have to give up our "rights" for the sake of peace. Be kind to those who are gossiping about you. Try not to take things literally or personally, that individual may be having a bad day or received some bad news. Be compassionate. We will have disagreements, so just "agree to disagree" but never fall out with anyone. If someone comes at me, I've discovered that three sincere words will cause that individual to pull back and that's "are you okay?" Paul said, "if it be possible we should try to live peaceably with one another." With help from Holy Spirit and total surrender on our part it is possible to turn the other cheek. All things are possible with Christ.

I'm reminded of a story Dr. Creflo Dollar shared: He said, he was in a convenient store and the clerk had a nasty attitude, just mean. He had taken offense to her behavior, and as he was leaving God spoke to his heart, God told him to give the clerk $100's and of course he didn't want to do it because of her behavior towards him. But he yielded to Holy Spirit, he went back to the clerk and told her "that God wanted her to have this $100." She broke down and cried because she had been so overwhelmed, stressed over her finances and that amount was what she needed.

God works through people AND satan works through people, too. But it's our Christian responsibility to always be in a position to hear what He is saying to us. I take it as an honor for my Father to use me to carry out His Will, but if I'm fussing, cussing, fighting, and acting ugly... there is no honor in that and my Father can't use that. Our life is not our own (it's time for Christians to get rid of that notion). OUR LIFE IS NOT OUR OWN! This NEW LIFE belongs to God and we live for our Heavenly Father. If you're not sure about how to do that I suggest (1) seeking out someone who is truly following in the ways of Christ, they will tell you what God says, not what they think. (2) A Church that teaches Godly Principles, teaches Christ Crucified, teaches the Power of Holy Spirit. (3) Attend Sunday School and Bible Study, regularly. (4) Invest in a Study Bible that you can easily comprehend. (5) Ask questions. (6) Pray for and love one another, especially your enemies.

Romans 12:17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head. 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.(NIV)
Why do I have to turn the other cheek?

As Christians, you can believe that people are watching to see how we handle ourselves when the heat gets turned up. Are we going to be like the Devil or be like Christ? Will we fool heartedly lean to our own understanding or follow after ill-advised wisdom or allow pride to manifest itself in our heart. Our flesh tells us to retaliate by any means necessary, but God tells us to demonstrate love, mercy, kindness, joyfulness, patience, humility, goodness, and faithfulness (Galatians 5:22-23).

The act of love covers a multitude of sins. When I think about it now, I’m not turning the other cheek because I love that person, but because God loves me and I love Him AND!!! He also loves that other individual (why woudn't He) AND!!! that is what drives me to love that person in return, therefore causing me to act accordingly to His word. Turning the other cheek... frees us, keeps us from becoming entangled in sin, ensnared by the real enemies (Satan and his demons) devices.

Our Father wants us to trust Him to deal with His creation in His own way and in His own time. Sometimes we forget that we are His creation and He loves us all. He made the ultimate sacrifice for the entire human race, God sent His only Son into the world to die for OUR sins. Jesus took the wrath of OUR punishment. When we accept the gift of Salvation that comes through Christ we then become a New Creation (Born-Again) with a new spirit, now we see God as Father and we also see things as He sees it, with spiritual insight.

"If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also." Some might argue that this is pretty extreme and that's not what He meant, but Jesus was slapped on two occasions and He could have called a legion of Angels to His defense... but He didn't. If it weren't possible for us to live as Christ lived, He would not of asked us to do so. He would not have empowered us to do so, through Holy Spirit. Christians are being persecuted throughout this land for their faith in Christ. Christians are having to meet in secret in order to worship together. Christians are being tortured and killed. Christians are giving up their rights because of intolerant people. WHY? WHY ARE THEY DOING THIS IF IT'S SO DIFFICULT TO TURN THE OTHER CHEEK?

It is only when we surrender to our Father's Will, that He removes the "difficult" and replaces it with His "PEACE". It's His PEACE  that is far above human understanding. It is my prayer that we (Christians) will be able to stand boldly in the face of persecution when it comes our way, we will only be able to stand if we have HOLY SPIRIT living inside of us. "For greater is HE that is in us than he that is in the world."

John 18:19 Meanwhile, the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. 20 I have spoken openly to the world," Jesus replied. "I always taught in synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews come together. I said nothing in secret. 21 Why question me? ask those who heard me. Surely they know what I said." 22 when Jesus said this, one of the officials nearby slapped him in the face. "Is this the way you answer the high priest?" he demanded. 23 "If I said something wrong," Jesus replied, "testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?" 24 Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest. (NIV)

Luke 22:63 The men who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating him. 64 They blindfolded him and demanded, "Prophesy! Who hit you?" 65 And they said many other insulting things to him.

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. - Mahatma Gandhi

You know one of the hardest things to do when someone does us wrong is “to let it go” we will harbor on that thing until the sun goes down and the only people that are willing to listen are those who will fan the flames of confusion rather than quench it; but even they will eventually get sick of the “woe is me” and just won’t it to be over. Trying to stay upset with someone for the sake of being "right" is exhausting, but thank God we do finally come to the end of ourselves... it's then we can confess, apologize, repent (having a change of heart and mind) and move on.

1 Peter 3:9 Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t snap back at those who say unkind things about you. Instead, pray for God’s help for them, for we are to be kind to others, and God will bless us for it. 10 If you want a happy, good life, keep control of your tongue, and guard your lips from telling lies. 11 Turn away from evil and do good. Try to live in peace even if you must run after it to catch and hold it! 12 For the Lord is watching his children, listening to their prayers; but the Lord’s face is hard against those who do evil. 13 Usually no one will hurt you for wanting to do good. 14 But even if they should, you are to be envied, for God will reward you for it. 15 Quietly trust yourself to Christ your Lord, and if anybody asks why you believe as you do, be ready to tell him, and do it in a gentle and respectful way. (TLB)

How is your relationship with Jesus?

I ask this question because it is a question that every confessing Follower of Christ should ask him/herself. Our relationship with Jesus is more valuable than any other relationship there is. If we value Him, we value His Word, we surrender to His Word of Truth. and we allow that Word to guide us throughout the day. We must become the type of Christian who stands on God's Word even when it's difficult. The world needs to see Christians living like Christians. If we can not handle minor pressures (with Holy Spirit helping us), will we be able to stand when the heavy hand of persecution subjects itself? We should not be second guessing our SALVATION, every BORN-AGAIN BELIEVER should be able to say without any doubt, "when I step into eternity, I will be with Jesus forever." Can you say that?

This post is intended to Inspire, Encourage, and Motivate. To help us all get our FOCUS back on Christ and the importance of being a Christian. Until Next Time...

Love & Blessings xo

* I say, God's Creation because WE ARE ALL HIS CREATION. We don't become HIS CHILDREN until we are BORN-AGAIN, that is FAITH THROUGH CHRIST JESUS.