Core scripture: “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.” (Psalm 119:18)
Message: I was one of those crazy teachers that decided to go to Olathe Summer Conference, a three-day workshop for teachers. Personally, I think others are crazy for balking at an opportunity to hear from national presenters and earn two Masters credit hours in three days, but that is just me. Nonetheless, God was at work last week. Through every step, every face I saw, every conversation that took place.
My prayers were bold and to the point those three days. God, use me. Open my eyes for opportunities to bear Your witness. Give me intentional conversations with people to further Your kingdom. You see, although becoming a better teacher was on my mind, my part-time job with FCA was on my heart. This was a phenomenal opportunity to begin networking!
My first session led me to an enthusiastic gal from a middle school that did not have FCA. When the seminar ended, I almost walked away. Almost! God nudged me to reach out to her. So I did. Next thing I knew, I had the name of a young Godly teacher whom I e-mailed between sessions about getting together for coffee. I heard through the grapevine this man had taken some 8th grade boys under his wing, mentoring them to success. He responded immediately in favor of giving it a shot.
Oh, God was so not done.
Grabbing my lunch, I wandered the gymnasium, searching for a place to sit down and eat. One of the best national presenters was sitting by himself alone at a table. Who am I to sit down with Rick Wormeli? I wondered. God’s response was quick. He puts his pants on one leg at a time, just like you. Get over there. So I did. Next thing I knew, I was picking the brain of one of our nation’s leaders in education—and get this—ALONG with another national presenter that joined us.
This gal was different. Positivity radiated from LeAnn Nickelson. Everything about her very essence screamed that she was a believer. Maybe it was her smile or her positive attitude. I was drawn to her, so much in fact that I decided I had to attend her session the following day. Fast forward to that next afternoon. It was confirmed now. This lady was a true soldier for Christ. She was quoting scripture without the audience even knowing it.
“How do you get through to those challenging children?” she challenged us. “Four simple words!”
She paused for added effect. We hung on her every word. As all the pens were clicked and ears were attentive, she belted out, “I AM FOR YOU!” Shades of Isaiah 41:10. Hawk Nelson’s lyrics were ringing out in my head: “I am for you! I’m not against you!” Laughing to myself, I pulled the song “Drops in the Ocean” up on YouTube and sent them to her with an encouraging note, sharing my blog with her. I smiled at her response the following day. I am sooooooo going to share this blog when I get home!
Once again, God was not done.
I had worn my FCA shirt that day. Per God’s nudge of course. In a hand up/pair/share activity, I ran across a gal who saw my shirt and immediately asked about FCA.
“How do I get involved?” she asked excitedly.
Talk about throwing a softball right over the middle of the plate! I eagerly wrote down the gal’s name. A friend of mine had tipped me off that her middle school had struggled with FCA recently, and this gal wanted to join the fight. On break we found out we were tattoo buddies. I showed her my cross and life verse, Philippians 4:13, on my upper left shoulder. She one upped me with a beautiful design of a verse from John imprinted on her right shoulder. The ink was still fresh.
You think God was done? Pshhh! I scoff at you!
Our God is so prevailing, so powerful, so wonderful that He led me to a session about mental health from a national presenter that inspired me so much that I wrote Frank Kros a thank you note and gave him a Starbuck’s gift card. The dude killed it! Tons of useful stuff for a topic that I am beyond passionate about. And God put an old friend next to me, a former boss who was now a counselor at a middle school without FCA. With some deep thought, she gave me the name of a fellow believer that might be willing to pass the torch.
God refused to stop working.
He empowered me to present Friday morning a session about Teaching Students Character. In my session I was able to lead the entire group of easily 100 people to my tab above about “Character Lessons.” Only God knows how many teachers will not only use that tab but likewise click on the devotionals or other links right here. I was pumped up to present that lesson even more having God lead me to sit next to my dear friend Pam at the first session that morning. Pam followed me straight to my session and helped be my PowerPoint clicker.
Three days chalk full of God’s imprint. New relationships were born. Old ones were rejuvenated. God was most certainly on the move at Summer Conference this past week. More than likely working even through ways beyond my knowing. God reminds us, “For I am doing something in your own day, something you wouldn’t believe even if someone told you about it” (Habakkuk 1:5). I wonder … what does He have in store for me now? I wonder what He will be doing through YOU?
One thing is for sure. God will be working. Every day. Every hour. All we need to do is follow His lead.
Challenge: How will God work through you this summer break? Open your eyes to opportunities He gives you to explore new adventures. Pray for Him to use you in mighty ways this summer!
Song application: “God is on the Move” by 7eventh Time Down
Anytime a heart turns from darkness to light
Anytime temptation comes and someone stands to fight
Anytime somebody lives to serve and not be served
I know, I know, I know, I know
God is on the move, on the move
God is on the move
In many mighty ways
God is on the move, on the move
God is on the move
On the move today
Prayer Points: Pray that the Lord will utilize me through building FCA connections and intentional relationships through a mere 10 hours of work a week. Pray that He will continue using you in mighty ways to spread His glory.
Prayer: Father, we realize You are working in ways beyond our knowing. Open our eyes to see the amazing opportunities You give us to be a light for you. Amen.