Debbie Williamson

Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Friday

2

December 2016

7

COMMENTS

15 Seconds To Joy

Written by , Posted in General

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And, what’s the first thing that came to your mind when you read those words?

Something stressful, panicky, negative?

Something is wrong with that! Lots of something wrong with that!

The angel said to the shepherds, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10,11)

It’s Christmas! This is good news of great joy! A Savior! Jesus! Christ the Lord! That is good news!

But all we feel is — panic, pressure, pandemonium?!

Parker Palmer says,

“Too many of us consent, or are forced, to spend time doing things for which we have no heartfelt reason. If we were asked, “Why are you doing this?,” we would not know how to answer.”

Does this describe your journey through the Christmas season? Do you find yourself in January each year exhausted, sad, discouraged, spent – emotionally, financially, spiritually? Are you wondering why it is you said yes to some things and no to others? Why you allowed the panic, the pressure, the pandemonium to build and build and build? Do you question why you even do what you do?

Just for a moment then, let’s think forward to January 2017 . . .

Tuesday

22

November 2016

3

COMMENTS

Hope In The Mess

Written by , Posted in General, Holiday

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These words on a pink post it note have been on my kitchen cabinet door for months . . .

There is so much more to this journey than what we can see with our eyes.

Hope in the mess.

He is our provision. DAILY!

As I’m still working my way through the five stages of grief after a brutal November, the holidays have swung into high gear.

AACK!!!

I’m not ready to pivot to festive and cheery and light and bright and merry. And yet, Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent, the beginning of the Christmas season.

So, pivot I must.

Friday

11

November 2016

12

COMMENTS

I Was With Her

Written by , Posted in General

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8 years ago I was at a luncheon with a group of women from our church. It was an election year and I remember casually mentioning that I was going to vote for Obama. (And that was the last time I casually mentioned anything about my political leanings.)

From across the room a friend said, “Oh Debbie, how could you?”

I’ve been thinking of that moment this week knowing that 82% of evangelical Christians voted for Donald Trump. I was in the minority 8 years ago and I was in the minority Tuesday. Somewhere along the line being a Christian meant voting for the Republican ticket no matter what. (Here is a great blog by Tim Stafford that talks about that.)

I grew up in a staunchly Republican home — my dad had a very special term (unprintable) for any Democrat. Consequently, I voted Republican in every presidential election.

Until 8 years ago.

Saturday

29

October 2016

1

COMMENTS

Even If I Broke The Whole World

Written by , Posted in General

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One of my favorite people is nine years old. When she was a littler girl, she couldn’t understand forgiveness. Her mom and dad told her that they would forgive her no matter what. No. Matter. What. Unconditional love, they explained. But she would always ask, “Would you forgive me even if I broke the whole world?”

“Would you forgive me even if I broke the whole world?”

Adam and Eve broke the whole world . . . literally.

They took the great good that God had made and abused it. They listened to the sneaky, seductive serpent tell them that God was stingy and selfish. He won’t let you eat from that one tree? No way! That’s no fun. He’s holding out on you. Don’t you want to “see what’s really going on?” (Gen. 3:5, The Message) Actually, NO! It’s never a good idea to see what’s really going on. But they were duped.

God had said No. The serpent said, But why not? And the two of them broke the whole world.

Friday

21

October 2016

2

COMMENTS

You Are In Charge Of Your Own Education

Written by , Posted in General, Substitute Teaching

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(I’ve been having problems with my blog sending out notifications to my subscribers. My awesome son-in-law fixed the problem, so I’m going to resend this post I wrote yesterday. I apologize to any of you who did get this post and are now getting it for a second time. Thank you for your patience!)

I love my job.

I have been substituting teaching middle schoolers for 13 years and 98% of the time I really love it. (The 2% can be a killer, but, it’s only 2%. I can live with that.)

Everything about it — the students, the teaching, the reading, the encouraging and directing, and the staff.

The school I currently work at has pretty great teachers. It’s been a joy to get to know them and be their friend. And every so often I actually get to see them at work doing their awesome thing shepherding needy, curious, sweet, aggravating middle schoolers through what most of us remember being the WORST YEARS OF OUR LIVES. It’s quite a task and responsibility. I’m humbled by their dedication and patience.

The other day I had a long conversation with one of them. And one of the things she said was:

You are in charge of your own education.

Thursday

20

October 2016

1

COMMENTS

You Are In Charge Of Your Own Education

Written by , Posted in General, Substitute Teaching

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I love my job.

I have been substituting teaching middle schoolers for 13 years and 98% of the time I really love it. (The 2% can be a killer, but, it’s only 2%. I can live with that.)

Everything about it — the students, the teaching, the reading, the encouraging and directing, and the staff.

The school I currently work at has pretty great teachers. It’s been a joy to get to know them and be their friend. And every so often I actually get to see them at work doing their awesome thing shepherding needy, curious, sweet, aggravating middle schoolers through what most of us remember being the WORST YEARS OF OUR LIVES. It’s quite a task and responsibility. I’m humbled by their dedication and patience.

The other day I had a long conversation with one of them. And one of the things she said was:

You are in charge of your own education.

Tuesday

4

October 2016

1

COMMENTS

A Lighthouse Is For Others

Written by , Posted in General

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“He gave a bitter laugh at the thought that the dip of the light meant that the island itself was always left in darkness. A lighthouse is for others; powerless to illuminate the space closest to it.”

(The Light Between Oceans: A Novel by M.L. Stedman)

A lighthouse is for others; powerless to illuminate the space closest to it.

Hmmm . . .

Christians sing about and talk about and use the lighthouse as a powerful illustration for our lives in Jesus. We are the light of the world, He says, and we are to shine our lights in such a way that others see our good works and glorify God. (Matt. 5:16)

But isn’t it interesting to ponder that as we shine brightly for others, we might be powerless to illuminate the space we call us.

Wednesday

28

September 2016

0

COMMENTS

What’s In Your Jar?

Written by , Posted in General

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Corrie Ten Boom tells the familiar story of smuggling a small vitamin bottle into Ravensbrück, the notorious concentration camp for women in northern Germany where she and her sister, Betsie were imprisoned.

“Somehow their precious little vitamin bottle never seemed to empty. Corrie put drops on Betsie’s bread each day, and Betsie insisted on sharing the drops with many others who were sick. It was impossible to see how much was left in the dark brown glass bottle. But the drops continued to fall, day after day, while fellow prisoners watched in amazement. Then one day a fellow prisoner who worked in the hospital managed to steal a large number of vitamin pills. It was not until that very evening that Corrie discovered that the vitamin bottle was at last empty. These were small mercies, but they revealed the presence of God and were deeply comforting and encouraging.” (Eric Metaxas, 7 Women, 129-130)

Small mercies revealing the presence of God

In another time and place, there was a drought and people were dying.

Wednesday

14

September 2016

9

COMMENTS

Please Give Me Strength Yet Once More

Written by , Posted in General

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The story of Samson (the strong guy with the long hair in Judges 13) begins: There once was a man from Zorah. His wife was barren and childless. But the angel of the Lord came to her and said, “I know that you are barren and childless, but you’re going to become pregnant and bear a son.” (Judges 13:2-3)

And the woman said to her husband, Guess what!? I’m pregnant and it’s a boy!

Then the man prayed to God.

And God listened to him.

Then the man asked the angel.

And the angel answered him.

Then the man and his wife fell facedown and worshipped.

“Terror laced with glory.”

Like the man and his wife, God knows that we are [barren, lonely, angry, tired, despairing, hurting . . .].

But we’re going to become hopeful, faithful, joy-filled, worshippers.

Friday

26

August 2016

3

COMMENTS

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Written by , Posted in General, Substitute Teaching

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2 hugs, looks of disappointment, a meltdown (a student, not me), and unending muttering about what they have to do before I let them use the restroom . . . Hallelujah! It’s time for another year of substitute teaching muddled middle schoolers.

School started 3 weeks ago in our district and I’ve already worked 4 days.

The huggy, smiley, obedient kids are wonderful. They’re easy to like, help and favor.

The eye-rolling, muttering, disrespectful kids are not.

The other day, I had both. I stood at the door after the bell rang to welcome the 8th graders to class.

There were smiles and bouncy attitudes and hooray, it’s you!

And, there were frowns and sullen steps and bummer, it’s her.

I smile and cheerily (maybe annoyingly) say, “Hello. Good morning/afternoon. Glad you’re here.” And they all file in.

Let the games begin!