The Drill

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Since leaving the classroom, I have gotten to be involved in some of the behind the scenes workings of schools. One of these areas in which I have gained a new perspective is the drills we must do. You know the kind. Fire drills, tornado drills, intruder lockdowns, zombie apocalypse practice, etc. are all scheduled and planned on our calendar. We then get to surprise the rest of the staff and students and time their reactions. Recently, I was able to help with a tornado drill and it had some interesting results. We had some students outside, one of whom was my daughter, who evidently did not hear the warning or ignored it. I have taken great pleasure in reminding her that she and her class are dead since they never came in and took shelter. I would randomly go by and say, “I see dead people”. All joking aside, why do we waste time on these drills? Because if there is a real emergency , we want to get everyone to safety as quickly as possible. Our times have improved and the little wrinkles we throw at them are easily overcome. Our time practicing now will pay off if we ever have to use these plans in a real emergency.

Our walk for Christ requires training as well. Paul wrote a letter instructing Timothy about this very thing. “Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth.” (‭2 Timothy‬ ‭2‬:‭15‬ AMP). I used the Amplified version to help clarify Paul’s point. The young preacher, Timothy was to diligently study and accurately teach the Bible. Just a few paragraphs later, Paul warns, “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. (‭II Timothy‬ ‭4‬:‭1-4‬ NKJV). Preachers, and all Christians, are to proclaim the word!

Like eager students learning how to duck and cover, we must study, live out, and proclaim God’s word. Sadly, many today are turning from God’s word and looking to society to find their beliefs. Instead of knowing what God says and seeking to live it, many are saying churches need to get with the times. In fact, one such pastor was recently asked about one of the hot topics where Scripture and society clash. His reply was, “”I think culture is already there and the church will continue to be even more irrelevant when it quotes letters from 2,000 years ago as their best defense,….” Here is a so called pastor flippantly dismissing God’s word as irrelevant. If the Bible can’t be trusted when it lays out a moral compass for us, how can it be trusted on matters of eternity? It appears we are in those days when many will not endure sound doctrine. We must be even more diligent to know the truth.

Let us not be deceived. Study the word. Proclaim the truth in love.

Priorities

The amazing coach Tom Landry once said that he had three priorities in life: God, family, and football—in that order. “Until you get your priorities straight you will never be truly successful at anything.”

I had the privilege of hearing him speak when I attended Dallas Baptist University. He was consistent with that theme throughout his life.

We too need to set our priorities. Like Coach Landry, God should be our first priority. Solomon said, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (‭Proverbs‬ ‭1‬:‭7‬ NKJV). All other life lessons are secondary to the foundation of being in awe of God. His instructions should be our top priority and glorifying Him through how well we represent Him on earth should be our goal.

Family must be our next priority. From the command to honor our parents in the Ten Commandments, to Paul’s admonition that we are worse than unbelievers if we fail to provide for family, we are told by God family matters. Too often we let our business crowd out our time for our families. Our careers get our best efforts and energies and many drag in the door with nothing left for their family.

Finally, comes football! Well, if you are the coach of God’s Team, the Cowboys, football is third. For the rest of us, that would be our careers. God desires us to work. He set the pattern and then inscribed into the Law that we are to work six days and rest the seventh.

If we follow our Creator’s instruction and keep our priorities straight, life will be more joyous and productive. So many in the world are chasing success by putting their career first. It will not work that way! Check your priorities today. Take time to write them down and make the commitment now to keep them in their rightful order.

Focus

pupils-152835_640Have you ever had trouble staying on task?  As a classroom teacher, I have witnessed many with roaming eyes.   I have often seen students wander off topic and lose their focus on the task at hand.  Before we get too self righteous, I must admit I have seen adults do this and am sometimes guilty myself.

It is easy to get busy and let our eyes roam.   Proverbs says, “Wisdom is the focus of the perceptive, but a fool’s eyes roam to the ends of the earth.” (‭Proverbs‬ ‭17‬:‭24‬ HCSB).  Too often we take our eyes off the wisdom of God and substitute  a false wisdom which comes from our own understanding.  If we look to the world around us, our moral compass will be off.  I have witnessed a slow fade away from godliness became a mad dash racing toward destruction.  Society is distancing itself from God’s wisdom in so many areas today.  Regardless of the topic, if someone’s justification for their opinion and conclusion comes from their observations in the world, they have lost their focus.   They become fools when they allow their roaming eyes to find justification for their sin they desire to cling to.  They feel right and justified because they can point to others who have the same opinion.  However, morality can never be determined by polling the populace.

My dad is a retired pastor.   I recall him saying many times, “God said it, and that settles it!”   I cringed as a kid at the absoluteness of that view.  As I moved out of the house and entered my adult life, I found myself finally getting it.  When choices arose about my behavior and the behavior of those around me, I found myself at the point of casting off God’s word, or complying with it.  It is really as simple as that. 

 Too many Christians today are conforming to the world.  They are looking at the world to answer questions of morality.  Today, we need an awaking to wisdom.  We need to refocus our eyes on God and His view on life’s issues.  Only then will we have the right focus.