July 5, 2018 Give Thanks

Ezra 3_11

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Teaching Online

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Due to various things going on with teaching in a public school that made it very difficult to stay there, I felt God lead me to step out of public school teaching. I do miss the children a lot, but I have been blessed in the process.

The very next day, after my last day in the public school, I was called to sub as a Theatre Teacher in a small private school for the next day. I took the position and enjoyed it. After classes that day, the head director of the fine arts department asked me if I would be willing to take the class as the full teacher for the rest of the year. They only met one day a week, but it was something, kept me working with children and doing theatre. I took it and enjoyed it during this semester.

A few days later another friend told me about teaching online. She taught English Second Language (ESL) to Chinese students online. After some prayer about it, I decided to give it a try. It is with VIPKid.

The requirements for the job are a bachelor’s degree, in anything, experience with teaching, a computer with webcam and good internet.

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With this job I can set what hours I want to work. There are hours that are considered very high prime time hours to work, but I can choose from 8pm-8am, any half hour time frame or groups of timeframes. I have to work on Beijing China time. Each class is only 25 minutes long. It is one on one with a student.

One of the great things about the teaching is that I do not have to do any real lesson planning. The company I am with provides all the lessons. They show up on PowerPoint type slides. When you enter the classroom, the laptop screen will show a me and the student in 2 different spots. On the left will be the slides. I click through each one do what it requires.

Depending upon the level of the student will depend on what is being done. Students who are level 2, are usually still learning letters and small words. The teacher does about 1/2 the talking. By the time the student gets to level 5, the student is doing about 75% of the talking, and the teacher is doing very little talking. At the higher levels there is a lot more discussion.

In each of the lessons, each of the core subjects are touched upon in learning English. Math, Social Studies, History, Grammar, and Spelling. Some of the classes I have taught talk about insects, both benefits and problems; wild animals; domestic animals; jobs; culture in China; culture in America; and large mathematical word problems. I have actually learned a lot about Chinese culture in teaching them also.

Within 12 hours after a class is finished, I have to fill out a feedback on how the student did, both for the parent and for the next teacher. It also fills in for VIPKid for deciding what level the student is at, or if the student needs to move up or down a level. On average it only takes about 5 minutes to fill out that report for each student.

Some of the benefits of working this job is that it is done from my home. I do not have to travel to work or wear special clothing for it. It is a contract job, so purchase of internet, laptop, webcam and any other things that one thinks is needed can be tax deductible. The base pay is $14/hour, but can go up to about $22/hour. From the base pay, they give a lot of bonuses based off of several different factors.

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In the first month I have made several hundred dollars working just a couple of hours each day. Some people work it full time and make several thousand. I only work about 12-18 hours a week. And they pay monthly. Throughout the month you can see exactly how much you have made and how you made it.

Another benefit is seeing the students eyes light up when they speak correctly or learn a new word.

I have also had several students who are my regular repeat students. Several get excited when they see me each time. Parents have left feedback saying they also enjoy seeing me each time.

I enjoy getting paid while helping parents help their children be the best that they can be. I don’t have to leave home and most of the children are in great behavior and love learning English.

If you have a bachelor’s degree and may be interested in doing this type of teaching, please click on the following link: VIPKid

If it asks for a Referral code: 07P5EQ

I will receive a referral bonus if you sign up. It is free to look at and if you have any questions on it, please click on the contact me link above and send me your questions by email.

Give Him Control

Worshipping God

I was listening to a song by the group, Tenth Avenue North, a few days ago. It was a song I have heard quit a few times, but never really listened to the words, until the other day when I was listening to it.

The title of the song is: Comfort (Somehow You Want Me)

Here are the words to the chorus to the song:

God, You don’t need me, but somehow You want me
Oh, how you love me, somehow that frees me
To take my hands off of my life and the way it should go
Oh, God, You don’t need me, but somehow You want me
Oh, how You love me, somehow that frees me
To open my hands up and give You control
I give You control

As I listened to this song the other day, it really hit me what the song was saying. God really does not need me, but He loves me and wants me.

Just sit back and think about that for a moment. God, the God of all the universe; the God who made everything that is; the God who has absolute power; the God who has always been and will always be; the God who is in absolute control of everything, wants me. And just as much as He wants me, He wants you also.

Before all of creation was started, God already had you on His mind. He had a plan for you.

Ephesians 1-4

For me that is so amazing! It is mind-blowing to think about. That even before He created this great earth, He was thinking about me and you.

Now as you think about that, now think about how you, (if you are like me), like to be in control of your own life. How many times do we like to be the one to call the shots? Or to be successful in what we do?

How often do we set our own goals and try to do what it takes to achieve those goals? Then get upset because we can’t seem to achieve the goals we set.

This is where the other part of that chorus comes in: “somehow that frees me
To open my hands up and give You control, I give You control

Jumping For Freedom

Knowing that God wants me, loves me and has been thinking about me since before the beginning of creation, brings about a great freedom. That freedom is to be able to let go of this life I have and let Him have control of it.

Knowing that God wants me, loves me and has been think about me since before the beginning of creation assures me that He knows what is best for me. He knows what is best for me in every situation that I may go through in my life.

The only bad situation for God is when I choose not to obey or follow Him. Everything else God has under control and can use it for His glory and to build me up more like Jesus everyday. There is nothing so bad that God cannot use it for His glory and to build you and me up.

Now the question comes, am I willing to give up control of my life? Are you willing to give up control of your life?

Giving It To God

That means letting go of everything and placing all those things in God’s hands. It means trusting God to take care of you. It means following God no matter where He leads you. It means obeying God in every area of your life, every moment of your life. It means that you strive to be more like Jesus everyday.

It is putting complete trust in God and God alone. It is putting so much trust in God, that if He fails, you will fail. But remember that God has never failed and never will fail. He has always kept every promise He has made.

Look at what Jesus went through so that you and I could be saved. It looked terrible, it looked like God had failed, but He did not. Jesus had victory in the end.

You can also have that same victory. Are you going to let go of your life and let God have control? I am striving to do that more and more.

Here is the video of that song by Tenth Avenue North:

 

Speed The Light Fund Raiser

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My 17 year old son, Caleb, has been led by God to try and raise $25,000 for Speed The Light. This is a part of the Assemblies of God that helps provide missionaries with vehicles or methods of transportation.

The mode of transportation depends upon where they are located and the need. Some missionaries receive bicycle, or horse, car, truck, off-road vehicle, or even boats. It is dependent upon the average mode of transportation where they are reaching the lost. The goal is to help as many missionaries get the gospel message to the people as fast as possible, thus Speed the Light.

In the following video my son explains what he has done in the past and how he came up with the dollar amount for this year. Please watch the video and prayerfully consider supporting his goal. At a minimum pray that his goal will be met and that thousands of people will hear the gospel message because of this program.

To watch the video, click on the following link: 

Speed The Light Fund Raiser Video

If you would like to know more about Speed The Light follow this link:

Speed The Light

Thank you for your prayers and support!

Speed The Light

 

 

Seeing Through A Fog

Foggy Road

A few days ago I had to drive a several hour drive to Dallas. On the way there the weather was cloudy with some drizzling rain. At a few points on the road, there was some heavy fog. It brought visibility down a lot. I could only see about 1/4 to 1/2 of a mile ahead, and that was seeing other vehicles with their lights on. If they did not have their lights on, it was a lot shorter distance of seeing anything.

Driving in that type of fog is not always the safest thing to do. The traffic did slow down to about 60, on a 75 mph road. Most people were wise enough to have their headlights on, though some did not.

As I drove through the fog, I had to keep my eyes focused ahead for the traffic. The good part was that the highway was a divided highway, thus I did not have to worry at all about any on-coming traffic. I did have to be ready to slow down quickly, when I approached another vehicle that was going much slower than I was. I even had some vehicles that passed by my going much faster than I was willing to drive in that fog.

While driving through that fog, it made me think of the verse, in the KJV:

1 Corinthians 13:12 King James Version (KJV)

12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

Or in the NIV:

1 Corinthians 13:12 New International Version (NIV)

12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

1 Corinthians 13_12

Seeing through a glass or a reflection in a mirror is not always very clear, just like seeing through the fog. In this verse it is talking about fully knowing God. Right now we look at the Bible and see a picture of God or at creation and see some of the attributes of God, but we cannot see Him clearly.

However, what made me think of this verse with the fog, was looking at the life we live here on this earth. As we travel the roads of life there are times it is nice and clear with the sun shining bright. It appears as though we can see several miles down the road. We can see everyone around us and any dangers that may be up ahead.

This is the type of life everyone wants. A smooth traveling, straight path, with no danger in sight. Even though this type of path may happen in our lives at times and it may happen for a few days, weeks, or maybe even months, it does not stay that way all the time.

Rough Road

There always comes times of rough roads and times where it is difficult to see the path ahead. Sudden sickness, job loss, break downs, disasters, and the list goes on, come into our lives. As we are going through the tough time, we often cannot see the end of the road. We cannot see what is coming up ahead. It is as though we are looking through a dark glass, or traveling through the fog.

When I drove through the fog, I did not know how long or far it would last. I only knew that there was fog and I had to keep going forward. I also knew that the fog would come to an end eventually.

Life works the same way. We don’t always know what is coming up ahead. Sometimes it is full of fog and hidden from view and can be a little scary.

The important thing to remember is that God is in control of your future and path. He is guiding your every step.

Psalm 37:23 New International Version (NIV)

23 The Lord makes firm the steps
    of the one who delights in him;

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Just as with driving down the road in the fog, one must keep an eye on the white line on the side and the yellow lines in the middle to guide his path, you must also keep your eyes on God and His path for you.

2 Timothy 1_7

 

God does not want you to be afraid of the road in front of you. He has given you everything you need to keep moving forward on the path He has for you. That path will ultimately take you to heaven to be with Him for all eternity. At that point the path will be lit up brightly for all eternity, there will be no more sorrow, pain or suffering.

We may not see everything very clearly right now, but we can rest assured that God knows what He is doing. He has your best interest in mind as He allows things to happen in your life.

Sunny Road

Keep driving down the road, though it may be foggy today, it will be sunny in the end.

Absent-Minded Listening

Not Really Listening

A few days ago I was driving to a location about three hours away. While driving I had started out listening to a good Christian radio station. After a while I had lost the station and did not feel like slowly searching through the stations to find another good station to listen too.

I decided to pull over for a moment and search for a sermon to listen to online on my phone. I had found a couple that looked like they could be good to listen to, so I started playing one of them while driving.

The first sermon I listened to, I could remember what it was about afterwards. The second sermon, by the same person, after listening to it, I realized I could not remember much about it.

Car Radio

As I though about why I could not remember it, I started to realize that I was driving down the road I could hear the sermon, but my mind was not on it. My mind was thinking about other things. Thinking about things that I was seeing on the road, thinking about things that need to happen, thinking about the job, thinking about the future of things in my life, and thinking about things that had happened.

Later on I thought about what had occurred that day with listening to those sermons and how I listen in life many times. It is easy to let the mind wander around when doing something or listening to something. This causes a person to just be going through the motions of listening, but is not really listening. The ears are hearing, but the heart and mind are not hearing.

Hearing like this can occur a lot in the life of a person. On Sunday mornings, how many times does a person “hear” the sermon, but really does not hear it? He cannot remember what was talked about, he was listening with an absent mind. His thoughts are on something different.

Husbands are often guilty of this type of listening with their wives. I know I am guilty of this at times. My wife will tell me something as I am doing something else or just sitting there, but my mind is not there. Later I will ask again about that subject and she will tell me that she already told me, but I will not remember. I had heard it, but did not really hear it.

Man Not Listening

Parents can also be guilty of this with children and children with parents. Many times things are said that later a person says he never heard said. Children tell parents of their day at school, but the parent really does not hear what was said. Or the parent tells the child to do some chore, and later the child says he never heard it said.

This can also happen very easily when a person is reading the bible. Reading the words and hearing what they say are two different things. God has plenty to say in the bible, if we are just willing to listen to it as we read it.

God is also willing to speak into our lives. How many times do we pray to God for an answer to a question we have, but then do not listen to what God tells us? Sometimes it is that we do not like His answer. Other times we are not really listening for God’s voice.

We are busy searching for an answer or busy doing things in this life, so that we do not hear what God is saying. Then when He gives an answer we do not really hear it and forget it almost immediately or dismiss it as not of God.

As a believer we need to be in tune to what God is saying at all times. God spoke to Elijah in a still quiet voice on the mountain. He does not like to shout and holler His answers to us.

God Speaks In a Quiet Voice

God will speak through other people, children, creation, books, songs, and any other media. You may hear something stated in a movie, a movie that has nothing to do with God, but it speaks a truth of God, or a lie of the devil. He could be pointing out a change that must be made in your life through something you hear or see.

He loves to remind us of His love for us through creation, tells us there is hope of a new day seeing the sunrise. Reminder of provision through seeing a bird that He provides for. Clothing is provided through seeing the plants of the field. How great He is through the stars at night. His majesty through the mountains. Being fishers of men in seeing fish. And the list goes on forever.

Mountain Scene

He may also speak to you to reach out to someone who is in your path. Or to go off your path to reach out to someone.

However, in all of these ways, you must be actively listening. Too often we listen absent-mindedly. Hearing, but not really hearing what is being said. That is when we get discouraged or scared, because we are not hearing what He has to say.

I pray that in the days to come you will be an active listener of God. Seek to hear what He is saying at all times. You will be amazed at how much God is saying, if you are really listening and will apply to your life what He is saying.