Don’t Be Just Another School!

“What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?” – Mark 8:36

What does it profit a man if he educates the whole school, but loses sight of the goal?

Image result for bible and school

If I teach English, subjects and verbs, the conjugation of words, and require readings of Shakespeare, Homer, and more great writers, poets, and masterpiece orators, but I do not teach my students to read and analyze His word, then I am just an English teacher.

If I teach Math, equations and inequalities, and the measurements of geometric figures, to calculate speed and distance, circumferences and weights, but I do not teach my students the height of God’s love and the depth of His forgiveness, then I am just a math teacher.

 If I teach Science, conception, atoms and cells, the intricacy of organs and brain function while encouraging my students to reach for the stars; to magnify the galaxies, the earth and its orbit, but I do not teach them that happiness is a life revolved around Jesus, and that all life came from Him, then I am just a science teacher.

If I’m a coach, and I teach agility and coordination, speed and strength; preparation and hard work, perseverance through the valleys with a focus to win, but I do not teach humility through the peaks and a competitive integrity based in Him, then I am just a coach.

If I teach History, kings and rulers, memorizing the words of great influencers; studying the strategies of presidents and war generals to avoid repeating the past, but I do not teach that all history is His story, that it began and will finish in Him, and that my students were planned to eternally affect it, then I am just a history teacher.

If I teach a foreign language, words and meanings, Spanish and French, appreciating other cultures and the lands they represent, cultivating a passion for travel, to explore beyond what my students see, but I do not explain the need for understanding and speaking languages on the mission field, that barriers are broken when languages are spoken, then I am just a foreign language teacher.

If I teach Technology, laptops and iPads, streaming the latest videos and uploading text, equipping my students for podcasts and blogging, online and surfing, but I do not teach them that the tool was made for students, not students for the tool, and that technology is a God-inspired idea to evangelize His world, then I am just a technology teacher.

If I teach Music, rhythm and notes, recognizing the beauty of sound, leading my students to sing and play instruments before a crowd, but I do not teach them that music is a gift from God to be given back to Him as worship, then I am just a music teacher.

If I’m a counselor, college and career, listening to stories, hearing their fears, providing a safe place to shelter their tears, but I do not provide wisdom from His word, nor do I pray with my students believing their voices are heard, then I am just a counselor.

If I teach Art, lines and shapes, acrylics and oil, instructing my students to draw an abstract and paint with realism; sculpting objects to honor a memory, but I do not teach my students that creativity began with creation, and all that we see is God’s masterpiece, then I am just an art teacher.

If I’m a disciplinarian, rules and regulations, infractions and tardies, punishing students for rebelling against authority, but I do not balance correction with grace as God has gently corrected me, praying with students to stay on the righteous path, then I am just a disciplinarian.

If I teach Drama, characters and props, studying scripts and practicing lines, connecting my students to their deepest emotions, but I do not prompt them to be real in their faith, to witness fearlessly off the stage as they perform on it, then I am just a drama teacher.

If I’m an administrator, meetings and deadlines, parents and staff, envisioning tomorrow’s school with today’s resources, recruiting strong educators for academic growth, but I do not invite Jesus to every meeting, making Him the cornerstone of every decision framed in integrity, believing my title is greater than the King’s, then I am just an administrator.

If we are a school, hallways and lockers, cafeterias and water fountains, but we are not a path to salvation, nor a place of refuge and do not provide spiritual nourishment and living water, then we are just a school.

 Abortion, Same-sex marriage, Common Core, Drugs, Suicide, Bullying, Family Violence

We don’t need just another school! We need a generation of real change!

The time is now!     –Are You Doing Your Part?

Does Your Graduate Have Enough Faith For College?

Image result for evolution

“EVERY year around this time, with the college year starting, I give my students The Talk,” — David P. Barash, an evolutionary biologist and professor of psychology at the University of Washington and the author, most recently, of “Buddhist Biology: Ancient Eastern Wisdom Meets Modern Western Science.”  He continues to explain the talk he has with incoming students of faith who need clarity in their understandings of biology.

He shares that he could take the path that other evolutionary professors have taken by suggesting that evolution and religion are “compatible,” meaning that God + The Big Bang Theory = life.  With strong convictions, he feels that this would be “misrepresenting both science and religion.”  Instead, he chooses to challenge his biology students through the lens of this belief, “The more we know of evolution, the more unavoidable is the conclusion that living things, including human beings, are produced by a natural, totally amoral process, with no indication of a benevolent, controlling creator.” To read the article further, you may click here: http:// http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/28/opinion/sunday/god-darwin-and-my-college-biology-class.htm

With all due respect to Mr. Barash and his right to his beliefs, this article is a wake-up call to me as a Christian mother to my fifteen-year-old daughter.  As intentional as my husband and I are in leading our daughter to know and share the love of Christ, there is a force that is equally seeking to destroy the work that we have invested.

Expectantly, I rest in this promise from Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”  Training requires daily teaching and demonstrating faith in our children’s lives with an awareness that it will be challenged.  We must equip them for the war ahead.  Some of our children will fight for their faith in a college classroom, and others will defend it in the career world.  There is no doubt that their faith will be tested.  Are they ready for the test?

Friend, if you have young children, and especially if your son or daughter is a Christian attending college (public or private!), they need to know beyond head knowledge, but with heart knowledge, the answers to these questions:

  1. Do I know that the Bible is 100% accurate and reliable, and can I explain logically how I know?
  2. Do I know that Jesus really loves me, died for my sins, rose from death 3 days later, and spent 40 more days on earth?
  3. Do I know that I am fully forgiven from all of my sins after repenting of them, that to live in guilt is to believe my sin is bigger than  God (which isn’t true according to the Bible).  (Romans 8:1)
  4. Do I know that God has a plan and purpose for my life, and as long as I am breathing, I am full of purpose?  Jeremiah 29:11
  5. Do I know that God hears and refers to my prayers as an aroma filling His room?  (Revelation 5:8)
  6. Do I understand Natural Selection with scientific and Biblical research? (Side note:  Darwin had no knowledge of the existence of genes and mutations when he wrote The Origin of Species!)
  7. Do I recognize Genetics and DNA for their complexity in creation and science?
  8. Do I know the different beliefs for the origin of life and how they contradict the Bible’s creation story?  Can I suggest possible financial and ethical reasons for these contradictory beliefs?
  9. Do I have knowledge about the recent fossil discoveries, and how they contradict The Big Bang Theory?
  10. Do I know that if evolution (The Big Bang Theory) is correct, then everything is random and by chance, that sin does not exist since a righteous God does not exist; therefore, I have no purpose other than to live and die a meaningless life?  What’s the point of college?  (This is obviously wrong, but knowing the ethical and morality side of the equation is so important to the Bible’s truth.)

I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions for equipping families with Biblical truth.  If there are specific subjects that you would like me to address at Intentional Living –Ramblings for a Change (previously choosetolivebeforeyoudie.com), please let me know how I can help!  Also, please don’t forget to subscribe to Intentional Living with your e-mail address at http://www.michellemarullo.com.  My goal is to help motivate you to fight the good fight, finish your race, and keep the faith. Together, we are shaping the hearts of our families for Christ, and ultimately, changing our world.  Blessings, friends!  Michelle 🙂

Resources that you will find helpful: 

Dr. Frank Turek’s curriculum & video  http://crossexamined.org/youth-exodus-problem/

Evolution’s Achilles’ Heels Book & DVD  http://creation.com/evolutions-achilles-heels

Focus on the Family TrueU (For High School / College students)  http://family.christianbook.com/page/tcg/fotf/focus-on-the-family-trueu?event=Home-Pages

1 Unforgettable Proposal

chicken soup

Welcome to Intentional Living Devotional!  This devotional will provide Biblical direction for life’s greatest successes and challenges.  It is an extension of my coaching site (under construction) at http://www.michellemarullo.com.  To honor my best friend, Mark, my beyond amazing husband on Valentine’s Day, I am sharing with you our proposal story (21 years ago) at the link below.  I no longer own this story; however, I am able to link you to it.

The Changing Tide by Michelle Marullo Copyright Chicken Soup for the Soul

Romans 8:37-39 

“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Have a “lovely” Valentine’s Day, dear friends!  Michelle Marullo

The Gift of Perspective

In an instant, her world stops like a car racing into a light pole. Opening the unwanted door ushers her into a new room of the soul, the place where faith is tested, character is revealed. Like a child punished from playing, she stares from the window at others driving, working, dreaming. Wasn’t she just on the other side of this glass?  This happens to other people, she thought.  Brave men and women surround her; they are living what she fears the most.  Frozen, she is trapped in a hidden world where the future is fleeting, measured and savored.  Perhaps, she thinks, these are the people who really live, the ones who have learned to see a day from the perspective of borrowed time.  She doesn’t want to be here, but she is.

The waiting room table is covered in pamphlets, brochures… “State of the Art Cancer Care” reads one. “The Importance of Diagnosis and Treatment” reads another.

Nothing happens by chance, she remembers, I am still on a mission for God wherever He leads me.  Today and maybe even tomorrow and the next, this is her mission field. God’s promises begin to counsel her thoughts, a lifeline at a time like this:

“He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.”

– Isaiah 40:29

and then this one…

“Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.  But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.” –James 1:2-4

A “joy”–really?  How, God?  Why me?

And now, she has a choice to make.

Is God who He says He is?  Is His word true? 

She would soon take her greatest test, the one she had prepared a lifetime for, but always thought she would be exempt.  Would she have the level of faith that she often assumed in times like these?  Would she trust in God’s love above the doctor’s facts, knowing that He still had a plan in the midst of the pain? It was much easier telling others to trust God, but today, it was her turn.

“Mrs…. the doctor will see you now.”

Dear friend, are you, too, in that waiting room, where your greatest fears are battling your greatest faith?  Are your current circumstances looking “half-empty” when God still sees them abundantly full? Has the enemy planted weeds in God’s beautiful landscape of your life?

 What portrait of your situation are you seeing today?  Are you looking at the facts or are you looking at God’s truth?

It is a fact that we will have adversity on this side of heaven; it is the truth that God has already made a plan to use our adversity for good.  He is still in control even when we’re not.

Perspective–

the eternal ability to see, know, understand as God does, not as the world interprets.

We know that in all things God works together for good, for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.” –Romans 8:28  This means that in every trial, God transforms our adversities, our “weeds” into beautiful flowers–meaningful, purposeful lives.  “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” –Genesis 50:20 

Will you receive these promises right now, whatever you are going through?  Will you trust that God is up to something really big in the midst of the confusion?  I believe you will.

Photo

She left the office on a mission, determined to make the most of this unexpected detour.  The birds chirped, the wind blew; creation had come alive to her birthing senses.  She was captivated with an eternal awareness of her purpose, a knowing that this “weed” was meant for more. No longer would she question how or why, but instead she would claim, it is well with my soul!  The weeds that were once growing along the side of her road were suddenly popping up daisies–she had been given the gift of perspective.

And then the results came in–

Blessings!  Michelle

“It was Just Soup!”

Soup picture

What would you pay for a bowl of soup?

It’s the great exchange.  Business deal gone wrong.  Who would hire him after such a catastrophic blunder?  He was on his way to the top and then he settled, giving in to his cravings.  He knew better, a Field & Stream type of guy who understood strategy; he lived and breathed patience.  He should have calculated the cost.

But, he didn’t.

What was he thinking or was he thinking at all?

Soup!

An estate for a bowl, a moment of weakness left a desperate man wrestling with his soul.

“‘Once when Jacob was cooking some stew (soup), Esau came in from the open country, famished. 30 He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!”  31 Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.” 32 “Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?” 33 But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob. 34 Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew (soup). He ate and drank, and then got up and left.  So Esau despised his birthright.”‘ –Genesis 25: 29-34

And in that impulsive decision, Esau lost sight of his goals.  Instead of envisioning his life backwards, he lived for the moment; he never once considered the consequences of his selfishness until later in life.

It wasn’t fair for Esau, but he made the choice;

from the grave, we hear his voice–  “Soup!  It was just soup!”

From our perspective, it is easy to scoff at such a ridiculous decision.  A bowl of soup, a large estate…..  how could he not wait?  But,…..

aren’t we compromising the same?

Even today, Americans are still selling their legacy for a bowl of soup!

We work more to have more…… stuff

we pack it up, we stack it up, but we never give it up.

We buy titles with family time, pleasure with purpose, beauty with dignity, worldly wisdom with faith.

The life we know is a perpetual rat race that leaves us exhausted, famished and returning to our chef, “Would you like more soup?”

Dear friend, how about you and I skip on the appetizer and claim the entrée that only Christ can give?  Let’s make sure our priorities are leading us to where God wants to sustain us.

Blessings!  Michelle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wingtips

“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”– Isaiah 40:31

Dear Friend,

Isn’t it time to claim the life, the blessings– all the moments that God wants you to enjoy?  Wherever you are, and regardless of where you have been, you CAN get “there” from “here!”  I’m believing this poem was inspired today for you.

 

Today I stand between my past and my future;

on a mountain overlooking all that I have climbed and all that I will.

Today I am strong.

My wings stretched wide to the open sky,

I must fly.

Farther than where I have come,

higher than I have reached.

Today I am “more than a conqueror;

no weapon formed against me shall prosper.”

I am tall,

and the world is small.

Today even nature sings my song.

I will soar above Redwood trees;

casting my shadow on the seas.

Today I am alive as never before,

I extend my wingtips, I am born.

On this mountain, I cannot stay;

my life tomorrow begins today.

Eagles must fly, and so shall I,

above my storms hurling in the sky.

My Savior guides me.

I am free.

Eagles must fly, and they always fly above their storms.  You, my friend, are an eagle!

 Blessings!  Michelle

 

Problem Solved!

Does every problem have a solution?

Ernö Rubik, a college professor from Hungary had a geometrical dream, one that was literally thinking outside the box.  He  invented the Magic Cube in the spring of 1974 to explain 3-D geometry, and by the mid ’80s, the Rubik’s Cube became the world’s best-selling toy.  It was featured on television, radio, magazines and movies, increasing the number of ‘cubaholics’ passionate about separating the colors.

“You can do the cube!”  Patrick Bossert, a twelve-year-old schoolboy from England, sold 1.5 million copies explaining how in 1981.

Interestingly, the Rubik’s Cube did not become popular until after proof circulated that the puzzle could actually be solved.  Before that, buyers were discouraged that they had purchased a game that could not be won, a problem without a solution.

Do you, my friend, have a problem that seems to have no solution? 

In an attempt to create a solution, Rubik’s Cube owners would peel the stickers from the cube and then place them by color on individual sides, as if they solved the puzzle.  For a moment, the cube seemed conquered, but within a short amount of time, the stickers began falling off, completely destroying the game.

Sometimes our lives can look like a Rubik’s Cube; they appear as a jumbled mess with no apparent answers.  The more we try to fix things on our own, the further we get away from the Master’s plan.

To put our lives in order, as with the cube, we need a how-to guide.  In reading the Bible, we discover that there is a solution to every problem, including ours!  Our solution always begins in faith, believing and receiving Jesus as our Lord and Savior.  From there, we can visit Exodus 20 for parameters to our solution.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.” –Proverbs 3:5-6

If our solution requires us to go against God’s word, then we have not found the answer.  God’s solution is always the right answer, even if does not seem right to the world around us.  If we need to lie, steal, or cheat to solve any problem, then it is absolutely not the solution, nor is it God’s will for our lives.  God’s answers are often wrapped in peace; we may not understand nor even like the steps that have to be taken, but in the end, there is a peace beyond comprehension.

“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” –Philippians 4:7

Friend, is your life like a Rubik’s Cube that you can never seem to solve?  If so, God has a book for you, and it has the Master’s plan.  He promises to put your colors back together when you spend time studying his word.

Blessings!  Michelle