Skip to main content

Blessed Are the Teachers

The other night Christy and I went to Ft Worth to hear one of my favorite performers, the great Lyle Lovett. I have heard Lyle several times, but this was the first time at the wonderful Bass Concert Hall. It was an amazing show-- two and a half hours of great music, including some great gospel songs like I'll Fly Away and Do Not Pass Me By. If you've never heard him in concert, check him out next summer!

But my favorite part of the concert was not the music-- it was the storytelling. Throughout the show Lyle introduced the band members, most of whom he has played with for his 30+ years in music. He remembered where they met, where they first played together, a special piece of music they improvised at a random recording session in Phoenix decades ago. Musically and intellectually, the guy is a genius. He told a couple of very touching stories of important, influential men who had died recently: a musician/mentor and a teacher/principal. The way he spoke about both made a lasting impact on me. He said, "Great teachers aren't remembered for what you learn in their classes; they are remembered for the life lessons they teach you."

I am a massive fan of education, and have benefited tremendously from the teachers from whom I have learned over the years. Starting in Bay City and through several universities, I have been challenged and encouraged to grow in my knowledge and understanding. Upon graduating from college I took a job teaching History to eighth graders at a suburb of Houston. It was hard, lonely work. I didn't last in the profession. The demands and pressures we place on our teachers are often overwhelming. Like so many other things, until one experiences something first-hand, it's difficult to understand the stress and the responsibility. I appreciate our teachers very much.

At the same time I was struggling with my teaching career, God called me to pursue I different one: as a pastor. Fortunately for me, I had benefited from other teachers. Many Sunday school teachers, family members, and former pastors taught me about faith. Mentor pastors helped me to explore and shape my ministry. In turn, I have had the privilege of mentoring new pastors. Teaching is one of my most important roles as a pastor. This is one of my favorite verses, one that I try to emulate every day: "Remember the faith of your leaders, those who taught you the Word of God; imitate their faith" (Hebrews 13:7).

Last Sunday at our church we prayed for and blessed teachers, students, administrators, and staff as they began a new school year. If you have not had the opportunity to bless a teacher yet, I urge you to do so. It can be in a formal way in a large group setting, or informally: a thank you at the carpool line, a small gift at a school open house. With a teacher in mind, try to live out this verse: "Keep doing good works and sharing your resources, for those are the sacrifices that please God" (Hebrews 13:16).


Popular posts from this blog

The Famous Black Cat Band

This week my former high school band director, Mr Reinke, died. Mr Reinke is a legend in my hometown of Bay City. He was the leader of our Black Cat Band for many years. He was a fiery man, a perfectionist with extremely high standards. He was a gifted musician. He and I both played the trombone; one of us sounded like a goose being strangled. The other sounded like... well I can't think of a metaphor to properly describe Mr Reinke's horn. It was amazing. He would pull that thing out occasionally to show us how to properly play a part of a song and the sound was spellbinding. 
Mr Reinke was very innovative in his music selections. He had us playing the most random music, from popular stuff of the day by Michael Jackson to Also Sprach Zarathustra (popularly known as the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey) to Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody. This song in particular was a great choice-- it's amazing, complicated; however, this was the late 1980s. The song was originally released…

Grief Is a Powerful Thing

"So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the Gospel of God but also our own selves." 1 Thessalonians 2:8
My first couple of Sundays at Grace, early in July, a couple of different people asked me this question immediately before worship: "How are you feeling?" My response: "Terrified." This was met with sort of shocked looks, then afterward the same person would say something like, "See that was ok." I've always been nervous before preaching-- the ramped up nerves help me to focus on my task and give me energy. But this seemed stronger. On Saturday nights my first couple of months at Grace I would hear an inner critic saying, "You're not prepared." "You're going to bomb today." Most Sundays he was wrong. A couple of sermons did bomb, but that happens. I decided to seek out a spiritual director to help me discern what was going on with me. I knew it was internal, but couldn…

a response to gideons international

last sunday prosper united methodist church welcomed representatives of the gideons to share about their ministry. how many times have you stayed in a hotel or visited someone in the hospital and found a gideons Bible there? and while no one can argue that reading the Bible is a bad thing, or that distributing Bibles to others in native languages is inherently harmful, i would like to offer some thoughts on the practices of the gideons, as they were described at church.

1. bravo to the gideons for distributing 73 million Bibles last year. however, most of the Bibles they sent were tiny new testaments with psalms. i am a Christian, and i love the words of the new testament. but those words have their foundation in the old testament, and to remove thousands of years of traditions and stories of God's powerful love and acts of salvation diminishes the power of the whole Bible. we must never forget that the old testament (or "first" testament or "hebrew Bible"…