I have just recently resigned from teaching as an elementary school teacher. And, being of early retirement age, I think of the promise to God that I made so many years ago that if I were blessed with a teaching position, that I would not forget Him financially. I promised I would tithe and give gifts unto the ministry I worked with, as well as others. I would see that the teachers were blessed by my giving. I have been blessed over and over again and God has met my every need. I have enjoyed giving for the last 18 years as I taught in the public school system. I never looked back and thought I could have poured that money into whatever materialist item I wanted, just a few.
With the pouring out, God poured into me health and an ability to work. Now with resigning, I am faced with a new dilemma. How do I give, when money will not be coming in as it has in the past? In the last three years I have had the opportunity to teach in a very prosperous county that pays its teachers very well. I have loved giving into ministries and my church. I have so enjoyed and benefited from the daily lily summer retreats I have helped to sponsor both with my time and finances. I can’t write a check on a joint account for ministry. That has been totally my thing and my love and from my account.
I will be attending a ministry in St. Louis in a few weeks that I have loved and been a part of for many years. This Teacher(s) has travelled the world for Jesus Christ. They are building and making meeting places for God’s children to gather, she needs our finances as well.
Ministry will go on, I hope, and I must walk on faith’s highway and look for other opportunities to make money so the pastors/teachers who have so enriched my life with the Word of God can continue to minister. The truth is that our spiritual teachers cannot live in today’s world with out finances. We can’t and they can’t. Many times have spiritual leaders counseled with me in the valleys of my life and have encouraged me with the Word of God how to stand and with stand with Jesus at the helm of my boat, which has from time to time been on very stormy waters. Should they the teachers not be paid, of course, they should! I wonder how I can give to them now. My love of the arts is affected. Where will the money come from for the materials? Art cost money and sometimes lots of it. Now what do I do? Retreats cost lots of money. Even a retreat home incurs the same expenses as a home –upkeep, cleaning, taxes, electrical and water bills, cost of teaching items and payment of the teacher for time and preparation of materials. etc. If I can pick up a job or two, how long could I do it? Will there be others for the sake of the ministry desire to see the ministry thrive give of time and money. I heard the saying long ago of forever taking and never giving. If that be the case the ministries we all love would die. I don’t want to do that!
Perhaps God will give me a new job. My books haven’t sold and yet I have hope. I have hope that the students I have taught will be writers and perhaps pour back into a ministry somewhere. Hopefully they will join some that I am involved with. I have hope that God will continue to raise up Theophilus’s and wealthy women like in Jesus’s time who will pour financially into Jesus centered ministries.
Perhaps I need a sweet spot to open in my life, even now at my age that will enable me to give even more. Or perhaps God has a Theophilus and wealthy women like Jesus and Paul had who are lovers of God come and pour in. Come quickly Theophiluses we need you!
I covet your prayers for the next season of my life as I pray for each of you.
22 thoughts on “Seasons of change”
Congratulations, Rena, on a job well done as a teacher of so many young boys and girls. Your outstanding record and the lives of young men and women speak to your skill, gift and call of God on your life. I know that accolades continually pour into your life from your years of teaching as some of these young ones are really grown ones now.
Thank you for serving our nation through teaching and educating the lives of young men and women in our wonderful public schools. In our county, Loudoun, we have 90 plus schools and they are outstanding. They are equipped with the best teachers, equipment, adm., salaries and students. Some of us are blessed to live in this wonderful beautiful county.
Thoughts, prayers and blessings go out to you and your husband for God’s best in your lives as you both make this transition.
On ministry and your gift of giving…I want to be careful what I say since I have noticed that over my many years of speaking that it is very easy for one to take what they want to hear and leave the balance out. (This includes me)…
Rena, you feel God led you out of teaching. He did it on a quick draw as one might say. If that be the case you have not a worry, fear or doubt. Just swim in His glory and enjoy each day.
Since I participate in some of the ministries God has used your gift greatly in for many years I feel and bear the burden you may be feeling. Yet, I also rest in Him.
Some of us have experienced great changes in ‘season of change.’ Church and ministries are different and we at times do not know how to act. So we wait! I noticed you said that your giving was your gift, not your join family gift. Therefore, by leaving your job that cuts your God giving gift off in the ways you have used it in the past. We pray for doors of opportunity for your gifts to be used.
There must be a valuable lesson in this for me to learn. I search, hope and pray for the way forward to walk in God’s grace, mercy, love and peace.
Rena, here I am ago. I have read your testimony over and over. It says a lot. Now about retreats and retreat houses, as we all know a house takes lots of money to maintain. Also, traveling, etc. It takes money to stay in hotels, eat out and gas to travel. R&R is needful not SUS, ie stress upon stress.
Yes, I forgot to add there is the expense of travel, meals out, gas expense, hotel rooms, sometimes rental car expense or upkeep of your car for a trip. God has been so good. I think he has blessed us abundantly from the storehouse of heaven. I am farmer at heart and have never eaten such wonderful delicacies and seasoned foods prepared and showcased on plates to make kings and queens mouth smile in anticipation of each bite. God seems to put one good chef after another holding a plate that is just right for us. We thank God for the preparers of the crops and the chef who has a gift to present food portrayed on plates with balanced colors and foods giving us a beautiful and nutritious meal. We thank God we have not been short on money for these items.
There’s a song my chorus sings…FREEDOM ISN’T FREE. Well, the Gospel, the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ IS free…..but the putting forth, the preaching, the teaching, the broadcasting of, the printing of the administering of it is NOT free. It costs big bucks.
Those of us who have devoted our lives to the putting forth of the Gospel will eventually, as the seasons come and go and we mature, learn to make special provision for the giving to the profession of the Gospel…sacrificial giving, which means we may have to give up some things so that we will have money to give to the Gospel. Some of it is just an attitude change. Some of it is a matter of prayer and innovative ideas. Some of it may be to give up certain material things (which the Lord says HE will add to when we give to the Gospel, sacrificially).
That old proverb says, ” When all is said and past only what we do for Christ will last”
Rena, you are facing what retirees all over our nation are facing. We have been reading how difficult retirement is going to be for baby-boomers. “Baby boomers fundamentally will reinvent retirement,” said James P. Gorman, president of the Merrill Lynch Global Private Client Group, in a news release about the survey. “With (baby) boomers living longer and remaining engaged and employed beyond age 65, many of the traditional financial assumptions regarding retirement need to be reexamined.”
Lots of good articles on issues about baby boomer retirements.
Some of the teachers in my school are or have retired and have come back to visit. It’s a mixed bag with them. Some say it is absolutely delightful…one of our previous band teachers says he pinches himself every day to verify that this is not just a dream but that he is truly free to move and go and do.
While some others say they miss the routine of the work-a-day world. And others have said that they miss being in the loop and, of course, the finances and have signed up to substitute-teach frequently in the school system from which they’ve retired, not only for the money but for community and being with children and keeping their skills.
Rena I do pray that as you have entered a different season in your life that you will still be able to find ways to operate in your gift. I would expect that losing much of your financial independence is difficult and pray that somehow God will meet that need or help you transition. As we get older your question becomes more of a reality/issue: “If I can pick up a job or two, how long could I do it? ” Finding our ‘sweet spot’ that you mentioned and flourishing successfully in it is probably something we all desire so that our later years can be productive and purposeful.
May the Lord direct you and bless you as you seek His answers.
What does the Word of God say about all this? What does finding sweet spot mean?
Theophilus’s as mentioned above? What is the story on this?
“And ye shall seek me, and find me when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13).
It seems like ‘God’s Grace of Favor’ was not upon Rena to teach at a school where the salaries and benefits were one of the best in the Nation. This lingers in my mind as I go about my day in prayer. Wonder Why, O Lord? Rena out.
I do pray for excellent teachers of character and grace for our county and our nation and the nations. I pray for our school system and all that enter her halls.
When I was growing up the name Theophilus was one who loved God and thus helped in providing the financial backing for the ministry to go on. Thus anyone who gave into a ministry wholeheartedly was referred to as a Theophilus.
In researching this out on , I found Theophilus was among the wealthiest members of society. Luke addresses him as “most excellent,” a title of honor given to officials of high rank. Luke names him as the patron of his book, implies he could afford his own library and underwrite publication of a book. Theophilus, who had enough faith in Jesus to finance Luke’s book, had ample reason to be interested in Jesus’ teachings about money of which Luke is about. This info is from http://www.wcg.org
Literally, the name means “lover of God.” Davis Bible Dictionary says it means “loved by God.” Smith’s Bible Dictionary, Harpers Bible Dictionary, and Holman Bible Dictionary give the meaning as “friend of God.”
1. The person to whom the books of Luke and Acts were written (Luke 1:3; Acts 1:1). However, his exact identity is unknown. Some scholars believe Theophilus was a wealthy relative of Caesar; others, that he was the benefactor who paid for Luke’s Doctor Degree.
Others in my research believe that
the name may not be as important as the meaning of the name – “loved by God and friend of God”. God gave us much – HIS son who died on the cross and we give back to him because we love HIM. That is what Theophilus did (hungry and thirsty to learn more about Jesus). He willing gave us his wealth to learn more.
Luke 12: 48 (NIV) …From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. We can speculate that He took the book of Luke to heart and applied it to his life.
Sweet Spot –
My thought is that it is the unique task that God has for you to do that he will pour out his annointing and you will be recognized for it. I notice Max Lucado has a book out “Cure for the Common Life: Living in Your Sweet Spot”, has anyone read it?
Rena, Thanks for all the research. Sure helps one understand and see from a different perspective.
Haven’t read the book you mentioned. I am a fan of Max Lucado’s books. Will look into it.
Thanks for looking into the different interpretations by the scholars and references on line.
Also, I love Max Lucado’s work and he has an article in the GAITHER’S HOMECOMING MAG. And will be interested in reading his new book…a phrase made known to us by Dr. Bruce Wilkinson…i.e. ‘sweet spot”.
May you find your sweet spot, Rena, although I know you have many skills and talents but one’s “sweet spot” seems to mellow us out and ultimate preparation for Kingdom living.
( in an aside) I have a few spots, too, but pray that God will sweeten them as I mature.
The first time I ever heard of the term ‘sweet spot’ was while viewing and studying “The 7 Stages of Spiritual Growth” by Dr. Bruce Wilkinson at our church, CCI. From my remembrance and understanding of his use of the term, it meant entering a place in these stages of spiritual growth where you are doing what God made you to do; you love it; God is using you.
I haven’t read Max Lucado’s book but it sounds interesting.
Debi, maybe we all need to hear Dr. W again. I thought he said it came from age. After years of serving the Lord in your gifts and obedience than you come into that sweet spot from years of service. I must have missed the mark! ie in what was taught by Dr. W…
Yes, Sara, thanks for remembering about these vital factors he spoke of that were involved such as age, years of service, etc for hitting your sweet spot.
I’d like to listen to it again.
Mg, you mentioned Gaithers Magazine. I am not getting any. I know you told me that you were giving me a subscription for Christmas. Should I call to see why they are not sending?
Thanks for letting me know that you are not receiving your magazine. I will try to look into it asap and try to get it straightened out.
In tht meantime i will bring you the one I received.
Hear the cry of Rena’s heart. Give her patience and understanding, for Your will, in her life. Thank you, Father, for her dedication and willingness, to help many children succeed, in the area of education. May your blessings be upon her. In Jesus name, Amen.
Yay, Needles. We indeed do bless Rena and pray that as You speak to her heart through Your Word,and through Your prophet, O Lord, that this situation in which she finds herself will redound to Your Glory and her reward in the Lord. That what satan may have planned for evil, hardship, wounding and pain, the Lord will turn to the good as she seeks you and praises you in all her situations and circumstances. We pray for Rena hold her up before the Lord as the intercessor that she has been called to be.
Thank God for Rena, Amen.