Archive for teacher

Natural or Spiritual Thinking? Dedicated to my brother

For four years I studied in two different higher educational settings.  These studies were almost entirely in the secular realm and dealt with natural thinking.  God gave us our ability to reason, but reasoning without God, the Bible and the help of the Holy Spirit often leads to all manner of wrong think and ultimately wrong actions.  That is where I ended up at that time in my life.

Generally, natural or secular or even liberal thinking usually concludes that the correct party or politician or government is the cure-all for every problem.  On the other hand, spiritual thinking sees the Christian church and Christian ministries as the answer for most of the ills of society.  Now, it is quite easy to find huge government waste in multitudes of different programs,  The Christian realm is not without its faults, but for the most part funds used to help people by a Christian ministry are much more likely to meet real needs than huge government programs.

Let’s look at a clear case in point where the results have been measured: education.  Very clear studies have been done comparing children in secular and Christian schools.  By the time children in Christian schools are in middle school, they are much more than a grade ahead of those in public schools.  Why is that?  There are probably a variety of factors involved, but the one I believe is most important(and I taught in Christian middle schools for five years) was Bible study and prayer.  When God is brought on the scene, the atmosphere changes, and the Holy Spirit goes to work to help students.  When parents, teachers, students and administrators pray, educational advancement occurs.  What is amazing is that the average cost per year for students in a Christian school is less than half of what it is in a public school.  I rest my case.

Note: Even though this blog was written awhile ago, I decided to dedicate it to my brother who recently passed away.  Most of his working life he spent teaching in a Christian school.

Postscript: This blog is in no way meant to denigrate those godly, righteous teachers who are working in secular education.  Almost certainly they are doing the best they can with their hands tied, so to speak, in terms of bringing biblical values into the classroom.

Japanese Kids & Christmas

The timid youth hid their emotions as we began the English class.  Today, the last class before the break we would talk about Christmas.  Not about the pagan origins of the celebration that still remained to a vast majority in Japan but about the Christian meaning.  When I asked what Christmas was about besides Santa Claus, the blank stares I received reflected more than lack of English ability but little or no knowledge whatsoever of Jesus’ birthday celebration.  I had been surprised before in my English classes but never more than now.  These students seemed to never have heard of Jesus.  It was a wonderful opportunity for me, but I wondered if these junior high students might never have heard about Jesus if I had not come to Japan.  When I talked about the cross, the resurrection and the fact that Christians believe Jesus is God in the flesh, there may have been a glimmer of recognition in one or two pair of eyes.  The bottom line is that I am thankful that I did come to Japan and share the Good News of the Gospel because I not sure they would have ever heard the message otherwise.

Note: This is throwback article written a number of years ago while I was in Japan.

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Teachable or Intractable?

As we navigate the curves and straightaways of life we all have lessons to learn that God is trying to teach us. If we learn them quickly through following God’s biblical guidelines and praying ahead of time, we can usually avoid many of the more serious problems in life. However, if we cling to our stubborn ways and harden our hearts to God’s life lessons, then serious problems will almost certainly face us. Jonah is a great example of someone who ignored God’s directives and ended up in a disgusting place. Let’s come humbly and repentantly before God when our errors confront us and willingly do what Jesus, our Master and Savior, wants us to do. Such a route is by far the easiest in the long run.

In Light Of Eternity

Several years ago I attended a graduation at a Christian school where the principal gave a message loosely based on a popular Christian song entitled “Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing.” What is the main thing? Jesus Christ and Him crucified and risen again. If the message of salvation through faith Jesus Christ is not apparent somewhere in our daily life, what we are doing has little if any eternal significance.

Christian Thriller Reviews

The Christian espionage novel entitled Heart of Terror was recently released.  One reviewer called the book “a well-written, engaging novel”.  He went on to say: “It is an entertaining and thought-provoking novel.”  Another reviewer wrote: “If you enjoy fast-paced books with lots of action, you will enjoy Heart of Terror.”  The Midwest Book Review said: “Heart of Terror is an exciting twist of thriller and faith, very much recommended reading.”  The novel is available as an ebook as well as in paperback from Amazon and the Barnes and Noble website.

Heart of Terror Book Cover

Roots of the West’s Demise

For nearly a half a century the West has been in decline.  Europe and the U.S. have lost much of their prominence in the world.  The sun of the their influence is waning and close to setting.  But what has caused this decline?  What are the roots of the West’s demise?

Economically, the U.S. and a number of countries in Europe are close to bankruptcy.  Massive overspending has led a number of Western countries to imperil the Euro and dollar.  Both currencies may eventually implode and cause a financial disaster.

Educationally, secularization has taken the West down a pathway towards politically correct ideals that do not foster unbiased inquiry.  Certain ideals are repeatedly promulgated at the expense of basic foundational study.  Instead of producing students with common basic knowledge the major focus is social engineering which attempts to create students with secularized worldviews.

Politically, progressives have implemented their socialistic plans believing true change is only possible in that direction.  As more and more government programs are initiated and expanded the populace looks to the government for help where once private institutions and individuals reigned.  Of course, economically these government programs are unsustainable.

Philosophically, atheists have attempted and pretty much succeeded in keeping religious views out of the public sector.  Instead of Christian institutions, funded by private donations, meeting the needs of people and dealing with real heart changes, needs are met by the public sector on a never ending basis.

Where does that leave those of us who see a huge need to change the direction of the West’s decline?  We can vote for and help those we believe will fight against secularization,  and certainly that is good, but that won’t change hearts.  Little else will change unless people’s core beliefs change.  Only people turning to faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord will transform belief systems.  Only evangelism and discipleship of new believers with biblical precepts will transform the West.

Teaching Positions Abound

The teaching jobs listed on the website abound.  While most unemployed educators struggle to find a position, those not afraid of adventure can leap into a cross-cultural experience.  Worldwide job listings that cry out for educators are added daily and not just in the spring and summer.  Some of the teaching positions require specialized credentials, but many only require a university degree and little or no experience.  It takes a tough person emotionally, physically and spiritually to go this route, but the rewards are usually very gratifying.(If you are a Christian, make sure you take a Bible, Christian music, books, etc. that you will need to maintain your inner strength.)  The avenue is wide open to gain teaching experience for the inexperienced and to earn a tax-free income of up to $70,000.00(the last time I looked at the U.S. tax regulations).  The salary in some countries is paltry and more of a ministry, but in others it is comparable to earnings in the U.S.  At first, overcoming your fear of the unknown may be your toughest battle, but the rewards in the end are worth it.  Personally, I spent two years teaching in Japan and five years teaching in Saudi Arabia, and even though it was difficult I would not trade those experiences for anything.

Here are two websites that may open the door to a new adventure:

1) Dave’s ESL Cafe or eslcafe.com for secular positions listed under Job Center Home Page and the International Job Board

2) Association of Christian Schools International or acsi.org under Jobs and Overseas Openings

***Update Note: Since this article was written the Association of Christian Schools International has changed their website, and it is no longer free to view possible job openings.  Not having got into the site since the change I can’t say what is there now.