Maintaining a professional website has been a tricky balance for me. On one hand, I need to support teachers who are solely interested in educational resources, and I keep The Cornerstone secular for that reason. But, I also want to empower fellow believers to draw strength from God, because I know how the love of Jesus can completely transform the way we approach our work.
So, I created the resources on this page and a separate devotional website for Christian educators. My mission is to encourage teachers to seek God as their source of strength and joy, and help them view even the most mundane aspects of teaching as part of a divine calling.
As Christians, I believe we are called to work as unto the Lord, and strive to do everything with excellence. Other people should be able to tell through our actions that something about us is different. Showing Christ’s love through the way we live our lives is the most powerful witness we can have. It’s my desire to support teachers in shining as a light into our world and work for social justice, equality, and respect for all people. They will know we are Christians by our love.
There are many days when I felt impatient with my students–like the three thousandth time I reminded them to put names on their papers, and still had to determine authorship of four random assignments.
In those moments, I want to chastise them in frustration (“How many times have I told you??”) but the thought always occurs to me–How many times have I done that to God? How many times has He corrected me with loving-kindness only for me to turn around and make the exact same mistakes over and over again, sometimes even willfully! His patience is endless, and that is how He calls us to be.
His grace is the model for how we are to treat others–rendering favor when we don’t have to and changing our focus from giving students what they ‘deserve’ to seeing them how God sees them. That doesn’t mean there are no consequences–God is a just God (Isaiah 30:18), He is a God of order and not of chaos (1 Corinthians 14:33), and He speaks repeatedly in His word about how children must be taught obedience and respect (Proverbs 22:6, 22:15, 23:13, 29:15, Ephesians 6:1, Colossians 3:20).
But our place is not to condemn and criticize, it is to lift up our students. When I deal with a particularly challenging student or parent, rather than saying, “This kid doesn’t care, his parents don’t care, I give up, I’m not dealing with it anymore,” I try to pray for them instead, that God would work through me to bring positive change. That’s really hard to do sometimes and I end up praying for my own attitude to change more than anything!
The books of Ephesians and Galatians always remind me of the character God wants me to have (all scripture in the New King James Version):
- Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (Ephesians 4:29
- Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32)
- But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)
These are the attributes God calls Christians to show, and I know that He would especially want us to demonstrate those qualities towards the little ones in our care. We are to love them unconditionally, have joy in our work, let the peace we have inside show on the outside, be patient with others’ shortcomings, model kindness and goodness, be gentle with our words, and have self-control when we are tempted to make harsh or rash decisions. What a calling! And how wonderful that we can ask Him for help when these things seem too difficult to manage.
Although sharing our faith is not appropriate in a public school setting, we have the privilege and obligation before God to demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit when working with our students, their parents, and our co-workers. Our job is to make sure that all of our students feel comfortable, respected, and accepted in our classrooms.
The best and legal way to express our spiritual beliefs in school is through the witness of how we live our lives; striving to be modest in appearance and attitude, honest and full of integrity, avoiding gossip, helping others whenever we can, showing patience and respect to our students, and sharing the joy and peace that we have found in God through a positive attitude.
The resources that follow are designed to support you in doing that.
The Cornerstone Devotions for Teachers Website
The Awakened Devotional Study Guide for Christian Educators
Designed to deepen Christian teachers’ understanding of the principles in my book Awakened: Change Your Mindset to Transform Your Teaching, this devotional study guide elaborates on what the Bible has to say about renewing our minds. For each Awakened chapter, the study guide provides an opening reflection, devotion, further scripture reading, application questions, “to do” challenge, and prayer.Learn more about the book
Awakened Devotional Book Community
Each June, a group of teachers gather online to read Awakened and the Devotional Study Guide together. This takes place in the Awakened Devotional Book Community on Facebook, and we’d love to have you participate not only in the book study, but in the conversations all year long. If you want a community of Christian educators who support, uplift, and pray for one another, please join us!