He Has Done Great Things ~ Bless His Holy Name!

I retired today, after 35 years as a Detroit Public School teacher. Since I made the decision to do so several months ago, I have been giddy with excitement. And for the last week, a line from the song by Marvin Sapp has played in my head: “Never could have made it; never would have made it without You.” God told me to teach before I fully understood what a teacher was. I was three years old and attending Merrill Palmer Nursery School. That was in 1957, and it was, for its time, quite an avant-garde and academic setting for a little “colored” girl. It set me on the path that I have followed all my life. Now God has given me another phase, and I find it difficult to contain the joy with which I am anticipating completing my journey. I will finish my doctorate, write, and continue to listen for His voice. He speaks according to His will.

So I made it. Thirty-five years. Only because of His love, His mercy, and His grace, I made it. And indeed, “I am stronger; I am wiser; I am better . . . so much better.” I was a good teacher, and I was a bad teacher. I give Him all the glory for the good, and I take full responsibility for the bad. It is finished. 

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8 Responses to “He Has Done Great Things ~ Bless His Holy Name!”

  1. Ok, a new trend is moving across the country! Thought you would find this intresting as well as stupid! Just another way for people to come up with their own flavor of GOD!

    ARE THERE DANAGERS IN BEING BEING “SPIRITUAL BUT NOT RELIGIOUS” ?

    It’s a trendy phrase people often use to describe their belief that they don’t need organized religion to live a life of faith.

    But for Jesuit priest James Martin, the phrase also hints at something else: egotism.

    “Being spiritual but not religious can lead to complacency and self-centeredness,” says Martin, an editor at America, a national Catholic magazine based in New York City. “If it’s just you and God in your room, and a religious community makes no demands on you, why help the poor?”

    Religious debates erupt over everything from doctrine to fashion. Martin has jumped into a running debate over the “I’m spiritual but not religious” phrase.

    The “I’m spiritual but not religious” community is growing so much that one pastor compared it to a movement. In a 2009 survey by the research firm LifeWay Christian Resources, 72 percent of millennials (18- to 29-year-olds) said they’re “more spiritual than religious.” The phrase is now so commonplace that it’s spawned its own acronym (“I’m SBNR”) and Facebook page: SBNR.org.

    But what exactly does being “spiritual but not religious” mean, and could there be hidden dangers in living such a life?

    Read the complete article from the link below:

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/personal/06/03/spiritual.but.not.religious/index.html?hpt=C2

    Just some more mess!

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    • Unfortunately, it seems the two labels used here utilize the same “mislabeling” of context as in the political reference of liberal and conservative. Neither label has the capacity to provide a definition that captures the true essence of the individuals it references nor does it provide an accurate description of the individuals thought to exist within its context. The sad truth is being “religious” carries an equal amount of baggage as being “spiritual”, and worse yet, sometimes even the label of being a Christian is a misappropriation of the heart and intent of Jesus Christ Himself.

      It seems we can sometimes allow ourselves to be swayed into the paradigm of labeling out of convenience. We do ourselves and Christ a major disservice in allowing the media to define our view of people and this is most certainly true when it comes to matters of faith. In reality the definitions and labels cited would not reflect my walk with Christ in the least. I would submit that is about knowing who we are and being secure in own relationship with Christ that matters most, not labels. The danger is allowing the media to define labels pertaining to faith for the sake of sensationalism and the creation of controversy.

      My two cents.

      Debra

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      • In the broad sense, I share the disdain for the so-called SBNR movement. While being “religious” is a label that many Christians reject, we only reject it because we have come to a maturity whereby we have learned to embrace the distinction between a legalistic religion and a life of faith in Jesus Christ. But it is still the term that most individuals outside of that realm know, understand, and use to describe us and themselves. When people describe themselves as SBNR, they are generally doing exactly what this gentleman describes. It is a trendy, individualistic self-interest that is contrary to the relational life that Christ called us to live, and it ignores the commitment to Christ-likeness. Labels are almost always harmful or inaccurate.

        Interesting discussion!

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  2. Ok, you are finally retired from teaching! I’m so happy for you. Especially, as you move forward with your next calling from God!

    You’re an amazing Christian Woman who have remain focus on your mission and calling from God. God has blessed you with the widsom and obidence to listen to his voice and carry the cross as he directs you! I know he is soooooooooo proud of the faith and hope you carry in your heart.

    Christians must understand that being “Reborn” is very serious and one must do all they can to make the transition from changing inside out. This is no small task and requires much studying to understand this should be ia natural progression when you study and go “deep” into the Word. We should understand how important it is to change and want to rid ourselves of the old ways and thoughts. We also should be so uncomfortable with being our old self or “middle” of the fence Christian. Luke warm deosn’t get it any more. So as christians we’re either on Team God or not!!

    Renee

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    • I am loving every minute of retirement. As I struggle with this dissertation, I wonder how people do it with jobs and families. I thank God that He made a way for me to devote my full time effort to this endeavor.

      I am continually humbled and so grateful for the love, support, and encouragement from friends like you. You are a gem!

      You are so right about “inside out” change. We miss so much when we fail to allow the loving, transforming power of the Holy Spirit to work in us so we can demonstrate a living relationship with Him. The word tells us that we are new creations; how can we be new and continue in the same habits, same thoughts, and same ways?

      As always, you raise such an interesting topic. I thank God for you, Renee!

      Like

  3. Thanks for remembering Mike’s birthday. It brought tears to my eyes, as I have been [more] mindful of him today. Your statement pushed to make my planned call to Robert today. I just needed to acknowledge the remembrance of his birth while simultaneously acknowledging the remembrance of him through the years. It is hard, but it is good. Mike left so much good in his wake. So I embrace his good and the far too many laughs on which to reflect.

    There are so many things around my house to remind me of him. During the course of his last visit he painted, repaired, installed, replaced so many things. I feel him through the many works of his hand. I look around my house and connect to his gifts to me: his presence through his works. Much the same as the Lord does for us in knitting us to Him.

    Anyway, thanks for remembering Mike.

    Also, thanks for reading my blog. I tend to fall of the wagon with respect to staying on schedule. Sometimes I simply forget that Mondays are my self-imposed publication days. If I recall too late in the week, I wait until the next Monday. However, I am making a stronger effort to hold myself accountable to that task. The impetus to that resolve came when I got a call from Regina demanding to know, “Deb, what’s going on and when did you plan to put out a new blog statement? I look forward to reading your blog.” I was shocked/surprised/humbled/pleased. I could justify missing publication as I was thinking no one was reading them anyway. So now with a screaming public of one, I try to stay on schedule.

    I even fancy that perhaps more than my two dear college friends regularly read my blog. Maybe, I think to myself, just maybe. It could happen! 🙂

    Debbie

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  4. Okay, where to start. Perhaps first I should start with several “confessions”/acknowledgements:
    1. I have, for quite some time now, intended to log on to your blog, as I shamelessly implore others to visit mine (www.motowndac.wordpress.com) — yes, I am always advertising
    2. Where I have been that I did not know that you are gracing pulpits?
    3. Your blog site is very, very nice

    Now, again there are so many different ways to go from here within the context of what you have shared with respect to retirement (which you and I have already talked about), as well as ministry and the work that lays ahead for you. Of course, you know that I am so use to you being in school that I am surprised to learn of the “peddle to the metal” ministry. You were, in my mind, in school working on another degree. Not that I ever took your academic pursuits lightly, they are and have always been the (my new and favorite made up word for today:) “essence-alization” of you. Classroom, as student or teacher, is core to your nature and being.

    Okay, be it known that I love the timeline of the Lord (albeit I am personally being challenged to accept it in my own life). It defies, as it should and is wont to do, any and all of our reasoning. Who knew that within the years of school and schooling that was actually the preparation for “your now”? Who knew it was for Him and the people who have been designated for you to touch? As I look back at the path your life has taken since our first meeting, when you were around 17 years old, the thought of a ministerial calling then would have been the source of breathtaking belly laughter. And yes, God has an excellent sense of humor, because the joke is on us (or maybe just me).

    In all of our plans and meanderings of our lives, He had already called us. It seems retirement is a misnomer for this phase of your life, as the harvest is so, so, so ready and plentiful. There are, of course, the hurt and wounded who wonder where is God in the lives and circumstances. At the same time there are many of privilege who don’t have a consciousness of their separation from God, but are just as needy for Him, for a life fulfilled as only as He can. The work is far more overwhelming than any we have done in our lives. I am always awestruck that He trusts me with the lives of those who need Him, who need to know Him, those who see Him in me.

    I particularly enjoy the reality that His calling is inherent in the nature that He has given each of us. The works of His eternal calling in our lives are our very lives as we live surrendered to Him and sometimes even as we fight “the surrender”. The beauty of it is that each of us has, by His design; work that knits into His eternal intention and His intention will prevail.

    So it seems that eternity has been working in your life while you were simply living your life and doing what seemed natural. However, supernaturally you were actually living the outworking of His purpose for His kingdom… with so much more to come. I look forward to what He is releasing through you unto a world waiting for what He is sending through you for His glory.

    Debbie

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    • Okay, point-by-point:
      I admire your commitment to your blog, and even when I have not commented, I have read it with great interest. As for my own, thanks so much for your support. I love the contact from others, but really do not have the discipline for “feeding it,” if you will, regular content.

      “Gracing” pulpits? Depends on whom you ask. That calling was always there, but I will not question God’s timing. Before I even read your “belly laughter” suggestion, that is exactly what was elicited from me as I thought back to my choices at 17 juxtaposed with ministry. Oh glory to God for His perfect timing! Our individual nature being the outworking of His calling and mutually or “circularly” His hook in us for ministry brings me back to the miracle of His gifts. That epiphany has become the means by which I accept and celebrate my “essence-alization” (do keep making up words; I will work them into conversation!) That reality, though, also rekindles excitement for something you shared a couple of months ago—no need to go into detail here.

      Bask in God’s purpose and love. I know that you are undoubtedly, through your own prayer and celebration, partaking of a glimpse of Michael’s ultimate birthday party. Be blessed, encouraged, and comforted.
      Love,
      Barb

      Like

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