The Cotton and the Farmer

After farmers plant cotton, they spray a defoliator on the plants to knock off the leaves when the cotton bolls are ready to harvest. During the cotton plants’ growth, farmers apply pesticides to kill weeds and bugs from destroying their crop. Most farmers check their crop daily to ensure maximum production. The cotton bolls are taken to a gin where the seeds are separated from the cotton. The cotton is then transported to factories to be made into clothes, furniture, and even money. From there, the plants are tilled back into the soil, and the process starts over. We are the cotton, and God is the farmer. We have to bury our old lives to find life in Jesus Christ, and we need to be willing for God to use us in many different ways for Him to achieve maximum production through us. Our old lives can still be used for good because God tills it up for a Gospel seed to be planted there. Sharing how you used to live and how you live now can be all the dirt God needs to lead someone to salvation. The Holy Spirit urges us to repent of our pest problem that we all know as sin. If we don’t repent and ask for forgiveness, our production will greatly decrease. Our lives won’t be as full, our Gospel seeds cannot be planted, and if we don’t check our hearts and recognize our sin as we should, our nutrition from Word and prayer will be stolen by sin. Just as the cotton seeds are separated from the cotton, God separates us from the rest of the world to be the most widely used fiber that helps hold the world together!

How Teaching is a Mission Field

Teaching is indeed the most exhausting profession physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually but it is the most rewarding profession in the universe. There are ups and downs, misbehavior, times when you laugh with the students, times when you become disappointed because you expect so much out of them, and all the time helping them grow as a class and as an individual. It is probably the toughest job I could have chosen, but it is the best one I could I have chosen. In fact, I didn’t choose teaching…teaching chose me! I think if I would have gone into any other career, I would be miserable. Interacting with students and feeling like I’m in a large mission field to witness to them gives me such joy and peace. I still have days when I get home and wonder, “Am I doing anything for them? Are they learning anything from me?” The kind of days when it seems like you can’t calm them down or a kid totally disrespects you and hurts you can make you question why you want to be a teacher and why you are doing this to begin with. It’s the enemy’s way of slithering into this part of your life to destroy it (again). He doesn’t want you in a place where you can minister to people. He wants your hard days to make you think it’s going to be this hard every day. He doesn’t want kids that you teach to succeed in what’s good. Teaching has taught me to remain in the Word. I haven’t been great at memorizing scripture, but it is a habit that I am going to try again…not because it is an option, but because I HAVE to. I realized that if a scripture could have come to mind during certain times, I would have been calmer and more patient. In all reality, teaching others is teaching me spiritual disciplines!!! It was #NationalTeachAgDaythis week & I encourage anyone thinking about becoming an agriculture teacher to place it at the top of your list. I love what I do, so it isn’t technically my “job.” You must be called into education to stay with it though, or otherwise, you will not be happy and that one bad day may ruin it for you. To my fellow teachers & ag teachers, remember why you became a teacher and never lose that passion/fire!

The Dream Maker

I didn’t know if I was going to become a State FFA Officer. Of course, none of us do when we run. There was one person who was discouraging me from going for it, and it was someone who meant a lot to me at the time. I contemplated if I should listen to that one person or if I should pursue a dream and listen to the encouragement from my friends and my family. I quickly understood that this was a decision I had to make, and ultimately, a decision to follow God’s will for my life or not. I came home from the Louisiana State Convention the State Reporter. I remember relying more on God that year than any year of my life thus far. I had to pray for Him to speak through me, write through me, and give me the confidence I needed because it doesn’t come to me naturally. I went to Him when we lost someone from our team…our leader and State FFA Advisor towards the end of our term. I talk to every single one of my teammates in a group message to this day! It was one of the best years of my life and also one of the most challenging. I will always say that. My encouragement to you today is this: Don’t let one person influence a life-changing decision but instead, allow God to help you make that decision. When you have faith in Him to pursue a dream that He gave you, everything works out to be good in the end (Romans 8:28). No, it may not turn out the way you want it to, but it turns out the way He planned it. God instilled dreams in you for a reason. It isn’t anyone else’s choice but YOURS. Go for it if that is what God wants you to do!!! 😃

No Room for Excuses

God places dreams in our hearts and callings on our lives that we feel are unattainable. We make up excuses that we are not gifted or talented, too afraid, not equipped, or don’t have the time for it. We tell God to choose someone else for the job or keep questioning Him that He’s in control. Friend, you can’t run from God’s calling on your life. Four years ago, I was about to enter college when I felt burdened to try to become a State FFA Officer. I dreamed of this becoming a reality since I was a child. I went to State Conventions with my daddy, my ag teacher inspiration, saying, “I wanna be one of them one day.” Little did I know, that I would actually pursue the dream that never faded. I saw that it wasn’t just a dream but a calling on my life. I recognized that this was God’s way of using me for a purpose bigger than myself…ministry. I created 1,000 excuses: “I’m going to miss too much school, I won’t be able to get a good first year of college, stress will be an issue for me, and how am I going to be able to speak in front of people constantly?! God, how am I going to do this?” Then, I realized…I can’t do this, but You can do this through me. After that, I knew I had to just trust Him the whole way.

I prayed, cried, studied harder than ever, practiced, stayed up late, shook from nervousness in my blue corduroy jacket to the point the emblem could have fallen off, and my name was called.

Pursue God’s calling on your life and the dream He has given you, and trust Him with it. He will take you farther than you can ever imagine!