What can I say? I love to run. I've run 4 full marathons and 6 halfs. But I love God more and I'm determined to run this race of life for Him to receive the ultimate prize of Heaven. I'd like to share my thoughts with you. You can agree or disagree. Comment or don't. You can read or not read. But it's here if you want it. Enjoy! .

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Books for Bonus

Well, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all. I have 2 more days of school. 2 MORE! Yahoo. I am really looking forward to the break. Can't wait for another Christmas with the family. The parties have already started and have attended several holiday get-togethers and meals already and there are many more to come. I'm also excited about getting to see my wife's family which we don't get to see very often....once or twice a year at the most.

I bought a sock. Actually my wife bought me a sock. One sock. Not for Christmas. That would be a little strange. She found a sock online that is supposed to help this Plantar Fasciitis I have. It looks like the picture there. I wear it every night and it supposedly keeps my toes pointed up which will help my heel to heal. I've worn it five nights now and it's ok. I sleep ok in it but my toes are always asleep and numb when I wake up. Not sure if that is good or not. I can't tell a difference....yet. It says I should wear it 3-6 weeks. So I'm hoping with time that this will do the trick. It does force my toes up so when I get up in the morning, I'm forced to walk out of bed on my heel which hurts. But I can't take it off in bed because it's vel-cro and I don't want to wake Susan up. So I still hobble. Maybe I should get a roller skate and roll out of the bed room in the mornings. That might be fun.

So my wife is great. Have I said that lately? Well, she is. And no, I'm not trying to be extra nice here around the holidays....I'm being serious. She never ceases to amaze and inspire me. Last week she came running in my classroom while I was teaching. It surprised me a little. She doesn't normally do that. But she came in and headed straight in my office to my computer. I thought it was a little odd but I just kept on teaching. When I finished that class, I went into my office to see what she was doing. She was typing me out some information on the computer. She told me how there had been an article in the newspaper that morning where someone had stolen a trailer. Inside the trailer had been over 2000 books to be donated to the poor. It touched her heart and inspired her. She wanted to help and try and replace some of the missing books. She asked what I thought about asking my students for any used books they might have. I told her I would and that I thought it would be a great idea. So I sent out an email. It went to all my 6th graders and their parents. As an incentive and to spark some interest, I offered a set amount of bonus points on the kids' upcoming Social Studies exams if they brought in books. I even put "bonus points possible" in the subject line of the email. I figured this might get them to actually read it. They did. The response has been amazing. But I got an unexpected response as well.....

Most responses were very positive. Many parents told me what a great cause this was or how bad they felt that someone would steal books from poor kids. Many parents told me they were grateful for the bonus points or what a good idea it was. But I got one negative one. Just one. One parent emailed me and in a nice way told me that he disagreed with giving bonus points for service. He made several points but his main one was that we should give and serve because it's what were told to do, not just for a reward. Now, he made some good points and I did stop and think about it for a while. And I appreciated that he approached it in a kind way, not mean in any way. But after thought and prayer, I have to say that I disagree for a couple of reasons....

1. I have gotten close to (if not over) 1000 books from my students. I would have NEVER gotten that many if I had just simply sent an email with no incentive. To me, that's reason enough. If giving a few bonus points means getting a lot more books for those in need, so be it. I really don't care about giving away a few points.

2. While I agree that we should serve because it's right and not to get a reward, I don't think there's anything wrong with getting a reward. We have to learn and teach that rewards shouldn't be our main motivation and cause, but if one happens to come, then we should enjoy it and consider it a blessing from God Himself.

I looked it up......There are more than 100 verses in the Bible that talk about rewards. Galatians 6:9-10 says..

9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

God even tells us that if we do good, we will reap a reward. Does doing good deeds alone save us? No! I don't think so. Our faith, obedience, love, lives, AND deeds save us, but deeds is part of the equation I believe. And I'll be honest....the reason I try to live my life for God everyday is because I want something. I'm motivated by a reward. I do good and try not to sin so I can get Heaven one day. Do you? My guess would be that most Christians are motivated by that reward whether we should be or not. I love this picture. Can you see both words?

Every year, the church youth group that I work part-time for goes on a "reward trip." It's a trip to an amusement park for those who have helped with 7 or more service projects. I think it's a great idea. It gets the kids involved in service. Are they doing it just to get the trip? Maybe some are at first, but I think most see the good and right of serving and don't just do it for a reward. But even if they do, think of all the good that gets done. That's the point. That's the bottom line. The learning to serve because it's right will come with time. So I will continue this week to give bonus for books and I'll leave you with one of my favorite verses talking about a reward or gift God will give us all.....

Romans 6:23 reads.....23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in[a] Christ Jesus our Lord.

I love God, Griffin, my Girl, and my Guys.

Keep runnin'. The PRIZE awaits. (Php. 3:14)


1 comment:

  1. Albert, I love reading your thoughts. When you get here at Christmas I will give you some of my thoughts. That will be fun. Take care of my girl, guys, and my son-in-law. love to all, PaPa and Kenny "the barber"