My Mother-In-Law

One of the illustrations my son shared in the sermon yesterday was when he was three-years-old and his grandmother jumped into the pool, fully clothed, to save him as he was drowning (https://youtu.be/UyWzb1iBP3I).

It made me think of the time when my children and I were stuck in Daytona Beach during a flash flood. I remember that it started to rain and all of a sudden Ridgewood Avenue was filled with about two feet of water. The minivan I was driving stopped working and I called my husband to help us. A few minutes later, my door opens and my mother-in-law is standing in rapid flowing water with her arm stretched out to help us out of the van. I couldn’t believe she was there!

I remembered some of the other times she was there to help us— like the time when I was in labor with my first child but my husband and I didn’t know I was in labor (I thought they were just very painful Braxton Hicks contractions). My mother-in-law woke up before dawn to drive over a half hour to our apartment just so she could lay a hand on my belly and say, “She’s in labor.”

Sometimes we forget or neglect to show our appreciation for people. Today, I am showing my appreciation for my mother-in-law. Thank you for everything you do, Mom! Love you!

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 Mom is pictured with two of my four children: my son who talked about her in his sermon, and my oldest child.

Copyright © 2016 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti

 

Valleys

Life isn’t easy. There are “ups” and there are “downs,” and sometimes it just seems like the “downs” never end. It’s like taking one step forward and then falling into a pit. I’ve heard that pit described as a “valley.”

When I was a kid my mother and stepfather would take us to Las Vegas on several occasions and we would drive through Death Valley. This valley was barren—nothing but endless miles of sand. It was such a big valley that I never saw the mountains that surrounded it.

Every now and then our “downs” feel like we are walking through Death Valley—we feel alone, there’s nothing good that we see, and sometimes it just feels scary. It makes me wonder why God would allow us to experience that.

Exodus 13:17-18 says, “When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land…God led them in a roundabout way through the wilderness…” (NLT).

The wilderness that the Israelites went through was very much like Death Valley—they had no water or food because the land was barren. They had to rely on God to give them food and water:

“They traveled in this desert for three days without finding any water. When they came to the oasis of Marah, the water was too bitter to drink… “What are we going to drink?” they demanded. So Moses cried out to the Lord for help, and the Lord showed him a piece of wood. Moses threw it into the water, and this made the water good to drink…

… the whole community of Israel complained…“you have brought us into this wilderness to starve us all to death.”…Then the Lord said to Moses, “I have heard the Israelites’ complaints. Now tell them, ‘In the evening you will have meat to eat, and in the morning you will have all the bread you want. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God’” (Exo. 15:22-25; 16:2-3, 11-12).

I thought about two things:

  1. God allows us to experience “valleys” in our life because He wants us to rely on Him more– He will take care of us.
  2. God wants us to know that even though we may feel alone while in the “valley,” He is with us and He will help us get through it.

Copyright © 2014 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti

My teaching philosophy

My church ministry calling is to counsel and teach people within the congregation and surrounding community.  I have gained valuable teaching experience through the public and private school system, through Sunday school and adult discipleship classes, facilitating on-campus classes and through online teaching.  The short-term goal is teaching a curriculum or subject, but the long-term goal is to help form and shape the vessel that God can use for His glory.

I feel that God is calling me to teach, mentor, and influence the next generation.  I find great satisfaction in teaching others from a Christ-centered perspective.  My desire is to help people grow in their relationship with Christ.  I see a need to help believers build a stronger understanding of what it means to be a Christian.  The advantage of a Christian education is that basic scholastic learning allows the learner to realize God’s general revelation, while the study of Christian doctrine exposes God’s special revelation to students.  I believe teaching in a Christ-centered environment is a more holistic educational approach.

Several Bible verses guide my teaching.  Colossians 3:23 reminds me that I must do my work for the Lord, while Ephesians 2:10 and John 15:16 tells me that through Christ, God has prepared me for the work that He has given me.  In order for me to be a good teacher, I must be faithful in both my growth in Christ (2 Peter 3:18; Micah 6:8) and my love for others (1 John 4:21; John 15:12).  As a Christian, I believe everything is “theological.”  Not only is my worldview a Christian one, but everything I see around me points to the Creator God.  For example, the “Great Man” theory of leadership claims that leaders are born, but this is only part of the explanation.  The Bible says that God gifts people with certain abilities (Romans 12:6), and “all things are from God” (1 Corinthians 11:12).  So, leaders are not simply born to be leaders, they are created by God with abilities to lead. 

I believe in all that we do, we should do it as if for the Lord (Col. 3:23).  My desire is to help people grow in their relationship with Christ.  I see a need to help believers build a stronger understanding of what it means to be a Christian.  The Bible should always be the starting point in teaching any subject matter, and the basis for which all facets of life is evaluated.  Christians should be encouraged to infuse their faith with their everyday life, and the role of Christian schools is to reinforce the Bible into one’s personal life philosophy and decision making.  Christianity is not only what the person does, but also what a person is.

I think everyone should have a personal philosophy– what drives you to do what you do, and how do you go about in doing it? So what is your personal philosophy?

Copyright © 2013 M. Teresa Trascritti

Never give up

After reading our Bible this morning I went downstairs to work out. As I was running on the treadmill I kept constant watch on my time, pace, and distance. When I found myself slowing down, I would adjust the pace; and when I got tired and felt like quitting, I would grab the handles and keep going.

It reminded me of God and His Word. The Bible helps us to gauge our progress in our Christian walk— how are we compared to those mentioned in its pages? Are we following the good examples or the bad ones? Ephesians 5:8 declares, “For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light!”

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What do we do when we feel like giving up—do we grab onto God (like I grabbed the handles of the treadmill to keep me going) or do we just fall to the ground? Joshua 23:8 says, “…cling tightly to the LORD your God…” Psalm 46:1 tells us, “God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.” Finally, 2 Corinthians 4:1 states, “…since God in his mercy has given us this new way, we never give up.”

If you haven’t been reading the Bible or turning to God for help, then I urge you to start today.

Copyright © 2013 M. Teresa Trascritti