New Year-ing in July

The schedule of a teacher is forgiving. We start our year in August or September, continue through December. Pause, re-focus with the world during January 1 and New Year’s Eve, then continue from January until May or June. At the end of the summer we pause again, refocus and take time to start again. Essentially we have 2 new years in a calendar year.From a teachers point of view August is a new beginning; a fresh start.

Monday begins teacher orientation for all the staff of El Camino Academy. Over the past week my co-workers have slowly trickled back into Bogota unpacked bags, reconnected, and started to feel the loss of friends who are not here this year. It’s an exciting time. Refreshing. Energizing.

As with New Year resolutions, this is a time for us as teachers to consider what this school year is going to look like. There are the academic aspects: what classroom management strategies can I implement earlier, how can I better use my time for planning and grading, what strategies will I use to best reach all of my students? But there is also the spiritual aspect: how can I be a living example of Christ to my students, what is God going to teach me, and how can I be better at listening?

This year I have decided to make Psalm 96 my focus. While on vacation I stumbled upon this scripture and loved the action of worship described, the description of creation and the promises it contains. I am excited to look deeper into the words and apply it to my heart. At this point I don’t know what God is going to show me through these words, but for now I hope to just listen and learn.


Sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.

Sing to the Lord, praise his name;
proclaim his salvation day after day.

Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous deeds among all peoples.

For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
he is to be feared above all gods.

For all the gods of the nations are idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.

 Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and glory are in his sanctuary.

Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
bring an offering and come into his courts.

Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness;
tremble before him, all the earth.

Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns.
The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved;
he will judge the peoples with equity.

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
let the sea resound, and all that is in it.

Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them;
let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.

Let all creation rejoice before the Lord, for he comes,
he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples in his faithfulness.

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