Author Archives: SharonBrani

Feeling empty? Feeling alone?

When I was in my teens I first read the story of Corrie ten Boom –a Dutch watchmaker and Christian who along with her father and other family members, helped many Jews escape the Nazi holocaust during World War II. She spent time in prison for her actions and was miraculously released due to a ‘clerical error’ Corrie, often known as a Tramp for the Lord, spent the remaining years of her life traveling all over the world sharing the love of Jesus and the hope that is found in Him. She not only wrote many books but in 1971 her bestselling book “The Hiding Place was made into a movie and released by World Wide Pictures in 1975.

I’ll never forget that night when I saw “The Hiding Place”, starring Jeanette Cliff George in the role of Corrie.  It was the first movie that I had ever seen and as I entered the packed auditorium that night my heart beat loud with excitement. I had read many of Corrie ten Boom’s books and knew that I was in for a moving experience. But I had no idea. From the beginning I was drawn into this story of love and forgiveness. And I walked out that night inspired as I realized that God worked in our lives through the darkest of circumstances. I was and continue to be in awe of His amazing grace particularly when life leaves you empty.

There are times in all of our lives when we might experience emptiness. And although our story might not be as dramatic as Corrie’s the realization of His forever care and provision is the same. Whether we are sitting alone in an airport terminal or a hospital waiting room, His Presence is there. His love keeps reaching whether we are aware of it or not.

Wherever you are tonight

He is there with you.

However you are feeling

He cares.

His love for you is deep and personal.

His love changes people. It certainly has me.

How about you?

 

 

Running To Win

They couldn’t believe it.

He was not expected to win.

His style was ridiculed. His arms flailed widely, his head way back.

But on that day on July 12, 1924 Eric Liddell astonished the crowd by winning

the 400 m  race.

When asked where the power came from

Eric quietly directed folks to the One and Only One.

“God honors those who honor Him,” he said. I Samuel 2:30.

Astonishing. Amazing. Beyond human understanding.

It is still true today.

When we put the Lord first in our lives and honor Him

He blesses us.

Unexplainable but unquestionably blesses us.

Shortly afterwards Liddell went to China and spent the rest of his life teaching there.

Turned his back on the fame and popularity.

“A fellow’s life counts for far more at this than the other,” he responded when asked about his decision.

Liddell was at peace.

So different from our world of striving and medals and fame.

But could it be that he left us a reminder – almost a warning.

You can have all this world offers but there is something that matters far more.

It makes me wonder about my own life. And yours.

Are we truly focused on what counts the most?

Choosing the best over the good.

That’s what it boils right down to, isn’t it?

Living our life with our eyes on eternity. Going for the goal of a life surrendered to Him.

Eric Liddell’s faith was paramount in his life.

It guided him and gave him light in the dark of distractions and confusion.

What is the most important in your life?

How is that giving you direction and focus?

Above all, hold on to what will never fade.

Let’s focus on our goal in life and then run with strength.

Life is shorter than we think –

Living an amazing life can be yours.

 

 

 

New Beginnings

It was a hot August day that I walked the halls of this school for the very first time.

A new beginning.

I was young, very young is seems to me now looking back,

and I came to meet with the principal and to see my classroom.

That first year of teaching in Virginia was a never to be forgotten year for me.

And that first day – I can still remember-

students flooded into the school, lots of little bodies,

and down the halls to the classrooms.

Curious. Full of energy. Some children very chatty

while others only stared. Fear written all over their small faces.

I remember standing there before my wide-eyed first graders

and wondering how in the world I would be able to teach so many.

But those boys and girls smiled and somehow their acceptance of me

encouraged my nervous heart and calmed  my uneasiness that year.

Books and papers. Going over simple procedures.

Names on each desk. A simple story. Brief introductions. Crayons and pencils.

And before I knew it

they all got on their busses and went home.

Day one complete. Relief.

Yes, more than twenty years of ‘first days’.

Standing at the door and welcoming children.

Warm supportive principals and staff.

Every year was different.  New challenges.  Changes to be made.

But always we did it as a school working together.

I remember the many, many volunteers

that shared their time

to help the teachers.

For it takes everyone’s help, doesn’t it, to do the job right?

Eager learners and some not so eager.

And then my mind races forward to those years of

watching my own daughter walk down the long, long hall

to her kindergarten classroom

and being met by the nicest teacher. Lump in throat moments.

Colorful bulletin boards.

Everything so bright and inviting.

And then another daughter walked the halls

bookbag over her back

and she, too, became a student.

I can see it still so clearly.

Yes, each new year brings waves of memories and excitement.

The sound of buses rolling brings a tinge of sadness.

Another year. A new group of students. Learning to read and do so much more.

Let’s help to make this year the very best for all the boys and girls.

We all can help in so many ways.

Volunteer to help in the classroom.

Be supportive of the teachers and staff.

Eat lunch with a child and listen to them share their day.

Above all

let’s encourage all those who are working to teach the children.

For these are our schools and these children are ours too.

Don’t miss the adventure of a new year.

Step into the action and lend a hand.

You’ll never regret it.

There is wonder and shining moments galore

inside the walls of every school

for those who look for them.