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Showing posts from April, 2011

Fear and Jesus Camp

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The past two messages at my Charlotte church have been about fear and why we, as believers in Jesus Christ and the Resurrection, have nothing to fear.  I didn't really think they had much to do with me, I was wrong.  Then I watched a documentary, Jesus Camp, directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (2006) and was brought back to my childhood.  I was reminded of the fear I used to live in and am still being set free from.

The documentary is centered around an Evangelical Christian children's camp in North Dakota (or Missouri) that teaches kids how to develop their spiritual gifts and become radical for Christ.  At first I thought it was to sort of poke fun of and question Evangelical Pentecostal Fundamentalist/Reformed Christians (phew, that's a long title), like Bill Maher's Religulous; but that's not the case.  It, I believe, presented an honest, small view of a sect of evangelical pentecostal Christianity.

The film followed about three or four children at home, s…

no justice for the 'common' man

Today a close family friend dropped by and was talking to my dad, they've know each other since they were very young.  She's a nurse and, I learned today, that she's also working for a family whose daughter is sick.  She has two daughters and has been divorced since the last few years; she's been working her butt off to make ends meet for her family.  I few years ago, when her and her ex-husband were still together, I heard her speaking to my dad about possibly filing for bankruptcy.   When I was raising support for Argentina, I met with her and she said that she couldn't even give me $20 once because she, herself, was struggling with money for her and her family.  She's a nurse, which means she's helps people in times when they can't help themselves, that's a necessary service, one that'll never go away (until Jesus comes back that is); why can't she afford to take care of her family?

A former professor told me that every state he and his f…

kick in the pants

During my planning today I was reading from one of my favorite authors, Elisabeth Elliot's Discipline: The Glad Surrender.  This passage nearly brought me to my knees and tears to my eyes:


His giving up of the glory to which His divine nature entitles Him seems to me perhaps the most incredible part of His humiliation.  His obedience enabled Him to do anything, anything at all would please the Father, without thought of "how it would look."  He who had known the ceaseless worship of angels came to be a slave to men.  Preaching, teaching, healing the sick, and raising the dead were parts of His ministry, of course, and the parts we might consider ourselves willing to do for God if that is what he asked.  He could be seen to be God in those.  But Jesus also walked miles in dusty heat.  He healed, and people forgot to thank Him.  He was pressed and harried by mobs of exigent people, got tired and thirsty and hungry, was "tailed" and watched and pounced upon by susp…

I will wait for you

This is a video that I LOVE! I get chills each time I watch it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igCj3jsbcqs

something I've gotten good at: worry

I used to not really worry about stuff;  I'd worry about people that I love, but not just worry just because.  Well, lately I've been worrying a lot.  "Obsessing" could be used.  "Over-calculating" even.  I have .54 in my checking account, less than a quarter of a tank of gas, no promises of a pay check until the 28th, and no certainty of a job after the 9th of June.  Anytime I drive somewhere that's not work, I nervously watch my gas tank meter to see how much it moves; when I eat, I purposely drink a lot of water with it because I don't know when I'll be able to get more food so I try to fill up with water and wishes.  I try to distract myself with tv, movies, and sleep so that I won't sit around obsessing about how/when things will stop sucking.  I'm worrying.

This time in my life is nothing like I imagined; but of course I've never imagined myself ever worrying and especially not about food, gas, and jobs.  The uncertainty of eve…

the boldness of a man

I took a walk today and while walking between neighborhoods, this man pulled up on the road next to me.  He startled me because he had come from behind me.  I figured he was gonna ask me for directions, but instead he said that: he was driving, saw me, and had to turn around and say how pretty he thought I was.  I said thank you and figured it would stop at that.  It didn't.  He asked my name, I told him (and instantly regretted it), he told me his, but I missed it because another car passed.  He proceeded to ask me if I was from here, no (truth), what I like to do in my spare time, I don't really have spare time (lie).  He then said he'd really like to see me again and asked if I'd be interested in going out with him, I said I wasn't interested (truth) and started walking away.  He said something around the lines of nice meeting you, hope to see you around.

Now, while I commend him on his boldness and honesty, he loses major points for pulling up behind me (making…

how am I liking teaching? I just wanna make music.

I get asked this a lot now.  The answer is like it, they still feel like someone else's kids (which they are), but there are a lot of extra duties/responsibilities that I don't like so much:

>>>I have to keep track of bathroom usage for each student (they're only allowed to use it 5 times per semester in each class); I couldn't care less how often they use the bathroom, as long as they're being productive in class.

>>>They have a lot of drama; I'm an adult and don't care about the crisis of the day, I wanna make music.

>>>When they're absent I have to record it and notice any patterns; I just wanna make music.

>>>When they're tardy, there are consequences that I have to enforce; show up to my class on time, because then I waste class time recording it and dealing out consequences (I have to send notes home and do after school detention).  What a waste of everyones' time, get to class on frickin' time.

>…

The Life and Times of Middle Schoolers

I often get frustrated with my students for not acting like adults...but they're not adults.  Some kids look like babies and others are bigger than me, but no matter what they look or act like, it's important to remember that on the inside there's a grand dicotomy taking place.  During puberty children are being (or should be) trained to act in a manner that is that of an adult; they are being taught independence, decision making, proper decorum of mouth and actions, so many things.  But the reality is: they are still very much children who haven't fully acquired the mental/emotional capacity to be adults.

Last Friday, I had a silent rehearsal with my 8th grade band class (13-14 years old); this means they were not allowed to speak under any circumstances (not even if they raised their hand), and if they did speak I sent them to another (prearranged) class to copy (8x) this (prewritten) paragraph that talked about what it means to be respectful, mature, and productive …

lesson in provision

Remember that time when God didn't provide the money for me to go to Argentina for missions?  I was frustrated and upset because I know that He can/could provide, but chose not to provide to send me, although I was quite willing.  Still makes no sense to me.  He's still Provider and proves that each day; I've been living off the non-promted, generosity of others.  I am quite grateful, but am a little frustrated because I would like to see Him provide through this job I'm working at. 

I feel like the Lord is teaching me a lesson in provision, proving to me that He can and always will provide for my needs.  I have food, clothes, shelter, community; thats' what we need to survive and I am lacking in none of those areas for the most part.  It feels like He's trying to break me of this pride I have of depending on no one for my needs.  It hurts, this being broken business; I don't like it and feel like there's a better way...but I know nothing and He knows …

Kit-Kat Bar

Have you ever had a time in your life when you just couldn't get a break?  It felt like every time something good would happen, it had conditions that weren't so good, so it kinda spoiled it a little; or you keep getting disappointed/let down by someone/something?  Well that's how I feel right now.  I feel  a little screwed over.  When I first moved back to Greensboro, I had estimated that I was gonna get paid after two weeks, the end of the month (March), but soon found out that that was not true and was given the impression that I was to get paid on April 15/16 the middle of the month.  I was a little worried, because I didn't have enough money, but, as you know, God provided in ways that still make me grin.  Well, yesterday I went to the school treasurer (I don't actually know the title), gave her an invoice and asked her if I just come to her for my paycheck.  She said yes, whenever that is.  She looked it up, and I won't be getting paid until the 28th of A…

pleasurable planning

Right now I'm sitting at my desk during my two hour planning.  It's excellent.  There are no kids trying to talk to me, the ligths are off in both the room and office, lunch is in a little under an hour, I can read/nap/do stuff.  I am liking this time more and more, it's just a nice break.  I've been looking on care.com for sitting/nannying jobs here in Greensboro to bring some money in, reading people's blogs, writing blogs, reading books, resting my ears.  I love it, it's quite luxerious(sp?).  Right now, Chicago's "You're the Inspiration" is on, that's a great song; especially the UNCG Spartone's version (check it out on youtube.com).  I'm just super happy with this planning, even though I'm not really planning, it's a nice break.

simple sandwich

So you know that I have no money, but yesterday I got $40.  This means that I can buy food and gas for the week and not have to choose between the two (I would've chosen gas, gotta get to work).  Praise God!  Well today, after church, I went straight to the gas station put $20 dollars in my tank and then went straight to Food Lion to get some food.  I was 1)so excited that I could even get food 2)so hungry that I would take a few steps and forget where I was going and what I was trying to get so I would stop and think and then keep going.  My blood sugar was super low, which is why my memory and ability to make and follow a procedure (hence forgetting and having a hard time figuring out how to get to each item in the store), as well as feeling really dizzy and disoriented.  But I got my groceries and went home.

I just made and ate (devoured is a better word) a grilled cheese sandwich while chilling on Facebook and listening to Mumford & Sons Radio on Pandora and felt a sense o…

Disappointed in Adulthood

When I was a child, I believed that I would have all 'the answers' when I was a 'grown-up'.  When you're young, adults, for the most part, seem so put together, you think they know everything partly because they tell you they do.  Well, here I am a grown-up, 23, and I gotta say: this is nothing like I expected.

There are so many things that I couldn't wait to know the answers to when I was young, I was sure that I would be infinitely wiser in all areas that caused me trouble when I was an adult.  I can't say that that's 100% untrue, there are areas in my life that I have gotten better in, but not simply because I am an adult, because the Lord has grown me and I have gained a deeper understanding of who I am and what I'm called to be.

Something that still kinda baffles me is men.  I mean what's their deal?  Lol.  I was talking to a friend about how silly I feel about how I act and consider acting around someone that I'm digging on.  I can ma…

Kindergarten Lesson

I often think about what kind of teacher I want to be/become.  This makes me think about my Kindergarten teacher, Ms. Hunter.

Before the school year actually started, Kindergarteners had a half day to help them understand what is expected of them and what to expect from school.  My mom walked me into the classroom and we were greeted at the door by Ms. Hunter.  She was wearing a turquoise jumpsuit with little zebras on it.  The moment I laid eyes on her in that jumpsuit, I fell in love.  I thought "This is the coolest lady ever!"  On the half day we went searching for a teddy bear (he had a name, I just don't remember it); we looked for him in the media center, hall, bathrooms, other places.  Each place we stopped to look, she explained to us how to behave in that environment.  In the media center (library) we walk quietly in a single file line and we only speak in quiet voices when we need to.  In the halls, we walk quietly in a single file line, and stay quiet to respec…

Dog love

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So I went on a great walk in the neighborhoods around where I live today.  As I was walking and took in the beauty around me I thought "the only thing that would make this better is a dog accompanying me"; I, then, remembered someone telling me that her dog (a lab) is pregnant (due at the end of the month or something) and that the father of the puppies is likely a boxer.  She said I could have one of the puppies.  I want a dog about as much as some women want a child.  Yea, that serious.

Dogs are great!  I'm not gonna make a case for why I love dogs, just know that I really, really do.  But I was looking at info about owning a dog and it's not nearly as expensive as I had heard.  I've taken care of dogs before; heck, when I'm with my family, I'm the ONE that walks, feeds, waters, and bathes (my brother graciously helps with that) two pit bulls.  I enjoy that stuff.  I looked up what a Labrador-Boxer (boxador) mix looks like:
 I mean, come on, how cute is …

childbearing

So right now, someone is having a baby, like someone I actually know.  And one of the ladies that I eat lunch with is like 5 months pregnant...so I hear about pregnancy a lot.  Whether I want to or not.  Yes, I am a woman, but I do not want kids.  This, apparently, is a rarity; I only know a few women that don't want kids.

Let me just set the record straight:  I love other people's kids, I love teaching them and caring for them (and I'm great at it), but at the end of the day, I like coming home to a childless house.  It just seems right; I'm teaching and taking care of other people's kids all day, why would I wanna come home and have to teach and take care of more kids (even if they are mine), it just seems a bit excessive.

I think part of this disposition comes from having to be a "little mama" when I was a child.  I now (I used to have 3) have 2 brothers (7 years younger and 15 years younger), and have 2 stepsisters (6 years younger and 8 years younger…

abiding

The past few weeks abiding has been on my mind a lot; it all started when I heard a message about it at my Charlotte church, the message was one of the best I've ever heard.  The Sunday after that I heard more about abiding at my Greensboro church.  Both messages were good and both got me thinking about what it means to abide with/in the Father.

This whole abiding business is hard, there are no step-by-step instructions.  Despite what many people think, I like step-by-step instructions, they're like a rubric and as a teacher, I endorse rubrics.  The truth is: it's easy to just follow some instructions, even if the instructions present a challenge, one knows that upon following said instructions the goal will be reached.  But, like I said, abiding doesn't have a formula or a 10 step program.  Right now, it feels like I'm just wondering around trying to figure out how to do it, and what it looks like to me.  A couple of weeks ago, at my Greensboro church, I asked a f…