Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Cheating today

Just a quickie post to say I did it. Today for three and a half hours we were blessed with insights and inspiration from Dr. Tim Elmore, author of the acclaimed book, Nurturing the Leader within our Child. (Hmmm, how is it I've heard so much about this book in the last couple of years and there's only one review on Amazon.com?). He was amazing. He had some very pointed insights about this current generation, the Millennials. The school actually provided for us a copy of one of Dr. Elmore's Habitudes books, his third one, The Art of Leading Others. Read more about Dr. Elmore here.

I can't wait to delve into both of those books, but my gravy, I have a full plate! I'm in the middle of reading two others (see those on the left frame) and am just a tad busy these days preparing for oh, what is it? Just SCHOOL! Yikes! We have some awesome things in store for our 7th grade team. We are having an Army theme; they've already been drafted (promoted and assigned, LOL). The first day when we have all the paperwork is enlistment; their PE is going to be PT; we're going to Camp Kanuga this fall for some team-building exercises. Wonder if I can get them to come to my house for some KP duty? This came about because our principal said this group just needs some help with bonding and some of them need some encouragement. Our team leader prayed for guidance on ideas and the words honor and discipline kept being given to her. She ran into a former student who has just enlisted and he impressed upon her that the Army is all about honor and discipline. The overall theme is that the students are joining God's army but the military aspect will be there, as well. We decided not to shave their heads. . .We have a full U.S. Army uniform as well as the uniform like that of a Roman soldier to compare side by side.

It should be a great year. I'm anxious and nervous; I always am. The first day is always the most nerve wracking, but I have every confidence it will be a great year, both for me as a teacher and for daughter in first grade. Tears to come later.

Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. -- Ephesians 6:11

Monday, August 07, 2006

When E.F. Hutton Speaks

Remember the commercials that would show people cupping their ears to listen to Mr. Hutton (supposedly)? “When E.F. Hutton speaks, people listen,” it said. My philosophy: when God speaks, I listen! Well, I would LIKE to say that I always listen but, being a mere human, it’s not that simple. But when God says the same thing to me twice, you can better believe I will turn an ear (and a heart) toward him. That happened to me over the past two days.

Yesterday at church, our Minster of Pastoral Care gave the sermon; it was our pastor's last Sunday of sabbatical. He spoke on Colossians 1:27: “…to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Now, I’m sure I’ve come across this verse in reading before but had never heard an exposition of it. While he referenced many other verses, this was his key verse and he kept bringing everything back around to how we don’t have to wonder as to the nature of the hope of the gospel – it’s Christ, in us, and that for believers the “riches of glory” is no longer a mystery. Very, very good, very touching to me, and I took notes.

Fast forward to today, the first day of preplanning at school for all teachers. Our Christian school is not part of a church. Even though the board members are all Christians, they are mostly businessmen and women and a homemaker or two. When the school was founded, they knew it was important to have true spiritual leadership from clergy members, so they ordained a committee of pastors (fathers of students) to give spiritual leadership to the decisions and direction of the school. Three of those pastors spoke this morning. The first one was fun, light, and interesting. The second one referenced our school’s theme verse: “We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ” (Colossians 1:28). The point he kept driving home was, “Who among us is adequate?” Well, I certainly knew it is not ME by the time he charged us with all the responsibilities and burdens that we bear as teachers and ministers in that school! But what really got me was where he led us from there to state the source of our strength, the previous verse: “…Christ in you, the hope of glory.” ???? Now, it is an understatement to say that my radar screen really lit up at that. It had been, after all, not 24 hours before that I had listened to 50 minutes’ worth of teaching on that very verse. Wow. Just wow.

I won’t go into great detail here because it was a message for me and would lose something, probably, if I tried to translate it here. But the most wonderful thing was that, after three of the pastors had spoken, all the teachers, staff, administrators, even the facilities personnel lined up for commissioning: they prayed over us individually, by name, and we partook of the Lord’s Supper. What a sacred moment and what a privilege to begin a new school year this way, in an institution that bathes itself in prayer. What a deeply humbling, yet inspiring, thing to join in God’s work as an extension of the Christian home. Who among us is adequate? Not me. And I have to realize that none of my coworkers is adequate for the task, either. But God is. This is His work; as long as we consecrate ourselves to His work, in His will, He will be more than adequate through our pitiful flesh.

Christ in you, the hope of glory. While I have never mulled over those words before yesterday, I know that is what keeps me going. Today I sing a new song because my heart is overflowing with the hope of the glory that has been promised to me. Seven very simple words, one very profound meaning. I will be contemplating this for days to come.

Please pray that God will bless, strengthen, and inspire all the teachers, students, and families as another school year begins anew.

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. – 2 Corinthians 3:18

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Come again?

In the beginning, there was a desire for a candy. On the second day, it developed into a soft, sort of a kersquoozy-chewy marshmallow-like candy. On the third day, it was decided the candy would be shaped like a peanut. On the fourth day, the idea had developed into an orange, peanut-shaped candy. And, on the fifth day? Oh, yeah, let's make it marshmallow, peanut-shaped, orange colored, and banana flavored. Let there be....Circus Peanuts?????

Ah, yes, I regressed to age 7 and bought a bag today, at a humongadingus Bass Pro Shop Outdoor World, of all places. Daughter loves to go; they have all manner of stuffed wildlife, mounted gamefish, a huge fish tank, a rock climbing wall where we can watch people publicly humble themselves, and a shooting arcade. This weekend happened to be the Fall Hunting Classic, so there were lots of exhibits. We got to see several venomous and non-venomous snakes that are native to GA (yes, live, and yes, in locked aquariums, thank you very much), and a lady was there with a red-tailed hawk, a barn owl and a screech owl. The little screech owl had been molting and was just the cutest little thing. Daughter had her Beanie Baby hamster in her hand and the lady with the birds very wisely suggested that we stash Haffertee in my purse so as to not lead the magnificent birds of prey into thinking that we had brought a snack. Oh, yes, the Beanie Baby is named Pellet but for us it is Haffertee, after Haffertee Hamster Diamond in the books by Janet & John Perkins, now out of print but sometimes available on eBay - we highly recommend them.

The serpent said to the woman, "You surely will not die!" . . . The LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, cursed are you more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you will go, and dust you will eat all the days of your life." Genesis 3:4, 14