You are currently browsing the monthly archive for August 2006.

I think that teachers tend to kill the love of reading in their students. What I mean is I think that a lot more people would enjoy reading if it weren’t for the aversion to it instilled by their teachers. Now obviously not every teacher does. Some foster a love of reading in their students. But the way some teachers go about assigning homework to go along with books is just…..wrong!

When I was in middle school, I remember having to read a bunch of books that were on some list that my mom had. Top 50 books needed to do well in college or something. I ended up loathing most of those books. ‘Animal Farm’, ‘The Giver’, ‘The Old Man and the Sea’, ‘The Good Earth’, etc. Hated them with a passion! Sometimes it was because of the book itself. (Let’s face it: Hemmingway wasn’t the most engaging of authors.) Other times it was because of the work I had to do to get through the book. Vocabulary lists and sentences using words I didn’t know. It would take me an hour to get through one chapter. Looking back, I think I might have actually enjoyed ‘The Giver’ had I been allowed to simply read it. Maybe if my mom had read along with me and we were able to discuss it. Or I was told to look for themes throughout the book or something. But vocabulary lists? Ugh!!!!! I doubt I could now tell you any of those words that I was supposedly “learning”.

And maybe that’s just personal preference. Some people don’t mind doing vocab. lists compared to having to discuss the book. I have no idea how they do stuff in public classrooms. But I have a feeling it’s similar to what we did in my high school co-op. We read the books, maybe answered some questions, discussed the books, wrote stuff about what we discussed. Even though I didn’t particularly like ‘Huckleberry Finn’, my favorite project in that class was from that book. And I loved ‘The Scarlet Letter’ and ‘Farenheight 451’ because they were good stories and I was allowed to enjoy them. I think that was helpful in renewing my love of reading because for awhile I was getting to the point of not being able to enjoy it.

I know I’m not going to be teaching reading or assigning books to my preschoolers but I do intend to be very careful in that I foster a love of whatever we’re doing in them. I don’t want to be the one who creates an aversion to something wonderful. Which is fairly hard to do at that age but it’s still something I intend to keep in mind as I pursue my teaching degree and teach these kids about our world.

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I just received my Logic book and my El. Comp. book in the mail. I’m still missing the second book for EC but that’s only strongly suggested reading. He said he’d probably give quizzes on the content but I’m pretty sure he said there wouldn’t be one this coming Thursday. So I have the two books that I really needed and I have plenty of time to get the work done.

Yay!

I have my books. I have my ID. I know where my classes are. I have homework to do. My first semester is paid off.

I’m a student again. 😀

This morning during Shane’s sermon he brought up that fact that we have made Adam greater than Jesus. His point was that we give credit to Adam for bringing down all of humanity in one sinful act. No one could do anything about it. We were all taken down with him in that garden. But then we limit Jesus by saying He only came to save certain people. Or that in order for us to be saved, we have to believe all these little bullet points in a tract.

Evangelicals love to use the phrase “I’m nothing but a dirty rotten sinner.” (That was one of the pastors at one of my former churches favorite phrase for awhile.) But I don’t believe that that gives glory to what Christ has done for us. Not only are we part of God’s glorious creation, created in His image, but Christ came to save us all. In His death, He took away everyone’s sin. Not just the people who called Him Lord. Everyone. The only difference between me and the next guy on the street is I have responded to the call of the Holy Spirit. I am living my life to learn what it means to be fully human. Not seperated from my creator but joined in a dance with Him.

We’re already saved. Christ has wiped away the sins of all of humanity. It’s just that some people don’t realize it yet. They’re too caught up in the “I am nots” to see “I am”. I am a beautiful creation of God. I am complete in Him. I am a part of an incredible story. I am made for a purpose. I am loved by the great I Am.

Adam’s sinful act was not greater than Christ’s redeeming one. He’s already saved us all. We just have to be willing to listen.

(Before someone jumps down my throat: no, I’m not a Universalist. Back off, Kato!)

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

For Your’s is the kingdom and the glory and power forever.

Amen.

In talking to my pastor today, I had something of a realization. The people who I used to hang out with and the people who I surround myself with now have two very different definitions of spiritual growth. (As much as I hate to use the dividing “us”, “them” theme, it is all I have so please understand where I come from when I use these terms.)

At my former church, spiritual growth was defined by a few things. 1. How deep/vast your Bible knowledge was. 2. How active you were in church related activities (ie. Bible studies, nursery, missions trips, etc.) and C. How many people you had led to Christ.

I’m not saying that any of those things are bad. I probably don’t know enough of my Bible or it’s deep and rich history. I was extremely active in my church but one could argue that I was too active. As for the leading people to Christ, let’s just say that giving a 30 second Jesus pitch isn’t one of my spiritual gifts. If you measured by these 3 things, you would probably say that I wasn’t growing very much. Especially considering I’d been raised in the church. (Though I didn’t consider myself a Christian until I was around 15.)

The church I’m attending now is a bit different. While we do value those things, it isn’t necessarily what we base our measurement on for spiritual growth. Instead we look at a person’s life to see if we see them becoming more or less like Christ. If I am better able to love my annoying neighbor who screams at their kids and let’s their dogs roam around unleashed, then I consider that growth. If I have more patience while sitting in a long line of traffic on the interstate, I consider that growth. Because I know plenty of people who seem to have a great amount of Bible knowledge, who are extremely active in their church and who have (supposedly) led some people to Christ. But I don’t see them becoming more Christ-like in their own daily life. While they perhaps immulate it in the church, their life outside the church is quite different. That’s not to say that they aren’t growing. Some people are slower then others. Some aren’t quite as vocal as, say, me. 😉 And I know that growth is often two steps forward and one step back. But it worries me when, over a long period of time, I see no change. Or I see people repeating the same cycle over and over again.

Christ called us to love God and love others. Until I get those two things figured out, I’m not too worried about how many church activities I’m involved in or how many Bible verses I know. He didn’t call us to be Bible scholars. He called us to be peacemakers, merciful, humble and loving. If I can move forward in those things, I’ll consider myself growing right up.

I love reading old posts and seeing how far I’ve come. It’s like journaling, only better because I actually sit down and write on here. (I can’t tell you how many journals I tried to start…..)

I started school tonight. For the third (and hopefully final) time, I am a student. Back to boring textbooks and homework and group projects and all that fun stuff. I’m expecting to have no life this semester, just so you all know. My Logic course alone promises to have lots of homework. But I think it’ll at least be interesting. Tomorrow starts my Elementary Composition class and then my computer class doesn’t start until mid-October. I’m actually fairly excited about school now that first day nerves are gone. It’ll be nice to have something to talk about other than what new bad word I taught Reegan. (Just kidding! 🙂 )

Work is good. I took Reegan with me to a MOPS meeting this morning and then we had to stay out because people were looking at the house. So we went to Panera with my mom. I saw Debbie Lamb when I was there. A friend of her’s had kidnapped her from the hospital. I asked how she was doing and told her I was praying for Dave. I didn’t know them *real* well but they were sponsors for a looooong time.

Reegan and I didn’t get home and down for a nap until almost 2:30. I didn’t think she’d sleep but she ended up sleeping until a little after 4. Then we had to run around and get the house looking perfect again because more people decided to look at the house at 4:30. That was fun. 🙂 I actually don’t mind because it means the house is super clean.

Preschool starts in a few weeks. That’s going to be really interesting. I’m especially curious to see how Reegan will do in a classroom setting with other kids. Right now there aren’t a ton of kids in my class. I think there’s 6 or 7. But that’s a lot when you’re used to being the only one. So we’ll see. And my mom asked me if I wanted to teach Wed. MOPS too and bring Reegan with me. She said I could teach in the room she’d be in, which would be interesting because I’m used to the 4’s and 5’s, not the almost 2’s. But I need to ask Valorie because I don’t know if she wants me dragging Reegan all over town. I think it would be good for both of us, espcially during the cold months when we can’t really go outside. Otherwise we’re stuck in the house all day and that gets old real quick. But we shall see.

We went to Kohl’s the other day and I bought a really pretty fuzzy blanket. It’s soooo soft. The only downside is now I really don’t want to get out of bed in the mornings. 😀

I think that’s it for now. I’m worn out. Too much excitement. 🙂 Hope ya’ll have a wonderful night! (Or morning, depending on what part of the world you’re in. 😉 )

HE FINALLY TOOK THE GUILTY PLEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After all this, the @#$&% jerk finally took the plea. He realized exactly how much evidence we had against him and said, “So, about that plea…….”

He’s gonna get 60 years and the prosecuter is going to push for 100 at his sentencing hearing on Sept. 1st. I say we just castrate him with dull scissors but I guess 100 years in jail would be the next best thing. And since he took the plea, that means that he can’t appeal the case later on which means my friend doesn’t have to worry about this resurfacing again and again.

Thank You Lord, it is truly a beautiful day!

People suck.

Why am I still trying to love them? Even when they take everything I’ve poured into them and say, “Nope, that wasn’t helpful. In fact, it hurt me. You suck at everything you stand for.”

Because it’s what Jesus would have me do. I think.

Some days I just don’t know anymore.

*tears*

“Every morning I must say again to myself, ‘Today I Start.'” St. Anthony of the Desert

I am one of those people who has a tendency to wallow in the guilt of her sins. Particularly the “unpardonable” sins that I think everyone will hate me for if they ever found out. I beat myself up and generally just think that I am the worst sinner ever. Because, if I don’t, then I’m not really repentent and I’ll turn around and do the exact same thing again.

We were talking a few weeks ago at church about being repentent and how a lot of people think that you have to be down on yourself for quite awhile if you’re really sorry. This is fuel for people like me who want people to know “really, I’m sorry!” and so we feel like we have to do the whole self-bashing thing in order for us to be sorry and for people to see that we are. But I don’t believe that this is what Christ desires of us.

Does He want us to repent? Yes. Does He want us to feel sorrow over our sins? Yes. Does He want us to continue to beat ourselves up even after we’ve confessed and asked forgiveness? I don’t think so. Because that takes away from what He did for us.

When Jesus died on the cross, He knew exactly what He was dying for. He knew every person that had been born, was born, and would be born. And he knew every sin that they had commited, were commiting, and were going to commit. And He still died. Even though He knew we were gonna screw things up. Repeatedly. Even though He knew we were gonna hurt Him and each other. Repeatedly. He still chose to die. So yeah, we sin. It’s bad. But it’s not bigger than God and it’s not bigger than what Christ did on the cross.

Christ came so that we can have life. Eternal life, sure. But I also believe He came so that we can have life *now*! Life to the full. And if you’re busy wallowing in guilt and regrets over past mistakes, then you aren’t living life to the full. You aren’t accomplishing all you could accomplish and you aren’t giving glory to God. Paul refered to himself as the worst sinner and look at all he did. You sin, you confess, you repent, you move on. You get back up, dust yourself off, and you keep trying. Every moment is a new moment to make a new choice. Every day is a new day with a fresh start. You may still have consequences to deal with because of your sin but you don’t have to stay down with the guilt.

I said this on the Dwelling Place blog in our discussion about free will. “He knows that we’ll make mistakes. But He’s God. He can work for good even through our screw ups….” God can create from the pile of rubble we cause. Beauty from ashes.

Today I start.

Have I mentioned that?

So today I overslept and didn’t wake up until a little before 8:00. I’m supposed to be at work at 7:30. I jumped up, called Valorie, told her I was on my way and took off. It took me almost 45 minutes to get there. (Stupid traffic! I was actually swearing at other drivers, I was so stressed out.)

I don’t know what the deal with my alarm clock on my phone is. This has happened a handful of times before and each time I wake up, the alarm is acting like it’s going off but there is no sound. I have no idea what is going on. Maybe it does make noise but I sleep through it and it’s so long before I wake up, the sound stops. I don’t know. And the thing is, I *knew* it was going to happen. Last night I thought to myself “Do something to insure that you will be up on time” but nooooo! I’m sure 5 1/2 hours of sleep in 48 contributed to my not waking up, whatever the cause.

If this were any other job, my butt would be so fired by now. Thank you Lord the people I work for are about the most understanding people ever! I always feel soooo bad and Valorie’s always like “It’s okay. It happens.”

Another reason it rocks? I don’t actually have to think. If I’m having a day like I did today where I just had too much going on in my head and I’m trying to process stuff, it doesn’t matter. I’m not messing up orders or screwing up cases because I can’t concentrate. I’ll play with Reegan and talk to her but if I get distracted and head off for la la land mentally, it’s not a big deal. (Obviously I don’t do this to the point of endangering her or myself but it’s nice not to be yelled at because you aren’t completely there one day.)

Also, when I’m trying to think about stuff, I tend to need to stay busy and I usually prefer to clean. It’s routine enough that I don’t have to think about it but it gives me something to do with my hands. So today while Reegan was eating breakfast, I washed dishes and cleaned up the kitchen some. Not anything huge but it gave me something to do.

So yeah, this job is perfect for me right now. Working at a private investigator place would have been cool but I doubt I could get away with random cleaning and not being all there and sleeping through my alarm clock.

Oh, quick note: prayers would be appreciated because they are trying to move. Brant wants to make an offer on a house but they haven’t sold theirs yet so there’s a possibility of two mortgages. I would *love* it if they moved because they’d be closer to me but I know they’d feel better if their house sold beforehand. If any of you are looking to move to Fishers, please let me know. 🙂 Thanks guys!