Thursday, March 27, 2008

Theft, violation and bitterness

I'm not happy.

Today, I went to a department meeting. A sub was handling my class during the meeting. While I was away, a student or students stole my timer, three of my graphing calculators and possibly my car and house keys. (I haven't been able to find the keys, and I don't think that I simply misplaced them.)

To top it off, not having my keys made me over an hour late for a review session I had to go to for my teacher credential program.

The feeling of violation is what I hate the most. I'm also not sure what the best response is. I don't want to be mired in bitterness. This really made my heart cold toward my students. It's hard to separate out the good from the bad, the innocent from the guilty. I don't like that. I don't like not knowing who's responsible. I can fully understand David's and the other psalmists' pleas to God to take vengeance on their enemies.

"Help, Lord!"

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

House update 3/24



Yeah, the date's correct. I've got a backlog of pictures. It's been a busy time.

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Happy Resurrection Day!

Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed. The same power that raised Christ from the dead is available today for us who believe (Eph. 1:19-20).

Have a blessed day!

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Soccer dad


Well, I've finally joined that exclusive club that I thought I'd never be a part of: Soccer Dads. The Burrito is enjoying playing on the same team—The Purple Dragons—as her friend who lives two doors down from us. Her first real game is this Saturday.

"So, how do you feel about your upcoming game?"

"Excited."

There you have it, folks.In case you go to the game, she wanted you to know her number so you could easily identify her and cheer.

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House update 3/16

A little late, but here are some pix of our house from last week.
As you can see, we allow our children to roam around freely in dangerous construction zones without wearing hard hats. Please do not report us.

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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Spring Break!...and a new perspective.

Spring Break officially began for me 3:10 p.m. yesterday. I'm so excited to have a week off to (partially) recuperate. Amy's excited to have a couple extra hands to help with our growing tribe.

We visited a home group at our church for the first time this past Wednesday night. I asked them to pray for me for my teaching situation. I basically said, "Please pray for me; I hate my job." I think their prayers, plus the prayers of many others—like you, are starting to have an effect. I'm getting some new perspective on my teaching job.

Last night as I was walking outside with our newborn, I was reminded of how many of my students are fatherless in some way. "Daisy's" father left home when she was only five. She told me he had been planning on being a pastor. He owes thousands of dollars in child support. "And to top it off," she told me, "he forgot my birthday. I guess that's why I carry so much anger inside."

A couple of days ago, I found out that the mother of another one of my students is terminally ill. Apparently, she could go at any time. The student's uncle told me that the father is not in the picture at all. Is it any wonder this student has some behavioral issues?

I've been feeling convicted that I need to more intentionally reach out to my students—especially the boys. I can't keep bemoaning the situation and complaining about what is, when I, by the power of the Holy Spirit, can have an impact in some students' lives.

We'll see what happens.

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Friday, March 14, 2008

Happy Pi Day! 3.14

Today, we celebrate that most famous of irrational numbers: pi. For those of you that forgot your middle school math, pi (approximately 3.14) is a special number used to find the perimeter (distance around) a circle. The formula is pi times the diameter. So if you have a circular jacuzzi that is 8 feet across, the distance around it would be approximately 3.14 x 8 or 25.12 feet.

By the way, pi is called "irrational" because the digits of pi go on forever without repeating themselves. According to one website, in 2002, a team of people calculated pi to 1.2411 trillion digits!

Anyway, I hope your Pi Day was as exciting as mine.

UPDATE:

Here's a cool website that lets you estimate the value of pi by throwing needles on a table.

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Sunday, March 9, 2008

Soul update

We survived daylight savings time, and were up and ready for the 9:00 a.m. church service. The pastor spoke on why there is suffering in the world. When I really stop and think about what others go through, I have nothing to complain about. I am blessed in so many ways, not the least of which is my family. Nevertheless, a few things have been weighing on me.

Teaching has been very difficult. There have been days I have wanted to quit. I feel overwhelmed much of the time. Behavior issues of some of my students cause me a great deal of stress and frustration. Sometimes I have absolutely no idea how to handle a particular situation. But I press on because I know God has me here for a reason, and the leading was so clear.

I have also dealt with loneliness quite a bit lately. I'm used to having a group of men that I hang out with regularly for fellowship. I have not found such a group yet. My soul is aching for quality time with Christian brothers. I know the Lord has something out there for me, but waiting on it to materialize is tough. This is my biggest prayer request at the moment.

Not being involved in ministry is tough. At times I feel my life lacks direction and purpose. Every once in a while, I have an interaction with a student where I feel I've really made a connection and can see fruit. Those times don't occur frequently enough for me.

Gotta go. I'm still missing that hour of sleep.

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A firm foundation


"For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ."
—1 Corinthians 3:11

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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

There's snow place like home

Yes, that is snow on the ground. And no, we did not move back to Rochester. This is the backyard of Amy's parents' house in Dallas (where we're currently staying.) I enjoyed watching the snow fall late last night as I sat in Panera Bread inputting my students' grades and posting them online. Have I told you I love free coffee and free internet?

Here's the Morsel enjoying a cold one. The snow didn't last very long here, but it was nice to be reminded of our battles with extreme weather in upstate NY.

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House update

Here's a picture of the plastic stuff they put down before laying the foundation. My wife says the technical term for it is "plastic stuff." It's starting to look like home already.

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