Saturday, February 27, 2010
I got batteries today, so Charlotte pictures will be up this weekend.
Friday, February 26, 2010
The NEA, however revolting it might be, made my day today. I came home today with Charlotte in tow, having had a HORRIBLE day. The reason that I had a horrible day can be boiled down succinctly into two words: full moon. I never believed this before I became a teacher, this nonsense that people get crazy when the moon is full. But today was a day. Everyone seemed to be tense, my students were bouncing off the walls almost literally, I got scolded for something ridiculous, and there was general madness at school. Our ITRT has a saying that somebody poured crazy into the water, and I think that may have happened today.
I came home and got the mail, and there in the letters and bills was the latest issue of the NEA magazine (which is so much better than the VEA's equivalent). And I looked through it because I always do. I always have, even when Adam was a member and I wasn't. And for some reason, today, this magazine picked up my spirits a little. Looking at professional peers of mine, reminding myself that I'm not the only one in this profession that, let's be honest, is not great right now. Not only is the economy making education impossibly challenging everywhere and especially in Virginia, but February and March are always the hardest months of the year. October is a distant third. So to look at this magazine today of an organization that I don't even support or like and have my heart warmed and my teaching spirit a little renewed was a pleasant surprise. I skimmed through a nice article about mentor teachers, read every word of an interview with the children's author Katherine Patterson (promoting Read Across America Day which is March 2...I'll need to blog a separate post on that), and perused the feature on Manassas Park Elementary School in northern Virginia. After that, and flicking through the article with Sandra Day O'Connor about teaching government in today's NCLB age, I felt much better about my day. I don't even know why. Maybe I will go back to work on Monday after all. :) At least February will be over.
No new Charlotte pictures because there are no AA batteries in our house at all for the camera. We'll pick some up tomorrow, since inevitably, I will get cabin fever and need to get out of the house for an hour.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
I'm getting pretty ferocious at Scrabble; Brit has taught me some pretty fierce strategy. I also rock at playing 2-D Mario games with Super Mario Bros. 3 being my favorite. I'll never forget when Adam and I played through that game over about a month. I beat most of the levels, but Adam beat the game in the end. I was so frustrated! :-) I like Zelda games and like figuring out the puzzles, but sometimes I don't have the patience for them - they are a little long.
Tonight we are trying out a new game with Joe and Kathy; they're watching Charlotte and we're going to dinner, then we're coming back and playing a game. It's from the makers of Cranium, so it should be a pretty good time.
By the way, we've been busy, so I'm sorry there haven't been many recent Charlotte pics. I'll try to post some new ones tonight.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Thursday, February 11, 2010
I finished my poetry unit yesterday, and as I told Rafe when he called me to tell me that we didn't have school AGAIN today, it's beautiful. It uses jazz, video clips, music and poems, and it is wonderfully crafted if I do say so myself. I even managed to work parody in, using this parody of Frost's "Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening." Other new highlights include using the Alicia Keys' song "Dragon Days" for its puns and comparing and constrasting Bare Naked Ladies' "The Old Apartment" with Alanis Morissette's "Your House." I'm super excited, if we could ever get back to school. My juniors take their writing SOL in about two weeks. Yikes!
During church last night, I took notes feverishly. I haven't written that many notes since the first time I came to this church and Nick preached about the Holy Spirit. There is no way that I can condense my notes into the space of this blog, but my feeble attempt at summarizing is:
- The sermon focused entirely on Genesis 3 - the transgression of the Covenant of Works - verse by verse
- If you look at Genesis 3 verse by verse, you will see the very pattern of sin we all fall into all the time, as well as the way that Satan works to undermine our security and trust in God
- The sin of Genesis 3 is not just the eating from the tree, but Eve's adding to the word of God, Adam's apathy for protecting his wife, and the doubting of God, all which occured before eating from the tree
- God is gracious, giving Adam and Eve two opportunities to own up to their sin. He doesn't just storm into the garden, guns blazing, kicking them out. He gives them a chance to admit their sin and repent (which they wholeheartedly fail to do)
Suffice it to say, it was an amazing sermon. My favorite sermons are the ones that reveal truths about stories that I thought I knew backward and forward. This has completely changed my view of the story of the Fall.
Lastly, I'm working on a project. I'm excited about this project, even though Adam can't really envision what I'm trying to do. I'll take pictures, Shannon-style and try to show you what I'm doing. That, by the way, is why my house is messier when I'm home than when I'm at school. It's because I'm home and Charlotte's home, and we live here and that makes a mess. Haha.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Friday, February 5, 2010
Thursday, February 4, 2010
All right, I consider myself to be a pretty intelligent, well read individual. I was raised in the church, going to Sunday School, youth group and choir my whole life. I’ve been confirmed in the Methodist church, baptized, baptized by immersion and legitimately saved by grace through faith. I know all of the Bible stories they teach children, from the story of creation to the fall, to Noah’s ark and David and Goliath. I know about Jesus, the Christmas story, the crucifixion, Paul’s conversion and most of Revelation. All of this, my whole life, and I had no idea that there were two trees.
In the Garden of Eden. There were two forbidden trees in the Garden of Eden. All my life, I have thought that there was one tree restricted in the garden, that the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life were the same. I feel like I cannot be the only one who misconstrued this information. I did not realize until last night’s sermon that Adam and Eve only broke the covenant by eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. So that they did not eat from the Tree of Life (and live forever in their fallen, unredeemed state and thereby damning us to the same state), God placed a cherubim with flaming sword in front of the tree and kicked them out of Eden.
I was always very frustrated with this story as a child, because I thought that I would have done the right thing. I was afraid of getting into trouble as a kid because I was good, followed the rules and did what I was told. The truth is though, that if I were in the Garden of Eden in the same position as Adam and Eve, I would’ve done exactly what they did, and probably faster than they did. My pastor said that some theologians think the were in the garden for 40 days to echo Jesus' temptation by Satan of 40 days. I like that thought, since Jesus is the second Adam.
So the question that some people have are why did God set Adam and Eve up to fail? He didn’t. I understand how people can think that God had a vindictive motivation at first glance (especially if they don't accurately perceive our glorious Lord), but they don’t have the whole story. God owed Adam and Eve nothing because He created them; we don’t owe anything to dinners or art projects we create. The trees were created with restriction to separate the creation from the Creator, just the way I dress up to go to school to separate myself from my students. Adam and Eve were not equals with God, and they could not count themselves as such. By eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, they decided to choose their own standards of good and evil, not follow God’s standards of it. That is pride: to look at God's standards of good and evil (Himself and anything that is not Himself) and decide that we would rather determine right and wrong for ourselves. That pride, the foundation of all sins, is what came to characterize human beings, the most slimy and inherent of all sins. Who of us will not slip into pride if we stop concentrating on it for a moment? Even good things we do are done with prideful motives, however small.
The encouragement is that Christ's redemption of us was planned even in the Garden. As man was falling (and not catching God by surprise, by the way), God was already foretelling the picking up of the pieces. And He did not let them eat from the Tree of Life. Eating from the Tree of Life would have made Adam and Eve live forever (Gen. 3:22), but before human beings had been redeemed by Christ's blood. This to me was an amazing thought. Of course I knew the "you will bruise his heel, but he will crush your head" prophecy of Genesis 3:15, predicting that the offspring of the woman (Christ) will ultimately crush Satan. But the fact that God protected Adam and Eve from eating of the eternal-life-giving Tree of Life so that the human race would not be forever doomed shows what a loving, good Father we have. That is our encouragement in last night's message. He knew we would fail, He knew we would be redeemed, and He protected us from ourselves so that we could be redeemed. Amen.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Lastly, our family is in need of prayer. We are in the midst of much, and specifically we need prayer for discernment, wisdom and faithful obedience to what we discern. I apologize for not sharing more, but for all things, there is a season.