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Saturday, October 25, 2008


Kyle and I had a great time in Minnesota. We were able to visit a lot of extended family from my side that I've only met once before that I can remember. I was amazed at the hospitality of my relatives. One couple gave up their bed for us and slept in the loft in their garage. They wouldn't hear of us sleeping there since the only restroom was in the house. A great aunt of mine stole the bill at dinner when we had purposely taken her out to dinner. Another great aunt took us on a tour of New Ulm and blessed us with a great German meal. My grandma showed us the farm she grew up on and the little country church she went to as a kid.
The leaves were changing, and it was simply beautiful there!

A corn field that used to belong to my great grandparents.

The little country church my grandma went to as a little girl. That is back when their wasn't running water or electricity in the middle of Minnesota's blizzards.

Oh, the colors were so rich there!

The view outside of my great aunt and uncle's.

May I please borrow $25?

A man came home from work late, tired and irritated, to find his 5 year old son waiting for him at the door.

SON: 'Daddy, may I ask you a question?'

DAD: 'Yeah sure, what is it?' replied the man.

SON: 'Daddy, how much do you make an hour?'

DAD: 'That's none of your business. Why do you ask such a thing?' the man said angrily.

SON: 'I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?'

DAD: 'If you must know, I make $50 an hour.'

SON: 'Oh,' the little boy replied, with his head down. 'Daddy, may I please borrow $25?'

The father was furious, 'If the only reason you asked that is so You can borrow some money to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you are being so selfish. I don't work hard every day for such childish frivolities.' The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door. The man sat down and started to get even angrier about the little boy's question. How dare he ask such questions only to get some money? After about an hour or so, the man had calmed down, and started to think: maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that $25.00 and he really didn't ask for money very often. The man went to the door of the little boy's room and opened the door.

'Are you asleep, son?' He asked. 'No daddy, I'm awake,' replied the boy. The father said 'I've been thinking maybe I was too hard on you earlier. It's been a long day and I took out my aggravation on you. Here's the $25 you asked for.' The little boy sat straight up, smiling. 'Oh, thank you daddy!' He yelled. Then, reaching under his pillow he pulled out some crumpled up bills. The man saw that the boy already had money and started to get angry again. The little boy slowly counted out his money, and then looked up at his father. 'Why do you want more money if you already have some?' the father grumbled. 'Because I didn't have enough, but now I do,' the little boy replied. 'Daddy, I have $50 now. Can I buy an hour of your time? Please come home early tomorrow. I would like to have dinner with you.' The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little son, and he begged for his forgiveness.

It's just a short reminder to all of you working so hard in life. We should not let time slip through our fingers without having spent some time with those who really matter to us, those close to our hearts. Do remember to share that $50 worth of your time with someone you love.

If we die tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of hours. But the family friends we leave behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives.

The light of God surrounds us.
The love of God enfolds us.
The power of God protects us.
The presence of God watches over us.
Wherever we are God is and all is well.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Moses and Me Part 2

Last night I was helping with the children's program at my Bible study.  I was blown away at what these 2nd and 3rd graders knew.  While I listened to them share what then knew about Moses I learned something.

In the beginning of Exodus God and Moses argue.  God told Moses that He wants to use him, Moses tries desperately to opt out.  Moses fails, God wins.  Moses goes and does what God told him to do.  Moses told Pharaoh to let the people go worship God in the dessert, a three day journey.  Moses had obeyed God, and you know what happened?  Pharaoh pitches a fit and says the people are lazy.  The people had to continue making the same quota of brick, but now they weren't provided with the straw.  The people were angry with Moses and with God.  

Moses returned to the LORD and said, "O Lord, why have you brought trouble upon this people?  Is this why you sent me?  Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble upon this people, and you have not rescued your people at all."
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh: Because of my mighty hand he will let them go, because of my mighty hand he will drive them out of his country."  Exodus 5:22-6:1

Things initially got worse, unbearable worse for the Israelites.  But, God was working in His timing, for His purpose, that He may be glorified.  Moses and all the people would know by the time they got out of Egypt that it had nothing to do with their might or strength, it was all about God's might and strength.

Last spring I prayed that God would put me in the classroom He desired.  He saw fit to have me switch grade levels over the summer, and then to switch back 6 weeks into school.  I am now finding that my kids are really struggling with math.  You know what?  I prayed that God would put me where He wants me, and it will be only to His glory when the kids get the math concepts.  Their growth will not be due to me, I tried in my strength, and that didn't work out well.  Now, I am on a renewed journey to put God first in my classroom.  It is a challenge when things are constantly changing to keep anything a focus, and yes things aren't looking to pretty when it comes to their math, but God will show me what to do.  

When was the last time you stopped, breathed, and then remembered that you can put your trust in God?  You don't have to rely on your own strength.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Moses, Gideon, and me

Apparently I have a hard time listening.  That must be why God keeps showing me people who also had a hard time listening and eventually heard, trusted, and obeyed.  
When most people think of Moses they are stunned by his leadership.  When God called Moses to free the people of Eygpt, do you know what his response was?  In Exodus 3 and 4 Moses first asked who was he to do such a job.  Remember, Moses was 80 at the time.  God said that when he was done freeing the people, he'd bring him back to the same mountain to worship Him. Moses argued with the question of who should I say sent me.  God said to tell them I AM sent you.  Moses wasn't convinced so he asked what to do if the people didn't believe him that he'd seen God.  God worked the miracle of changing the rod to the serpent and back again.  He showed him how He would make his hand leprous and then clean again.  He told him that he could take water and throw it to the ground and it would turn to blood.  Moses squirmed and said that he wasn't eloquent with words and was slow of speech and tongue.   God reminded Moses who made him and his mouth.   Moses finally stopped beating around the bush and just said to pick someone else.  God said he'd still send Moses, and he'd provided Aaron to speak for Moses.  Moses finally listened, and we have the first 5 books of the Bible because he listened and obeyed.
In Judges 6 and 7, Gideon was threshing wheat in a wine press because he was afraid his enemies would see him and steal the wheat.  The Angle of the LORD appears to him and calls him to a mighty warrior and tells him to fight against his enemies.  Gideon says that he is the least in his family and that his tribe is the weakest in Israel.  Basically, who am I to do such a thing?  Aren't I presently working in hiding out of fear of my enemies?  But God doesn't give up on Gideon.  He even puts up with Gideon's tests in order to show his faithfulness.  Gideon acted in faith and first torn down the alters to Baal, and the idle standing next to it.  He later went out to destroy his enemies.  Gideon had finally listened, and his people were refocused on God for it.
God has been telling me to trust Him.  He won't leave me when the pressure to meet the state's  increasing bar of perfection (all students should be proficient,score 80% or higher on the CST, in a few years) continues to raise a little higher each year.  He isn't caught of guard when my student do poorly on math tests because they are English Language Learners who don't know their math facts.  He knew before the school year started that I would switch grade levels 6 weeks into the school year.  He is in control.  He knows my heart and how much I want my kids to succeed.  He knows that He will equip me to help them, and that I need to rely on Him and His strength.
Sometimes, in the heat of pressure I forget what life is like outside of pressure.  I forget that is is beautiful outside.  I forget that God is with me.  I forget that God will provide.  I am so thankful that God doesn't forget me when I forget Him.  I am so thankful that God is far more faithful that I can imagine.  I am thankful that God is God, and that I am not.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Kyle Growing Up

Yeah, yeah! Turn it up louder mama!

Fishing Brothers
Troy and Kyle

Behind Bars
Troy, Kyle, and Sean

Science Fair - second place

Coming Home from Mexico
Greg, Mitch, and Kyle

Saturday, October 4, 2008

A picture is worth a thousand words

I am amazed the ideas people come up with when God is taken out of the equation. It was Carl Sagan who said, "We are made of star stuff." I made a little design to illustrate my thoughts.

Gus the cat

I came home from school yesterday and as I was unlocking my door saw something moving behind the wooden slats of our patio. It was a furry little kitten! I let him come inside and played in the floor with him. While he explored the living room I got him a saucer of water. I also put out some captin crunch cereal which he gobbled right up.

In the morning I had gone to get the mail and noticed a flyer saying missing kitten. A family had gotten it for their son's birthday and they were heart broken. So sad. I told the fur ball to stay in the house while I went to get the number off the flyer.

I thought the lady was going to cry when I told her that I had a little kitten that looked like it might be theirs. They quickly came over to check him out. She scolded him like he was a kid that got lost, which was funny. Her son was maybe 5 years old and he was yanking on her shirt saying that it was his turn to hold Gus.

Don't you love a happy ending?