Tuesday, January 19, 2010

If I were independently wealthy...

... I would train to become a children's counsellor/youth and family worker. I would hire a teacher to take care of all that "teaching stuff" while I worked one on one and with small groups of my kids and as much as possible with thier families. I would sit with them in their fear, in their pain, in their sadness. I would laugh with their silliness. I would cry with their tears. I would show them what to do when their emotions overwhelm them. I would set limits and give natural consequences. I would cheer their successes and help them gain confidence. I would hug them and tickle them and joke with them and play with them. And I would tell them a million times a day that they are special, that they are loved.

For obvious reasons, there is so much my heart longs to share here, but I can't. But so many of my kidlets are going through rough, rough stuff. I feel their pain so tangibly sometimes and it makes me weep. These children are so inspiring to me. While the behaviours that they show are sometimes difficult, it also is a testament to their strength. They are learning to cope with whatever means they can, and they are survivors.

Please pray for these little munchkins. You may not know details, but God does.

Friday, January 15, 2010

If you HAVE to go to staff meetings...

We're working on starting a behaviour system at our school known as Positive Behaviour Support (where we specifically and directly teach kids what is required of them in terms of behaviour - what a novel idea! :) ) and this past week we were to do the first lesson plan centering around behaviour expectations for moving through the hallways and stairways.

The handout from our principal included a few suggestions for our lessons:

* Drama activities highlighting hallway and stairway behaviour
* Writing activities
* Art projects such as posters
* Classroom discussions
* 12th century style lectures (monk habit and rosewood lectern available for loan upon request)

I'm sorry, what? Read that last one again.

During the meeting, I joked about wanting to borrow the habit on Thursday morning for my lecture.

"Sure! It's actually a snuggie."

If you have to go to staff meetings, at least we're kept amused!

Oh, and in searching for a link or an image of a snuggie, I came across this and I think I'm traumatized.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Friday, January 08, 2010

2009 In Review

I know it's just a snippet, but it's easy and a fun review of 2009 (good heavens, what a year it was!) If you do one for yourself (and I hope you do!) let me know in the comments so I can see! The name of the month links to the first post of that month (in case you’re curious and want to click through and read the rest):

Here’s what you do. Just take the first line of the first post of every month and repost them in one big post. (Clear as mud?)

January: I'm in such denial, it's unbelievable.

February: Can I just say right now that I am having absolute HYSTERICS right now with the amount of bugs in my room???

March: My feet tucked tightly under me and sharing a seat on the wheel hump, I try to make myself as small as possible to make room for the crowd of Rendille people crammed in the back box of a clattery old green land rover.

April: This is my friend Phil in Disneyland, posing with Buzz Lightyear, a character from the movie Toy Story.

May: Don't you just love coming to my blog and seeing THIS in your face?

June: I was in the middle of a Rendille lesson at my language helper’s house when the rain started.

July: Over thirty years ago, Lynne read the following verses from Isaiah 18 that speak of a people “just beyond the rivers of Ethiopia:”

Go, swift messengers,
to a people tall and smooth-skinned,
to a people feared far and wide,
an aggressive nation of strange speech,
whose land is divided by rivers.

August: I'm a Rendille!

September: Wow. I really HAVE been hit with a whirlwind coming back.

October: I got an email today from a fabulous missionary couple I got to spend some great time with in Nairobi asking if I had changed my blog address... they had been visiting my blog and hoping to find news from me on how I was settling in and what has been going on in my life since I got back from Kenya, and had not been finding anything!

November: It's been pretty scarce around here these days.

December: Miss Hillary's class has been working on "stretchy sentences" and "wow words" lately, using a variety of tactics.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

If I could get on Facebook at work...

these would be my status updates for today...


... is wondering why her phone went gibbled overnight and therefore didn't wake her up on time. YIKES! Gotta RUN!

... just got to school and... ARG!!! Staff meeting! I forgot and have SO MUCH TO DO before school starts!!!

... is holding in the screaming - interruptions, scatterbrained-ness, failed lessons, temper tantrums... yep, it's that kind of morning!

... is currently covered in paint. Literally.

... wonders how she's going to get the energy to do ANYTHING tonight. Painting is fun, but EXHAUSTING. And I chose to do it two days in a row. Eeeek! *yawn*

... thinks that kids helping to clean up is great, but ultimately makes MUCH more work for me in the end. Ah well, they're trying! And I have a table, a dozen paint bottles, and three chairs that are now all manner of bright splotchy colours.

... is fixing nine foot aliens to the walls and they're FABULOUS

... ooh look! Leftover Christmas chocolate!

... is blogging instead of finishing hanging the last of the aliens. Yep, it's time to go home.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Just so ya know...

Anonymous commenters are welcome to leave relevant comments, but they will first have to be approved. Random comments, links, and anything to do wit 5ex or p0rn will not see the light of day. So don't bother.


Saturday, January 02, 2010

Memories of Urbana - Brenda Salter McNeil on A Credible Witness

I've got a river of life flowing out of me
Makes the lame to walk and the blind to see
Opens prison doors, sets the captives free
I've got a river of life flowing out of me

Spring up oh well, within my soul
Spring up oh well, and make me whole
Spring up oh well, and give to me
That life abundantly

"... so I listened to the words that I was saying and I thought to myself, 'Are we serious? Do we MEAN what we're saying? That we've got a river of life flowing out of us? That is has the power to open prison doors and set people FREE? That people who are stuck and can't walk out of situations, that, because of what's in us, the doors get busted open and they get to walk out, clean and free? We've got that inside of us?!?! Do we MEAN that? Or is that just a ditty we sing in worship?' When I thought about that I thought, that's powerful.

And that's not just a song to splish or splash. That's a song to flood the nations!"

At Urbana, Brenda Salter McNeil continued to speak about how that song reflects John chapter 4, where Jesus meets the Samaritan woman at the well, and asks her for a drink. Her, a member of a race despised by the Jews, a woman, seen as perpetually unclean. And yet Jesus, a Jew, comes and not only talks to her, but drinks from her cup. She talked about how the Bible said that Jesus had to go into Samaria, a place most Jews took the long way around just to avoid. He took on credibility because he showed this woman that she, too, was valuable. He moved into her neighbourhood.

That's what the world is looking for from us... they're looking for us to be credible witnesses of Jesus Christ. They want to know if we walk our talk. The want to see people who do what Jesus did, who say what Jesus said, who love like Jesus loved, and who go where Jesus went. They're looking for it. They're expecting it. They're searching for it. They have us under scrutiny... and they're looking for our testimony to match our lifestyle. So if we're looking to be credible witnesses in this generation, we're going to HAVE to go through Samaria...

That means that we will have to make the conscious decision to be with people who we have not seen ourselves identified with before. We'll have to make the conscious decision to be with the marginalized and people who have been discriminated against in society because of their gender or because of their ethnicity or because of their socio-economic background. We're going to have to decide, just like Jesus, we have GOT to go there, if we're going to be the church. Amen. Because people are still wondering, all around the world, will Jesus come into MY neighbourhood? Does Jesus love me enough to come into MY reality and the stuff I face? ... There are people all over the world who are thinking about that same question... They're wondering if Jesus loves them enough to come into their neighbourhood.

When we say that God so loved the world that he sent his Son, that the Word took on flesh and stepped into our neighbourgoods, was he talking about Samaria? And this is our generation's opportunity to answer the question and say, YES! Yes, Sam, he was talking about YOU. Yes, young man, he was talking about YOU. That's why we can't afford to avoid Samaria - those neighbourhoods where the people are from different cultures or who don't speak our language or who don't eat our food. We can't avoid Samaria, because those places that are inconvenient or that are outside our comfort zones demand our presence if we're going to win back our credibility. We need to be witnesses who can be believed. And so if we're going to follow Jesus, we're going to have to go THERE. We're going to have to go to those places, those Samarias, those intentional places where the people may not be happy to see us and don't expect us to come...

She continued on to talk about where to start, and how to proceed in the midst of the fact that we are broken people who don't have all the answers but who still have a testimony.

She told us how to say, "I can't tell you everything, but I can bring you to a man who told me everything I ever did. He just. might. be. who he said. he. is."

Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." John 4:13-14

I've got a river of life flowing out of me
Makes the lame to walk and the blind to see
Opens prison doors, sets the captives free
I've got a river of life flowing out of me.

This isn't just a song to splish and splash about.
This is a message to flood the nations!

Watch the full talk here.

Books for lend!

Urbana, the conference I was at for the past week in St Louis, had a huge bookstore and AMAZING deals on books, so I went a little book crazy. I want to offer them up for lending to anyone who's interested. Take a look at the Amazon page for more info and then just message me if you want to borrow a book or two!

Everyday Justice: The Global Impact of Our Daily Choices - Julie Clawson

A Credible Witness - Reflections on power, evangelism, and race - Brenda Salter McNeil

Green Revolution: Coming Together to Care for Creation - Ben Lowe

Becoming the Answer to Our Prayers: Prayer for Ordinary Radicals - Shane Claiborne and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

The Challenge of Jesus: Rediscovering Who Jesus Was and Is - N.T. Wright

True Story: A Christianity Worth Believing In - James Choung

Christian Mission in the Modern World - John Stott

How to Inherit the Earth: Submitting Ourselves to a Servant Savior - Scott A. Bessenecker

The New Friars: The Emerging Movement Serving the World's Poor - Scott A. Bessenecker

Following Jesus Through the Eye of the Needle: Living Fully, Loving Dangerously - Kent Annan

Teaching in a Distant Classroom: Crossing Borders for Global Transformation - Michael H. Romanowski and Teri McCarthy

The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical - Shaine Claborne

Simple Spirituality: Learning to See God in a Broken World
- Christopher L. Heuertz

Kingdom Without Borders: The Untold Story of Global Christianity - Miriam Adeney

Good News About Injustice: A Witness of Courage in a Hurting World
- Gary H. Haugen (International Justice Mission)

When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor... and Yourself - Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert