Saturday, August 22, 2009

Cry If You Want To...

Great song! There are days, or times, or seasons when I could be this kind of friend and let someone...CRY IF YOU WANT TO (By Holly Cole). Here are the lyrics:

Cry if you want
I wont tell you not to
I won’t try to cheer you up
Ill just be here if you want me

It’s no use in keeping a stiff upper lip
You can weep you can sleep you can loosen your grip
You can frown you can drown and go down with the ship
You cry if you want to
Don’t ever apologize venting your pain
Its something to me you don’t need to explain
I don’t need to know why
I don’t think it’s insane
You can cry if you want to

The windows are closed
The neighbors aren’t home
If it’s better with me than to do it alone
Ills draw all the curtains and unplug the phone
You can cry if you want

You can stare at the ceiling and tear at your hair
Swallow your feelings and stager and swear
You could show things and throw things and I wouldn’t care
You can cry if you want to

I won’t make fun of you
I won’t tell any one
I won’t analyze what you do or you should have done
I won’t advise you to go and have fun
You can cry if you want to

Well it’s empty and ugly and terribly sad
I can’t feel what you feel but I no it feel bad
I no that its real and it makes you so mad
You could cry

Cry if you want to I won’t tell you not to
I won’t try and cheer you up
Ill just be here if you want me; to be
Near you

There is a great scene in "Lars and the Real Girl," where church folk serve as simply "sitters." After a tragedy, they come to Lars home day after day and just sit with him. I think that is powerful. No words needed. Just the flesh and blood company of quiet people who care to physically remind someone they are not alone. Must be a huge comfort. If the church had a sitting committee, I'd serve.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Part I: God & Public Schools - A Theological/Philosophical Landmine

What in the world is going on? Who created this confusion and chaos? Any guesses???

There is such division on this topic and the most hostility comes from believers. How winning for Christ can that possibly be???

My background as a person and an educator: I have taught in private Christian schools. I have taught in a public middle school. I work with a public charter school that only offers homeschooling. I have degrees from a private Christian college, a large state university, and a faith-affiliated private university. I have been an assistant principal at a public middle school. I am a follower of Christ, learning to love God and my neighbor as myself. I tend to vote for the Democratic candidate because I often agree with more of the platform positions as stated at the time of the election, though I am a registered "independent" voter. I would say I am politically "liberal," if you know the true definition of the term in political perspective. I also studied the meaning of separation of church and state in graduate school, and feel I have a clear understanding of what the purpose is and how to navigate those waters. And I support it and feel it is for the good of all. It is misunderstood on a daily basis by some, I am learning.

Someone told me last week, an acquaintance with a New Age view of life, looking for a homeschool option, that she has seen all sorts of things on the web for Christians to do to cheat the public charter schools -- get their cake and eat it, too -- take the public funds but still do things in a way that a public school can't endorse?? Is that ethical? There is a fine middle ground, which hopefully, I'll get to later. In the meantime, I have some other things to say. Stay tuned. Right now, I have to get back to work for the public charter school.

As a teaser, here is something I saw on

"Avoid government homeschooling programs such as "charter schools" and public school independent study programs. These government programs usurp the father’s God-given headship over the family and focus the homeschool on humanist goals and curriculum."

I need more information. This has not been my experience. More later....

Sunday, August 16, 2009

College Tension

Things are really changing right now in the world. I've been re-evaluating my views on "College for all." So, I'm processing that and weighing the tension in various perspectives.

As an educator, I am well aware of the statistics on getting a bachelor's degree. Graduates tend to earn a more livable wage over time, are better able to get work that can help sustain support for a family, and moves a person ahead of so many others in competing for a job. And those facts are true no matter what the degree. I also know it is easiest and cheapest to complete a degree as soon as one can. Life adds other responsibilities as time passes that make going to school more complicated.

The college experiences broadens a person. It affords the opportunity to work with a wild variety of other people and ideas, process assignments independently to finish within a time limit, and to think deeply about many things, while giving a person more time to mature and become responsible. If circumstances set-up in such a way that the door to a college degree opens, it is a privilege to walk through that door.

All that said, I do not think God works in ways that make complete sense in the world of human (and American) logic. We are simply called to love God and others. We are equipped with gifts to build the body of Christ. So, I honestly no longer see college as the key to success for all, especially in Kingdom living.

I believe it is good to be careful with our limited resources of time and money, in order to focus on what God has for us today. I wish determining big things like our future, college or not, if so when, and how God wants to use us in the days to come was easier to determine. As a teacher, we are expected to equip kids for college. I no longer think that is the easy answer or the best for every person in God's plan.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Leadership Summit Learning I - "Third Culture"

Thoughts from Dave Gibbons, The Monkey and the Fish

"Third culture is the mindset and will to love, learn, and serve in any culture, even in the midst of pain and discomfort."

"If there's one quality that matters most to the fate of the church in the twenty-first century, it's adaptability."

"The church has an amazing opportunity to become what God is hoping we will become. We need fresh counter intuitive ways of leading-in practice and in philosophy."

"Our task as the church is to be water. To flow. Not crash."

"Our water--our message--remains what it always has been: the love of Jesus. Our forms, our containers can change. Must change. Furthermore, our conflicts shouldn't be about forms."

"Being third culture is about being water to a world that is deeply thirsty when it comes to spirituality and meaning, and is in need of adaptive and contextualized language and forms when talking about God and Christianity."

"The mindset-a passion to be open to new cultures and new ways, and a devotion to see shifts in society and the world at large and to respond exuberantly and artfully --is at the heart of being a third-culture church."