December 18, 2004

not-so-harmless

TO: All of my Faith Students...

I hope that all of you enjoyed one last telling of the Captain Alfred Saga. It was a pleasure to participate one last time.

-- Mr. Harmless the great and powerful...

December 15, 2004

Blogger Idol

Blogger Idol is back, and better than ever! You could begin participating in week 2 right now! Originally hosted by the living room, there is now a blog completely dedicated to this blogging concept.

If you have never been a Blogger Idol participant, or if you have never even heard of Blogger Idol, then I would like to suggest that you take a spin on over there right now. Especially since this week's topic was suggested by such an influential blogger...

You can read all about Blogger Idol here.

And if you still aren't sure if you want to participate in such an event, then at least check out some of my better entries from the first round.

December 14, 2004

Stay the Course

"GOD, teach me lessons for living so I can stay the course.
Give me insight so I can do what you tell me--
my whole life one long, obedient response.

Guide me down the road of your commandments;
I love traveling this freeway!

Give me a bent for your words of wisdom,
and not for piling up loot.
Divert my eyes from toys and trinkets,
invigorate me on the pilgrim way.

Affirm your promises to me--
promises made to all who fear you.
Deflect the harsh words of my critics--
but what you say is always so good.

See how hungry I am for your counsel;
preserve my life through your righteous ways!"



--Psalm 119:33-40

This is a great Psalm to start the day with.

Notice that David doesn't just ask God to miraculously cause him to stay the course, instead he asks God to teach him the "life lessons" to stay the course. Then he asks for insight so that his life could be characterized by obedience.

Too many times today, Christians just want God to do everything for them. They claim that they want to live a righteous life, but when God begins to allow the trials and temptations in that He will use to bring about that righteous life they fail and flounder because they can't see that God is wanting them to live an obedient life.

God is not our righteousness genie. YES, He wants us to be righteous! Don't get me wrong. In fact, He puts a guarantee on our salvation in the book of Romans that says, whoever He justifies, He might, He will think about, HE WILL sanctify!

But this sanctification process can be tough!

In other places in the Bible it is called dying to self, taking up your cross, denying self, mortifying (killing) the flesh, etc. Or as David says here, "my whole life, one long obedient response."

But so many times we get diverted by the worthless things of this life, or as David puts it, "toys and trinkets."

Pray with me today that God will help us to stay the course. That He will invigorate us for the pilgrimage.

December 13, 2004

caffeine

OK, I changed my mind... This one is my favorite!


(by the way, that is the caffeine molecule)

t-shirts

My brother-in-law introduced me to this site the other day. There are several geeky things on the site, especially t-shirts that are designed for only the geekiest people to get. And as much as I hate to admit it, I found several of them quite funny.


Here is a picture of my personal favorite.


And here is a picture of the one that my wife picked out. (I like this one almost as much as I like the one that I picked.)


You will have to check out the rest of the t-shirts and evaluate your own geekiness. Here is a checklist you could use to determine whether or not you are a true geek.

  • if you find more than five of the t-shirts funny...
  • if you scrunch your shoulders up and laugh through your nose...
  • if you share them with all of your cubicle buddies...

...then you might be a geek.

The sure-fire way to tell if you are a geek is if you already knew about the think-geek site, or if you use the word combination -- "sure-fire."

December 9, 2004

Thanks

A special thanks to truegrit for letting me know that my site wasn't lookin' so good.

I didn't realize it, but my blog didn't look quite right in Mozilla Firefox, and since there are a lot of people out there who use this instead of Internet Explorer, she thought that she would let me know.

I told her that I felt like the guy that had his fly down, that somebody finally had the nerve to tell him.

She went the next step and also took the time to figure out what needed fixed to make things look better.

Much thanks, and hopefully this looks better.

December 7, 2004

Coffee

I know that lately there have been some who have done some coffee bashing. They have not understood the importance of this amazing beverage, and have likened it... no... have belittled it by comparing it to hot chocolate.

Now, I have tasted the before mentioned hot chocolate, and I will freely admit, that it was pretty good. But it was missing something. Something wonderful. Something amazing. Something that I just couldn't live without. I couldn't put my finger on it at first, what was the missing ingredient? Oh yeah, Coffee.

I would also like to direct you to this. I definitely don't think that they could say the same thing about hot chocolate. No Sir!

And besides, you could never get a good hot chocolate at any store, unless it was a coffee!

Coffee. Coffee. Coffee.

Thankyou Columbia for providing us with a good drug!

December 6, 2004

blogometry

Use the diagram to the right to answer the following questions.
  1. Are these triangles congruent?
  2. What postulate or theorem proves that they are congruent?
  3. If they are congruent, what is the proper congruence statement for these triangle?

Oh wait, this is the blog, not the geometry test I stayed up at the school until 9:30 typing. When it gets this late, the distinctions get a little fuzzy.

I am constantly telling my students, that to properly serve the God who created them, they should do their absolute best. That is what the Bible says to do.

And with things that we enjoy, it is easy to follow through on that request. Sometimes doing our best will result in some temporal reward which will also make it easy to "do all things heartily, as unto the Lord, and not unto men."

But when it really counts is when the task is something that you don't enjoy, or don't particularly understand the reason or purpose. Or if there is no immediate reward on the horizon.

Those are the times that your efforts are the most noticed by God Almighty.

This is my hope, as I stay up here and type this test for these kids. I could have easily given them one of those pre-made book tests. But those just aren't as good, and they don't really cover what I have taught in class.

I hope that the lazy fellow that I am can set an example for them. If I can be diligent in my work... trust me, anybody can. But I know that these little things might go unappreciated by those that they are done for, because they have so many times before. So I lean back and hit print, knowing that the work won't go completely unnoticed, because He sees all.

December 5, 2004

Psalm 19

God's glory is on tour in the skies,
God--craft on exhibit across the horizon.

Madame Day holds classes every morning,
Professor Night lectures each evening.

Their words aren't heard,
their voices aren't recorded,

But their silence fills the earth:
unspoken truth is spoken everywhere.

God makes a huge dome
for the sun--a superdome!

The morning sun's a new husband leaping from his honeymoon bed,
The daybreaking sun an athlete racing to the tape.

That's how God's Word vaults across the skies
from sunrise to sunset,
Melting ice, scorching deserts,
warming hearts to faith.

The revelation of GOD is whole
and pulls our lives together.
The signposts of GOD are clear
and point out the right road.

The life--maps of GOD are right,
showing the way to joy.
The directions of GOD are plain
and easy on the eyes.

GOD's reputation is twenty-four-carat gold,
with a lifetime guarantee.
The decisions of GOD are accurate
down to the nth degree.

God's Word is better than a diamond,
better than a diamond set between emeralds.
You'll like it better than strawberries in spring,
better than red, ripe strawberries.

There's more: God's Word warns
us of danger and directs us to hidden treasure.

Otherwise how will we find our way?
Or know when we play the fool?

Clean the slate, God, so we can start the day fresh!
Keep me from stupid sins,
from thinking I can take over your work;
Then I can start this day sun-washed,
scrubbed clean of the grime of sin.

These are the words in my mouth;
these are what I chew on and pray.
Accept them when I place them
on the morning altar,
O God, my Altar-Rock,
God, Priest-of-My-Altar.

This is another Psalm that I have always loved. It starts by talking about the earth and the sky and all nature, and how the teach of God. It then begins to speak of the written word, and it's purposes in our life, it's usefulness. It shows our full dependence on Him.

It is a prayer that I have prayed and I hope that you pray as well. And I hope that you can say of God's word, just like David said so long ago, "These are the words in my mouth; these are what I chew on and pray."

December 4, 2004

Text Twist

I believe that credit should go to whom credit it due.

4th period, every other day, I teach a computer class. The computer class is composed of 4 seniors. Most days they work pretty hard on their project, but every so often they just don't want to do anything. In fact, one of them never wants to do anything. Some days she even talks me into letting her play computer games for a significant portion of the class time.

Most of these kids go to the same website to find all of their games. It is called addictinggames.com, and it is packed with several, well... addicting games.

There is one game in particular that she really enjoys called Text Twist. At first I thought that it seemed a little boring, but now I am... you guessed it... addicted.

As an addict, I couldn't stop there, with just me and my computer class being addicted. I had to get others involved. So I started with the one closest to me: my wife.

She was only slightly interested at first, like I was, but the more we played, the more she wanted to play, and on several occasions you could have found us poised in front of the computer trying to get to the next level.

But it didn't stop there, I needed to get others involved, so last night I made my move. Before you knew it, I had my brother-in-law hooked in. And there we were at 1am trying to get to the next level. And we did, we made it through several levels, and made it to 56,990 points!

Probably not a record, but I would like to see any of you try to beat it!

crunk

I have been told that I am crunk.

I am guessing at the spelling, and I am not for sure if it is actually a good thing or a bad thing, but I'm crunk... I guess. In fact, just yesterday I was informed that my ride has been labelled the crunk-mobile by a few of my geometry students.

Now, even though I didn't know what bling-bling was until a few months ago, which caused much laughter and mocking on the part of several of my students, I still consider myself wit-it, if you know what I am saying. I am down with all of that bidness.

Let's hear it for all of those other crunkish middle-aged Christian school teachers!

December 2, 2004

it never fails

This morning I woke up with a splitting headache. I opened my eyes and for a moment I thought this week-long headache that I have been entertaining was gone, but as soon as I started to raise my head off of my pillow the pounding began.

It is one of those headaches that has set up its residence in the middle of the forehead and right behind the eyes, with some tendrils of pain that stretch over to the temples. Every light you look at sends a searing burn scorching through your retinas and into your brain. Every noise shakes at the foundations of your conscious thought. And you find yourself almost hoping that your head would just explode so you could be done with it.

It is one of those headaches.

Now, some people would succumb to the ever-enticing "sick day!" They would call-in. Then they would drug themselves into an unconscious stupor, and relax on the couch while they watched Dr. Phil. But not me.

I am not saying this to brag, but since I have started teaching I have only called in twice. Once, when I was puking my guts out and the other time when my grandmother had died. The only award that I ever received in high school was the attendance award, and I got it almost every year. After high school, I spent several years doing warehouse work, and other than the time that I was taking some classes at a community college and I ate some nearly raw squid in a zoology class, I don't think that I ever called in because I was sick. (Now I may have called in a couple of times for sick family members, but I don't think that I ever called in for myself.)

It isn't that I am super-tough or anything, but I just don't like to miss. For me there is almost nothing worse that trying to get caught-up. And as a teacher that is amplified because when you miss, not only do you have to get caught up, but you have to get all of your classes caught up. Sometimes you end up having to rewrite all of your lesson plans, and change test dates, etc.

So I would rather just tough it out and go to school.

But the same thing happens every time I do this. I begin the day by planning how I can simply teach the new stuff and give them something to work on during class time. I hate to admit it, but my whole goal is to arrange the class time in order to be able to sit down at my desk. But on these days, nothing ever seems to work out. I usually end up having a class that can't understand anything in math, they have suddenly forgotten everything! So instead of sitting down, I spend the entire time answering questions. I mean, you just can't not answer their questions. That is a bad, bad teacher!

So there I am, head pounding, nose running, eyes blood-shot, trying to explain to the same child what x equals.

Isn't God good?

The Count-Down

It is almost Christmas.

There is no snow in the air, and I haven't heard andy jingle bells, but I have checked my calendar and it is just around the corner. There are only 7 regular days of class left. Then there is Exam Week... all half-days! (Although I won't be going home at 11:30, I will be grading exams every day.)

Then it is Christmas.