Monday, October 8, 2012

Anyone want to buy this book for me?

I don't normally like to beg, but this book really interests me.

I've been using the Khan Academy in my math classes for about 2 1/2 years.  I've seen it grow and change over that time, and it keeps getting better.  I would like to use it more, but trying to figure out how to incorporate it, isn't always as easy. (I have a Khan Academy setup page on our new School Staff page.  Click here.)

Most teachers have limited time with their students.  We are always wanting more time, especially in math.  We can't always depend on students doing homework at home, so I've relied more and more on class time to help my students get their needed practice with a new concept.  The Khan Academy has been great for reviewing those basic concepts, the ones I don't have time for in class because I need them to practice the new concepts, but I feel like I could incorporate it even more.

The Khan Academy even has several RTI (Response To Intervention) possibilities for our school.  I am going to be the RTI coach at the High School We are going to use AIMS web, but the Khan Academy provides a secondary point of data gathering in order to find those students who are most at risk in a certain topic of math.

Anyway, I don't like to beg, but we are a poor school district (partly because the State of Illinois doesn't make it's payments to our school), and I am a poor school teacher who can't justify a  book purchase of more than $0.99 right now.  So, even though I don't normally beg, I just thought there might be someone out there with a heart for Teachers, a heart for Education, or a heart for Georgetown, IL (or maybe even a heart for the Matt Harmlesses of the world) that might feel motivated to buy me a book!

No pressure.  I am mostly kidding.  But if someone bought me this book, I am not saying that wouldn't be awesome!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Free Audio Book from Christian Audio

Every month Christian Audio has a free download for the month.  There have been several really good ones that I have downloaded over the past couple of years.  The free book for October 2012 is extremely timely though, so I would like to point all of you there.

The book?  How Should Christians Vote by Tony Evans.

I've always enjoyed Tony Evans on the radio.  I've never read anything that he has written, but he has always seemed quite sound in his teaching.  I haven't listened to this book yet, but I am willing to give it a try.

If you download this book, let me know what you think.  I am currently listening to another one, so I probaly won't get to this one for another week or so.


John Calvin, commenting on Exodus 21:22-25:
The fetus, though enclosed in the womb of its mother, is already a human being (homo), and it is almost a monstrous crime to rob it of life which it has not yet begun to enjoy. If it seems horrible to kill a man in his own house than in a field, because a man’s house is his place of most secure refuge, it ought surely to be deemed more atrocious to destroy a fetus in the womb before it has come to light.
[HT: Kevin DeYoung]

For me, abortion is not a political issue.  It is a life or death issue.  It is also a personal issue.  I can't agree with John Calvin more.

Read Also:
Moral Vote
Decisions Made in a Pickup Truck
15 Pro-Life Truths to Speak (by John Piper)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Don't Waste Your Sports - Book Review

I just finished the Christian Audio version of Don't Waste Your Sports by C.J. Mahaney.  It was free on Christian Audio for a short time.  I love free, so I couldn't help but snag this book.

Don't Waste Your Sports was a short book.  Some of the chapters were only about 6 minutes long in the audio version.  The whole book took less than an hour to listen to.  That was OK though, the book was very to the point.  And, quite frankly, it is about sports, with the hope that athletes will read it.  So, not trying to be mean, but a short book might have been the best choice.

I really enjoyed this book.  I am not a huge sports fan, so I have always been keenly aware of some of the negative aspects of sports.  Not being a good athlete myself, has also increased my sensitivity to the pride that reigns supreme in many good athletes. It was refreshing to hear many of those issues addressed directly in this book.

I have to add, though, that because of my negative attitude, it has caused me to miss some of the more positive aspects of sports. This book was very helpful in assisting me in seeing the redeemable points in  sports, thinking ultimately about the Glory of God in the midst of sports.

If you are an athlete (or not) or a coach or an athletic director or a parent, I would like to recommend this book.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

This Will of Mine

I have been reading, on a weekly basis, The Hidden Life of Prayer by David McIntyre. I have also been sharing some of what I have been learning with my church on Wednesday night prayer meetings.

Near the end of Chapter 3, titled The Direction of the Mind, there was a poem that I felt.  Do you know what I mean by that?  I mean, really feeling a poem.  You feel it down deep because you have experienced what the author is describing.  I may not have actually written those exact words, but it felt like I did.

I don't know if the poem had a title or not.  I am also not really sure who actually wrote it.  It is simply sitting at the end of a section about honesty in prayer.  Not only being open and honest before God, but also willing to hear the honesty from God as He might bring things to mind while you are praying.  Things you might have to deal with.

I want to continue to give you the background to this bit of writing, but instead, I am just going to share it with you:
Lord, here I hold within my trembling hand,
This will of mine - a thing which seemeth small;
And only Thou, O Christ, canst understand
How, when I yield Thee this, I yield mine all. 
It hath been wet with tears, and stained with sighs
Clenched in my grasp till beauty hath it none;
Now, from Thy footstool where it prostrate lies
The prayer ascendeth, Let Thy will be done.
I've been there.  Had my will, my wants, my dreams, clenched firmly in my grip. I am sure to most, it wouldn't have seemed like much, but Christ knew.  He knew that to yield this to Him was yielding everything.  To finally release, lay it at His feet and say, "Lord, whatever you want.  Even that."  Those were hard words.

I urge you.  I plead with you, if you are reading this blog, to begin your prayers with a heart that is willing to give your all, to yield to the will of God.