Our church is currently going through the 10 Statements of Faith (Doctrines) that our church holds to. Today's sermon, which I gratefully managed to make today although I seemed to have had a relapse yesterday of the stomach bug....
Today's sermon was just powerful. It was on "Christ's work on the Cross" (the doctrine of salvation). Last week's sermon on Christ--fully man and fully God, apparently led to the salvation of six or seven people. I would not be surprised to find out that today's had similar results because it was moving to me as a believer for the last....22 years (whoa!) Pastor Jason used the analogy of moving a heavy rock up a hill only for it to tumble back down and we humans never being able to push it over the top of the hill. (He referred to the Greek legend of Sisyphus I think it was). As he talked about Christ bearing our own rocks of guilt and sin at the cross, it struck me just how much we must believe that is is fully God to not be crushed by the magnitude of all of our rocks that we throw at him by calling on Him as our Savior. But I was also struck by the sheer pain of having been one, by sinning, to throw that sin at Him.
Pastor Jason also shared a powerful statement about how Christ's Sacrifice and Forgiveness was the only way for any us to be saved, even for people like Ted Bundy who professed Christ as his Savior--and that would make him one of the family of God. We are all sinners--all lawbreakers no matter how "great" or "small" the sin, Christ paid for it all. This also reminds me of the moving witness of faith and forgiveness of the Amish people affected by the schoolhouse murder a few years ago. God in Us can forgive even the most painful of sins because he forgave us for all the hurts we have caused others.
Again, if you'd like the link to the audio file of the sermon, please let me know.
So I was listening to the radio today and the afternoon person mentioned how a school district somewhere will be implementing a policy about homework next year: teachers not being allowed to give more homework on a daily time allotment of 10minutes times grade level--total for ALL classes.
by the way, here is a link to the news i think they were referring to. TOO MUCH HOMEWORK
It makes me curious just how many people think TOO MUCH homework is being placed on students at the middle/high school level because I have heard parents complain of this before--their students are being too overwhelmed with homework in addition to their extracurricular activities such as sports, church groups, band/music/theatre and the like. I even have heard of parents of AP students complain of this--their student is being given the chance to become well-rounded and has to give up activities in order to meet the demands of their academic workload.
I get a bit angry just typing it out. While I can see some of the points being made for restricting total workload students take home, I don 't think all the factors are necessarily being taken into accout--such as: time management skills of students--I know many a students who does not make good use of time given AT SCHOOL to study and do homework. I also know of students who will honestly say that they would get their homework done faster if they weren't multi-tasking their homework with say--texting their friends. There is also my personal opinion that while there is a benefit to being a "well-rounded" individual--there is also an element to choosing activities in order to be one's best and not sacrifice time and effort being one is overly-involved.
I also wonder if this "two hour" time allotment for a high school senior includes practice time necessary for music or after-school practice hours for sports. And how well these seniors will be prepared for going to college and the invididual workloads they'll have there. I'm also curious to just how the school district thinks it's going to measure "time needed" for homework of students and how they will divide the time up between different classes.
Anyways, I would LOVE to hear some of ya'lls ideas out there. Do you think the schools have placed too many demands on students by way of homework? Have you ever heard of "too much homework" being a problem? Please discuss!
So after 2 and a half weeks of being sick, I think I have finally come back to a generally full health stage--just in time for a dentist appointment this week!
Being a sub for sick teachers exposes me to the apparently highly contagious bugs going around from what I've seen of number of absences of teachers and students at ALL the schools I've been in these last two weeks. I started off with a really bad cold....and JUST as that one was beginning to leave me in a bit of peace, I caught the nasty stomach bug going around--it could have been worse and i've had worse, but it wasn't pleasant to say the least. But God has been good and I only opted out of one full day of subbing because I was just too blahed out to make it. and Josh was well enough to take his mom's updated laptop down to her in Ohio and finish transferring her files and get it set up. I couldn't go with him because my next two months of Sunday afternoons will have me teaching an ACT prep class. Between subbing and tutoring I've been generally keeping a 40 hour work week.
I've really enjoyed subbing. I like the variety and getting to see the techniques different teachers use. It's also nice to be able to help out the fellow math teachers and be able to help their students when I'm needed. It's also given me a chance to see just how very very different the public schools are compared to my previous experience. Not necessarily for worse or better, but just different systems and a different atmosphere. I really think the subbing experience is making me a better teacher. It's a really good learning and development tool--one so much that I sometimes wonder if it wouldn't be possible to require ALL teachers to have this kind of experience.
I'm now not having blood pressure increases or mini-panic attacks at the thought of the possibility of going back into full-time teaching next year. God will open the doors if that's where he'll have me. However, I'm also very much appreciating the ability to slowly ease myself back into some ministry opportunities like AWANA and getting more involved with church. While I wasn't sure if I could continue with that next year if I end up with a full-time teaching job, I've gained a lot of ideas to lessen my workload outside of school hours. We shall just have to see how God leads.
People like my little brother. My little brother is a brilliant mechanic with a huge heart for God. I tear up every time I think about how much he has grown as a Christian man in these last years. He is currently a mechanic among other things at a camp in Colorado. Apparently he has decided to try and keep a blog.
Also, I have found it quite amusing that on the rare occasion I sub in an elementary classroom, the students seem to be quick to notice that I'm "not from around here." I even had a second grader who guessed me to be from Texas. Of course, that could be the only place she knows of as people having accents, but who knows. The younger kids also get a huge kick out of my last name and the fact that I am quite tall.
In other news, the study of Leviticus the last couple of weeks has been quite wonderfully knowledge-full. I in the past have brushed off Leviticus as the book with all the purity laws and details about the offerings. While I knew the connection between Christ's death and the offerings, there are quite a few other New Testament and Christ connections I have been challenged to think about. Also, there is much to learn about leadership and the heavy responsibility that comes with ministry for God.
Also, please be praying as I start the process of applying for a full-time teaching job for next year and for God's provision come the summer when I won't have any subbing jobs. Thanks be to God that Josh's job, or the moment at least, is secure despite the layoffs happening in the company. However, they were informed that the late raises will not be happening this year. This decade is going to be interesting for the history books in 50 years if the world lasts that long :-)
and finally yay for today, the release of The Fray's second album! I am currently listening and the long wait was worth it.