Sunday, January 29, 2012


It's Sunday!

Due to the jumbled and chaotic nature of life since school started and I started teaching, I appreciate the weekends more than I ever have. Friday is joy because I get to spend the weekend with my wife. For so many years we were almost always together during the day as I worked at home and then we both headed to church - for her to teach piano and for me to catch up with things I couldn't do here - so the separation of 9-12 hours a day is very different. When Friday afternoon comes, I spend some time reflecting on the week, make some preliminary plans, clean up a little - and I'm headed home.

Then Saturday comes and we usually have things to do that we couldn't get to during the week. Yesterday it was more of a rest day, but Bunny did have me outside helping as she cut some plants back. And of course we went to Walmart. Every Saturday ends with me working on the PowerPoint for the message I'll give the next day. We've been examining the Letter to the Galatians and I'm pumped to continue that today.

This week started poorly with feelings of frustration and doubt. But it ended at school with a group of kids who made progress in every area. Praise God! We said goodbye Friday to one child whose family is moving overseas. He walked up and out of the blue gave me a hug and said "I don't want to leave this class Mr.Wilson." I offered to swap with him, (since my wife and I would love to go where he is going) and he laughed and was fine. He'll do well. When I sat them all down Tuesday to tell them that our Monday wasn't our best and we talked about how we could make it better - when they pledged to follow our procedure on raising hands before speaking, he had said "We'll do better Mr.Wilson. You have my word." That young man is being taught honor and integrity at home. I will miss him. You know I'll never forget these kids.

To teach is to take on responsibility for someone else - not just in the ways that are scrutinized with standardized testing or wrung out in the grind of worksheets, quizzes, and practice. To teach is to shepherd, to pastor, to love and care for, to lead and guide toward progress in learning and growing. There are very few waking hours that I do not think about my two flocks. New Hope - my first love and primary calling - captures my heart every day as I think about the people there, those we've scattered who have moved away, and those we minister to and are trying to reach. We're up to 75 meals delivered each week and are about to go to 85 since we had none to leave for the fire department and police last Wednesday. That's not good, since those two serve us all here and deserve everything we can do to serve them, but especially since we found out that the police have been taking some of the food we leave them and feeding some homeless people camping out in a tent on a vacant lot. It's amazing that we can see God at work in visit after visit as we serve our neighborhood "least of these."

So it's Sunday and I'm going to go to New Hope and see my friends and co-laborers for the gospel. We're going to sing like there's no tomorrow - even though our tomorrows are secure in Jesus. The pastor is going to do his best to let God be God and let the Spirit speak through Scripture. We will all be in the presence of God.

And a new week, filled with the love and grace of our God who is staggeringly, amazingly, lovingly - GOOD - will remind us all again of just how blessed we truly are. This evening I'll be in lesson plan and grading papers mode, getting ready to see just how far we can go in the week to come. Knowing that prayers of my fellow believers go with me makes a huge difference. Thank you so much for them and for your encouragement. As I tell my kids "we'll get there." :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Not A Good Day

"Some days are diamonds, and some days are stones..."

Double heaping serving of the latter please, with sprinkles of bitter disappointment.

Very tough day at school as the kids were extremely hard to keep focused and on task. They seemed to pull out all the tricks - well some of them did anyway. I got them to the end of the day but was exhausted, disappointed in myself, and still had tutoring to do.

"word expanding" exercise - they rocked it. They came up with words that weren't even in the list I had.
Having one boy who doesn't work much if I'm not on him - work all day.
Hearing a child care about another that doesn't get along with them. Ray of hope?

9 minutes into the day one girl starts running it with another. 9 minutes in. The girl pulled every dramatic trick in her bag today. Amazing.
Having to prod, push, cajole, and move the kids to do the work all day long.
Realizing that I must not have explained well enough or produced compelling enough lessons because they can't all be "off" that much in one day.

Came home and dumped a load of all that on someone I love who is still hurting from her loss, yet still giving everything she has to her students, to New Hope, and to me, and thereby making her day worse. Then tried to get a head start on tomorrow at school and do some soul work - prayer and Bible study. Got convicted of just how awful a sinner I was today. Sigh...

I thank God for grace and forgiveness because I'm needing both tonight.

Thankful His mercies are new every morning and calling this day over and  done.

Pray for me, that I would live my faith out better tomorrow than I did today.