Tag Archives: time

The World In A Cart: The World In The Word


When I was thinking of a topic for a post today I was thinking about the future, the repitition of semesters here at work and the changes I make over the years in teaching the same courses.  It came to the fore yesterday when I was looking all over my classroom for 6 envelopes with little slips of paper in them.  This is a partenting activity that I have been doing for years and it is still one of the best activities we do.

Together these thoughts led me to look back at what I posted on this blog two years ago today.  That is what you will be reading below.  Enjoy.

When I was in high school (can’t believe I just wrote that) if I wanted information about the world I would dig out an atlas or the encyclopedia.  There was lots of information there, but it was not necessarily up to date.  Today I wheeled the world into my classroom in one of the school’s Mac-carts.

Ideally the students would all have a netbook or laptop all the time.  This isn’t the case yet at my school but still there is a huge change.  Today in my class I had students in contact with community agencies in several cities, looking up how to make tied baby blankets, researching statistics on childhood obesity in Canada, writing project proposals, designing websites, designing stickers to go along with a calendar they are making and more.  In some other classrooms and schools children are using programs like Skype to talk with students and teachers in other countries and even working on group projects with kids all over.

Has it made things better, this globalization in our education system?  It has to be more useful for kids to be planning projects for the community and or with people in other countries than drawing and colouring maps.  Does it matter if I know the GDP of a country from three years ago when I can find out the economic reports from last month?  The internet lets us keep up with a quickly changing world.

There are some things that don’t change.  God doesn’t change, the Bible doesn’t change, although it is are easier to hunt for particular sections and quotes using the computer.    When you open an atlas there is information about a lot of places but it is not the world.  When we open the Bible and read God’s word that really is the world!

 

repost of Mary’s Angels: “I Am Not Alone”


tonight the moon is a mirror-ballA while back I went out for coffee with a good friend.  During the course of the conversation we touched on many subjects.  She was sharing with me that she had been going for Reike treatments (is that the correct term?) for a while and she said she had an amazing experience at her last session.  She shared the following story with me, and asked as well that I share it with you;

My wish is to have peace and taking part in a Reiki experience has given me this sense of peace and serenity.

My last two experiences have been quite different from my earlier sessions. During these session I encountered my angel. Initially, I saw two glowing lights moving around each other as if they were playing joyfully with one another. I  felt happiness and an immense sense of joy, an almost childlike sense that only the present moment mattered. From the lights, a presence developed as an outline.  The outline gradually became more visible until I could see a hooded figure there with me.  I could not see his/her face. During this time I could see part of a wing that was a vibrant white in color. The energy that was present was very strong and real.

I can’t remember much else regarding this encounter but the feeling that I wasn’t alone. It was as if I was at another level compared to the earthly one. The message that came from this was to enjoy life, have fun and laugh. And more importantly, that I am not alone because my angel that is a very strong one at that is with me at all times. This in turn gives me strength during my spiritual journey called life. Is it possible that this other level is the spiritual parallel place of holiness?

Angels, are they real?  I’ll look into this in a future post with help/reference to Calvin’s Institutes.

Photo credit to Miemo Penttinenmiemo.net

The Chairs Are All Stacked, The Papers All Filed


It is the last day of work for teachers in my school district today.  In classrooms everywhere the desks and chairs are all piled up, the paperwork is all filed and our desks are cleared of any sign of all that we have done for the last ten months.  I joke with my students that there are only two days in the year when you can actually see my desktop, the first day I report to work and the day before I leave for the summer.

In our “paperless” society my desk was normally buried under seven or eight piles of paper; things to be marked, things to be filed with the office, notices to pass out, notices that were handed back in, planning aids, and professional readings usually to a depth of about three inches.  As well my in boxes and out boxes would be filled, sometimes to overflowing.  In amongst all this there were batteries for the babies, id tags and security bracelets, bottles, diapers etc. (if you are new you should know that my class uses the Real Care Babies).

Along with the papers, my computer was on and running almost continually (except for that one horrible day when we couldn’t get any of the electronics to run and had to teach the old-fashioned way) with mark programs, attendance programs etc.

More important than all of this, of course, were the thirty some young people in the room with me who needed attention, inspiration, direction and often comfort and guidance as well.  When not in class, before school, at lunch and after school teachers are engaging with students, watching for problems, and running clubs and organizations.

So, here’s to my empty desk and those of all the other teachers who are finishing their school yearsMay our coffee mugs grace our deck furniture and side tables, may our email all be of a personal nature, and the desktops gather dust until we begin it all again in the fall!

Mary’s Angels: “I Am Not Alone”


tonight the moon is a mirror-ballA while back I went out for coffee with a good friend.  During the course of the conversation we touched on many subjects.  She was sharing with me that she had been going for Reike treatments (is that the correct term?) for a while and she said she had an amazing experience at her last session.  She shared the following story with me, and asked as well that I share it with you;

My wish is to have peace and taking part in a Reiki experience has given me this sense of peace and serenity.

My last two experiences have been quite different from my earlier sessions. During these session I encountered my angel. Initially, I saw two glowing lights moving around each other as if they were playing joyfully with one another. I  felt happiness and an immense sense of joy, an almost childlike sense that only the present moment mattered. From the lights, a presence developed as an outline.  The outline gradually became more visible until I could see a hooded figure there with me.  I could not see his/her face. During this time I could see part of a wing that was a vibrant white in color. The energy that was present was very strong and real.

I can’t remember much else regarding this encounter but the feeling that I wasn’t alone. It was as if I was at another level compared to the earthly one. The message that came from this was to enjoy life, have fun and laugh. And more importantly, that I am not alone because my angel that is a very strong one at that is with me at all times. This in turn gives me strength during my spiritual journey called life. Is it possible that this other level is the spiritual parallel place of holiness?

Angels, are they real?  I’ll look into this in a future post with help/reference to Calvin’s Institutes.

Photo credit to Miemo Penttinenmiemo.net

10 Ways Understanding the Bible is like Solving a Crossword Puzzle


flickr.com/photos/cayce/6286070/

Several years ago my spouse gave me a big book of crossword puzzles for Christmas.  There were 316 puzzles in the book, with solutions provided at the back.  Over time I have worked away at the puzzles, sometimes losing track of the book for months at a time (housekeeping is not my forte).  I found it and have been working on it again since I began my fast at Lent (see Turning it off for Lent http://wp.me/p1hsO8-8T ) Most evenings in the past several months have ended with me curled up in front of the TV with my book on my lap and a pencil in my hand.  The challenge of the puzzles is refreshing and the delight when I manage to complete a puzzle without peeking (cheating) is amazing!

By lovelihood Kim Love

So, what does this have to do with the Bible?

  1. Like Bible reading, crossword puzzles are something we often begin to do early in life when we first begin to read and write.  I’m sure you remember doing them when you were in grade school.

  2. The older you got, and the more education you gained, the harder the puzzles you were able to solve.

  3. Many people wouldn’t have bothered with another crossword once they got out of public school.

  4. Some continue to challenge themselves and work at the NY Times puzzles daily.

  5. They will go better if you do them in a quiet place without too much distraction.

  6. These puzzles can be affirmation of your knowledge and thinking abilities at times and baffling and completely unclear to you at other times.

  7. Every time you revisit a puzzle you see it differently.

  8. It is nice to have someone with you off whom you can bounce ideas.

  9. The remaining questions sometimes stay in your head for days as you puzzle over their meanings.

  10. If you really can’t get something, there is no shame in peeking, or asking someone for help.

By baslow Barry Solow

Last night I filled in the last puzzle in the book. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t completed all the puzzles as many still have holes in them.  Some which I started in pen and then got muddled up have a big X through them.  Every time I get the book out I go through it to see if I can fill in any more of the holes.  It is amazing what a little time and perspective can have on the problems.  There are some which I just don’t know, like the names of certain towns in Great Brittain, and those I will look up and hope to remember for another puzzle at a later time.

By jaybergesen Jay Bergesen

 

Unlike crossword puzzles I expect to continue puzzling out and exploring the Bible for the rest of my life.

Evaluation and Testing: Our Everyday Need for Positive Feedback


flickr.com/photos/english106/4357228335

I am supervising exams this week at my school.  Right now I am covering another teacher’s class while he has a break.  This is a grade eleven math class, and if they have questions I will be of no use to them at all.  I did pass math in high school but that was a very long time ago now.

What I see in front of me is a group of twenty some students with calculators, papers, and pencils.  They glance back and forth between their exam, the calculator and the booklet.  Some are looking off into space as if praying for divine inspiration or intervention, others are hunched right over their desks.  There are looks of determination, fear, and the occasional wry smile as we briefly make eye contact.  There is near silence, papers turn, pencils scratch and feet shift on the floor, but there is no talking.

When you walk into an exam room, prepared or not, you know that in the next two hours your work will be judged.  If you have a good day and a following wind, your exam mark may raise your over-all grade but you know that it is more likely to go the other way.  On the up side, when the hours are over, so is the course and in June that means summer break!

Many of our life evaluations, however, do not take place in a classroom and are not neatly scheduled and limited to a two-hour block of time.  We are often not even aware that we are being tested; that a customer is forming judgments about our competence or friendliness; that a student is deciding whether or not we are trustworthy enough to ask for help; total strangers may be deciding whether we are doing a good job raising our children.  We will never know the results of most of these tests.  Unless a customer goes to complain or compliment we won’t realize that they don’t return to the store or that they avoid our check-out.  The student who decides against us will just walk away, and we almost certainly will not hear the strangers opinion of our parenting.

Whether or not we have any right to evaluate the people we meet and work with, we do it naturally.  Unless you are a person’s supervisor or they do something hurtful to you, I see no reason that we should share negative feedback with them.  Neither do we need to share with a person the nasty thing we heard someone else say about them, though we might want to defend a friend with the person doing the criticism.  What I think we do need to be doing, however, is telling people when we think positive things about them, or when we hear someone else making a positive comment about them.

We don’t hear enough positive feedback.  Certainly we don’t tend to give ourselves positive feedback, we tend to focus on our flaws and our failures.  This does little good, and contributes a great deal to our level of stress.  It may be as little as a smile or the like button on Face Book, or as big as nominations for awards or letters of thanks, but we need to praise more, encourage more, love more!

Invisible already? Removing the cloak


flickr.com/photos/35643800@N05/4703546529

 Harry Potter was ever in the public eye.  Everyone treated him differently because they knew who he was, some better and some worse.  There are many characters in Rowling’s books that barely get noticed at all.  Ron and Hermione get quite a bit of attention, partly reflected, as do his most notable rivals.  We meet Luna Lovegood, but she is far from featured.  But what of all those other Griffindor students, or even more obscure, the Hufflepuffs?  There are far more characters who could use a little bit of visibility in this and in every story.  I don’t mean to suggest that an author try to reveal every character in every book.  There are millions of people out there who would like their invisibility cloaks removed, if only for a few moments.

 

There are many invisible people in the Bible. For instance the mothers of almost all those men named in the seemingly endless lists in Numbers.  The women and children of those 5,000 men who were fed with 5 barley loaves and 2 fish, and those of the 4,ooo fed with 7 loaves and a few small fish were only visible as an afterthought, but not counted in the number of the miracle.  

 

Just as Jesus was in need of invisibility in his early life, he chooses to whisk the cloak off many of the invisible people of his day; women, children, lepers, people with embarrassing health problems, the poor, the humble etc.   He did this in a number of different ways;

  • healing physical problems that were causing the people to be overlooked or even shunned

  •  making a point of speaking with someone

  • sharing a meal with someone

  • calling them by name

  • giving them his time and attention

Jesus drew away the cloak for the children in Matthew 9:14 when the disciples wanted to shoo them away and he told them instead to, “Let the little children come to me.”  He was granting them his time and attention.

 

  He drew the cloak away from the lepers he healed who would otherwise have lived their lives out in isolation.  The man who couldn’t get to the healing waters before others had gotten there first was healed where he had been totally overlooked by everyone else.  The woman who had been considered unclean for years due to constant bleeding was healed and thus allowed back into everyday lives of those whom she loved.

 

There were women to whom Jesus actually spoke, which really wasn’t common in the time.  He spoke to a Samaritan woman at the well despite the stigma of her being Samaritan and having a reputation of being with many men. 

 

We hear reports of Jesus speaking more than once with two sisters Mary, and Martha.  He ate at their home, Mary sat at his feet and listened to his teaching and he even praised her for this choice.  In fact, the names Mary and Martha are mentioned more times in the Bible than those of a some of the disciples.

 

Jesus ate meals with people who were not invisible but infamous.  He ate with tax collectors like Zacchaeus who was reviled by his neighbours. 

 

People will go to great lengths to be noticed.  If you question this then I encourage you to watch some of the “reality” tv shows.  People need love and belonging and would rather get negative attention than no attention.  To get their “ten minutes of fame” some people even commit violent acts which then result in their imprisonment for life.  For a few days, or months though everyone knew their name.

 

Do you remember the old tv show Cheers?  The theme song for that show said, “You wanna be where everybody knows your name.”  We can all do something to remove somebody’s invisibility cloak for a moment.  Follow Jesus’ example.  We may not be able to heal their physical ailments but surely we can make a point of speaking to someone who seems left out.  We can learn people’s names and then using it when you greet them.  Maybe instead of grabbing your lunch or coffee and running you might choose to take the time to sit down with someone to share the meal.

 

 

 Thanks to SarahKristin’sphotostream for the picture of Luna http://www.flickr.com/photos/35643800@N05/with/4703546529/

Who Needs An Invisibility Cloak?


Harry Potter, the now famous young wizard from the books of J.K.Rowling, had a problem.  Because of a scar earned as a young child, anywhere he went he was recognized.  One of his great assets in the series was a gift he received, an invisibility cloak.  With this he and his friends passed unseen into places of great danger and eluded even the most astute of older wizards.

If you follow my blog you will know that I have been musing on the issue of visibility or lack there-of lately.  It would seem that we are either too visible, like Harry, and wish for a break, or we are invisible and receive no notice at all. Today I’m going to focus on the folks who could make good use of Harry’s cloak.


I think that there are two groups of people today who would benefit from a little invisibility.  The first group, with whom I’m not entirely sure I sympathize, would be the people who either are born into famous families or have worked their whole lives in order to be famous.  Once they gain that kind of notoriety, I think many people become victims of their own success.  The constant press presence and public interest wear on them and it is almost impossible to get away and just live their lives.

The second group is those people who become known to be giving and caring.  These people become magnets for people who are struggling in their lives and find it almost impossible to turn anyone away.  Over time, this becomes overwhelming.  They become exhausted both physically and emotionally and at some point become unable to continue giving.  Those who recover from this burnout are those who manage to carve out a time out for themselves, which often involves going away, or turning off the phones, Facebook, and email for periods of time.


Jesus was God incarnate.  The very God who created all that is and was came and lived among us.  If anybody ever needed an invisibility cloak it was him.  Jesus’ cloak came in the form of simple parents, an unremarkable birthplace (unless remarkable for its unsuitability), life as a refugee, and growing up in a fairly rural location.  He didn’t get a high-powered career he trained with his father as a carpenter.  When he began to gather followers he didn’t head to the Temple, he stopped by the fishing villages and picked up more common, invisible men. 

It wasn’t until his ministry took off and was including healings that these cloaks began to slip off, and even then he was still trying to stay off the radar by asking people not to tell about his miraculous works etc.  When Jesus was overwhelmed he went away to a quiet place, often a garden or mountain area, to pray.  If you know someone who really needs an invisibility cloak, help them to get some time away.  They may choose to pray, meditate, or just do something they enjoy, but when they recharge they will be ready to get back to their normal selves.

Post 120: Are We Having Fun Yet?


 

flickr.com/photos/shanepope/2375499336

On Tuesday, June 7 I will have been writing this blog for five months.  Today’s post will be #120 and I got to thinking that I must certainly be repeating myself by now.  If this is the case, I heartily apologize.  I don’t go back in my post list very often and I write what comes to mind on any given day. 

 

Despite the fact that my teenage daughter gives me a hard time for doing so, I did a little checking on the stats for curlingupwithGod.  In those five months there have been 9,800 visits to my site, many undoubtedly directed by a search for something which led them to me erroneously.  The Footprints poem seems to be the most common search term which directs people here.  I have no way of knowing whether these people actually stop and read something or just scan quickly for the lyrics and then head on their way.  On my busiest day I had 245 visits which was really exciting!   I have been thrilled to have people write me notes occasionally and with those and my responses I have 77 comments.

 

Every time I write a post I have the option of tagging which may lead people to the post.  I didn’t do much of this at first, but have discovered how important it can be.   WordPress keeps track of the most common tags and makes them available to choose rather than writing them in each time.  I thought the list was pretty interesting.  When I see it, the words I have used the most are actually in a bigger font.

 

Bible blog bully change choices choir Christianity church cross details distractions Easter evangelism Facebook faith fashion forgiveness God help Holy Spirit improvement Jesus justice kindness leadership Lectionary Lent love music prayer preaching problems promise quiet reflection sin song stress students survival teachers The Message//Remix:Solo time Twitter worry

 

Back to the title question, are we having fun yet?  I know that I am enjoying the writing and any associated thinking and reflecting that is associated with that activity.  Some days I will have several images or comments pop into my head which lead to posts and I have to type them in before I lose them.  So far my feedback has been good and I’m assuming that for every person who goes to the trouble of writing a comment there are several who at least smile and nod at some point in their reading and that is great.

 

See you at 250 🙂

The World In A Cart: The World In The Word


When I was in high school (can’t believe I just wrote that) if I wanted information about the world I would dig out an atlas or the encyclopedia.  There was lots of information there, but it was not necessarily up to date.  Today I wheeled the world into my classroom in one of the school’s Mac-carts.

 

Ideally the students would all have a netbook or laptop all the time.  This isn’t the case yet at my school but still there is a huge change.  Today in my class I had students in contact with community agencies in several cities, looking up how to make tied baby blankets, researching statistics on childhood obesity in Canada, writing project proposals, designing websites, designing stickers to go along with a calendar they are making and more.  In some other classrooms and schools children are using programs like Skype to talk with students and teachers in other countries and even working on group projects with kids all over.

 

Has it made things better, this globalization in our education system?  It has to be more useful for kids to be planning projects for the community and or with people in other countries than drawing and colouring maps.  Does it matter if I know the GDP of a country from three years ago when I can find out the economic reports from last month?  The internet lets us keep up with a quickly changing world.

 

There are some things that don’t change.  God doesn’t change, the Bible doesn’t change, although it is are easier to hunt for particular sections and quotes using the computer.    When you open an atlas there is information about a lot of places but it is not the world.  When we open the Bible and read God’s word that really is the world!