Fill me up, Lord

"You will seek me, & find me when you seek me w/ all your heart," God says. But that is not the whole story. I'm not just a searcher. I'm also a hider. You too. We have to come face-to-face w/ our tendency to hide, to get lost. ~John Ortberg, Love Beyond Reason

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Baptism & Japanese Gardens

I heart Bible Study!!! I am so glad I was able to make it this evening.

It was a great discussion, and it makes me wonder more about the baptism issue. I know what I was grown up to believe, but I'd like to investigate it more, & find out what I (& respected other Christian leaders!) think what scripture says.

I think this can be a minor or major issue amongst Christians, and historically it has really divided the church.

For me (at this time) it is not a huge issues, and I feel like I can worship and have community amongst others with differing views.

If anyone knows of or has resources (besides the Bible) that address this issue, I'd love names, titles, authors, etc.

Okay this is more of the same, but worth repeating: (from Janet Folger:) Life is about finding your worth & identity in Christ (Yes, yes... God loving us, We love God, we love others, we love ourselves, but that is a different blog for another day.)

It also talks about trying identify the lies the world tells us, the lies we tell ourselves, and how we need to retrain our mind so that we erase those past & present lives, and use the Truth of Scripture to counteract & abolish these Lies of Satan that are ingrained in our head as we experience the consequences of sin from others, from ourselves, and from the Earth itself.

I don't think I can really comprehend the depth of sin's impact upon the world. It is so enormous. It makes me wonder what it would have been like if we had no sin (not going to happen as people are selfish and wanting to make themselves more important than God.

I guess we will find out in Heaven - a New Earth!

I hope it includes water slides that aren't too scary; raspberry bushes we can pick from; a Japanese garden, and water: the perfect temperature; clean; drinkable; and the prettiest blues & greens among the waves. Fathers walking with their sons skipping rocks into the ocean. Finally, NOBODY (even though are bodies will be renewed) will be allowed to wear a bikini or a G-string. Tankinis are acceptable. And your suit needs to cover your derriere. Men will be outlawed from Speedos.

My friend Step told me once, "I hope heaven includes neverending books."!

I wonder what kind of jobs we will have in heaven. Remember, even in the Garden of Eden their were jobs to complete and invest in. God did create us to do His work.
We did a whole book report/study on the subject of God's view of work. It was in my Survey of New Testament class, taught by Prof. Alexanian. He was a legend there, but he wasn't great with managing a class of loud & wild crew of freshman! The people who took his upper level Bible classes raved about him.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

In Remembrance of 9/11/2001

I can not believe it has been five years since that horrible day. I remember I was driving in my car, on the way to school, and running late!!! The radio was on, and the announcer said, "Ohmigosh a second plane hit! This is no coincidence!". I got to school, and of course everyone was watching television in awe. But soon the kids came, and we had to turn off our television sets We were told not to talk about it with our kids, as most would not know about it, as it just had occurred. So, we tried to have a normal day, but of course it wasn't. Those of us who had specials throughout the morning, would call others and give them update. When my friend Janice called, she said that the Pentagon had just been hit. It was just an ominous feeling. A room was set up for teachers to come and just sit and watch television while the kids were at lunch or recess.

The actions of 9/11 induced fear and panic across this nation and around the world. Watching the news coverage... it was just mind-boggling,
like a movie:,
the collapsing,
the dust and ruins of a city,
the screaming,
the blood,
the horrored look upon the eyewitnesses,
and the suicide jumps

I could not comprehend what had ocurred.

Of course the next day, the kids knew everything. We had had a meeting prior to their arrival, and social workers talked to us about how to have a discussion with the class. So of course, they all came in just buzzing with news media information. So we got into the classroom, and had morning announcements. We said the Pledge of Allegiance with more meaning then we ever had. Then our principal said a few words, and she ended with the words: "God Bless America."

As a faculty we were simply shocked. You just had to know what my principal and district are like. (for those of you who know my stories, this was VIPER.)

In our very Jewish community, we are not allowed to say the "C" or "H" word. Although funny as it is, most of the Jewish mothers always comment & relay their disappointment that we couldn't use Christmas trees during our "Winter Party."

So for our very rigid-uptight principal to say GOD was like a plane had crashed into OUR school, simply unheard of and unthinkable.
Another signifier that 9/11 was an nation-shattering event.

After announcements, I had the students form big circle, and I just let them talk, and gave information to those who didn't know, gave corrections to misinformation (there was a lot!), and tried to cut off those who were just going in places we simply couldn't go. I remember telling them it was okay to be sad or angry or to feel nothing. Then I had them take out their coloring materials, and they drew pictures and just wrote. We shared these, and tried to go on with a day.

I still have these precious drawings, and I look at them from time to time.

Interestingly enough, a child had just visited NYC the weekend before. So it was just crazy for him, having just been there. He became obsessed with the Twin Towers, and he made a HUGE model of them. It is interesting to see how people grieve in many diverse ways.

On another different but similar note:
The night of the Bush vs. Gore election, I told the kids had to stay up until they knew who was president, and journal what happened.

I had no idea they would be up all night, and that we would be waiting for literally weeks on end!

The kids wrote hilarious entries. They had updates on their papers about every hour. And some of them ended with, "My mom made me go to bed!". One Japanese mother, Mrs. Sato, asked, "Does this happen with every election in America?". I burst out laughing and tried to explain. I kept some of these writings too.

The rewarding life of a slave/teacher.

On another note, it was the first time in my life where for weeks I wondered, "Am I going to die? Is the world going to just blow up?. My generation has been so shielded from the violence and terrorism occurring around the world. Yes, we had Desert Storm & Desert Shield, but really it did not affect our way of life.

I actually had to give up listening to the news. After awhile it was just overkill, and was kicking up non-stop anxiety big-time. That was very strange, as I was a political news junkie at the time.

Due to my fasting of the media, I became addicted to books on tape. You know you are hearing a good book, when you are just sitting in your car, in your garage that is pitchblack. You just can't bear to turn off the tape recorder!

Well, a bittersweet update: I am to announce, I am back to my news junkie ways. I love my MSNBC, CNBS, CNNUpdate, & CNN. And (gulp!) the Fox News network. (Don't tell!) I typically surf between these channels. (unless reality television is on)


Two thousand one, nine eleven

Three thousand plus arrive in heaven
As they pass through the gate,
Thousands more appear in wait

A bearded man with stovepipe hat
Steps forward saying, "Lets sit, lets chat"
They settle down in seats of clouds

A man named Martin shouts out proud
"I have a dream!" and once he did

The Newcomer said, "Your dream still lives."

Groups of soldiers in blue and gray
Others in khaki, and green then say
We're from Bull Run, Yorktown, the Maine"

The Newcomer said, "You died not in vain."

From a man on sticks one could hear

"The only thing we have to fear.
The Newcomer said, "We know the rest,
Trust us sir, we've passed that test."

Courage doesn't hide in caves
You can't bury freedom, in a grave,"

The Newcomers had heard this voice before
A distinct Yankees twang from Hyannisport shores

A silence fell within the mist
Somehow the Newcomer knew that this
Meant time had come for her to say
What was in the hearts of the five thousand plus that day

"Back on Earth, we wrote reports,
Watched our children play in sports
Worked our gardens, sang our songs
Went to church and clipped coupons

We smiled, we laughed,
we cried, we fought
Unlike you, great we're not"

The tall man in the stovepipe hat
Stood and said, "Don't talk like that!
Look at your country, look and see
You died for freedom, just like me"

Then, before them all appeared a scene
Of rubbled streets and twisted beams
Death, destruction, smoke and dust
And people working just 'cause they must

Hauling ash, lifting stones,
Knee deep in hell, but not alone
"Look! Blackman, Whiteman, Brownman, Yellowman
Side by side helping their fellow man!"

So said Martin, as he watched the scene
"Even from nightmares, can be born a dream."

Down below three firemen raised
The colors high into ashen haze

The soldiers above had seen it before
On Iwo Jima back in '45

The man on sticks studied everything closely
Then shared his perceptions on what he saw mostly

" see pain, I see tears,
I see sorrow -- but I don't see fear."

"You left behind husbands and wives
Daughters and sons and so many lives
Are suffering now because of this wrong
But look very closely. You're not really gone.

All of those people, even those who've never met you
All of their lives, they'll never forget you
Don't you see what has happened?
Don't you see what you've done?

You've brought them together, together as one.
With that the man in the stovepipe hat said
"Take my hand," and from there he led

Three thousand plus heroes, Newcomers to heaven
On this day, two thousand one, nine eleven


September 11, 2006, will soon be approaching. On this day, please consider
wearing red, white & blue to work/school to show your support for those who lost their lives on 9~11~01 and to honor the heroes who worked to save them & the families left behind.

At noon your time on September 11, 2006, no matter where you are or what you are doing, consider stopping, and putting your hand on your heart, and say the Pledge of Allegiance out loud or to yourself and say a prayer for our nation.

Just and idea.
This has nothing to do with how we view the president or our current and past actions/policies in the Middle East & Europe. This isn't about Republican vs. Democrat or liberals vs. conservatives, or blue vs. red. It's not about blame.

It's about the day our nation's security was shaken, people's lives were shattered, and how in the days after, the awesome sense of American support & sympathy shined across the world, and how people showed their humanity, courage, & resolve.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Me to the class: "And oh by the way, this week you can type the activities on the computer from your spelling menu packet at home."

Student: "Oh wow! Third grade just keeps on getting better and better!"

Monday, September 04, 2006

Waiting on God

Excerpts from Janet Folger's book

Here's what I know:
God has a mission for you.
Yes, you.
He has an assignment-a plan of action-for you right now.
He wants you off of the sidelines and into the game.

But Satan doesn't.
It's that simple. We're in this spiritual war, &
Satan will use anything he can to keep us from God's perfect plan.

He'll hit us when we're down:

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" (Ephesians 6:12)

And although Satan knows that God has everything under control, with an exciting and perfect plan for your life-with perfect timing (believe it or not)-he's gonna tell you otherwise. Satan's a liar, after all -that's what he does.

And I believe that his favorite targets are those who could very well be the most effective members of God's kingdom: single people.

Satan is going to tell you that while God is taking care of everyone else-including all your friends who are getting married- He has somehow forgotten about you.

It's a lie.

You're alone now -like me- because God has something He wants you to do. Something so critically important to His mission that Satan has to come up with a way to stop it.

Make no mistake: Satan will pull out every stop to prevent what he knows you could do for the kingdom of God. I'm talking about the big guns here-the rocket launchers designed to debilitate even the most faithful soldiers in God's army:

*"You're all alone....."
*"God has forgotten you....."
*"He has abandoned you......"
*"You're a failure....."
*"A loser....."
*"Nobody wants you, and maybe nobody ever will....."
*"Look around you -everyone else is happy except for you....."
*"See those babies? Cute huh? Take a good look,
because you'll probably never have any....."

Does any of that sound familiar?

Pretty harsh stuff, but remember-this is war. All's fair in love and war-and this one is both. If you couldn't be used so mightily, Satan wouldn't have to go after you so fiercely. The trouble is, when you're under attack, all those lies sound true-absolutely convincing and seemingly irrefutable.

What do you do to combat these lies and replace them with truth?
I am journaling, reading the Word, praying, reading other books such as The Search for Significance, etc.

I've heard that Nancy Lee DeMoss wrote a good book called "The Lies Women Believe: and the Truth That Sets Them Free".

Favorite memories of 3rd grade so far?

.....little eight year old boys lying down on the floor reading Charlotte's Web, some of the coming up to me begging to let them read ahead.....

.....playing the CD from the musical "WICKED", and having about 1/2 the class sing along! They keep shouting out, "Play #7!". "No, play #11!"......

More Fill me up

What is God's will for us?
1. To know Him.
2. To help others.

Ephesians 5:15-18
"So be careful how you act; these are difficult days.
Don't be fools;
be wise: make the most of every opportunity you have for doing good.
Don't act thoughtlessly, but try to find out whatever the Lord wants you to.
Don't drink too much wine, for many evils lie along that path;
be filled instead with the Holy Spirit, and controlled by Him."

Finger Prayer

1. Your thumb is nearest you. So begin your prayers by praying for those closest to you. They are the easiest to remember. To pray for our loved ones is, as C. S. Lewis once said, a "sweet duty."

2. The next finger is the pointing finger. Pray for those who teach, instruct and heal. This includes teachers, doctors, and ministers. They need support and wisdom in pointing others in the right direction. Keep them in your prayers.

3. The next finger is the tallest finger. It reminds us of our leaders. Pray for the president, leaders in business and industry, and administrators. These people shape our nation and guide public opinion. They need God's guidance.

4. The fourth finger is our ring finger. Surprising to many is the fact that this is our weakest finger, as any piano teacher will testify. It should remind us to pray for those who are weak, in trouble or in pain. They need your prayers day and night. You cannot pray too much for them.

5. And lastly comes our little finger - the smallest finger of all which is where we should place ourselves in relation to God and others. As the Bible says, "The least shall be the greatest among you." Your pinkie should remind you to pray for yourself. By the time you have prayed for the other four groups, your own needs will be put into proper perspective and you will be able to pray for yourself more effectively.

Any prayer requests?