Thursday, September 22, 2016
It is amazing how divided this country is.
It probably has been that way, but social media has either made it worse or pulled back the curtain to reveal it.
Whether it is race relations, religion, presidential politics, school boards, relationships, etc. we rarely in large amounts agree on anything. Sure, we have those on our "team" that have our backs, but when it comes to getting along, we just can't compromise.
"I'm right! You're wrong! And if you disagree with me, you're a bad, bad person maybe even some word that ends in i..s..t."
And in this world where we have access to the Internet, we can always, and I mean always, find some info, some data that will agree with what I believe making it seem justifiable to have my beliefs.
Even numbers, items that shouldn't be able to be manipulated or looked at different doesn't work. Because I can find some group of numbers that support me.
And the lack of knowledge of anything past the last few years only compounds the problem. People post online what they "heard" or what they were told by someone or even create their own stories from what they just feel in their gut is right about the past.
Even thought it's wrong.
Or is it?
Sigh....I long for the days where opinions were often kept to ourselves or shared in the local barber shop and never got any further than that.
I have often said that social media + opinion = expert in our country today.
And it just isn't so.
To be an expert and share your opinion, you have to have your own blog. (That last line is completely sarcastic in acknowledging my hypocrisy of criticizing social media through an online outlet)
Now...what was I talking about and how can I express my opinion as fact?!!!
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
John 15:18 "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.”
When Brother Richie first arrived at our church, he and I had a brief discussion about how little we know in the United States about how the world actually works (not that I do either). We know little about the complete backwards way those in most of the world live as opposed to here.
He asked me if I had read “The Insanity of God”, I hadn’t so he gave me a copy to read. I put it to the side because I felt it was another book like many I had read and I was reading about 3 or 4 books at the time.
Then I heard that Lifeway was putting out a onetime showing of the movie named after the book and it piqued my interest. So I picked it up and started reading.
And it was a very good read.
The book was story after story of Christians persecuted and told from by Nik Ripken (a pseudonym). It started with he and his wife’s work in Somalia and the obstacles they faced there and then story after story from people living in China, Russia, Afghanistan and other countries.
There was the story of the Chinese house church meeting illegally and asking if anyone had heard of Jesus outside of the United States.
It was the story of a Russian who thought his wife and child had been killed by authorities and The Holy Spirit speaking to him letting him that his captors had lied to him.
It was story after story where The Holy Spirit was speaking and living in the lives of these people. It was The Old Testament and New Testament stories coming alive. God is still working in the lives of people today, though we often feel that He isn’t here.
There were a couple of pieces in this book that really stuck with me.
- These people did not want prayers for the end of their persecution, it is what has grown their faith.
- Will persecution come to the USA? Why would Satan want to “wake-up” the richest, most powerful Christian country in the world? We are asleep.
- We shouldn’t ask why is there persecution in other countries, but we should ask why there is none here?
There are stats that say very few people who are born in the church, raised in the church and die in the church will ever share their faith in Jesus Christ with anyone.
The more we feel potential persecution, why do we cower? Why do want to stay in the relatively safe, comfortable Christian lifestyle?
Why aren’t we a little crazy? A little insane when it comes to our love for God?
We’re comfortable…we’re asleep.
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
I have tried to take some time recently and write about experiences I have had that have changed my perception about my life in this country. I have written about conditions and places that exist outside of the United Stated, but they exist here, too.
When we visited the Apache Reservation in Arizona, I wanted to give back a little bit while we were on a vacation, but I also wanted my two children to see the differences in their lives versus others.
And again, while we were there "giving back" we were able to witness Americans living in not good conditions while feeling a sense of joy that I feel we miss in the 1%. Drugs, lack of male leadership, and many other horrible conditions are created on this Reservation and many throughout the country, but they have a love for Christ we seem to miss out on.
They are forced to rely on their faith every day whereas we...don't.
Many of us are asleep in this country when it comes to our faith and, really, our lives. What can we do to numb ourselves to the perils of this life?
There is something for everyone to do so.
Friday, September 9, 2016
The West Clark Teachers Association has a Twitter feed and was recently questioned by someone, I have removed the name but wanted to answer the comments here.
This response came after I asked a simple question, how do we measure an effective teacher? If by testing, it would show that Carmel teachers were better than Northwest H.S. teachers and that's probably the complete opposite. Socioeconomics as well as other issues cause problems with education.
I have invited any critic of public schools to sit and attend class and hang out. Our hands are tied, more and more either by government red tape or the threat of lawsuit by the general public.
@CoachP_Hunter @WestClarkTA ability to educate when I was a student teachers wanted to be teachers they were not in school face booking
I agree with this comment in essence, but "face booking" can be done in seconds via cell phone and during planning, lunch, using the restroom. Again, I agree 100% that if a teacher is on Facebook excessively during the day, it will hurt teacher effectiveness. But if a teacher posts on social media during the school day, it doesn't rule out that they can still be effective.
@CoachP_Hunter @WestClarkTA I can tell a decent teacher when I meet them they are dedicated not just going through motions
Again, I 100% agree with this comment, but that's not an objective way of measuring teacher effectiveness, it is subjective. If we are going to base teacher pay and jobs on effectiveness, somehow what this person wrote can be brought in a long with a test. However, I am against testing as an objective measurement because of all of the causations that could hinder test scores that have nothing to do with the job of the educator.
@CoachP_Hunter @WestClarkTA a good teacher teaches for life not just encourages memorization they teach life skills
100% agreement again, but what life skills? By whose ideals? Are we crossing over into values? Whose values should be taught? Again, this is a subjective measurement that I do, however, believe many teachers do a great job with.
@CoachP_Hunter @WestClarkTA we both know balanced calendars and common core is a joke if teachers were good homeschooled kids would not
@CoachP_Hunter @WestClarkTA score better on test and students may be prepared for college instead we have non career ready sheep
I would disagree with the first comment about a balanced calendar. I do believe that with students having less time off in the summer, it could help with carryover, but, I do agree that a balanced calendar creates more starting and stopping which hurts the elementary schools more than high school.
Home school does a wonderful job! One on One is the absolute best way to teach students, but that is not feasible in most homes, so they have to go to the local school, or private, or charter...whatever. I'd argue that the problems with schools have less to do with what goes on in my four walls than what goes on in "your" four walls.
I will attest that most students are not "sheep", and if they are, it has less to do with what we do in the classroom and more to do with what they are exposed to at home and online.
@CoachP_Hunter @WestClarkTA and silver creek has become a joke c rating too many transfers pay substitutes nothing embarrassing
The only comment I strongly disagree with. SC test scores (but really, they shouldn't matter) are competitive with all schools in the area including the Charter and Private schools. SC is highly successful both academically and athletically. The "C" grade and the grading of schools is kind of a joke.
Transfers are funding all of the programs that the state legislature is forcing on public schools and without that money, consolidation would be more imminent...the pay for substitutes is a board issue and is low, I guess. I haven't subbed in many years.
After checking out this person's Twitter feed, he seemed to lean to the Right politically.
What I don't understand is that most (not all) people from that side of the spectrum believe that society is going down the tubes, and are against big government, yet want a government institution to solve all of our societies ills.
Public schools feed, counsel, provide needs, provide goods, teach life skills, and teach what we are contractually supposed to teach, but it's us, teachers, that are the problem.
I beg to differ.
Thursday, September 8, 2016
Yesterday, I was at home getting ready to go and watch my daughter play volleyball when my cell phone buzzed.
I looked down and I saw that there was an email sent to my school email. I get that often and usually the email isn't of much importance.
But yesterday was different. I received an email from a Clyde Carlson who had Googled my friend, Mark Pangburn, who passed away a few years ago. I had written a small article on Mark and his influence on me and Mr. Carlson came across it.
The email was a nice read for me, but I forwarded it onto his wife and one son who I had cell numbers for, and his kind words reminded them that his life is still touching people today.
Below is the email:
Ever wonder how far your blogspot can reach. Well, this afternoon it touched me down in Decatur, Alabama.
My name is Clyde Carlson, and I am an engineer with HCS Engineering in Decatur, AL. I am starting a project for Daikin America here in Decatur, and it involves a storage tank that was designed in 1992 by Mark Pangburn. For whatever reason, I googled Mark’s name and your blog was one of the first hits to come up. I was sorry to hear of his passing in 2012. But I guess I just want to thank you for the write up in his honor, and even more for your strong story of faith. Your words both encouraged and blessed me this afternoon.
By the way, Mark’s tank design is doing just fine after 23 years of service. My project just involves setting up some temporary storage in order to de-inventory the tank for inspection. From the looks of his hand calculations, I would say Mark was a fine engineer.
Thanks again Mr. Carlson for taking the time out of your schedule to send this note. It is appreciated more than you could know.
Click on this sentence for the article I wrote about my friend, Mark Pangburn.
Click on this sentence for the article I wrote about my friend, Mark Pangburn.
Friday, September 2, 2016
Authority figures are under attack in our country today, I fully believe that.
No group like law enforcement, though, has it worse right now.
They deal with violence and law breakers every day and the wrong move (and sometimes the right move) could put their face on CNN, lambasted by the media and could cause riots or even worse.
I support Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers and his right under the 1st Amendment to express himself legally. Though, I may not agree or understand, I do applaud him and this country for allowing it. I've often said that when something like that happens, you know that our country is not as evil as sometimes portrayed because he's not been arrested for his freedom of speech.
Recently, a friend of mine who is a white police officer (I won't name him here because I don't want to bring unwanted attention to him) saved a a minority woman's life.
He found her in an alley out from a drug overdose with no pulse in the neck or at the wrist. He did not have to do anything else from that point after calling for an ambulance.
But he did.
He started CPR on her and kept doing so until the ambulance arrived.
Because of my police officer friend.
Her family is thankful that he did this thing and he will receive recognition from the police department.
He should have done this and many would and I believe he would have no matter what because that's the kind of guy he is.
But you won't see it on the news, and because he has kept it quiet personally, he won't hear all the positives from the community, but he deserves it.
Maybe it's the idealist in me, but I believe that the overall amount of police do not get up in the morning looking to kill or arrest minorities. They want to do a good job and make it home to their families at night.
I'm not so naive, though, to believe all law enforcement are good people. There are some bad ones like in any profession and there are some who make mistakes while trying to be good.
Both of those should be held accountable for their actions while another Constitutional Amendment, the 6th amendment, being used which guarantees due process.
I guess my point is, thank God for people who are willing, like my friend, to go out every day and enforce the laws.
They really are the only thing that separates us from anarchy and they allow most of us to live good lives in this greatest country on God's green Earth.