Sunday, November 21, 2010

El Señor

I love being corrected by my kids.  (Not really.)  In my sermon this morning, I noted that in Spanish, "El Señor" can refer to God.  In the same way, in the days of Jesus, the word for "Lord" can also mean "sir."

My daughter corrected me.  El Señor does not mean "God," she informed me.  It means "Lord."  OK, I stand corrected.  But that works even better with my illustration.

Can I be wrong and be even more right than I thought I was?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Real Giving

I love Thanksgiving.  And it's not because of all the great food.  I plenty of great food all through the year.  I like Thanksgiving because it is not polluted by all the busyness of other holidays.  OK, by "other holidays" I mean Christmas. 

Today I got a Thanksgiving card.  I like the idea of sending Thanksgiving cards.  In fact, I think that our culture should move the gift-giving tradition to Thanksgiving, too.  That way we could really focus on Jesus at Christmas, and on our blessings at Thanksgiving.  Giving stuff seems more appropriate at Thanksgiving.  "Giving" is even part of the holiday's name!

Well, I haven't done any Thanksgiving shopping, so I guess I won't be making that transition this year.  But I do want to do my Christmas giving with the kingdom of God in mind.  I am asking Jesus to guide me as I give.  It's really all about him.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My Third Grade

A Facebook friend recently posted a photo of our third grade class at Joyner Elementary School in Greensboro.  This post generated a long list of comments from classmates and others at Joyner, 1970-1971.  Suddenly we are all eager for a reunion!  (That's me on the far right wearing the Cub Scout uniform.)

I have always looked back at third grade with a profound fondness.  When this picture showed up on fb, I realized a few things.  First, I never realized that so many of my memories from elementary school were all connected with the same class.  Second, I discovered that lots of my classmates feel the same way I do.  Finally, I am surprised at the wealth of positive emotions I find associated with that chapter of my life -- it is a stark contrast with the feelings of insecurity associated with my high school years.

The person who set the culture for our class was our teacher, Mrs. Pearl Durham.  From an adult's perspective, I can really appreciate all her innovative, creative teaching methods.  She gave us one of the greatest gifts:  freedom.  Anyone could go to the restroom without asking permission:  she had two textile spools, about 8 inches long, one for the boys and one for the girls, placed in the chalkboard tray.  When a boy needed to use the restroom, he would take the boys' spool with him down the hall, and return it to the tray when he came back.  No tugging on Mrs. Durham's skirt -- we handled the responsibility ourselves, waiting for the spool to return, if necessary.  Man, she was smart.

I remember a lot of free time in class when we could work independently on assignments.  There was a card file box with several sections in which we could find ideas for creative writing; I loved going to the box to find just the right idea for a fun story. 

More than once she had ice cream brought to the class, in those little tubs with wooden spoons.  Clearly that's the way to a third grader's heart.

She arranged for our class to go to a recording session at a radio station, and later we heard our class on air! 

We took a train ride from Greensboro to High Point, where we ate breakfast at (what seemed to be) a fancy restaurant.  A caravan of moms met us there and brought us home.

We put on a play based on the first book in the "The Little House on the Prairie" series.  I only had one line, but I still remember it.

All this was packed into one year of school.  Wow!  I thank God for Mrs. Durham.  I want to be like her when I grow up.