Friday, April 28, 2006

For starters...

It's Friday and my mind turns to mush. It's payday, and I want to go the bank. It's raining, and I need to get going. It's Charity's party, so I need to get ready. But I do want to write on the "American Dream". Thank you Dustin, Michael and Rebekah for your thoughtful and helpful insights.

My take on it - and if I have more time later, I may elaborate a little bit...

It depends on your perspective and definition, but the definition I hold in my head of the American dream haunts me. I'm terrified of buying into the American Dream. The things I'm about to say are not intrinsically wrong, but the package as a whole and the lie that you need these things.. that they will satisfy you and complete you scares me. It scares me because as a human, I know I must guard myself from falling in to this trap. This idea that I haven't "arrived" unless I have a 2 car garage, 2.5 kids (?), and live in a neighborhood that's "safe and white". Middle-class, comfortable, everything I desire at my fingertips. Does that mean that we all need to move to Africa or throw away any modern conveniences? No.. but we should be scared. Terrified that we might begin to love and rely on these things. Our definitions of success should be different than those who do not know the Pearl of Great Price, Jesus Christ.

For starters, (I feel like I haven't said much yet.. I'll blame it on the Friday hypnotism I come under when the week catches up on me, ha!)

think on these words that have rolled around in my head since I first heard this song by Derek Webb.

i repent, i repent of my pursuit of america's dream
i repent, i repent of living like i deserve anything
of my house, my fence, my kids, my wife
in our suburb where we're safe and white
i am wrong and of these things i repent

Just think on those words. I'll get back with you. I gotta jet.

If the pursuit of the American dream means living like we deserve something, when all we deserve is hell and condemnation than we are living a lie. We are buying it and we may not even know it. We aren't called to comfort. I'm not promoting an Amish way of living, but we aren't called to seek comfort and define success like the world does. I feel like I'm not doing a terrific job of posting my thoughts, so I'll stop right there. Maybe later I'll try again. I may zap this later, but if nothing else, think on those lyrics by D. Webb and check out the comments from my friends who posted. It's worth your consideration.

Jamie (after 3:20.. I am no longer "Miss Moore")

Friday Morning Prompt

Good morning! See last Friday's post to discover why I'm asking YOU to write now. I haven't come up with a terrific prompt this week, but I still hope you'll join in (if you have time). Just post a comment to answer the question (unless you want to post on your own Blog).

1) What are your thoughts on The American Dream? A. Define it. B. Discuss it. I am being ambiguous for a reason. Just go with it. :)

This time, I will share mine at the end of the day. But you have to go first...

Enjoy your day!

We are enjoying your Samson posts, Mr. Stone... I owe you lots of comments. This weekend, perhaps. :)

Thursday, April 27, 2006

I give up :)

I kept messing up my post and I started wasting way too much time. So I quit! (Think, "That Thing You Do") I could only get this one and there are way more things to do with life then to just Blog it away. :)

Flying Fabian and the rest of my morning class :)

Just a few pictures and afternoon thoughts

Don't get me wrong. I really love my kids at school! I hope you don't get the impression that there is nothing good about my job. It has been a learning process to "embrace my lot" if you will, but the Lord has been kind to teach me along the way.

It has been very stretching. The truth is though... even on the very worst days, that I still get to work with children! What I have always wanted to do... Some people are good with numbers, some people love typing away in cubicles, some people paint, play with MACs, write poems, etc. I have never felt like I was good at anything specific. I don't even practice the piano like I should. :( But I do love kids.

I was flipping through some pictures on my digital camera and thought I'd give you a peek into the world of Ms. Moore. This summer, I'm sure I'll be able to post more thoughtfully and spend a little time on it. Right now, however, my world is basically these kids. And as hard as it can be, and as refreshing as a change will be, I am sure that I will miss them more than I realize.

I don't know exactly how to post these pictures in the right places. I hope to post a picture of my 3 co-teachers, Robyn, Wanchi (from Hong Kong) and Candiss. These are the ladies (Mrs, Braun, Ms. Ho, and Mrs. Smith) that I see every day. They have been a tremendous help!

I've been convicted lately that I don't pray enough for my kids. Some of them have TOUGH home lives. And just as every other human being, they are in need of salvation from their sins that can only come from Christ.

I spent the major portion of my days and weeks with these children. They may drive me crazy, but I love them to pieces. Another picture is of two of my sweet kids, Kevin (from Vietnam) and Matthew. They are two huge helpers.

Kevin is one of the nicest guys I have ever met in my whole LIFE. Every day, he asks me how I'm doing, if he can help me, he works neatly, makes A's, and has this magical way of earning the respect of all his peers. He's humble and doesn't want any attention, and even the kids who are really rowdy and "gangsta" love him and he can encourage them to get quiet and on-task better than I can!

Matthew is a hard worker. He has to work hard for his grades. I recently nominated him for Safety Patrol and his face lit up! He was just thrilled! He takes his responsibility VERY seriously and somehow, the world is a safer place in my mind because of him. :) Another picture is of Tailor, the sweet girl working hard. She can be a toot, but she means well. I think all the time though.. especially lately.. what am I really teaching them? Is anything getting through? I've been trying to combine academics with teaching them respect, responsibility, integrity.. to own up to their behavior when they break rules.

It's interesting whenever you get to the END of something how it makes you think and reflect... is it ever like that for you? When you get to the end of high school, or the end of an interview, a relationship, a summer at camp, a semester at school, etc? The year is coming to a close. I have regrets, but I also hold on to hope for many of these kids. I know that they are goobers because they are sinners. I know they need hope that can only be found in the truth of Scipture, not just in passing the TAKS test. Sigh. I think I have this tendency to kind of demand to see the fruit right now. It's hard to be patient and have days where you seem to have no impact, but you have to lean on truth, not feelings. And just keep pressing on.. loving a kid, sharing the Gospel, praying for lost friends, teaching your lessons, waiting on the Lord, breathing in and breathing out....

Kind of my random thoughts for the day, but if nothing else, enjoy the pictures.

Good Morning

Waiting for my coffee. Not quite awake yet. :)

Real quick... some new Blogs that will be worth your time.

Laura is a dear friend of mine and I miss her like crazy. Her Blog will definitely be worth your time. And when you check, leave encouraging comments about her nursing classes... I'm sure it's getting crazy right now. Hang in there, Laura!! :)

Sweet Julie is the gal I live with (and her husband, Michael). It's been a blast getting to know them. She's studying to be an accountant. Fun gal! Check it out!

Okay, time for coffee!

Psalm 115:1 - Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

How Firm A Foundation

How Firm A Foundation
John Rippon

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?

In every condition, in sickness, in health;
In poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth;
At home and abroad, on the land, on the sea,
As thy days may demand, shall thy strength ever be.

Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.

When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of woe shall not thee overflow;
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.

Even down to old age all My people shall prove
My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs they shall still in My bosom be borne.

The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The day is off to a good start...

If I remember correctly, I was always the kid who never won anything. Even under coke lids, it was always a string of letters and numbers.. mine never said that I could go claim my S.U.V, trip to Disney, or even a free coke.

Anyway, they have this drawing at my school for teachers to win a free chair massage. This morning...I won! Good stuff, huh? A good way to start the day. They announced it over the loudspeaker, and my kids were flipping out.. cheering as if I had won a million dollars. :)

Much more serious posts to come... but not today. It's pretty busy. Maybe tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

If Time Allowed...

Papers are calling, "Grade me, grade me"
Laundry is screaming, "Wash, me, wash me"
Books are begging, "Read me, read me"
Phone calls are pleading, "Return me, return me"
Bed is calling, "Come home soon"

You get the picture.
But if time allowed, you would have seen posts about one or more of the following:

1. This morning's sermon over Titus - very good (check it out when it comes online)

2. My long journey of finding and finally joining a great church!

3. Pictures from Yu Ito's shower (only 2 Bachelorette parties, 2 lingerie showers, and about 5 more weddings to go this year - fun stuff!)

4. Explanation of my Blog Title (still to come, Mr. Stone)

5. Thoughts on the team approach to missions, also mentioned in this morning's sermon

6. The new, fun recipe I found/tried for Pizza Salad Pitas

7. A Happy Birthday Shout-Out to Carolyn, Dustin's sweet mom

8. A Happy Birthday (86!) Shout-Out to my dear Nana, who will never use a computer, but deserves a shout-out (and a phone call, note to self) anyhow. Her birthday's tomorrow!

9. An explanation of why I get a kick out of a new Blog I found (especially the family section, mom's - check it out)

10. My story about going to Sunday School to help Max this morning. Man, I really need to learn more sign language if I'm ever going to dream of telling the story of Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch. I had a blast though.

Maybe one day.. when things slow down.

Thanks for all of your input on last Friday's morning prompt. Stay tuned...

Friday, April 21, 2006

Final Friday Thoughts... "a glimpse into my mind"

Recently, Slade Cozart let us peek into his musings at work. See "A Glimpse..." on This MAC computer won't let me make a cool link... although Apple computers are great, yada, yada...

If you are curious, or even if you're not... my mental Friday ritual is pretty much the same at the end of each work week. I'm already pumped because I get to wear tennis shoes, jeans, and my Ashworth T-shirt. I plug through the day, attempting to give it my all and finish the week well, despite being dog tired... and then, 3:20 comes around. The most beautiful bell (the 3:20 bell) in the whole world. "Bye Ms. Moore, Bye Ms. Moore.." - I notice a few kids fighting outside and don't really care at this point. I pretend not to see... and my mind automatically reverts to a few rounds of the Hallelujah Chorus! I power walk to the office to check my box one more time, mosey back to my room, straighten up, work for about an hour and try not to speed all the way home, grateful for God' s grace over another week, grateful for 2 whole days off, ready for a fat nap, thinking about wedding shower cupcakes that I need to make, but just thankful, sleepy but thankful... and still singing the Hallelujah chorus.

4 more weeks, teachers. Ryan Bebee? Carolyn Butts? Michael Stone? Am I forgetting anyone?
Seniors? Counting down? Joey Moore is about to graduate from Garland High and head to Camp Buckner and then to Master's College (Johnny Mac's school). You better believe she's counting down.. and taking like 12 AP tests (brains of the family).

Fridays - Your Turn To Talk, Blog World

I had this idea while blow drying my hair this morning. :)

Fridays will become your turn to talk. I have some of the wisest friends in the whole world - I love hearing you pour out your thoughts. Maybe we can do this every week. I'm a Language Arts teacher, so consider it your morning prompt (go, Christopher Lee, go)

There's something on my mind and I want to hear what YOU have to say about it... so don't feel silly, but post your thoughts. If you have time or whatnot...

TOPIC # 1 - What are your thoughts on disciplining yourself? In general or specifically in regards to spiritual disciplines? I know people who wake up at 5 every day of their lives, never drink cokes, run 3 miles without a sigh, read 2 books a week, etc. (Some of you!) When life gets REALLY busy, how do you manage your time and keep up? Feel free to share your experiences, verses, thoughts, frustrations with the topic. And someone has to go first or no one else will. Counting on you, Slade. Joey dear - want your thoughts, too. :)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Savoring Silence.

What can I say? I'm an unusual teacher. When the much anticipated TAKS test finally rolls around, most teachers are losing sleep worrying over their kids' scores. Especially at my school. Our school is TAKS-driven like no other! I guess I should be more concerned. I am concerned about their education, but I'm not going to fret over it. Honestly, there are some real perks to being a teacher (as Michael Stone mentioned awhile back). My room is completely quiet this morning. I almost don't want to work (and I will work here in a minute, this was just a quick break) but just sit and bask in the beauty of the moment. I have 25 kids (and a new set of 25 more in the afternoons).. they click their pens constantly, drum in their desks, lie, hit, fight, cry, cuss, flirt, fidget, talk back. You get your doctrine of depravity squared away teaching 5th graders. I do love them, don't get me wrong. They also laugh, learn, change, hug, etc. And yet... TAKS day rolls around, and I look around and don't hear anything, but a few squirmers, loud chewers (inside joke), coughers, etc. I can handle some of that. I love this! Furthermore, I get a chance to BLOG, grade papers, return e-mails (work and personal), plan lessons, etc. And... eat all of the leftover fruit snacks and mini muffins (and there are still some Robin Eggs in my desk). During lunch, we have it in our room and I get to lead class "discussions". It has been a blast the other 2 tests. They aren't allowed to talk about the TAKS, so we get to guide controlled discussions. I'm a big goober, so I try to have interesting conversation starters and it's usually a blast. A controlled blast. Anyway, 4 weeks and 1 and a half more days.. but who is counting? I guess when all of the teachers come find me and we talk later and they let out a sigh of relief that they dreaded TAKS is over and as they wait impatiently for the scores to come in... trying to find out if our school will be Exemplary or whatnot.. which kids passed... I'll sigh, too. Not because I'm the best teacher in the world and care so much about the scores, but I'll sigh because tomorrow, we have to go back to chaos. However, I'm trying to teach these kiddos to respect. They are learning slowly.

Random list for your day...
Alias was great! Marshall wins the Grammy for the evening...
Jay G. Scott got a new bike.
Our power went out last night... but no flood - yea!
Dad's home and doing great...
The string of weddings is about to begin...
The Campers are coming (but not yet)
and Robert's raising his hand...
Gotta go.
Miss Moore out.

Eron - good posts!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

While The Coffee Is Brewing

Good morning, Blog World.

A few annoucements to make and then I need to go grab my much-needed java juice and get this day started...

1. My father is doing great! The surgery went "better than expected" and he is cracking jokes, smiling, and should go home this morning. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

2. ALIAS is tonight. I'm hoping GerltHouse will post on this a little later, so stay tuned. If you have never heard of Alias (not Aliens, mom - haha), well um, you should. Or maybe you shouldn't (it's addicting!)... I am not a big TV watcher. I'm a big loser about movies and actors, but this show has me hooked. :) More than the show, I'm looking forward to some time with the friends who share my obsession with Sydney, Vaughn, Marshall, Jack, etc. :)

3. A good buddy of mine is having a birthday today. I told you it was Birthday week. I'll try not to embarass these birthday friends too much, but a shout-out is in order. Dustin, The Once Dead Poet, is celebrating his 24th birthday today! Go post a birthday comment on his blog. :) Dustin-Where to start? You'll just have to check your e-mail... and snail mail! :)

4. Quick prayer request - I'm "leading" another Teacher Devotional this morning at my school. If you think of it, (even if it's after the fact) be asking that the Lord would use His Word. Maybe I'll post more on this later.

Time for coffee...

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Redeeming our time, words, cancer...

My dad is having surgery in the morning at 7:15AM. It should last around 3 hours. If you get this, would you please be praying for him? As crazy as this initially sounds to our ears, pray that the cancer "won't be wasted". Head here to see what I mean by that. Thanks. I'm encouraged by this perspective, whether your trial is cancer, a broken heart, or misbehaving 5th graders. Aren't you?

And... I will be explaining the title of this Blog (and defining deportment and why I chose that specific quote) soon.

I was reminded tonight of the value and importance of our words. Held accountable for both words spoken and written. Makes me scared to talk or type, knowing that I do way too much of both. I hope that this Blog will be enjoyable at times, but also serve some sort of redeeming purpose (hence, my growing mental purpose statement). I'd rather not waste my time or yours. The Blogs I read have spurred me on quite often, to thought or to action.. and sometimes, just providing a bright spot in my day. (See Her Favorite Song)

Psalm 90:14

Fun birthday parties tonight (Max, see previous post, and James, a friend from church). Great fellowship and so much fun to watch a fun adopted kid have so many people love on him. And then.. to sit around with dear friends and truly visit/fellowship. Good times.

One more thing - Happy Birthday to Julie Stone about 35 minutes early. :) Big Birthday week.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Happy Birthday Max!

So, I fibbed. Maybe I'll post more than a few times a week. But come on - it is Max's birthday. He's been excited for weeks (months, Erin?). For those of you who don't know our sweet Max, check out for some pictures. Max is 7 today. His family (my dear friends) adopted him from the Ukraine. He is deaf and his hands move almost as fast as his little active boy body does. I'm attempting to learn some sign langugage, but I have a long way to go. Anyhow, I'd better get to work, but know that this dear boy - my neighbor and sweet friend, is one of my favorite (no offense, everyone else) people on planet Earth. I praise God for him and pray today for him. Don't tell him I got him a cool Star Wars Lightsaber toy. Guess I'm pretty safe unless you know how to sign that to him anyhow.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Entering The Blog Circle

Well, here I am. My own BLOG. I've been kind of a "closet blogger" for awhile now. After some persuasion, I've decided to join ranks. Don't expect more than a few posts a week until this summer. Everyone seems to have a different purpose for their Blog, and I've been giving some thought to why I would want to add ANOTHER thing to my to-do list. Yet, I have concluded that it could be a profitable way to use my time and an effective way to stay in touch. We'll see! Besides this growing "purpose statement" for my Embracing Your Lot (will explain the title soon), you may see some other themes - reflections on public education, Alias, stories from hanging at Gerlt House, photos, etc.

Resurrection Sunday. Many thoughts. This morning, Pastor Steve (Heritage Baptist Church) preached over 1 Corinthians 15. He explained how Paul didn't try to prove the resurrection of Christ, but proved the necessary character of the resurrection (resurrection in general, because if there is not resurrection, Christ did not rise from the dead) by showing what life would be like if there had been no resurrection. Through all of the passages and points he made, I walked away reminded that life is hopeless and my faith and preaching are in vain were it not for the resurrection. His points were that Scripture itself would be undermined, the Christian faith is empty and futile, and well, why bother with anything at all? He left us with many questions to ponder... mainly, does the doctrine of the resurrection burden you (because of the coming judgment) or give you great hope? He also reminded us that every other religion lives for this world alone, but Christianity is the only religion where believers live for the world to come.

I'll try to do a little more with this later on down the road. I'm not even sure how to add links. My friends will tell you that I can get long-winded, but I'll close and get back to reflecting/reading/relaxing and... getting ready to transform to "Ms. Moore, 5th grade teacher" for yet another week.

"I have a great need for Christ. I have a great Christ for my need." - Spurgeon