One of Emma’s drawings (Not from her project. That hasn’t been graded yet.)
So it`s first period at my school, and I`m sitting in Mrs. Zitkovich`s class, minding my own business and trying to focus over Martin`s and Billy`s usual “trying to beat Billy up” sort of thing. We’re working on this poem I love called “The Highwayman”, and I`m checking over my homework.
The bell rings, and we all sort of quiet down a bit, not that much. Mrs. Zitkovich walks in saying, “Take out your homework.”
After we check it over Mrs. Zitkovich says we`re going to have a choice of projects about “The Highwayman” and all of them but one include drawing! I decide right away that I`m doing a wanted poster, but then Mrs.Zitkovich convinces me to rewrite the poem with another character`s perspective, which includes drawing.
So I take it home to work on it. Then I take it in to school, SUPER excited, and I hand in the paper. Mrs.Zitkovich takes a look at it with a questioning look. “Why didn`t you color it?” she asked.
He’s the first active athlete of the four major sports in America to announce to the world that his is homosexual. Jason Collins, the 34-year-old center for the Washington Wizards, had an interview with George Stephanopolous on ABC’s Good Morning America after his announcement. When asked what he would say to a gay 12-year-old boy dreaming of playing in the NBA, Collins said, “It doesn’t matter that you’re gay.”
Have you ever seen what it takes to mass produce cars? Darren, the guy on the far right, is a friend from church who is head engineer at the GM plant in Lordstown, Ohio. That’s where the Chevy Cruze is made; 1,200 of them every day, five days a week.
Darren Ford (yes, that’s really his last name) volunteers teaching the middle school kids Wednesdays at church. He organized a tour of the GM plant, the massive building that means so much to our local economy. We learned some pretty cool stuff from Mr. Ford, and not just about cars.
Have you ever noticed that Jesus never made excuses? Not so much us. Every one of us. Some more than others.
Okay, no more sentence fragments. It’s not my fault. I wasn’t an English major. D’oh! Plagued by excuses (and sentence fragments, apparently).
I know it’s a New Testament kinda week, but what I would have said today I already put in Friday’s blog. So if you’re okay with me goin’ all OT on you this Passion Week, let’s take a look at how God helped Moses to overcome the excuses he had that could have prevented him from becoming a great man of God. It happened at the burning bush event in Exodus 4:1-17.
The best method to overcoming your excuses is to see them as God sees them. Here’s what God saw in Moses’ response to the quest of the Exodus.
Praying hard is hard because you can’t just pray like it depends on God; you also have to work like it depends on you. You can’t just be willing to pray about it; you also have to be willing to do something about it. And this is where many of us get stuck spiritually. We’re willing to pray right up to the point of discomfort, but no further. We’re willing to pray right up to the point of inconvenience, but no further. Praying hard is uncomfortable and inconvenient, but that is when you know you’re getting close to a miracle!
My father-in-law is British. There’s a phrase he has used for many years to inform anyone within earshot of his need to use the bathroom, “I have to spend a penny.” Early on I was curious about the phrase, and Frank is like Cliff Clavin from Cheers; he loves to impart useless information (as he willingly acknowledges). It is often interesting, though.
Back in the day, he explained, if you wanted to use a public restroom it was necessary to invest a penny into the process. Fascinating, I know.
There’s another phrase he uses: “The penny has dropped.” Thankfully, this one has nothing to do with bodily functions. It dates back to the Victorian era when penny arcades were popular. Sometimes the penny would get stuck half way down and the customer would have to shake the machine or just wait until the penny finished its journey downward for the game to begin.
Jessica gets mad when I record her singing as she goes about the house, and I tease her that I’ll put it on Youtube. This time around she said it was okay to publicize the song with cup accompaniment, and I jumped at the opportunity. I was waiting for the best time and today, bogged down by getting taxes info together, seemed like a great day to show it.
Emma was one of 17 kids ranging from 7th grade to high school senior to be awarded honorable mention at Kent State University last night. We’re in the Northeast Ohio Writing Region for the Scholastic Writing Awards. Nationally, more than 80,000 students participate. Fifteen percent get honorable mention, ten percent are given a Silver key and five percent are honored with the Gold Key Award. Emma’s friends, Alexandra Morar and Madison Lucansky, joined her on the ground floor with honorable mentions. Her friend Anna Sherman shot right to the top with a Gold Key award! Kudos to their teachers, Joyce Zitkovich and Marli Brocker.
As the kids were walking up to read the Golden Line from their work that had been chosen by the judges (great idea!), I experienced a mixture of great pride and a tiny bit of envy. Maybe envy isn’t the right word. Basically I was feeling sorry for myself. My daughter was getting an award for writing at the tender age of 12, and I hadn’t written anything that wasn’t a mandatory assignment until I was 39. If only I had the same encouragement that these kids have. There are so many skills that I need to develop – so many circles of influence to help foster my dream. If God really wants me to be a writer, why didn’t he get me started much earlier in life?
“Today, the part of Blitzen will be played by Winston.”
It’s hard to believe that it’s been just over a year since starting this blog. February 25, 2012, I began on this trek, and things have changed a bit. I was unemployed without benefits back then, and would be for another five months. I also had never been published, and now there’s a number of devotionals and an article under my belt. There’s great potential for a church plant in a coffee shop or two in the future, which had been a dream I had given up on. Things have changed for the better, proving once again that God’s goodness knows no end.
So, I thought I’d change the blog a bit as well. I’m not sure why I like grunge themes. Maybe it’s because there’s a sense of getting down to the nitty-gritty of my Christian experience. I don’t even know if that makes sense. “Grunge” has a nitty-gritty feel to me. Anyway, I hope you like it.
Yeah baby! March Madness is right around the corner. It’s the do-or-die, youthful energy that surpasses that of pro hoops. Thousands of kids from schools all over the country wear their colors with pride as their teams fight for the honored title of National Champions. And there’s one aspect of it that get me going every time.
It happens every year, and it seems to be a more common occurrence as the years go by. It doesn’t matter how small your school or its lack of a powerful b-ball heritage, as long as your team is selected as one of the 68 there is a chance to win the top prize.
Butler, previously unrecognized by most NCAA enthusiasts, surprised the country by making the championship game two years – losing by the final shot to the perennial powerhouse Duke Bluedevils in the first year. My favorite game of all time was the National Championship game in the ’80s when 8th seeded Villanova defeated top ranked Georgetown.