Saturday, July 30, 2005

You Will Be Changed Into a Different Person

"The Spirit of the LORD will come upon you in power, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person. Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you." I Samuel 10: 6, 7

I've spent the last few mornings reading about Saul and David and Ish-Bosheth; this morning I turned back to the above portion of scripture. I've always been fascinated by the account of Saul's anointing and the loss of it--his subsequent insanity, etc. To have had the Spirit upon you and then lose it, well, I don't even like thinking about it. "You will be changed into a different person. Do whatever your hand finds to do."

My hand has found lots to do the last few days, with school starting Monday. I woke up yesterday morning, my last "real" day off, since I don't count weekends, and mentally walked through my plans for the day ahead. The strains of a violin accompanied my thoughts and my plans to bid summer good-bye. I'd get up and read awhile, then fix Lizzie a little breakfast, do laundry, push the mower awhile, swim. Then Lizzie and I would go to Collins, the final Collins trip of the summer. We'd go to the library and return the books, tell Allan the librarian that we wouldn't be back for awhile. We'd go to Shirley's and browse through the salvage stock, maybe find some real deals on things we didn't need. Then we'd go to the IGA deli, and I'd say a silent good-bye to Miss Nan, the elderly black woman who makes me tremble in my flip-flops when she comes out to wait on me, glaring and snarling, "What you want?" We'd come back home, and I'd go out and attack rogue vegetation in my zinnia bed. (In other words, I'd weed the flower bed. I read that rogue vegetation phrase somewhere and wrote it down in the notebook I'm trying to make myself keep, listing phrases I'd like to try out sometime. I'm not sure it works for me.)

Lizzie and I did some of that, but not all. The day sort of got away from us. Hannah called to say that band camp would be over at 4 instead of 5--an hour lost. It poured rain most of the afternoon, so I mowed for only a half hour or so and we didn't swim at all. Angela called and talked for over an hour, then called later and talked for 45 minutes. So we didn't get it all in.

In other news, Angela did have something pretty interesting to share. She and Warren were driving up Hwy. 37 Thursday night, and she saw a man on the side of the road, stark naked. Warren called Charlie the Sheriff, and according to Charlie, they've been trying to catch that man for over a year. Charlie said if they pick him up, they'll be sure to have Angela come in and pick him out of a line-up.

So I have just a few more hours before school starts, and then I'll be changed into a different person. Really, it started already, a few days ago and, as always, I fight it. But there's not any point in that, and it only makes me physically ill. I don't know why it matters anyway, because whatever my hand finds to do, God is with me.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Dashed Hopes

"Every prudent man dealeth with knowledge: but a fool layeth open his folly." Proverbs 13:16

I knew when I opened my eyes this morning that today would be the day. I was up most of the night, unable to get comfortable because I pulled a muscle in my lower back yesterday when I moved a filing cabinet at school. When I looked in the mirror, my face was puffy, my eyes almost swollen shut. A fat face for a fat day. If I don't sleep at least five hours, I feel fat and lethargic all day. So I knew. I knew I'd take the Mensa test today, because if I didn't do well, I'd have the excuse of not having slept well the night before and of waking up fat and lethargic. I drove Hannah to the school to band camp at 8:00, even though she didn't feel well and the heat index was predicted to reach one oh five. Lizzie and I came back home and spent an hour or so in the pool, then jumped on the trampoline for a while. I skipped lunch because I woke up fat and because I didn't want to nourish my brain in any way at all for the Mensa test--in case I didn't do well--then I sat down at the computer to take the plunge. The phone rang. Hannah was calling from the band hall, sick. Back in the car for the one hour round trip, stopping on the way home for Lizzie to tinkle on the side of the sizzling pavement, then getting Hannah settled after taking her temp--one oh two, with vomiting--and back to the computer to take the test. I'd now piled up several excuses for not doing well. But the phone rang again, so I decided to put it off until after supper. Tim was at a dinner meeting, and I knew Hannah wouldn't want to smell food, so Lizzie and I headed to Sonic for fast food and a chocolate malt. I have a milk allergy, and I knew it would make me uncomfortable and cloud my brain. The perfect pre-Mensa meal.

But. Here's the thing. The Mensa test is not free online. They prefer that you schedule an appointment at a local chapter for a supervised test. I mean, I guess that makes sense because they are, after all, a very exclusive organization, but I've been building up to this the whole summer long and now it's just the biggest letdown. Shoot. Shoot. Shoot. I did find a "Mensa-like" test at Tickle, and I took it as a sort of consolation, but I only scored 136. Not exactly top 2% I don't guess. But here's my results profile:

Robin, your Super IQ score is 136

Your overall intelligence quotient is the result of a scientifically-tested formula based on how many questions you answered correctly. But it's only part of what we learned about you from your answers on the test. We also determined the way you process information.The way you think about things makes you a Creative Theorist. This means you are a highly intelligent, complex person. You are able to process information of nearly every kind with ease, using both creativity and analysis to make sense of the world. Compared to others you also have a very rich imagination.
How did we determine that your thinking style is that of a Creative Theorist? When we examined your test results further, we analyzed how you scored on 8 dimensions of intelligence: spatial, organizational, abstract reasoning, logical, mechanical, verbal, visual and numerical. The 3 dimensions you scored highest on combine to make you a Creative Theorist. Only 6 out of 1,000 people have this rare combination of abilities.Find out which 3 intelligence dimensions you scored the highest on and how your IQ score compares to others in your personalized, 31-page Super IQ Report.

They want me to pay for the 31-page report, so I won't be finding out my 3 highest intelligence dimensions. I wonder if those other 5 people are smart enough not to have a chocolate malt for supper if they have a milk allergy.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Call and Response

"Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: but your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear." Isaiah 59:1, 2

This verse was in a responsive reading I read from the Cokesbury Hymnal earlier today. All Methodist hymnals have a responsive reading section in the back, with portions in bold for the pastor to read, and italicized portions for the congregation. Sort of a call-and-response. A typical Methodist service is highly structured and liturgical, with recitation of creeds, the singing of the Doxology and the Gloria Patri, the responsive reading, and communion. The church I grew up in did not use a common cup; we went down to the velvet-padded kneeling bench two pews at a time and drank from tiny glass communion cups that the church ladies washed in the kitchen afterwards. It was a beautiful old church with stained glass windows, high ceilings, and dark wood. My favorite portion of the service was the responsive reading. I learned to read when I was four, and the responsive reading played a large part in that. I use choral reading daily in my own classroom at the beginning of the year to accelerate children's literacy acquisition. I would track the print with my eyes as the pastor read and the congregation responded. When I read this Isaiah verse this afternoon, I was thinking of the unchanging character and attributes of God and I don't understand why people can't see that the Atonement did not change Him in any way. He is still the same in His relationships and dealings with man. I love reading the old testament because of all that it reveals about the character of God and how He relates to His children. And yet what seems to hang people up is their lack of understanding of the Redemption. We who are resurrected, regenerated sons are living in a different kingdom in which there is no death at all. It is an eternal kingdom in which every single thing is eternal. But God Himself has always been eternal, and He has not changed. It just doesn't seem that difficult a concept to me, and yet people will go round and round and round about whether or not a regenerated citizen of the eternal Kingdom can lose his Life. Death cannot strike twice. It's as simple as that. But salvation? That's another matter altogether, and I'll leave it for another day, but I think that even as a small child reading those responsive readings I knew that. I knew that my Friend and I would always be together, always, but that there would often be situations and circumstances from which I'd need salvation that only He could give.

I got the Cokesbury Hymnal from Carr Methodist Church in Smith County, not Lake Methodist Church that I attended as a child. My mother's family has their Weems reunion there every first Sunday in June. Daddy's family was Baptist, and lukewarm at best, but Mama's family was and is and evermore will be staunch Methodists. My great great grandfather sold a mule to donate to the building fund of Millsaps College and most of the family attended there. The Weems House ( is their pride and joy and we hear this story ( told fairly often. I never had any desire to attend Millsaps myself, but Tim was offered a football scholarship there. I tell him that if he'd gone there, maybe I'd have a higher status in the family.

Tonight Tim and I went to my classroom to do some work. He goes with me every year to help with the arranging of furniture and lifting of heavy items. He's going to go back with his tools to move some cubbies and lower some bulletin boards for me. He is so good to me; I don't want to ever take that for granted.

I pulled the old labels off the cubbies, and it was really a difficult thing for me to do. To see those names come off, names of children I love and spent so much time with and made so many memories with. I know the names will be replaced with new ones who will come to mean just as much to me, but still. . .

Today I bought Lizzie a new watercolor paint set. She spent the afternoon painting picture after picture. I just can't help but wonder if her kindergarten teacher will have paint. Children need paint. And how many construction toys will she have, and how much time will she allow the children to play with them. Would it seem intrusive if I bought and donated paint and construction toys? Pattern blocks and tangrams and unifix cubes and gears and puzzles and Legos?

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Not Sparing Words

"Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise; and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding." Proverbs 17:28

When I read this verse in Proverbs this morning, I paused for a while and thought of the value of keeping one's mouth shut, and yet today's entry may be my longest one to date. I finally did what I've been putting off. No, not the Mensa test. I pulled Sylvia Ashton-Warner's "Teacher" off the shelf and started reading it. A ritual I've practiced every July for the past 18 years, once I've read the introduction I'm past the point of no return. The first professional book I ever read, it tells the story of Ashton-Warner's years teaching Maori 5-year-olds in New Zealand. It changed my teaching life before it began. The book taught me to teach children instead of covering content, to let the organic vocabulary of my 6-year-olds determine the direction of the curriculum, to understand that it is the cultivation of a deep relationship that unlocks the mind and releases the tongue.

As I read the book today, I jotted down lines that moved and thrilled me, even more so now than when I first read them all those years ago. Now when I read, I have images in my mind of children, hundreds of children in classroom and playground interactions, that lend credence to the words.

  • There is a comfortable movement from the inner man outward, from the known to the unknown, from the organic to the inorganic. The thing is to keep it a gracious movement, for it is to the extent that the activity in an infant room is creative that the growth of the mind is good.
  • I never teach a child something and then get him to write about it. It would be an imposition in the way that it is in art. A child's writing is his own affair and is an exercise in integration which makes for better work. The more it means to him the more value it is to him. And it means everything to him. It is part of him as an arranged subject could never be. It is not a page of sentences written round set words, resulting in a jumble of disconnected facts as you so often see. It is the unbroken line of thought that we cultivate so carefully in our own writing and conversation.
  • To the extent that a teacher is an artist, and according to Plato there should be no distinction, his inner eye has the native power, unatrophied, to hold the work he means to do. And in the places where he can't see, he has a trust in himself that he will see it, either in time for the occasion or eventually. And he would rather risk a blank in his teaching than expend cash on the middleman. He wants the feel of the glamour of direct engagement. He wants to see in his mind, as he teaches, the idea itself, rather than the page it is written on. He wants to work from conception itself directly upon the children without interference form the image of its record on a book. He wants to work in a way that to him is clear, without conflict and without interception.

It is that last one that both excites and scares the mess out of me right now. I could spend the next couple of weeks doing as others do, writing plans from teacher's guides, collecting word lists, planning units. But I have to wait and see who will be in the class and let their loves, hopes, fears, and fantasies determine the word list. Instead of pig, three, sticks, bricks, straw, our word list might be tire swing, hurricane, Dora, nightmares, Mama, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Barney. I remember one August morning a couple of years ago, all gathered on the rug sharing our most embarrassing moments, Maddie announced that she wanted to share something she could no longer keep to herself. "I've never told anyone before, " she said in a trembling voice, "but I just want you all to know I still like Barney." Connections were made, understanding looks exchanged, community was strengthened, Barney made his way onto the word list and was a good way to introduce r-controlled vowels during the phonics period. No payment to the middleman.

So I can have a vague outline of the day's schedule, and arrange the room to promote interdependence in some areas, autonomy in others. But some things will just have to wait until the children arrive. And, again, while thrilling in some ways, it is frightening in others. I never will have it "figured out". As Ashton-Warner writes, "I'm just a nitwit let loose among children. If only I kept workbooks and made schemes and taught like other teachers I should have the confidence of numbers. It's the payment, the price of walking alone. I've got to do what I believe. And I believe in all I do. It's this price one continually pays for stepping out of line. I'm feeling too old to pay it. But I must do what I believe in or nothing at all."

Well, speaking of embarrassing moments and Barney, I have purple hair today. My hair has been so lifeless lately, I thought it might help to put a wash-in hair color on it to build volume. The picture on the product package looked about right for me, a light brown with blond highlights, but somehow it turned out decidedly purple. Tim says it's auburn and he likes it, so I said okay but would you tell me if you didn't. It's an established fact that he won't. So I have purple hair with great texture and volume.

I finally got my Denver photos developed. I didn't take very many, but I put them together here:

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Flushin' Float

"Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs which He did. But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man." John 2:23-25

I’ve never quite understood exactly what the above verses mean, though I’ve heard people offer explanations a time or two. Lately I’ve been thinking about commitment–the risk involved, of being hurt, etc. But I don’t know how this could play into these verses, if at all.

The week was extremely busy and really hasn’t let up even now. I’m just taking a mowing break to get a little something to eat. I realized around 3:00 that I hadn’t eaten anything yet today, so I had some leftover meatloaf and potatoes and some of the pineapple upside down cake I finally made last night. I really should be at the school working in my classroom–Tim said he’d go and help me work there this weekend–but there are things to be done here, too. Time is running out now, and my list of things-to-do is getting longer. It could take two weeks just to get ready for school, and that’s just one of the things that has to be done.

Thursday night, we went to the William Carey College Dinner Theatre for "Some Enchanted Evening", a musical revue of the songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein. The Carey theatre department is really very good, and we try to go to their productions as often as we can. Sometimes in the summer I go for days at a time without getting dressed, and when I have to finally do it, I blow the task out of all proportion. It takes me hours to settle on an outfit. I finally chose one and put it out on the bed before getting in the tub, and when I got out Lizzie had played in it and left a greasy spot from the Town House crackers she was eating. Hannah, my fashion consultant, vetoed the second outfit, which I thought looked really good, actually-- a white cotton skirt with pink and maroon flowers and a white shirt that tied at the waist. She gave her seal of approval to the third one–beige sweater, beige skirt with orange and pink flowers-- but I asked Tim anyway. Great, he said. You look great. So I asked him if he would say that even if he really didn’t think the outfit looked good on me. He admitted that he would not tell me if he thought the outfit wasn’t right for me. Obviously I won’t be able to ask his opinion of my attire.

I just took an IQ test and I only got 75% of the questions right. I guess I could blame it on the fact that I’ve pushed a mower all day in 95 degree heat, but really those questions were just extremely difficult. If Grady, Bill, Clyde, Joey, and Butch are all standing in a line left to right, and if Butch is third in line but is not standing by Joey or Grady. . . Well, after a few of those, I just guessed. It’s my lowest score yet, and it makes me mad enough to maybe attack the Mensa test sometime this weekend. The summer’s almost over, so I can’t put it off much longer.

Yesterday, I was reading a book and came across the term "Milquetoast". I’ve always heard that used, but never knew its origin so I looked it up. (I’m trying to do better at keeping a notebook with me when I read to write down things I want to look into, or things I notice or wonder about, lines I’d like to remember, and mostly the author’s use of words or terms.) Anyway, it seems Caspar Milquetoast was a comic-strip character with a timid, unassertive nature. Now I know.

I wonder when Lizzie will get over the wreck we had back in January. Every time we go somewhere on a rainy day, she’s a nervous wreck. Yesterday we went to Hattiesburg–it was storming, as it has done here almost every day this summer–and she kept saying, "Who’s going to keep me safe?" We did see a wreck, a car that had lost control and crashed in the median, and that made her cry again. After she calmed down a bit, she asked "Is this a flushin’ float?" I couldn’t figure out what in the world she meant, but finally realized she was trying to say "flash flood". We’ve been watching the weather channel a lot lately and she must’ve heard it there. She does say a lot of funny things. Our pool has algae in it right now, and she keeps asking if the "allergy" is still in the pool. It’s terrible timing, too, because she just had started jumping off the diving board by herself with nobody waiting at the bottom to catch her. She was never timid in the water until this year. I don’t know why, but it has taken her until now to get comfortable in the deep end.

Lizzie will go to school this year, and I am having a big problem with it emotionally. Mama and Daddy send school money to all their grandchildren every year, and this year Lizzie got an envelope, too. It came in the mail today, and I teared up when I got it out of the mailbox. We bought her nap mat yesterday and some school clothes. She’s still my baby.

This morning Tim and I were reading in the living room while the girls were still in bed. He was reading some parables, and I was reading about Rehoboam and Jeroboam and while he was talking to me about the dispersion and the synagogues, an incredibly intense feeling washed over me that I can’t begin to describe. It’s a feeling I’ve been having for years, but the last few weeks it’s been coming more frequently and it’s almost to the point of being physically painful, yet it is a nice feeling. I almost don’t even want to try to name it because I don’t want to use a word that has ever been used before. It’s too good to use a second-hand word for. It’s contentment, satisfaction, peace, love, joy all knit together, as the four of us are knit together. And it’s good to the point of being physically painful.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


"Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. . ." Ephesians 4:13

I have been reading Oswald Chambers' daily devotional since I was 13 years old, and every single day it edifies, exhorts, pierces. There always seems to be a sentence, or maybe two or three, but always one, that shouts at me from the page. Today it was this: "It will be a big humiliation to realize that I have not been concerned about realizing Jesus Christ, but only about realizing what He has done for me."

Today I had to go to USM for a meeting with Kim about inservice and, while there, I went by the Registrar's Office to pick up a transcript so I could figure out what to do about finishing that Master's degree. As soon as I got out of the car and started walking up the sidewalk toward the Kennard Washington building, the panic hit me--shortness of breath, heart palpitations, cold sweat. I go to the university several times a year to work, but walking toward that office I was a student, and I was never a good one. I hated every minute of it. When I was 18 and trying to figure out a major--first biology, then business administration, then out for a semester to think, then finally education--I remember being overwhelmed by it all. I was in the Honors College, taking all honors courses and in way over my head, in class all the time and chemistry lab and biology lab and Spanish lab and I just was taking way too many hours and I could never concentrate on studying because the dorm was so loud and the library still to this very day makes my blood pressure rise. It just all came back to me today, and I really don't know how I'll ever finish the Master's degree, but I'll think of something.

I'd no sooner walked in the door than Art Peterson called to tell me he's working on a piece about my students and me to put in The Voice, a National Writing Project publication. After a couple of phone conversations, we chose Emily's "House on Fire" to feature in the article. She'll be thrilled. It was a good strong piece, and she worked very hard to integrate the feedback from the blog comments.

I still didn't make the pineapple upside down cake, or even supper for that matter. After my meeting with Kim, the conversations with Art, and time I spent reading the stack of articles Kim gave me to look over, I couldn't face the stove. We went to Pizza Hut.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Wind, Sticks, and Merchandise

"He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind. . ." Proverbs 11:29

I read this verse this morning and made a mental note to come back to it sometime during the day and figure out what it means. I never got around to it, though I did note that in the margin of my bible there was a reference to a verse in Ecclesiastes. I do know it was the title of a movie about the Scopes Trial, but I don't think I ever quite figured out the connection to that, either. Then, too, there's the verse about reaping a whirlwind.

The wind from Dennis blew a lot of limbs and sticks onto our lawn, which the girls and I spent a little while this afternoon picking up. We were still out there when Tim came home--early--from work. I'd planned to finish up and come in and put a pineapple upside down cake in the oven to surprise him with, but it's not the same when it's not a surprise, so maybe tomorrow. This summer, I've been watching the Food Network two or three times a week, and it's put me in the mood to cook. Even Iron Chef America is growing on me, although at first I didn't think it would because it just didn't measure up to the original Iron Chef in my estimation. But now I'm warming up to Kitchen Stadium and the chairman.

I still haven't taken the Mensa test but last night I did take the International High IQ Society test. There are five tests to choose from on their site, and if you score in the top five percent on any of the tests, you are eligible for membership in their society. I took the one that measures crystallized intelligence--50 questions in 12 minutes. I scored high enough to gain membership in the High IQ Society, even though the storm was playing havoc with the phone lines, and I was disconnected twice in the middle of the test. I might join, because they have a merchandise page where you can order t-shirts, sweatshirts, canvas bags, lapel pins, ballpoint pens, etc. I don't know if Mensa has merchandise or not. I mean, it's not like I'd actually wear a t-shirt from the High IQ Society out in public or anything, but maybe just a lapel pin to put on my dresser or something would be ok. The Society has a quarterly magazine to which members can submit articles, a chat room, discussion board, and online game tournaments. I don't know, though. I just don't know.

The girls are outside in a tent, with snacks and sleeping bags. That brings back a lot of memories for me. Angela and I did that several times every summer. Daddy would pitch the tent on the basketball court, right outside the door. Sometimes we even stayed all night, but not often. Usually when the snacks were gone and the mosquitoes started biting, we were finished camping.

Saturday, July 09, 2005


"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us." Hebrews 12:1

A few weeks ago, I re-read Pastor Wurmbrand's "Christ on the Jewish Road", a collection of his prison meditations. Pastor Wurmbrand was a Lutheran pastor of Jewish origin who spent fourteen years in Communist prisons in Romania before coming to the West after his freedom was purchased for $10,000 by Christians in Norway in 1964. He had not been here long when I met him. I was thinking about him today because Ricoel posted a link to his website, Voice of the Martyrs, on his forum, along with a free offer for "Tortured for Christ". I have all of Pastor Wurmbrand's books, and I re-read them every year or so. He was truly a witness to the faithfulness of God. I can remember hearing him speak at a church in Birmingham, then riding with him and his wife Sabina back to Uncle Joyner and Aunt Nell's, where they were staying the night. We always went to hear these "witnesses" testify--any time we were close enough to go. We heard Pastor Wurmbrand, Corrie ten Boom, Billy Graham. A few times, I've heard people quote that verse in Hebrews as if they thought the writer was saying that there's this cloud of witnesses looking down on us, witnessing our acts. But that's just plain silly and wrong-headed. Those people, with their very lives, have testified to the faithfulness of God. We are compassed about with a great cloud of them.

Speaking of clouds, we have quite a few coming this way, accompanying Hurricane Dennis. Looks like it'll be pretty rough. It was a beautiful day here today, though. We spent most of it outside, knowing it would be the last sunshine we'd have for a while.

Angela called and told me Morgan is at Camp Wesley Pines. (Surely they'll go and get her before Dennis hits?) That brought back a whole bunch of memories that I thought about while I was cutting grass today. I can't remember how many years we went to camp there when we were little, but I do remember the heat, the sunburn, the mosquitoes, the bad cafeteria food. I'd get homesick as soon as we got there, yet I kept going back every single year. Every minute was planned for us: hiking, swimming, volleyball, music, bible study, vespers. One year when Mama had just started letting me shave my legs, I cut myself in the shower. There was blood everywhere and a plug of skin in the razor and I just wanted to go home. The cut hurt the rest of the week and bled every time we played volleyball, stung in the pool, ached at night in that hot mosquito-infested cabin. At music that year, some man played the guitar every night and he liked to sing I Believe in Jesus to the tune of Mac Davis' I Believe in Music: I believe in Jesus, I believe in love. I believe my leg hurt.

One thing Pastor Wurmbrand wrote in Christ on the Jewish Road is that everyone needs to read the Bible and Shakespeare---the bible to understand God and Shakespeare to understand man. I've been reading Shakespeare this week. The comedies are my favorites. My high school English teacher made us read a lot of Dickens and Shakespeare, and very little else. She only let us read one comedy--The Taming of the Shrew.

I didn't take an IQ test yesterday or today. I think maybe the Mensa encounter frightened me a little. It started out as a lark, a summer pastime, a brain-sharpening exercise. But now I think it's become more than that. Now, I have "a good chance" of passing the Mensa test. Should I stop while I have "a good chance" or should I take the test and, well. . . What if it turns out I'm an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing? Out, out, brief candle.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Death in the Pot

"And it came to pass, as they were eating of the pottage, that they cried out, and said, O thou man of God, there is death in the pot. And they could not eat thereof." II Kings 4:40

I've been eating far too much sugar lately, and there's really no point in it because it's summertime and there's so much life to eat it's ridiculous to choose death. But I'm in a rut, and I have a cake in the oven now. The Odoms gave us two big bags of the finest blueberries I've ever eaten, and I've been having them in my yogurt in the mornings along with some really good blackberries I bought at Wal-Mart. A few minutes ago, I decided the berries would be really good in shortcake, so I stirred up a butter cake and we'll have it with the berries, topped with cool-whip, after supper. Oh, well.

I can't seem to eat sugar in moderation; it's all or nothing. If I go on a sugar fast I feel great, full of energy and thin, and I really don't even miss it after the first 2 or 3 days. I was doing fine until I went to Denver, and they fed us so well all day long, with delicious desserts and snacks. I said no for a day or two and stuck with yogurt, granola, and berries (they did have some healthy selections) but by day 3 I gave in and had cheesecake, six-layer chocolate cake, and cream-filled crepes with chocolate sauce. So now I'm hooked again and feeling sluggish and still, the cake is in the oven.

Today I finally bit the bullet and went to the Mensa site and did their "workout". It's not the actual IQ test--I'm still hesitant about taking that--but it's their practice version. At the end, after I hit submit, the message said I had "a very good score" and a "good chance of passing the Mensa test". Still, I wish it had said I have an excellent chance or that I'm a shoe-in. But no. Just a good chance.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Isn't It Good

I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving. Psalm 69:30

Lizzie and I went to the library today in Collins and checked out several books. In the car, we listened to a new CD I ordered of a group we heard at Disney World. They are an a ccapella men's group, Four For a Dollar, who opened for Beauty and the Beast. I thought they were the very best part of the show. We heard another great group there, too, the Voices of Liberty. They are an excellent a ccapella group of 12 men and women who sing American folk music and patriotic songs. During the performance, one of the singers singled Lizzie out of the crowd and serenaded her with Skip to My Lou, then later in the performance, another singer sang O Susanna to me. I was fine with it until it seemed like he might want me to dance with him, which is not something I do very well.

Anyway, Lizzie's favorite song on the CD is Inside Out and mine is Isn't It Good. Hannah wasn't with us, so we just played our two songs over and over again, and now I can't get them out of my head. Here's mine: Oh, well. I thought I could post a link to the audio clip, but it didn't work out. I need to make a note to figure out how to do that.

Today's IQ test was really different. The items were just not even close to most IQ test items I've seen. My score was okay, but not great. The problem with the timed tests is that I have the ringing phone and the questioning children to contend with while I'm working. Response time is figured into your score.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Free to Serve

Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. Romans 6:18

Yesterday at the Y, John took us to Acts 22 and we discussed the portion in which Paul told the centurion he was a free born Roman citizen and how people sometimes try to take the Bible to the courthouse instead of the constitution. That led to a discussion of kingdoms and their constitutions, and we ended up in Romans 6.

I was reading in a magazine some interviews with descendants of famous Americans. One that really struck me was something quoted by Paul Revere's great, great, great, and some more greats granddaughter. She said she never is bothered when people speak against the government because Paul Revere was part of a secret society to overthrow the government. I think maybe there is not a very good understanding sometimes of what it means to be a patriot, just as in my profession of teaching there is not a good understanding of what it means to be a professional. It bothers me.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

The Voice

I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live. Psalm 116:1, 2

This is something I will never get over: that the Maker of heaven and earth listens to my voice--hath inclined his ear unto me--and that I can call upon him as long as I live. The reality of that casts out fear, brings peace. But an even greater reality is that He speaks to me. He not only listens; He speaks. And that reality is somehow even more effective at casting out fear, doubt, uncertainty. The only fear I have is that of noise. I hate noise. Hate it. The noise of a television, radio, ringing telephone, people talking about nothing. They are all intrusions.

Along those same lines, I was thinking of responding to something Ricoel wrote on a new blog site he started. Something about what do you see as your role in the Body? I know there are people who struggle with that, who are always searching for "the will of God for their lives". I don't wish to make fun of that, but that is not at all my experience or my understanding of Life. At least a few times a month, this verse comes to me:"David served his generation and slept with his fathers." How do you serve your generation? How are you all things to all people that you might save some? The only way to do that is to get up every morning and live through each day listening for His voice to guide you. That is the calling of each of us. Jesus one day was called to ride into Jerusalem to shouts of Hosanna; on another day He was called to spit on a blind man, on another to be spat upon, on another to call the Pharisees vipers, on another to stand before his accusers as dumb, on another to die.

Rachel announced this morning that Anjie will be home from Spain on Wednesday. My heart did thrill when I heard the news. We've missed her so much.

This morning on the way into Hattiesburg, Tim was telling me about a young fellow named Ernest who visits with him at one of his accounts and asks for snacks. I wish I could see him. From the description, I think it might be the Ernest I taught my first year of teaching.