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Andy Grammer

Thanks to a wonderful friend, I’ve been listening to a new selection of music the last couple of weeks. One of the artist she shared was Andy Grammer; but to be honest, I didn’t choose to listen to it until this week because I didn’t like the look of the cover…. I’m hooked. My favorite today is: The Pocket and Ladies

Just felt like sharing. 🙂

Mark 5 Notes

So I have to lead Bible Study tonight and my lesson is pretty much my life at the moment. Since I have failed at posting about anything, I figured I could at least post my outline. I encourage you, since you’re already reading this, to stop and get your Bible. Follow along as you read.

Start with YouTube video- (keep in mind the various reactions), then go around in a circle and each person read a paragraph until we’re done with the chapter 5.

-What are the three distinct stories being told here in this chapter?

Demon-possessed man, Jairus’ daughter, sick woman

-What similar themes do you see in each of theses stories?

Share

-Demon Man

  • People’s response to the man: vs 3-outcast, bond, forsaken
  • Jesus’ response to the man: vs 9- what is your name
  • Demon man’s response to Jesus: vs 6-ran and fell before his feet, acknowledging who Jesus is. (the demons KNOW!)
  • People’s response to Jesus: vs 15-17- afraid, pleaded with Jesus to leave! (What is their reaction to the man?)
  • Man’s response to Jesus’ leaving: begged to come with

Jairus

  • Response to Jesus: vs 22-23-Saw and fell before his feet, pleaded
  • Jairus’ friends and family’s response to Jesus: vs 40- laughed at him

-Sick Woman

  • Response to being noticed by Jesus: vs 33- fell before his feet trembling with fear

How do you respond to Jesus? Who do you identify with?

Do you treat the time you spend reading your Bible or in prayer like you’ve fallen at the feet of Jesus?

I don’t. Why not? What did the Demons know that we don’t? They know the identify of Jesus. (Look back at the last chapter, last verse: Mark 4:41- “Who is this?”) This is the same question I’ve been asking myself recently. Do I fear Jesus the way these people did? Enough to fall at his feet trembling?

Proverbs 9:11-The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.  But this fear is different from the kind the women in the elevator or the country people experienced. (2 Timothy 1:7)  A fear that doesn’t push Jesus back into the boat, but causes you to come back like the sick woman and fall at Jesus feet in worship.

Is there anything that is causing you to resist, to push Jesus away?

Yesterday I was listening to a song and the lyrics caught me: “All that I have ever had, and all that I have now become- Is all for you Jesus.” But what if what I’ve been or what I am now is not a gift I want to give him? My shame makes me want to push Jesus away.

But… someone read: Matthew 9:11-13- He already knows my shame and guilt and that didn’t stop him from choosing death for me.  He knew it all, still choose to come, suffer, rise again, all so that I might be able to answer the question, “Who is he?” in a personal way.  I invite you to come with me and discover who Jesus; who God is. What is your response to Jesus going to be?

Anything else someone would like to share from the chapter?

Prayer: Partner up and share a prayer request, pray with your sister/brother.

Aquetzalli

Almost a month has passed since my last updated….. sorry.

Briefly, here are a few updates.

1. Completed the first day of parent-teacher conferences! It was a packed day, but I believe a positive and beneficial day. Thank God for parents who are patient and open to ways we can work together to teach their child!

2. Went canyoneering with a student, her dad, and a group of other adventurers. IT WAS SO AMAZING! In a short sentence, we went: hiking, swimming, jumping, sliding, crawling down a river a few hours outside of Guadalajara. I could do that every weekend.

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3. Adventured out to a new beach with my brave roommate Abby.  I’m so blessed to live with her.  True to our terrible luck camping it began raining the first night and continued to rain for the next 24 hours. Despite the rain and chill, we managed to have one glorious day of sun, swimming in turquoise blue water, thoughtful conversations, and hiking.  We ended our weekend a day early and headed home; but not before strolling around Barra de Navidad chopping on licorice while sporting fake mustaches.

4. Rediscovered my love of the kitchen. I taught “Author’s Purpose” this week in my class and decided to make each of my student’s their own little apple empanada instead of a big pie. I spent a couple of hours in the kitchen and didn’t even realize it, it was beautiful.

5. Lastly, God is daily showing me how faithful he is. To the point of stopping me in my tracks each day as I realize that this year is going to be one difficult day after difficult day; and yet, God is constant in providing a moment of encouragement, a friends kind word, or thoughtful conversation. It’s always something and I’m humbled as I continue to trust in his purposes.

Update!

5th grade, year two. . . I really haven’t written much these last couple months primarily because this year has been tough.  When I have time to blog, I’m usually tired and often frustrated.

First, I still love teaching and Lincoln; and I especially love my students. They have some of the most creative personalities. With their creativeness comes energy, but some days though. . . it is straight up disrespect and disregard for instructions. Sometimes I catch myself wondering what was the point in even giving the instructions. Or even wondering what is the point of teaching this period. I want to challenge them but they don’t listen. How can I provide challenging activities if they are always choosing to not follow instructions?

Then, the 2×4 hit me over the head last week.  At an especially frustrating moment, I felt God speak into my thoughts and say, “Exactly Lisa.  This is exactly what I feel with you. You’re so stubborn, so disobedient, you’re so rude to me. I give you instructions, speak love into your life, but you don’t actively listen. You have ears but don’t hear.  Your disobedience is always before me, repent, obey, and see the way I will work through you!”

I think God gave me this class this year, in order that I might have a glimpse into His frustration with me. And as the year has only begun, I’m sure God will have a lot to say about they way I live.

So, I’ve been struggling though this the last several weeks and have actively been trying to give each today to God and ask his presence and wisdom in my room.  This morning started off rough with a particularly challenging student after he chose to disregard my instructions and then lied to me about it. He made it a point to say that he didn’t “lie” he only told half of the truth. (insert eye roll) I just felt so disappointed in that moment. I tried to talk it through with him, but I could see he had his wall up and was just trying to come up with possible excuses. I have a policy that if student’s change their behavior they can work back into the positive, and Emilio really turned things around after that point. Last period we have Bible class and I had them work in partners to go through some of the book questions. I don’t usually go though workbook pages, but I’m so glad I did today. While they were working in the book I just strolled between picnic tables and answered questions and talked about the verses with them.  I came to his table and they were stuck on Isaiah 14:12-15.  The questions asked the students to identify what phrase Satan said over and over and try to define what sin/attitude he had.  With a little guidance, he understood immediately Satan’s pride and we were able to relate it back to student’s pride in the classroom.  That pride is having an attitude that what he (and other students) do and say is more important that the instructions given, or someone sharing in class. I showed him the choice that Satan had and that we have each day. A choice to be obedient and humble before God, or a choice to exalt ourselves above God, proudly saying we know best.  I really think he got it; he remained quiet the rest of the day, and seemed to be in his own world thinking.

Later in class I addressed the same questions identifying who and where Satan came from. I illustrated their choice and compared it to Satan’s.  I held up a piece of clay, someone was at that moment playing with, and asked them how they would feel/respond if the piece of clay started shouting, “I’m going to be more powerful than you! You don’t know me!” The class exploded in laughter, further emphasizing how ridiculous that would be. How could a made object claim to be more powerful, more knowledgeable, more important than its maker?  God didn’t laugh though when Satan rebelled against him, he certainly doesn’t laugh when we choose to rebel against him.

From the beginning of time until now, the choice is still the same, the attitudes are still the same.  Choose to humbly submit before your creator or proudly exalt that you are know better.

Once again, I don’t know how much of that lesson God was directing for my students but was aimed at me. Bethany sent me this today, not even knowing I was going to post this today. So perfect. 🙂

Something I read. . . .

With what shall I come before the Lord
and bow down before the exalted God?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
with ten thousand rivers of olive oil?
Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6: 6-8

Viva Mexico! and the never-ending adventures this wonderful country offers.

September 16, 1810 Miguel Hidalgo rang his church bell calling Mexican’s all over the country to fight for their independence from Spain. Although this event took place on the 16, most places celebrate with reenactments of his speech on the 15th. Having already experienced a Grito, myself and four other girls decided to head outside the city for some good ol’ fashioned nature.  About 45 minutes from where we live is a mountain, it’s more of a boulder outcrop, that is known as a great place to hike and spend day.  Since we have a long weekend, we decided that it would be fun to try to camp there for a night as well.  So we loaded up a few processions, food, and cameras and headed north.

WE ARE NOT EXPERIENCED HIKERS.

We began our hike with our backpack but didn’t have a plan about where we were going to camp.  We hiked around and finally found a grassy knoll on the top of the bolder mountain.  It was beautiful!  The problem was that it was pretty much the furthest we could get from our car, up at the top of the mountain while our tents, water, and food was still in the car. Fail. While we were searching around for our perfect camping spot, Shelia and Chelsea were having a good conversation with another hiker. He happened to be hiking up a similar direction and chatted with us while we walked. Initially we didn’t really want a random guy coming along with us, but as we stopped to have a drink the conversation turned towards experimenting with marijuana and explaining why we don’t use drugs. Shelia was doing a fantastic job talking in Spanish and so we decided to leave Chelsea and Shelia together; while Ginny, Abby, and I descended the mountain to retrieve the remaining items for our camp site.

The descent down the mountain was strenuous. We left our packs hidden in some tall weeds, and carefully scaled down the rock faces. When we got back to the car, we realized there was no way we could carry everything up, and since we had left our packs in a hidden place we didn’t have appropriate bags to carry up the stuff. Fail a second time. To top it off we left a couple of our empty water bottles with our packs. Using a trash bag and the fantastically large bag Laura gave me, we carried up the remaining supplies. By the time we had returned, Shelia and Chelsea had finished their conversation and we set up camp.  We enjoyed a favorite Chiapas meal of can beans, salsa, and tortillas while watching the sun disappear behind the clouds and mountains. We started a fire and simply enjoyed the conversation and distant rolls of thunder. What a perfect ending to our hike or so we thought. Fearing it may rain and potential animals during the night we packed everything up and hung it in a tree and looked for a safe place to run in case a flash flood happened upon us. At 10:50pm it began to rain and continued to rain until about 5:50am.  7 hours! Without much-needed explanation I’m sure you can imagine our conditions.  There were three of us in my two person tent and trying not to touch the sides was impossible.  Needless to say, we all ended up soaked, cold, and completely unable to sleep.  The hours passed slowly, but morning eventually came. After a long night, we were ready to pack up our soaking things and get down the mountain, into the car and to the nearest place with chilaquiles.  I wish I had a camera as I opened the tent flap.

Need I say anything? We ended up staying put for a few hours to give the sun time to clear some fog and dry the ground. The wait was breathtaking.  I could sit and enjoy that view every day for the rest of my life. I just wandered from the group, found a rock and sang worship songs for a while. I even made up my own.  It wasn’t long before others joined me and soaked in rolling and wisping waves of fog.  After packing up camp we descended, choosing each step very carefully. It was a beautiful walk down, if not a little stressful.  When we reached the car, we couldn’t have been happier to take off our soaked shoes and drink a huge glass of water.

Here are just a few pictures of our scenic adventure. Despite the cold, wet, sleepless night I could do this every weekend. Really, my heart already aches to go back to our boulder mountain already.

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“Even in the dark you can still see the light”-What happens if the people who are supposed to be the light don’t look any different from those who are in the darkness?

“Love will hold us together to weather the storm”-But what if I love myself more than I love anyone else?

“I’ll be my brother’s keeper, so the whole world will know that we’re not alone.”- Even if looking after my brother means I have to confront them about sin?

It’s easy to sing a song, but not so easy to live the lyrics.
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On another note, tonight I went to a memorial party for a friend’s mom who died recently. Death is something that I’ve so little experienced and yet feel so at peace with. I’ve recently thought a lot about death and if dying here in Mexico is something that could happen, but whenever and however it happens I know that someday I will die. Someday I will be united with my creator, provider, comforter, savior, father, my God. I long to really know him and that makes me wish this life would pass, but at the same time cling here knowing that there are so many people who don’t know the peace and joy I experience.

I want them to experience the forgiveness and goodness of my God, and my heart is torn knowing they don’t.  I can come up with excuse after excuse why I don’t and haven’t boldly shared my faith, but ultimately one day we will both start before God’s judgement seat.  I see their faces looking over at me and asking, “You were my friend, why didn’t you tell me about your faith?” “Why were you content to let me suffer this eternal punishment?” Will my Christian friends look at me ask similar questions? Will I ask my closest friends, “Why did you allow me to continue in this sin? Why didn’t you confront me?”

Tonight at the party, before they released balloons they sang a few famous Beatles’ lyrics, “All you need is love” and I couldn’t help but think that those words are so true, but that the people couldn’t be further from the truth.  We need and are offered the best and only satisfying love. It isn’t our love for those who died, or our love for those who remain with us, but Christ’s sacrificial love.  His love that lead to his death, which allowed for our punishment to be fulfilled. His love that redeems’ my life and offers forgiveness.  His love that allows me to experience peace, joy, and the freedom to love.  His love. His love, that I’m suppose to reflect. Would anyone there know the hope I have from having a conversation with me?  I know many of the people there tonight would not claim any relationship with God, and I can’t stop thinking about them.

So I agree with the lyrics tonight. “All we need is love,” but it’s a very specific love that we need.

John 3:16-Do you believe it? Than I encourage you to do something about it.