Some Thoughts of Late

  1. I’m not really sure that this title makes sense
  2. I really love my class
  3. I still miss my old class
  4. They miss me-mostly because I made them pancakes:)
  5. My new class LOVES it when I read The BFG to them
  6. I have more ESL students than I ever thought I’d have
  7. I have a kid named Freddie who cracks me up to the core (I’m sure you’ll hear more about him)
  8. My friend’s dad passed away from cancer this morning…
  9. I’m really tired and trying to get over a cold
  10. Tonight I spilled coffee ALL OVER my shirt…sad
  11. It’s fun mentoring teachers!  This year I’m an official mentor for 2 teachers-one that I informally mentored her first year, and one that’s brand new!
  12. It’s fun being officially mentored!  I’ve had such a great experience watching Brian and Susan come into my classroom and show me how to do some of the things they’ve been talking about.  What a cool thing to see myself becoming better, just because of that!
  13. As I’m growing into a better teacher, not only year by year, but (now) week by week, I realize how much I’ve really changed from my first year teaching.  I’ve been making so many statements about things like curriculum and management and following them up with, "If First-Year-Teacher-Kim would’ve heard Fifth-Year-Teacher-Kim say that, she would’ve thought she was crazy…and maybe wanted to punch her in the face!"  It’s hilarious how much my perspective has changed.  I’m currently fighting to get the kid that barely speaks English and has zero parent support at home (who recently punched a girl in the face) into my class!  Honestly, what’s happened to me?  🙂
  14. Tomorrow I get to take a girl’s senior pictures!
  15. I wish that I had more time to write right now-perhaps I’ll continue later.

40 Years Part 2

I had to add this as a "part 2"…

I just picked up this journal that I’m required to write in, for my project at school and read my first entry.  It was in response to my friend’ blog entry here. (Katie’s always inspiring me:)  And while this is something that I actually wrote, back on June 7, I really didn’t remember it as I was at the prayer meeting last night.  Here’s a snippet:

"Perhaps some healing will take place on this 40th anniversary.  Perhaps a family that is living in continual hatred of another race will choose to forgive…perhaps another family will ask forgiveness.  Perhaps a group of 20(and 30)-somethings will realize that even though we were never a part of the bigotry and hatred of the 60’s (or any other time period, for that matter), we’re almost no better by ignoring the oppressed of our city, in this new day."

That’s what I actually wrote, and maybe if I blogged it I would’ve changed the way I said a few things, but I’m glad I got those thoughts down when I did.

And what’s even cooler, is that we’re going to be sharing tomorrow, in our meetings, some of the things we wrote about!  And wouldn’t you know…tomorrow is the actual anniversary of the riots.  Perhaps God will stir something in our hearts, or at the very least, plant a seed;)  Please pray for transformation.

40 Years

I won’t try to claim to know all there is about the history of Detroit, but I did finally Detroit_riotlearn a little something about it a couple months ago. 

40 years ago "the Detroit riots" took place.  They started on a Saturday night-July 23, 1967. 

When I first started working at a school in Detroit 4 years ago, I’d heard about how there were riots that forever changed Detroit.  I’d heard that the city had never been the same again, and that some were still bitter about them…that healing was desperately needed.

Last night I had the opportunity to pray and worship with a group of people at Solid Rock church in Detroit.  It was an awesome time spent, confessing, repenting and praying over the great city of Detroit.  In addition to the pastor the church, there were other pastors leading us in prayer, including mine

Some thoughts I gathered from the Holy Spirit (through a word from a speaker, or from my own heart):

  • it’s been 40 years since this horrific event occurred…and it was also 40 that the Israelites wandered in the desert; the 40 years is up!
  • we are a city of champions (y’all better eat your Wheaties!)
  • God has given me to His city (PB says this often, but it was definitely reinforced last night)
  • with all the talk of racism, my heart breaks for Hamtramck…and God showed me the faces of all my amazing work friends that are tight with Him…we’ve got to begin praying together!
  • as we prayed for families, I realized the privilege of having well over a hundred kids’ faces (and families) to choose from and cry out to the Lord on their behalf-just because I don’t teach ’em anymore, doesn’t mean that God’s not still broken over them
  • God is full of mercy and Jesus’ blood covers the sins of our city-even the sins that are currently blatant
  • "If You can use anything (city) Lord, You can use me(Detroit)."…remember the song?  Wouldn’t it make so much sense for God to use a city that’s known for racism, crime, fatherless homes and crappy education to rise up in our country?  I definitely don’t think that God favors Detroit over other cities, but I do think that God loves to make His glory known through impossible circumstances.  And from that perspective, doesn’t D-town seem like a perfect candidate?

I really love this city and I pray that I don’t stop at the level of love that I currently have.  God, please let this (com)passion explode!  For someone that’s only been here for 5 years, I’m kind of surprised at how big this is in my heart right now and how it makes me cry out…But, God, is so holy and He wants this city to be holy.  I think He’s up for the challenge! 🙂

Prayer Walk

I decided to take my LifeGroup on a prayer walk through a neighborhood in Southfield tonight. 

The biggest thing that I felt the Lord speak to my heart was that I needed to do this in my own neighborhood…every week…at least once a week…and that I should encourage others to do the same.

Pray for transformation and life change.  Pray for bondages to be broken.  Pray for people to do flips for Jesus.  Pray for your own boldness to speak love and truth to others.  Pray against apathy, both for Christians and non-Christians.

Go for a walk around your neighborhood, and pray. 

Freedom to Fail

I read an e-votional this morning with this story and thought I’d share it. 

A young man of
thirty-two was appointed President of a large, well-established bank.
He’d never dreamed he would be president, much less at such a young
age. Therefore, he approached the Chairman of the Board, a man known
for his wisdom, and asked, "You know, I’ve just been appointed
President. I was wondering if you could give me some advice." The old
man came back with just two words, "Right decisions!" The young man had
hoped for a bit more than this, so he said, "That’s really helpful, and
I appreciate it, but can you be more specific? How do I make right
decisions?" The wise old man simply responded,
"Experience." The young man said, "Well, that’s why I am here. I don’t
have the kind of experience I need. How do I get it?" The final and
somewhat terse reply came, "Wrong decisions!"

Ever since I was in
junior high I’ve always loved to be in charge of something.  Some might
think that means I like to be bossy, others might say "in control" and
others might recognize that as leadership.  I suppose each one could
certainly be true in its own way, but I’d like to think that over time
people (usually pastors) in my life were developing me to be a leader,
and not to be bossy or in control.  (Perhaps they saw something in
me:)  I’m grateful for all the learning environments I’ve been blessed
with these past fourteen years. 

One of the greatest things about these environments has been the freedom to fail…to learn through making wrong decisions.  Nobody wants to make wrong decisions, but unfortunately, for me at least, I make my fair share of them.  Just yesterday someone asked me, point blank, how my prayer life for my ministry was going.  I had to be honest and say that it hasn’t been what it should’ve been…wrong decision.  Oh, it wasn’t a wrong decision that I shared it, but it was a wrong decision to let my prayers shrink in my life (and for something I’m so passionate about!).  He could’ve told me what an awful leader I’d been because of that and that he needed to find someone better to lead that ministry, but I’m grateful to know that I’ve been given the freedom to fail…I definitely need to come back strong though. 

It’s good for me to have people in my life who allow room for this type of freedom.  I think it’s often hard to allow ourselves to have this.  Even if we’re not perfectionists (which I’m not), we don’t want to fail.  We don’t want to fall down.  We want to do it right the first time around and not have to go back to the starting line.  The fact of the matter is that if we never allow ourselves the freedom to fail we will go through life dragging ourselves around with a "woe is me, I’m a failure…nobody should want to be around a failure such as I" attitude…and we’ll never take God-ordained risks.

In conclusion (this is how my students would start a closing paragraph;), try not to fail, but liberate yourself from the fear of wrong decisions.  Even as I read that last sentence, it’s much easier said than done, but aren’t you glad that God can be the source our "trying not to fail"?  🙂 

Have an awesomely, freeing day.

Week Of War

…no kidding! 
War
I’m enjoying our time spent on prayer and fasting as a church each month during W.O.W. week.  We’ve
got prayer meetings that are energized by the what the Holy Spirit is doing in us personally, a whole gathering devoted to worship and prayer (this week we have 2!) and a focused mission, that for a week we will push aside our flesh and depend upon Jesus to move in us through that.

Paul tell us in Ephesians-

13-18Be prepared. You’re up
against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you
can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but
the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace,
faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them.
You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable
weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare.
Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes
open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops
out.

I’m definitely "up against far more than [I] can handle on [my] own."  I’m happy to utilize whatever weapons of destruction  I can against the enemy of my soul and the souls of others.  The past couple  of day have been such hard days for me for a few reasons, those of which I’m not going to share.  I felt so stressed and burnt out, and all I wanted to do was curl up in a ball, cry and go to bed.  Thankfully God smacked me out that, but I could definitely sense the spiritual warfare surrounding me.  There was a battle going on for my mind, my heart, my body and eventually even my soul. 

By the end of the day, yesterday, I only actually cried a few tears 🙂 and I went to bed with confidence of victory in my life.  When I woke up this morning I knew that the stress was still there and I thought, "Yep!  It certainly is a Week of War!"  There is no irony in that.  But I am so glad that through praise and prayer my heart, my mind, my body and my soul are all still in guarded in His hands.   

But, a week of war…yes, indeed.