In the Heart of Harvey: Destruction Creates Hope

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As of the last measurement, Friendswood, Texas has received 49.23 inches of rain during the deluge of Hurricane Harvey.  As many of your are aware, this has caused massive flooding in the Friendswood area and throughout Houston.  The creeks, our natural drainage system in Friendswood, are all at record flood stage.  Over 30% of the city’s homes are under water, and that number could continue to rise.  Parts of the city are totally cut off from emergency services.  It is the definition of a disaster.

Many other parts of Houston and the surrounding areas have lost everything.  As we speak, there are several communities going through mandatory evacuations.  There are concerns over rising rivers, structural levees, and continued release of waters from Houston’s reservoirs.

We have seen rescues by air, water, and boat.  We have seen total strangers come from hundreds of miles away just to give a helping hand.  We have seen communities come together even in the midst of the storm.

I’ve had the privilege of serving in Friendswood, Texas as a principal and teacher for the last 14 years of my life.  God led me to Friendswood to serve at Lord of Life Lutheran School.  I long for the days of being back in the classroom teaching a history lesson.

However, through these last few days one thing has become evident to me.  Through all of the devastation, destruction, and chaos, our God reigns!

There is this truly proud, American mindset that we will pick ourselves up and that we will rebuild and we will come together as a community to move forward.  It is an American thing.  It is a Texan thing.  But it is also a God thing.

The underlying knowledge that we have something that is more powerful than the awe-inspiring nature that has been on display for nearly a week.  The knowledge that God is watching over and caring for us on an individual basis.

It is one thing to say that God cares about people.  It is all the more humbling to think that God cares about _____________ (fill in that blank with your name).  Through this storm, He knew every worry, every struggle, and every situation.

Watching the news reports on television, how can we not come out of this with a sense of hope?  Seeing stranger help stranger.  Seeing boat after boat lined up on the street to go help.  Seeing a convention center full of food, clothing, and volunteers.

Hope overcomes all.  God overcomes all.  God is the source of all of our hope.

Continued prayers for all who are affected by the devastation in Houston.  For many, the worst is yet to come.  The rivers are rising, the bayous are rising, the reservoirs are backing up.

Our hope is there, our hope is unchanging.  Our hope rests in Him.

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Bringing Literature & Writing to Life

Having a challenging time bringing some life to your literature and writing classes this last month of the school year?

One of my favorite activities to use is a comic strip creator available through PC, Apple, or Android.

We just created our own comics last week in literature class.  The students created their own graphic novel written in the style of the popular thriller series, Goosebumps.  The students loved it, and it has caused some of them to delve into the series further.

Check out this handy graphic organizer, and start your students on their own comic today!

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An Encouragement for the Month of May

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It’s May!  How did that happen 🙂  It often surprises me how quick the end of the school year comes up as we prepare for the last month of school and into summer.

Often, the month of May is the most challenging month of the school year.  Typically, this has nothing to do with the material covered.  It is more to do with the temptations that come along with the last month of the school year.  The temptation, as a student, to slack off, to rush through assignments, or to simply give up.

These challenges remind me of the following quote…

“The important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle.”

There have been many triumphs through the course of this school year.  I see triumphs in individual students with their progress through material, relationships, and responsibility.  I see triumphs in how supportive many parents are of the education that Lord of Life offers.  I see triumphs in our teaching staff who works tirelessly every night in preparing for classes.  I see triumphs through the smiles on the faces of our students as they hear about their Savior, and what he has done for them.

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God Made You

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As teachers, every day we wear so many different hats.  Often times those hats may be tattered and heavy, and it may seem as we are making no progress in the lives of these children and their families.

The following story is a small encouragement for all of us that we are making a difference for His Kingdom each and every day.

 

A friend of ours was walking down a deserted Mexican beach at sunset. As he walked along, he began to see another man in the distance. As he grew nearer, he noticed that the local native kept leaning down, picking something up and throwing it out into the water. Time and again he kept hurling things out into the ocean. 

As our friend approached even closer, he noticed that the man was picking up starfish that had been washed up on the beach and, one at a time, he was throwing them back into the water. 

Our friend was puzzled. He approached the man and said, “Good evening, friend. I was wondering what you are doing.” 

“I’m throwing these starfish back into the ocean. You see, it’s low tide right now and all of these starfish have been washed up onto the shore. 

If I don’t throw them back into the sea, they’ll die up here from lack of oxygen.” 

“I understand,” my friend replied, “but there must be thousands of starfish on this beach. You can’t possibly get to all of them. There are simply too many. And don’t you realize this is probably happening on hundreds of beaches all up and down this coast. Can’t you see that 

you can’t possibly make a difference?” 

The local native smiled, bent down and picked up yet another starfish, and as he threw it back into the sea, he replied, “Made a difference to that one!”

Is History Dead in Your Classroom?

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“History is philosophy teaching by examples.”

That quote is attributed to the great Athenian general and historian, Thucydides.  We all know the old saying, “those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.”  While true, the quote from Thucydides gives that saying true gravity.  History not only teaches us about the past, it teaches us about ourselves.  It teaches us the principle that everything throughout history has a grand purpose and plan laid out by our Creator.

So this bears the question, do you find yourself in a history teaching rut?  Do you find yourself repeating endless lessons without flavor and life?  Do you spend too many days assigning text without context or meaning?

Don’t feel ashamed, we’ve all been there.

I’ve got good news, you can bring history to life immediately.  Allow me to share just a few ideas and a little background on myself.

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