Sunday, December 19, 2010

The International High School in Austin Texas


Michelle and I had some money saved for the end of the year giving campaign. We were at The Austin Stone Community Church last weekend and they had a section in the bulletin for “Giving”. The International High School was listed as needing 140 food baskets. The original goal listed 3 weeks earlier was 150. Knowing this is where there was a definite need, Michelle and I started researching the opportunity. We quickly found why only 10 food baskets were filled; it was not an easy task to get the baskets filled. There was shopping involved, you could not donate money or give a gift card, you had to actually buy all the requested items. The list included: Items to feed a family of 5 to include a Turkey, Ham or vegan substitute, potatoes, stuffing, vegetables, onions, celery, chicken stock, cranberry sauce, bread, fruit and dessert. I set out to do my best to fulfill the list on Monday. The folks at the local HEB thought I was crazy. There were plenty of sales and I was able to save a lot of money. As Michelle was sleeping (She works nights) I grabbed as much as I could and headed to the check out. After getting things loaded in boxes, I remembered that I drove the convertible, not the truck. Surprisingly we were able to get everything loaded with no room to spare. The International High School was close to the HEB I was at, which is why I shopped there. I left the parking lot to make the quick 5 mile trip, just off Oak Knoll. My GPS brought me right to the International School. I walked in and asked for the school counselor, the administrative assistant said “Nobody by that name works here” I soon found out I was looking for the International High School not the International School. I checked my Droid and got the address for the real International High School. 18 miles away, luckily I had some time, so I headed that way. 40 minutes later I arrived at what looked like Clint Middle School. I assumed the International High School was close by. Google searches are never wrong, right? WRONG. At this point I am getting irritated. The AISD police officer did not know where the school was, nor did anyone at Clint Middle School. Back to the droid and modify the search. I find a new address, type it into my GPS and head out. I called the International High School for the 10th and final time and once again I got the answering machine. My phone rang when I was about 4 miles away from the destination on my GPS; it was the counselor from the International High School finally. I was greeted by 6 staff members when I arrived. They helped me unload the car and invited me in to get a quick tour of the school. I was amazed at the passion of the teachers and staff. I was told that out of 187 total students only 4 are NOT on free or reduced lunch. Most students struggle with English and some do not know how to add and subtract. All students are expected to keep the standards of the school district. Most 9th grade students take Algebra, these students can’t add, imagine being expected to keep the same standards. I can’t lie; they made me feel like a rock star. I felt guilty taking the credit. The glory belongs to God not me. It did make me think of the need for so much, right under our noses; I wonder how many people know of this need? I didn’t.

Monday, December 6, 2010

WIKILEAKS AND SECRETS

So my son approached me yesterday and asked what I thought about the recent wiki-leaks scandal that is going on. He asked if I thought that telling these secrets was good or bad. I explained that I thought the government should be able to keep secrets, it could save animosity if certain secrets were leaked. He seemed surprised and very irritated with my answer. He stormed away calling me a communist fool and promised to bring me a German swastika. I then wondered, what if wiki-leaks published something about him? An intimate secret perhaps? I remember his disambiguation when his sister invited one of his 2 girlfriends at the time, in on his secret double life he was living, courting both girls at the same time. I am sure this is one of many secrets he wished had not leaked. I then wondered, why is it not OK to share your secrets, but it is OK to hear others? In Mathew Chapter 12 it says "people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” I also found this in Hebrews Chapter 4;
Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
This made me wonder, what are the thoughts and intentions of his heart? What untold secrets does he hold about the way he feels about me? You tell me, is it OK to tell secrets?

Inspiration, positive and negative

I have been busy the past few weeks. I built a wood shed recently. It is not finished yet, I still need to put the shingles on it and touch up some painting but all in all it is completed. Now I can take my someone behind my woodshed to teach them who is boss. My spiritual life seems to be less active lately. Michelle and I have joined a Missional Community Group with some friends who live close by. We started going about 2 weeks ago. I think it has been great for Michelle, as well as me to get ourselves linking up with a smaller group to share His word. AlanMichael is on fire as usual. We had a sermon last week on The History of Redemption. It was an inspiring sermon as every word the pastor spoke came from the bible. AlanMichael is now determined to memorize this scriptural redemption and is doing quite well with it. He plans on memorizing it in 6 months. I was going through some books last night and have decided to start reading "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan again. It is an inspiring read, and I feel I need inspiration lately. Jennifer, Chris and the grandbabies came to The Austin Stone Community Church with us yesterday. I am not sure if they enjoyed it or not. I try not to ask, it usually stirs a debate. I remember asking my Dad once what he thought of a sermon. He said nothing positive about it except he was impressed someone could talk so long. Inspiration comes in so many ways, both positive and negative. I looked to the bible for inspiration and found this;

Psalm 42:5-6

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.