Drinking Deeply

Monday, January 20, 2014 at 10:09 AM

Quote from Chesterton

G.K.  Chesterton, describing the life of Francis of Assisi and his sense of gratitude and dependence:  "All goods look better when the look like gifts."  (Saint Francis of Assisi, 59)

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at 7:31 AM

Jaime Escalante

I saw "Stand and Deliver" the other day, an excellent movie about Jaime Escalante, a high school teacher in the inner city LA during the 80s.  Because of his drive (and the people around him), the math sections of the school gradually rise out of a sea of low expectations and achieve dramatically more than anyone could have hoped.  

He has a boatload of personality and zeal, a great deal of "presence." This comes with its own costs - he has difficulty winning over the school administration, some students can't stand his style. Yet his strengths and success are evident - a deep love for the students and a willingness to put himself on the line for them. He pushes the school and the students to achieve far beyond what is expected of them - to pursue a concrete goal of succeeding on the AP Calculus exam. The results are striking. Not only do a great many students at the school pass the AP Calc exam, but a large percentage move up and out of the inner city and become successful members of society, citing the math program's influence.

I loved the movie, and even more the book (Escalante: The Best Teacher in America by Jay Mathews).  Highly recommended.  A call to teachers (and parents) to expect more of your students than the culture, to not just only be looking at the road in front of you, but also to where it ends.  

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Friday, April 05, 2013 at 9:20 AM

Tax Presentation

I put together a small tax presentation for my math class, running through the basics of filing for taxes.  It also includes some extra details that are relevant for clergy.  You can download it from dropbox by clicking the following link:  IntrotoTaxes.ppt

As a side note, I'm not trained or anything, just a dabbler.  I like learning and reading and learning.  I did ask my sister (who is a 1st year CPA) for some feedback, but that doesn't mean every fact is accurate.  

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Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 3:20 PM

Teaching

I've been reading a lot about teaching.  One gem from "The Courage to Teach" by Parker Palmer has spurred my thinking lately. This isn't a quote, but some ruminations that flow out of some of the things he said.

Teaching is intellectual hospitality.  It is welcoming the students into the home of the teacher and sharing one's joys, models, delights, and hopes with them.  To separate the subject from the teacher is to separate the home from the inhabitant.  Interesting, but valueless.  But if we are welcomed into the home, where the owner shares his life with you, now that changes the whole experience.  To teach others is to welcome them into one's life.


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Monday, March 25, 2013 at 3:29 PM

(not) Downloading youtube videos

So I was going to put up a post about how to download youtube videos without software.  Then I figured, "I should do some reading about the legality of doing this before putting it up."  Long story short I discovered that it is not legal to download youtube videos unless 1) the youtube website allows you or 2) you are the original uploader.  

http://www.communicatejesus.com/2009/08/only-two-legal-scenarios-to-download-youtube-videos/

“Content is provided to you AS IS. You may access Content for your information and personal use solely as intended through the provided functionality of the Service and as permitted under these Terms of Service. You shall not download any Content unless you see a “download” or similar link displayed by YouTube on the Service for that Content.”

Well, I guess you learn something new everyday!

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at 3:03 PM

New theme: No black boxes

So I haven't updated in a while, and I've been mulling over the prospect of changing the theme of the blog.  In the past, I was almost exclusively focused upon theology.  But as of late, I feel like I've been learning a ton about a whole slew of other things - math, psychology  teaching, programming etc.  And it's been enough that I've wanted to share some of it.

So, the plan is to start posting again, and perhaps eventually to migrate to wordpress (because I want to learn how to work with that a little more).

So here's the newest theme of the blog: No black boxes.  What does it mean? I'm not sure where I got the idea, but I always have associated "black boxes" with unknowns.  "This works, but I don't know why."  But one of the biggest things I've learned/been reminded of is that a rational God has created the universe and populated it with people who are made in his image, who are rational themselves.  That means that what I see as a mysterious unknown (ie a black box), really is understandable, provided that I put in some work to do some thinking about it.

This isn't to say that it's possible to completely understand everything (to "comprehend it"), but just that it is possible to understand it - to get a better picture of what actually is going on.

So that's the goal, and along the way I'll post different things I've learned here and there.  We'll see how everything goes. 

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Friday, August 03, 2012 at 4:26 PM

Christ in the mundane


In 1 Timothy 5:9-16, Paul gives instructions for enrolling widows (presumably to financially support them because they have no where else to turn but God).  What jumped out to me about this passage is Paul's commands to younger widows.  he doesn't tell them to go to all night prayer meetings (like the older widows are involved in (5:5), but he says, they are to "marry, bear children, manage their household." (5:14). 

Notice the contrast - seeking God for younger widows does not look like v.5 - "continues in supplications and prayers night and day", but instead it is very simple and earthy,  it is "marry, bear children, manage their households."  This is a good reminder that God doesn't care only about the deep passionate on-fire worship that prays all night, but he cares about the simple obedience in the "day to day" activities.  God calls us to honor him through loving our children, caring for our relatives, serving our neighbors.  Yes, we can go to an all night prayer meeting, but all-night prayer meetings don't determine whether or not you are spiritual.  Daily life does! Do I grumble, complain, gossip?  Or do I serve joyfully, have contentment, love others? 

May Christ give us the strength to love him through the mundane.  

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Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 1:36 PM

M'Cheyne

"It is not so much great talents that God blesses, as great likeness to Christ."

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