Tuesday, February 27, 2007


"You like to smile don't you mister?" she asked.
As the question is asked, my heart, my entire being lifts into a grin of contentment.
I smile at her and say, "Yes. Yes I do like to smile."
Picking up his homework, I look at the front, flip it over, and then flash the unfinished back at him along with a smile.
"What mister?" he says.
Turning the page to the front, and then again to the back I ask, "Forget something?"
"Oh Mister!" he says. "You didn't say we had to do both sides."
"Uh huh."

A (7th grade) student asked me why I never laugh. Now I am sad.

Sad because I don't smile as much in 7th grade.

I am sad because my students' lives are so hard.

I'm sad because my student's father was shot.

I'm sad because words of hate are used so freely.

I'm sad because they don't succeed.

And I am sad because we are not learning.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Memory Verse 1

Here is week 1:

"I know, O LORD, that a man's life is not his own;
it is not for man to direct his steps.
Correct me LORD, but only with justice -
not in your anger, lest you reduce me to nothing."
- Jeremiah 10:23-24

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Oh and news from the firing front.
Which I still haven't talked about.

Today my principal announced she would not be returning next year.

She took a job (promotion) as area superintendent.
Or some such title.



Lent starts today. It is Ash Wednesday.

Last year was the first year I really observed Lent with any noticeable change in habits, even though the changes were not significant.

This year I am going to be doing it for real.

I am going to be giving up sweets and all forms of television.

The emphasis, however, is not on "ohh look at me, i am so righteous cuz i don't watch tv and i'm going to get thin by not eating sweets", but instead it is about freeing ourselves to engage with Christ. So as important as the act of releasing these things is, what I am taking on is just as important.

I am taking on a memory verse per week. This will come from whatever I am reading, and whatever struck my fancy. The goal here is to have my eyes, mind, heart focused on God, and that will happen easier if I am continually recalling the Word.

I am following a daily prayer/reading progression.

Let's get it started.
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."
- Hebrews 1:1-3

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Old Man

I keep having all these things that I feel ought to be talked about and not having the energy to deal with them.

In lieu of all the stories about near firings, being back in the Principal's good graces and being sick, I am going to write about this 'vision' I had at church on Sunday.

First, I use vision very loosely. This is not like a Paul on Damascus Road type of vision, but more just a mental picture representing some figurative reality.

At church on Sunday, there was a new guy leading the worship. I liked his style. We sang this song that he wrote that talked about how Christ helps us to approach the cross, and that we need this help because we are to broken, hurt, whatever to come on our own accord.

So I was thinking about this when I had a vision of myself as an old man. I was probably like 80 something, with a long gaunt body encased in wrinkled skin. I had white hair that was matted on my head, and short curly white hairs for a beard. My eyes carried a far away look of experiencing many days of sorrow, that haunted expression of hopelessness. I moved with an arthritic difficulty, shuffling from bed to kitchen to living room to bed.

Into this picture, moved a cross. The cross inched forward slowly at first, gaining size as it approached, until it loomed over me as it stood about 20 feet away. Then a man approached. The exact image of the man was not clear (I think that I hesitate to put a description on Jesus, even in my imagination, because of all of the white European Jesus portraits that I despise), but a sense of magnanimity surrounded him, of peace.

At this point, I wanted so much to go near to the man, and to the cross. My body however, would not permit it. I could not bend, nor step, nor kneel, nor offer any outward sign that I should desire such movement. The man then stood next to me, and placing his hands on my shoulder and arm, he eased me forward with a gentle urging. At the foot of the cross, he supported my slow descent to the ground, even to the point that I resisted because of the pain (arthritis and all).

So I guess what I got outta this picture was that I am currently resistant to how God is working in my life. The good part is that even with this resistance, even with my unrighteousness, Jesus is still willing to come to me and lay his hands on me, and he will put me in a position where I can know and see God, even if it is painful at first.

I pray that I would be welcoming to His movement in my life, and more than welcoming, that I would seek it. I pray that for you as well. Peace.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


I'm not sick anymore.

Actually I haven't been for a while, but I have been really busy.

I had the flu for 5 days basically. I got sick on Tuesday night, Jan 30th, went home early on the 31st, and then missed the 1st and 2nd of February.

I went to school everyday the following week, and my kids were really cute and missed me and I felt good.

This past weekend I went recruiting TFA style to the campus of the Old Gold and Black. I'll talk about that in a forth coming post.

Also, I almost got fired (sort of), got really angry about it, had a meeting about it on the day I was sick, got angry again, forgot about while wanting to die (while I was sick), and then came back and found out it wasn't that big of a deal. More on that later.

I played in my first YMCA basketball game tonight. I think I was definitely eligible for BWS status. That's Big White Stiff for those of you scoring at home. Props to the sports guy.

Conversation of the day:
Oscar - "Fresh cut, Fresh cut! Hey Ivan, Fresh cut! Come here so I can slap you"
Mr. Blair - Hey Oscar, we are going to play "Being a jerk" and everytime you are a jerk to someone I'm going to call out "Being a jerk" and then I get to hit you in the head. You're being a jerk right now.
Oscar - Bending down his head. Come on Mr. Blair, give me a good one.
Mr. Blair - Oscar, I don't want to hit you. Go sit down and quite being mean to Ivan.
JurRonn - laughing hysterically Mr. Blair, that's the funniest thing I have ever heard!

The lesson, as always, kids like hitting things.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

The Sickness

I left school on Wednesday at 12:30 pm. I have not returned yet.

I lay in my bed, experiencing cycles of sweats and chills, all while my joints and muscles groaned.

These were the first days of school I have missed.

Apparently my kids were really worried about me.

Maybe I'm not doing such a bad job after all...