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Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Some days I really have to work to find something to write about. Today is one of those days. I guess I'll fill you in on the latest and greatest at school.

Yesterday we were classifying animals at school. First graders are very interesting to watch do this. I draw a huge chart on the board, we discuss various categories and then I let the kids tape pictures up all over the board. Wild, crazy, and fun!

They would do things like hold up a trout, and say, "Is this an amphibian or a fish?" We would discuss scales and living in water full time, etc. and they would make the appropriate placement. They figured out the differences between insects and arachnids and crustaceans. They did an excellent job on this assignment. They even guessed that bats were mammals because they have fur.

Eventually we came to the elephant. 5 years of doing this activity and never once has this been an issue. Mammal.....easy. But this year a great debate broke out in class. Many of my students are first borns or only children.....thus thinking they are always right (sorry, but it's true). My students became engaged in a heated argument about whether elephants are reptiles or mammals. They were not giving in. No way!

It was a pretty evenly divided event, and I just sat back and watched them debate. I was interested to see their logic at work. One student says, "It's a reptile. It is dry and leathery like the dinosaurs." Another student says, "It's a mammal because it has hair." There was lots of yelling about this point because many of my students have never been to the zoo and did not know they had hair. Having had enough, I said, "yes, they do have hair" thinking that would end the conversation. However, I did not plan on one of my student's exceptional reasoning skills. He said, "But in that Dr. Seuss book, Horton hatches the egg, he's sitting on an egg. Elephants lay eggs. That makes them reptiles."

That's when I lost my composure. I had to sit down at my table to laugh. This student firmly believed that because he had seen a picture of an elephant sitting on an egg in a Dr. Seuss book that it was absolutely true. Then I tried to imagine elephants building nests and sitting on eggs and just laughed and laughed. I finally composed myself enough to explain that Dr. Seuss wrote fiction. And that was a borrowed egg anyway, not Horton's. I managed to confess the students that an elephant was a mammal. But only after they saw me google it for proof.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Monday Morning Update 4.13.09

Yeah, okay so it's not really Monday by the time most of you are reading this. Let's just pretend like it's a perfect world, and I am never late for anything. Or let's be realists and just accept the fact that I am late lots and just suck it up and deal with it.'s the scoop on Easter at The Crossroads.

We began Saturday night by gathering at a home in Anna to watch The Passion. I had not watched the movie since seeing it in the theater. This time I did cry a little once or twice (still not enough to need a kleenex)....made me feel less pagan than at the theater when I didn't cry at all. Instead of crying, I become filled with an almost unbearable sense of urgency to reach the nations. Seeing Jesus' sacrifice reminds me all over again about the great price that He paid for salvation....and how if I really valued His life, I would live a life completely dedicated to Him and to His Kingdom. My priorities would be less jacked up than what they are currently. It would always be Christ and His Kingdom first.

We shared the Lord's supper together and spent time praying for our Easter services. And yes, it began to literally rain (yet again) when we prayed for God to rain down His Spirit on Anna. For me, the literal outpouring of rain is like a promise of God's presence among His people.

Easter Sunday began bright and early at the Kemp's. We made about 100 pigs in a blanket for our Easter brunch, bathed all the kids, and dried 3 girls' hair. And still left on time. Boo-yah!!!

We had the typical huge event set-backs. Things like forgotten videos, lost the clamps to put together the stage, etc. But we pulled it all together and set up for our biggest crowd so far. Best guess is that we had about 75 people in attendance, several first time visitors and several repeating visitors.

Shawn did a "plug and play" sermon. This is when the music is interwoven among the sermon points. Generally I really enjoy this way of doing a service. It breaks the sermon into small, manageable chunks for those of us with short attention spans. Then we get to worship with music, which keeps me continually pulled into God's presence and focused on who I am there to see. You can listen at and the music will be there as well this week, although sound is usually not as good recorded from a gym setting as it sounds live.

We did a great selection of songs Sunday:
Meant to Live (Switchfoot)
What life would be like (Big Daddy Weave) - if you haven't heard this one yet, you have to download. VERY awesome message about living life like we believe Jesus is really God.
Lifesong (Casting Crowns)
I Will Go (Starfield)
He Reigns (Newsboys) - as soon as we started intro on this, audience members started making eye contact with me and doing the "rock on" hand signs and mouthing things like "awesome" "love this song". And when we came in with vocals....whoosh up stood the audience in full up worship. Stinkin' awesome!!!!
Rest (Nevertheless) This song is beautiful....another must download if you haven't heard it yet.

I enjoyed playing with the new guitar player. Electric guitar really helped fill some of the open gaps in the music. I love our band. Sometimes it's hard for me to really believe that at 34 I'm finally getting to live my dream. I'm playing music that I love with an absolutely incredible team of musicians. I am WAY out of my league and loving every minute of it!!!!!

So altogether it was an incredible first Easter at The Crossroads. But the most incredible thing is that every Sunday is amazing at The Crossroads.

Funny story:
Shawn's mic was popping. Robby mouths at me, "tell him to push up his mic." As a talented lip reader, I just really can't read Robby's lips. Too much facial hair or what, I don't know. So I turn to his wife for an interpretation and she says, "tape the mic." So I abandon the stage to go search for tape to hold Shawn's mic in place. I can only find shiny scotch tape, but figure it's better than nothing. I hurry back to the stage where Robby is doing the longest intro ever to "Lifesong" while he's stalling and waiting for me to return. I quickly taped Shawn's mic in place. Job accomplished. Not sure why Robby is looking at me with total and complete confusion. I just did what he said, right?

So then, the tape started to come loose as Shawn became sweaty. Worship Dude turns and looks and me and mouths, "take the tape off." I interpret, "it's coming off." And think he wants me to retape. I have a spare piece of tape about 7 inches long on my keyboard. We are introing next song, so I handed it to Robby's wife and say, "retape Shawn." I'm assuming that Shawn will tear off the desired amount, but no - he sticks the whole huge piece of tape on his face to hold the mic in place. So when he walks back up on stage, he has tape all over the left side of his face. It was really, really hard not to crack up.

But the funny part was later when I discovered that I had totally misread all the cues of the day. I was simply supposed to tell Shawn to push up his mic. No tape involved. Although the tape did solve the problem, in case you wanted to know. And it was also really funny. Thinking about using Barbie band-aids next week :)