Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Philosophy with 11 year olds

I do a bit of work as a supply teacher. Today I scored a year 6/7 class. It was purely coincidental if anyone learnt any maths or english, because I don't remember teaching any. A few kids were way out of their trees and keeping them safe and the other kids safe from them was my priority.

This afternoon I was instructed to run a 'philosophy' lesson on stealing. I had a set of questions like: Is stealing wrong? Are there any situations in which stealing might not be wrong? If you find something, is it stealing to keep it? etc. We had a class discussion. I wasn't meant to offer answers, but just get the kids thinking about the issues.

It was eye opening. These kids have known nothing except post modernism and all but 2 kids were not happy with the idea that stealing is 'wrong'. Even the two who thought it was wrong wanted the definition of stealing narrowed considerably. Apparently if you find a wallet, it's okay to take the money out of it. If you find $1000 you are under no obligation to hand it in because no-one would know that you found it. Hmm.

I broke the rules at the end of the lesson and explained to the kids that in whatever situation we find ourselves, we should try to do the very best thing. Not just what we think we can get away with. I didn't think anyone heard what I said, but after school a boy came and put 5c on my desk. I questioned him about it, and he said 'Miss, that's what you said we should do!' I had to pick my jaw up from the ground.


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Pas de deux

by Michael Dransfield

Morning ought not
to be complex.
The sun is a seed
cast at dawn into the long
furrow of history.

To wake
and go
would be so simple


how the first light
makes gold her hair

upon my arm.
How then shall I leave
and where away to go. Day
is so deep already with involvement.

I like poems that...

All of the girl blogs I read include poems fairly frequently. This one will too.

Generally, I like poems that:

1. Can be understood quickly
2. Are short.
3. Are about the big three Ls: Love, Loss, and Longing.
4. Use rhyme in some way (inc. half rhyme, assonance, consonance, alliteration etc.)
5. Are written in some kind of form (mostly)
6. Leave me feeling something

I don't have high brow poetry tastes. Even if you don't really get into poetry you should have give these ones a go.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Party Plan Evangelism?

I hosted a Tupperware party yesterday. Women flock to such things and spend an amazing amount of money on pieces of plastic. But it's not just plastic we're buying. We're buying hope. Hope that our pantries will suddenly become organised. Hope that we'll become better wives, mothers, women. Hope that our kids will be healthy - not poisoned by lower quality plastics. And it's all backed by Tupperware's life-time warrenty!

But I think the real reason why Tupperware works is because of its party plan sales scheme. The host gets 10% of the sales in gifts, and more if she can convince one or two of her friends to also have a party - thus spreading the joy further.

An idea. Maybe if we offered people at our church 'incentives' to host a gospel party, they'd be more keen. Free set of steak-knives anyone?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Playing Grown-Ups

I've had a busy last few months and the next term looks just as full. Now I don't really have a problem with busy - I think anyone who is actively involved in church life will be busy - it's what I've been busy with that concerns me. You see, I find it easy to fill up my time with wider church activities: running music for this conference, speaking at church x's evangelistic event, going to this women's conference, that campus committee...

I've just been invited to join the presbyterian church's committee for ministry training. It seems it would be a good thing to do - I'd get to hang with people I know and like, the group makes decisions that are important for the future of our denomination, and apparently this is the best run committee of the pcq. I can see I'd be a decent person to do the job - they're after a woman and I'm one of the few females in our denomination who know what the CMT is!

So what's the problem?

The problem is what Andrew calls 'playing grown-ups'. Because of our lack of faith, ministry in the local church seems unimpressive. Every week we do the same thing- bible study, church, morning tea, washing up, piano playing... it feels small scale and unimportant. But when I get asked to do something for the denomination or another Christian body? Now I'm playing with the big kids! This is grown-up ministry!

But it's not.

Grown up ministry is the day after day, month after month, year after year, patient teaching of the gospel to those around me. Knowing others. Having others know me. Loving others. Having others love me. I pray that I'll have the faith to remember this and not fill up my diary with ego-boosting other things.

another attempt

It was just over two years ago that I (and some friends) last tried this. It was fun, but fell out of use after a while. Since then I've been blogging a bit in facebook notes. Thought I'd open up my thoughts to those outside my intimate set of f.b. friends...

So, welcome, everyone. Link in! Post comments! Enjoy!