Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Today I went with Nancy and nine senior anatomy students to Atlanta to see the BODIES exhibition that is currently there (it moves from city to city). It was a fascinating experience. Most of the bodies are from China - in that country, if a person dies and no relatives are known, the body is automatically donated to science. The bodies were carefully dissected out and preserved. They were treated with respect and we were expected to follow suit. We saw every major body system. Certain parts were especially interesting, such as the showing of the arterioles of the circulatory system, and tubercular and cancer-filled lungs. The muscles were unbelievably dissected out.

I was surprised at the small size of the kidneys and also at how thick our skin actually is.

The guide suggested that on one person we try to find the things that were wrong with the person. The black lungs from smoking were easy to pick out. He also had a hernia (we could see the bulge), bunions, a scar on his hip from a fracture, and also (the guide had to show us this) he probably died of an aortic aneurysm. We could see the place in the aorta where it occurred.

The seniors who went had a great time seeing the displays. They also liked eating at the Varsity and then stopping at Chick-Fil-A on the way home for ice cream. We thought we would be traveling through pouring down rain, but fortunately the rain stopped soon after we got on the road.

I haven't taught any form of life science for 20 years, but today's exhibition made me miss it.

I am exhausted tonight and am going to bed.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Random Pictures

Well - here I sit during Open House at school - the crowd is basically over but I can't leave for awhile yet. So, here are some totally random pictures that are somehow loaded on my school computer. Mostly of family. Captions underneath.
Andrew and ML with their cousin Lauren at Grandma and Papa's house. Don't they look like happy kiddos-

A Sunday morning in Alabama. Notice Baby Bop. She was a constant companion for several years. I didn't always buy things in Walmart, but somehow when she saw Baby Bop and asked for it, I knew it was something special. And it was.

. . .and the motif carried over into their clothes. . .

ML with her Aunt Rhoda and a present that she brought back from the Dominican Republic.

ML and cousin Lauren.

ML in chemistry lab, 2006

These were the Chinese girls that were in my chemistry class during their visit to our city. The one in orange, Selia, I still keep up with. She sends me little gifts and I send things back. We also exchange emails.

Andrew and ML were both in the same play, the last year that Mrs. Jordan did it.

Andrew right before leaving for Iceland on a missions trip.
Andrew's graduation with his grandma and papa.
Mary Lee's graduation with her family
We used to make a bunny cake every year at Easter out of two round cakes. You may be able to tell that the ears and bow can be cut out of one of the cakes. That particular year it happened to be a "bunny brownie," and if I remember right this is about the last year that we did this. Sometime if I get particularly enthusiastic, I will hunt up all the bunny cake pictures and post them in sequence. Don't count on that any time soon.

Easter Sunday, appears to be about 1995.

The same Easter Sunday.

I told you this was a random assortment! I may do this again sometime. . .when there is nothing to do but I've got to stay at school. . .

Monday, March 28, 2011

What a Little Country Church Did

Yesterday we went for Homecoming to the little country church that many years ago helped my husband get grounded in the faith, when he was a new Christian living in the midlands of our state. He had spiritual questions that were not adequately answered by the leadership of the religious group where he had been attending and had grown up in. The pastor (at the time) of the church we attended yesterday received his name from someone who knew he had recently accepted Christ, and two men from the church made a "cold call" to his house. He began attending the church and was quickly and lovingly taken in by the people there. I am very thankful for this church and its people, and their influence on my husband in the early days of his actively-growing Christian life.

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Radical View for Christians

Platt, David. RADICAL. Colorado Springs: Multnomah Books, 2010. 217 pages.

Often a person will say of a book, “I couldn’t put it down.” However, someone who reads RADICAL, by David Platt, may actually prefer to put it down, quickly, because the truths contained in it are almost too eye-opening and jarring. This is a book that, in the words of one reviewer, makes the reader alternately say “Amen!” and then “Ouch!”


Platt’s epiphany for this book came on a mountain in India. After seeing so many people in the cities close by, he realized that it is time to “Wake up and realize that there are infinitely more important things in your life than football and a 401(k). Wake up and realize there are real battles to be fought, so different from the superficial, meaningless ‘battles’ [we] focus on. Wake up to the countless multitudes who are currently destined for a Christless eternity.” (p. 15)


We have become so accustomed to our amenities and cushioned lives. Is God’s Word alone enough for us? Platt says, “This is the question that often haunts me . . . What if we take away the cool music and the cushioned chairs? What if the screens are gone and the stage is no longer decorated? What if the air conditioning is off and the comforts are removed? Would His Word still be enough for people to come together?” Platt’s church actually tried to answer this question by gathering for what they called “Secret Church.” On a Friday night they met from 6:00 to midnight and did nothing but study the Bible and pray for the persecuted church around the world.


The result? So many people showed up that now they must limit participants to advance sign-up. They discovered that when we really recognize the Gospel for what it is – God coming to us instead of us finding a path to Him – contemporary Christian sales pitches just don’t satisfy anymore. Much of our effort amounts to “Pray this prayer, sign this card, walk down this aisle, and accept Jesus as your personal Savior.” Our attempts to reduce the gospel to a shrink-wrapped presentation no longer seem appropriate.


Platt also reminds us that living in America we have fallen prey to the American Dream: There is no limit to what we can accomplish. While there is nothing wrong with working hard, we subtly believe that our ability and our hard work are all that we need. We forget that God has said “I am the vine; you are the branches . . . apart from me you can do nothing.” He called upon His disciples to give up their all – why do we think that we are any different?


I had heard of this book a number of times before being given a copy at Christmas. I had heard that it is a must-read for a serious Christian, and have found that to be true. Those who desire to know God in more than a superficial way should absolutely read RADICAL. And even as you want to quit reading, you will not be able to put it down.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Back From Camp


- The stairs at the Wilds never get any shorter.

- Rand was our main preacher. I was told it's rare he is around to preach for a school camp any more, and we were very blessed to have his messages. He is the best preacher to teens I have ever heard.

-The cabins they have now are wonderful. These girls today who never went to camp or counseled in a birdhouse don't know what they are missing. (This picture is from a year ago when I went to the Wilds reunion.) Aah - the memories of having no room to move, running to the bathhouse on rainy nights, and many more . . .

- The ride there was long. The ride back didn't seem so bad, or nauseating.
- I had seven junior high students at my table. Most had good manners - nice to discover. Sometimes it's not so.

- I love my own bed.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Hey, Cutie!

Well, I got called to the kitchen during lunch today at school - the lunchroom lady said the secretary needed to talk with me. So I go sailing into the kitchen, pick up the phone, and say "Hey, cutie!" Turns out the secretary was merely placing the call for the principal. Needless to say, that was the first time I ever called my boss "cutie." He's a (cool, hip, fun - pick your adjective) sort of guy so he took it in stride. He even ended the phone call by saying "Bye, sweetie." I won't tell his wife.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Let Them Have At It

One day last week the girls in my last-period class remained at the gym for a personal safety class. So I had ten boys to keep happy in physical science, without doing anything that would require being repeated the next day for the girls. A bigger job than it may appear. I looked in the science lab cupboards and found an electricity kit that had been there for some time and had not apparently been used. So I got it down and thought - Let them have at it. And have at it they did. They had a wonderful time!

Pictures taken with my phone, so not the best.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Time Change Effects

Time changes are just hard on the body! For many years I didn't even notice them. Then, when the kids were little, time changes were difficult because they did not realize that the time had changed an hour and they were supposed to get up an hour earlier/sleep an hour later, as the case may be. It was always especially hard on the morning of the "fall back" change, when that delicious extra hour of sleep was short-circuited due to a toddler who dutifully awakened at the right time of his or her internal clock. Time change didn't mean a thing to them. Then for the next week, they (and thus I) were tired due to the change in schedule. It always took about a week to get them acclimated.

Now, it seems like the time change really does bother me, even without kids around.

I always love the Monday night after time change. The dramatic difference in darkness or lack thereof doesn't really seem real on Sunday night. But the difference in circumstances around the time of the 6:00 news on Monday is when I realize - the time really is different.

It would seem like we could stay on one or the other. I'd opt for daylight savings time year round.

I am now going to bed to make up for the effects of the time change. Or for whatever reason. Who cares if it's early - fatigue has set in - blame it on daylight savings time.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

"Me and My KJV"

There is a nice article at Whirled Views entitled "Me and My KJV" about a man who is not KJV only but still appreciates it very much. I loved this quotation, particularly because of the humor in the last sentence:

"I’ve brought a few of these versions home with me from time to time over the years and and set them next to my old KJV. But when the time comes to grab “my Bible” I know which one that is. It’s the leather-bound Old Scofield — the same Bible that my dad preached from for all those years when I was growing up. It’s the one with the “thees” and “thous” and thunder and blood and power and majesty in its pages. I’ll be disappointed if when I finally meet Abraham and Moses and Paul they don’t all sound like Alexander Scourby."

Putting Aside Material Things and Determining What Really Matters

Originally written/published July 2010

The question is often asked when a person dies, “How much did he leave?” The answer, rich man or poor man, is, of course, “Everything!” If a person’s primary purpose in life is to accumulate goods, his legacy will be brief.

Our 2010 valedictorian at Oakwood Christian School, Andrew Kyle, inspired his audience about this concept. With his permission I’d like to turn this podium over to him, and share an edited print version with you:

“We are here tonight to celebrate our graduation from this high school. Year after year, senior classes, families and friends have gathered to celebrate this momentous occasion. However, I realized that instead of celebrating I found myself confused and questioning. I said ‘Why? What was the purpose of our celebration and what was the purpose for our entire high school?’

“I repeated what society has said: ‘to get an education, go to college, be well-rounded and get a good job to support a family.’ However, this conclusion only led to more scrutiny. What was the purpose of getting a job — to obtain money, to have power? This inward debate only led me to realize just how futile all of these things are. Although they may be important to us, they are nothing more than temporary material desires.

“All of this thinking led me to a stunning conclusion: We, the graduates, this audience and the entire human race, fight and work our entire lives for the things that we believe matter most. However, while they may be great while they last, all of these things vanish like smoke. When these things are all that compose our lives, then in time our existence and legacy will fade like puffs of air. We are nothing more than chemicals undergoing one reaction after another. Everything is futile, just like hamsters running on wheels, deceived and accomplishing nothing.

“I have realized that in order for our lives to have any meaning, they must revolve around the one thing that truly never fades, the one thing that truly satisfies — our holy God, his glorification and the furthering of his kingdom. If he is our focus, then our actions will not just vanish in time, but will be carved forever in eternity.

“Only with Christ do we have reason to wake up in the morning. Only with Christ do we have reason to celebrate, for He gives us all purpose. So, fellow graduates, friends and family, tonight I challenge you, I beg you, give your lives purpose, and from today on chase not after puffs of material smoke, but after Christ, for he will never fade. To him I give all honor and glory and owe all that I am.”

After hearing this valedictory speech, I recognized that this young man, who excelled academically and is well-prepared for a pre-med major this fall, also gets what really matters in life. The link has been made between his head and his heart, and he realizes that life is far more than the accumulation of things. I pray that this testimony will cause you, the reader, to consider your own legacy as well!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I Did It

I broke down and joined a gym this afternoon.

It's a new one - very close to my job - not exactly the Ritz, but easy to get to and easy to get home afterward.

Somehow if I've paid a gym fee, it makes me get more serious about exercising.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Big Dipper Got Us Home

Last night, March 6, I was walking out of church when I saw the beautiful conjunction of Jupiter and the moon, as illustrated in the middle of this picture (taken from
A young man walking out at the same time, a pilot and the husband of a former student, remarked that a teacher would notice this kind of thing. :-) He also commented that stars and other early methods were used for navigation even with pilots, and that just a few years ago a pilot whose instruments failed used a sextant and the position of the stars to get him to his location.

It reminded me of the time about three years ago when Nancy and I went to a girls' volleyball match, during ML's senior year, at a school somewhere in the boonies of north Georgia. We were able to get there fine, even though there were five or six turns on curvy mountain roads. But the way back, in the blackness of 9:00 at night, was another story. We got hopelessly lost, backtracking, changing where we turned, and really having no clue where we were. We came to a T in the road and had to make a decision which way to turn.

Then I remembered - We did know that the interstate was somewhere east of where we were. No idea where, or how far, but somewhere east. So I looked out the passenger side window and found the Big Dipper, which is north. As it was behind the car, we were therefore going south, and we knew to turn left. Sure enough, it was the right direction.

I never thought that knowing the position of the Big Dipper would help us get home one October Friday night.

Oh, and the young man I was talking with in the parking lot said his wife still points out constellations to him that she remembers from eighth grade!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Senior Party

All you have to do for teenagers is give them a place to congregate, put out a couple of games they can do as a group, and sling some food at them, and they're happy. Doesn't even matter if it's their old-lady sponsor teacher's house.
p.s. Thank you to my mother for the sweet rolls!