In the Classroom

23 08 2009

NCA 003

Lecturing, 2006

Classes begin at Moody again on Monday.  This semester I am a “visiting lecturer” and am teaching “Short Format Radio Production” (for the 12th time) and team teaching “Introduction to Electronic Media” with my good friend Curt Wilkinson (I think we’re on our 9th time). 

People often ask if I miss the classroom.  Frankly, since I left the faculty in 2008 I haven’t had a semester when I haven’t taught at least one class, so its hard to say if I miss it…though I do know that I don’t miss the committee meetings, department meetings, etc. 

I am looking forward to another semester…though it feels like it may be my last at MBI, but hopefully there will be other opportunities in the future.

From Proverbs 30:

Surely I am more stupid than any man,
      And do not have the understanding of a man.

(hopefully this isn’t the life verse of any of my students this year…)





Learning Contentment

20 08 2009

Rides

Resting, 2009

Since we remodelled the house, I have to admit that I have not watched our books very carefully.  In fact, I have not been the financial leader that my family needs.  Thanks be to God, I have an understanding and forgiving wife who is standing beside me as we begin taking steps to bring our finances under the headship of Christ.

So, we are “tightening the belt” and living on a budget (novel idea).  One of the things we started was a “treat jar” where all the pennies, nickels and dimes we find in the parking lot go, as well as any money from the recycling center visits, etc.  From this jar we pay for the occasional ice-cream, large McDonalds french fry or other unbudgeted treats.

Last week the kids learned that we were going to go the Lake County Fair (in Indiana) and they decided to sell some of thier unwanted items during an impromtu rummage sale and add the proceeds to the treat jar.  The neighbor kids bought about $15 worth of their goods.  The kids decided that this $15 would be the money they would bring to the fair for rides.  When we arrived, we found out that the rides were $3.75…each…if you do the math, that’s only one ride for each kid with $1.25 left over.

As we discussed what to do, I was tring to figure out how to provide more money for them, but the kids didn’t ask for more money, they decided to find the one ride to spend their treat money on.   Here, surrounded by dozens of rides, my children set their mind to enjoy the one ride and be content.  We knew they were disappointed yet they focused on the one thing they could afford instead of the 32 they couldn’t.  What a testimony to Pamela and I about contentment.

Someday, I look forward to providing them (or their children) with an unlimited ride pass, but this time God had another lesson for us, one we are slowly learning.

From Job 36:

If they obey and serve him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment.





My Favorite

27 07 2009

paul and pamela
Summer ’09
photo by Christine Soto

Proverbs 18:22

He who finds a wife finds a good thing,
      And obtains favor from the LORD.

The first thing I want to say: “I am so grateful for my wife…”

The second thing I want to say is: “The favor of the Lord is so undeserved…”

The third thing I want to say is: “Thank you God for showering it on me anyway!”





Feeling Creative

16 03 2009

steam-ship

“The Charles Shaw”

Anytime one of the boys starts a conversation with: “I’m feeling creative…” you know that they found something laying around that they want to make into something else.  Past projects include an oatmeal container that became a tower. A feather and thread magically turned into a cat toy.  A small fabric scrap that became…well, frankly I’m not sure…it still looks a lot like a fabric scrap.

Yesterday, I threw out an empty bottle of cooking wine but set the cork on the counter.  Elliot soon came around with the creative line and was off planning a great sailing ship.  The first order of business was christening it the “Charles Shaw” (the brand of the product).  

Since we couldn’t do much about adding balast (which would prevent it from tipping over in the tub) we decided to cut off each end and make pontoons.  Elliot cut out little sails and tried in the tub.  It floated nicely, but with the funny outriggers, it looked more like a water bug than a clipper ship, so Elliot decided to take the pontoons off and made it the steamboat “Charles Shaw” instead.  I think its pretty cool.  

Now if I could just get him to do something with the oatmeal box that is still in the living room…

From Mark 4:

Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him.





A Lesson in God’s Provision

2 03 2009

 

Last weekend was my birthday; number 38.  A few weeks earlier I caught myself thinking of what I’d like to do for my birthday–a visit to our friends the Fuzaks, hobby farmers in central Illinois.  However, after thinking about it for a while, I thought Pamela would probably prefer to stay around home (since we’ve been busy for a number of weekends in a row) so I didn’t tell her.

paul-putting-on-boots1

However, Pamela was inspired a few days later to arrange a weekend away.  She told me later that it came like a bolt of lightning: “I bet Paul would like to spend his birthday on the farm doing chores!”

pamela1

On the day before my birthday, my coworkers asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday.  I told them I wasn’t going to say, but I had my hopes (thinking all the time of a visit with the Fuzaks would be great).

paul-on-tractor-front1

So Friday evening I came home for dinner and the phone rang.  Pamela said I could answer it, but the kids tried to stop me.  It was Andy Fuzak.  The cat was out of the bag.  The kids were disappointed, but Andy was calling to invite us down early to try and beat the winter storm.  So we packed our bags and headed to the farm, giving us an additional night to spend there.  

That night, as we drove up to the house from the very dark country road, the light just poured out from the house.  It was such a welcoming sight, the first of many moments of delight for all of us. 

paul-on-the-tractor1

I had a great time.  Driving the tractor (plowing snow this time).  Pitching hay.  Helping care for the animals.  Wonderful fellowship with the Fuzaks over ice cream, steak dinner, ice cream, scrambled eggs, spagetti, garlic bread and more amazing ice cream.

It is a birthday I won’t forget, not just because of the activities of the weekend, but because it was a great lesson from God of making our desires known to Him and trusting Him for the results.  Obviously, not every request will be answered in the affirmative, but I am grateful that this one was.

From Psalm 37

 Trust in the LORD, and do good;
         Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
 Delight yourself also in the LORD,
         And He shall give you the desires of your heart. 
         
 Commit your way to the LORD,
         Trust also in Him, 
         And He shall bring it to pass.
 He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
         And your justice as the noonday. 
         
 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him;
         Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, 
         Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.
 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath;
         Do not fret—it only causes harm. 

 

p.s.  Pamela, thank you so much.  I love you and look forward to another year with you. 





Falling Seven Times…

28 01 2009

If I were to go back through all the blog posts I’ve written since I began blogging, one theme emerges…a promise that I’ll blog more faithfully. Which I might do for a few days, then I get hit with life again and forget all about it for a while…ok, more than a while…more like months.

At this point, I don’t expect there are many faithful readers beyond my family, but I am grateful for you.  Thanks for checking in.

By the way, in case you are just dropping by for the first time, I am faithfully keeping a production blog of all the radio pieces I am doing for Moody Radio, so if it gets too dull over here, you can always catch me over there.

From Proverbs 24:16

For a righteous man may fall seven times 
      And rise again, 
      But the wicked shall fall by calamity. 





Remember me…

9 12 2008

As you probably remember, I shifted careers recently. It has been very stretching and rewarding. I did not anticipate how busy the change would keep me. When I was considering the change, a few wise men in my life challenged me to not let the realities of a daily deadline get in the way of family time. I have worked hard to honor their advice. One way I have accomplished this (sometimes to a limited degree) has been to let the blogging become much more irregular. However, I think it has become too irregular and hope to blog here at least once a week…though it may not start until the new year. Thanks for checking in…








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