MNF, not MFB Monday, Sep 28 2015 

I look forward to Monday nights in football season for MNF—-Monday Night Football.  Anticipation of the first-night sporting event makes Mondays more endurable, kind of like an extension of the weekend.  The anticipation of a competitive match-up builds suspense throughout the day.

31-14 at the end of 3rd quarter? Where's the remote? Time for the 10:00 news.

31-14 at the end of 3rd quarter? Where’s the remote? Time for the 10:00 news.

But nothing throws a wet blanket on Monday night football cheer like a MNB–Monday night blowout.  That’s what’s going on tonight) as the Packers are beating the Chiefs’ brains out (figuratively).  So at the end of the lop-sided third quarter, I opted for the 10:00 news, even though I saw most of the same news pieces at 6:00.

Truly,  life’s too short to endure a one-sided football game, especially between two random teams that don’t interest me other than their potential for competing.

Alas, I’ll have to tough it out until Thursday night, hoping for a  contest then.  Here’s hoping that TNF will not be TNB.

A Legacy: Women of Faith Thursday, Sep 24 2015 

I turn the blog over tonight to my beloved.  The following post is my faithful wife’s words on Facebook, recalling her maternal legacy of faith.  Power to the women!

MaMere's ring.

MaMere’s ring.

I sometimes wear my great grandmother/grandmother’s wedding ring in place of my own. Although it bears many dents, dings, and scratches, I love it and often wonder what those marks represent. I wonder, if in part, it could be….Cooking over an open fire for a husband and seven children everyday. Picking cotton in the south La. heat; washing clothes with only a washboard and no running water and ironing with a flat iron heated over the fireplace and only an outhouse; caring for chickens, sheep, and cattle daily; praying over and tending a sick child with no medicine or doctor readily available; on her knees everyday praying for the watch care and safety of her sons fighting in WWII; Helping to plant and tend the crops and the family garden and praying for God to provide enough for her family to eat each day. I’m thankful for the legacy, commitment and faithfulness this ring represents. ‪#‎womenoffai

When I am 10 and 80. . . Friday, Sep 18 2015 

Family is blessing!

Family is blessing!

…. Or should I begin,

    IF

I’m around for my 90th birthday party?

Just in case I may not make it, as Mama has done so graciously, and without so many of the tell-tale signs of aging that usually attend longevity, I chose this last weekend at her party to celebrate as I would if this were my 90th: I ate a fried oysters po boy slathered with fattening remoulade sauce and had an ice cream cone for dessert.

Such artery-clogging, heart-stopping dietary choices could work against the odds of reaching number 90; but regarded another way, the blood-pressure-reducing levity of spirited celebration could counter the risky food effects to aid and abet the process of healthy aging.

One way or the other, September 15—-Mama’s birthday—-was a day fit to celebrate. And so we did. When life, which in the context of eternity is short anyway, affords us a happy occasion to celebrate, we must “gather the rosebuds [and fried oysters and ice cream cones] while [we] may.”

Humble rewards of the profession: When students take control . . . Friday, Sep 11 2015 

The teacher as observer: A worthy perspective when students take ownership!

The teacher as observer: An interesting back row perspective when students take ownership!

The best moments of teaching often arrive in spontaneous epiphanies, like this morning when my high-octane English I students took over the classroom in what I describe as a friendly coup. A coup because they in fact wrested the control of the proceedings from me, but friendly in that no ill-intent directed their motives—-in fact, their interest and intent was in doing the right action in the moment.

One student began the coup when he asked to share a piece of free-writing he had just finished. I had another agenda—-I hadn’t intended to have a read-around, but I’ll never stop a student who wants to read something he wrote from sharing with us.

So naturally, “Sure, Jack, have at it,” I agreed as he stepped to the lectern at the front of the room. I circled around to the back and settled in an empty back-row desk to observe. As soon as he finished reading, I started to rise from my seat to return to the front where I could direct the class into the next activity I had planned, but before I could rise, another student took it upon himself to approach the lectern with his free-writing piece and begin reading. And so on and so forth the process repeated itself, until a half dozen students, a few who were well-known for not taking part, had taken turns in the read-around. I never invited a one of them, nor had I proclaimed a time of sharing. But their behavior—-and correct behavior in the context—-set the agenda! And best—-or worst?—-they were quieter and more attentive to one another at the lectern than they often are when I’m attempting to run things!

Yes, another lesson learned and more humble rewards of the profession. Never too old to be reminded?  What a blessed calling!

Labor Day Salute, Doggy Style Thursday, Sep 10 2015 

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We explained the meaning of Labor Day to Sadie and Marley. They responded right away with this stirring gesture of restful respect for the American working man and woman on this day that hallows our working class heritage.

Decadent Satur-daze Saturday, Sep 5 2015 

The first Saturday of Football season and Labor Day weekend.  Ah, how long we have longed for this daze!  For extra measure, the date even coincided with Sarah’s birthday  and an overnight visit from the kids.

At last: Football on the patio!

At last: Football on the patio!

Started this morning with coffee and boudin and Game Day on ESPN. No other agenda than a workout jog and a birthday supper date in between games lined up from morning until bedtime.   It’s a patio-dweller’s holiday.

Holi-daze: A natural state of mind!

Enlightened by holy grace: Devotional thoughts! Thursday, Sep 3 2015 

The morning prayer at school includes a sentence that has captivated me:

middlegrail“Enlighten us with Your holy grace.”

I had the students write reflections on that sentence today.  I shared with them my definition of grace: the unmerited favor of God.  I posed the question, to them but as much to me, “How does grace enlighten us?”

All my life in church and bible study, I would have used many verbs to complete the sentence: “Grace enables us, grace saves us, grace calls us, grace finds us…”

But I never would have thought “Grace enlightens us.”

Wow!  That’s heavy.  To obtain enlightenment, I think of the need for teaching, for inspiration, for study, for training.  But not for grace!

But why not grace?  The depths and mysteries of faith are too profound for my finite humanity to understand!  I am dependent on grace—-God’s unmerited favor—-to probe those depths with understanding and discernment.  If I depended on my own wits, I’d be in trouble!

So thanks be to God for the enlightenment of amazing grace.