Educational Idiocy!

There are many things that one can look at in our society and see just how idiotic things are and yet, most do nothing to change it. One specific area of idiocy is the way educational leaders leap without looking into the pits of “educational reform” that do more harm than good.

Specifically–in Michigan–and even more specifically–the demise of the Detroit Public School system–is the result of educational idiocy–the origins of which are yet being determined. The real problem however is in the fact that those in position of authority and supposed leadership have allowed this demise to occur simply because they did not think about the ramifications of the “so-called research” that ignited the changes in how we do education.

Some years ago–approximately twenty years or so–someone had the bright idea that students in Detroit, did not need to be taught grammar skills and as such–teaching grammar was forbidden and rather rigidly enforced. Since I learned grammar the way that works–constant repetition (skill and drill)–I could not understand why anyone in their right mind would ever think that the “whole language theory” would benefit children who were “not raised in environments using Standard English.” For those students across the country who were living in environments where Standard English was the rule of the day and not the exception–whole language teaching might have worked. Unfortunately, since college professors all over the land and the business industry have great concerns about college students and employees not knowing how to write, it would appear that “whole language” learning was a bust. 

But now we have “data-driven” theories which subject students to testing to the degree of overkill and then teachers are being subjected to unfair evaluations when the test scores do not improve. How is a teacher supposed to clear the way for improvement in learning (anything) if they never have time to “teach” because they only have time to “test” what has not been taught? The whole process of testing, testing, and never teaching, is total idiocy! No one has ever learned anything by being constantly tested and never taught. Now, I believe Einstein said, “to keep doing things the same way, expecting a different outcome is insanity.”

What I don’t understand is why–those in positions to make decisions--educational leaders have failed to understand that they did not need to change what worked.  What worked? Repetition–this is how most human beings learn–constant repetition and the addition of new concepts introduced–when learning is evidenced of what had been introduced. To expect students to learn new concepts, when they did not understand what had already been taught, is ludicrous–total idiocy!

We have a number of people who are responsible for the demise of education in the Detroit Public School system: The State Superintendents who did not exercise judicious oversight of what was being represented as “educational reform” simply because of those who developed the research (not everyone with a degree is a credible source of information); and a systematic problem of not having a credible system in place to determine that those teaching–knew what they were teaching; the school board members who only wanted a position on the school board as a step forward in their political ambitions and who had no clue as to how to have oversight of what the superintendents were doing, they hired; the negligible parents who didn’t care enough to know anything about who they electing and positioning politicians to govern the educational process; and refuse to stay actively involved in their child’s education; the students who come because “socializing” is their priority, not learning-but if their parents had cared enough to teach them how to do school, before they ever started school, this would not be a problem; and last, but not least–the teachers–who did not and do not think that continuous education is important and so they mis-teach information they did not understand and now we have a colossal mess on our hands with people who did not learn what they should have and they keep perpetuating a vicious cycle of illiteracy and idiocy.

How do we climb out of this pit of idiocy? Someone has to have enough nerve to bring the problem to the forefront and confront the idiots in-charge to make changes in how we educate children that will make a difference. Since those in positions of authority have really screwed it up–they should all be fired! In the case of anyone who chooses to accept “new research” as the catalyst that will bring about miracles; they really need to look at who’s behind the research and understand their purpose or intent. I believe there has been a conspiracy–to maintain a manual labor force with the students of Detroit–which is why–the idiocy has been allowed to blossom to the nuclear mess we now have.

If people are incapable of critical analysis of anything before forcing others to join the melee, they should be lined up and made to suffer penance for the damage they have inflicted upon others. Where do we start in Detroit? Perhaps with a white male, Mike Lamb who decided that Detroit students did not need to be taught grammar (I’m sure his own children were raised in an environment using Standard English). Where do we stop? Perhaps with Karen Ridgeway and those who hired her since she thinks testing is the only way to get children to learn. And then there are all of those who fit in the middle–some I know by name, some I do not. They know who they are and they should be ashamed of themselves for perpetuating such idiocy in the guise of a quality education. Now that the cover has been pulled off and the idiocy exposed, what are you (especially if you live in Michigan) going to do about it?

I have addressed this issue more extensively in my book, If Parents Cared Enough, Johnny and Juaneshia Could Read (available on amazon.com). My intent is not just to make money or to point fingers at those who caused the problems, but to ignite real change–that will benefit all children. Get involved and change the landscape of idiocy so all children will have a quality education!

Who We Don’t Know, Can Hurt Us!

There are a number of people who subscribe to the notion that what we don’t know can’t hurt us, but as time passes, we discover that adage is not true at all.

When we did not know the harm that nicotine and tobacco could cause–we smoked, destroying our lungs and even causing respiratory problems to those around us from second-hand smoke.

When we did not know the totality of the damage that alcohol causes–liver damage–leading to hopefully finding a liver donor and subsequent deaths because we did not know how important our liver function was. And we certainly cannot forget the deaths and destruction of families who suffered the loss of loved ones at the hands of a drunk driver.

When we did not know or realize that using illegal drugs could cause more damage than a high was worth–we smoked and snorted and shot up–killing brain cells, setting ourselves up for life-time addictions that ruined family relationships–no trust or respect, and physically damaged bodies.

When we did not know the long term effects of living precariously and having sexual indiscriminate sexual encounters with multiple partners–AIDS, Herpes, and other STD’s–which could seriously impact unborn children and certainly be transmitted to those we say we love.

When we did not know the truth about the people we chose to have in our lives–the sexual predators and abusers–the end result was dead children, abused and mutilated women, and often they were ended up dying–because we did not know those we brought into our lives.

When we did not know the consequences of having convenient technology–we became lazy, illiterate, and obese–having more health problems and dying early–because we would rather do things the easy way.

When we do not know God–all of the above is what happens to us–and we have no one to blame but ourselves. When we know God–and are willing to live according to His Word–most of us would never know about anything previously mentioned because our relationship with Him, would have put us in position to hear Him, when He steers us clear of the dangers in which we could have been a participant.

I was once foolish–living any way I wanted to live, but have opened myself to the wisdom of God and now can live with some certainty that I am finally on the right track. I chose to get to know Him and to develop a relationship with Him. I chose to walk this life according to His Word. I respect and value every part of my body and I will not allow anyone to disrespect it. I value my ability to think clear, coherent thoughts and I will not do anything to impair that ability. I choose to take the more difficult route with some things because I value my ability to do them and choose not to lose that ability by becoming dependent on conveniences.

If you don’t know Him, get to know Him today and choose the path He has planned for you–a plan to prosper you and not harm you.

Don’t take my word for what has been said.  Look around you and think about all those you know who did not know Him and even when you did not know Him. Knowing Him is so much better than not knowing Him!

O Give Thanks!

“O give thanks” (the exact phrase) appears in 10 verses of scriptures with explanation as to why we should give thanks.

“For the Lord is good and His mercy lasts forever” is why we should give thanks.

Where would we be without His mercy? His mercy that provides us with an avenue to not get what we deserve, but gives us another chance to get living right before Him.

His mercy–covers the guilt-stained messes some of us have made of our lives.

His mercy–gives us chance after chance to get it right.

His mercy–extended to us not because of who we are, but because of Who He is.

His mercy–new every morning, giving us fresh beginnings when we repent.

His mercy–gives us opportunity to rethink our direction the paths we take.

His mercy–allows us to hear Holy Spirit when He speaks–teaching, reminding, and guiding us.

O give thanks to The Lord for His mercy endures forever and ever, and ever! Hallelujah! I will praise You for Your greatness, Your mercy, Your love, Your grace all the days of my life. No matter what happens in this world, You are awesome and there is none like You, anywhere in the earth. If I had the tongues of angels, I could not praise You enough. If I could live forever, I could not praise You enough. Thank You, Lord for being who You are and for being in my life!

Give Him praise and thanks for family, friends, loved ones and even for those you don’t know. Pray for those in the midst of chaos and wars, for those who are incapable of thinking right thoughts, for those who refute and refuse God’s goodness, for those in your home, in your neighborhood, in your country, all over this world.

God grant you the hindsight and foresight to receive all that He has in store in for you this day. Have a wonderful day celebrating thanksgiving or whatever it is you do! Give Him Glory, because it all belongs to Him!

In This World!

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV)

Every time I read John, I get excited! I feel like Jesus is speaking expressly to me and I am listening. “I have told you these things…” What things?

All the problems we see within our society–the persecution for being a follower of Christ, the scorners, the spectators, and the haters of all things right, He’s already told us about them. Why are we surprised? We shouldn’t be. If we really pay attention to The Word, we’d know that there is truly nothing new under the sun. The alternative lifestyles that refute God’s Word about righteous living–lies already foretold. The strange things–in weather and things that don’t make sense–foretold. Those in positions of leadership in ministry–openly rebellious against The Word and trying to attempt to make others believe their lives–foretold.

Now He has forewarned us by telling us before things happen so we would know that His Word is true. We need not worry, but simply receive His peace about everything that is happening and know that He has overcome–all the enemy will attempt to use to destroy us.

Hallelujah! He has overcome the world (prince of this world) and so have we because He has given us the means to do so through Holy Spirit! We have no need to fear–Holy Spirit is here–to guide and lead and remind us of all we have been told and to give us insight into those things yet to come.

Don’t let the turmoil and unrest in the world dissuade you or discourage you in your walk with God! Know that He has already provided us a way of escape from all the negative things the enemy has planned. Praise Him for His peace and rest in it!

Free eBook on Smash Words

The first book in the Battlerama series is free! Get a copy for kids and grand kids now! https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/381188

Grace Teaches!

“It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,”(Titus 2:12 NIV).

One of the most difficult things I try to get across to students is to never start a sentence with “it” unless they can explain what the antecedent is. The antecedent (the noun for which the pronoun is replacing) in this passage of scripture is found in the verse eleven–the Grace of God. The same grace that opens the door to salvation, the same grace that provides us with opportunity to do what is right at all times, the same grace–the favor we receive from God when we could not earn it–teaches us to say, “no” to ungodliness-when we have a teachable spirit!

I have often heard people (men and women) say, they would live right if the temptations were not in the picture. Some have tried to excuse their behavior by saying, “I’m a preacher, but I’m a man first” (D. Haddon from “Preachers of LA”) as if this gives them permission to sin. I can only conclude that he forgot that Jesus–the man–was tempted just as he was and did not give into it or make excuses. I’m not judging; I’m simply emphasizing what has been made public. No one is perfect but The Lord, certainly not I, but I don’t make excuses for giving into temptation when I fail to do all things well. I repent and thank God for His mercy, giving me another chance to get things right. That is what our attitude should be when we “fall from grace.” We should repent and keep seek God’s mercy, thanking Him for forgiveness, not bragging about what we do because of our “gender.”

If grace teaches us to say no, when we fall from grace–are we listening or do we not have enough of the Word hidden in our hearts so we won’t sin against God? Or do we simply make a mockery of grace when we boast about openly living a sinful life?

I am convinced that when we allow The Word to dwell in us richly, that when we “think” we want to do something that does not demonstrate godly behavior, we are convicted in our spirits “before” we “do anything.” Now, in order for us to hear our spirits speaking, we must make sure that we have teachable spirits. Perhaps then, the reasons for falls from grace could be that many do not have teachable spirits.

Father, in the name of Jesus, speak to our hearts and soften them to hear You. Help us to set flesh aside and allow our spirits–so entangled with Holy Spirit–we hear and obey–Holy Spirit and not flesh.

2013 NaNoWriMo Winner!

I am a winner of the 2013 NaNoWriMo Challenge  http://nanowrimo.org/participants/educatormary52/novels Thank You, Lord!

Rich Word Living Inside!

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Colossians 3:16 NKJV).

Whenever people see or hear those of us who proclaim to have a relationship with God, they should see and hear someone who has rich word living inside of them–always thinking before speaking, allowing Holy Spirit to dictate what we say and do. They should hear and see us teaching and correcting one another through the songs we sing and in every message that God gives us to speak.

What do others see in us, really? I’m inclined to believe that not many who know God, know how to represent that relationship in such a way that it doesn’t appear to be one of superiority. When we speak, is every word condemnation or invitation? When we do things is for the glory of self or God? Are we truly compassionate people or are we like those who cross the street to keep from getting involved?

How can we expect God’s mercy to overflow in our lives when we cannot show mercy to others? Where would we be if–we had received from God what we deserved–rather that benefit from His mercy? I shudder to think where I’d be without His mercy. Therefore, with the mercies we receive every day, would it really be too difficult to show mercy to others? 

I am inclined to believe that when we are incapable of showing mercy to others, refuse to offer assistance when we are in a position to do so, and cannot love–everyone in spite of who they are or what they do; we do not have rich word living inside of us. Rich Word, the Word of God, the Word of Truth, the Word of Love, the Word of Forgiveness, the Word of Mercy, the Word of Faith, the Word of Grace, the Word of Correction–full of wisdom and more valuable than all the jewels that can be found on earth. This rich Word should be living on the inside, always at the ready when we speak or do anything.

Father, in the name of Jesus, help us to gain insight and understanding into Your Word, so we might partake of it daily, and allow it to dwell richly inside of us so we may know how to treat one another.

 

Worshipping In Spirit and In Truth!

“God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth” (John 4:24 NIV).

How is it that this conversation that Jesus had with the Samaritan woman is still needed today? Are we still worshipping gods made with the hands of man to the point we do not understand that the God we serve, is self-sufficient and is Spirit?

How do we worship God in Spirit and in truth?

When I think about the wind that we cannot see, but can see the effects of the wind, I know that God must be in the plans of man. Not that I can “visibly see” Him, but I can see the effects of what He does.  The majesty of the mountains is God’s handiwork. The beauty and the magnificence of the oceans and seas are God’s handiwork. The blueness of the sky, the brilliance of the sun, the twinkling of the stars, the mystery of the moon, all God’s handiwork. When I look at the animals and how they worship God–their songs, their play, their ability to do exactly what they were intended to do, I see God’s handiwork.

When I look at my life–the past to the present–I know that God has had a hand in what I do; and when I think about the future, I am convinced that His plans for my life will be fulfilled. So, when I worship Him in spirit, giving Him praise for all He has done, is doing, and will do, I worship Him from the deep recesses of my inner being and not just as a physical manifestation such as singing, shouting, clapping or even writing. If I had no voice, I could worship Him. If I had no hands, I could worship Him. If I had no keyboard, I could still worship Him. My spirit and His spirit are intertwined so that He knows, even if I don’t say a word, that He is my God and I am His child.

Because I know His Word is Truth, I have no problem accepting it and living according to His Truth. Does this mean I am perfect? Far from it! What it means is that I know how He expects me to live and how to treat others, but there are times when I blow it, but I am quick to acknowledge my shortcomings and depend on Him to correct and guide me. Sometimes, I deliberately ignore what He is saying because it is not what I want to do, but He knows His child and He knows that eventually, I will do what He asks me to do.

We worship God in Spirit and in Truth by living according to His Word. Our lives should be a praise and worship unto Him.

Are we there, yet?

Lord, help us to become true worshippers of Who You are and not just offer You lip service or live a life that does not bring glory and honor to You. Help us to acknowledge that we need You in every aspect of our lives and we owe everything to You. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!

Time to De-Stress!

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6 NIV).

Most of the time when we become anxious (stressful, fearful) we make decisions that are truly not advantageous to us or others around us. Fear–the tendency to move/act without wisdom (thoughtful deliberation)–creates havoc in lives, in our society, and throughout the world.

If we only operated in love--being more concerned about the welfare of others–we would not have time to fear (perfect love casts out fear and doubt). But then again, we have to remember that fear–like love–is a learned behavior. When people experience things that make them anxious or fearful, the behavior or response to the experience becomes habit.

When people learn to hate–and it is a learned behavior–they pass that experience and their reaction on to others and it becomes a perpetual cycle until someone has the courage to break it. The same is true for those who become over-anxious about things. These are the people who make foolish decisions because they do not know how to think things through before a decision is made. People who commit suicide couldn’t think beyond the moment. People who kill other people won’t think beyond the moment. People who plot and conspire to kill and destroy have been influenced by Satan and are incapable of thinking right thoughts for themselves because they lack wisdom.

The response to all the fear, anxiety and hatred is to relax, de-stress and turn it all over to God. We cannot do anything about people on our own, but Paul reminds us that we can communicate our concerns to Him. And then–we have to be like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego-if God changes the circumstances or not–He’s still God and we should learn to stand on our faith in Him.

So, today–whatever your circumstances might be that have attempted to make you anxious–look them in the face and say, “I have presented my requests to God over you and I will not be anxious about the outcome because God has this covered.” Now, relax–take a deep breath–count to ten and have a praise party all by yourself. He’s worthy!

De-stressed and giving Him praise! Works every time! Hallelujah!