Monday, October 20, 2008

What the ...?

Authorities in Iran nabbed two birds believed to be “spy pigeons” near the country’s contentious nuclear facility, the Agence France-Presse reported Monday.

Both pigeons were caught near the city of Natanz, which is home to Iran’s uranium enrichment plant, AFP reported. Both had metal rings and invisible strings attached to them.

A source declined to mention what will happen to the pigeons now that they’ve been caught.,2933,441162,00.html

Thursday, October 16, 2008

More than Expected

I went into this week’s drama class just hoping and praying that the kids would be calm enough for me to get through the lesson plan. I had enlisted a few friends to pray for me, and I had spent a few days prior to the class praying for the kids. Still, though, I had low expectations.

Imagine my surprise when the one child who seemed to be the ring-leader, J., came into class and said, “Hello, Miss Brittany!” I can’t recall him ever addressing me by name. Then, during class, J. continued to surprise me by reigning in the other kids and helping me keep everyone on task. Later, he held the door open for me and the other classmates, and eagerly ran to the drama director to tell her he had brought one of his grades up.

His good behavior continued throughout the rest of class, and when it came time to recognize the “best behaved student,” others in the class readily recommended J. even before I announced my choice.

I really don’t know what to attribute J.’s change to other than prayer and perseverance. The best part: I was finally able to start pouring into each child, praising them for individual accomplishments and sharing with them about how God had created each one of them with unique skills and talents. I left class quite elated and encouraged, which is definitely more than what I expected.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

What Next?

This past spring, I realized that I spent nearly every evening at home watching tv with my husband - not what I consider the best use of my time. So I decided to volunteer and join various groups. I go to dance class on Thursdays, teach drama to 8-10 year olds on Tuesdays and visit a homebound elderly couple each week. I've been dancing and teaching drama for a little over a month, but it's not going as I expected. My goal had been to form friendships and have fun, and hopefully find ways to enter into life-changing discussions with people. The problem is I often get so caught in the activity that I forget about initiating purposeful conversations.

I know the names of some of the ladies in my dance class, but can't seem to get past the initial "How are you? How is your family?" My drama class is much worse. I try to open the class in prayer and talk about how I believe God has gifted us with imaginations, but the kids seem bored and uninterested (in fact, one kid made buzzing noises with his tongue during last week's prayer). Even more discouraging is that I find myself spending more time planning lessons and worrying about "problem children" than I do praying for them.

So how do I move past the current stage to one where I can actually do or say something significant? How do I stay focused on the main thing and not get distracted by busyiness? And here's a deeper issue: how do you calm a class of 10 kids long enough to teach them drama, impart to them a glimpse of God's love and get out before chaos erupts?

Friday, October 03, 2008

Dance Steps

A friend of mine recently created a blog, Break Out Dancing, as a way to engage people in a conversation about spiritual matters. I love the writer's approach: the best way to connect is to "dance" with them. Sometimes you lead, sometimes they lead. The key is to adapt your pace and steps to match theirs.

Check it out! If nothing else, I love the case studies because it makes me think about what would I do or say in the proposed situation.