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Having Done in Room 1501 (Week 19-22) Passion or Fear in 2015?

Week 19 & 20 in room 1501 at Joy Christian High School were a wrapping up of the entire first semester of the 2014-2015 school year. (Weeks 21 & 22 were Christmas break)FullSizeRender

Week 19 & 20 were a couple of weeks of tidying up Bible Class Notebooks that would serve as the final grade of this first semester of Bible Class.  There were a couple of Zeros I had to give as a final grade.  The Notebooks worthy of being graded actually received a grade as low as 12 out of 100 and some received a 100!  It is quite an experience grading final work.  It shows how much the student cares and for some it simply shows that the student has brilliant strategy.  Strategic students know the educational system.  They know they want to pass the class, get the grade and move on.  Some of the students are doing so incredibly well in the class, that to even take a zero on the notebook, doesn’t drop their grade even a letter grade.  So…a few skipped the notebook and got a zero.

Now, to the rule follower adults reading this, who are shaking your head or even possibly feeling disgusted by this type of student behavior…This strategy actually made me smile.  As a teacher, I gave these students a zero on their final grade and moved on.  I can’t take it personal.  Some of these students who strategically took a zero learned a principle I taught in the first two weeks of Bible Class. They learned about what I call our Personal Hermeneutic.  If you want to know what these 6 levels of Hermeneutic are all about, you can read about it in full detail  here… Week 6 of this blog series of “Having Done in Room 1501”, titled (Spirit Week).  Simply click here.

These few students took ownership in their decision and knew that they could still get an A or even a B by taking a zero on the final project/test of this first semester.  If you read the levels of Hermeneutic, these students did not live in fear of being punished (Avoider), they are not living to please(Pleaser) their teacher or even their parents.  They are not living for some worldly reward (Seeker).  They simply worked hard all semester and knew they had created enough of what I call “grace space” that they could relax/sluff-off and be fine with the final result.

I personally think these students can be the ones who end up being the leaders of our future, because they know how to move forward in life successfully without pleasing everybody around them.  Some of the greatest world changers became what they are because they knew how to strategically break the rules, think outside of the box, generate change, and not be held back by fear of what other’s think.

Please know…I love the students who did the final project perfectly and accomplished an amazing Bible Notebook that is in perfect order. These students too, can have great success, and their work ethic of near perfection, shows it.   The principle I’m trying to point out, is that both example students mentioned above are right.  Just different.  I would bet a lot of money (and I’m not a betting man) that the student who understands the strategy of being able to get away with a zero and still get the grade has more potential at becoming a world changer and leader.  Why?  Usually the person who is in pursuit of the perfect grade, and doing everything by the exact rules laid before them…is someone who is not willing to break outside the box and break a few rules to accomplish something.  Again…this is not about right or wrong.  It’s about style and strategy.mandela and fear

Martin Luther King Jr. had to break a few rules to make change.

Nelson Mandela had to break a few rules to make change.

Benjamin Franklin had to take some huge risks to bring us some incredible inventions.

Michael Jordan failed at the freshman high school basketball tryouts and was cut from the team.

Isaac Newton was told by his teacher that he would never amount to anything.

Beethoven was told to he would never be successful in the music world.

You get the point.Road to success

After all…what is school really about?  Is about getting the best grade? Getting an A?   Is it about doing everything the teacher asks or requires?  No.  It is about the student becoming prepared to be successful in life.  Some of life’s greatest successes happen when we live motivated by our passion and not our fear.   

Are the majority of your decisions you make in life motived out of fear or pursuit of your passion?

I believe your best decisions in life are not the ones that make a lot of sense to other people…even your friends or family.  I think the best decisions in life are made through the understanding of how God made you, what He made you passionate about, and then pursuing those passions through the risk necessary to do what God asks of you.  It’s different for everybody.

The longer I am in the educational and academic system the more I am recognizing that Academia would prefer you to be a robot just like the robot sitting next to you in your class…just like the robots sitting in the Academic Chairs of Authority….so tests are created to make sure you are answering the right robotic questions to make sure you are the robot you should be….measuring all the robots in the industrial robot production lines to other robots.

I’m afraid the average school system is too much like the original line of Henry Ford’s industrial age, assembly line production, of the first car he produced.  These cars came off the assembly line with only one color to choose from, all exactly the same.  It was a great victory for the American way to build a profitable business.  My problem is that it seems that America is stuck in the past of thinking this is still the best process to create success today.  This might be true in the production of material goods, but not in any people business.

I believe our current culture is stuck in the cul-de-sac of the Assembly line age.  Those who are of age to have been influenced by the Industrial age of Assembly lines, are still in leadership of American businesses and are wrestling with the younger generation who have been raised under the influenced of the World Wide Web.  There is a giant traffic jam currently stuck in this Cul De Sac.  It is going to take time and lots of frustration before the traffic takes a U Turn and leaves the Cul de Sac.

Let’s take a moment and think in more detail about what I’m trying to say.   What does Henry Ford and the world of academia have to do with each other?

I do not think Henry Ford’s greatest invention was the Model T car.  In fact Henry Ford didn’t invent the car.  He invented the Model T version of a car. But, I do not think Henry Ford’s greatest influence upon our world came from the Model T…it came from the invention of the Assembly line.  Henry Ford discovered the ability to produce an affordable car through the assembly line that increased the efficiency of manufacture and decreased its cost.  Ford did not conceive the concept, he perfected it. Prior to the introduction of the assembly line, cars were individually crafted by teams of skilled workmen – a slow and expensive procedure. The assembly line reversed the process of automobile manufacture. Instead of workers going to the car, the car came to the worker who performed the same task of assembly over and over again. With the introduction and perfection of the process, Ford was able to reduce the assembly time of a Model T from twelve and a half hours to less than six hours.1926-ford-model-t-assembly-line-photo-338182-s-1280x782

Henry Ford is an inspiration to the USA.  He is a hero to capitalism.  Henry Ford’s style influenced millions of Americans to think differently about production and success.  I think Henry Ford and the other’s who were inspired to copy his style of business might have influenced our American Education System.

Have we created an education assembly line, that maneuvers individual souls down conveyor belts, to Education Assemblers who aim to manufacture products of same-ness?

It is an honest and fair question.  I think the answer is, yes.  And, I think this style has crept into our Churches, Hospitals, HOA’s, Sports world, and many other people circles.

This is why I personally am thrilled to see students jump off the “assembly line”…okay with getting a zero… to live strategically towards their passions, not afraid of the wrath of the Assembly line workers.

I am convinced… greater purpose and fulfillment is achieved through living in your passions and not your fears.  I am also convinced that those who live in their fears will someday arrive at death’s door very safe.  It is terrifying to step out, challenge, and/or ignore the assembly line workers, and live for your passions…but those who push through the terror of stepping out…will be the ones who change something in this world.

Some with a strong Bible understanding, might say that fear can be good, and also might quote the incredibly wise Bible verse of Proverbs 9:10,

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.”  

I agree that there is a great purpose in Fear.  Please understand when I celebrate the person who strategically ignores a few rules, that I am not talking about anything that has to do with sin.  When I say I love the person who follows their passion…I am not referring, for even a second, that I celebrate unholy living of any kind.  That is not success.   Some fear is necessary.  The fear of putting your hand on a burning stove.  The fear of being too close to the unguarded edge of the Grand Canyon.  The fear of head on collisions in automobiles. The fear of breaking the heart and will of God.

That’s good fear.

That Bible verse, above…it says the BEGINNING OF WISDOM.  I don’t just want wisdom’s beginning.  I want it’s middle and end.  I want its fullness.  We must have some motivation based from fear.  I’m simply saying we must be very wise in WHO we fear.  I have a serious problem with the RULER Hermeneutic (Clink link and go to Ruler Definition section of that blog).  This type of person believes that if you break their rules, you dishonor God.  This type of person would really have struggled with Jesus in how He confronted the Pharisee’s of His time.   My goodness…Jesus was a rule breaker.  He followed His Passion…To honor ONLY the Will of His Father…at the ignoring of many authority’s rules.

And He was successful.  It didn’t make a lot of sense to the people around Him.  Even those very close to Him…who spent years with Him.  Jesus was so misunderstood because He followed His God given passion.  I wouldn’t say that Jesus ignored His fears…He instead had great courage and trust in His Holy Father that overruled his fear.

It’s not wrong to be afraid.  It’s wrong to listen to your fear at the demise of the Passion that God you to accomplish something for Him.

2015 is Here…ANOTHER YEAR IS ABOUT TO BLAZE BY….What fears are holding you back from living in the Purpose(s) that God is calling you to live for?

What do you fear?  Is it possible that the Devil has instilled some fear in you to try to keep you from doing what God would have you do and be?

I challenge you to really break down your fears by thinking about what it is you truly fear.  When you write down a few things you fear…then…ask yourself Why you fear it.  When you think of the answer…write that down too.  Then ask yourself Why again.  Do this process about 5 or 6 times and I think you will get to the root of what you truly fear.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of all Wisdom.  I challenge you to live in complete wisdom…not just in wisdom’s beginning. Complete wisdom will be found by filtering through all the voices in your life and in your head and only listening to the Voice of God.   Listen to only God’s voice.  WARNING NOTE:  God’s voice will never tell you to do something that isn’t already founded in the Bible.  Or, as I like to say it…

GOD’S WILL will never go against GOD’S WORD.

Living for GOD’S Will through God’s Word…will cause you to live as an individual designed by God as an individual, who will stand before God individually to give an account of everything you did.  Don’t be a robot.  God created you as an individual.  If you live in the USA, then you also live in a country that is founded on individuality, filled with truths to be self evident.  You are created to be free.  Live in the Freedom of how God created you to live and follow His guidelines (Bible) of true freedom.  It’s the difference of living for your fears or for your passions.

Happy New Year.

Bring it!




Having Done in Room 1501 (Wk 16-17) :) Color outside the lines! :)



I am at the end of my 17th week of being a first time professional teacher.  I’ve been on Thanksgiving break all week…which is officially week 17.  I haven’t blogged on week 16 until now…well…because I’ve been on T-Giving break!

Last week, as we closed down our 16th week to get ready for this great break I’ve been on, we had an all School Thanksgiving Chapel service.  The chapel service is how Friday ended.  We were done by 10:30 AM that Friday and everybody was so excited to get off campus and begin our full 9 day break!!

Before I talk about what I learned from the All School Chapel Service, I simply want to say, it is a true challenge to try to teach the Students of Room 1501 the entire week, when they know they have a full 9 days of break coming up.  ADD, ADHD, SPASTIC KIDS, TROUBLE MAKERS & RULE BREAKERS come out of the cracks and push any adult irritation button they can find. 🙂

I didn’t mind.  I was one of those students too.  In fact, I’m going to guess that you have trouble focusing at work when you know a big vacation is coming up.   So, I planned for it.  I prepared for the week to be of a lighter subject in Room 1501.  It made for a good week. “If you can’t beat em…join em!”  And when I say “beat em”…I mean it in all senses.  LOL

On Friday, this Chapel service was really great.  See Pic. TGiving Chapel pic

We sang songs, watched video footage of different people saying what they were thankful for.  Played some silly games, prayed, listened to a great message from Pastor Patrick Youngs and then we ran for the parking lot to begin our Thanksgiving Vacation.

I was reminded of something at this chapel service.  Again, it was an all School Chapel Day.  This means that ALL students K-12 were in attendance.  As the chapel service progressed, there was great excitement coming from the 4th Grade and below age groups.  When the speaker asked for a response, this age group complied enthusiastically.  When the worship leader was leading us in song, this same age group sang at the top of their lungs!  They laughed out loud when things were funny. They were fully engaged.

I think this age group is special.  I wish this age group’s carefree and uninhibited demeanor is how we all behaved for the rest of our lives.  I think this type of Child is what Jesus meant when He said, 17 I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”  Luke 18:17 NLT

These kids were inspiring to watch and listen to.  They were fully engaged and they obviously didn’t care about the High School and Middle School Age Group’s potential of making fun of them for such “silly behavior.”

I think you know what I mean.  These young kids would do about anything.   They have great courage and are unrestrained.  Some of the sophisticated types might call them, undignified.

That word, undignified, is found in a great Bible story of King David…He came dancing into town in front of the Ark of the Covenant after a great battle.  His wife saw him  and didn’t just roll her eyes but scolded him for such undignified behavior that was not befitting of a king.  I love King David’s reply….In fact…here is the story… It is found in 2 Samuel 6:16-21

16 But as the Ark of the Lord entered the City of David, Michal, the daughter of Saul, looked down from her window. When she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she was filled with contempt for him.17 They brought the Ark of the Lord and set it in its place inside the special tent David had prepared for it. And David sacrificed burnt offerings and peace offerings to the Lord. 18 When he had finished his sacrifices, David blessed the people in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 19 Then he gave to every Israelite man and woman in the crowd a loaf of bread, a cake of dates, and a cake of raisins. Then all the people returned to their homes.20 When David returned home to bless his own family, Michal, the daughter of Saul, came out to meet him. She said in disgust, “How distinguished the king of Israel looked today, shamelessly exposing himself to the servant girls like any vulgar person might do!”21 David retorted to Michal, “I was dancing before the Lord, who chose me above your father and all his family! He appointed me as the leader of Israel, the people of the Lord, so I celebrate before the Lord.22 I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.”

When was the last time you were undignified in an honorable child-like pure way?

When was the last time you rolled down the windows of your car and sang the song on the radio as loud as you could?

When was the last time you struck up a conversation with a total stranger?

When was the last time you made a mud pie or played in the dirt?

Run through a sprinkler?

When was the last time you giggled so hard, your stomach hurt?

Built a sand castle?

Play with play-dough?

Build a fort using only blankets and couch cushions?couch fort

Finger paint using only pudding?

Jump on a trampoline?

Watching the young kids at the All School Thanksgiving Chapel reminded me of how cool it is to be a kid.  Something happens in us when we “grow up”.  I’m not sure its a good thing.  In another passage of scripture Jesus said, “”Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3 NIV

If I were Jesus I would have had the Apostle Paul add another Spiritual Gift to the lists found in 1 Corinthians 12 and Romans 12 … I would have had Paul add… “The Spiritual Gift of Immaturity.”

I have this gift.  Just ask the students in Room 1501.  I say things that the average Bible Teacher doesn’t say.  I say things the typical preacher doesn’t say.  It has gotten me in trouble with the people I like to call, “Old Grumpy Pants!”  It will continue to get me in trouble. I’m really okay with that fact.

Life is so short.

We all need to lighten up.

Go get the crayons out.  Color a picture.  Color outside the lines.  Then…bring it to me or send it with your student.

I’ll tac it on the wall of Room 1501. color outside the lines

It’ll inspire others to be child like.

It will brighten someone’s day.

It will give me a story to tell.

I’ll bet God will use it to change a life.