Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Funny Class Moment

So here at Sky Ranch, I teach a class entitled "Expeditions." During this class, we take the kids on a hike to talk about the carbon cycle, walking them through how carbon can move from one organism to another. For the section where I talk about carbon moving around in the Animal Kingdom, mostly through animals eating each other, I get the kids to act out different animals that are going to eat or be eaten by another animal.

A few weeks ago, I got a kid and told him to be a raccoon. Not knowing what to do or what noise to make, he finally gave a feeble "rawr." (Think the sound you make when you pretend to be a monster)

I gave him an exaggerated confused look and simply said, "Um, raccoons don't rawr."

Cue enthusiastic laughter from my raccoon demonstrator, the other kids, the adults, and myself.

Good times....good times...

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Necklace

I recently re-found an old necklace that I had bought years ago; probably at a tourist spot in Colorado. The leather of my South African necklace is starting to fray, so I decided to take the elephant cross pendant off it. The necklace already had a pretty cool arrowhead pendant on it; so I added the elephant cross and a Sky Ranch Sky symbol to it. After doing all this, I realized that these three pieces tell about four things that make up a big part of who I am.

First, the elephant hair cross. The cross is a representation of my being a follower (to the best of my feeble ability) of Jesus Christ. I believe He lived a perfect life, and willingly died for my sins, rising again to sit at the right hand of the Father.

The cross is made of elephant hair which is a constant reminder of my time in South Africa. Those were two trips that changed my life completely. They were times when I can vividly remember God reaching down and speaking to my soul and spirit. They were incredible times of learning and being stretched.

The Sky symbol is representative of my time at Sky Ranch. The lessons in patience, tolerance, humility, confidence.

The arrowhead is representative of my Native American heritage. I believe I have Crow, Creek, Cherokee, and Apache blood in me. Sadly, I have no documentation (yet) to prove this conclusively.

That's just a short little bit about my necklace.

Two weeks ago I was sitting with a group of students when one of the boys said he knew something about me that I didn't tell them. Upon being asked, the boy said that I believed in God. I asked how he knew that, to which he replied, "You have a cross on your necklace." To my embarrassment looking back, I remember changing the subject by giving him a curt "Yep." Now I realize that that had the potential to be a great chance to talk to him about God. I didn't take it. I was embarrassed to talk about my Lord and Savior with a 5th grader.

This past week I was sitting with a different group of students (8th graders this time) and one of the girls asked me point blank if I was a Christian. At this point, I remembered my conversation with the 5th graders, and in an instant knew that I wouldn't repeat my previous mistake. So I engaged the conversation and actually talked it out with them.

It felt good to be able to have the chance to redeem myself like that. I don't know if that was God giving me an extra shot at it (though why couldn't He?). I took the chance and it was great to rise up the way I should have done in the first place.