Trying to stay in the game…

http://offthewallplays.com/2018/06/06/think-before-you-vote-south-african-play-for-schools/

 

So – I may be stuck in a 24-7 job (literally 😦 ) and have no time to do what I love and write… but, at least I am keeping in the loop with what I have done in the past…

Continually praying for a new, less stressful, less all-consuming job for tuppence…

Hmmm  – I think I’m supposed to change that into the positive – Praying for a new, happening, enjoyable, inspiring, uplifting, motivational and well paid job, that gives me time… relaxation, joy, peace…

Amen.

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May 20, 2018 … God? Is it You or us?

Lord, are you a figment of our imaginations? A being created – a story created to give us hope, when really there is none? I know YOU send bees and butterflies and all I need in YOUR perfect timing, is that because I chant that YOU will, and so the universe moves to my thoughts and makes it so, or are you so? A mass group of humans processing the same power and thoughts and thus making it all as it is through mass – collective thinking and belief – which would be one flipping powerful source, definitely with the power to create all that it does in its perfect timing…

MissLea2010, humans do not think collectively, they do not believe collectively, because their experiences, their thought processes, their “everythings” – literally – are different. Nothing going on in or with any one of you is identical. You are not capable of being the constant consistent that I AM. You all change continually and your minds drift between thoughts and beliefs and doubts as many of you – at the level of bothering to think about it – struggle within yourselves with regards to the ‘ultimate’ truth. You also exist in bodies that are physically separate, thus separating thoughts and soul energy, and never being identical to any other. So, I am not a figment of your imaginations, I AM the truth you need and the centre and consistent that will hold you together. Indeed, you are correct, without me, there is no hope. I AM the only ‘drug’ with positive side effects, the only story that connects up through the different minds and journeys and experiences you are all naturally separated in living and knowing. To tie up so many different humans in such a constant way, cannot be an act of humanity, it is not possible across centuries to have such a story created, crafted and executed and shared by human will and action alone. Your thoughts are powerful, yes, but when you are low, you aren’t thinking of that bee or butterfly, in fact, it is always a surprise when you see it, if you were willing it / thinking of it / calling it, then it would not be the thought distraction or surprise that it is. I send them, because you need them. I send them because I love you. I send them, because you need the upliftment and hope to keep going. We’re in this together, no illusion, no delusion. Keep on keeping on, for it is good and it will produce goodness. Walk in light, love and kindness, for and to others, and for and to yourself in relationship with Your Heavenly Father. Be loved – by MY power and presence and Grace, that is of ME and not of human creation. Be still and KNOW that it is so.

is there any ‘supposed to’ at all?

It is a pity that a certain dance many moons ago, gave me a tangible feeling of what it could be like to be held in safety and comfort and protection, held in a way where the numerous, tough, challenging and debilitating factors of living this earthly life are absorbed and lessened, halved and reduced as they are overtaken by something more precious and beautiful – unconditional love, tangible presence and hope… in music and dance…

Are those factors of ‘hope’ delusions though? Merely made up feelings to help us purposeless beings keep going through this undefined, unqualified, birthed & die existence?

Are we just Spirit energy playing around in these earthly bodies, because we need the earthly bodies to feel and be? “Floating around as energy” alone would mean we couldn’t experience anything at all, but ‘floating’… Is this ‘earthly time’ all just one big playground of delusions and illusions?

Brokenness created so that we have a contrary and a foil to the otherwise ‘perfect’ existence of ‘floating Spirit’ only?

If we are just playing, experimenting and experiencing, then it is all truth and it is all ‘right’ – alright – because the Way, The Truth and the Life, is just to be. Down here on ‘earth’ – travelling this ‘playground for Spirits in physical matter’ in our earthly ‘costumes’; some on a journey of love, others on a journey of adventure, some for Spiritual Enlightenment, some on personal level attainment – like computer games I guess – where each ‘life’ can be lived on a new level, if you have completed the level before. . . and like all travelling holidays, afterwards, you go home…

So my question: What’s my travelling holiday here all about? What level am I on? What am I supposed to be doing to be content in this holiday from my ‘floating energy home’? Am I on a holiday / is it an envoy mission? Are people taking too long to work through their levels? Is it creating a backlog for other players/Spirits? Is it creating frustration for Spirit that no ‘Greaterness’ has been reached with so many players?

“Lean not on your own understanding” – the hardest quotation I have ever had to deal with. I want to understand, I want to step up and do and be whatever it is that I am supposed to be and do – but then, is there any ‘supposed to’ at all?

 

“Good” Friday… what’s “good” about it?

“Good” Friday.

I woke up this morning, wondering what was so “good” about it? Amidst other demons I fight daily, – most being birthed from my decision to live a “Christian” life in the real-intended way – a looming one at this time of year is the pain found in true empathy with the facts from the history of this day. A day that confirms that human beings within themselves are not trustworthy – voting for a murderer, instead of an innocent man, to be set free. Inventing such a thing as Crucifixion – horrendous! What revolting beings some humans must be to invent something so barbarically cruel and torturous to do to another human being; and then act on it. This group of beings who fit into the same category as I do: “Human”, taking a leader, teacher, compassionate, loving and miracle-enacting-man and crucifying Him. Then in that Crucifixion process – in His moments of excruciating pain – He asks that those behaving diabolically be: “Forgiven, because they know not what they do.”

So what is “Good” about today? The example. The headline news that others do not have to control our hearts and minds. That no matter the pain, the hurt, the suffering, the emptiness, the loneliness, the desperate agony created by that which cannot be undone, we can be free of it all in Spirit. We can forgive. We can cast aside our selfishness – the only thing which is keeping us in pain and conflict and everything negative – and we can rise above that pain with empathy to understand that those who inflict the pain upon us do not know what they are doing. They have not chosen to rise above themselves, they have not chosen to leave behind all their negativity so they can be free. The pain and hurt, nightmares and bad, bad, bad karma that awaits them and their children and all the blind descendants beyond them, who will receive worse punishment and more prolonged agony than anything their predecessor ever felt in the moment of killing or harming another. One moment to pierce and break a man, a lifetime (and beyond, as your children and grandchildren will be changed negatively by your prolonged inability to see) to live with it.

What is “good” is that The Man, through indescribable pain and torture, still understood, empathised and acknowledged that He was more than what the ignorant made Him out to be. He was more than what He had been reduced to. His contentment, peace and ability to love from a position that encouraged none of the three, cried out in truth within itself, because no hero story was ever written where the hero was left completely defiled and alone with not one person staying or intervening with a climax plan to save the hero from death. What is unbelievable about the story? The hero did not fight, or defend or attack, He simply stayed in his truth.

What is ‘good’ is the truth of the reactions of the participants in the story – it reflects humans who live in fear, humans who run around scared, unable to be constant, able to deny their truth and fabricate stories to help their minds eliminate their guilt by making up such tales as to justify their behaviour that has made a situation worse and not better.

What is “good” about the story, is that it is too real and too honest to be passed over. It is a story where the people who wrote it could have claimed glory for themselves, but they did not. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, James and Paul all admitted guilt, all accepted and wrote about their denials, their deficiencies, their guilt and the fact that they were scared, confused, afraid, lost and all that ‘heroes’ and ‘great authors’ would not proclaim themselves to be when writing about something as incredibly honourable as being a ‘chosen one’ to witness a resurrection. They wrote of their truth as humans, and took no credit for anything they did, but all suffered torturous deaths in the end to serve the one they denied.

The ‘good’ of the day, is that it shows me that the hurt, the pain, the suffering, the doubt, the confusion, the need for help and to have cups taken away from me, are not only struggles within me, they are a part of the human journey. Centuries of it, still unchanged: That the suffering must be, but how I react to it, how I live through it, how I fall and forgive and weep are all part of the story, and if I choose well, I will also rise again. I just wish I hadn’t been so exhausted through the years of living this truth. May we all continue to find HIS energy to rise again and beyond the tortures of being human.

Shall we still be forgiven; because we “now know what we do”? … And God says we shall… What is good? GRACE.

Contemplation of a Vice

This has become a transcription of Andy Stanley’s thoughts on “Killing It!”

Being in the Festive Season now, at Year End, and thinking about the year that has gone. Thinking about how to be better next year, how to not repeat mistakes and how to inspire and uplift next year, more than I break down. I came across the following set of thoughts on personal improvement and I wanted to share them:

What keeps me From… and Causes me to…

What keeps me from celebrating someone else’s success…

What keeps me from initiating an apology whether I am 5% wrong or 95% wrong…

What keeps me arguing a point no matter what…

What keeps me from admitting I lost…

What keeps me from admitting that I have weakness…

What keeps me from admitting I need help…

What keeps me from admitting that I don’t know what I am doing, even though everyone else knows that I don’t know what I am doing…

What keeps me from being honest with myself and others…

What keeps me from learning new things, or keeps me learning many things, because I want everyone around me to think that I know everything…

What causes me to feel good when others fail…

What causes me to power up when I should be opening up…

What causes me to cheat before giving up or losing…

What causes me to exaggerate the story…

What causes me to lie about my past, lie about a failed marriage, lie about the fact that I didn’t qualify without fail, lie in telling the story…

What causes me to have to have the final word…

What causes me to buy things to impress people who aren’t even paying attention to me…

… PRIDE …

Not the inspired by my children and good and honest things pride, but the “yucky” pride. The pride that is connected to the C.S. Lewis quote: “Unchasity, anger, greed, drunkenness… are mere fleabites in comparison… Pride leads to every other vice.”

This is the pride that we all have inside ourselves. We have all been the victim of it, in family and relationships. It is something we see so easily in others but battle to see in the mirror. Pride is ugly and insidious. For a contented and peaceful life, insidious pride, should be killed.

Stanley lists the following points:

Pride diminishes you. It makes us think we are bigger and better than we are, “it puffs us up”, but in reality: pride makes you smaller and diminishes our capacity to admit to things and apologise when necessary. “I know I should apologise…” but there’s an internal battle, and if you don’t apologise, then pride has won. It’s difficult to say what we need to say, and pride makes us smaller when we let difficulty win us over, instead of what saying what we should.

Pride diminishes our capacity to say what needs to be said. A compliment, without a jibe, without a nasty comment, without personal bitterness tagged on the end of it, is the result of pride. In the state of succumbing to pride, you can’t say what you need to or hear what you need to, or give what you need to give. If you give pride the remote control of your life: then when those moments come where you know inside yourself that you “need to” – you won’t, you don’t, you can’t… pride is really that strong in you, you genuinely can’t; and it can only go downhill from there.

Pride essentially diminishes our capacity to love.

Pride diminishes our capacity to receive love as well.

When you are full of you, there is no room for anyone else, and you don’t even know it when you are practising it. People walk on eggshells around you. People don’t know how to respond to you. People around you feel pressed up against a wall around you at work, or as friends, or in your family, because the slightest word from them and there will be conflict. Not necessarily in audio, but in passive-aggressive behaviour, in silence, or even in aggressive behaviour. Pride deprioritises everyone else in the room, there’s no room for anyone else but you.

Along with crowding people out, Pride also has the ability to crowd God (a higher power / a set of values higher than yourself to aspire to) out of your life too. Thus, in some cases: it is your pride, and not your intellect, that is keeping you from God. It is not how smart you are that is keeping you from faith, but your pride. One thought to gauge by: If the issue is intellect or pride? With your two or three valid arguments against God / a higher power; you take God / the higher power out of the equation: If you stiff arm the people in your life with your intellect, then it’s a pride thing.

In pride, prideful people seek what is best for themselves. In all of the proud man’s thoughts, there is no room for anyone else at all. The proud man is the centre of his universe.  Thus, pride is a prison that shuts others out. It’s a prison to your emotions – it doesn’t “feel” good to apologise, so pride gets you reasons not to; it doesn’t “feel” good to let the other person “win”, so pride gets you reasons not to “give in”.

Is your goal to have no-one love you at all? Sadly, that’s what bowing to pride creates…

If you aren’t sure if you have pride blocking your progression, ask those close to you: “In what ways do you think pride manifests itself in me?”

Or take this New Year to ask yourself: What does pride masquerade as in me? Confidence – masking arrogance? Intellect – masking feelings of inferiority? Fashion – masking insecurity? Sarcasm? Commitment to excellence? What is the reason behind why you practise what you practise? If it is healthy, great. If it honestly, is not, then it’s time to break up with pride and move on to better, healthier things. Why would you want to follow on with the something that has the potential to kill everything of true value to life and living?

To be able to enter Christmas in the truth of the Season, and the radical awesomeness of love, of a better approach to work, to your colleagues, and to your family and friends (how many are left?), take the steps that will help you say what needs to be said, hear what you need to hear, give what you need to give and be all you can be – do all you can to be the ultimate you…

http://killinitseries.org/

http://northpoint.org/messages/killin-it/

Pride says: “Wait” … Love says: “Initiate”

Uplifting those who want to do good things for a better South Africa

As 250 delegates in the South African Parliament Buildings unite peacefully from 13h30 to 16h00 today (24 Nov), I am grateful. I am grateful that there are people willing to put their words into action. I am grateful that there are still people around who practise insurmountable faith. I am grateful that there are people living in my country who know the power of positive thoughts, who trust in the goal of peace, who know that South Africa is a beautiful, amazing and wonderful country that is worth holding on to and praying for. South Africa is worthy of praise, it is worthy of love, it is full of incredible, persevering, resilient and faith-filled individuals, many of whom will be joining their hearts and minds, together with the 250 people in the parliament buildings, to show that they believe in better. To show that man does not need to bow down to and accept the egos, selfishness, materialism and injustice of men living for themselves alone; that man can choose to acknowledge and be governed by what is Higher than broken men; more Worthy than criminality; more Loving than hurting men; more Grace-Abounding than revengeful men; more Trustworthy than selfish-ego-driven individuals; and more Wise and Awesome than the limited capacity of man. I am grateful for those serving more than a consumerist Black Friday, more than a bank account that has no meaning in eternity, and more than the instability and unreliability of themselves. I am so very grateful for the Amazing Power of Jesus Christ and Our Father in Heaven. I lift up hope, faith, peace, love, and all the things that my home country needs, to The Provider, The Ultimate, The ONLY who won’t let us down, and I am Thankful for the privilege and freedom that my country gives me to publically state this, and openly acknowledge that I LOVE my Country and My Father. I pray that all those around me will – in word, deed, action and thought – let victory be found in LOVE and a regeneration of the inherent goodness of South Africa and South Africans. In the Awesome Name of God, I lift up great thoughts and gratitude. AMEN!

Are teachers-in-training making themselves redundant?

This is a fairly long article for the just: Student teachers live on their cell phones, even in the classroom. Who needs a person dedicated to their phone, more than the children they are teaching, sitting at the front of the classroom? With projects like ‘Hole in the Wall’ taking off and granny clouds of retired individuals skyping en masse learners, should the upcoming teachers be so attached to their phones, that they actually can’t give the learners the 100% attention they deserve and need? If the phone is more important than the educator, why have an educator there, when Google can supply information? Why hire teachers who don’t focus 100% on engaging learners, when children can be given phones / tablets to stare at too?

It has been terrifying over the last decade to watch the new student teachers coming into schools to do their teaching practicals. Not only in South Africa, but around the world. Upon chaperoning a trip to Europe this year, along with my other international teaching experiences, it was evident that this is an international wave, not just a South African one. I also read an article recently at how high the new teacher drop-out rate is overseas.

Looking at the London schools I taught in and the metal detectors I had to go through. Listening to a teacher at a school in America where children get marks for arriving in class, and for putting the correct information at the top of the page they hand in. Hearing at one point that Australia had the highest teenage suicide rate in the world. Having our Greek Tour Guide tell us that she believed we were good teachers and that there weren’t many of those left. Has left me despondent at where the ancient practice of teaching is heading.

Our Greek Tour Guide spoke of the many school tours she had guided and how the unruly children usually had teachers who did not care, or teachers who were just there to do a job and take home a pay cheque. She spoke of how the teachers even went to nightclubs with the children. Yet, there we were, three seasoned teachers with a group of teens who had a Greek Town ice-cream shop giving them free ice-creams because the owner was so thrilled that they were so friendly, polite and well-mannered! Our Greek Tour Guide told us that this was only because of the teachers, us, taking our roles seriously and being dedicated to our role as role models, thus creating the well-mannered learners that we had brought with us. Of course, the trip was not without the usual need to curb teen behaviour, but for the most part, times were kept, discipline was maintained and education was happening.

From our side of the conversation, we were confused, because being a teacher was a calling with a purpose to be role models and upskill young people to be the best that they can be. We knew our role was to be the parent in parental absence (and not the ‘friend’), so discipline would be issued when the need arose and rude behaviour would be dealt with immediately. Our Tour Guide told us that few of the tours and teachers she had encountered saw their roles as we did. As we listened to Ancient Greek history, we were told that the Olympics were for the body, the Universities for the mind and the theatre for the soul and moral teaching of the nation. As a drama teacher, I know that Dramatic Arts is always on the bottom of the selection list for learners (and budget for schools), yet that is where morals are discussed in depth through text and empathised on stage. As I watch new teachers making themselves redundant through the umbilical cord to their mobile phones, and their inability to empathise with the learners wanting to engage more, I am terrified at what the future holds. Machines to teach a textbook, no discussion. An elimination of the Arts as they aren’t ‘reason’ subjects, but reality-empathy-internally focused subjects, creates an environment for computers alone. A creation of a generation of individuals who are unable to engage with others; and their inability to engage is affirmed by their teachers, horrifies me.

The Tour Guide’s opinion was then confirmed on our ferry ride to Italy, where a teacher with another group left the teenagers to do what they felt like, include pester our young boys, right next to our teachers’ cabin. We literally went out of our cabin numerous times to ask them to leave us alone and go to bed, but they were relentless in being annoying and showing themselves as desperate to get to the boys, it was a horrible experience, especially as one of our boys was badly seasick in the process – the foreign girls, however, felt nothing, and have probably never encountered the concept of empathy, their teacher did not assist us or even check on any of his learners once. Having seen illegal refugees climbing under the trucks boarding the ferry and later having things stolen on the ferry (not that these two things are connected, by any means), we were surprised that the other teacher really had no interest in the safety or behaviour of his learners.

In having worked through other situations, and having personally seen the power a teacher has to create the entire ambiance and ethos of their class’s behaviour; I know the great power that one human being has to change the way an entire class of children see, face, deal with and encounter their daily life. How can this happen if the teacher’s focus is “self” and “phone”? An example of my ambiance point from many years ago: One group went through our high school starting in grade 8 together and moving on up to grade 12 through the years. In the one subject, there were two classes, each with a different teacher. The one class entered a final practical examination supporting each other and sharing information and helping each other, the other class held onto their information, wanted to ‘be the top student’, and were underhanded in some of the things they said and did. After observing what I had, I spoke about my observations to a colleague as I couldn’t figure out why the two classes were so very different: what would cause such discrepancy, when they were all of the same year? My colleague told me to move my thoughts to the teacher in charge. When I did, it became clear to me what she meant. She said that our classes become who we are as we lead them and those two classes had each had the same teacher for that subject for three years, thus they had taken on the life approach of the respective teachers. The one teacher being a sharing, caring, let’s do this together teacher, and the other being a controlling, competitive teacher who preferred to work in isolation. The realisation scared me. Who was I as a teacher? How were the learners be manipulated, and changing their approach to life, through what I was subliminally teaching them? Which was the better approach to have? Looking at the classes, the sharing and caring ones were undoubtedly happier and far more relaxed than the ones who were fearing failure and building up insecurities they may never even realise they had.

This influence that a teacher has, that goes beyond the intellectual and academic, is very real. What would a computer-taught child thus become? Human beings who are becoming teachers just to get a pay cheque at the end of the month are fast becoming a norm in the classroom. Student teachers came in to a school do their practicals a couple of years ago and some of them slept in the computer room during the day. On several occasions they ‘forgot’ or ‘didn’t know’ that they were supposed to teach a class. Even with a bare minimum timetable, they were unable to be prepared enough to teach the lessons. I have even had student teachers where I have had to correct them because they weren’t teaching correct factual information because they didn’t understand the concepts themselves. There had been no initiative to find out, only the thought that the children will believe whatever they were told.

My honours lecturer came into one of our lectures the one evening ready to break things because about 50% of her education major undergraduates had sat messaging their friends on their phones throughout her lecture, not even looking up to read the presentation slides on the screen. New teachers and interns are continually asked not to be on their phones in class. I have had observation lessons where a student has spent about 75% of my lesson distracting me as they sat on their phone at the back of the room, barely even lifting their head. Showing no desire to learn, no desire to grow, no respect for the teacher and no respect for the children.

In an altercation at yet another school: the live-in student teachers / stooges / interns decided that they shouldn’t have to do night duties in boarding and that the school should give emergency phones between the duty student teachers’ area and the boarding house, so that if there was any emergency, then the children could phone them. What shocked the experienced staff even more than the idea of leaving children without an adult present, was the self-orientation of the future teachers. It was like all the years of devotion and sacrifice of the older teachers to create helpful, considerate and giving individuals, who put others first, were a complete waste. The new era of up and coming teachers were showing them that the safety of the children was less of a priority than their personal comfort and the use of a phone. That knowing the children had an adult present was less important than the students being able to be where they felt like being. That behaving like an adult / a parent / a person who can be trusted to look after children was less important than being a teenager themselves. Thankfully, the ruling remained and the duties stuck so that the children would have adult presence 24-7, but even so, the shock of the truth in the approach of these soon to be teachers was like a punch in the stomach to those who teach out of love and sacrifice to make the world a better place for all and not just themselves.

Maybe, if the future of education is now in the hands of selfish and immature individuals, then maybe this idea of electronic education with no unsuitable role model on their phone at the front of the classroom, is not a bad idea after all… I know I had teachers who changed my life through their love and selflessness, and I’m not sure real teaching can happen without those gifts.