Just Rodney...

I'm a 24, a teacher, and these are some of my thoughts. I'd love to hear your comments - hopefully their nice ones - but I'll take anything.

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Location: Tomball, Texas, United States

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

I need a ride

I'm flying into Hobby Monday night @ 12:25 (guess that's actually tuesday morning!). I need someone to pick me up and take me to Tomball. I know most of you have jobs and things like that - but if any of you are able please call me, I have to get up and go fill out paper work at the school district tuesday morning. Thanks!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

California people...

I'm flying to California June 6th and will be staying at least until the 24th maybe longer. I'll be at my brothers bachelor's party for a few days, then camping on the beach with friends and family. My brother gets married on the 16th. I'll be free from the 13th to the 23, so give me a call if you want to hang out! Peace homies!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

I got a job!

The job hunt has been very slow, but my persistence finally paid off - today I signed a contract with Tomball ISD at a school that I love! God has really blessed me. Not only did I get a job, but I got a job in my preferred district, at a school that I love - it's only 10 minutes from our house! So thanks to all of you guys that let me vent when I was frustrated with this whole becoming a teacher in texas deal and especially for all of your prayers.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Anyone up for some Anne?

That's right - Anne Lamont's coming to Houston. I read her book 'Traveling Mercies' and loved it! I'm not sure what she will be talking about - it doesn't say, but you can't go wrong with Anne Lamont. Check it out here. It will cost about $25. Let me know if you're interested.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

A little help here...

I need some help. I've been wrestling with how one knows God lately. I'm wrestling with some pretty fundamental truths and it's a little scary for me. It's scary because I'm afraid that if I shake the foundation, there might not be anything left to believe in - or anything worth believing in. I'm also afraid that people will think less of me because I am wrestling with this. However, I'm committed to being real with my questions and trying to self-differentiate (this is what Ken said he thought my greatest need was when I first came to Texas - he said my self-confidence was low). So here are my struggles; I will lay a big one out for you. Hopefully you can help me. But first I want to preface it with a few things I just read from Brennan Manning's 'Ragamuffin Gospel':

"Freedom in Christ produces a healthy independence from peer pressure, people-pleasing, and the bondage of human respect. The tyranny of public opinion can manipulate our lives...What will people think?...The expectations of others can exert a subtle but controlling pressure on our behavior." (p.146)

"...a wisdom that gives some things up, lets some things die, and accepts human limitation. It is a wisdom that realizes: I cannot expect anyone to understand me fully." (p.158)

With that I'll lay my struggle out for you (this is my honest struggle before God and I'm convinced that He's big enough to handle my questions - I don't think I can hurt His feelings, rather I can show my devotion to Him by pursuing Him with all the honesty my heart can muster) My intention is not to change your mind about what you believe, but to understand why and how people believe what they believe and to see if knowing that may help me believe:

The Bible

I'm having some trouble with some of the assumptions I have about the Bible: 1. It's inerrant 2. It's inspired (I believe it is inspired by God) 3. The Bible is authoritative because it says in the bible that it is Authoritative.

For the first one (inerrancy, spelling?), I would like to know if anyone knows of a verse that claims inerrancy? Otherwise I'm under the impression that inerrancy is a product of man - created to cope with the demands of concrete credibility modernity requires. I don't think the Bible has to be inerrant to be useful or to be inspired. I think they're could be mistakes in translations and things like that.

My issues with inspiration don't have to do with weather or not the Bible is inspired or not(I believe it is), but that it is the ONLY or MAIN source of inspiration available to people today. I tend to see the whole Bible as a foundation thing as a sort of idolatry - putting the good, scared text, above all else - included divine revelation in a persons life. I know that is a little shady, but it's hard for me to believe that God gave us a final code book that tells us how to live and never intends to really interact with people like He did in the early church. I mean Paul had an encounter with the risen Christ! Is it just me or does this not happen so often?

OK, so I know we have to have faith and stuff - but c'mon! The Bible is authoritative and full of truth because why? Because the Bible says it is?!?!? What if the Koran claimed the same thing about itself? What if I claimed my blog was authoritative and that God was using me as His mouth piece to speak absolute truth for the sake of the world? Would you bank on that? I ask this question because when I'm interacting with my friends that are not Christians but seem to be spiritual and seeking - I'm not sure what kind of weight the Bible will have from their perspective. So I really have developed this idea that no matter how truth-y the Bible may be, it may have no authority in my friends' lives - so all I can do is LIVE my faith in honesty before them - share my struggles with them - and hope that they would encounter Jesus. I mean really experience him like Paul did - like I'm sure many Christians have experienced him. Personal revelation. It's like it doesn't exist anymore - at least not in the States.

OK, that's enough for now - it's 12:47 am!!! I need to go to bed.

I'll close with this invitation: Push back. Let me know what you think about these questions. What answers do you have - or what struggles do you have with them? Let's engage in real conversation, let's push back, let's find the questions to the answers and follow the trail however deep it may go.

Test time...

So if I want to renew my teaching certificate I have to pass two tests. I took one on Monday and just got the results: PASS! The next one is on Saturday and will be much more difficult, so please pray - I'll study in the meantime.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Black, White or Gray? - What JAM said...

My friend Jam and I had planned on playing tonight (his name is Julius - initials JAM). I rolled over to his house at around 8PM. We we're both pretty tired, so we didn't end up playing any music. We just watched the Rockets game and talked. He had just talked to our old drummer who is living in New York, trying to get him to move there as well. Jam has been back and forth with whether or not he wants to move to New York and is currently leaning towards moving. I think he wants me to go with him. Tonight he was eluding to the move and how great the music would be if we could play with Byron again. I smirked and reminded him that I moved to Texas to be part of Wellspring.

We talked about some other things.

Then he came back to it; he said that I was an educated, intellectual person. He said he had a lot of respect for me; for the way we can make music. One of the greatest compliments he paid me was this: He told me I was tolerant, but that tolerant wasn't the best word for what it was he respected about me. It was about how the things we believe in are so different, but that I had found a way to treat him the same without compromising my beliefs, without robbing the friendship. I like that. I like that I'm learning how to be in relationship with people that are different from me and it not be a project type of mentality. He said that he thought it was not fitting for me to stay in Tomball or even Houston (his opinion of course). That he thought I'm more cracked up to travel and wanderer. He says that spirituality is creativity (or maybe I said that and he agreed with me or something). Basically he wonders why I will stay in Tomball - even if my situation changes and I have the ability to wander somewhere else.

It's hard to see the gray areas. We tend to think things are either black or white. Everything is so extreme. You either settle in a small town for the rest of your life or you wander from big city to big city. You're either artistic and creative or dull and lifeless. You're either full suit professional or tattooed, pierced and don't give a damn about your job. I think I want to be gray. True, New York would be fun - it would be another adventure. But I've found so much here in Texas. I have met some incredible people, and am journeying with an awesome community. I have so much to look forward to. And once I get my teaching job lined up I plan on buying a house. I can use it for ministry; let people live with me. Make music in my house. I can spend my summers traveling when I'm not teaching. And I don't mean vacation. Vacation is when you spend a few weeks in another country, see the sites, eat the food, and fly home. I'm talking about living with my new friends all around the world. Soaking in their culture. LIVING with them. I'm going to Germany, London, Australia, Scotland, Slovenia. So why can't I do that somewhere else? I guess I could, but I like it here and plan on staying a long time. Things could change, but for now I'm a Texan. I think I will be gray - not completely unsettled and wandering, but not completely stuck in Tomball - stationed here, moving where I want. That's a nice shade of gray.

Monday, February 05, 2007

I've got to admit it's getting better

It's getting better all the time! The Beetles know what's up. Last week I let myself get a little down. I was dwelling on my perceptions of my job situation. I've been trying to become a teacher ever since I came to Texas, and I have to tell you - it's frustrating when you put in applications, send resumes, and go the extra mile and don't even get interviews. I'm a big doubter - a pessimist that always feels like nothings going to work out. I'll say things like, "I know God will take care of me...yada, yada, yada", but I really doubt it. Because my reality includes several days of joblessness - and I'm not talking about a full time job. I mean I'm begging for a school to give me the opportunity to come spend 8 hours teaching as a sub for a whopping $65 and some experience. Yah - I'm bitter. Sometimes I feel like God is in control of things, like he's operating the universe like it's a machine; and I know he has his hand on the freakin' lever waiting for 'his timing' to pull it. What lever you ask? Well the 'give my beloved son rodney a teaching job lever'. I can see him saying to himself - 'hmmm, ill wait a little longer - my son needs patience - he will learn a lot from waiting; he will learn to depend on others instead of himself; he will learn that I will provide what seems to be just enough for him (even though he is very rich in comparison to the rest of my children in Africa); yes, my son will be a better person if I wait longer to pull this lever'.
OK GOD! I think I've learned enough! Pull the you-damned lever (get it...YOU-damned lever - yah sorry it's a really bad joke - plus I just lost some points with my conservative friends. Sorry guys, couldn't resist - you know me!)

So why is it getting better? Because I think I am learning a lot from things not going how they were supposed to go. I think it's good for me to be frustrated. I love to be in control and be able to take care of myself. Shoot, I'd like to be so well off that I'd have enough to buy myself some cool recording toys - and not just a few - a lot of them! But maybe now that I'm depending on Ken and Becky to provide for me (even though they are in a less-than-perfect financial situation themselves), I'll be more likely to give what I earn as a teacher to others in need. I hope I'm half as generous as Ken & Becky have been to me - they buy me food, provide me a great home to stay in, take me to aggie games, let me use their washer and dryer, eat their food, jump on my bed (i've never tried this, and now that i think about it becky might object...but i might ask if it's ok), mow the lawn (yah, it makes me feel better about staying here), and a bunch of other stuff too!

So yah...I guess I'm learning something from all this.