Let's just say that the first two weeks of school have taken a bit out of me. I love what I do, but life has reached another level of busy...and that's even with teaching one less block than last year.
A Rundown of Things So Far This Year:
Classes: My classes are great so far, especially 9th Grade Bible. I have redesigned the curriculum of the class and things are going great. We have been studying the life of Daniel as our model of what it is to live a discerning life and the kids have really enjoyed the study. If you haven't read Daniel in awhile, you should go through it. What a great dude and what an interesting life.
Soccer: Soccer is going well, but is taking up a crazy amount of time. I can't believe it but I have actually contemplated giving up coaching (I realize that some of you may have just spit coffee or some other beverage on your computer, feel free to clean it up before continuing to read). I love being around the boys, but getting home between 6:30 and 7:00 every night takes it toll after awhile. The team looks OK so far. We are not going to have as much depth as my first two seasons and we are also really young. These are the major factors that are going into me classifying this as a rebuilding year. I've told the boys that the goal for the year is to learn to play good soccer and results are secondary.
Chapel: Let me start by saying that I do enjoy being the Chaplain. Let me follow up by saying that there is a ton of stuff that comes along with being the Chaplain that are not what I would call my "gifts." I was supposed to have a secretary help me keep things organized and what not, but she ended up leaving this year. This has left me with a bunch of administrative things that go along with chapel that I don't get that excited about. But, I guess with more responsibility comes more meetings, emails, and various other forms of organizational things.
So far things have gone well for both High/Middle School Chapels. I do find that I'm so focused on making sure the schedule is full and time is used wisely that I don't have as much time to prep for teaching the day of (my usual habit). This has been good because it has forced me to really prepare ahead of time, but it's hard to teach and old dog new tricks and so I still don't know how comfortable I am teaching something that I've prepped pretty far in advance.
Chapel #1: Was our first chapel and so I was glad I didn't teach. I just wanted fill the time while getting used to the whole thing. We had a great time with a game where the kids had to choose the real band from lists of various fake names. It was great. Ken, our director then spoke about being "True Faced." We ended with the kids looking at some lists of words and writing down what was one their hearts, as well as what they were seeking in life. I was shocked at how honest the kids were. Many admitted to feeling guilt, sorrow, loss, and other painful emotions.
Chapel #2: Building on what the kids shared, I decided to do a 2 part series on guilt. Yesterday I told the story of David and Bathesheba. We discussed the confrontation of the prophet Nathan and then spent most of our time studying Psalm 51, where David's guilt causes him to cry out to God. It was such a great transition into sharing the Gospel, especially when David says, "You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart." It was great to share with the kids that sometimes guilt is a good thing because God uses it to show us that things are not right in our lives. 2 Corinthians 7:10 was also great: "Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death." I initially didn't think that I made much sense, but several kids told me they appreciated it and so I trust the Lord used His Word in the lives of His kids.
So that's pretty much the insanity. Oh yeah, I'm going to a World Cup Qualifier tonight between Austria and France, and tomorrow we're loading up the fam to go to Eggenburg for the Middle Ages Fest and last night we had a class party for our Juniors. No rest for the weary I guess.