Sunday, September 29, 2013

Psalm 146

Joy - Hope - Peace.  Those are the fruits of those who live their lives in the Lord.  

Psalms, Chapter 146


2Praise the LORD, my soul;
I will praise the LORD all my life,
sing praise to my God while I live.
3Put no trust in princes,
in children of Adam powerless to save.
4Who breathing his last, returns to the earth;
that day all his planning comes to nothing.
5Blessed the one whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD, his God,
6The maker of heaven and earth,
the seas and all that is in them,
Who keeps faith forever,
7secures justice for the oppressed,
who gives bread to the hungry.
The LORD sets prisoners free;
8the LORD gives sight to the blind.
The LORD raises up those who are bowed down;
the LORD loves the righteous.
9The LORD protects the resident alien,
comes to the aid of the orphan and the widow,
but thwarts the way of the wicked.
10The LORD shall reign forever,
your God, Zion, through all generations!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

We Must Go!

Move us from just singing...move us into action!
Does my life reflect our call to put God's love into ACTION?  I read this recently in Richard Rohr's book, Daily Meditations:  "It never depends upon whether we say the right words or practice the right ritual, but whether we live the right reality."  Is my reality one that God calls us to...
To act justly every day
Loving mercy in every way
Walking humbly before You, God

Rev Tim Hughes is a British worship leader and singer-songwriter. He is Director of Worship at Holy Trinity Brompton, an Anglican church in central London

Sunday, September 15, 2013

More on our Flag...

Thanks to my friend Kristin Lukow for sharing this great news article on CBS Sunday Morning today!

Check your Answers!

The Star-Spangled Banner was.....

Made in
 Baltimore, Maryland, in July-August 1813 by flagmaker Mary Pickersgill, her daughter, 2 nieces, and an indentured servant.

Commissioned by Major George Armistead, commander of
 Fort McHenry

Original size:
 30 feet by 42 feet

 stars and 15 stripes

Raised over Fort McHenry on the morning of
 September 14, 1814, to signal American victory over the British in the Battle of Baltimore; the sight inspired Francis Scott Key to write “The Star-Spangled Banner”

Preserved by the
 Armistead family as a memento of the battle

The letter"A"
 was sewn into the original flag by Louisa Armistead, widow of the commander of Fort McHenry.

First loaned to the
 Smithsonian Institution in 1907; converted to permanent gift in 1912.

The Star-Spangled Banner officially became our National Anthem in the year of

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Happy Anniversary Star-Spangled Banner!

O say does that Star-Spangled Banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave?

Francis Scott key wrote the poem, "In Defense of Fort McHenry" September 14, 1814.  This poem later became our National Anthem. See if you know the information below.

Can you fill in the mission information about the Star-Spangled Banner Flag???????

Made in ________________, in July-August 1813 by flagmaker ______________, her daughter, 2 nieces, and an indentured servant.
Commissioned by Major George Armistead, commander of Fort __________
Original size: _________________
__________ stars and _________ stripes
Raised over Fort McHenry on the morning of _____________, to signal American victory over the British in the Battle of Baltimore; the sight inspired (who) ____________ to write “The Star-Spangled Banner”
Preserved by the ___________ family as a memento of the battle
The letter _____ was sewn into the original flag by Louisa Armistead, widow of the commander of Fort McHenry.
First loaned to the _______________________ in 1907; converted to permanent gift in 1912.
The Star-Spangled Banner officially became our National Anthem in the year of _______.

(Answers tomorrow!)

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Star-Spangled Banner by the Gaither Vocal Band

The anniversary of the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner is tomorrow!  Francis Scott Key penned the words to the poem "In Defense of Fort McHenry" on September 14, 1814.  Here's a version of our National Anthem sung by the Gaither Vocal Band.  Beautiful, inspirational, well done!  This group, led by Bill Gaither, certainly raises the bar for male harmony and excellence in musicianship!

Thursday, September 12, 2013


Music was "hands-on" this week.  Classes measured how big the original Star-Spangled Banner was that inspired Francis Scott Key to write his poem "In Defense of Ft. McHenry".  We borrowed a measuring wheel, and headed outside!  It was a beautiful cool day, so we enjoyed that as well!  Students held crepe paper as we measured out the 30' x 42' rectangle.  Most students were surprised at how big it was.  We estimated how many students might fit inside that rectangle (perhaps 200 if they were all kindergarteners!), we discussed the reasons why it was made so large, and we were in awe at the tireless effort put in by flag maker Mary Pickersgill as she, along with family and nearby neighbors, sewed the flag by hand in only 6 weeks!  This Saturday, September 14, is the anniversary of Francis Scott Key writing of the poem "In Defense of Ft. McHenry", later to become the Star-Spangled Banner. Students will celebrate together by singing our National Anthem as a school Monday morning, September 16.
2nd Graders measuring the area of the Star-Spangled Banner

Monday, September 9, 2013

The "new vinyl"

33⅓ LP vinyl record albumRemember vinyl records?  Vinyl records were popular back in the 1950s to 1990s.  In 1930 RCA Victor launched the first commercially-available LP.  These were designed for playback at 33 1/2 rpm, pressed on a 12" flexible plastic disc.

Yuri Suzuki has developed a 3-dimensional LP called The Sound of the Earth.  He has traveled the world, recording music from around the world.  His invention takes the form of a glossy black globe.  A button is pressed, and Viola!  The orb begins to spin.  A stylus runs logitudinally down the side of the globe, tracking a continuous groove spiraling around the circumference from pole to pole.  What you hear is a mashup of Suzuki's field recordings form his travels as well as fragments of national anthems and folk music from around th world.  The resulting sound is pretty disjointed.  Probably not something I would list on my Top 20 favorites!

Suzuki is quite prolific with his creativity!  Take a look at some of his products on his website!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

And I Will Raise You Up!!

Associate Catholic studies professor the Rev. Jan Michael Joncas will be the 54th recipient of the Franciscan International Award for his lifetime achievements Thursday, May 10, in Eagan, Minn. (Courtesy of St. Thomas)

On Eagle's Wings is one of my favorite songs!  God is indeed our refuge!!!  Whether, in life or in death, His Faithfulness is certainly our shield and our help!  Seek God, and He will not disappoint you!

On Eagle's Wings was composed in 1979 by Fr. Michael Joncas, a priest, liturgical theologian, and composer.  On Eagle's Wings is probably the composition he is most known for.  Many people are familiar with this song, whether they are Catholic or not! 

Did you know that in 2003 Fr. Joncas was very ill with Guillain-Barre syndrome.  He became paralyzed and found himself on the receiving end of ministry!  He has now regained the use of his arms and legs, although he still lives with pain in his hands and feet.  He can no longer play the guitar.  He has gained many insights into his life through his suffering.  Read more about his experience in an article by The Catholic Review.  

Fr. Joncas was ordained in 1980 and has been a professor at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul for over 20 years.  Last May he received the prestigious Franciscan International Award for his lifetime achievements.  This award recognizes an individual or organization that demonstrates the ideals and values of St. Francis of Assisi. Past recipients include the Rev. Billy Graham, Sister Helen Prejan, Archbishop Emeritus Harry Flynn, Habitat for Humanity and CaringBridge.


Friday, September 6, 2013

Edmodo - Where Learning Happens!

Last year I was introduced to a new learning tool called Edmodo. Edmodo is a free social learning
platform that provides a safe way for students and teachers to connect and collaborate.  During the TIE Conference in April, we used Edmodo to connect and learn during our sessions.  Later this summer, I used Edmodo whlie facilitating a class I taught during the Arts Education Institute.

My goal is to introduce Edmodo to students in Grades 3-6 before the end of the year.  This week was the beginning.  Sixth graders logged in and began a combination Technology/Science assignment.

Each student took home a letter of explanation to their parents as well as a special code that will enable their parents to log into their child's Edmodo page.  One o the cool things about Edmodo is the ability for both students and teachers to communicate and complete assignments online during times outside of the school day.  I'm hoping that parents will frequently check in on their child's page!

Edmodo is designed to get students excited about learning in a familiar environment.  We can continue classroom discussions online.  Learning is personalized and engaging for students.  Special apps help teachers to supplement what is learned in class.  Edmodo also makes it simple to track student progress. Grades and badges can be assigned or awarded.  Through student discussion posts, understanding can be clarified, and frustration or confusion can be minimized.

I'm looking forward to working with Edmodo this year, and hope to learn lots along with the students!

Sunday, September 1, 2013


"For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” --Luke 14:11

Humility is not something that comes naturally for takes discipline to focus our lives not on ourselves, but on all that we do, think, believe.  The video below is a beautiful reflection and prayer for us.