I have been absent from this world for a while. I am preparing to leave Missouri and head to Illinois for a year on a vicarage assignment. I am hoping through the nest year I will be more faithful in corresponding what is transpiring in Staunton through this medium.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Getting into the groove

I think we are already going through our most stressful part of the year? This week is English week, and there is a ton of activity around the school, especially in the english office, and even more especially with the Foregin American Teachers. WHo knew we were such a comodity here that students would actually have a little bidding war about the best times to come and have one of us listen to their speech, story, or poem.
Other news on the horizon, or at least in my mind, another conclusion, which will hopefully lead to a little more action. I am starting to think about all of the great material that is slipping through my mind, and into or onto nothing. I would realy like to start a journal, perhaps outside of this, or maybe right on these pages. I am not sure about its contents yet, but I just feel like a bunch of the experience I have I am loosing because it is not getting placed down on any medium. I need to get a little notebook to jot all my quick little thoughts down, like some aspiring poet. Anywho, I am off to teach my newly created Wednesday Morning small group. Perhaps I will share more upon my return.

just going...

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Breaking new ground

So much for living up to the promise I made about getting on and updating this thing on a more regular basis. I guess the question would be, "what has been going on the last few days?" Well there are a few items of interest that I can talk about:
I have been making great headway with someof my classes and then I spent much time making sure others knew what is going on. If there is one thing that is harder than most to to follow in a classroom it is a teacher that has no semblence of discipline. I am having a hard time breaking through to some of these kids that I am not a push over like the last teacher apparently was. So the second to last class of the day yesterday I had to hard ball a kiddo because he was doing a half assed job, and then someother students came to his side saying the last teacher was not so mean, to which I responded, "I am not the last teacher!"
Then we found out that as a large group we were all being invited to go to Hong Kong in November to be a part of the LCMS Asian Ablaze kick off. Even though I am not too sure what Ablaze really means, and I mean the REAL meaning behind it, I think I will go to try and get a better idea. Ablaze seems like a noble cause, but what is the motivation? Christ or Numbers? Those that are reached are supposed to register their thoughts or response to the Ablaze feeling, or message? I do not know, but that is for a seperate entry, maybe after I get back.
Now I am sitting here trying to figure out what to do with my saturday morning. Maybe I will write a few lessons out or at least get and idea of what to write. Maybe I will play some video games until I am restless enough to move into a more comfortable position.
I have a new camera now also, so perhaps I will take a little bit to go around and get some pictures that everyone has been missing out on for a little bit of time.
Peace, Hope, and Safety to all of you, I am praying for the United States and that it does not devour itself from the inside out during these days. I hope Rita is kind to the gulf coast, my prayers are with all of you...

Just going

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Prayers for Sunday

Prayers of the Church

L: Faith.
Trust in God through Christ.
It is not 'believing where we cannot prove', but rather the conviction and confident trust in a God who has proved himself to be utterly reliable and faithful.

C: Oh God, you have given us Faith through your Son, you have shown your faithfulness to us; let us daily show our faith in You!

L: Love.
Without love it is possible to be orthodox, but not Christian. Love for all God's people includes the radicals, the fundamentalists, the liberals, the Protestants, the Catholics. Love for Christ, and love for others, cannot exist without each other. We love him as much, no more, as the one we love least.

C: Oh Lord, you have given us Hearts to Love, help us use them!

L: Thankfulness.
God deserves to be praised for his creation. If God has taken pains over His Creation, then as we see the Creation from God's perspective, our response must be to praise and thank him. But second, when we look at things God's way, no one is a hopeless case. We focus on possibilities rather than difficulties. We stop praying from the darkness of our own shadows. Unfortunately we are, to some extent, 'visually handicapped' and our perspectives of others are distorted. When we understand the value of the other to God, then we will be more thankful.

C: Oh God give your Church the eyes to see, and the tongues to Praise your Creation!

L: Hope, is the antithesis of despair.
Knowing God means knowing our destiny - so hope isn't something creating itself in a void. Hope is one of the three great realities along with faith and love that will last forever. It is the strong conviction that the God who was with his people in the past will be with them now and forever.

C: Oh Lord, our Hope is in the Name of You! Our Hope will last forever!

L: Gracious Father, as we come together we pray for the whole nation of believers, specifically we want to pray for;
Family, both believers and non-believers, that our experience here would be a reassurance for the kingdom of believers; for the non-believers who would see our faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus and be open to the Holy Spirits leading.

(for)Faith, Hope, Love, and Thankfulness, that all of these gifts may be renewed and pour out of your believers as we walk daily.

(for)The collection of prayers on the Hearts and Minds of those present and not. Oh God you know what is on our hearts, let us offer everything to You without hesitance.

All: Trust in the LORD with all your heartand lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,and he will direct your paths. Proverbs 3, 5-6

These are the prayers we have for our missionary service for todays missionary service. Please pray them with us.

just going...

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Where are we going?

This is a Prayer that my Uncle Forwarded to me...

Thought you might enjoy this prayer given in Kansas at the opening session of their Senate. It seems prayer still upsets some people. When Minister Joe Wright was asked to open the new session of the Kansas Senate, everyone was expecting the usual generalities, but this is what they heard:
"Heavenly Father,
we come before you today to ask your forgiveness
and to seek your direction and guidance.
We know Your Word says,
Woe to those who call evil good,' but that is exactly what we have done.
We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values.
We confess that we have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and call it Pluralism.
We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.
We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.
We have killed our unborn and called it choice.
We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.
We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self esteem.
We have abused power and called it politics.
We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition.
We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression. We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment. Search us, Oh, God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Amen!"
The response was immediate. A number of legislators walked out during the prayer in protest. In 6 short weeks, Central Christian Church, where Rev. Wright is pastor, logged more than 5,000 phone calls with only 47 of those calls responding negatively. The church is now receiving international requests for copies of this prayer from India, Africa and Korea. Commentator Paul Harvey aired this prayer on his radio program, "The Rest of the Story," and received a larger response to this program than any other he has ever aired. With the Lord's help, may this prayer sweep over our nation and whole heartedly become our desire so that we again can be called "One Nation Under God." If possible, please pass this prayer on to your friends. "If you don't stand for something, you will fall for everything."

Friday, September 16, 2005

For some reason...

Have I said that I was going to try and be a little more faithful in updating this thing???
Well I am going to try dang it! The fact of the matter is that there has been a great number of break throughs in my teaching and in the students I am teaching, and I have been spending more time with my students than doing much of anything else.
Let me tell you that for the last week and a few days I have been setting up several meeting times and after school opportunities for me and my students to interact. Carrying over some ideas from America, and melding some ideas I have heard being thrown around by teachers here.
What is the greatest part of teaching? Or what is the greatest lesson you can teach as a teacher? For me in the setting that I am in and the culture I have been thrust into, the greatest lesson that I can teach is that I am strict and stern, but that I care more about the students than their behavior in class. The message and lesson that I try to teach is that I am there to be a conduit for God. I always try to relate a message of God and His love through my actions in the classroom.
Now this certainly takes a different meaning to people with different ideas about what or who God is. But there is one thing that I think we can agree on, is that any man or woman believer can be a testament to how great our God is.

This is my mission here.
The Lion and the Lamb are together combined in my spirit come forth into a blessing of the Ghost given to me in my baptism. May my soul rejoice to you in these words; The splendor of the King that is clothed in majesty and is waiting to be revealed to the people of this world, and I am here because I am a chosen member of the flock. Is this work reserved specifically for me? I believe so. How Great is Our God? All will see how great in just a short time, for what is the age of men when compared to the infinite God? My heart will sing this song to God, How Great Thou Art, Name above all Names, you have blessed me with the ability, you have blessed me with the passion, now if it is Your will Father, Bless our Kingdom With a harvest. A harvest so numerous that the store houses in Heaven overflow ontop of themselves.
Great is your faithfulness Oh God! As you wrestle with my heart on a daily basis I can do nothing but dissappoint. My flesh is my thorn, but on that day you will removed my flesh to reveal the spirit your Son has given to all men and women. Lord I will ask you to increase my spirit until my flesh has worn away, Remember your people, remember you children, remember your promise Oh God! Your Grace is Enough Oh God! For me and all people, if our lives are forfeit and we have your grace do we still not have all?

What is the point of this entry? An overflowing spirit of Joy and Peace, Hope and Love. have you not seen this before from me? Expect more, God is too good for this not to happen.

Just Going!
This is how I feel on Friday after teaching...

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Chapter the...Rules you hope you never use.

There are rules that your parents had, when you were younger, that they hoped they did not have to use. I guarantee it. There are rules that I put into motion as I entered the classroom that I hoped I would never have to use. Was the matter so large as to merit an entire entry? Perhaps not in the eyes of some, but in my guesstimation, yes I think so. The feelings I have now are mixed between several lines of thought, mostly boardering on the validity of the punishment I proclaimed on the wrongdoer.
I am in the middle of a struggle with myself on whether the punishment was harsh enough? Or too Harsh? After all the perpitrator took the rule into account, then disregarded what I had set in place, and took the offense even beyond what I had even established. By the measure of the rule what she had done deserved a much harder punishment, infact the ultimate punishment was certainly warranted, but when there are tears in the eyes of the one who has done the wrong, and you know that this person is understanding and sorry for their action, do you continue down the path of Righteous Judgement and Punishment, or do you for-fo what is called for by the law and lay an even greater precedent? You know the weight of your guilt and now you are free of it, but not free of the punishment. Was my action the most Christ like? I ask this question not to probe for answers but for myself, to probe my heart.
This seems a whole huge mess, that might prompt an email, or a phone call, or a comment even, but whatever your response know that this issue is past, and I will not dig it up again, the hour has past, and I look forward to the next second of new thoughts and prayers

just going

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

I am Concordia Middle School teacher Sam Beltz: and this is the Longest day of My life...

Sweet Nectar of the gods, I call you internet...
Perhaps that is a little overboard, but we finally have what is really the cheapest and easiest way to contact people from America and Beyond. So what has been going on while we have been out of touch? Well there was a Typhoon that rolled through and took out some of the trees on campus and did a little damage to some out lying buildings. There was a little more damage farther north in Tai Pei, and as you move south on a map there is less and less damage.
We were supposed to start up classes last Friday, and have meetings for the English Department all day on Thursday, but class was conceled National due to the Typhoon so everything was pushed back a day which was nice because we started school this past Monday, which is much nicer than a Friday.
I have been in the classroom two days now and it has been great. I am loving how interested the students are in learning English. It has been great for me and my confidence to see how they are reacting to what I am teaching. As for now I am unwinding from the day adn have not even collected the thoughts from yesterday. I am going to make Guacamole, here are some pictures.
Well I guess it is time to show all of those faithful readers and viewers where I am staying for this year. Simple and Elegant I know, and I love the way the rug ties the room together. Notice the upper left corner, one of my little cultural additions to Taiwan, a set of UT Longhorn Foam hands.

just going...

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Chapter the Twenty Fourth: Typhoon Central

As New Orleans is dealing with the aftermath of what looked to be a biblical style flood, as well as half of the south, I sit in our den in Taiwan dealing with what is the worst typhoon of the season, there is rain like crazy and a bunch of branches on the ground, some down trees and a little water damage in our place of residence.
I was told by my Dad that I should change the country I am in on my profile to Taiwan, so that no one thinks I am in Africa other than Taiwan. Thanks for the concern Dad, love you...

These are some pictures that I got to take when we had our little outing to Tai Chung this last Monday. The grafitti on the power box is something that I came accross when we were walking down a main street looking for some food to eat. I thought is was pretty funny because some of the group told me it was a strange likeness...

The photo to the right is of a very large department store/mall building which there are several of in Tai Chung. The photo in my last post also was of a large mall building. These buildings are 12 stories plus in most cases, with 3 sub levels of store and then 5 more levels of parking underneath, quite impressive. Taiwan I must say is years ahead of the U.S. as far a mass transit. I cannot wait until there is a train that can make it accross the U.S. from New York to Seattle, or Houston to L.A in 5 hours or so. Travelling would be so much more fun, and you could see the country side, without driving for 30 hours. It would be great...
Just a thought George.

Just Going