A Fresh Approach to Education

After 12 years as principal of Clintondale High School, Greg Green had a bad feeling: He knew his school was failing its students.

Especially the at-risk ones. Only 63% of the kids at Clintondale went on to college, and 35% didn’t even make it though high school. It was rated as one of the worst schools in Michigan.

He and his staff had tried everything they could with the school’s limited resources. Nothing worked.

But he had an out-of-the-box idea.

Green is also a coach. To get the most out of the time he had with his players, he’d been making them videos to watch at home so they could see what they were doing wrong and how they could improve.

What if academic classes operated the same way, with kids prepping in advance by watching videos online at home or in the school library, and then doing their work in school, during the day, with teachers on hand to assist?

Could that actually work?

By 2011, Clintondale had flipped all of its classes, the first U.S. school to do so.

Clintondale’s failure rate dropped from 35% to 10%. College enrollment went up from 63% to 80% in two years!

Article by Scot McKnight

Learn more here

Hometown Hero’s

Has your hometown young man or woman grown up to be a star athlete in college or the professional sports or some other national exposure? Do you find yourself looking back in time, saying, “I remember him when he was a kid and never imagined this would happen?”

You are amazed at what he or she has done, because you can see them as a young person growing up with all the struggles of youth in your hometown.

The people of Nazareth overlooked Jesus also. “What do you mean the carpenter’s son is doing all these miracles?” The people of Nazareth took him for granted. They thought they knew him.

How about you? Do you take Jesus for granted also? That story about the Nazarene’s taking him for granted in the Bible was meant to be there for us to learn from. All of us, at some point of time, can’t see the greatness in the young people in our midst and can’t see the mystery and greatness in Jesus the Christ.

Mark 6:1-6 Jesus went out from there and came into His hometown; and His disciples followed Him. When the Sabbath came, He began to teach in the synagogue; and the many listeners were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to Him, and such miracles as these performed by His hands? “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?” And they took offense at Him. Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and among his own relatives and in his own household.” And He could do no miracle there except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He wondered at their unbelief.

Testimony at Church

Do you remember the scene, in the movie Friday Night Lights, where the camera was in a car slowly driving around the town of Odessa? The car was showing home made signs in the windows of businesses. The signs said, ‘Closed early for the football game’ or ‘Gone to the game’ or something similar to that.

Friday night high school football games are still a big thing in the cities and towns of not only Kansas, but the entire Midwest. I don’t know if that is everywhere across our nation or not, but I know it is here. It is a testament of how much we love the game and we want to support the kids of our communities.

What about Sunday mornings? Is going to church in your community still an important thing to do? What if everyone who claims to be a Christian in Kansas went to church on Sunday morning?

Now some people can’t make it Sunday mornings due to sickness of family members or necessary work, but the rest of us could go.

Most of us, as Christians, would have difficulty getting up in the pulpit on Sunday morning and giving our testimony. Most of us would also have trouble going door to door in our communities to tell people about Jesus and the Gospel. But one thing we could do, we could and should go to church on Sunday morning. What a testimony that would be, if all those who call themselves Christians, went to church?

The churches would be filled up in our communities. Actually, would there be enough room to hold all the people in the churches if everyone showed up?

Give your testimony next Sunday morning by going to a local church and worshiping God for an hour or so!

1. Pew research on religious composition of adults in Kansas (76% say they are Christians)
2. Pew research on how many Kansans go to church (37% of us)

How to Win the Culture War

From the book ‘How to Win the Culture War’ by Peter Kreeft is the following quote, “Perhaps the popular conception of saints is ‘nice,’ but real saints are not nice. They are warriors. They really bother people, so deeply that they are often martyred. If they don’t bother anybody, they are not saints. That is what Jesus said: “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you” (John 15:20). You don’t take nice people and nail them to a cross.”

Have you ever seen the movie, ‘Cool Hand Luke?’ In the movie Luke (Paul Newman) is put in a fight ring with Dragline (George Kennedy.) Luke refuses to give up. When I read the book ‘How to Win the Culture War’ by Peter Kreeft I thought of the movie ‘Cool Hand Luke?’ As Christians we should never give up the fight and tolerate sin and believe in the false peace that the world would give us.

There has been lots of speculation over the years about the movie having religious symbolism with Luke being Jesus. Let me encourage you to watch the movie and read the book from above.

Bible App

Research your own Bible App, but maybe it is time for you to read the Bible everyday on your phone, tablet or computer. I am not promoting any one over another one just encouraging you to get to reading today.

What I learned at Practice

The object of the game of football is to win the game. To win the game you must score more points than the other team. Sure defensive football coaches like to say, “If the other team never scores we will never lose.” But your team must score to eventually win that game.

So in my mind the offense is very much a part of the foundation of a football team. The foundation of the offense is the offensive line, the center, guards, tackles and yes those offensive ends.

The offensive line never gets the glory. The quarterbacks name is always in the paper. The top running back is always interviewed by the media. The defender who makes a great play or has the most tackles will get some publicity also. Once in awhile the offensive end will get some press but he has to do something besides just blocking to make the grade for the media.

This basic foundational part of football was taught to me back in high school. I was an offensive end. My high school football team ran the Wing-T with two tight ends most of the time. When the coach would divide the team up into positional practice, the offensive ends went with the offensive line coach.

I did not understand, why did I need to learn to pull like a guard, cut block, crab block, pass block or any of the other things an interior offensive lineman learns to do? Only after high school was over, did I finally realize the importance of the offensive line. When I would go to football games, post-high school, I was constantly watching the offensive line to see what was really happening in the football game. So the best education I received, about football, was when we were with our offensive line position coach.

Did you know that everyone that joins the Marine Corps is trained as a rifleman-infantryman first? Doesn’t matter if you will be an officer, enlisted, tanker or pilot you get the basics of rifleman-infantryman training first?

My thought is everyone who joins a football team should also be trained as an offensive interior lineman first. The quarterback, the running backs, the wide receivers, the defensive players, the kickers everyone should learn the basics of the offensive line. I can hear coaches now saying, “We barely have time to teach the kids their proper position let alone teach them some of the offensive line stuff!”

Doesn’t that sound just like life? Sure we go to church as often as we can. We are on the team, but we don’t have time to learn or study the basics of faith. According to studies of Bible readers, only 13% of folks read the Bible daily.1 How much time do you spend in meditation and prayer, daily? How much time do you spend in adult education in your church? Yes, the basics of faith just slip away from us.

Jesus was the kind of man who had the glory but gave it up to be a servant and savior for us. Offensive lineman, give up a chance for glory, (name in the paper or interviewed by the media after games) to deny themselves and give of themselves for the team.

Yes, Jesus is our coach today, but while he was on earth, I think he would have made a great offensive lineman. He was calling the blocking scheme at the line of scrimmage against satan’s evil team. He also was calling the offensive team to him, after the play, to come huddle up with him.

Join the team and learn the basics.

Mark 8:34 If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

(My football coach, when he got unhappy with offensive backfield players, would send them to the offensive line position coach, to learn about sacrifice.)

  1. Daily Bible reading poll