An Ode to the STAAR Test


How your standards have made
A wonderful stress
For a kid of third grade

Where baseball was enough
For our schedule to do
Now we squeeze time
At night for you, too

We love your added pressure
And will never forget
Your trick Math questions
That I can’t seem to get

You are a deep mystery
Like a new Rubik’s Cube
Only the stickers are rearranged
And put back with super glue

Your answer options, O My
How you love to tease
The answers are F, G, H, or I
Instead of those silly A-Ds

You add a colorful dimension
In the midst of fighting strep
We get to train our 9 year old
In the ways of college prep

And let us always remember
How the fear of failing makes
Kids love to learn these subjects
No matter how long it takes

So, here’s to you STAAR test
You beautiful, standardized law
We will get back to work tonight
And make more bricks without straw


Why You Need Stop What You’re Doing and Read A Meal with Jesus….

mealI know this book has been out a couple of years now so sorry to be behind if you’ve already read it. But if you haven’t yet give yourself a tremendous gift and read this book. You won’t look at food, meals, mundane preparation, and making disciples through ordinary methods again.

Here are a few highlight quotes for me:

“Jesus spent his time eating and drinking–a lot of his time. He was a party animal. His mission strategy was a long meal, stretching into the evening. He did evangelism and discipleship round a table with some grilled fish, a loaf of bread, and a pitcher of wine.”

“Robert Karris concludes: In Luke’s Gospel Jesus is either going to a meal, at a meal, or coming from a meal.”

“The meals of Jesus represent something bigger. They represent a new world, a new kingdom, a new outlook….meals are more than food. They’re social occasions. They represent friendship, community, and welcome.”

“If I pull down books on mission and church planting from my shelves, I can read about contextualization, evangelism matrices, postmodern apologetics, and cultural hermeneutics…it all sounds impressive, cutting edge, and sophisticated. But this is how Luke describes Jesus’s missions strategy: ‘The Son of Man came eating and drinking.”

“When Jesus eats with Levi, the message is clear: Jesus has come for losers, people on the margins, people who’ve made a mess of their lives, people who are ordinary. Jesus has come for you.”

The grace of God turns out to be uncomfortable and embarrassing. Jesus is socially disruptive; his radical grace disrupts social situations. And we don’t like church to be disrupted. We regard marginalized people in the church as ‘a problem’ to be ‘handled.'”

“Jesus reminds us that the world is not going to be trashed but redeemed. Food matters because it is part of God’s good creation and part of God’s new creation.”

“Every time we eat, we celebrate again our dependence on God and his faithfulness to his creation. Every time.”

“What are some of the things you associate with a party? What do most people associate with church? How can we make church feel more like a party?”

“Jesus didn’t run projects, establish ministries, create programs, or put on events. He ate meals. If you routinely share meals and you have a passion for Jesus, then you’ll be doing mission. It’s not that meals save people. People are saved through the gospel message. But meals will create natural opportunities to share that message in a context that resonates powerfully with what you’re saying.”

“If you want to understand a person’s worldview, don’t read a book. Talk to them, hang out with them, eat with them.”

“People often complain that they lack time for mission. But we all have to eat. Three meals a day, seven days a week. That’s twenty one opportunities for mission and community without adding anything to your schedule.”

Go READ it…