Both of the sprouts start their junior year today, the oldest in college, the youngest in high school. It seems appropriate to pray today.

Great and mighty Lord, let me start my prayer off with the big stuff. Please do not let there be any school shootings anywhere this year. If someone tries, let them be stopped long before innocent lives are cut short. Please let those in positions of leadership stop squabbling over such things as who uses what bathroom, and instead focus upon the stuff that really matters–like grammar, mathematics, science, and history. Still thinking about big stuff, Lord, I ask that teachers will earn their value–not just the lowest amount we can get by with–and I’m okay with taking some money away from athletes, movie stars, and corporate tycoons to do it. Oh, and while I’m at it, convict every school district in our nation that teachers should not have to buy the supplies for their classroom.

Now let me get to what might be thought of as smaller stuff. I pray for all of my children’s teachers to be the kind of teachers that inspire, motivate, and encourage. Please keep the ones that just show movies all day long away from my two daughters, and especially keep the ones that like to demean religious people (like that history teacher a couple of years ago) or argue politics or make my daughters cry by saying mean things, far far away from them. Let those kinds of tea9049675_orig[1]chers all decide to quit and do something else.

I also pray, Lord, that all the athletes will be safe for all their games and that no one will get hurt.  I ask that the coaches care more about the character development of the athletes than wins and loses, and so too will the fans. I pray that the chess clubs, debate clubs, science clubs, and fine art departments will be just as supported and funded as the athletic departments.

I pray that bullying not happen at all. I ask for Junior High to not be painful for anyone, especially those that feel different, odd, or out of place.

I pray that SAT and ACT scores go through the roof, that everyone graduates, and no one goes to school hungry. I pray for moms and dads to be very involved in every facet of their children’s learning.

I pray for parents who homeschool, and their children–that the unique challenges and wonderful opportunities afforded by that choice will be a blessing.

For universities, I ask that such silly things as trigger warnings be left behind, and that instead colleges be places where people’s values are challenged without their personhood or safety threatened. I pray for transformation of individuals in college–positive transformation into critical thinkers and leaders who will help us solve the problems around us, not slip into the morose of sameness that seems to be spreading so quickly.

One more thing Lord–I pray that money, or the lack thereof, never keep anyone from getting the quality education they need. I mean this at the district level in a way that every school district, no matter how rich or poor, gets ample resources. I also mean this at the college level–that no student will be forced to rack up insurmountable debt just to graduate.

There are so many things that could be better about the way we educate in our nation, but there are also many things that are right. Thank you for committed teachers, careful bus drivers, wise administrators, and dedicated school boards, who work so hard to make certain every child is loved and cared for. And I thank you for the gift of learning and discovery, which you have made to be part of the human experience.

In the name of Jesus I do pray. Amen.





Quick post today, because, let’s face it, I have more important things to do than write blogs today.  Somewhere in this house are some graham crackers and peanut butter that needs to be eaten.

However, I can’t help but share with you a discussion I had with my youngest sprout today.  She was telling me about the in-school suspension at her school.  Back when I was in high school we called it Isolation.  Some schools just call it Detention.  Her school, however, calls it . . . are you ready for it . . . you won’t believe this . . . they call their in-school suspension EPIC.



Why don’t they just call it “the school program for the real cool kids” or “legends lounge” or something like that.  Epic just doesn’t sound like punishment.  It sounds like the Hall of Fame.

Worst.  Name. Ever.




This morning as I was getting ready for work, my youngest daughter calls me from the school bus and says, “I forgot my binder.  Can you bring it to me, everything for today is in it.  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!”  Who can resist that, right?  So, on the way to work I drop by Cedar Heights and leave the binder in the office.  I told the kind woman at the desk, “This is for my daughter.  She is in seventh grade, which means you will see me many, many more times dropping things off for her.”

Over the years my children have called for various things they have forgotten to be brought by the school.  Here are the most common, “Daddy, please bring me…”

1.  Lunch.  My children forget their lunch far too often.  I find this as a great surprise because all they ever want to do is eat.  How can people who eat that much ever forget their lunch?  It doesn’t make sense.

2.  Forms.  I don’t know what it is about children that causes them to procrastinate, but it seems like they wait until the last minute to turn in that form for whatever–a permission slip, a school picture form, a health document or whatever–but then they forget to bring it on that absolute last day it is due.  Forms will be my ruin.

3.  Schoolwork.  This really starts happening in junior high and continues through high school.  Schoolwork doesn’t seem to be that pressing in elementary.  To my way of thinking, the key reason they often forget schoolwork is the ridiculous schedule they are on.  I have yet to figure out how you can have 6th period first?  Back in my day, we had the same classes everyday.  It wasn’t until college that I first had a MWF then a TTH schedule.  But South Kitsap doesn’t do either of those.  I don’t know what their method is but it seems like my daughter could have math on Tuesday, then again on Friday and the following Monday but not again until Thursday.  No wonder they don’t know what day homework is due.

4.  Money.  By money I don’t mean lunch money, I mean money for things.  $30 for PE uniforms, $40 for a band field trip, $120 for ASB, $15 for homecoming tickets; there is always something they need money for.  It often feels like the school is trying to bleed me dry.   If I had more than 2 kids I would probably have to get a second job delivering pizzas just to get by.