August 2006


Who is being left behind?

I wonder when the joke is going to end. The rhetoric about no child left behind is running in tandem to building more jails for profit. Instead of rewarding teachers for using new and innovative ways to impart knowledge into young minds brilliant young teachers are placed in a box that drains creativity, eliminates individuality, pays them barely above minimum wage and crushes their spirits. Teaching to the test is ineffective. Assuming that everyone has the same learning style is stupid. Creating a mandate and not providing the funds to implement the mandate is like fighting a war with no objectives to win or invading a country with exit strategy.

According to a release from NEA:
Bush’s current budget proposal does away with 42 education programs. These include career and technical education, school counseling, Safe and Drug-Free Schools, education technology grants and dropout prevention. Also on the chopping block are GEAR-UP, TRIO Talent Search, and Upward Bound, programs that have helped generations of disadvantaged students prepare for and attend college.The President’s proposal shortchanges No Child Left Behind by $15 billion, putting more pressure on schools already struggling to meet the one-size-fits-all requirements of the law. The budget proposal also drains $36 billion from Medicare over the next five years and at least $13.8 billion in cuts to Medicaid. Millions of Americans rely on these programs to pay for their basic health care needs – particularly America ‘s elders, low-income and working families and their children, and individuals with disabilities.

Wondering When the Joke will End

Rev. William T Chaney Jr
Senior Servant Leader
West Baltimore UMC
5130 Greenwich
Baltimore, MD 21229
(410) 945-8397
http://wtcreflects.blogspot.com/
West Baltimore UMC: Transforming the 40 West Corridor by Being and Making Disciples for Christ

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34 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. 35 Cry out, “Save us, O God our Savior; gather us and deliver us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name, that we may glory in your praise.” 36 Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting
I Chronicles 16:34-36

Giving thanks to the Lord in good times is easy. Giving thanks in the bad times is really hard. Developing a hear of gratitude for the many acts that God has done in our live can not be limited to circumstances but must be a conscience reflection of God’s continual blessings large and small.

Giving thanks for the activity of our bodies can not be limited to only the times when we are not in pain. Giving thanks for our significant relationships can not be limited to only the times that you are agreeing on everything. Giving thanks must be more than a response for receiving an extraordinary blessing but it must be a way of life.

Being grateful to God in all things teaches us to be thankful to the people around us for all things. Thanking a co-worker for a smile or thanking your boss for their encouragement can change the entire atmosphere in your workplace. Thanking a waitress for their good service and sharing a double tip to express your gratitude will win you unbelievable service on your next visit.

During your quiet time today make a list of all of the blessings that you would like to thank God for on one side of the paper. On the other side reflect on the people who have blessed you over the last week and send them an email, a card or give them a call to encourage them. Let me know about the responses people give you.

Giving Thanks

William T Chaney Jr
Senior Servant Leader
West Baltimore UMC

Faith is one of the most underutilized spiritual tools that believers have available to them. Trusting in God beyond what is rational and beyond what is comfortable is not popular. In fact most people try developing their own solutions before trusting God. Instead of being the first choice God becomes their last resort.

Changing the behavior comes from changing the values. IF we truly value God as the source of our strength, our Creator and the all powerful One who loves us, then our attitude toward trusting God changes. One way to change the attitude is to change the resources that we depend on.

I was a Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar and Brian Tracy junkie for years and then I met Les Brown, The Motivator. I feasted off of their motivational, sales, and self empowerment messages almost daily. I actually sought their advice and compared it to what Oprah would say. I was challenged to start reading my Bible in equal proportion to my motivational material consumption.

This is where the change took place. The more that I learned about God, the people of the Bible, how Jesus lived among sinners and was compassionate to the needy, the more I saw the error of the self improvement gospel. The self improvement gospel eliminates Gods principals from the equation of “living well”.

Should people be emotionally balanced, yes. Should people have goals, yes. Should people have a purpose, yes. I just believe that all of this must come from trusting in God not in ourselves. For without faith it is impossible to please God – not self motivation.

Wondering About Faith

Rev. William T Chaney Jr
Senior Servant Leader
West Baltimore UMC
5130 Greenwich
Baltimore, MD 21229
(410) 945-8397
http://blog.myspace.com/pastorchaney

West Baltimore UMC: Transforming the 40 West Corridor by Being and Making Disciples for Christ