Saturday, March 24, 2012

my teachers

I remember all of my teachers.  My husband struggles a bit--but he does have a few that stand out in his mind; ya know, the ones that taught him something he enjoyed or just stood out to him as a person.  I remember all of mine.

I've always known that teachers held a special place in my heart.  I mean, as mentioned in previous posts, from the time I was a wee tot, I always wanted to be a teacher--sure I ventured away from the idea at times, but I always came back to my original mindset.

I was in the SPARK (gifted) program all through school, and we truly became a family.  We had the same teacher for Math and English for all of our years in Middle School and High School (four separate teachers; one for each subject per campus...).  We were extremely close knit; we acted (and still kinda do) like brothers and sisters; we could read each other like a book; we knew how to push each others buttons and we did it often; we stood up for each other and for our little family as a whole;  we loved each other.  Well our junior year, we were told that we would have a new teacher thrown in the mix.  Hold the phone.  This wasn't ok with us--we wanted Mrs. Dav like we were expecting; like it was supposed to be.  But with her teaching AP American History, it just wasn't possible.  So in came Mrs. Polansky...

Most of the best memories of school happened with these love love my SPARK family.
I'm not gonna lie.  We were hard on her.  It took us a good 3-6 weeks to really be ok with and start to accept this "outsider".  But as her quirks became more apparent (we're a really quirky bunch of people so we appreciate the different) and her understanding of us came to light (not everybody gets the way we think and function), we began to break down the resistance.  And by the end of the year, she was just as much part of our SPARK family as any of the rest of us.

This morning I sat through the funeral service of Mrs. Polansky.  She was much too young and much too spunky for this to seem real or ok with me.  She passed away last weekend due to the passing of a blood clot and it caught us all unaware.

As I sat through that service, I began to have a fuller and truer understanding of how deeply my teachers had affected me--all of them, but particularly those three High School SPARK teachers.  We spent so much time with them--they helped shape and mold us into the people we are; they also molded and shaped me into the teacher I am.  Her legacy and life lessons won't only be carried on by her biological children--she also had hundreds, if not thousands of students who will do that too.  

Then I started thinking of my time as a teacher.  How would my students remember the times in my class?  What influence did I truly have on them--or did I have one at all?  What will they remember about me as their teacher?  

Too often, we let the people who truly have an effect on us go unthanked and unacknowledged.  Or we let several years go by before doing so.  

Take full and utmost advantage of the time you have and the opportunities you are given.  The little things actually do matter in the long run.  And never assume that you are not influencing someone and shaping them into a new version of themselves.  

Mrs. Polansky was a fabulous teacher and a fantastic person altogether.  
I'll never forget:

  • Crafting, scrapbooking, and card making in class!  (many, many days...)
  • Falling asleep when she made us watch Billy Budd (the only time I ever fell asleep during a movie in school...)
  • Her introducing us to the marvelous game of Apples to Apples (back before it was popular...she was ahead of the times)
  • Her trying to explain transcendentalism to us while reading Thoreau and Emerson...  I'm an English major and I still don't have that one figured out all the way...
  • She let us read the comic version of Moby Dick instead of the real thing--I mean the real one, it's just so long and boring!
  • Cut out magazine poetry--a lesson I loved and even did in my own classroom with my students
  • When she threw her shoe at Jamie.  Don't remember why, but pretty sure he had it comin'
  • The fact that she made us laugh...a lot
Mrs. Polansky (Po-Po), Mrs. Defelice (Defe), and Mrs. Davenport (Mama Dav)
These three ladies truly helped make me the woman and teacher I became.  They never gave up on me; they taught me with their hearts; they encouraged and allowed me to be myself, appreciating individualism; they set high expectations for me and only accepted what they knew was my best; they truly cared about me, not only as a student but also as Angie; they made me laugh; they counseled me and set Godly examples; they loved me.  And I love them. 
Tell people why you love them.  And don't waste the time you have with them.  Maybe even give an old teacher a call or a letter to let them know how they influenced you.  It's an exhausting profession--but things like that make it all worth it.  

love, angie

Friday, March 23, 2012

Amazing Grace

I was deeply saddened this past weekend to learn that one of my high school SPARK English teachers had passed away suddenly and unexpectedly.  She was too young and still had quite a bit of spunk left in her.

Today's song is one of my favorites--an incredible spin on an already incredible classic.  Chris Tomlin has such an unbelievable gift with a pen.  Amazing Grace already captivated the beauty and magnificence of God's grace on us.  However, his rendition takes it a step further and opens our eyes and hearts to the freedom that only that God given grace can provide.

This song is in memory of Mrs. Polansky...

Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)

Amazing grace, How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I'm found
Was blind, but now I see

'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed

My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy rains
Unending love, Amazing grace

The Lord has promised good to me

His word my hope secures

He will my shield and portion be

As long as life endures

My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy rains
Unending love, Amazing grace

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow

The sun forbear to shine

But God, Who called me here below

Will be forever mine
Will be forever mine
You are forever mine

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

LA Educational Bill

Ok.  I'm from Louisiana and therefore know several people in the state who are teachers.  I'm not 100% certain of everything going on right now, and this is a strand that is definitely open to conversation--not attack, but open discussion.

Here are my thoughts based upon my understanding of what is going on:

1.  Last year when massive amounts of educational staff cuts were being made across the nation, I was in my third year of teaching at this school.  That left me in my probationary term, and therefore I was automatically placed on the chopping block as possible lay offs.  It didn't matter that I scored higher on my evaluations, participated in and directed more on-campus activities, and had higher standards set for my own students than other teachers on campus--simply because they had been teaching there longer than I, and therefore received tenure.  They were basically untouchable until all of the probationary contracts were terminated.  That disgusted me.  Having been in that situation, I completely agree and support the new policy laid on in Governor Jindal's plan to have terminations and staff cuts based on performance rather than seniority.

2.  As I read through the bill, I kept coming across the word "effective" teacher.  My question and concern is the criteria with which they use to determine a teacher effective.  I hate what standardized testing has done to the classroom.  It may be a decent way to measure students across the board; but I believe it should be more diagnostic instead of central in the world of education.  Rather than being used as a measuring tool, those tests have become the driving force of the classroom--and it is ruining the education process.  However, observations and grades are too subjective to use as a means of sole evaluation also.  So again, what determines the effectiveness of a teacher?  I do believe student performance is the main and best means.  I mean, your job as a teacher is to improve the abilities of your students.  My husband as an engineer is evaluated based upon the performance of his machines.  Architects are evaluated on the performance of their buildings.  As teachers, we're responsible for our students.  Now...don't get me wrong.  I know firsthand the obstacles that task brings--the lack of discipline, student accountability, and parent involvement are the biggies but not the onlies.  Also, the student makeup of each teacher is different--Special Education classes and Inclusion classes must be curved in, as well as teachers with Gifted and Advanced student bodies.  Still, a measure of improvement or steady excellence in expected of a good teacher.  So I agree that teachers should be evaluated on effectiveness.  My struggle is what the standards for them to meet and the methods of evaluation should be.

3.  The bill clearly states that pay will not be decreased because of evaluation decline.  The raise will simply not be given.  This actually makes sense to me too.  My husband works for ExxonMobil, and not only are they evaluated on performance and their raises dependent on those evaluations, but they are ranked against each other.  It makes for dedicated employees who are constantly trying to improve.  Why should you get a raise just for working another year if you're not meeting the set criteria and expectations?

4.  I don't understand the idea for tax refunds for students in charter and/or private schools completely (definitely not near enough to try to explain it...), but in the way it was explained to me, the idea actually made sense.  Whether it is possible or effective, I'm not sure.

So my sincere question:  what are the issues that you as teachers in Louisiana are upset about?

For those of you who don't know me, I taught for three years.  I'm not saying this as an outsider who doesn't understand education.  If you are under the impression that I am pleased with the educational system in our country, please refer back to this post and rest assured I am certainly not.  I sincerely want to know what your concerns are.  This issue sprung up on me out of nowhere and I haven't been able to see many details about what the actual teachers are specifically unhappy with.

Again, this is not a chance for attacks, but rather open discussion.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Down at the Twist and Shout

I have always loved this song!  We even have a home video of me when I was four or five dancing around like a fool singing this song--every word...  Now, it just reminds me of home and how much I miss Louisiana.  It is a place like no other.  And we love dancin' to our "Lou'sian' bands"...

Saturday night and the moon is out
I wanna head on over to the Twist and Shout
Find a two-step partner and a Cajun beat
When it lifts me up I'm gonna find my feet
Out in the middle of a big dance floor
When I hear that fiddle wanna beg for more
Gonna dance to a band from a-Lou'sian' tonight

Well I never have wandered down to New Orleans
Never have drifted down a bayou stream
But I heard that music on the radio
And I swore some day I was gonna go
Down Highway 10 past Lafayette
To Baton Rouge and I won't forget
To send you a card with my regrets
'Cause I'm never gonna come back home

Saturday night and the moon is out
I wanna head on over to the Twist and Shout
Find a two-step partner and a Cajun beat
When it lifts me up I'm gonna find my feet
Out in the middle of a big dance floor
When I hear that fiddle wanna beg for more
Gonna dance to a band from a-Lou'sian' tonight

They got a alligator stew and a crawfish pie
A golf storm blowin' into town tonight
Livin on the delta's quite a show
They got hurricane parties every time it blows
And here up north it's a cold cold rain
And there ain't no cure for my blues today
Except when the paper says: Beausoleil is coming into town
Baby let's go down

Saturday night and the moon is out
I wanna head on over to the Twist and Shout
Find a two-step partner and a Cajun beat
When it lifts me up I'm gonna find my feet
Out in the middle of a big dance floor
When I hear that fiddle wanna beg for more
Gonna dance to a band from a-Lou'sian' tonight

Bring your mama, bring your papa, bring your sister too
They got lots of music and lots of room
When they play you a waltz from 1910
You gonna feel a little bit young again
Well you learned to dance with your rock'n'roll
You learned to swing with a do-si-do
But you learn to love at the fais-so-do
When you hear a little Jolie Blon

Saturday night and the moon is out
I wanna head on over to the Twist and Shout
Find a two-step partner and a Cajun beat
When it lifts me up I'm gonna find my feet
Out in the middle of a big dance floor
When I hear that fiddle wanna beg for more
Gonna dance to a band from a-Lou'sian' tonight

The separation of teacher and teaching...

From the time I was old enough to understand the question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?", my response was always that I wanted to be a teacher.  My dad even asked me when I was little why I didn't want to be a doctor or an engineer (he always wanted a son who was an engineer, to follow in his footsteps.  when he didn't have a son, he wanted a daughter who was an engineer.  he ended up settling for a son-in-law who's an engineer...).  I always told him, "Dad...who do you think teaches those people how to be doctors and engineers?  I want to be a teacher."

Now I wonder...what was I thinking?

I love to teach.  I waffled through my adolescence on my degree of choice, of course.  I bounced all the way from entomology to pharmacy to chemical engineering.  But somehow I landed back where I started those many moons before--education.  I never changed my major, and the only time I even considered it was when I thought of switching from secondary education to elementary education.  My passion is learning.  And I have a passion to share my knowledge by teaching.  I just love getting to witness that "ah ha!" moment, especially knowing I helped create it.

Then I spent three years in the classroom.  And that's when I began to wonder what I had gotten myself in to.  See, today's classroom is barely if at all centered on teaching.  It is centered on testing, meeting state standards, inclusion, discipline (or rather lack thereof), creative and cooperative learning, technology, and paperwork.  The learning environment is being smothered as too many missiles are being fired at the teacher.

Now, I know that in any profession, there are many layers unknown to those outside the field.  But how many professions have gotten the reputation that teaching has?  It is considered a job for the less talented--the "those who can't do, teach" philosophy.  It is considered an easy path in college.  The pay in most schools is just plain meager.  My dad and husband made even made fun of me through college--oh you poor teacher, you have another day off of work; Oh you poor thing, you got off at 3:30; Oh you poor thing, having to write lesson plans.  When I actually got in the classroom and my husband was able to see how much I worked and heard the stories I came home to tell, he didn't make fun of my job anymore.  I don't doubt that most of the people who claim that teaching is an easy job that anyone could do would be able to last a week in today's classroom.

Teachers are expected to be not only educators, but also parents, disciplinarians, nurses, counselors, coaches, chaperones, committee heads, event coordinators, office managers, receptionists, and on and on.  The lessons must be planned to meet innumerable state and national standards.  The curriculum provided must be followed verbatim, but you also need to differentiate it to meet the needs of each of your students individually.  Behavior and educational modifications must need to be met for each and every child--11/20 of whom need to sit near the teacher.  But isn't the teacher supposed to be moving around the classroom at all times, so where in fact does one sit in order to be seated near the teacher?  IEP's must be filled out repeatedly, parent contact made more than frequently, failure reports, grade submissions, accommodation/modification reports, lesson plans typed and submitted, copies made, preparations made for each subject taught, papers graded, tests made (and modified), centers and cooperative learning opportunities developed..........  and all of this must be individualized to meet the needs of 140 students (at the secondary level)!!  But anyone can do that, right?

Teaching is not a 7:30-3:30 job, as most people tend to think.  If you find someone who is a good teacher and is able to accomplish everything within that time period, give them the crown and slap me silly.  It is a job that is never ending.  Breaks are a must--they give the teacher a chance to catch up on the mountain of paperwork which I can guarantee you he/she is behind on; and it also gives them a small chance to revive their spirits in order to deal with your children for another long stretch of time.  You know that teenager you have at home?  The one you complain about being hormonal and moody and incredibly difficult, sometimes just flat out defiant?  Multiply that one child by 140.  And then add trying to teach them something on top of that.  Getting a glimpse of what it's like?

Oh, and I forgot to mention one major thing in today's classroom.  Take away most of the disciplinary action the teacher ever had.  Remember those spats on the hand with a ruler--to get your attention and make you remember who's in charge?  Yeah, those will get you fired now.  The paddling in the principal's office?  Puh-lease.  A counseling session and a chance to work on your classwork in ISS replaced that.  Suspension?  That's a no-no word these days.  And on the rare chance that it does occur, the student is usually allowed to make up any work that they missed--so all in all, they get a day at home for free!  Suspend me on those regulations please!

We have classrooms now that house students who: are sexually active--leaving many girls pregnant, have and continue to use drugs and alcohol, go home to no parents, live in highly abusive situations.  The stories these kids have to tell will give you nightmares if you sat and listened to them.  And we're supposed to expect them to care about passing a test?!

Where did the passion for learning go?  It's buried in that mound of paperwork on the teacher's desk.

It saddens me to my core to see the number of teachers who are so burnt out--and it usually doesn't take them long to become that way these days.  Many of them love to teach, but are still doing it only because it's a means to provide.  The joy has been smoldered by the legalities that bind every inch of our schools. It also scares me to send my children into such an environment to learn.

Students are not held accountable--for their grades or for their actions.  The teacher is usually the one to blame.  And this blame comes from the student, their parents, the administration, society, and the government.  Well obviously, if this child is failing, the teacher didn't do something to meet his needs.  We can look over the extra tutoring offered, the parent contact made, the extended time for an assignment if the situation warranted it, the in depth explanation given multiple times.  What we really need to focus on is the fact that the teacher didn't meet the needs of this child.  We'll also overlook the facts that the student never came to the tutoring sessions; the parents either did not respond to the contact or did not discuss the matter with their child; even after the extension, the child had no work to present; and the fact that the student was texting, talking to friends, or simply refusing to pay attention when instructions were being given--multiple times.  Or let's say a rule is broken.  It is usually not the child's fault he broke the rule.  The teacher was picking on him.  Or the student had a bad day at home and couldn't help it.  Or poor little thing is just special and he struggles; let's bend the rules to meet his behavior instead of the other way around.  It's just disgusting really.  These kids have no accountability--and they're the future of this country!

So, next time you think about that teacher...really think about him/her and what all their job entails.  Granted, this country does have some poor teachers.  I agree with that completely.  But we're also losing the good ones by suffocating them with legislature and red tape.  We need to simply allow them to teach.  You cannot truly understand the depth until you step into that world.

I'll step off of my soapbox.  For now...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Reads: Current, Soon, and Suggestions

I love words and therefore I love books.  The written word captivates me and does something to my mind, encompassing me in a whole other world.  And I just long for that sometimes.

Currently, I'm reading:

This book is the focus of our ladies class for church onWednesday nights.  We're enjoying it so far.
My sister-in-law sent me this book about being the wife your husband needs.  I'm all about any tool to strengthen my marriage.  I'm not very far into it yet, but am enjoying the thoughts it's provoked so far. 

I would like to read soon:

This is Sheila Walsh's newest book and after hearing her speak last weekend, it seems like one that will pierce deep into the wounds of your soul and help you find healing through God's grace.  Who doesn't need that?
I've wanted to read this for a while now, as I've had several friends sing its praise. 
Hearing him speak is one of the luxuries I've had in my life.  I'm anxious to read several of his books, but this one sticks out in my mind for some reason.
I have also had the privilege of hearing Dr. Henry Cloud speak--he's just incredible.  This book is one that I have heard innumerable praises for, and it teaches over a concept which I (and many, many other people) need to learn:  how to set and adhere to boundaries in life.

Books I've read and strongly encourage you to:

It was just great.  It's long, but the story captivates you.  It really puts the movie to shame.
Read whichever and all fit the seasons of your life.  These books will help you understand how others need to be loved, and also help you realize the ways in which you feel the most loved. 
A truly incredible story of a very young boy's visit to Heaven.  It's hard to believe until you read it for yourself!
This is the best literary tool for marriage counseling I have found yet.  I strongly encourage any and every one who is married, engaged, or planning to marry some day to read it.  Its pages hold wisdom.
Anything by Nicholas Sparks.  I am a helpless romantic at heart, and he never fails to trigger the water works.
I've blogged about this book before.  Francis Chan is magnificent with his words and challenges your ways of thinking in this book.
Just finished these lovely beauties--over the course of six days (with a Women of Faith conference thrown in there too!)...They were just fantastic!  A great mix of suspense, symbolism, and pure romance.
I loved Mary Higgins Clark's writing in 9th grade when we read Where Are the Children? in English.  And I haven't stopped loving her writing.  These books wrap me up in them and I just can't put them down until the mystery has been solved!
You wanna talk about making you think?  This book is the one to do it.   I was "born and bred" in the church and this book made me look back at all I had learned and the way I live and go, "huh?"  It's truly mind-blowing--in a great way.  If you struggle with your faith or understanding of the great commission; or better yet, if you are living and breathing and able to this book.
This one is a true story of a rich white man and a homeless former slave who somehow through God's graces form an incredible relationship.  Warning:  you will need tissues.  But the story is very moving and heart warming.  Another book that allows you to witness God's glory and plans.
Wow.  I mean that's really all I can say about this book.  I actually need to read it again really soon.  It's another one to make you think.  But again, having been "born and bred" in the church, this book gave me a clearer understanding and picture of how the Trinity works together than anything else I'd ever encountered.  You have to approach it with an open mind, but if you do, God will use it to fill the openness.  
The ability to read awoke inside me some long dormant craving to be mentally alive. --Malcolm X
A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face. It is one of the few havens remaining where a man's mind can get both provocation and privacy.  --Edward P. Morgan
No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.  --Confucius

The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go. --Dr. Seuss

It is not enough to simply teach children to read; we have to give them something worth reading. Something that will stretch their imaginations--something that will help them make sense of their own lives and encourage them to reach out toward people whose lives are quite different from their own. --Katherine Patterson
Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are. --Mason Cooley
To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life. --Somerset Maugham 

Hope you enjoy!  And if you're not a reader, become one :)

love, angie

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

What if?

The age old question...what if?  It's even turned into somewhat of a game these days, trying to guess the different outcomes of life's twists and turns if only we'd made a different decision.  TV shows (Grey's Anatomy off the top of my mind) and movies (Butterfly Effect) encase this unanswerable question for our entertainment--and to make our brains wonder about our own decisions and the effect they've had on our lives as well as those around us.

So here's the biggest what if of all...  For those of you who are unbelievers in our God Almighty, what if you're wrong?  If I'm wrong (although my faith ensures me that I'm not), it's ok.  My life will have been full, happy, and earthly.  But what if you're wrong?  What if your life could be so much more?  And what if your life doesn't have to be constrained to this earth?

What If?

What if you're right, and He was just another nice guy
What if you're right, what if it's true
They say the cross will only make a fool of you
And what if it's true
What if He takes his place in history
With all the prophets and the kings
Who taught us love and came in peace
But then the story ends
What then

But what if you're wrong
What if there's more
What if there's hope you never dreamed of hoping for
What if you jump, just close your eyes
What if the arms that catch you, catch you by surprise
What if he's more than enough
What if it's love

What if you dig way down deeper
Than your simple minded friends
What if you dig
What if you find
A thousand more unanswered questions down inside
That's all you'd find
What if you pick apart the logic
And begin to poke the holes
What if the crown of thorns is no more than folklore
That must be told and retold

But what if you're wrong
What if there's more
What if there's hope you never dreamed of hoping for
What if you jump, just close your eyes
What if the arms that catch you, catch you by surprise
What if he's more than enough
What if it's love

You've been running as fast as you can
And you've been looking for a place you can land
For so long

But what if you're wrong
What if you jump, just close you're eyes
What if the arms that catch you, catch you by surprise
What if he's more than enough
What if it's love

“I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there isn't and die to find out there is.”
― Albert Camus

I Will Be Here

Sorry for the outage of my posting.  That always seems to happen when I claim to try to make it a daily occurrence...  My absence can be explained by my divulgence into the The Hunger Games trilogy.  It was an excellent set of books--right up my alley with the perfect mixture of suspense, a bit of mystery, and of course a little love.  I began reading them Wednesday night, and just finished the third one about thirty minutes ago.  My house is more of a mess than I would like, and I probably haven't spent as much time in conversation with others as I should have...but if I had a moment to spare, I was reading!  I always do this when I get into any book that I really enjoy--but it's especially bad in a series.  It's like the book is a magnet, and I can't escape it's grip until I finish reading...all of them!  Hunter just laughs at me, thank goodness.

My song for today is "I Will Be Here", sung and written by Steven Curtis Chapman.  It became special to me when my sister used it in her wedding.  Her groom actually recorded himself singing it for her, making it one they will always cherish even more.  The words are so defining for a marriage, and I truly just love that.  I also read his wife, Mary Beth Chapman's book, Choosing to See,  a few years ago.  Another incredible read.  The explanation of why he wrote this song for her and the tenderness they allow you to glimpse through it is just heart touching.  And now, on the tail of reading that ever so popular trilogy, The Hunger Games, I'm even sensing my brain make a connection between it and this song.  The promise of being there for someone, always. 

Hunter is my always.  And I choose to be where he is, always.

Tomorrow morning if you wake up
and the sun does not appear

I will be here
If in the dark, we lose sight of love
Hold my hand, and have no fear
'Cause I will be here

I will be here
When you feel like being quiet
When you need to speak your mind I will listen
And I will be here
When the laughter turns to cryin'
Through the winning, losing and trying
We'll be together
I will be here

Tomorrow morning, if you wake up
And the future is unclear
I will be here
Just as sure as seasons were made for change
Our lifetimes were made for these years
So I will be here

I will be here
And you can cry on my shoulder
When the mirror tells us we're older
I will hold you
And I will be here
To watch you grow in beauty
And tell you all the things you are to me
I will be here

I will be true to the promise I have made
To you and to the One who gave you to me

Tomorrow morning, if you wake up
And the sun does not appear
I will be here
Oh, I will be here.

Friday, March 2, 2012

In Christ Alone

I mentioned previously how powerful lyrics of a song are to me.  This song is the perfect example.  Each and every time I hear this song, those words pierce to my soul, bringing me hope and an intense moment of worship.  The Spirit just comes over me.

I'm headed off this evening to a Women of Faith event and I am so excited!  It is an awesome experience to fill a room with ladies and the presence of the Almighty.  I am ready to see what He has in store for us!  Be blessed!

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song

This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless Babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save
'Til on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From a life's first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Could ever pluck me from His hand
'Til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I stand