Thursday, August 30, 2007

Teaching at Central Oregon Community College

Well, it has finally happened: Central Oregon Community College has offered me a teaching position for Fall 2007. After a year of waiting and yearning to be in the classroom, I finally get to teach again! I will be teaching two Spanish 201 courses (Tuesdays/Thursdays) and one Spanish 203 course (Mondays/Wednesdays). Staff meetings begin this Wednesday, September 5th, and classes start September 17th. I have already been given an office, phone/fax #, and a Staff web page which you can see at:

Although I am very excited about the opportunity to teach college Spanish again, I can't help feeling sad that I won't be working with Robert everyday. But since I will only be teaching Monday - Thursday, I am still going to spend my Fridays in the office at Bennington Properties, and will have weekends off to relax.

Please pray for us as we make this big adjustment!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Ben and Mary Come to Bend!

A view of Bend from Pilot Butte

Mary on Wild Goose Lane

Happy friends:)

Aren't they cute?

Cuddling with Misha

Ben and Mary travelled all the way up to Bend, Oregon to visit us last week, and we had such an amazing time. They arrived Saturday afternoon which we spent catching up, eating Yum bowls, and sampling beers at the 4th annual Bend Brew Fest. The evening was finished off with an intensive game of Trivial Pursuit. The Benningtons fought hard, but were no match for the current graduate students. We were going to spend Monday outdoors fishing and canoeing, but rain came out of nowhere, so we took a nice drive through the mountains and walked around Elk Lake - it was a very brief, very wet walk. Tuesday brought better weather; the boys finally had their chance to fish and canoe and Mary and I spent the day shopping and chatting over Ruby Ales at McMenamins.

4 days is never enough with great friends, but it sure was fun... Thank you Ben and Mary!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Jesus did not come to be served, but to serve

Through His word, God taught me a very valuable lesson this week. A good majority of my job is dealing with conflict. Conflict with guests, conflict with employees, and conflict with homeowners (we manage 16o independently owned homes that we rent out nightly to guests). At times it is exhausting and at other times is just plain "rip your hair out" fustrating (I'm balding by the way). At a Bible study this week our pastor read the following verses out of Mark and Luke and we discussed how Jesus commands us to serve one another. Not just the people we love, but everyone. Those verses really opened my eyes to how selfish I am when it comes to dealing with other people.

I have had many opportunities to put it to practice this week at work. I succeeded at some and failed at others. One thing is for sure, it has really reduced the stress of having to deal with conflict. Instead of going into it with the "I have to win" mentality, I try to think "how can I make this a win for them." For example, if the cashier at the grocery store is talking for a long time with the customer in front of me instead of keeping things moving (we have all experienced this), I generally will think about how inconvenient it is for me and how "if this store had customer service then I would have been through this line 5 minutes ago." Instead, I could ask, how can I serve her/him today. Maybe it is by being patient. Instead of getting to the front and being short and ticked off, maybe I can ask how their day is going. Maybe I could assist in bagging my groceries or thank them for standing on their feet all day to help customers like me.

When someone calls my office and is being very rude and unpleasant, instead of getting self righteous and rude and unpleasant back, I can serve them by being pleasant, understanding, compassionate, and giving.

I could really use this in my marriage. If Holly has had a rough day and is tired an irritable. Instead of snapping back at her, I could give her a back rub, cook dinner, help around the house, or look for other ways that I could serve her.

Jesus gave up his throne to come to Earth so that He could serve humanity. If God is willing to serve the likes of us, it shouldn't be a problem for us to serve each other. Most importantly, by serving each other, we are also serving God. - RB

Mark (Chapter 10: 42-45)

Jesus called them together and said, "You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Luke (Chapter 22: 24-27)

Then they began to argue among themselves about who would be the greatest among them. Jesus told them, “In this world the kings and great men lord it over their people, yet they are called ‘friends of the people.’ But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant. Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves.