Me too

“Me too.”

I believe these are incredibly powerful words. These words connect us to other people. They build bridges, communicate love and support. These words demonstrate empathy and bring us together. When I think about it, the people I have to most “me too’s” with are the people I am closest to in this world. Our shared experiences, our commonalities, draw us together and hold us together. “Me too’s” are important.

When someone is struggling, the words “me too” help others to see that they are not alone. When we say it, we’re saying that we are with them, that we understand, that we care and can see why they’d feel the way they do. Even if we have never been in their situation, we can almost always try to put on their shoes and say, “Me too. I understand why you’d feel that way.” We may not ever be able to imagine HOW it feels, but we can seek to understand WHY they’d feel that way. Either way, “Me too.” is powerful. Sometimes (I’m thinking about grief in particular) we don’t even need to say “me too.” Our presence alone communicates it.

When someone is celebrating, a “me too” celebrates too. It strengthens our relationship. When I was a youth minister, it became more and more clear that one of the best things I could do for a student was to show up at a game they were playing or a concert where they were performing. Those experiences, “being with” them became “me too’s” between us and helped draw us closer to one another.

Romans 12:15 – “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.”

My hope is that I can become more aware of the moments I have. I want to say “me too” more often. I also want to live in a way that creates more “me too’s.” Of course I can’t be at everything I’d like, but I plan to be more intentional about “being with” people. My prayer is that you guys can all join me and say, “Yeah, me too.”

Teaching Wood Shop

“Working on my carpentry skills – wanna be like the Master!”

The beginnings of my first wood shop projects since 8th grade in 1982.

I just became the “Industrial Technology” teacher at Clute Intermediate and I’m excited about the possibilities! As a former Social Studies teacher who has very little experience in wood shop, I never imagined myself in this sort of position. However, I love students and I love creative pursuits. This might very well be the perfect position for me once I get my feet on the ground a bit.

My woodworking experience includes:

– Jr High Woodshop Class
– cutting 100’s of designs for my mom as a Jr Higher (She painted and went to craft shows.)
– Built skate ramps in High School as well as later on as a Youth Minister
– Built speaker cabinets in High School
– Built an entertainment center which we still use in my house today.
– Built our current kitchen table as well as one for my first apartment many years ago.
– Built wheelchair ramps, decks, and handrails for UM ARMY and Faith in Action camps throughout the years.

Anyway, I’ve certainly got some things to learn, but this will be a fun experience combining my creative side and my love for students. As I work on my carpentry skills, I also know God will be carving away at my character. There will be times when it’s painful, but I also know He’ll be there every step of the way. I pray that with every stroke of the hammer and swipe of the blade, He’ll be molding me into a better man. Someone who can truly reach these students. Someone who can be an incredible tool in His hand.

Jesus was the Master. He was able to challenge people where they were (much like a simple block of wood) and mold them into something more. He also puts people together and shows them how to connect to make them strong structures. He is able to take our “knots” and make them beautiful.

This is my shop. Where I'll be teaching 7th & 8th graders every day.

Prayer: Lord, teach me to be a great teacher. Allow me to get to know my students so I can truly teach them. Keep us all safe as we use these dangerous machines and let all our creative juices flow steadily. Guide my students hands as they use the equipment and as they paint – give them steady hands. Let them have fun in my class and help us all learn to work together. Allow us all to feel good about our experiences and the projects we build. Let them gain some confidence in who they are and in what they are capable of accomplishing. Use our time together to make us all stronger and better people. Allow me to represent You to my students and other teachers in ways that are appropriate. AMEN.

No Room at the Inn & Pentecost

A few years ago (before I was married & had kids), the Corn family decided to go on a ski trip during the Christmas holidays. We had planned to drive to Colorado from my mom’s house near Ft Worth, TX. The weather in west Texas didn’t look good, but we decided to brave it anyway. Ski trips are a pretty high priority among the Corn’s. Anyway, as we drove through west Texas, ice began forming on the roads and we started seeing more and more cars that had spun out and were in the ditches. When we reached Quanah, TX they closed the road
Quanah 2ahead of us. The road home was also closed so we were stuck in Quanah. Not only that, but there were so many other people stranded, that there were no hotel rooms left in the whole city. It was Christmas and we were stuck in a town where there was no room at the inn. A gas station attendant suggested that we check with the First Baptist Church of Quanah. WE followed his directions (just a couple of blocks) and discovered that they were receiving people. Many other travelers were there. The church people hosted us well. They had a few tables full of homemade food and Christmas goodies and offered to let us sleep in their gym using blankets which many of their members had brought from home. The other refugees were from all over the place, but most were on their way to some family get together. Some had their pets with them. In the end, the Christmas story came to life for us that year. There was no room at the inn so we slept with the animals.

Now, what’s all that got to do with Pentecost? I think my experience that year might have been similar to what the disciples felt the day we know and celebrate as Pentecost. Here’s what I mean: Pentecost had always been a celebration of the time that God had given the Law to Moses. He spoke to Israel that day. 50 days after the crossing of the Red Sea. According to Exodus 19:16, God descended on the mountain with fire/lightning and with “voices” (the Hebrew word translated “thunder” is more accurately translated “voices”) Each year, the Israelites celebrated Pentecost, remembered God’s intervention, and rededicated themselves to the study and practice of His word.

Now, let’s jump forward to the New Testament. The disciples were celebrating Pentecost and would have read the Exodus passages recalling the original events of Pentecost. It was 50 days after Jesus’ resurrection. The Holy Spirit descends upon them like fire and they begin to speak in tongues. Sounds a lot like the lightning and voices in Exodus to me. Make no mistake that these Godly men, saw the similarities too. Like me as I snuggled into that blanket in that gym with the animals, I’m sure they felt like they were experiencing something amazing – something that meant more than the surface experience. There was something going on much deeper. Check out this little table:

Pentecost

The Christian church celebrates Pentecost each year as the birth of the church and the time when the Holy Spirit was given. But I wonder if we are missing out on the rich history of it all? Like the Jews, maybe we should also use this time to thank God for His word. We even have more to be grateful for since it’s been written on our hearts by the Holy Spirit. Maybe we could celebrate and appreciate the Scriptures by studying more intently or with a focused time of applying them to our lives? If the original holiday was centered around God’s word, why isn’t our celebration of it?

The Israelites celebrated Pentecost by remembering God’s intervention with His Word, and rededicated themselves to the study and practice of it. We would be wise to do likewise with the addition of celebrating the birth of the church and the giving of the Holy Spirit. Somehow we got turned around – today, most churches only celebrate these “additional” blessings. I’m just trying to say that the original gift (His Word) is still worth celebrating too.

5 Life-Changing Experiences – Israel

holy-lands-journal_page_011February of 1996. I was 26 years old. I had been a youth minister for 8 years. Full-time for 4. The youth had all gotten together for my birthday and given me $$ to go skydiving (on my bucketlist of things to do). My Pastor, Mike Mathews, (He is now my Father-in-Law) was organizing a trip to Israel and came to me saying he’d arrange for me to be able to go for free, but I’d still need some $$ for a passport, food, etc. I decided to skip the skydiving experience in favor of the trip. It was one of the best decisions of my life!

We got to walk in Jesus’ footsteps for 9 straight days. We saw Jerusalem and the temple mount, the wailing wall, the empty tomb of Jesus, Golgotha, Lazarus’ tomb, Bethlehem, & Nazareth. We rode a boat across the Sea of Galilee, hiked Masada, and explored Qumran. Seeing these sites was truly remarkable! I now understand why robbers placed themselves on the road between Jerusalem and Jericho. (It’s a steep road and travelers would be too tired to fight them off.) I will never read the scriptures the same way again. Phrases like “Land of milk and honey” and “Armegeddon” have new meaning!

When Mike described the experience to me, he said that I’d feel like I had gone “home” when we got there. I didn’t believe him. How could I feel “at home” in a strange country, where most spoke another language, and machine guns were seen regularly? He was right! I did feel “at home.” There’s something about that place that goes beyond description. Well, it’s not “something” – it’s someone, and His name is Jesus. If you love Jesus, you will love Israel. Some have called it the “fifth gospel.” Just like the other four, Israel has as story to tell about Jesus, the land itself testifies to His glory!

I hope to go back one day. You should consider a trip too. It will change your life.

If you’re interested, here’s a link to my journal entries from the trip.

The Holy Lands – Through the eyes of Steve Corn (Just right click and select “save as” to download.)

PS – My beard, hair, and clothes crack me up these days.

5 Experiences that Changed My Life

Today I’ll write the first of a series five posts. I’ll post one a day over the next week describing an experience that changed my life. I will, however, avoid the ones that everyone expects – the day I began following Jesus, my wedding day, and the days my children were born. I could write volumes about these experiences, but will save this series to focus on other subjects – besides, I hope that my love for Jesus, my bride, and my children is expressed throughout everything I write.