<![CDATA[ This has been a very demanding couple of weeks! My big blond lab had to be put down because she was old and had bone cancer that had spread to the lungs. I held her while the vet put her to sleep prior to the final shots. She was a faithful old friend. One of my students called me crying so hard I could hardly understand her saying that her dad had just died. He was in a logging accident and had been struck by a falling tree. He was 46 years old. Most of my students don’t have a functional father, and he was one of a few good men. This is a huge loss! I offered to do the funeral because the family had no church affiliation, and they accepted the offer. My staff and I performed the funeral service for the family. In the same period of time the Saxophone ensemble from my church was rehearsing for a concert in Marshall, Michigan. I play lead in that group and had to be there. We planned to represent the Crossing at the Butler Church of the Nazarene and had to plan the whole service for that as well as everything else that was going on. So Friday afternoon we had funeral services for Megan’s Dad. Saturday afternoon I played with the Saxes at Marshall, and Sunday we did the church service in Butler representing the Crossing. On the way home I received a phone message from a former student from another school where I taught four years ago. I could not understand the voice but called the number on my caller ID. When the girl answered I had to play the riddle game people put you through when you haven’t talked in a while. Its your favorite half Mexican she said. Jennifer! While she was my student, an adopted child in a Caucasian family, she struggled with her Mexican heritage. Obviously I had had some success with helping her understand the beauty of her Mexican origin, and it became a point of playful conversation between us. Jennifer had totaled her Jeep the day before and as a result one of her friends died in the crash. From the church service I drove to the funeral home to share God’s embrace with Jennifer and tried to help her make sense of life, death and here and now. I will be spending time with Jennifer for a while and will delight in reconnecting with her dad who I enjoy such common ground with, not only his three kids but philosophy and theology and logic. Sunday night I received a call from a very dear present student from our school that was fearful that she had become pregnant. Monday did not delay its coming. This is a new week with new complications. I love this job! I love our kids so much! The Crossing has been a long time coming for me. I have had administrators in my past say, Don, don’t concern yourself with the kids, just teach the course. Can you imagine that? At the Crossing we teach through Relationships which create a common love and respect. We share in the hard times and the good times helping hold each other up and working toward a brighter future for our kids and our great country.