Perhaps We Never Left The Garden

You may not fully realize this, but a pesticide free environment produces many beautiful by-products. Our campus is adorned with specimens that are simply breathtaking. I never believe the number of small, intricately designed creations that exist, until I work outside. Sometimes I simply cannot work because I am so mesmerized by the beauty I find in nature.

Around SCHOOL 002-C Around SCHOOL 022-C Around SCHOOL 005-C Around SCHOOL 017-c Around SCHOOL 009-c Around SCHOOL 007-C Around SCHOOL 011-CThis beautiful butterfly specimen, or speciwoman, we don’t know, reminds me of many wonderful teachers I have known over the years – beautiful and a little worse for the wear. The brave are always battered. The scars they bear are the medals they wear. And yes, they are for courage and being there for your child, far and above the call of duty. I am reminded of the quote: “God will examine your life not for medals, diplomas or degrees, but for battle scars. What nobler medal of honor could any Godly person seek than the scars of service.”

You may want to thank a teacher, if you can find one still able to walk and speak coherently.

Our landscaping friends and neighbors at the Color Ranch, just down the road from us, have truly performed miracles. I include photos of their recent work at the school. Our heartfelt thanks to Janis Gish, pictured left, and her wonderful staff,  who are responsible for the many improvements. I highly recommend the Color Ranch for your landscaping needs.

The photo of our two bird friends reminds me of, “With this ring I thee take” as they argue over seed we provide. And I thought you may want to see another new bird bath, very popular with the winged types. Now, if I can just keep the children out.

And I snapped a photo of a particularly beautiful specimen of what I believe is a Colored Bunting. What do you think?

And finally, I challenge you to find a more beautiful work of art in the Modern Art Museum (a favorite destination of our students) than the moth photographed by our son, Alex, on the back deck of the school. If you study this beauty carefully, you may see what I am saying.

I am simply stunned by the beauty all around.

Try to take some time with your child to admire the magnificence of life. Perhaps we never left the Garden of Eden. Mankind just sprayed insecticides all over the place and destroyed the evidence.

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The Longest Journey

The longest journey is from the head to the heart. It is a road not taken by many. But on this beautiful pathway, I found my way home.

In a recent broadcast Ravi Zacharias asked, “Can you talk about education without looking into the human heart?” And my thought was – no, it is impossible to even think of educating a child without looking into the heart of that child. A child may never remember what you said, but he will always remember how you made him feel. Always.

How I clearly remember my Mother, Marie, when as a young child, I discovered she had completed the longest journey. That was when I came to know love profound – the kind of love one finds only in the compassion expressed by Jesus. Yes, I discovered the love of God in my Mother.

Marie Anderson

Marie Anderson

By the time she had completed her brief sojourn in life, she had shared with me the most precious gift of all, more precious than life itself. It was a love so profound – the kind of love one discovers only in the sanctity of forgiveness and in the light of hope, when all seems lost – such love as is conveyed in the compassionate words found in the New Testament.

It was love that not only never dies, but opens up the heart and blossoms like a flower in the wind with each new dawn. This kind of love dwells deep within your heart and overflows out into the world around you and becomes a blessing to everyone you meet.

You have witnessed such love, in the smiles and in the laughter that surround your child, as your heart embraces the precious moments you share. And your child has witnessed the same in the unconditional love you have given.

It is now my belief that an infinite journey is possible. This journey is longer than we can imagine and it never ends. The longest journey is not from your head to your heart, it is through your heart.

Such a path leads to everyone, everywhere, beyond our time and place. It leads us to the destiny of all those who will live beyond. For that is the nature of love that lives within each one of us. Love, I have discovered, is ultimately what we live for. Love is what we are. Love is all we leave behind that truly matters. And love profound is eternal.

Let love guide your life and become your Northern Star. Let it point the way. It is the pathway home.

Summertime fun at the Anderson School

Natalie & Michael help to restore a home for one of our animal friends.

Natalie & Michael help to restore a home for one of our animal friends.

Our resident Bluebird feels at home.

Our resident Bluebird feels at home.

Believe it or not, a wild female Turkey came to visit our pet male Turkey in the petting zoo.

Believe it or not, a wild female Turkey came to visit our pet male Turkey in the petting zoo.

Another inhumane form of technology

Many of our new public schools look like and possess the feel of a prison. Have you noticed this? We employ architects and then order them to create environments conducive to one primary motivating factor – increasing an ever illusive, ultimately harmful and virtually meaningless test score, the result of which is an ever increasing drop out rate, which happens to be counter productive to the concept. Architects then lose sight of the shore and design virtual prisons for our children.

Architects are not educators. They do the bidding of typically uninformed and highly politicized board members and legislative types, and their products then evolve into a truly ruthless and dogmatic emphasis upon accountability and control and very, very little else.

This is but one example of how technology can take on a life of its own and evolve like a cancerous growth and be suddenly out of our control.

These new prison like structures virtually eliminate or very significantly reduce access to natural light and replace windows (you know, those highly distracting and antiquated structures the older types grew to love) with nothing but banks of florescent lights.

I recently drove past a new large public school and, to my horror, observed classroom windows placed at the very top of the walls, so that children could not possibly see out into the beautiful world of flowers and birds and trees and escaping dreams and other distracting things.

There are a large number of negative health effects that have been linked to working under fluorescent lights that are theorized to be the cause of ignorantly manipulating our body chemistry mechanisms which result in such serious problems as:

Migraines
Eye strain
Problems sleeping, due to melatonin suppression
Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder or depression
Endocrine disruption and poor immune systems
Female hormonal/menstrual cycle disruption
Increases in breast cancer rates and tumor formation
Stress/Anxiety, due to cortisol suppression
Sexual development/maturation disruption
Obesity
Agoraphobia (anxiety disorder)

Do any of these sound familiar? For more information simply search the internet (your child can show you how. Mine did and, to my embarrassment, suppressed by my amazement, still does).

Annie & Alex Anderson supervise on moving day of the new Anderson Private School

Annie & Alex Anderson supervise the moving of their new school.

Many years ago, LeVonna and I fell in love with the old Oak Grove Baptist Church Sunday school building (built back in the 1940’s – you know, when they used something called Number 1 Lumber).

The Church was advertising to have it moved and we made a donation to the church and then moved it to our present location. And one of the big reasons we admired it, related to the abundance of natural light, thanks to the numerous (17) large windows that were plentiful in every room. They were placed, as custom

And we are on our way!

And we are on our way!

would have it, at eye level. I know how many windows because I personally, along with guidance and very hard labor from my dear friend, John Hammons, replaced every of them, since they were all knocked out, to some degree, during the move of the beautiful building from Burleson.

We got a police escort.

We got a police escort.

You will love this – I announced to my lovely bride that I was going to take my time with this project (restoration of the structure). I was planning to work on it for one whole entire year. Why get in a hurry?

This was not easy.

This was not easy.

Dream on! Four years later we opened the school and I took out a life insurance policy on the old dilapidated, worn out body that was now mine. I looked like the old building before we worked on it. Those two large cracked windows on the front were my glasses. The smaller stained glass windows were my teeth. We wound up so broke, and took so much aspirin for our backs, that they named a mountain after us. When we finally finished, I wasn’t sure my heart was still beating, so I pounded on my chest to imitate the sound and keep up my spirit.

We were located briefly on Chapel Creek.

We were located briefly on Chapel Creek.

We started the school with five students and two of them were our own children. I have no idea where the other three came from, but I suspect foul play. My wife did have an occasional funny look about her (it wasn’t exhaustion, I know what that looks like). The only furniture was our dining room table and chairs, which meant odd looks and standing around a lot at home when we ate.

In the beginning we had a great time singing, “Getting to Know You” and wondering who you were. But LeVonna was a great sport. We truly enjoyed everyone we came to know and deeply appreciated the help that was given from so very many friends, relatives and parents. This school would simply not exist without their guidance and help. Our memories of getting this school up and running are truly treasured by us.

Well, seriously, what it all means is this – our society now values test scores more than the emotional and physical well being of our precious children. Governmental entities are making very, very poor decisions in an effort to force educators and children to bend to the will of a philosophy that is devoid of simple logic and any real compassion for children. This is now irreverently referred to as the, “No Child Left Behind” program or “Where In World Did Half Of Them Go?” program (yes, they dropped out).

With its narrow focus upon test scores, it is seen as a dangerous experiment that seriously threatens to disrupt and dilute the education of millions of children, especially gifted children. The Democratic chairman of the Senate education committee, Tom Harkin, says good intentions in the No Child Left Behind law have not translated to good policy.

Even the sacred ground of the learning environments we provide for young and fragile minds are being tragically designed with a gross lack of fundamental understanding and consideration.

Few people in decision making roles are researching the long term impact of what we impulsively do. And virtually no one is giving consideration to looking back in time to what was effective. When it comes to learning give me that, “Old Time Religion”.

When I was a boy, schools in Texas were required to teach about birds and the protection of their nests and eggs and fly the American and Texas Flags and that was it! And I was a truly happy and successful child. My teachers possessed the freedom to teach whatever they felt I needed to know and, more importantly, they were free to love me in the process. And I still feel the warmth of their love today. They did not fear for their jobs, their fear was for my future.

Our beloved Nation became the only superpower in the world because our teachers had the academic freedom to do what they knew needed to be done. Our educators, when they were empowered and trusted to make decisions and teach what they spent years in a university learning to teach, were directly responsible for turning this country into the wealthiest nation on earth, possessing over one half the wealth of the planet and with only six percent of its people.

Freedom, my dear friends, is the reason and it is the only reason we have prevailed and prospered. And it is what we, to our disgrace, removed from the hands of our dedicated and capable teachers. We took freedom away from the very people we need to promote the cause of freedom and enable our children to keep us free! We stopped trusting those who took a vow of poverty so that they could dedicated their lives to teach our kids.

And what is the result? We have reduced the most valuable gifts that God could bestow upon us to an egotistic compulsion for mere numbers on a test, which in a horrible futuristic scenario, translates humanity into another inhumane form of technology.

When will we wake up?

Ask Our Children

The world around us is evolving faster than we can comprehend and, importantly, in ways we cannot comprehend. The future is heading toward us at an accelerating and dangerous speed. Change is becoming mind boggling and easily mismanaged. The survival of mankind is becoming questionable due to our proliferating technology. We now cannot control such factors as the spread of nuclear technology.

The human mind, connected as it is to its ego and its emotions, is not now able to control what is creates. This is amply evidenced by The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, the largest nuclear disaster since the Chernobyl disaster, Three Mile Island, a still missing nuclear warhead off the coast of New Jersey, the contamination of large swathes of land in Australia, the United States, some beautiful pacific islands, and many other areas, the placement of nuclear reactors close to known fault zones and ocean coasts and our inability to plan for storage of nuclear wastes. But, of the bright side (if that light is not the flash of another nuclear meltdown) certain related stock prices are up. And this leaves no doubt about why, and unbelievably why, we approved another reactor for this nation immediately following the Fukushima disaster.

My friends, there are those we elect and place in authority over our lives and the lives of our precious children that care more for profits than for the health and safety and survival of us!

One of our highly perceptive students recently told me, “Dr. A, the most valuable thing a person can possess is his vote. Wow! Do you think he knows more than us?

By the way, do some research on the internet utilizing key words such as fukushima contaminated fish, and fukushima radiation levels and ocean fish. You will be shocked! Radiation levels off the coast of Japan now measure 2,500 times safe levels. Let me repeat that: TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED TIMES more than safe levels.

I recently visited a Braum’s Store to purchase, among other items, some Tuna. No. Not available. It is feared to be contaminated.

We are in a race with ourselves to see if our intellect can accelerate at a rate faster than our brain’s subterranean ego centric center. It is a race of parallel dimensions which can only be overlaid by the one essential factor of survival. And that my friend lies buried deep within our hearts.

Yes, we need to terraform Mars and prepare another habitable place for our species, because it is looking more and more like Earth will become overheated, irradiated, underwater and otherwise uninhabitable for any species.

The pursuit of money may buy for us a future without a future.

The landscape of tomorrow must be engineered with a depth of compassion that lies hidden and only within the hearts of our children or it will be devoid of us. So, let us teach them how to love.

Our salvation lies outside of ourselves. It dwells deep within the hearts of those we seek to shelter from the storms of an unimaginable future. If we do not connect with them in a non-cognitive, deeply emotional and affective way, there truly may be no stepping back from the tipping points we are racing toward.

If we listen to our children, if we listen to their hearts, they will tell us what we need to know. We need but to ask. They are brimming full of wisdom and courage and empathy and honesty and love. Allow me to give you one good example.

A child recently asked, “Why does every politician in office not have a sign at the door that says – “NO LOBBYISTS”.

What wisdom! What cherished insight! Think of our gain as a society if the greed and self-interests and debilitating distortions of such illogical realities promulgated by greed and money, could be stopped at the entry door of those who control our destinies.

Yes, the great truths are simple. And they come from the stunningly beautiful minds of our innocent, honest and loving children. Let’s listen, before it’s too late. They have the answers. They have not been alive long enough to become corrupted with the sense of being related to and regulated by money.

Folks, our society is out of control and out of touch with reality. Let’s ask our children what we need to do.