Sunday, June 28, 2009

7 Principles of an Eagle

7 Principles Of An Eagle – Dr. Myles Monroe

By Kwee Lain


Eagles fly alone at high altitude and not with sparrows or other small birds. No other bird can got to the height of the eagle. Stay away from sparrows and ravens.

Eagles fly with Eagles


Eagles have strong vision. They have the ability to focus on something up to five kilometers away. When an eagle sites his prey, he narrows his focus on it and set out to get it. No matter the obstacles, the eagle will not move his focus from the prey until he grabs it.

Have a vision and remain focused no matter what the obstacle and you will succeed.


Eagles do not eat dead things. They feed only on fresh prey. Vultures eat dead animals, but eagles will not.

Be careful with what you feed your eyes and ears with, especially in movies and on TV. Steer clear of outdated and old information. Always do your research well.


Eagles love the storm. When clouds gather, the eagles get excited. The eagle uses the storm’s wind to lift it higher. Once it finds the wind of the storm, the eagles uses the raging storm to lift him above the
clouds. This gives the eagle an opportunity to glide and rest its wings. In the meantime, all the other birds hide in the leaves and branches of the trees.

We can use the storms of life to rise to greater heights. Achievers relish challenges and use them profitably.


The Eagle tests before it trusts. When a female eagle meets a male and they want to mate, she flies down to earth with the male pursuing her and she picks a twig. She flies back into the air with the male pursuing her.
Once she has reached a height high enough for her, she lets the twig fall to the ground and watches it as it falls. The male chases after the twig. The faster it falls, the faster he chases it. He has to catch it before it
falls to the ground. He then brings it back to the female eagle.

The female eagle grabs the twig and flies to a higher altitude and then drops the twig for the male to chase. This goes on for hours, with the height increasing until the female eagle is assured that the male eagle has mastered the art of catching the twig which shows commitment. Then and only then, will she allow him to mate with her.

Whether in private life or in business, one should test commitment of people intended for partnership.


When ready to lay eggs, the female and male eagle identify a place very high on a cliff where no predators can reach. The male flies to earth and picks thorns and lays them on the crevice of the cliff, then flies to earth again to collect twigs which he lays in the intended nest. He flies back to earth and picks thorns laying them on top of the twigs. He flies back to earth and picks soft grass to cover the thorns. When this first layering is complete the male eagle runs back to earth and picks more thorns, lays them on the nest; runs back to get grass it on top of the thorns, then plucks his feathers to complete the nest. The thorns on the outside of the nest protect it from possible intruders. Both male and female eagles participate in raising the eagle family. She lays the eggs and protects them; he builds the nest and hunts. During the time of training the young ones to fly, the mother eagle throws the eaglets out of the nest. Because they are scared, they jump into the nest again.

Next, she throws them out and then takes off the soft layers of the nest, leaving the thorns bare When the scared eaglets again jump into the nest, they are pricked by thorns. Shrieking and bleeding they jump out again this time wondering why the mother and father who love them so much are torturing them. Next, mother eagle pushes them off the cliff into the air. As they shriek in fear, father eagle flies out and catches them up on his back before they fall and brings them back to the cliff. This goes on for sometime until they start flapping their wings. They get excited at this newfound knowledge that they can fly.

The preparation of the nest teaches us to prepare for changes; The preparation for the family teaches us that active participation of both partners leads to success; The being pricked by the thorns tells us that sometimes being too comfortable where we are may result into our not experiencing life, not progressing and not learning at all. The thorns of life come to teach us that we need to grow, get out of the nest and live on. We may not know it but the seemingly comfortable and safe haven may have thorns.

The people who love us do not let us languish in sloth but push us hard to grow and prosper. Even in their seemingly bad actions they have good intentions for us.


When an Eagle grows old, his feathers become weak and cannot take him as fast as he should. When he feels weak and about to die, he retires to a place far away in the rocks. While there, he plucks out every feather on his body until he is completely bare. He stays in this hiding place until he has grown new feathers, then he can come out.

We occasionally need to shed off old habits & items that burden us without adding to our lives.

A Week (and a day) in June (20-27)

The best part of the week was a "Reunion" dinner was had a Litton's with the Gibsons, Hornes, Mathes', and Taylors. Wow, to think that some folks live their entire lives and never have a single true friend. How blessed we are to have many! I believe the seed was planted to take a mission trip to Nicaragua next summer. We'll see if that seed bears fruit or not.

Monday, 6/22, I met with ChildHelp's Hugh Nystrom. Hugh is the undesputed King of Puns and is the guy who knows everybody in town! We met for lunch at Pimentos and ran into Suzanne and her mom. Hugh is proving to be an invaluable asset to our Dream Team. He's also part of the 2009 Leadership Knoxville Class.

Our Dream Team meeting on Thursday was productive and inspiring. Anthony Ingram suggested I contact Grand Standifer at Compassion Coalition and now our team is booked to be on Grant's "Drive at Five" radio show on Joy 62. We're making progress, but it feels slow to me. I suppose because I'm preoccupied with finances. Most of our donors have stayed with us, but have cut back on their support. We're going to have to get creative this year. Of course, everytime I feel anxious I remind myself that it's not up to be to make this dream come true...not if I truly believe this is a vision that God has called us to share...then I feel the pressure diminish and excitement about HOW it's going to happen this year takes the place of my fear.

I met with John Dinkens again along with his friend and colleague, Nathan Zipper. I have to distinct feeling that this was another "divine appointment" on this journey. I love being with people who don't limit God and who have the courage to dream big dreams! Nathan suggested I check out "" and offered to help set up a request for us. John, of course, contines to be as enthusiastic a supporter as we've ever had and has offered up his contacts to help spread the word about our mission. After we met, I jumped tables and joined Sherry, Angel and Suzanne for our Friday morning Panera session.

Saturday morning, I met my old friend, Bruce Bouldin, at the courts for a little butt-whooping. It was a blistering 95 degrees and I did well to stay on my feet. Bruce was merciful and allowed me the victory...this time. After tennis, we met at Wendy's to share the Reach Them dream along with the possibility of bringing the dream to Hickory, NC.

This morning, we joined the packed house at NorthStar for a little challenge for the men. After church, we had lunch at Lenny's with Tom, Chelcie, Delaney, Addie, Sam, Reed, Ed, Chris, and Justin. We ran into Mr. Roger and Emilee Bowles and the Hicks family. So much fun to live in a town where we see friends wherever we go!

Tribute to Dale Mayo

My dear friend, Gerda,

My prayers and thoughts are with you on this day. How often I have thought of you, Claire, and Rose this week! I’ve driven past your house every day and each time I lifted you up to the Lord. I probably should have come in, but there were always so many cars...

Tom and I attended the Celebration of Life service today but we did not have the opportunity to get anywhere close to you due to all the people who love you and your family, and especially your special husband, Dale. Dale’s legacy will continue to be revealed to you in the days, weeks, and months ahead.

I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you some of our special memories of time spent with you and Dale. First of all, our Sunday summer afternoons at the Gettysvue we enjoyed our laid-back conversations and laughs around the pool! Of all the things we miss about our Gettysvue days, we miss our time with “the Mayos” most of all!

Then there were the fourth of July parties out at the Slack’s lake house. Tell me, does it ever get better than that? Popsicles, children, good food, and lifelong friends- these are the things that make up “the good ol’ days.”

I’ve enclosed some pictures for you and your girls. Dale was the first person I called for help after scheduling “Mission Unstoppable,” our 8th grade service project for the Mission of Hope. Four out of the last five years, Dale worked all day in my classroom at West Valley, helping my students assemble the toys they’d purchased. Many times, he would have to “undo” their work and fix the toy before we could send it on to Appalachia. Dale was never there to draw attention to himself. He had a way of being there when he was needed, but he never took over. Dale patiently guided my students so they would learn to do it themselves. The loss of our Mission Unstoppable project was one of the reasons I struggled with decision to leave West Valley.

This fall, I am teaching in an inner-city elementary school. As you well know, the dream of Reach Them to Teach Them, has been my passion for the past four years. I want to see our city united; I want to see people in our town set aside our differences and come together. If people fully grasped the power of their influence in the lives of others, they would consider their influcence a privilege that comes with great responsibility. Dale wasn’t a teacher by profession, but he was a teacher in the way he lived his life. He led people to “discover” truths for themselves that were hidden in plain sight.

In the past three days we have heard (and told) many “Dale Mayo” stories. Just tonight, Mike Taylor shared with us how much it meant to him to have Dale show up in his hospital room with an office chair so Mike could work while he was fighting cancer.

I distinctly remember a message on our answering machine a few years ago from an “Alphonse Derongelo,” letting me know that a package had been dropped off on my back porch. It seemed that “Mr. Derongelo” had purchased several cases of student Bibles for the students who showed up at a summer Bible study I was having at my house.
Gerda, my heart breaks for your loss, but oh, my friend, how very blessed we’ve all been to have known your sweet husband! The only thing that can provide comfort for those of us who remain on this side of heaven is the decision to live our lives as evidence of having known Dale Mayo.

His quiet way of assessing a situation, of using what resources he had to meet a need, of never having met a stranger, of not being a “consumer,” his dry, intellectual sense of humor, the way he took joy in the simple pleasures of life...the world is forever different because he was here. Lives have been changed, hearts of been touched. Just today, several people accepted Christ into their lives for the first time. Even in death, he continues to point people toward Jesus.

I recently finished reading a book entitled, “Same Kinda Different as Me.” There is a passage in the book that speaks to loss. “Our limitation is God’s opportunity. When you get all the way to the end of your rope and there ain’t nothin you can do, that’s when God takes over.” Please know that in the days ahead, you may be overcome with grief, you may cry out to God like you’ve never cried out to Him before. I know that this loss is too much for you to handle, but it’s not too much for God. Let Him carry you.

Friend, we love you. We love your family. We love spending time with you. We are looking forward to being with you again soon.

With much love and constant prayer for you,

Amy and Tom Crawford


Well, that was a quick month. Lots of changes, lots of decisions to be made, and lots of fun! Here are the highlights as I remember them.

We had a Reach Them to Teach Them Board Meeting on June 11th. Things are progressing pretty well. We certainly have a lot more structure and organization to our meetings. Part of me really misses the old days of just sharing ideas and thinking about "What if..." Our team is strong and I'm encouraged every time I head into a meeting to see that they have come back.

Sam and Addie attended Vacation Bible School with Natalie, Lauren, and Bennett at First Baptist Concord. It was quite a production and the kids had a blast. I enjoyed seeing Dr. Wilson and several old friends I hadn't seen in a while. Part of me got a little nostalgic for "traditional" Baptist Church, and another part of me got a little sad. What could happen in our city if the resources that were used to produce VBS were reallocated to be the hands of Jesus to hurting people in our city? Many children made professions of faith and the gospel message was clearly shared with them, so I guess I'm torn. My emotions are similar to how I feel about teaching in suburban schools vs. inner city. Where can I (we) have the greater impact? There is no clear, definitive answer.

I had a great time meeting with my old friend Steve. Not coincidentally our conversation did not center on Reach Them as I had planned, but rather we talked about what it means to truly seek God... not church, not organized religion, but truly, deeply, intimately seek God. I enjoy learning from people who aren't afraid to think for themselves, then research, seek, and discover. That kind of thing fascinates me.

Friday morning at Panera was one of the week's highlights as usual. Suzanne, Sherry, Phil, and Lisa were there and we enjoyed debating the problems of the universe. We had them all solved by 10:30! Whenever I have the opportunity to be with my special group of friends, I am always better for it. Also, it feels so good to laugh.

Chelcie arrived home from Nicaragua on Sunday, and Sunday afternoon we had our small group meeting at Ed's lake house. Chelcie shared her pictures and video from her adventure in Central America and I felt a distinct rip of separation between myself and my baby girl. I wouldn't be surprised if she felt called to teach in a Nicaraguan orphanage someday. She has such a heart for the people there.

Sam was enrolled in Camp Invention the week of June 15-19 at Lotts. He had a great time taking apart a radio and building a "Robot Computer" who would bring my laptop to me whenever I needed it. Tuesday, June 16th, I spoke at Tom's Kiwanis Club and was thrilled to hear that they immediately voted to allocate $500 to Reach Them to Teach Them for 2009.

Tuesday's highlight was meeting my former "roommate" Jane Manning at Cracker Barrel for breakfast. Always so good to share time with friends. This time, I had an ulterior motive...I need HELP with ideas for teaching fourth grade! She graciously agreed to lend a hand and cautioned me to set the rules and procedures at the beginning of the year, not "as I go."

Wednesday, June 17. Oh, what a tragic day! The world lost a great man today. Our good friend, Dale Mayo, died unexpectedly at his house. I met with John Dinkens at Panera Bread to share the Reach Them story, then was headed down to Webster's to meet with Angela Gonda when Miles Creasman called to let me know. The rest of the day was a blur. I spent most of the day reflecting on the kind of man Dale was and praying for Gerda, Claire, and Rose. I'm still reeling from the loss.

Thursday morning, I headed to Maryville and by 8:15 I was in Dr. Terry Simpson's office preparing to meet with Maryville City Schools' Director, Stephanie Thompson. Ms. Thompson was completely supportive and agreed to encourage the Maryville City Schools' Staff to attend Reach Them to Teach Them, 2009.

My first tour of my digs was given to me by Laurie Griffin on Thursday. Laurie was a gracious hostess and introduced me to everyone who happened to be there. Every person I met was exceptionally friendly and welcoming. All said they loved teaching there and couldn't imagine teaching at another school. The prospect of all the changes in my near future is still unsettling, but I have no regrets...especially since I have heard nothing from my former principal or asst. principal...Just when you think you find out you don't. Still stings a little but looking forward to what's ahead.

Friday's highlight was Sam's Camp Invention Presentation and, of course, my Panera breakfast. More later...this one's getting too long! :)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Greater Things...

Day One of the journey...I verbally committed to go to Sarah Moore Greene next year to teach fourth graders. It's been nine years since I've been in elementary school, but with my baby girl headed to fourth grade, I thought it would be fun to journey alongside her as she conquers fourth grade.

I met Phil, Suzanne, and Kevin at Panera Bread this morning and shared the news with them. I've prayed for God to open the door for Reach Them to Teach Them to penetrate Knoxville's inner-city and unite our city in our common love for our most important natural resource-our children. This decision was not made without careful thought, prayer and seeking the counsel of my wise friends. I only wish I had documented their words but the common theme has been, "Amy, you've got to go."

I discussed this with Tom, Suzanne, Phil, Scotty and Theresa prior to accepting the position. There are folks I respect and admire and each one said that this is the right move for me at this time. I also talked to Nancy Freidrich and when she said, "Amy, I have been here two and half years and I have never had a mother show up at my classroom door with a tray of cupcakes to celebrate a birthday, or to lend a hand to help with making copies..." I saw "my" children. It's not a matter of pity; it's a matter of empowerment. It's about setting uncompromising high standards and refusing to compromise them for excuses. I am so eager to love them. I'm praying that God will open the door beside me for Suzanne to come too. Where two or more are gathered...God, use me up for your glory...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Divine Appointments

This has been an emotional day for me. As I have determined in my mind that the best place for me to serve God is in Knoxville's inner city, I have found myself grieving the loss of things I've yet to lose. I have examined my options and sought wise counsel. My conclusion is clear and my mind is at peace with this decision. My heart, on the other hand, is conflicted.

I had a wonderful $4 breakfast with Erica Pack at Webster's this morning, and I found myself overwhelmed with emotion...not for myself, but when I visualized the faces of the children who never hear anyone tell them, "I love you," "Your life has purpose," "You are fearfully and wonderfully made." No child should feel invisible. What could they do if they were given the tools to build their masterpieces? How can we, how can I equip them to change the world?

After meeting with Erica, I headed to Starbucks to meet with an old friend from college. This friend is dealing with the same sort of strugggle so many of us face...What does it mean to truly, authentically follow God? Intense conversation with a good listener and fellow learner.

Then to FBConcord to pick up the children from VBS. 2,000 kids...500+ volunteers...5 days...who knows how much time and money has been invested in this. I can't help but wonder what the return on investment is for this event. Is it worth it? One life changed forever? Twenty? Three hundred? How is value determined?

Reed and Rachel received some heart-breaking news last night. Today, they seem a little tentative, but curious, excited about some of the changes, and happy. I hope their parents continue to focus on their needs first.

Lots of folks to pray for and lots of pain around me. I am dealing with some very serious personal issues that I do not want to share here, but want to document for future reference. I know that God has a plan for me. How He will use my current situation for good, is something I cannot wait to see. Sometimes the pain is in proportion to the victory. This one should be good!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Crazy Love and Security Blankets

This has been one of the most gut-wrenching decisions I have had to make quite some time. I am asking myself questions like:

1. Do I trust God enough to let go of my security to see how He will use me in uncharted territory?

2. Can I back up my words with my actions?

3. Do I believe that God is at work in my life, and that His plans are far superior to my own?

4. How powerful is my pride? I have taught at WV for six years. I'm the Dept. Chair, sponsor of National Junior Honor Society, data team, and have a favorable reputation in the community. Are these accomplishments MY accomplishments? OR can I lay these at the feet of my Savior and offer them up to Him as thanks and praise for allowing me the opportunity to serve HIM, not myself, to the best of my ability?

5. Will I allow fear into my mind, or trust that God is true to His word?

6. Will I allow myself to be free to serve Him wherever He calls me without a backwards glance into what might have been?

7. Will I be grateful to have been given the opportunity to pour my life into children who might not have another person who cares about them or tells them they matter?

8. Will I live with a "Kingdom"mindset, or will I look for what is easy and convenient for me?

9. Will I miss the comforts of the classroom, my view of the mountains, my brand-new activboard, my big closet, my, my, my...nothing was ever mine. Nothing.

10. Will I claim and live Jeremiah 29:11?

I have already seen first-hand how this choice influences my children. I was upset, emotional, in tears this afternoon when Addie noticed and got worried about me. I explained to her that the thought of children who have no one who loves them, takes care of them, and teaches them that they are fearfully and wonderfully made- my heart breaks for them.

I explained that I want to use my God-given gifts to meet a need in our community, even if it means I leave WVMS.

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Start of Something New

As I reflect on this past week, I am grateful and inspired. Tuesday was a turning point day for Reach Them to Teach Them as Ed, Theresa, Anthony, Kevin, Miles and I met with Cathy Ackermann and Amelia at Ackermann, PR for the purpose of sharing the history, present standing and future goals of Reach Them. I must confess to being impressed with the level of excellence set forth from the time we entered the building until we left three and a half hours later. After our intense meeting, Theresa and I had lunch with "James" on the patio at Aubrey's and shared some big dreams. We both feel as if we're on the verge of something so much bigger than ourselves.

Wednesday morning started early with an 8:30 meeting at the Knoxville News Sentinel with my new friend, Mary Lyle Hyatt and a young man who did great on his second day on the job. After this meeting, I drove across town to interview at Sarah Moore Green elementary school, but did not leave the interview feeling like that is where I need to be. Principal Yarbro was very kind and I enjoyed my time with her. I also had the opportunity to see Donna Howard for a few moments prior to the interview.

With about 30 minutes to spare before my lunch date, I dropped by Panera to check email and ran into Janice Halliday. She always has an encouraging word and a smile! I love that lady! Then it was off to Pimentos on Bearden Hill to sit at the feet of Hallerin Hill and learn the lessons his father taught him. Brickies have to have sticky to be functional and beautiful. The mortar between the bricks is the sticky. All successful people and organizations have plenty of sticky! Hallerin encouraged me to pursue Christian record producers in order to have a compilation album of "celebrity" songs honoring teachers who made a difference in their lives. Definitely something to "dream big" about...

Thursday and Friday were spent at UT-C with Drew and Billy Miller. More details later, but my baby boy is registered and ready for college in August! YIKES! Time literally flies!