God is most glorified in you when you are most satisfied in Him.
Ironically, our desires to be significant, known and loved can only be finally attained through constant threats to many of our “felt needs,” which are often shaped by pride, ambition and avarice. By denying these desires fulfilled in God alone for the benefit of immediate gratification, we actually lose everything in the trade. In God’s covenant community, we are able to taste and see that the Lord is good and set aside this world’s fleeting pleasures, namely because we have seen something more true and more beautiful than this world can offer through false freedom and autonomy.
So it is not simply by understanding doctrine that we uproot narcissism and materialism in our lives and the lives of our children. It is by actually taking our place in a local expression of that concrete economy of grace instituted by God in Christ and sustained by His Word and Spirit. At least in its design, this economy of grace is governed by a covenantal rather than contractual logic. In the covenant of grace, God says to us, ‘I’m with you to the end, come what may.’ Only from this position of security can we say the same to our spouse, children and fellow believers. And from the deepest contentment we can fulfill our ordinary covenants in the world “as unto the Lord,” even when others break their contracts." @1 week ago with 3 notes
My friend and I wrote the following article on the life of our favorite English teacher. Please enjoy and judge.
Whenever one thinks of Christopher Kent Carman, a quote from the movie Kung Fu Panda comes to mind: “We are noodle-folk Po. Broth runs through our veins.” Sorry, we actually meant that people “are blinded by overexposure to pure awesomeness.” In short, Mr. Carman is simply awesome.
Carman’s insight and intellect resemble Kung Fu Master Shi-Fu’s wisdom and his suave style parallels Superman’s swagger. What more could you ask for in teacher?
A graduate of Skyline High School hailing from Oakland, Carman went to UC Berkeley for undergraduate studies and majored in English. When asked if he knew from the start that he wanted to attend UC Berkeley, he quipped, “I knew from the start my mother wanted me to go to [Cal].”
Afterwards, he attended San Francisco State for his master’s degree in English and Creative Writing. Shortly after, he worked for his teaching credential at UC Berkeley through a program called the Bay Area Writing Project, also known as BAWP, not to be confused with the commonplace slang term. Afterwards, Mr. Carman began his teaching career.
Starting off as a student teacher for junior high, Mr. Carman eventually came to Alameda High, and has been teaching here for twenty-four years. (We secretly think that middle schoolers simply couldn’t handle his epic greatness.)
One lasting mark (upon many) that Carman will leave on Alameda High School is “piloting the start of the joint English and History classes.” Pairing with a teacher (who no longer teaches at the school), Mr. Carman began the program more commonly known as media academy.
When asked what is his favorite thing about teaching, he remarked “I like the human connection. I like helping people see things in literature they’ve never seen before.” In addition, he commented that the three best things about teaching are “June, July, and August.”
However, as a young lad, Christopher Kent Carman believed his destiny was tied to a career as either a park ranger or oceanographer, due to his undying love and commitment to the natural, unadulterated wilderness. (We would also like to point out that he was an avid comic book collector.) Yet, fate had a different course for this great man, and twenty-four years’ worth of students are eternally grateful for his entry into their lives as one of the greatest English teachers of all time.
Yet to confine the persona of Mr. Carman into simply that of a teacher would perhaps be one of the worst human follies of all time. The quintessential outdoorsman, Mr. Carman would easily destroy Paul Bunyan in a lumberjacking contest. In fact, he is so in tune with the natural world that he can only wear natural fabrics; synthetics like polyester simply disintegrate upon contact with his intensely defined muscles.
When not hunting buffalo on the open plains with his bear hands (and we do mean bear not bare), Mr. Carman loves coaching his son Eric’s soccer team, endurance bike rides, traveling through the American Frontier, and above all, transcending… above all.
With so many activities, it is a wonder that Mr. Carman has any time for transcending. One of his greatest wishes is that “[he] could do more transcending.” But as he well knows, you cannot seek the transcendental moment. It must descend upon you in a zen-like moment, like when the Buddha first achieved enlightenment under the bodhi tree.
But sometimes, if one stays out in the natural world too long, he or she becomes jaded to its splendor. As such, Mr. Carman balances his Paul-Bunyan-defeating natural side with a more modern, technologically savvy lifestyle. For example, Mr. Carman said, “TiVo is one of the greatest inventions ever. It has changed my life. Really.”
When not catching up with his favorite TV shows like “The Wire”, Carman relaxes with such musical classics as U2, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, and Miles Davis.
In terms of food, Mr. Carman looks past goods polluted with refined sugars. He enjoys only foods with the salt of the earth. “I’m more of a savory kind of guy,” said Mr. Carman. “I like the saltiness, and the chips, and the guac.”
If one dares to think that only students love Mr. Carman, Nelly Baranyi, Rick Texeira, and Carol Chacon are quick to prove them wrong.
Part of their self-proclaimed trifecta (including the three English teachers that hang out in the lounge during their third period prep), Baranyi says that Mr. Carman’s “Carmanisms” have rubbed off on her.
“I have started saying some of his Carmanisms this year such as ‘Do you get what I’m saying?’, ‘Does that make sense?’ and ‘I’m not crazy, right?’” Baranyi said.
Secretly, we know that Mr. Carman loves us even if he doesn’t show it that often. Baranyi says, “I think that he has a bit more of a soft spot then he lets on.”
Texeira, the other member of the trifecta, echoes Baranyi’s sentiments. “He appreciates people’s personalities and sees students as people rather than just numbers in the grade book.”
In addition, Texeira points out that Carman leads quite the interesting life outside of school. “He almost died once because he ran across an illegal Hawaiian boar poaching operation,” said Texeira.
Lastly, Carol Chacon has much to say about the intellectual side of Carman. “He is our resident American lit. specialist,” she said. “He has been a very helpful, wonderful and supportive colleague. I used him as a model for how to teach my AP class.”
@2 weeks ago with 1 note
Understandably, superheroes cannot show affection towards the people they love most because doing so would endanger them. Nonetheless, a few “I love you’s” have come our way. In short, Carman is both multifaceted and multitalented. He is not simply a teacher, outdoorsman, or Chuck Norris’ idol. He is all of these, and when united, these qualities transcend to form the man who is known as Christopher Kent Carman.