I feel I should offer a word of explanation regarding the absence of my devotional blog postings in recent days. I have not abandoned my endeavor to write devotional thoughts based on the Book of Psalms; however, as a shepherd of the church family and ministries God has entrusted to my care (Hillsdale Baptist Church, Hillsdale Christian Academy, and Hillsdale Fine Arts Academy), I have been laboring in other pressing ministry pursuits.
In addition to my greatest privilege, serving as Hillsdale’s Pastor\Teacher for over 20 years (10 years prior to that I was the Youth Ministries Pastor at Hillsdale), one of my great joys is directing Hillsdale’s 40+ voice choir. I work with excellent musicians and, because we are a church with traditional music and performing demanding choral anthems, I am especially occupied in preparing music for Resurrection Sunday, March 27 (unlike contemporary churches whose focus is on a Music Team while the choir serves as little more than a backup; Hillsdale’s choir is central to the music ministry).
Another endeavor I have is my Spiritual MinuteMen Blog that serves as my political commentary on current events in our city, state, nation and world. Finally, I try to utilize social media as an outreach, focusing predominately on Facebook and Twitter.
I am currently researching a troubling aspect of the federal government’s data mining of America’s youth that has recently come to my attention. I am already an outspoken adversary of Common Core; however, I have learned that is the tip of the iceberg of a mega-data project that is demanding the cooperation of public and private schools as early as K4, projected to soon go through 3rd grade and ultimately follow a child through college.
One example of a troubling aspect of my research is the realization that teachers of K4 students are sending to a private corporation known as TS Gold [Teaching Strategies Gold LLC] video recordings, audio recordings, photographs, and teacher evaluations of individual students without parental knowledge or consent. Knowing government entities are never content for even one student to escape their grasp, there is now an attempt to force private schools to comply with the same intrusive data mining….More on that later.
In closing, be patient…I promise to begin regular devotional postings in the near future. In the mean time, please consider the year’s worth of devotions from the Book of Proverbs that is on this HeartofaShepherd blog.
With the heart of a shepherd,
Pastor Travis D. Smith
Copyright 2016 – Travis D. Smith