Archive for February, 2011

Did I Pass the Test?

What do a young 29 year-old Sunday school teacher, a 58 year-old electrician, a young pharmaceutical salesman, a pastor, an international student from Venezuela and a factory worker all have in common? They all took the two week intensive class, Principles of Teaching.  What a privilege to be able to invest in the lives of these people who were all seeking the same thing, to be better teachers and communicators. 

The principles from Bruce Wilkinson’s book The Seven Laws of the Learner were transforming.  The idea that the teacher carries the responsibility to cause learning did produce quite a stir. Some students did not want to accept it at first since this idea is very counter-cultural. 

Zuneide (Zoo nay jee) was concerned about a young boy in her Sunday school class.  She never seemed to be able to engage him.  Sometimes her lessons seemed less than interesting to her crew of pre-teens and this caused her frustration.  After her first week of class she was armed with fresh ideas and new principles.  We all were eager to hear the results.  She beamed as she told us that a simple game like hangman hooked David from the start and using simple tools such as rocks, water and sand drew in her students.  Knowing that their spiritual growth was her responsibility pushed her to break out of the ordinary and create a new atmosphere for learning.

I co-taught the class with another young woman, Rosemary, training her to be the future teacher of this class.  I felt our gifts melded together perfectly and the class was much better because of her presence in the classroom.

 As I looked over the final projects, and saw the interactive games, the hand-crafted visuals, and careful plans for teaching, it made me very excited about the potential of these students.  Since it was MY responsibility for these varied students to learn I am asking myself some serious questions like, “Did *I* pass the test?”

The seminary has experienced some difficulties in the past year.   We sense that God is doing innovative and original things. Pray for us as we listen and follow His lead.  We pray mostly that men and women will hear and respond to God’s call to serve Him with their lives and will perceive the need to prepare for that calling.


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Saturday was our big moving day. We had already taken many trips in our small van (Anna calls it our “mini-mini-van”)  and we were beginning to live bifurcated lives. While getting ready for teaching one night I realized my shoes were at the other house.  Yesterday we finally  made the big switch over. But there is still one thing at our old house that we won’t get over to our new house until later this week and that is the internet. So I am back in our old house checking mail and typing this blog.  Unfortunately, I wanted to upload some pics but I realized that I left the chip adapter at the other house. I can’t wait until all our earthly treasures are in one place.

As I think of the frustration, and perhaps humor of it all, I am faced with a startling truth. We are all living between “houses”, aren’t we?  I have to ask myself which house am I  more preoccupied with,  the trifling earthly one which has no lasting value, or my eternal permanent home?

My mom lives so much in the reality of that other house that she places so little significance on anything this world has to offer. She is laying up all her treasures where they will never fade or rust. As a family we are studying I Corinthians 15 this week where the reality of that other world can’t be denied.  My obsession with the perishable is embarrassing.

So as I struggle with getting all my stuff in one place I am encouraged by the Word to remember that all of my earthly goods will fade in a twinkling of an eye. I am looking forward to that day and am so pleased that my final move will be with a lot less baggage.

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God’s Renewal Plan

Our week has been harried.  The semester at the Bible college began last Monday.  I (Grace) am teaching Principles of Teaching, while training another to teach this class in the future.  The intensive class meets every evening for 3 1/2 hours, for  two weeks.  One week down, one to go. 

That would have been enough to keep me happily occupied but we are also trying to move in between class prep and lectures.  Moving has meant painting the house where we are moving  to and leaving our present home freshly painted, as well.  One of our children has been heard to say that he never wants to see a paint brush again.   I can’t say that I blame him.

In this unending cycle of busyness we are all looking forward to a day of rest tomorrow.  No painting, no scraping, no cleaning, no scrubbing, no packing, just simple meals, time with God’s people, plenty of time in the  Word and perhaps even a nap.

I am in awe of a God who desires to build into our lives a day when all labor ceases.  Why is it so hard to embrace His gift, I wonder at times.  Far from being a burden it is a pleasant release.  Only a truly loving God would go to such lengths to give us a day where we can not only find ourselves again but find Him as well.  I hope you all have a glorious sabbath tomorrow. I can hardly wait to get started!

We plan to move sometime in the coming week.  I know I will be better able to face it after a lovely, unfilled day, unfettered from the ever-waiting hectic pace and demands.

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A seminary student knocked at the gate.  A man came out and looked at the student with some curiosity.  The student greeted the man and said,”We are from the Wesleyan church and we are taking a survey.  Would you be willing to answer some questions?”  The man nodded and responded to each question.  When the student asked if he would be interested in having a Bible study in his home the man said he would.  They set a date for the first study and the student left unaware of how much light was needed in that place.

Laney is a vibrant Christian mature young woman with a strong desire to be involved in full-time ministry.  She was pleased when she learned that she would be leading the Bible study in that home.  It quickly became evident that this was not simply a home but a center for drug activity.   When she gave her first study it seemed as if no one was really listening, except two young girls.

Once during a later study a knock came at the door. Laney was amazed to see that a buyer was actually sent away because the dealer said he was busy at the moment.  She did not even think he was paying attention.

Laney began to yearn most of all to help the two teenage girls.  Their lovely faces were  hard to read as they were veiled behind long hair,  as if to protect themselves in some way.  One of Laney’s talents is to cut hair so she asked if they would be interested in a new style.  The timid, neglected girls consented to let her give them a new look.  Resistance to the light began its slow melt. 

Unaware of any lasting fruit Laney goes determinedly on to the devil’s territory to wage war and pierce the darkness. Pray for God’s surrounding hedge of protection around Laney and that those who are in need of His grace and redemption will be able to receive it.

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