Teaching to Learn and Learning to Teach


Two Challenges
January 4, 2010, 3:57 am
Filed under: Cooking, Discipline, FUN!, Girly-Girl, My life, Quirky

The Month-long Challenge: Starting tomorrow, January 4th. I will notbuy groceries this month (excluding perishables and items to cook for others and then only if necessary). I need to use up the food in the pantry, the refrigerator, and the freezer. Who knows I might create something wonderful while trying to use what I have.

My Challenge to Myself for 2010: I am not buying any magazines this year. I love to buy food/home magazines: Cooking Light, Real Simple, etc. The only magazine I get each month is Martha Stewart; I subscribe. The others I buy occasionally especially if I find them on sale. If my Martha Stewart subscription runs out, I am not going to renew within the next twelve months. I have decided that I have enough ideas at my fingertips. Instead of buying more, I am going through old magazines I have lying around, tearing out idea pages, and organizing them into a binder by month. Now I can look through all the best ideas from past Christmas magazines or know what projects I should start in June. Recipes that require seasonal ingredients will be found when the items are in season. Doesn’t that sound wonderful? I’ll save money, find old treasures, and have less stuff lying around. Sounds grand!

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Good Listening

If you are looking for great sermons/ lectures, I would like to introduce you to a new website.

Drumroll please…..

TMC has a new pulpit webpage in honor of MacArthur’s 25th anniversary at the college. Click here to browse the new site. You can select from the last 25 years of chapel services based on semester, chapel speaker, message title, series, or scripture. They have also included all the Truth and Life messages. A cd set from one Truth and Life conference used to run for around $60, now it is all free and easily accessible to you. Take advantage of it!

I listened to this sermon today. It was a favorite message from last year that I missed. It was worthy of the accolade it has received.

I also recommend listening to this lecture from CCEF. I have been thinking about corporate prayer lately (the purpose, how to participate in it, etc) and then my boss asked our staff to listen to this lecture. I highly recommend it.



Gospel Displayed in Another’s Life and Interaction with Me

How can your theology not change the way you respond to others failures? I’ve had many opportunities this semester to think about this. Far too often I have a head knowledge of the truth and come to find that “understanding” (it’s in quotes because as a former teacher I don’t really believe it is understood if it is not applied) does not filter down into my practical everyday beliefs. The Lord and one of my bosses have faithfully challenged me in how the gospel should transform my response to failures (others and my own). I know the gospel and I know that I should expect failure. I am an imperfect, fallen sinner who needs a Savior who is living in a broken, flawed hurting world with a bunch of other hurting, sinning, broken, flawed, imperfect humans. That is reality!  By the way, that reality would be very depressing apart from the real gospel truth that there is a Savior. I believe it, so why do I respond in frustration when I can’t control my circumstances or outcomes. Why do I respond with impatience, pride, and surprise when others fail? Why am I surprised when I see sin in my life? Sadly, my theology doesn’t change the way I live with other’s failures or my own the way it should. I want to be sinless that is my desire and expectation despite knowing glorification doesn’t occur on this side of Heaven.

 Theology should change the way you vote, as I pointed out in my last post, but it should also change how I respond to someone who couldn’t get the project done or how I respond when I can’t do the impossible, or how I respond to my own sin. I know a lot about God (theology) and a lot about man and yet too often I think, view, or try to act as God. I’m thankful for faithful people like my boss, who God uses to point this out as he extends grace when failure occurs in the office.



Another Wonderful Message Brought to you by…

Chapel Media presents this chapel etiquette video which I love! It’s not easy to share here, but if you log into facebook and then enter the following link into your browser, it should work. Let me know if it doesn’t work and I won’t continue to do this in the future.

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/pages/Newhall-CA/The-Masters-College-Chapel-Media/122533889845?ref=mf

My favorite parts are:

“The bright cheerful well-rested students” arriving to chapel. How many college students do you know that are well-rested and bright at 9:10? If you added arriving early to chapel, then it would be borderline propoganda :).

“Susie on floor with head injury and Johnny with a burnt face…” All because of a banana peel… it happens all the time.

The guy signing in and skipping chapel “shows that he lacks moral fortitude and is clearly not ready to make commitment necessary for a successful marriage”… there is truth in humor :).

“BE YOURSELF IN CHAPEL, BUT MAKE SURE IT IS YOUR BEST SELF.”

 



Resolved
September 15, 2009, 6:07 am
Filed under: Christian Living, Discipline, Lessons Learned, My life

Hello there! Oh you thought this post was going to be about a conference that many of my favorite preachers preach at? Sorry, you were wrong. If you would like to learn more about that, click here

Maybe you thought this post would be about Jonathan Edward’s famous resolutions, which you can read here or buy here. That’s not what it is about, but his final resolution does relate to this post. He wrote, “Let there be something of benevolence, in all that I speak.” 

What this is really about is my two recent resolutions:

1. I resolve even after beginning to say something which I recognize to be wrong or I am hesitant to share out of wisdom, to stop and hold my tongue.

2. I resolve when someone else is audibly debating whether they should speak, to encourage them to not tell me the information and to not press them on the topic.

I never really knew if I liked the idea of resolutions. I like Jonathan Edwards’ resolutions and I find New Year’s resolutions entertaining. I have heard a concern among people whom I work and live with that the danger of resolutions include relying on one’s own strength, seeking to change yourself,  or working to change outward behavior without changing the heart. I have really “enjoyed” my resolutions, however. I say “enjoyed” because it is sweet to taste of denying sin and choosing righteousness. It should be sweet, it is sowing to life rather than death. I have also noticed, however, how often I fail. Christ’s, however, never wavers.   By making resolutions about my speech, I have really noticed how often my speech is not cautious or purposeful. Our speech is supposed to give grace to those who hear and to edify and encourage others. That is the purpose for which our lips and tongues were created. I don’t consider that on a consistent basis before I speak. Resolving to change in these two little areas of speech has not only given me insight into my speech as a whole, but it has also pointed me to the cross. I’ve been much more aware of my failure with my tongue. As I’ve needed to ask forgiveness of individuals time and time again, I’ve revelled not only in God’s  forgiving me time and time again, his amazing grace that chose me at the foundation of the earth while fully knowing who and what I am, or that God chooses to work through me in spite of my failure, but also at God’s amazing clarity and perfection of speech revealed to us in His Word.

That’s enough deep thought for now. Goodnight!



Motivation in the Work-field
August 29, 2009, 6:59 pm
Filed under: current issues, Discipline, Good Advice, Life

This video on motivation in business (which was refererence on a blog I read about productivity) was fascinating and thought provoking. I recommend it highly in spite of the fact that the presenter, Dan Pink, was Al Gore’s speech writer. Hee hee.

His case is external rewards (often monetary) impede creativity and development in business, where as autonomy, mastery, and purpose (internal motivators) act as a stimulus for creative development.

It is interesting to think about this in relation to what Scripture says about man. A huge part of our sinful nature is to want to be autonomous. Also, it is no surprise that people are more motivated by purpose than money. We were made for something more than the world and we all, even if we deny the truth of God, long for something more than this world. Dan Pink, the speaker, defines purpose as “longing to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves.” Isn’t that what we were created to be a part of? We were created for God’s glory as a part of the story of redemption.

Another thought provoking part of the talk is Dan Pink’s comments about mangagement not being natural but being created. I think that is rather untrue. Autonomy is unnatural but what fallen man desires. God created the world with a natural submissive order: God, husband, wife; God, parents, children; God, Christ, Church, etc. Harsh, selfish management and micro-management were not a part of the natural design, but I don’t know that I would say that management is unnatural and man-made.

It is also fascinating to contemplate the creative success of companies like google and wikipedia who have used intrinsic motivators rather than externals. Companies who have given people control of 20% of their scheduled time and control over what projects they work on have been great successes.

All of this to say… if you have 18 minutes, it would be well spent watching this video.



Teach There Are Consequences
July 10, 2009, 5:38 am
Filed under: Discipleship, Discipline, Parenting, role models, Uncategorized
This post on Randy Alcorn’s blog speaks about the consequences of sexual immorality. He and one of his friends developed personalized lists of  consequences that would result from sexual immorality. The lists act as a deterrent. He writes of their useful, effective nature stating, “The lists were devastating, and to us they spoke more powerfully than any sermon or article on the subject.”
I thought this was an interesting article. It made me think of the most important lesson my parents ever taught me. They taught me a lot. I have amazing teachers for parents, the kind that tell you they want you to redo your homework even when you tell them your teacher doesn’t care and the kind that tell you when you call home your first semester away at college thinking you are failing your classes that it is ok as long as you are learning. They taught me that there were consequences for my actions and that I couldn’t choose the consequences. Parents now-a-days (OK… now I officially sound like a Grandma, when I am only 25) want to save their children from consequences. I understand that; as a teacher it pained me to take away the things my students loved even when they were bad. The problems with saving people from consequences are that consequences are  great deterrents, useful discipline, and a natural part of life. What is the consequence of sticking your hand in a flame? You will get burned. What is the consequence for jumping out of a plane that is hundreds of feet in the air without a shoot? You will die. Often as thick-headed humans, we learn in the school of pain and suffering. You can’t save students from that, and you don’t want to; it is useful. If the consequence of doing all your corrections means you get 5% extra-credit on your test – some students will necessarily learn to do their corrections. Most students, however, learn the hard way. If they know the test will be difficult and not studying will result in an F which will be followed by removal of all cell phone and facebook privileges, they will study. DING DING DING. The parents and the teacher successfully taught the student that there were consequences and by so doing taught the student much more. The student learned the information for the test, their work ethic grew,  they learned how to make choices with positive consequences, and they learned to consider consequences before acting.
My parents taught me consequences in many ways. They allowed me to reap what I sowed. They punished me when I did wrong. They made their expectations clear and there was always a consequence when I didn’t meet them. They were consistent in their punishment. I didn’t control them. When I would throw a temper-tantrum every night before bed. My mom would march me upstairs for a spanking. Every night I would cry and beg and tell her I would never do it again, but every night I got the spanking and I wondered why she didn’t believe me (even though I did it all the time). I learned that I couldn’t control what happened. There was an effect for my actions and I couldn’t always get out of it or undo it. When I hit   and college as an unregenerate sinner, there were many things I wanted to do that were dangerous and sinful. I had no desire to please God and my idolatrous heart was full of wrong lusts and desires. God used my faithful parents to save me from so much sin and baggage before I was a believer. I stayed away from a lot of things because I knew I couldn’t predict or control the outcome and I knew there would be severe, possibly life-long consequences as a result of that choice or action. I praise God that my parents didn’t choose what was convenient or comfortable for them, but rather chose God-glorifying, consistent, faithful, and strenuous discipline, molding, and teaching for both me and my brothers.