Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Mark of a Great Teacher

"I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now." ~Jesus in John 16:12

I tend to see life through the lens of teaching, because that is my gift and passion. As I study the life of Christ via the scriptures, it strikes me that here is THE most elegant model for teaching:
  •  Dialogue in an informal setting
  •  Answering questions with questions
  •  Learning from nature
  •  Parables
  •  Investing in a small circle of disciples

John 16:12 adds another nugget of truth to that list: knowing exactly how much the student can take and not exceeding that limit.

How difficult it is for me to place a limit on myself! I want to pour into my students' heads all the treasure that I've managed to store in my small cache of wisdom.. How prideful that is--they cannot bear it now. But the Spirit of truth will take any seed of wisdom that I sow in the fertile hearts of my students and He will continue to lead them into all truth. It's a promise: "When He, the spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all the truth..." John 16:13

This is so freeing for any teacher. When the student can bear no more, STOP! The Holy Spirit is able to finish the teaching session at a future time and place. He even has the capacity to create a hunger for learning and when that happens the student will leave no stone unturned until he has satisfied the need to know.

An old proverb sums this idea up pretty accurately: strike while the iron is hot.
Conversely, if you don't strike oil, stop boring!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Poem: The H. Scriptures I by George Herbert

George Herbert at Bemerton by William Dyce
Oh Book! infinite sweetness! let my heart
Suck ev'ry letter, and a honey gain,
Precious for any grief in any part;
To clear the breast, to mollify all pain.
Thou art all health, health thriving, till it make
A full eternity: thou art a mass
Of strange delights, where we may wish and take.
Ladies, look here; this is the thankfull glass,
That mends the looker's eyes: this is the well
That washes what it shows. Who can endear
Thy praise too much? thou art heav'n's Lidger here,
Working against the states of death and hell.
Thou art joy's handsel: heav'n lies flat in thee,
Subject to ev'ry mounter's bended knee. 

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

How Do You Bookmark?

How do you bookmark?

This article gave me a chuckle. I have a drawer full of "nice" bookmarks, but in a pinch I've been known to  use:

  •  a tissue (unused!)
  •  a grocery list
  •  a piece of junk mail
  •  a dollar bill
  •  a gum wrapper
  •  a paper clip  
  •  a library receipt

But I will never, never dog-ear a page.

How about you?

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Amy Carmichael's Words on Motherhood

Maternal Caress by Mary Cassatt

  “These children are dear to Me.  Be a mother to them, and more than a mother.  Watch over them tenderly, be just and kind.  If thy heart is not large enough to embrace them, I will enlarge it after a pattern of My own.  If these young children are docile and obedient, bless Me for it; if they are froward, call upon Me for help; if they weary thee, I will be thy consolation; if thou sink under thy burden, I will be thy Reward.”

Sunday, March 04, 2012

The Story of "Grace"

           Grace by Eric Enstrom 1918

The article in today's newspaper caught my eye, announcing the death of 95 year old Rhoda Enstrom Nyberg. Rhoda is credited with bring color into her father's famous black-and-white photo by painting it with heavy oils. The painting is very familiar to me but I did not know the story behind it until today.

In 1918, a bearded peddler came calling at Eric Enstrom's photography studio in Bovey, Minnesota."There was something about the old gentleman's face that immediately impressed me. I saw that he had a kind face... there weren't any harsh lines in it," Eric recalled. After arranging bread, gruel, and a book before the old gentleman, the man struck a pose of uncontrived thankfulness, and the resulting photo captured perfectly the message Eric sought to convey: gratefulness was a grace to be cultivated even in the midst of war time sacrifice.

Enstrom sold the black-and-white photos by framing them and displaying them in his studio window. Later, his daughter precipitated more widespread distribution when she colored the photo with oils.

Evidence abounds that Enstrom's artistic eye had captured something timeless. Nearly a century later, the image is still hanging in many homes and churches. The Minnesota State Legislature has even given it a place of honor by designating it the state photo.

My Grandparents had "Grace" hanging in their home, along with the "Gratitude" painting by a different artist. My husband has the photo in his office at church.
Where have you encountered "Grace"?