not just tidbits

There’s nothing incredibly new or profound to write about this week. However, there are always little things. And perhaps those are some of the most profound of all. See for yourself:

- My students are tired of reviewing the same vocabulary and sentences over and over again. But we’re still studying them because they haven’t really learned it yet. If we feel like God keeps teaching us the same things over and over again, maybe we need to consider whether we’ve really studied it.

- My students’ perception of class rules is a bit skewed; they think policies like “listen,” “no Chinese,” and “pay attention” are just teacher preferences for a smooth class. This is true. But what they don’t realize is that by ignoring these principles they aren’t hurting me, they’re hurting themselves. They’re not learning all they could, and they’re taking up so much time that we never manage to play the game I’ve planned for the end of class. I know God sets down His rules for a reason, even if I don’t know what the reason is.

- The name of the program I’m teaching is “Access Program,” title given by the U.S. Department of State. But the school came up with a Chinese name to refer to it, called 爱思, pronounced “ai se,” and the two characters literally mean “love” and “think.” I couldn’t be happier. Those pretty accurately sum up my goals here.

- When we’re all together in the same classroom, my students will ask me any question they want as soon as it crosses their mind. But after class, if they see me at my desk, they hesitate. I wish they realized that I am the same person and I am just as eager to help them at any time, not just in the set-aside time for class. Do we come to God in prayer the same way on the bus as we would in our “quiet time?”

- When a student comes to the teachers’ office late at night, they think we’re surprised to see them. But they don’t know that we’ve been listening to the pit-pat of their running feet all the way from their classroom. We’re ready to say, “Come in!” before they even reach the door. God told us He knows every word on our tongue before we have spoken it, and He knows what we need before we ask. He loves to hear us come. 

- The key to learning a language is immersion, long periods of time in the language. What if prayer is like a language?  

- As I wrote these tidbits, one that I can’t believe I hadn’t seen before struck me. During class lately, the students have been too rambunctious and distracting, and it has been quite frustrating for me. Over and over and over again I find myself saying, “Listen! Listen! Listen!”



Have I even listened? Have I considered the fact that God just as sincerely wants me to listen as He teaches? Even in the time that I come to Him each morning, almost like “class,” perhaps I’ve been doing too much of the talking. Perhaps I’ve been distracting myself, and He has been trying to just say, “Shhh… listen.” And He used my own words to show me. Or maybe they weren’t just mine.

Oh the little pieces of glory everywhere. Father, thank You, and please show me more!


  1. There are some really deep parallels going on here, praise God!


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