A FEW YEARS AGO our oldest son and part of his family spent two years in China at a Christian School, first as Chaplin and later Director. It was located within a more modern building in Hunan Province, shared with a Chinese Government school. When they returned to the States, I presented them this Oil I painted from a photograph reference of a more primitive building to house a school in China.
I chose this Oil to represent our weekly Thought: Learning
NOTE: This is my 100th weekly blog. I accidentally posted #99 on Monday, November 2nd before final editing. I reposted the corrected copy on Thursday, November 5.
Thought: Why Learning?
WHY ‘LEARNING’ for this week’s blog? I was prompted in three ways:
First: A few weeks ago, I began receiving a daily email from ‘word genius.com’ featuring a new word for each day, along with its definition, background, and example of its use in a sentence. One day last week the word was ‘andragogy’. (I’ll explain later)
Second: I began rereading the classic Practicing His Presence in which Gene Edwards taps into the writing and lives of two great examples of how to live in the presence of God on a daily, hourly and minute by minute basis: Nicholas Herman, best known as Brother Lawrence (16ll – 1691) and Frank Laubach (1884 – 1970).
Third: The lack of peace and confidence I sense in our world today with the COVID19 pandemic, economic uncertainties, civil unrest, family disruptions and general lack of unity in how to deal with all of it.
ANDRAGOGY APPEARED in my daily email from ‘word genius.com’. “Andragogy refers to methods and principles used in adult education. The word comes from the Greek ἀνδρ-, meaning “man”, and ἀγωγός, meaning “leader of”. Therefore, andragogy literally means “leading man” (leading into learning.), whereas “pedagogy” literally means “leading children’”.
While seeing information and then writing it down (note taking) is important, actually putting new knowledge and skills into practice can be one of the best ways to improve learning. … If you are learning a new language, practice speaking with another person and surround yourself with language-immersion experiences.
SO, HOW DOES ‘andragogy’ and rereading Practicing His Presence connect in producing our blog title— ‘learning’? I like Frank Laubach’s words at the beginning of the chapter titled ‘Practical Help’. “We shall not become like Christ until we give Him more time. A teacher’s college requires students to attend classes for twenty-five hours a week for three years. Could it prepare competent teachers, or a law school prepare competent lawyers if they studied only ten minutes a week? Neither can Christ, and He never presented that he could. To His disciples He said: ‘Come with me, walk with me, eat and sleep with me, twenty-four hours a day for three years.’ That was their college course.” What about us?
To gain victory over the lack of peace and confidence I sense in our world today, I believe, requires learning how to follow what Jesus said in Matthew 11:29. Take my yoke upon you [24/7] and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
HOW CAN I FIND rest and peace in my world? It will be a learning process. As with Jesus’ disciples, this will take place as I acknowledge the fact that, as a follower of Jesus, he is constantly with me. Too often I only consciously acknowledge this truth a few times a day or week when I practice certain spiritual disciplines. Disciplines can be helpful, but what about the rest of the minutes in my day.
Practice acknowledging in your mind as often as possible that the Spirit of Jesus is constantly with you every minute of every 24-hour day. Talk with Him about all that you are doing, no matter how mundane it may seem. He is a great listener. Listen to Him! The natural result, or ‘fruit of the Spirit’, includes “peace” that will bring rest in these turbulent times. You can rely on Him to guide you. Try to memorize Psalm 23!
Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:9
It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me. John 6:45
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it. 2 Timothy 3:14