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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Can you break that down for me, Lord?

I’ve been working on a research project with my ninth-grade English students. This is the first time I’ve done it this way, and I really see God’s answered prayer in the process. Having tried several tactics before and never finding the results worth repeating, I was looking for something that would motivate and interest them as well as teach them how to write a good paper.

In my quest, I found a PBS website that fit with our unit topic: Dream and Argument. We read Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Dream” speech from their textbook and I presented the topic: How did King’s Dream speech affect America? We learned how to take Cornell Notes, and I told them to choose 3 of the 26 events featured on the website to take notes about. They would also have to interview someone who was alive at the time the speech was given. We learned about thesis statements and transition words as well as organizing paragraphs. Next week they will begin putting it all together.

Most had never done anything like this before and still aren’t sure where they’re going to end up. But I know they will get there and I won’t have lost any of them along the way. The better writers will get there with lots of juicy details and the strugglers will get there with the basic requirements. But they’ll all get there. The step-by-step process has helped them do something they had no idea how to do.

Earlier today, I was feeling a little like my ninth graders must feel: overwhelmed and inadequate. In two weeks, I’ll be teaching a graduate class I’ve never taught before and I really didn’t know how to begin to prepare. As I sat down with the materials, I asked for the Faithful Father’s help. I trusted that He knew what He was doing even though I didn’t… I know He really wants us to rely on Him this way.

This whole concept of doing God’s will is no different than the ninth-grade research project or teaching the new graduate class. It’s overwhelming. But He breaks it down into manageable steps and only gives us one at a time. In the end, we are as amazed and delighted as anyone else at what God has done.

“If you’re faithful in small-scale matters, you’ll be faithful with far bigger responsibilities…”

Luke 16:10 The Voice

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