Well, my first year at Moody is almost over. This year has absolutely flown by, and I'm sure the next two will go even quicker. As I sit here thinking that in a week it will be summer, I start to get very excited. But thats not because Moody hasn't been awesome; because it has. I have learned more about my faith this year than I ever have before. I have been challenged in numerous ways, that stretched me in ways I didn't want to be stretched.
The hardest thing I had to do was definitely writing my own lessons for a class. We had one short devotion to do, and then two longer lessons. I learned the most from this class, but I had to put in a lot of time. I've been able to throw lessons together before, but it was awesome to learn the art of crafting a lesson. You can't just grab a verse and talk about it, you really have to work with the text and see how it fits in the bigger picture. The best lesson I learned from this class was the importance of internalizing the message. I need to speak from my heart, and for that to happen I need to choose something that God is teaching me. The first lesson I did this was not the case, the second however I really tried to focus on something that I had recently learned. Needless to say the second went much better.
The most annoying class I had this year was Lifetime Fitness. I pity anyone that takes Daly for that class. She is a good teacher, but the exams are insanely hard. I studied more for those(a one credit class) than I did for nearly all my other exams. I also had to do required workouts 3 times a week. I swear I put more time into that one silly class than most of the others.
There were 2 prof's from this year that really stick out to me. One is Dr.Litfin. The dude made history exciting; for me that is a great accomplishment! You can really tell that he cares about the material, and that his end goal is to make us care about it. He succeeded with me. I never before thought about how we got our theology, now I can't wait to learn more about it next year. It is amazing to see how God sustains His word. There were many times in history where the Bible should have been destroyed, but God did not allow that to happen.
The other awesome prof. was Dr.Macrae. He taught my Communicating Biblical Truth to Adolescents class. This was the class I was referring to earlier when I talked about writing my own lessons. Without Macrae, I would have been so lost in what to do. He taught us the material slowly, and with great clarity. I can honestly say that he cares about each one of us, and wants to see us have the best ministry possible. I took so much from that class that I will use in the future; and although like I said it stretched me, it was so worth it.
My PCM this year was Awana at Good News Bible Church. I helped 3rd-5th graders memorize Scripture, and I occasionally taught a lesson. I have a lot of experience with Awana so I was worried it was going to be "Same old same old" for me. However it was vastly different than what I was used to. The kids tended to not want to listen all the time, and sometimes they were downright disrespectful. This frustrated me, because all I wanted to see them do is love Jesus. As the year went on though, they started to get more used to me, and naturally they listened to me more and more. During the game time I would lead one of the 4 color teams. I was the blue leader(obviously the best color.) There was a little boy on that team by the name of Hector. Hector.....what can I say about that kid. He had the most vivid imagination I've ever seen in a kid before. He came up with things that were so ridiculous. He also had some trouble sitting and paying attention. He would run around and if we tried to stop him he would cry. This definitely tested my patience, but thankfully I've dealt with this kind of kid before in New Orleans. Aww yeah thats right I'm talkin' about my boy David. These kids could have been separated at birth! Overall I was taught how to love more like Jesus; unconditionally. I am going to miss these kids like none else, but next year I am going to move on to Younglife; an organization that works with high school kids. As much as I am going to miss Good News Bible Church I am so looking forward to working with the age that God has placed on my heart.
The main thing I'm taking away from this year is that God is good, through tough times and times of great joy. I've had both this year, and honestly when the tough stuff happened I did not really respond in a Biblical manner. I got angry with God for a number of things. School was tough, I was really sick for a couple weeks and junky relational stuff happened. I totally did not see how God was in control, and there was period of time where I was downright depressed. It wasn't until I gave my second message for class that all this changed. I was trying to figure out what to teach on when I stumbled across Philippians 4. Paul says in verse 4, "Rejoice in the Lord always!" The words leaped off the page at me. I was not rejoicing in the Lord.....so convicting. I gave up on selfish me at that point, stopped the pity party, and worked at loving others more effectively. I decided to rejoice in the Lord no matter what is going on. Later in verse 7 Paul says, "And the Peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." Peace and Joy come in Christ alone; how had I forgotten that!! It hit me; Knowledge puffs up, but LOVE builds up. I was trying to love the things of the world rather than God. I am so thankful that I have been taught this lesson now, with my minor trials, rather than later when the big trials in life happen. Overall this year has been so good, I am so blessed to be here.