Tag Archives: Michael Hodgin

He Teaches At Your Pace

Story of the Day for Saturday September 21, 2012 

He Teaches At Your Pace

 

                    Jesus asked, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, other Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” Then Jesus says, “How about you? Who do you say I am?” 

                                                                                          Matthew 16:13-15

 

 

Michael Hodgin says that when his daughter was four-years old, she lined up all her dolls on the couch in the living room.

“What are you doing?” he asked.

“I’m playing school,” she replied. “I’m the teacher and these are my prisoners.”

 

I understand this girl. For me, the end of a school day didn’t feel like a termination in the advancement of knowledge; the end of a school day felt like a jail break.

 

When Jesus called students to follow him, they didn’t feel forced. They wanted to learn from this rabbi.

Jesus’ teaching methods, however, were nothing short of shocking. He didn’t immediately blurt out all the most important facts they should learn. He didn’t say, “Hey guys, want to follow me?  I’m the Son of God!”

From what we can gather from Matthew’s gospel, Jesus is on the tail end of his ministry, and has never explicitly taught his disciples that he is the Son of the living God. Instead, he tells stories and acts like God’s Son, and lets them chew on it.

 

One of the most respected business consultants, Tom Peters, cited a study in which new workers at major companies were placed in separate groups. In the first group, the company execs explained to the new recruits their company’s basic philosophy. They cited all the reasons why this philosophy should be adopted. In the second group, they didn’t explain the company’s philosophy or give reasons why it should be adopted. Instead, they told stories. McDonald’s told stories about their founder, Ray Kroc, closing down a franchise because he found a dead fly in the kitchen. FedEx told the story about a broken communications cable on a mountain, and how he rented a helicopter (without first getting permission) and flew to the mountain, climbed through the snow, and reconnected the broken cable.

The researchers conducting this study found that new employees who were told stories were far more likely to adopt the philosophy of the company than those who were simply told the attitude and priorities they were expected to hold.

 

When I want someone to learn something important, I’m tempted to ram my points home. I’m still amazed that Jesus didn’t just blurt out all the facts he wanted his disciples to learn. But as I read of Jesus’ patience in letting the truth unfold in its proper time, I’m comforted that he is still patient with me as I learn the lessons of the faith.

And walking away from a lesson Jesus teaches never feels like a jail break.

(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre) 

 

He Teaches at Your Pace

There are two NEW stories posted as climbinghigher.org is going off the grid conducting a women’s retreat so if you have not read Thursday’s story be sure to do that also…am posting Friday’s early so we will only miss one day of story posting!  Enjoy!


Story of the Day for Friday September 23, 2011

He Teaches At Your Pace

                     Jesus asked, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, other Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” Then Jesus says, “How about you? Who do you say I am?” 

                                     Matthew 16:13-15

 Michael Hodgin says that when his daughter was four-years old, she lined up all her dolls on the couch in the living room.

“What are you doing?” he asked.

“I’m playing school,” she replied. “I’m the teacher and these are my prisoners.”

 

I understand this girl. For me, the end of a school day didn’t feel like a termination in the advancement of knowledge; the end of a school day felt like a jail break.

 

When Jesus called students to follow him, they didn’t feel forced. They wanted to learn from this rabbi.

Jesus’ teaching methods, however, were nothing short of shocking. He didn’t immediately blurt out all the most important facts they should learn. He didn’t say, “Hey guys, want to follow me?  I’m the Son of God!”

From what we can gather from Matthew’s gospel, Jesus is on the tail end of his ministry, and has never explicitly taught his disciples that he is the Son of the living God. Instead, he tells stories and acts like God’s Son, and lets them chew on it.

 

One of the most respected business consultants, Tom Peters, cited a study in which new workers at major companies were placed in separate groups. In the first group, the company execs explained to the new recruits their company’s basic philosophy. They cited all the reasons why this philosophy should be adopted. In the second group, they didn’t explain the company’s philosophy or give reasons why it should be adopted. Instead, they told stories. McDonald’s told stories about their founder, Ray Kroc, closing down a franchise because he found a dead fly in the kitchen. FedEx told the story about a broken communications cable on a mountain, and how he rented a helicopter (without first getting permission) and flew to the mountain, climbed through the snow, and reconnected the broken cable.

The researchers conducting this study found that new employees who were told stories were far more likely to adopt the philosophy of the company than those who were simply told the attitude and priorities they were expected to hold.

 

When I want someone to learn something important, I’m tempted to ram my points home. I’m still amazed that Jesus didn’t just blurt out all the facts he wanted his disciples to learn. But as I read of Jesus’ patience in letting the truth unfold in its proper time, I’m comforted that he is still patient with me as I learn the lessons of the faith.

And walking away from a lesson Jesus teaches never feels like a jail break.

                                                             (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)

The One We Want to be Like

Story of the Day for Saturday May 28, 2011

Climbinghigher.org apologizes for the absence of the stories for the day for the last two days…we were in the midst of an outdoor education adventure retreat with 6th graders and their adult chaperons.  We neglected to organize the posting beforehand and so it didn’t get done.  Sorry again for their absence.  Enjoy today’s story!

The One We Want to be Like

 

                Be imitators of God, as dearly loved children. 

                                                                 Ephesians 5:1

 

Michael Hodgin writes of a missionary served in West Africa where his two young kids grew up.  When it came time for them to return home, their mother did not want them to look conspicuous, so she ordered “western” clothing for them to wear.

The first leg of their flight home took them to Paris.  As the family walked along, the parents realized that everyone was staring at them.  When they turned around they discovered why.  Their children were carrying their suitcases on their heads.

What could be more natural?  Children learn by imitation.  That is why play is so vital for them.  By pretending to be a fireman or a mom they are learning to grow up.

 

This principle, however, is not only true for children, but adults as well. We become what we pretend to be. If that’s a hard concept to swallow, ask a professional actor.

In the 1930s, Lee Strasberg recruited 30 actors and formed an acting school.  Actors were taught how to “pretend” they were in different emotional states.  That is what actors do.  But Strasberg was so good, that a co-founder of the acting school, Stella Adler said about Lee, “He would push people into spaces that they should not go without a licensed therapist present.”  Strasberg himself would often tell his actors that they should get therapy.

Why?  When good actors play a character who is, say, psychologically disturbed, it   can cause actual psychological problems for them.

 

There is a simpler way to convince skeptics that even adults become what they pretend to be.  A team of German researchers had a group look at a cartoon and say how funny it was.  Half had to hold a pen between their lips, which forced them to frown.  The other half were told to hold a pen between their teeth, which forced them to smile.  Guess which group said the cartoon was funnier?  (If you have no idea, try the experiment yourself on your friends.)

 

All of us are “pretending” to be like the person we want to become.  The crucial question is: who do you want to be?

Our heavenly Father thinks we should imitate him. That almost sounds blasphemous, doesn’t it?  But he obviously doesn’t mean we should imitate His attributes of being all-powerful or the omnipresent.

The Bible is clear: “Be imitators of God, as dearly loved children.”  How do we do that?  Simple – we read the next verse, “and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as an offering and sacrifice to God.”

We are God’s children.  And like children, we are to imitate our heavenly Father, by choosing him as the One we want to be like.   And He is Love.

                                    (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)

 

A Misuse of the Imagination

Story of the Day for Tuesday May 24, 2011

A  Misuse of the Imagination

         “Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow can worry about itself.  Each day has enough troubles of its own.” 

                                                                                   Matthew 6:34

Michael Hodgin tells the story about a woman who was so worried she had an incurable liver condition that she went to see her doctor about it.

The doctor assured her she was okay. “You wouldn’t know if you had this condition,” he explained, “because it causes no discomfort of any kind.”

The woman gasped. “Those are my symptoms exactly!”

There’s a road sign outside my hometown which says, “WORRY IS A MISUSE OF THE IMAGINATION.” We can imagine positive things we can accomplish in the world, or we can imagine all kinds of horrible tragedies that might rain down upon us.

Are you are in the habit of imagining all the things that could possibly go wrong in the future?  If your list of possible nightmares ever reaches an end, it only signifies a lack of creativity of your part – there’s no end to the list of bad things that could conceivably happen to us.

When you find yourself knotted up with anxiety about the future, I think there are some things you need to know. The first is that Jesus doesn’t tell you not to worry because he won’t let bad things happen to you. Bad things will happen to you.

Jesus wants you to know that he’s walking with you through those times, and he’ll give you everything you need. But the things you need can only be found by faith. Worry is a thief. It robs you of the security which is only found in trust.

Worry is a spectacular waste of time. It’s like a rocking chair: there’s a lot of movement, but we don’t go anywhere. Jesus put it this way, “Who of you by worrying can add a single cubit to his height?”

Don’t waste your days imagining what might happen tomorrow. God never lets us live a “tomorrow”; we only get to live “today.”

Sir Wilfred Grenfell is honored with a feast day in the Episcopal Church (October 9) because of his compassionate missionary work among the poor in Labrador, Canada.

In April, 1908, he was rushing on his dogsled to perform surgery for a boy.  Taking a shortcut over an ocean bay, he broke through the ice.  He managed to crawl onto an ice flow, which was heading toward open waters.  Alone along a desolate shoreline, he faced the concerns of the present moment – drying his soaking clothing, unraveling rope to make insulation for his boots, and making a signal flag.

Three days later, he was rescued. His observation captured the wisdom of Jesus’ teaching, “There was nothing to fear. I had done all I could; the rest lay in God’s hands.”

                                                        (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)