What I’m Learning from My Students – Part 7

by Andy Wood on December 17, 2015

in Half-baked Ideas


(Defining Moments Edition)

“I believe every Christian walk has a string of defining moments.”

So wrote Brian Fouts, a former student. And since I’m buried in grading papers and watching for more treasures like that one, I thought Brian and some of his peers could show you a few of their defining moments.

The following quotations come from student assignments and represent amazing writing and insight, or a unique way of capturing truth or marshaling language. They taught me a thing or two about those defining moments we all have, and I think they’ll encourage you as well. Enjoy…


I realized that worthiness is not wrought through ritualistic endeavors, but submission to the finished work of Jesus Christ. I stopped performing before the church and started presenting my life before the presence of Christ.

-Colleen Batchelder


I wanted a position of influence within the ministry, yet failed to see the lack of depth in my daily spiritual life. God was using those incredible events in Praise ministry not to further advance my calling, rather to show the gaping hole in my witness potential due to a shallow prayer life and lack of scriptural study.

–Glen Renfree


As long as I can remember, I have had great reverence for God. Church was God’s Holy House – a place where laughter or light-heartedness did not belong. It was somber – and cold as a tomb. Indeed, as the crucified Jesus loomed over us, front and center, it felt very much like a tomb. I loved God. I loved Jesus. I loved the body and blood of Christ given for me. I knew He died for my sins. I could feel the weight of that on my soul.

That love that I felt was deeply personal, but not relational… My love for God lacked a relational quality – perhaps the way a person can love a book; or love going camping. The book cannot love you back, no matter how much you love it. You can follow everything in the book, write poems or songs in praise of the book, but the book has no capacity for returning that love. Not that I am saying that God lacked the capacity to love me back. It was not that my love for God that was insufficient, but it lacked the core quality of being relational. I think that is why it is significant that I felt God kept tapping me on the shoulder – HE wanted relationship with me.

–Neil Sunkel


Due to the natural and unnatural bent of my personality, faith and cultural development as a young Christian man, I decided to do the most Godly thing I could when I turned eighteen. I left the church.

–William Royal


A few years ago, I began keeping a journal to track my prayer requests and then how God answered them. This may not seem a form of learning, but I have found that as I read through the years of prayers and feelings, I can note where changes occurred. These changes were subtle at first as I learned to be more observant of the experiences as learning opportunities. When I did start analyzing my past for growth and development, I found myself more open to painful experiences and more willing to make mistakes.

-Jennifer Bays, (emphasis mine)


What I am finding out is that I am not as good of a person as I thought I was. Sure I obey the laws of the land, I go out of my way to ensure that I do the right thing, but my eyes have been closed as to what those right things are. I now see that I even raised my children with my own blind sense of how they should act and why they should excel in everything they do. I have unknowingly taught them to worship my idol – pride.

–Kerry Dixon


God has already cleared the pathway. We just have to believe it’s ours.

-Delphia Roberts


Want to see more? Check out these quick reads and be inspired:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3 – Leadership Edition

Part 4 – Funny Stuff

Part 5 – Spiritual Passion Edition

Part 6 – The Presidential Campaign Edition

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