Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Don't Be a Flip-Top Head! Wesley Foundation E-Letter (Methodist Campus Ministry)

Dear Friends,


Hey!  Hope everyone is having a great day.  What about this weather?  Isn’t it nice to have a break from the heat?  Fall is definitely in the air! 


This week we have so much going on.  Tonight is worship at 6:30pm in our chapel.  Come and enjoy the musical stylings of Kyle and Justine.  It is truly a sweet experience.  Just the thing to unwind from a hectic schedule, to experience a peaceful oasis in the midst of college craziness.  Tonight’s message focuses on experiencing the power of God’s love.  Come and be blessed.


Thursday night we will have free food and a program, again at 6:30pm.  We will discuss the faith challenges and conflicts, as well as how to survive them, and even thrive through them.


TAILGATING ANYONE?  Parent’s Weekend is coming up and there has been some talk about tailgating together before the big game this Saturday.  E-MAIL ME and let me know if you are interested!


Now For Sami’s Ramblings About Jesus:


Today in University Experience we were talking about active learning.  Probably the greatest challenge in the learning process is interacting with knowledge in such a way that it becomes meaningful, so that it is not immediately forgotten once the test is over.  I shared with the students the analogy of the flip-top head from Reach toothbrush commercials.  Reach toothbrush commercials basically say that other toothbrush manufacturers design their toothbrushes as if everyone brushing their teeth has a flip-top head (kind of like a pez dispenser).  Instead Reach angles its brushes to fit real mouths.


Many educational experiences are like this as well.  They are based on the assumption that learning takes place by depositing knowledge into the open and waiting head, and once the transfer is finished, then learning is complete.  Those who advocate active learning however say that students need to interact with the knowledge base in a meaningful way in order to really learn.  It is not enough to passively listen to and then recite back facts; students should engage the material in ways that connect to their own learning style so that the learning has a lasting impact.  I agree.


Especially in regards to faith.  My early church and youth group were all about learning and giving the right answers, but not so much about living them.  Sure we were admonished to do the right things, but there was no real engagement as to why this was important, what it looked like in my real broken life, and what life would be like if one did not.  To be fair, I’m not sure that developmentally I could have processed these kinds of questions then.  But at the same time, I don’t remember learning about the power of God in my life in a significant way until I went to college.  The Word just wasn’t becoming flesh for me.  It was still distant and unimportant.


I’m not sure what your experience with faith has been up to this point.  However, I want to challenge you to not simply be a flip-top head with regards to your faith.  Don’t simply accept the precepts of faith at face value, but plumb their depths, find out what it means to believe in your own unique circumstances.  If believers have held on to their faith in very challenging circumstances, what makes that possible?  Are you willing and able to have that kind of faith?  The kind that is tested in the craziness of your own life?  What does it look like for faith to become real?  For following Jesus to become a flesh and blood reality for you personally?  For Jesus to become incarnate in your unique circumstance?


Learning happens at every age and every stage.  I am constantly blown away by the way that the evidence of faith-learning reveals itself.  This morning my four year old was moved to pray for his cousin who had been feeling under the weather this past week.  So we stood in a circle and held hands:  me, my four year old son, and my twenty-two month old son.  And my oldest led us in a simple prayer.  It was powerful.  I also remember a friend of mine from my last church who went on her first foreign mission trip while in her eighties.  Then I remember a gentleman who in retirement had a splendid moment of faith commitment that changed his entire life.  And then there are countless college students who have accepted the invitation to allow God into every part of their lives and have been profoundly transformed by it. 


I have never been one to accept mediocre.  I always wanted to squeeze out of every moment the most life-juice it could produce.  I never wanted to be the one who lived with regret because I had failed to live.  So I challenge you with this:  Don’t be a flip-top faith head; be one who is willing to taste and see that the Lord is good in every area of your life.  Be the one who is willing to squeeze out every ounce of God-living from the moments God gives you.  Don’t settle for mediocre when your life can be the biggest adventure yet.  Allow Jesus to become flesh and blood real in you.


This is me trusting,






Sami Wilson

Campus Minister/Director

WKU Wesley Foundation

United Methodist Campus Ministry




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