Saturday, January 30, 2016

Stand By Me

Here is an entry about Kylee, one of my favorite students ever. This is from February 19, 2007.

We review in my Bible classes before we take memory verses. We go around the room and each student has the option of reciting or abstaining. I even encourage the reading of the verse if the student is not quite confident of his or her perfection. After we all have had our shot, we say it as a whole or in small groups; all those wearing Nikes, everyone with a birthday from January-June, etc. If the verse is actually two verses long, we go around twice, one time per verse. The more we hear, the more we learn. It's no accident these kids can sing hundreds of songs verbatim from the radio. After the practice runs, I distribute recycled paper and we write out the assigned scripture for a grade. Twenty percent of six week grades come from these verses so I stress their importance.

Last week, our assignment was 1st John 4:10-11. In my eighth period class, we were on the next to last row of desks in our pattern of reviewing for verse ten. I called "Amber" and Amber recited it flawlessly. Next was Kylee. "Kylee." Her reply was "No, sir." I waited several seconds and again said "Kylee." Once more, she declined. "Kylee." Again, she refrained. "Kylee." Her response remained negative. I was relentless. On the ninth time, she cracked and recited the verse. When she finished, I asked her why and her answer was that I basically told her to say it. I emphasized that I had not, I simply kept repeating her name. As we went through the second time on verse eleven, Kylee, without hesitation, quoted the scripture. I didn't have to ask why. She didn't want to go through that again. Let me tell you something about Kylee. She is one of the best kids I know. Her family is terrific and they have taught her from the cradle right from wrong and how to stand up for herself. Why did she give in? She knows I never force them to say the verse but she had to be feeling that everyone was staring at her. It became easier just to say it than to fight.

Kylee's struggle is kind of a microcosm of our battle with the world. It wheedles and cajoles, isolates and squeezes us until we take the course of least resistance. I might have kept going the whole class period to make a point. Every girl in my classes told me they would have taken the same path Kylee did because they would have begun to feel guilty. The boys told me they could have held out and I think they are correct. It was nothing, an optional memory verse among friends and classmates and still there was, in Kylee's mind, an invisible pressure to conform. I'm confident that were the issue truly important, she would have stood her ground. It isn't easy for youngsters and probably not so easy for those not so young. Paul both warns us and emboldens us in the thirteenth verse of Ephesians 6: "Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand." The evil is coming but there is a defense. God's armor can overcome peer pressure but as Paul puts it, we have to be wearing it. It isn't much good if we leave it hung up in the closet at home. It can even fit over a school uniform!

Applicable quote of the day:
"The man that stands by himself, the universe stands by him also."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

God bless,

Luke 18:1
E-mail me at


Tammy Real-McKeighan said...

What an interesting blog!
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Tammy Real-McKeighan
Journalist - Nebraska

Emmy said...

I had the same problem Coach!This reminds of the time when you once talked to me about it after class :)Thank you for a wonderful lesson!