The fall semester is well underway. I'm taking two classes. -Spiritual Life and Evangelism. I'm really enjoying them both. Both classes are required for all degrees offered at DTS. They are 2 credits apiece, so they are not as intense as other classes, but the material is no less important. In fact, quite the opposite, these classes lay the groundwork for future studies.
Spiritual Life sets out to give us a clear representation of God and His holiness. God is to be feared and revered and this class strives to give us a clearer picture of who we are worshipping. Weekly assignments include reading "My Utmost for His Highest" by Oswald Chambers and keeping a prayer journal.
Evangelism is just what it implies. -Sharing the Good News. For some reason when I hear the word "evangelism" I automatically think of a street preacher yelling at everyone telling us we're all going to hell if we don't repent and accept Jesus. While it may be true, I don't think it's the best approach and can potentially do more harm than good to a non-believer by scaring them off. This class brings to light so many ways we can evangelize in our daily lives. It's really a lifestyle more than anything. The number one priority in telling others about Jesus is having a personal relationship with Him ourselves. In other words, are we walking the walk? Non-believers will take notice. What a responsibility, huh? If we are practicing what we preach we are then in the right place to share Christ with others.
So there you have it. Two classes is enough for now as I balance work and play. -Will keep you updated as they progress.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
I just got back from hearing guest speaker Lauren Winner speak this evening at Southern Nazarene University. She has a powerful message for young people about chastity. I didn't know much about her before tonight, other than her message was about waiting for sex until you're married. I guess I wasn't expecting too much going into it. I thought it was going to be a message that I had heard many times before. I'm pleased to report that I was wrong!
This was a refreshing message from a candid Christian. We need more people like her. First off, she's bringing sex into the open. It needs to be talked about in the Christian community. It's saturating the media. The world is talking about it and it's time the church does to. Otherwise, young people will have no choice but to get their information about sex from the world and the media. Scary! The church needs to take an active role.
We broke into groups for a few minutes and discussed what message the media sends about sex. These were some of our conclusions:
- Most sex acts on prime-time TV are outside of marriage.
- It's fun and cool
- It's without consequences or after-effects
- Instant gratification is good
- Different partners is no big deal, even "cool" for guys
- The pain it causes outside of marriage is rarely addressed
We also talked about what we have learned from church about sex. These were some of our conclusions:
- Don't do it until you're married - with no mention of "why"
- God created it to be beautiful in the context of marriage
- Sexual sin outside of marriage doesn't just affect the person involved - sin permeates through the body of Christ.
Lauren Winner is an authentic speaker. Her message is powerful and believable because she is real. She tells it how it is and talks openly about sexual sin from her past. An important conclusion she made is that sexual sin is not beyond the forgiveness of God. Christ paid the price on the cross. Even though there are consequences to sin, it is forgivable. After accepting this free gift, the key is repentance and restoration!
Here is a link to Lauren's latest book.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Telling others that I'm going to seminary is not always easy. In fact, I sometimes disguise it and tell them I'm taking Biblical studies. For some reason I think the word "seminary" conjures up some "holier than thou" image in people's minds. I know I shouldn't care what people think, but I still struggle with it.
I am far from "holier than thou". In fact, one thing seminary is doing is showing me my broken state and just how sinful I really am. It is not pretty! I equate it with military boot camp. There is a necessary season of being broken down to be built back up (stronger than before). I'm honestly not real thrilled with the breaking down season. And I have a strange feeling that it may get ugly and last a bit longer than I'd like. :-0
I am beginning to see this season of brokenness as being a necessity though. Yes, it may last a while, but I need it. It is forcing me (not by choice) to put my reliance on God. If I had a choice, I would not choose it this way. I would do it on my own, preferably without any discomfort!
Brokenness shows us that we can't do it on our own. We are all going to be broken at some point. If we choose to walk alone without God in our lives and do it our way, brokenness will eventually come and it may be utterly devastating. The cool thing with God is that, being broken can be soft, gentle, and sweet! Ah, yes... sweet! I opt for being sweetly broken any day!
"Sweetly Broken" by Jeremy Riddle
Friday, September 5, 2008
Thanks for stopping by. The purpose of this blog is to share with you my experience as I set out on new frontier...seminary! My desire is to share the ups and downs as I venture into the unknown. By "unknown" I mean the uncertainty of how everything is going to work out. I don't have a clue! It's up to God. The one thing I am certain of is the call. For now, it's just one step at a time. Thanks for joining me. It's going to be an amazing ride!