Monday, September 28, 2009
I'm taking a class called Video Production for Ministry this semester. I'm really enjoying it. I thought I would post my first assignment below. The assignment was to take a 15 minute interview and edit it down to 2 minutes. We had to make sure certain elements were in the 2 minute story including: her saying her name, her ministry, and her comments on DTS. We were also suppose to add music. Below is my version. You can also see how my classmates edited theirs here: http://www.youtube.com/dtspm731
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Last weekend I was in Kansas City visiting my family. We had a great time! We had some laughs and made some memories with my 4 year old nephew who was also in town. While in KC, I greatly appreciated being back in familiar territory. My parents still live in the same house I grew up in. It was a nice visit. The weather was fantastic as well.
Speaking of the weather, below is some video I shot out the plane window over Oklahoma. These are towering cumulonimbus clouds at 35,000 feet. What a view! (I just can't understand people who sit by the window in an airplane and don't look outside!)
Whenever I am flying it hits me just how tiny we are. The moment you take off cars start looking like ants. At 30,000 feet you can't make out any sign of life on the ground. We are teeny-tiny! Being that small, admittedly, makes me a bit nervous as we fly around those thunderheads. First, I know how strong the winds can be in some of those storms. Second, I am a pilot. The net result is that planes and thunderheads don't mix! (Actually it's not as big of a deal at 30,000 feet as it is at 300 feet when you're landing).
The bottom line is that I feel so vulnerable flying that high. Helpless, I suppose. It really is amazing that we can travel that fast (500 mph), that high (5 to 6 miles), that far, and with all that weight (in direct opposition to gravity!). We trust those airline pilots with our very lives. As much as I trust those pilots, I trust God a lot more. From takeoff to landing, air travel is a time of prayer for me. Not so much from a fear standpoint, but from a "You are such an Awesome, God!" standpoint.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Oftentimes when I am going through a difficult situation I have to remind myself that the only way out is through. In other words, there's no starting over, no turning back, and no staying put! The only way out is through the difficulty. It's too bad that the only way the Lord can reach us (to teach us) is through real life experiences. It's only then, right in the middle, that we realize we have no choice as children of God. We cannot cower in the corner. We must trust our Father who is calling is forward. We must persevere through this or that particular trial. After all, it is a trial that our loving Father has allowed. God allows these trials to see how we handle them. Will we pass or fail? Will we put our trust in Him or will we get overwhelmed by our current circumstance. How we handle these trials usually determines how quickly we get out of them.
Psalm 23:4 reminds us that we must walk through the valley. God is with us the whole way. So be courageous and keep on. Persevere. Because the only way out is through.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
A couple years ago I wrote an instrumental song called "World in Motion." The theme is how this world can be so chaotic yet harmonious all at the same time. In my mind's eye I visualize all that's going on around the world at this very moment. Sunrise (somewhere), sunset (somewhere), city lights, traffic, airplanes, humanity going to and fro, etc, etc. It's amazing to think about. We are just an infinitesimal part of this world in motion. And yes, God has every single detail accounted for. GrantJ
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
This week it dawned on me, "I am so in over my head!" I'm only taking three classes and I am getting buried. The reading on top of reading is relentless! To borrow a quote "it's like I'm trying to drink from a fire hydrant." Surely the profs can't expect us to retain all of this. Can they?? Sometimes I just have to take a step back and remember to breathe.
I think the bigger picture is what God is doing. What seems overwhelming at times is the work of God's hands. It is His desire for us to be conformed into His Son's image. Jeremiah 18:1-6 reminds us that He is the Potter and we are the clay. The potter has rights over the clay to do whatever he wants. Molding it, forming it to His likeness, not ours. This includes removing the lumps, smoothing it on the lathe, and perhaps crumpling it all up to start over again! Yes, some of us have more lumps than others :)
This "in over my head" feeling is humbling. I am reminded that I cannot do anything apart from Christ. I must remember to take one day at a time (or book at a time). After all, His grace is sufficient for this moment and this moment only. Let's not get ahead of ourselves.
Monday, September 14, 2009
I thought I'd check out the Internet this evening just before bed. The funny thing is, I have no idea what I'm looking for. Just surfing to surf. Tired, a bit anxious, and unsettled I thought I would just surf some sites looking for rest. Maybe if I check some emails, listen to a Chuck Swindoll podcast, or read a cool devotional I'll find what I'm looking for. Honestly though, what I'm looking for is for my God to fill me up. True, He might speak to me through these things, but He won't fill me up. That cannot be done (let alone found) on the Internet. What I really need is just some quiet time with Him before I go to sleep. He is the only One who can refresh my soul as I surrender today and put my hope in tomorrow.
My, how I never seem to learn. Like a wandering sheep I wander away. What about you? Are you hoping to fill a void in your heart right now that you think can be filled on the Internet?
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Last Thursday in Intro to Theology we listened to two songs with contrasting views. (Interestingly both were from the 80s). One was "Blasphemous Rumours" by Depeche Mode and the other was "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" by U2. Our assignment for Tuesday is to answer:
1) Why the incredibly distinct responses between the two songs?
2) In U2's song, what is the song about? What is he looking for?
Speaking of U2, here's a great interview clip with Bono. (Are there any tickets left for their upcoming tour?? OKC? Dallas?)
Friday, September 11, 2009
I have been nothing short of amazed at a few people God has here at DTS. There are three guys in particular that stand out.
First there is Wayne. Wayne is from Australia. He lives next door with his guide dog, Largo. Yes, he is blind. Watching him get around campus amazes me. I walked with him through an intersection once and asked him how he knew when it was safe to walk. With a swift response he told me he could hear just fine :) I'm not sure he liked the question. I'm just very curious. I haven't spent any time with someone blind. I'm looking forward to learning more about him.
Next there is Chris. Chris is a paraplegic. I have a class with him and frequently see him around campus. I am blown away by his upbeat attitude, laughter, and smile. He mentioned in class the other day how blessed he is that he can move his arms. His life is an inspiring story.
Finally there is D. D encouraged me today. I saw him at the gym and asked how things were going. He authentically replied that he was struggling with the adjustment to seminary, classes, etc. It was so refreshing to hear his honesty. I told him I could relate and we shared in a moment of encouragement to one another.
I am learning a great deal about myself through these guys. It's a reminder that God works through all the diverse people in our lives. His glory shines through each and everyone of us. Since we are all human, there is a common thread that reveals something about ourselves too.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
This evening I went to the nearby Wal-mart Neighborhood Market for some groceries. (If you must know I picked up some bananas, yogurt, and Oreos among other things). As I maneuvered my cart down the aisles I was whistling a pleasant tune, quite delighted that all four wheels on my cart were in good condition! It didn't take long to realize that I was the only one whistling in this particular Wal-mart Neighborhood Market. In fact, not many people were even close to smiling. Just blank stares. Lots of disenchanted looks. -Not the friendly faces I'm used to seeing in OKC :)
Seriously though, there was a morose atmosphere amid the hustle and bustle. I couldn't put my finger on it. "What the heck?" I thought. In slow motion I observed the faces of the people around me. Faces that appeared to have deep down pain. Faces that showed loneliness. Faces that revealed souls desperately searching for something. Then it dawned on me. There is a spiritual war going on beneath the surface that we can't see. -An invisible spiritual battle for lost souls. I wish I could say that I immediately started to pray, but I didn't. I just observed.
Yes, there is a battle going on. A battle of Light vs Darkness. Next time I go to this store I am going to be "prayed up" beforehand. Really we should be prepared all the time. In 1 Thessalonians 5:17 Paul reminds us to pray without ceasing. Pray at all times. I admit, I'm not very good at this. I often forget the battle is going on. When the Spirit reminds me though, I just pray. Thankfully it doesn't have to be eloquent. In fact, just wielding the weapon of prayer is enough to make the demons tremble! Yes, constant battles are tough and we get tired, but remember as Christians we have the Victor on our side!! Jesus Christ has already won thanks to the cross. Until we are called home to be with Him we shall continue to "Fight the good fight of faith" 1 Timothy 6:12.
Monday, September 7, 2009
Sorry I haven't posted in awhile. I have been buried in reading and getting my house ready for closing this week. One book that I'm reading is John Piper's "Let the Nations be Glad." I plan to make a couple posts on this book. For now, I'll just say that it's been eye-opening on how I view world missions.
Speaking of Piper, I came across this clip on YouTube. He is talking about the "prosperity gospel." Watching this clip gives me goose bumps. THIS is why I am in seminary - to know the truth. -GrantJ