If we were all to drop dead...

Orientation was today. I got to meet my fellow "seminarians" (there were a couple hundred, even though spring is a much more popular time to start!). I also got to chat with some of the professors and listen to a LONG litany of information I already know (the results of a geeky obsession with figuring everything out for the past couple years). It was impressive to see so many people wanting to serve God with their whole lives.

The most interesting part of a somewhat boring session was when Dr. Ware was reminding us that we don't NEED to rush through seminary as fast as possible and get out into the world.

As he put it, "Everyone in this room could drop dead right now... and it wouldn't slow the Kingdom of God one bit."

How's that for a first day rallying cry?


Just a quick run...

Heh, I'm such a lazy bum. When I tell people about Southern Seminary, one of the many features I always mention is the wonderful athletic area. They have a weight room, pool, sauna, basketball court, ping pong tables, fooseball, track, racqetball courts, and organized intramural sports. And its all free for Samantha and I!

So naturally, today Samantha asked if I wanted to "work out." I don't believe in weight machines, so for me this means "run a mile on the track." And you know what? I tried to talk her out of it! What a bum.

My orientation is tomorrow... and then class on Monday! I'm getting excited. However, I'm getting nervous. I completely bombed the tests that you take to get out of the basic classes. Half the questions were on textual criticism and stuff like that. Trivia, if you ask me. Oh well. I'm here to learn, right?

We miss everyone!


Upon Arrival

Some thoughts going in…

So, we’re finally here!

About three years ago, I was sitting in a Sunday School class at my home church of Lake Pointe Bible Chapel. The visiting pastor was talking about how God had called him to the pastorate; how he had been given a love for people, a love for teaching, and most importantly a love for God and his Word. At that moment, I broke down in tears as an overwhelming wave of emotion came over me. I had been called to ministry.

Since then, I’ve been seeking God’s timing to fulfill his call. I finished my undergraduate degree (though just barely!), found gainful employment, and began studying and preparing. Most importantly, I married God’s greatest gift to me, Samantha.

I immersed myself in the church; studying it, teaching Sunday School, preaching occasionally, leading small groups, serving as a deacon. I enjoyed a close relationship with my wise and caring pastor. I built focused accountability relationships with my two closest friends. The purpose in all these things (aside from the value they held in and of themselves) was preparation.

Of course, it’s hard to be a pastor without credentials. I needed to go to seminary. So Samantha and I have waited for the right time. Now it’s here.

Samantha and I are pretty much fully moved into our apartment here in Louisville, Kentucky as we begin our time at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. I’m not a particularly emotional person (well, usually not, anyways), so I’m not bubbling over with enthusiasm or wallowing in uncertainty. However, there is a certain fear that weighs on your heart as you begin an endeavor that you have looked forward to with such hope.

It’s also impressive to walk around the campus and realize just how audacious of a statement you are making. I am literally going to go to men who are ten times as intelligent and twenty times as godly as I could hope to be, and I will be saying, “The God of the Universe has asked me to teach the meaning of His Word to His sheep. Can you teach me how to better fulfill that mission?” For me, “intimidated” is rarely the right word, but in this situation that may well be the case.

So, for all of our dear friends and loved ones, here are the first things that you can pray for;

-First, for a serious approach to life here. This is not the fun of college, nor is it the enjoyment of having an excellent job and plenty of money. Samantha and I need to be focused and purposeful in our choices. I especially need prayer for discipline in study. I want to honor God with the way I handle this opportunity.

-Next, for God’s continued provision. Samantha already has an excellent job prospect, which we’re very thankful for. Still, we would appreciate your prayers as we try to figure out how to pay bills and all that during our time here.

-To find our everyday purpose. Samantha and I both know why we are here; to prepare for ministry. However, we know God also has a temporary purpose for our lives while I am a student, and we want to be sensitive to his desires.

-To serve the right church. There are so many great churches in the area, we want to find one that we can contribute to without jeopardizing our ministry preparation. This will be a key focus for us in coming weeks, so we appreciate prayer!

-For continued growth in our marriage. We don’t want to let the key things fall by the wayside just because some seminary places all kinds of demands on our time!

-Finally, for continued growth in our spiritual lives. Because knowing and honoring God is always the most important thing.

So thank you again to all our friends and family who have shown so much love and support. We love you dearly, and look forward to sharing our journey with you all.

p.s. In looking over this blog, I realize it’s pretty somber. Don’t worry, we’re as nutty as ever! Come visit us, and we’ll show you the best restaurants around here. And yes, I already have the Ultimate Frisbee Intramurals on my calendar!