Showing posts from August, 2012

Music, a Healing Balm

Today has been one of those days. If you are a parent, you know what I mean. Not that the kids were difficult or disobedient at all. In fact, Charis is reading to her sisters right now, and I love her all the more for it. No, it was one of those days because the worries of this world threatened to overwhelm me. In my first week of seminary, reading hundreds of pages (and still only half way done with one class for the week), dealing with potty training, early dismissal from school, bringing treats, working from home, a tornado watch, etc... It all got to me today. This is an unusual thing for me. Typically I am able to role with just about anything. I have a high capacity for stressful situations. So why was today so difficult? I don't know. Some days are just harder than others I guess. The important thing is how we respond to them. So, how did I respond? I went to the thing that heals my soul more than almost anything else, scriptural music. As I began to prepare dinner, I ne

Rain Barrels of Blessing

With hurricane/tropical storm Isaac on his way into the heart of the Midwest, I did what any normal Midwesterner would do. I prepared my house for rain. With the potential of 3-6 inches of rain and knowing I have a basement with a propensity to leak, I needed to work on our water system. Today, that meant converting some large 55 gallon plastic barrels into rain catching and distribution systems. This will hopefully send the water through a hose out into the yard and not into my basement. Tomorrow, that will mean climbing up on the roof and checking all the rain gutters. All of this in preparation for rain. Rain is an interesting term in the Old Testament. As I've been reading through the Psalms, I've found it used for judgment (Psalm 11:6) and for blessing (Psalm 68, 72:6). In the flood it was used for great destruction, yet lack of rain is used as well to judge Israel for their sin. What about the torrential downpour of a hurricane? The gentle drops that signal the beginn

Listen and Be Wise

One of my big assignments for seminary this fall is to read through the entire Old Testament, or the Hebrew Bible as my prof calls it. I've known about this assignment for a while and have really been looking forward to it. The first section he starts us off with is the wisdom literature, mainly because it is largely without context, therefore hard to fit into the chronological study of the rest of the Hebrew Bible. So, today I started with Proverbs. What an amazing book. If you have read Proverbs recently, you would have noticed the recurring characters Wisdom and Fool. While there are many things that characterize them both, one they have in common is listening. Wisdom calls others to hear her. She urges us to listen, to give our ears, to devote our minds leading to changed actions. Fool doesn't listen. The words are there for him, but he never picks them up. This truth was very accurately illustrated as I rode my bike this morning, listening to Proverbs being read through my

At Seminary

I arrived safe and sound, with plenty of time to take my ID picture at 12:30, but with too much time before my 2:30 class. So, here I am, waiting and blogging. I wonder how many times in the future I will look back on this moment. I wonder what things I will have wished I would've known about the journey I'm about to embark on. Hindsight is 20/20 they say, and thankfully the one with foresight (what I wish I have) is the One I serve and am learning more about. I think that's the joy of believing in a sovereign God. Whatever I do, whatever mistakes I make, or wise decisions that come to fruition, He is guiding my every step. I cannot step outside of His will in this way. I have to mention that the John Calvin bobble-head is something I've had my eye on for a while. The Church Father's bobble-heads are hard to come by. It is almost like a treasure hunt. Here they have Calvin, Southern Baptist has Spurgeon, and I'm sure some Lutheran university has a Martin Lut

Starting to Learn

Today I start my seminary education. I think I've felt the vast spectrum of emotions that are typically felt on a first day of school. Will I like my teacher? Will I be as smart as the other students? Do I look cool enough? Will I hit rush-hour traffic on the drive home? Well, maybe that last one isn't typical, but you get the idea. Something I am looking forward to in this next stage of education is learning. You may think, "Duh, that is what education is for." Yes, I agree with you. However, as I entered my undergraduate studies, I think I was looking more for an experience than an education. I wanted teachers to teach what I wanted to learn. I wanted to be in control of the pace and flavors of what came my direction. Nevermind that the teachers knew more than I did and I was an ignorant 20 year old with barely any ministry experience. I thought I knew what I needed. Today, as I approach seminary, I feel like a sponge. I've imbibed Socrates phrase, "Tru

Keeping Secrets

All of us have secrets. Some are big, some are unimportant, and some would cause us to go into hiding if the wrong person found them out. Of course, I have secrets as well. Only I know how to make my extra fluffy whole wheat pancakes on Saturday mornings. Only I know which peg on my guitar needs a little extra turn to keep it in tune. Only I know how much effort I put into my daily struggle with sin, my efforts to be sanctified... As I pondered this secretive idea today, I couldn't help but wonder how Christ dealt with all of His secrets. He had them, you know. Do you think Jesus was in the dark about what was coming in the world? He knew about the new tablet coming out. He knew about the Cubs World series victory in 1908. He knew that the Roman empire would eventually fall and the church would evolve into what it has become today. He knew that things like Jelly Bean, Ice Cream Sandwich, and Apple would eventually describe more than just a snack. He knew that He would die