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Friday, January 29, 2010


Christopher, my brother in the Lord from Uganda, has been preaching for 20 years. Upon graduating with his undergrad degree, he spoke to the small crowd and told of God's grace in his life. He doesn't have much money or material things in life. His riches are stored where moth and rust do not destroy and thieves do not break in and steal...his riches are in heaven.

At the end of class yesterday, Christopher was waiting around to ride home with me. We just had a Bible software presentation from Logos. It's the leader in having a digital library for pastors worldwide. The professor asks Christopher what he thinks of the software. Christopher likes it very much, but says it is very expensive. The prof, who is an adjunct professor of preaching, and full time pastor, then hands him a form and says he'll pay for it (they had this conversation in private and I found out about it later). What a gift! Pastors don't make much money.

Christopher will also be living rent free in the master bedroom of a new house that his roommate just purchased. Christopher's wife is due to have their first baby in Uganda soon, and then will move here to live with him in that room for the next three years. God, Jesus Christ His Son, is pouring out his blessings and grace on this young preacher from Uganda. May the Lord be praised!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Turn up the heat...

And so the fire is getting hotter. What class? Hebrew Grammar. (Notice my independent clause with a noticeably dependent thought, to start out the post). Yes, Hebrew is getting more intense by the day. We are getting into the intricacies of the Masoretic vowel system. Vocab is cumulative and growing at about 40 words per week. Daily quiz on classroom exercises including vocab. The Prof is a very gracious man and has much patience in teaching this course to us first semester guys. (There are no women students at this school as TMS trains men for the pastorate and adheres to the Bible's role determination of men doing the teaching. Other theologically similar schools may teach women who enter the mission field and teach women overseas.)

I'm enjoying my time with Christopher. I give him a ride home and he tells me about life as a pastor in his native land of Uganda. Quite different from the US. He's a joy to be around. Much wiser than his age, though not privy to the cultural and social ways of our country. He was witnessing to a lady and asked her why she was living with her boyfriend and not simply marrying him. A sound question for one who might seek to please the Lord, but in the self pleasing land of the USA, it's almost an odd question. He told me of many other questions he asked that he later found out were inappropriate here....what a good laugh we had. The lady he witnessed to was nice enough not to mention it.

Enjoying my prayer class very much. Prayer time is becoming a fond time in my daily routine. Before I would pray throughout the day and in small increments. The class is encouraging me to do that and much more. Why pray? Here are some things God promises to believers who seek Him in prayer: joy, mercy, grace, needs met, victory over sin, peace and fellowship with Christ. I'm loving the academic accountability to my spiritual vitality!

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Last night at Church we had a blessed time of prayer. Praying for strength from the One who is strong, and coming before Him, God Almighty in prayer. It was good to pray together.

We spent the first portion of the evening praying for those in Haiti. The devastation as you all know is quite vast. Yes, God is still in control of all things. He uses things like this for many reasons. To wake up a nation, or world. To bring final judgement...yes we all will die at some point. Yes, God is loving and kind. Any parent who disciplines their children understands the two are not exclusive ideas.

Even though we know these things as believers, it is difficult to relate to the immense situation of those directly involved. Some friends at church have siblings who are missionaries there. They are trying to get back into the country, and were not there when the earthquake hit. They are unsure of the condition of many of their friends / loved ones. Others at church have a missionary friend who was there. This gentleman was trapped in an elevator shaft for days, then rescued. Many of his colleagues died. The physical need for food, water and medical help is enormous. The need of their spiritual condition, the redemption of their souls, is even greater! It is said Haiti's national religion is "voodoo". This only honors Satan and not the Lord. Please, as you are helping with the physical conditions, if you know the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob, please pray for His mercies to be upon those who remain, that He may draw them to repentance. That their hearts may turn to God, Jesus Christ.

If you don't know of a good/legit place to donate, this organization is solid. They provide for both physical, medical and spiritual needs.

May God provide us direction as we pray for the nation of Haiti.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Once a week at seminary I have a class called Discipleship Lab. A pastor from Grace Community Church leads our group. There are about 8 men in the group. Three of the men shared their testimony this past week. Again, it was a blessing to hear how the Lord was working in their lives.

A pastor will normally go through times of fire in his life. These are times of refinement. Think of the refining process to get pure gold. The impure rises to the top and is taken off by the refiner. What remains is closer to pure gold than when the process started. In a person's life, the Lord brings about many things to sanctify us (refine us to be more like Him). Though we will always be sinful people while on earth, the pattern of a believer's life should be one of continued growth.

The fire a few of these men have been through is amazing. The humility of one guy, who "had it all" according to the world, from having a Ph.D in science to traveling the world as a speaker for the IBM technology research group to traveling the world speaking at creation seminars; the guy now pastors a church of 150 outside San Franscisco and would never have mentioned those things to us had not one of the guys asked so many questions.

Dear Lord, may you continually mold me into the man of God you've called me to be.

Praying for you...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Yesterday was a blessing. I ran into (no not literally) a few friends on the seminary campus who have gone before me. They are a joy to see. Men of God, transforming the world around them. Example? The child of one of these men was diagnosed with Kidney problems before birth. Complications have arose and the baby (now born less than two months ago) is already in the hospital with internal infections. In talking with him, he wanted to encourage me and find out what was going on with me. He wasn't focused on himself, but on those to whom God has sent him to serve. What an example of "treating others as better than yourself". Oh, the baby is in the Lord's hands. Later that day he found out one of the antibiotics was starting to work. Praise the Lord.

The professors I met made a good first impression. Very gracious. Very kind. Very patient. These are experts and scholars in their respective fields. They were also very humble. I have much to learn. Lord may you be praised in all that I say and do. May the lost see their sin, and turn from their ways, and be saved. Thank you Lord for your goodness to me.

Next up - a wrote test of the Hebrew Alphabet (Alefbet) and it's 5 "final forms". No testing on the Masoretic vowel system yet, developed 500-1000 AD...just in case you were wondering. 8) Prasie God the prophecy in scripture of Israel becoming a nation again came true in 1948! They then adopted Hebrew as their national language and brought much learning of the original text back to commonality.

Praying for you....

Monday, January 11, 2010

First week of Class

Tomorrow is my first day of classes. Hebrew I, Hermeneutics, Exegesis of Prayer, Intro to Preaching, Christian Ministries and Discipleship Lab are coming my way.

Before that kicks in, some insight into my family. My wife and I are Christians. That means we understand we are sinners, incapable of the perfection God requires; "Be holy as I am holy". Therefore we need, and have accepted, Christ's sacrifice on our behalf to pay for our sin. This satisfies the wrath of God, and redeems our soul. Christ, lived a perfect life on earth, died for the sins of man, and conquered death by rising from the dead on the third day. Those who repent (turn from their sin) and believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, will be saved. Believing here is more than an intellectual ascent of understanding (such as the demons have), it requires that one submit their life and all that they are to Jesus Christ, thereby making Him Lord.

During seminary, as in all other times in life, my goals are to:
1. Give God glory in all that I do
2. Love my family and serve them
3. Edify the Church
4. Make disciples.

These goals are both/and, which means they are not compartmentalized, but holistic in nature.

Praying for you.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Tomorrow is the last day of Orientation. So far I've had two assessment exams, a few hours of sermons, a few "pep talks", lots of "how-to's" and lots of laughs. The men I have met so far are an excellent bunch. A few pre-med students, mba grads, a guy from Oxford, engineers etc....yeah, I made pretty pictures for a living....God is so very good to me!

We are much committed to the task of preaching and teaching the Word of God. For it really doesn't matter what my opinion of scripture is, "for no scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation" but "men, moved by the Holy Spirit, spoke from God." It only matters what the singular interpretation of a particular passage is. That is what we aim to communicate. The application thereof can be many, outward from that specific point.

Tomorrow evening is a dessert reception with many professor's and their wives. The seminary provides childcare so my wife can enjoy the evening with me. What a nice touch!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Seminary - Day 1

It has begun.

At the request of some friends, I've started a blog to chronicle my journey through seminary.

Today was fantastic! It was only the first of three days for orientation, but they wasted no time in setting the standard of academic excellence high and devotion to God as central.

I sat in a room with new students from the US, Africa, Great Britain, Australia & France. I on the other hand travelled just under 6 miles. These men travelled across the globe to begin training for a lifetime of service to God. They left jobs as I did, and came to the Master's Seminary. What a blessed day it was to meet them.

The Director of Admissions focused our attention towards our hearts. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. May our treasure be in service to God Almighty, and a pure devotion to His word which never fails. May we please God, rather then men.

The Seminary training is rigorous, but I hope to post many times per week.

To my past Dreamworks co-workers...I will keep you in my prayers and think of you often. To my family and friends, please pray that I am the Husband and Father God calls me to be during this time of pruning and growth.