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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Others who sacrifice

Hebrew Grammar II will be done next Friday. 3 weeks "off", then 8 weeks of Greek 1 & 2...then the fall semester starts. This coming fall and spring might prove to be the toughest of the 3 years. God is good. God continues to help my family plug away at seminary life while providing little blessings all along the way. Got to school without eating breakfast yesterday which means no food till about 1pm when my study group finishes. Got to school and someone brought in large muffins and then our prof brought in donuts. Next day, same thing except a person offered to buy me breakfast without him even knowing I hadn't eaten. ...and Ann's sister Erin blessed us this week as well. There's more, but I want to tell you about Christopher.

'Others who sacrifice'. Christopher has been here while his wife and newborn baby are back in Uganda. The baby is their first. 5 days without a person's spouse is a very long time, let alone 5 months. Well, the Lord has made provisions for his wife to arrive in a few weeks (she has made it to the states already). Please pray for them as our summer greek class will be very trying. Please pray Irene (his wife) has a smooth transition and is encouraged in the Lord while she is here. He has been a joy to get to know him so far and look forward to meeting his family in person.

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Qal's and Niphal's and Hiphal's...

Exam I. Hebrew Gram II... tomorrow morning. Learning the Hebrew Gram my first semester is paying off during summer school where we get to translate Genesis 1-4 into English from the Original Hebrew.

It's kind of like being on a boat in the vast ocean not knowing there is a beautiful coral reef down below. Now I get to explore the coral reef first hand (prior to any current oil spills) 8(.

My energy is being tested and for those of you who know our Lord Jesus as Savior, please pray for endurance. The Lord God, He alone is God, and He alone is good.

May the Lord bless your day so that you might give Him praise and honor and glory.


Thursday, May 13, 2010


What a joy. The homework for Hebrew Grammar II was to translate and parse the verbs for Genesis 1:1-10. 3 Hours later, the work was done. It was so amazing to be able to read and translate from the original Hebrew language.

All the work from Hebrew Grammar I is starting to pay off. We also read Psalm 27:4 and Exodus 3:14-15. The Exodus passage is what Jesus quotes in John 8:58 when He claims to be God. "I Am that I Am". Many say this was merely a self declaration of existence from Jesus, but the Jews at the time knew exactly what he was saying. That's why they picked up stones to stone him to death for blasphemy. Jesus quoted the same title for himself that God did in the Old Testament. It was enjoyable to read it in Hebrew.

The family is doing well. Cameron is playing T-ball while Elle and Tyler are enjoying their time at church and with friends. The Lord blessed us with a tiny house to rent when we returned from New York last year. The house has a large front yard, so most of the time there are many kids from our block who come to play. Another blessing from the Lord. Ann had a great time studying God's word on Wednesday mornings at church and plans to continue that in the Fall.

Praying for you....

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Summer School Part I

Passed through the first semester of Seminary. In some regards my classes were easier than I had anticipated, mainly because most of my assignments were due at the end of the semester. My wife Ann was a great help in planning out my workload. After adapting it a few times, we have a good idea of what it takes to stay on top of the work.

Hebrew on the other hand was much harder. Since our goal is to translate and exegete (extract meaning grammatically from the text) rather than speak it, we didn't hear much of the actual Hebrew language spoken. I learn languages much faster the more I hear them, so not being able to hear the Hebrew words was unexpected. After 23 grammar lessons and 400 vocab, I'm able to translate simple sentences.

Tomorrow I begin Hebrew Grammar II. We will focus on being able to translate Genesis chapters 1-4, Psalm 1, 19 and 23 and Isaiah 53:1-6. This will prep me for Hebrew Exegesis I & II for next year where we will do much deeper studies of the Hebrew syntax.

Tonight was fun. Ann and I attended a Master's Seminary Graduation. I sang in the choir with a few hundred seminary students to about 3000 people and enjoyed being part of the graduation ceremony. Over 90% of the grads are already placed in full time ministry which is encouraging to me.

That's all for now. Better get some sleep so I'm well rested for Hebrew in the morning. Praying for you....


Saturday, May 1, 2010

4 down 1 to go

The first semester is coming to a close. Assignments for 4 of my 5 classes are all in. There is one Hebrew Grammar final to go. Then summer school starts with no break.

During the summer, I'll take Hebrew grammar II and Greek I & II. Next fall I'll have Old Testament and Historical Theology along with Hebrew Exegesis I and Greek Exegesis I. So what is "exegesis"? It's a very important term. It refers to examining the text of the Bible to see what it says grammatically, while considering the historical context to determine what the original author meant to communicate to the original audience. We call the answer to this exegesis, an interpretation. There is only one interpretation for any text. We want to know what God wanted to say through the human author.

We don't want to know what some particular denomination says or what an individual preacher says. We don't want to know "what this text means to me". This is where many entire denominations have strayed. They say, "we want to have a conversation about the Bible". They forget God sent preachers to proclaim the Word of God to all nations...not have a conversation with people who've never studied the passage.

One of the main distinctions for the Master's Seminary is the focus on being able to look at the original language (Greek and Hebrew) and determine the singular interpretation of the text. The solid English translations (New King James, New American Standard Version, English Standard Version) are great tools, but they are still secondary sources. Since we as preachers are saying, "This is what God's Word says" and because it deals not just with this short life, but with Heaven and Hell and a man's eternal destiny, we need to be able to use primary sources.

OK - so that's a little to chew on. It's a rigorous program, but one that honors the Lord and the clarity and accuracy of scripture. Read Psalm 19 to see that scripture is a guide and therefore clear. We need to have a clear understanding too.

Praying for you...Dave