Assorted Goings-On (Or, Why This Blog Has Been Silent as of Late)


And just like that, I’m done with my first year in seminary! Wrapping up the year is my excuse for no recent updates here on the blog-first it was end of the year projects, then it was prepping for finals, THEN I got sick in the middle of all that (and the blasted sickness stuck around for over two weeks), and I spent all of last week catching up on rest and other things I had neglected–like cleaning up and sorting through all my mess haha–and all of the sudden it is JUNE.

Textbooks from the past year (and a few already for next semester)

There are way way WAY too many highlights from the year to share effectively or succinctly here on the blog, so I’ll content myself with a recent one. My Navigator background means I’m very interested in Scripture memory and I’m always encouraged and challenged by a good quote on the topic. So here’s a thought by Dallas Willard on memorizing extended passages of Scripture:

The practice of memorizing the Scriptures is more important than a daily quiet time, for as we fill our minds with these great passages and have them available for our meditation, “quiet time” takes over the entirety of our lives.

 

Challenging and encouraging and convicting and…yeah. Good stuff.

Now that summertime is here, you can expect more updates here on the blog! For now, here’s a mini-lightning-round of a couple of updates:

-My amazing wife ran her first 12k a few weeks ago!

Across the Bay

-She and I also attended my best friend from college’s wedding a few days ago:

And I’ve begun my summer reading-both for fun and for a summer class I have coming up.

For now, that’s where I’ll curtail my updates. But Coming Soon: Several Book Reviews and more updates!

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I Am Groot-Transition, New Beginnings, and Isaiah 6


 

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A few weeks ago at our orientation for GGBTS, Dr. Durst shared a devotional on Isaiah 6. He started from the beginning of the chapter-Isaiah’s vision of the Lord on the throne and Isaiah’s call to go and speak to the people of Israel on God’s behalf. The chapter is a familiar one to me and yet God still spoke a distinctly new thing to me through it. (side note: isn’t it amazing and wonderful to hear new things continually through the Word? I love it!)

I’d never really focused on the last verse of the chapter before. After volunteering to accept God’s call, Isaiah asks in verse 11 how long this mission to speak for the Lord is to last (which is a good question, although the timing brings to mind Merry and Pippen’s stunt in the movie version of The Fellowship of the Ring where they insist on accompanying Frodo with the Ring and only after being accepted say, “Great. Where are we going?”).

God’s answer is that Isaiah is to speak until judgement comes upon the people (v-11-12). This is probably not what Isaiah wanted to hear (although I have no way of knowing and this is just informed conjecture). I know if I were in Isaiah’s shoes (sandals?), what I’d want to hear from God would be more along the lines of “Until the whole nation repents and you are a national hero!” or “Until I call you to a different task” or even “Until you’ve faithfully obeyed me even though not many have repented.” But to hear the Lord effectively say “Obey my call until the nation is destroyed in judgement for its sins and taken into captivity and the land is mostly forsaken”? Wow…I don’t know how I’d react to that, honestly.

But, hard as the answer is, that’s not where God leaves things. He’s told Isaiah that it won’t be an easy ministry by any means and that there’s an incredibly hard transition coming, but his last words to Isaiah here leave him with hope:

And though a tenth remain in it, it will be burned again, like a terebinth or an oak, whose stump remains when it is felled. The holy seed is its stump. -Isaiah 6:13

A remnant will remain. Even in his judgement on the people who have forsaken him, God will spare and preserve some. And from this stump will come new life! (Hence the Guardians of the Galaxy reference-sorry if that’s spoilers for any of you, but c’mon! It’s been out for quite a while now.) It’s hard not to think of God’s messianic promise in the midst of cursing the snake in Genesis 3:15 that Eve’s offspring (literally seed in Hebrew) will crush the serpent’s offspring under his heel. From this remnant comes a Messiah.

God’s promises have not failed, his purposes have not been thwarted. He remains faithful. post-tbird

What a joy and comfort to know that God is a God who-even in the midst of judgement and punishment- is in the business of fresh starts, new life, restoration, and reconciliation for his chosen people. New life from the ashes of the stump.

Monday Morning Music- “The Times They Are A Changin'”


Things are about to get a bit crazier around these parts. We’re moving this week and classes for me start next monday! It’s important to me that this blog stays a priority but it’s almost unavoidable that I’ll have less time to give to it (at least for a while). I’m finally getting excited about all this change but also know that it has the potential to not be easy. But when everything else is changing, I’m thankful that God stays the same and that we can count on him. He is our Rock, in whom there is “no variation or shadow cast by turning” (James 1:17, HCSB). Thank God (literally) for that!

 

Golden Gate Bound


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Lauren and I the weekend we got engaged

In my inaugural post here I shared that “I currently find myself at the end of one particular season of life and at the beginning of another. The particulars are still in flux and I’ll share them at a later point.” That was just over two months ago and I haven’t followed up on that promise…yet. So without further ado…

I have recently been accepted as a student at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, which is in the North Bay Area. Classes begin next month and Lauren and I will move out that direction and live on campus. Going to seminary has been something I’ve always thought of as a possibility for myself but the timing has never been right and I’d never felt God leading that direction. However, those factors have changed recently and we’ve seen God redirect us towards this via a variety of circumstances (not all of them “easy” or “fun”).

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Lauren and I are excited about this next phase of our lives. Although the unknown is seriously scary and the road that’s led here has not been all smooth sailing, the fact that we can look to God through it all is a constant encouragement and refuge for us.

A verse that’s been especially encouraging to me lately is Psalm 37:3, which says:

Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.

Wherever He has put you or is bringing you: trust him. Do good, dwell there, and be faithful. He’s worthy of our trust.

For those of you who have followed us as we’ve ministered to college students with The Navigators, this move was the subject of our most recent (and most likely last) newsletter, which you can read here if you did not receive one. -> Summer 2014