Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Bound for Boston

Tomorrow I am headed as far north as I've ever been in the U.S. The next two days I will be taking part in the "Discover" weekend at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary outside Boston, Mass. I really don't know what to expect, as I've never really had any experience at a Seminary. I went to Southeastern last February for an Apologetics conference, and also went down to Columbia International University in high school to visit. My experience at Southeastern in some ways ignited a passion for me to pursue Seminary, as I sat in on a lecture on worship led by a professor there, and also heard a professor named Bruce Ashford speak a couple times. Anyways, I'm excited about visiting Gordon Conwell, and hope to gain more understanding as to what to look for in seminaries. In a way it's hard to believe these sort of decisions are right around the corner, but on the other hand I'm excited about seeing where God directs my paths. I'm also excited about visiting Boston in general. It seems like a city with a rich culture, a lot based on the history of its location. However, with the Red Sox looking like they won't be in the playoffs this year (actually I think it's impossible for them to get a Wild Card spot at this point), I'm wondering if that will affect the mood of the city. We'll see. This past week at school has been stressful as I had 3 tests this week, but Fall Retreat this past weekend was awesome. I'm really glad I decided to go at the last minute, and it was probably the best Fall Retreat of my 4 years up here. It's hard to distinguish between the different ones, as they all had the common themes of being held at Camp Tapawingo, and all usually consisted of Packy and Jon Bass decked out in camo, and me having run-ins with barbwire during Capture the Flag. This year managed to leave out both of those, but it was made up for by some solid games of volleyball, cornhole, and Mafia, as well as chillen with the fellas late Saturday night, and some incredible experiences that made me feel like some things just aren't about me. What I mean by that in terms of this weekend is first of all cabin time. In leading the discussion time, I asked one question: simply, "What did you all learn from Daron's talk tonight" (Daron by the way was the speaker). For the next 30 minutes, the 13 or so guys in Cabin 3 proceeded to encourage one another with truth God had been teaching them, whether from the talk, or other experiences or reading. It was incredible to see guys being honest with each other, while at the same time sharing truth. That's something I think I've been learning this semester, namely the importance of being honest with my brothers in Christ, like Andrew, Dan, Nate, etc... and then also sharing truth from God's word with each other. Louie Giglio put it really well in a talk I listened to through Itunes from Passion a couple years ago, called "Waking up to the Whole Gospel." This talk is one that stands at the forefront of my mind in terms of radically changing my view of the way the Christian life is lived. Even though I forget how to live it everyday, I am hopeful that I am in the process of waking up, by pressing up and in to the Gospel which changes everything - as Daron put it this weekend. I'll be sure to let ya'll know how Boston is.

- MB

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Steady as she Goes

"Steady as She Goes" by Andrew Peterson

I see the thunderheads rise
In the northern sky
And my heart is sinking
In the threatening tide
'cause my portside's heavy
with the worries of life
and the worries of dying
on the starboard side

Well, I wonder, am I really
Stouthearted enough?
'Cause the ocean is rolling
and these waters are rough
There's a storm cloud brewing
In the sky above
So let my vessel be sturdy
Let my anchor be tough

'Cause the clouds are known to gather
and the wind is prone to blow
I'll keep my eyes on the horizon
Not below
And keep her steady as a river
When the wild wind comes to blow
I've already been delivered
So I'll keep her steady as she goes

Well, I shiver in the wake of the raging storm
And my rigging is tattered
And these sails are torn
Gonna cast this cargo overboard
But I ain't setting my headings
For no change in course

Though the clouds are known to gather
And the wind is prone to blow

I'll keep her steady as a river
When the wild wind comes to blow
I've already been delivered
So I'll keep her steady as she goes

So when you can't find the faith to slumber
When you're thrown by every swell
You know that you're not going under
With the captain at the helm

Friday, September 8, 2006

Pursuing God, nothing more, nothing less

Tonight I was reading the best of A.W. Tozer, one my roomates books. I was reading a short chapter called "God must be loved for himself." One of the paragraphs in there hit home for me, so I'll share it. Tozer writes, "Whoever seeks God as a means toward desired ends will not find God. The mighty God, the maker of heaven and earth, will not be one of many treasures, not even the chief of all treasures. He will be all in all or He will be nothing. God will not be used. His mercy and grace are infinite and His patient understanding is beyond measure, but He will not aid men in their selfish striving after personal gain. He will not help men to attain ends which, when attained, usurp the place He by every right should hold in their interest and affection." Later in the chapter, Tozer writes, "If we love God as much as we should, surely we cannot dream of a loved object beyond Him, which He might help us to obtain." These are exciting words for me tonight. It seems to me that if I spent more time actually seeking the heart of God, and less time complaining, wondering, being anxious about things God is clearly sovereign over, I can only imagine how things might change. Another great thought I read recently is by Francis Schaeffer who says, "God is there. Not in here, defined and shaped by my own desires. God is out there. Objective. Absolute reality. All that looks like reality to us is dependent on God. There is a creation and creator, nothing more. And creation gets all its meaning and purpose from God." Those words pierce where I'm at right now, and what I need to hear. They are truths that we can never get past, because as basic as they seem, how can we ever fully get our minds around them. I may be familiar with them, but familiarity doesn't produce deep seeded faith. Only God can produce in me the childlike faith that He desires to put in us. I would write more about these things, but I could not do any justice to the words of Tozer and Schaeffer. It's also getting late, and my roomate is snoring some. So, that's my cue for bed. Also, if anyone has skype, I just got a webcam... so we can chat it up with video for FREE!