Ok…I think I have found a God lesson in this getting up with the sun thing. Just to recap, I was up at 6:30 am without the aid of a dog or children…in case you wondered this makes me grumpy. However, James 1:2-4 states:
2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
So here it is…I hate seeing 6:30 so I would consider this a trial of sorts (falling into the trial off many kinds category in verse 2). So I am going to be transformed by the renewing of mind (Romans 12) and consider this early morning a blessing…a pure joy might be stretching it but that is what God’s Word says so that is what I am going to do. Not my best scripture application ever, but it is the best I’ve got so far.
If I think of something better through the day I will let you know.
Grace and Peace to you all!
What the flip…For some unexplained reason I was wide awake at 6:30. That is so unlike me. Now it is 7:10 and my alarm still won’t go off for another 20 minutes. I have no dog or kids to wake me up prematurely and yet my eyes are wide open. I didn’t go to bed early….it was 12:45 when I fell asleep last night. I know I am going to pay for this…probably right after lunch when my belly is full and I am sitting in my meeting. I know say 2:00 this afternoon I will be fighting to keep my eyes open. I am not sure anyone really wants to know any of this.
So lets see if I can figure out a way to apply this Jesus somehow today. Stay tuned for further commentary about early morning…maybe we can all learn something from my sleeplessness.
Craig Bartholomew and Michael Goheen assert some meaningful themes in their book. Their focus on story, specifically the story of the whole of history, and our place within that story has far reaching implications for our lives. I also found the thread woven throughout the text regarding our potential as created beings to be a refreshing reminder that a cynical view of humanity (which I am often guilty of) isn’t what God has in mind. The overall thrust of the book is in sync with the creation, fall, redemption, consummation worldview. While the wording is certainly a little different, the authors seem to affirm that this is indeed the proper perspective to have about the story of creation.
There wasn’t a great deal of new information for me in this text, however, I did find that the telling of the story of from the beginning to the inevitable “Return of the King” to be a great refresher on the overarching narrative told to us in the Bible. The Old Testament portions within the text were a great summation of God’s faithfulness to Israel and the world. I was also appreciative of the questions that followed the close of each chapter. They were challenging to think about and useful in meditation as I thought about my own place in the Creation narrative . I was personally challenged to think harder about my place in the story and about what I am doing to help others discover their place in the story. More specifically, I was reminded of God’s patience and longsuffering in Act 3 as the authors spoke about the prophetic role Israel’s prophets. What an Awesome and patient God we serve. Also on a more personal note, I found the discussion about story and narrative to be reminiscent of some of Stanley Hauerwas’ essays regarding narrative as a connecting point to our church communities. It is very cool to see seemingly separate life experience tie together to teach something about God.
I think the most influential aspect of this book on my future role as campus ministry will be the running theme of potential in the creation. This theme is a clear call to see the potential in each and every student regardless of background, ethnicity, class, religion, etc. Because we are all created in God’s image, we are special and valuable to Him. It is for that very reason that each student (and truthfully every person) has value and potential. The truth of this idea then, points to the fact that each student is worthy of our relational investment in their lives. Furthermore, I think one of the primary roles of campus ministry is to help each student develop their God given potential to be who He has created each student to be. In that process, we help contribute to each student finding their place in God’s story of His creation.
I could also see using this book with college students as a tool for a basic survey of the Bible, especially for those with limited or no Biblical knowledge. It is a great introduction to some of the major players in scripture and more importantly it points to what God is up to in the individual lives of each person as well as God at work in all of human history. It is far from exhaustive, but it is a great place to begin to actively engage students to live life with a Biblical worldview and to get excited about the coming consummation and the return of our king. I could definitely see offering this book out as a tool to the students on WVU’s campus in the hope that they will begin to or continue on their path of discovery to find their place in God’s narrative.
Dear Faithful Readers,
I remember kneeling at an altar almost eighteen years ago and giving my life to following Jesus. Ever since that moment, I knew that God had placed a call on my life to the ministry. Over the last eighteen years I have followed God’s leading to work in different ministries and to serve several congregations as pastor. Once again, God is calling my family and me to a new ministry, with the CCO, where I will be able to use my gifts and talents to minister to college students.
The CCO (Coalition for Christian Outreach) is a campus ministry organization that seeks to “Transform College Students to Transform the World.” They are committed to helping students understand who Christ is, and how they can develop a Christian worldview. I have the joy and challenge of working with the CCO on the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV.
As part of my work, I will be The Christian and Missionary Alliance Church of Morgantown’s Director of College Church. College Church ministers to the students on WVU’s campus as any church would, holding weekly services and doing outreach on the campus. Because of this congregation’s commitment to reaching students, they are providing a portion of funding for this ministry and will “send” me as a missionary to WVU.
I trust God to provide many other people who will be a support team for me – praying for me and for this ministry, as well as investing in the lives of students. It’s humbling but comforting to rely on God for every aspect of one’s ministry, so I step out in faith as I depend on God to provide the remaining $2,023.83 each month to reach students with the Good News of Jesus Christ. Will you consider investing with me in this ministry to students?
One thing that I’ve come to know for certain is that ministry is not successful when it is attempted alone, so I’m excited to see how God will use us in the lives of others, as well as how He will work in us. I can’t imagine going any other place than where God has called me.
If you share my excitement about reaching college students, perhaps you will support this ministry as we move ahead. If you are willing to support me in this ministry, please go to ccojubilee.org to make your contribution. Look for the donate tab at the top of the page and find out to give (don’t forget to use my name). If you have any questions about this ministry or how to donate, I would love to speak with you. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email.
Grace and Peace,
I came across this article entitled Claremont Seminary Reaches Beyond Christianity from the LA Times (thanks to Doug for posting it on facebook). Claremont has decided to incorporate religious training for various faiths into the seminary’s curriculum. Claremont has its roots in the Methodist Church which is significant to me because I got my start in ministry in the United Methodist Church.
Click on the link, check out the article, and let me know what you think. I am still trying to process this myself and am unsure what exactly I think . So I am reaching out to my readers to weigh in while I process and When I have some more time I will give you my thoughts.
There are few things more disappointing to me than when I go to take a drink from a pop can and as I raise it to my mouth and try to take a drink…I find that it is bone dry…empty. It is so deflating when this happens. Reaching for a cold drink of Pepsi and finding that you have already taken the last sip is disheartening. Its a day destroyer for me.
In all seriousness, I know that is pretty silly to allow something like this to ruin your day. But, how often do we allow little moments like this to dictate how go about our daily business. I was thinking about this at lunch time when I was getting ready to leave and head back to work. I was saying good bye to my son and he spilled his drink. I was annoyed that I had to stop and take a minute to clean it up. that annoyance went with me back to the office. In all honesty, I let the 30 seconds it took to clean up the spill dictate how I felt about the next hour of my day.
I guess I just really want to challenge my self and others to think about those little things we make into big things that change our attitude for the day. Lets not cried over spilled milk or sweat the small stuff. Instead, let us all rejoice in the many God given blessings that we have…perhaps I should be thankful I had a can of pop to begin with.
I know there may be some folks out there that really love to pack. They take pleasure in placing all of their worldly belongings and placing them in varying sizes of cardboard boxes. It is not for me. Going through everything and deciding what is good and valuable and should be used and what is old and unnecessary that can be tossed out or given away is tough. There are all sorts of emotional attachments that come with our stuff. We hold on to items that are never used but hold meaning because they represent a certain event in our life or a person who may have given it to us.
It is interesting to me though that we don’t treat the people in our lives like we treat our stuff. We certainly miss friends and family when we move away from them, but there is a recognition that they can’t come with us and so we say goodbye. There may be some tears shed, but we move on. Not so with our stuff, especially those things that represent the relationships or events that are really meaningful to us. It makes me wonder a little if we value our things more than we value people. Now I know that seems like a ridiculous thing to say, but I think if we took a few minutes to look at our lives its not so crazy. How often do we work long hours at the expense of our relationships to family and friends and neighbors so that we might live more comfortably? How often do we purchase the latest gadget or toy instead of feeding the poor or some other thing that Jesus asks us to do? For most of us, I don’t think it is a stretch to see that at times we sacrifice our relationships for things.
I am certainly not anti stuff. In fact, I have my fair share of stuff that I don’t want to part with. I just wonder if we are forming the wrong kind of attachments.
Just something I’m thinking about as I pack away my stuff in cardboard boxes.