Showing posts from October, 2008


In Concert

TWO hours away from me and they have to do it during midterms.

John Piper and the Prosperity Gospel

Heartbreaking. But the truth usually is.

Living in Grace

There is nothing that shows me God's grace more that old reformed hymns. "Jesus Lover of My Soul" "Friend of Sinners" "Pensive Doubting Fearful Heart". I love how they shows my need for grace as it reveals the sin in my heart. They reveal my incapability to do any good on my own, and reminds me to whom it is that I belong.

I was part of a group in college that took a spiritual gifts test before we left to travel in a van together for the summer. We learned not only how our gifts manifest themselves, but also the misuses of the gifts. What was so remarkable about doing this study together is that when we saw a misuse of a gift, it allowed us to give more grace to the person. Not that their sin was any less of a sin, but it helped us understand where that person was coming from. This intense study in my Spiritual Ministry Formation class has done the same for me here at Covenant Seminary. In my understanding of how introverts and extroverts work, and how…


Before I arrived at seminary, I came from a very performance-driven life. Deadlines to meet, worship services to churn out (forgive the crudeness of the term), songs to learn and teach, bible studies to work on, bible studies to lead, projects to finish...

I have no clue where this performance-driven life came from. I'm sure I cultivated it myself in some small way, just as I am sure that others contributed to it as well. As a child, there was a a lot built up in performance for 4-H projects. I caught the bug the first time I received the big, fancy dark purple ribbon. (Light purple was reserve champion... but dark purple was champion.) I got a taste of success around age 8 or 9, and the rest of my 4-H career was delighting purple ribbons, big silver trophies and how many times I could get my picture in the paper because of said ribbons and trophies.

My mom and dad both made sure that projects were done completely, heartily and to the best of my ability. If it wasn't done right,…

How Long?

Psalm 40 For the director of music. Of David. A psalm. I waited patiently for the LORD;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the LORD.
Blessed is the man
who makes the LORD his trust,
who does not look to the proud,
to those who turn aside to false gods.
Many, O LORD my God,
are the wonders you have done.
The things you planned for us
no one can recount to you;
were I to speak and tell of them,
they would be too many to declare.
Do not withhold your mercy from me, O LORD;
may your love and your truth always protect me.
For troubles without number surround me;
my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.
They are more than the hairs of my head,
and my heart fails…

Blog Action Day

All kingdoms fall, said one of my seminary professors a month ago. "Even the United States."

Then the Dow went down. And down. And even further down.

We are not a nation in poverty. We are a nation of gluttons - high on credit, Dolce and Gabanna shoes, Kate Spade bags, iPhones, bluetooths and SUVs that are bigger than my living room.

We are not in poverty. We spend what we don't have, and that credit was given to us carelessly. We think we need a new car, a new home, and new furnishings at age 23. Whatever happened to saving before you buy? Those days are gone in lieu of inflated prices where the man with deep pockets keeps getting more and more.

We are, however, a nation that is poor in heart.

A nation that often turns a blind eye to real poverty, sickness, and despair. And nation that all too often refuses to cry out to the man with deep pockets and demand that he help the woman in Darfur who lost her family in a recent surge, the orphaned child in Kenya who sells recycled …


This one is fun.

Answer these questions using ONLY ONE WORD: (not as easy as you might think)

1. Where is your cell phone? dresser

2. Your significant other? unfound

3. Your hair?disaster

4. Your mother? lovely

5. Your favorite thing? love

6. Your dream last night? forgotten

7. Your favorite drink? coffee

8. Your dream/goal? obedience

9. What Room you are in? cold

10. Your fear?darkness

11. Where do you want to be in 6 years? happy

12. Where were you last night? friends

13. Something that you aren't? unloved

14. Muffins? memory

15. Wish list item? books

17. Last thing you did? read

18. What are you wearing? sweatshirt

19. Your TV? storage

20. Your pets? none

21. Friends? missed

22. Your life? changing

23. Your mood? effervescent

24. Missing someone? always

25. Your car? worn

26. Something you're not wearing? shoes

27. Your favorite store? container

28. Your favorite color? red

29. When is the last time you laughed? evening

30. Last time you cried? heartache

A Path Laid Out Before Me

One of the best things about Covenant Theological Seminary is the Spiritual Ministry Formation class. It is here where students in the MDiv and MAEM programs are subjected to personality test after personality test, then a serious amount of personal reflection in order to figure out and understand how God made you.

Wednesday was the culmination of a 10-page paper with the results of all those tests and self-reflection in a 1-hour meeting with the professor. He meets with each student in his class for 1 hour to go over the paper and to give you ideas for your future ministry and resources as you develop your gifts.

Here are some interesting results about my testing:

My highest scoring spiritual gifts are teaching, shepherding and wisdom. I did not expect that.

My Meyers-Briggs is INTJ, but I am only one point into the T. (Introverted-Intuitive-Thinker-Judge.) Being only one point into the Thinker side means I have just as much Feeling in me than I do a Thinker. I poured over and over b…

Flow Chart

I didn't get a chance to watch the VP debate because I was listening to a lecture on St. Patrick and Anselm. Most of the people I talk to think their candidate won, so that tells me nothing. I did, however, find this little gem courtesy of Steve over at razzle dazzle rose.