Thursday, October 28, 2004

Sweet and Sour

This past week there have been some great times and some trying times. One really cool thing is that for my birthday some of our students made a movie parody of my life. The student that did most of the work for it is one that I have really made a connection with. He himself played me in the movie. Imagine a scrawny 8th grader in an oversized, way-too-huge Hawaiian shirt. It was a blessing for me. I was refreshed at knowing that I have made a difference in someone's life.

The sour came when I realized that of the 4 classes I needed to graduate in May, 3 were not being offered this spring. I get so frustrated at the seminary institution that doesn't allow for flexibility at all. In a lot of ways grace is not being displyed. Registrars were not getting back to me. My youth ministry professor will not give me any more information than 'please notify my adminitrative assistant and schedule an appointment'. How about a little more commentary of the situation? How about shedding some light on the subject? How about, "Yeah sure, we can substitute that class!" To no avail. It looks like now I will be forced to take some summer classes. Not as bad as I had hoped, but I am so ready to be done with school in May.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

My First Wedding

This weekend I performed my first wedding. The great thing about it is that my sister was the bride. I was certainly nervous beforehand, but once the ceremony got going I didn't even sweat. You get a different perspective on marriage when you are the one performing the ceremony. You see first hand the stars in their eyes. You experience the butterflies along with the groom and the tears with the bride. It made me reflect on my marriage. How blessed I am to have such a wonderful wife. She does so much to make me a more loving, patient person. What I have learned recently (from classes and performing the ceremony) is that marriage goes far beyond warm feelings. It even extends past finding a best friend. Part of the unexplored facet of marriage is the purpose of making one another holy. My wife has gently nudged me to be a more holy person. She guides me in self-reflection as I discover my faults and strengths. She helps me see myself (and others) from a different perspective and I am much better for it. So often we shy away from the pain of self-discovery, but this is necessary if we are to break free from the bonds of sin in our lives. My wife helps me to do that, not through beating me down, but through the building up the facets of holiness in my life. I am eternally greatful for her in that regard.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

The smallness you feel comes from inside you
I must say that this weekend was awesome. So many times I felt the presence of God ministering to me in mighty ways. The theme of the conference was "Wide Open". They were trying to get us see how the power of Christ in our lives is hindered by our own selves. In reality true life in Christ is life that is not fenced in by rules and regulations. It is a life of freedom. true freedom to ove God.

One of the highlights was the prayer chapel. In the mornings we did some contemplative prayer exercises that have been used by Christians for centuries. One of them is the Lectio Divina, where you read a passage openly asking God to speak to you. You read the passage once and meditate on the a word that impresses your heart. Then you read it again meditating on a phrase that impresses your heart. Finally you ask God to reveal what God would have you do in your life as a result of this passage. While engaged in this practice God impressed on me that I have a huge desire to feel like I belong in the church, not just that I people are ok with me being there, but that I am here at my church because I fit and are wanted. What God showed me is that this desire will never truly be satisfied here on earth, but only in the arms of my savior. My mission then is to help other people feel welcomed and needed.

I shed many tears this weekend as God ministered to by soul. For the first few days every little thing would set me off. I realized that I needed time to just lavish in the arms of my God and forget the pains of life, praising Him with my tears as well as my laughter.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

YS Yay

We are off to the youth specialties convention. Four days of joy and fun and mayhem. See ya all later.


Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Read this article. Gives new meaning to "like a chicken with it's head cut off."

Friday, October 01, 2004

Theology of Marriage-the Trinity

Another session we discussed in our couples class was how the Trinity models our marriages. Our professor, using John 13-17, discussed how the three members of the Godhead interacted with one another. There were a number of facets to this. First, they speak highly of one another. Second, they trust one another. Third, they represent one another. Fourth, they seek each other's glory.

There are many great points packed into these truths. But I want to focus on one because I believe that it has a direct impact on the others. What I want to focus on is the fact that each member of the Godhead seeks the glory of the others. Jesus seeks the glory of the Father and expects that the Father will glorify the Son. This is so important for married couples. I should always ask myself, "Am I seeking to glorify my spouse?" Am I looking for ways to make her look good in front of others? This goes far beyond not saying anything bad about my wife. It means that I should speak highly of my wife in front of others. Do the people I encounter come away knowing how amazing my wife is? Or they just know that I am married? I have little problems with speaking negatively about my wife. It doesn't happen much. What I do need to work on is actually including positive comments about my spouse in everyday conversation.

Giving glory to our spouse encourages trust and love. Imagine hearing from other people that your spouse spoke highly of you behind your back. Imagine how that would make your day. Seeking your spouse's glory also prevents other people from getting wrong idea. People of the opposite sex should quickly get the idea that you are not on the market because your spouse is so great. It sends the message that no one could match up to your spouse in your eyes.

So, I want to seek my wife's glory as Jesus sought the Father's glory.