One of the reasons I love Asbury Seminary is their emphasis on the spiritual life led by J.D. Walt. Every semester, we have an Asbury Reader, where all those connected with the seminary are invited to read the same scriptures and journey together in this pursuit. Why read together, J.D. gives us a great word for this time that we live in including using twitter, you can subscribe to what we are calling twiturgy, where scriptures will be sent to your phone throughout the traditional hours of the day. I commend this practice to all of you rather or not you are connected with Asbury or not. Finally I give you these words from J.D. about the practice of how reading together can work in our current times.
Read Together. Why not everyone just be a law unto themselves as relates to reading Scripture? (i.e. wherever the Spirit leads). The richest reading happens on the way called together. So let us write these words on flash cards and hide them in our hearts together. Let’s twitter about this word when we get up and when we lie down and let’s talk about it when we walk along the road together. Let’s bind this word to our wrists and text it to one another in the library. Let us fix it on our laptops as screen savers, sketch it on the walls like graffiti and sing pray and preach about it in Chapel. In this fashion the Word day by day shapes our community and by the power of the Spirit becomes enfleshed in the streets. In the celebrated book, Life Together, Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, …how inexhaustible are the riches that open up for those who by God’s will are privileged to live in daily fellowship of life with other Christians!
So, you are going to seminary and don’t know what to expect? Well, one little blog is hardly going to tell you everything you need to know, but after a year at Asbury here are some important things for those who are starting seminary. It is by no means a comprehensive list, and anybody is willing to offer their own two-cents in the comment section.
1. Be formed spiritually by your studies. This sounds easy enough heading into seminary. You might think that having a class with the Bible as your main reading would just automatically enter you into some sort of spiritual nirvana. Not necessarily. It is easy to get burdened by an assignment and to spend 30 hours writing a paper on the meaning of Matthew 5:48b, and never fully grasp the radical call of holiness in Christ for our own personal lives. I believe these persons are the kind of people that Jesus often preached against: Pharisees and the teachers of the law. Continue reading
I’m taking a class called Vocation of Ministry this semester. It is one of those worldview classes, as they are hoping that we can enter the ministry with some certain essential character traits. It is also one of those dreaded require classes, so there is some resistance to the class, where some of the people have already tackled this issue for themselves, but Dr. Seamands said something interesting today and since I know many who read this blog are Christian leaders it is worth sharing.
Oswald Chambers said, ” Beware of anything that competes with loyalty to Jesus Christ. The greatest competitor of devotion to Jesus is service for Him…The one aim of the call of God is the satisfaction of God, not a a call to do something for Him.” Continue reading
Monday was a good day. I turned in my final test for my first semester of Seminary. Currently that gives me 12 of 96 hours of Seminary done. 1/8 of my way through Seminary. Since I am now officially done, I thought I would post some of my reflections on Asbury and seminary life in general.
First, There are a lot of people smarter than me especially the professors, but also some of the students. It has been a blessing to be with people who intellectual challenge me. Next, there are a lot of holy people here. I’ve told many people from back in Oklahoma that the people are the most authentic that I have met. They care a great deal about others, and they care a great deal about God. This has humbled me and has called me to “Be Holy as God as Holy” and to work harder. So much of my educational experiences have come so easy, it is nice to be challenged at times. I am thankful for my undergraduate experience at OCU as it did help prepare me in many ways for Seminary, though.
I also learned that seminary is a lot more than classes. Continue reading
I just got out of a meeting with my New Testament professor, Dr. Mulholland. I decided to just have a conversation with dealing with the realm on the spiritual life. I was very excited about this because I think like many, my spiritual life struggles, as I get to busy for time alone with God, and instead get focused on external matters. Here are my reflections from that time together:My time should first be an offering to Continue reading
Strange and wonderful things happen at seminary, especially in Dr. Mulholland’s class. (As I heard J.D. Walt say about the professors here: they are human wikipedia, I concur about Dr. Mulholland.) I am sitting in my New Testament Intro class and we are talking about the Lord’s Prayer and the statement forgive us as we forgive others.
Now we could have a problem with this thinking that God won’t forgive us, if we are unforgiving towards others, but the reality is that when we are unforgiving, we are not open to be forgiving because we are holding on tightly to our own bitterness. Forgiving is not as much about freeing another person from the guilt of their actions, but it is more about the freeing of ourselves from the bitterness in our hearts that we hold on to. It is only after we release that bitterness and anger that we can be the Way we were made to be. Now this is not an easy experience because we all like to see justice being done. We want others to feel the pain that we felt, but through forgiveness we release ourselves from that bondage and allow God to flow through us again. Continue reading