It is a whole new year! I honestly cannot believe it is 2011. I remember sitting in school and my 3rd grade teacher looking at our class telling us 2012 would come faster than we know it. After dismissing her as a total loon, I went to recess and played with my Pokemon cards. (I dont know why I insisted on playing Pokemon, I had a terrible deck because I had all the cruddy cards that no one wanted.)
And now it is 2011 and I am wondering where all the time went! Needless to say, my teacher was right, the years have been going by fast. And last year was no exception. I will try, in this post, to briefly recall some of last years highlights and update on where I am now.
In March 2010, I was able to go to Israel on a study trip with Moody. For that opportunity I am greatly indebted to my parents who fronted the bill for that trip. It was remarkable to be able to see many Biblical sites and see Israel with my own two eyes! Honestly, I learned more on that two week trip than an entire semester of school.
I went into this last summer expecting to go to Seattle. God, however, closed that option for me and instead pushed me back to Covenant Harbor. It turned out that going to Harbor was great for my development as a preacher because I was placed in a position where I got to preach every week. For more information on this experience and all I learned, check out my Summer Newsletter.
In August I started my third semester at Moody. It was a crazy semester with a ton of work but I learned so much. This last semester I started my Greek classes. The toughest realization: if you suck at english grammar, you will such at Greek grammar. It was an uphill battle all semester but well worth it. The highlight of last semester was being able to preach in my preaching class. It was probably the toughest thing I have had to do in school but well worth the work. Realization: ‘Wow! I have a ton of work to do to improve my preaching.’
The semester ended strong and break was fantastic. I got to hang out with my wonderful family and spend a ton of time reading and reconnecting with some old friends. I also got the opportunity to celebrate the New Year with the 2010 summer staff from CHBC. The best part was sitting around a table late one night as we drank grape juice mixed with 7up (we were bereft of sparkling grape juice), swapping stories about our campers. Laughing until my stomach hurt was great for my soul.
January not only brought the new year but also the new semester. I have officially switched my major to Biblical Languages and this second semester proves to be promising as I am getting into the higher level classes: Greek 2, Historical Theology, Systematic Theology, and American Literature. I am two weeks into this semester right now and these classes are awesome! Greek is great because I am getting closer and closer to being able to read the Bible in the original language, Historical Theology is giving me an appreciation for history and those saints who have gone before me, Systematic Theology is teaching me more about the nature of God, and American Literature is teaching me how to keep a pulse on culture (we recently read a brilliant poem by Anne Bradstreet, which I will post on my blog soon).
One of the funniest things that have happened to me was I got to do some acting for a TV company. Before winter break ended I got to audition for an upcoming TV show. The TV show is about a kid named Keenan Cahil (he is that kid who Youtubes himself lip-syncing to songs). Anyways I auditioned for the part of an assistant to Cahil’s agent. I got the part and filmed the couple of scenes last Sunday. What we filmed was a pitch tape, which is essentially a trailer for the tv show that they will pitch around and see if a studio picks it up. If a studio picks it up, there is a likelihood that we will make a pilot that I might be able to be in. After that, the show could go to series.
What makes it all worthwhile, filming, was the conversations I had. I talked with some people about why the heck I am a Bible student and pursuing a pastoral position. I pray that God will work and His glory will be shown to those I worked with.
Upon coming back from break, I have gotten involved in my church again. The Painted Door. God has given me a passion for the local church and serving in it as much as possible. I am excited to serve the city of Chicago through the avenue of this community.
Overall, it has been a great year. I am thankful that God would give me what He has.
Dont get me wrong, I am not perfect and neither is my life. But the overarching megatheme of my life has been and always will be that God is enough. Even if I lost everything this second, Jesus is enough. Jesus is enough because He is better. He is better than becoming a movie star, having a great family, having this computer, friends, and anything else this life offers.
I would like to thank you for reading this and still remaining faithful over the last 9 months to receive updates, read my posts, and pray for me. Thank you for taking interest in my ministry. You cannot possibly understand how much of an honor it is that you would take time for these things. Seriously, thank you.
Finally, if you only pray for one thing for me pray this: that I would remain faithful. I know my heart and my tendency to take my life for granted, resort to pride, and selfishness. Pray that should everything come crashing down, I would be able to stand with those saints who have come before me and truly declare that Jesus is enough. Pray that I would run towards the throne of grace when sin rears its ugly head instead of running from the throne in a vein attempt to default to fixing it on my own. I cant fix it on my own. The Gospel says that Jesus has fixed it and I cannot.
Praise Christ for His glorious Gospel.
Thank you for reading,