Just recently, the engine of our vehicle was overhauled. All the cylinders were bored out, new pistons and rings fitted, and many other movable parts replaced. After so many changes, all the new pieces of the engine need time to adjust towards each other. They need to settle in. For the first 1000 km I can only drive at a maximum speed of 100 km/h (~62mph). At the moment I am unable to drive in the fast lane, so I rather drive in the slow lane. Read more
When God was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, it was because of the wickedness of the people in the country. It was not because of one person or because of the government; it was because of the actions of those living within the country. Our own actions, even if they are small, can have vast effects on our country. I believe that praying for our country is the greatest action that we can take. Regardless of where you are living, if you believe in God, then your prayers should also be for your country.
The benefits of praying for our country are tremendous. Prayers for our country can: Read more
There are times in life when we come to a crossroad. Whether we like it or not, a season is over and it is time to move on to the next place God has for us. Whether you are graduating, taking a break this summer, or just moving on to the next class or project—this life can be pretty hectic.
I am truly blessed with my life here at Regent. I love Virginia Beach and I love its people and the ocean. It is amazing. I adore my school. I love my job. Being a life group leader is such an incredible opportunity. Ending a semester can be rough. It can seem overwhelming, too fast, and sometimes it is easy to set aside our relationship with Christ to do other things. This world is so distracting. From the TV shows we watch to obsessions about the latest celebrity divorce or hook-up, it is far too easy to get caught up in distractions. Read more
If you and I were having a conversation in the hallway and I suddenly stopped, looked both ways, firmly but politely grabbed you by the arm, pulled you to the side, and whispered to you in all seriousness, “Aslan is on the move!” you would probably consider discretely calling for some help out of concern for your own safety. Unless, of course, you know who Aslan is and then you might chuckle and recommend that I take a short break from reading C.S. Lewis books (just a short one though). Read more
It was bittersweet. Most were ready to pack it in and go home to spouses, children, significant others, or just their own beds, while others were already making plans to return.
Conversations about what’s next have been stirring as we approach the end of our trip. Our questions to speakers have gotten more specific and we’re hanging back after class to chat not about the ins and outs of writing TV, but how to move to L.A.; what churches to try; what neighborhoods to avoid; what it’s like having kids here; all to start building to the ultimate question: Can I do this? Read more
We got the “unofficial” tour of the familiar lot from Katherine Gaffney, Regent’s newest faculty spouse. Katherine (and Sean between stints in the office) took us through all the soundstages and back lot areas, amused as we geeked out over ER and Gilmore Girls trivia (Personally, I just about melted at the door of Luke’s Diner, currently transformed into a set dress shop). Read more
Almost more than Biology (I did say almost), I dreaded taking the COMM 110 course – or Public Speaking 101 as it’s known in some colleges. I am not, nor have I ever been, a public speaker. Yet on occasion, I’ve had to do that very thing. And in my career, it is becoming necessary to do it more frequently. Read more
One of the biggest challenges that any seminary student faces is balancing the academic and the spiritual. When we are learning about God’s Word and the history and the foundation in which the Word was developed, we can easily forget the spiritual. One of my most difficult classes at Regent University was Hermeneutics; I never really thought that what philosophy believes is important to the way in which I interpret the Bible. Yet later in the class, I realized that we are just using the opinion of highly regarded historians to help with the interpretation of the Bible, but we are also using the Holy Spirit. How can we know the difference? How can we balance the two? For me, I have learned to:
- Trust the Holy Spirit first by praying before I study anything!
- Ask myself why I am studying the material; this way I do not put the academic emphasis in the wrong place.
- Continue to pray and ask God for wisdom and understanding throughout my studies.
- Know what I believe in and stick to it.
- Remind myself that this is not about me, it is about God. I am learning how to use different resources to do what He has called me to do.
I pray that anyone who is going through seminary remember that God is the ultimate wisdom and understanding that we need. In addition, our Bible is the only book we can know about God; textbooks are just additional resources that should never replace your Bible. As I continue to learn to balance the academic and the spiritual in seminary, I can only trust God and His words. Yet, I still want to be able to trust Him in textbooks too.
I have realized that, though textbooks are crucial to our learning, we do not have to agree with everything the books say. If there is something against our belief or something that seem farfetched, then we must examine what we are reading. God did not inspire every author, and not every textbook is error free. Ultimately, it all comes down to trusting God, allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us, and reading each book critically.
As I write this, this week has been extremely difficult for the residents of Oklahoma. A large tornado wreaked devastation, injury, and death without much forewarning. Having grown up in the Mid-West, I have witnessed two tornadoes and I know the feeling of helplessness is somewhat overwhelming when one is within eye-sight. There is not much the residents of Oklahoma could have done in preparation except perhaps to build a storm-shelter, and even then that does not give full assurance of protection.
As they recover, I hope and pray there is much healing and outpouring of God’s love and mercy on those affected. I hope that the Church will take the lead in providing for those in need as God has called us to do. Tragedy as a result of natural disaster is nothing new. We can pick up the Bible and read about numerous accounts of earthquakes, pestilences, and famine on the righteous and unrighteous–a direct result of living in a fallen world. There is hope for all of us, though, and that hope is found in the birth, life, ministry, sacrifice, resurrection, and eventual return of Jesus Christ. For those who know Him, these tribulations will someday become a forgotten memory.
The tragedy in Oklahoma stirs in my heart Luke 22: 35-38 where Jesus tells His disciples in verse 36, “But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one.” I’ve read several commentaries on this verse, and done my own study and here is what I take away from it: “As we go to proclaim the gospel, we should go with a lean self-sufficiency and the understanding that difficulty will come.” I believe that Jesus is saying to be prepared spiritually and physically.
For one to sell his coat and purchase a sword means giving up something that is very important (a coat to keep you warm) for something that is of even higher value (a sword that may keep you alive in dire circumstances). There is obviously a hot-button political angle to this verse in which a “sword” could mean a modern firearm, and, perhaps it does encompass that, but I believe Jesus is talking big-picture here.
The disciples respond in verse 38: “Lord, look, here are two swords.’ And He said to them, ‘It is enough.’” There are two scholarly perspectives on Jesus’ words, “It is enough”. One is that, “Two swords are enough” (small swords to be more accurate), and the other is that “It is enough of this conversation.” I believe He means both.
Jesus obviously allows the disciples to keep the swords, because Peter draws one on the high priest’s servant when the soldiers come to arrest Jesus. But Jesus immediately tells Peter after he slices off the servant’s ear, “Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword” (Matt 26:52). There is an important lesson of healthy tension between the spiritual and physical in these passages.
Regent teaches a healthy view of spiritual and physical self-sufficiency. One of my very first assigned readings was Discipling the Nations: The Power of Truth to Transform Cultures by author Darrow L. Miller. . Miller explains how a theistic worldview (“The belief or system of belief in one God; sees the universe as ultimately personal”) differs from the worldviews of animism (“A set of metaphysical assumptions that see the world as ultimately spiritual, in which the physical world is animated by spirits or gods”) and secularism (“A system that sees the world as ultimately physical and limited, controlled by the blind operations of impersonal natural laws, time, and chance”) (1998, p. 285, 292).
As Christians, we are neither limited nor controlled by the spiritual or physical world, apart from God; but we face trials and tribulations in each realm. However, we are completely free and empowered in our relationship with the one true God through Jesus Christ. In this relationship, we are able to be completely self-sufficient in how we operate in this world. We are given a healthy worldview that encompasses both the spiritual and the physical. It is in realizing and understanding this that we can securely go forth and successfully preach the gospel to all nations.
Miller, D. (1998). Discipling Nations: The Power of Truth to Transform Cultures. Seattle, WA: YWAM Publishing.
For the past several years, I’ve lived the life of a hermit. I work and go to school from home (home-based small business), and we even do home church. My husband and I haven’t traveled much since 2009 when my husband was laid off. Home has become my comfort zone.
At the end of 2012, the Lord impressed upon me that my time of being a homebody was coming to an end for a season. I knew that the year of 2013 would be full of travel, and I tried to accept it.So I’m trying.
This year, I’ve been invited to several conferences already. The first conference was in March; I met with writers and critiqued manuscripts. It was great, and I enjoyed meeting several friends I’ve known for years but had never met in person. Read more