For a couple months now, I have been floating side-by-side down the river of grief with a close friend. You may remember me talking about him in a previous post on empathy. I say “floating” and not “walking alongside” because grief seems to completely steal the ground away from beneath your feet. It is seemingly impossible to walk through grief when you have no strength in your legs. So, my friend and I, we float. Sometimes we fight and try to swim upstream in our attempts to get back to where we came from, to what was known as the “normal” life. But, quickly, the realization that we can never get back to “normal” shows up. And I think that’s a good thing.
Last month I was able to go on a journey to Slovakia that will forever be a part of me. The people I met and the life that I experienced seeps deeper into my bones the more I look back and reflect on it. Isn’t that a beautiful thing? People long ago claimed it as the practice of the Examen. When we look back and bring to mind what we experienced, God is able to show us things that we were not able to see in the moment when it actually happened. What a gift.
Empathy. Compassion. Pity. Sympathy.
For the longest time, these words have all bled together in my mind, without any real distinct difference. I would use them at random as I tried to explain something. As I tried to create reason for what I was feeling. As I tried to understand Scripture. But, lately, I have felt something in my heart that I believe is connected to a deeper sense of love than just I can bring. Continue reading
Tonight, as I read through the first two chapters of Judges, I am struck by the equivalence of the lack of intergenerational influence during the time of Judges to our society today. Now, I cannot speak for everybody on this topic, but I might generalize that my generation, the millennials, may be a little more hesitant to allow previous generations to speak into our lives. And I have some ideas as to why.
Well, folks, I submitted my first ever seminary assignment last night. And it felt really good to send it in because I spent 20 hours working on it. And man, those were literally some of the most meaningful 20 hours I have spent. Our task was to do 4 things: read the book of Joshua straight through in one sitting, create a detailed outline of what the book is about (using some form of the word “inherit” in each line), write up a short explanation of what I think the book is really about, and then write up a 13-week sermon series that I would give on the book including themes and Scripture references for each week.
It. Was. A lot.
The phrase, “The Ultimate Charge” sounds a bit like something that would come out of Braveheart or some other battle-induced, manly-man movie. Which, I loved that movie. But, there wasn’t enough hugging…
This phrase, to me, means something so much more than just a charge to do something for a desired victory. The phrase comes from some beautiful Scripture found in the 2nd book Paul wrote to Timothy:
Well, my new adventure of Seminary has officially begun! I had my first class this week on Tuesday, September 1st and I am already in love.
Myself. 14 other students. My professor. 3 books on Hermeneutics. And a complete mystery around what the next 4 months (and the next 4 years) might hold. This is a very new chapter for me as I walk down the path of being a pastor. It’s a chapter that I know I cannot do on my own. Nor do I want to. And so far, that’s the one thing that has stood out to me the most.