Under Construction - Seminary

Posted by tom | May 24, 2015

I'm on the home stretch of a Masters of Arts in Spiritual Formation with Evangelical Theological Seminary and have started a Doctor of Ministry with Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Ministry to the Emerging Generations. Much to share, stay tuned.

2014 Return to Evangelical Seminary

Posted by theresa | Dec 13, 2013

2013 has been a year of increased responsibility for Thomas (as if that was possible). At the end of 2012 he gave significant time and energy to redesigning the Emerging Scholars Network website. Because of his leadership and insight on that project he was asked to be part of the Graduate and Faculty Ministries (GFM) webpage redesign. He found both projects challenging yet rewarding (Note: Pray for the new GFM site to be ready for review on 12/18 and launch well in early 2014).

But there are only 24 hours in a day. As such he made the difficult decision to take this fall semester off from Evangelical Seminary. Not to worry — Lord willing, he’ll jump back in with 2 classes in January :)

Note: In the mean time he's posted material from Christian Devotional Classics and Theology and Practice of Prayer, i.e.,  and Psalms: The Prayer Book the Bible (by Dietrich Bonhoeffer), on the Emering Scholars Network Blog.

ESN Blog: What is a Christian Devotional Classic?

Posted by tom | Aug 9, 2013

Yesterday, inspired by a final exam for Christian Devotional Classics (Evangelical Seminary), I kicked off an Emerging Scholars Network Blog series on Receiving from the Christian Devotional Classics with a post on Thomas Merton & the Desert Fathers. Before going further with the series I thought that it would be helpful to wrestle with the question, What is a Christian Devotional Classic? Desire to join the conversation, pick-up a classic, start a reading group?

"Christian Devotional Classics" Curriculum Project

Posted by tom | May 26, 2013

Note: Posted on the Emerging Scholars Network Facebook Wall. Inviting you to the conversation . . .

Salvation. "In those days* men had become keenly conscious of the strictly individual character of 'salvation.' Society -- which meant pagan society, limited by the horizons and prospects of life 'in this world' -- was regarded by them as a shipwreck from which each single individual man had to swim for his life. We need not stop here to discuss the fairness of this view; what matters is to remember that it was a fact. These were men who believed that to let oneself drift along, passively accepting the tenets and values of what they knew as society, was purely and simply a disaster. The fact that the Emperor was now Christian and that the 'world' was coming to know the Cross as a sign of temporal power only strengthened them in their resolve." -- Thomas Merton. "Wisdom of the Desert: Sayings of the Desert Fathers of the Fourth Century" (Boston: Shambhala Publications, 2004, 1-2). Do we likewise live in such a time/place? If so, how do we/you respond? If not, how do you distinguish our time/place from the Eastern Mediterranean world of the 4th Century?

Note: The final exam for my summer class in "Christian Devotional Classics"** is a "curriculum project” which attempts "to relate the major texts of the course to a 21st-century audience by 'bridging the hermeneutical gap' between past and present. . . . [including] all of the major devotional classics in the course, with evidence of knowledge of the historical and theological context in which they were written. It should also include commentary on and application of the readings to a contemporary audience in a specified ministry context."

Yes, this is my first step in this direction. If you have interest in reading/discussing some the the classics with me, please let me know. If you have experience in (or a vision for) sharing devotional classics/readings on-line, please drop me a line and share some advise with me, http://www.intervarsity.org/contact/emerging-scholars-network :) Yes, I'm going to have to keep the FB Wall posts a lot shorter, particularly as they feed into Twitter, but the blog has more space :) ~ Tom

*"In 4th century A.D. the deserts of Egypt, Palestine, Arabia, and Persia . . ."

**Evangelical Seminary, http://www.evangelical.edu/_files/live/CH_665_Syllabus_Su_13.pdf

Update: Strategies for Spiritual Formation in the Church (3/30/2013)

Posted by tom | Mar 30, 2013

As I shared in Participating in communities of truth in Spring 2013 (1/30/2013), I have a passion to pray and work toward spaces in which "the community of truth is practiced." This spring term has been rich with exploring "Strategies for Formation in the Church" in the classroom, the local congregation to which we belong, InterVarsity's Faculty Ministry, InterVarsity's Emerging Scholars Network, and our home. 

In many ways the two students (Holly and Joe) with whom I'm working with as a Ministry Mentor (PM694 Mentored Ministry II) have taught me much more than I expected -- providing a unique lens for self-reflection and interviewing of those with whom we're connected (more of this to come). Our emphasis has been on PSU-Hershey Christian Medical Society (CMS)/CMDA), but on Tuesday we advanced in our collaboration with friends at Elizabethtown College. Pray for discernment as this project grows and I consider how to apply what I'm learning to other ministry contexts. 

Thank-you for being part of the larger community of truth of which I am member AND an encourager/support of the smaller communities of truth of which I am member! If you're in the area, please mark your calendar to join us for Deeply Loved: Extending the Heart of Jesus with Tom & Theresa Grosh (May 14, 7 pm, Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church) with Keri Wyatt Kent (speaker and author on Spiritual Formation).

 

Participating in communities of truth in Spring 2013

Posted by tom | Jan 30, 2013

"'To teach is to create a space in which the community of truth is practiced.' . . . Community is clearly central to four issues that have long been basic to the life of the mind: the nature of reality (ontology), how we know reality (epistemology), how we teach and learn (pedagogy), and how education forms or deforms our lives in the world (ethics). Under these rubrics, I offer some notes toward a recovery of community that is appropriate to the world of education and rooted in a spiritual understanding of 'the hidden wholeness.'" -- Parker Palmer. "To Know as We Are Known: Education as a Spiritual Journey" (HarperCollins, 1993, xiii), see http://www.couragerenewal.org/resources/books

Do you long for "a space in which the community of truth is practiced"? With regard to Emerging Scholars I pray and work toward such spaces been found and/or created. Furthermore, I explore what such communities look like and how they can be supported/developed further.

A little more of the story: If you have been following the ESN FB Feed you realize that this is a reading for "EM/SF56: Strategies for Formation in the Church" (Evangelical Seminary). My first class is started on Monday evening and as has been my experience at Evangelical, I found it "a space in which the community of truth is practiced." To God be the glory!

In addition to taking this class, I have two students with whom I'm working with as a Ministry Mentor (PM694 Mentored Ministry II). What a joy to invite Joe and Holly into campus ministry for a term. They'll not only be part of the mix in South Central PA (with an emphasis on PSU-Hershey Christian Medical Society/CMDA), but also engage with ESN's various on-line endeavors including this "community." Pray for us to as we seek to nurture "a space in which the community of truth is practiced."

Thank-you for being part of the larger community of truth of which I am member AND an encourager/support of the smaller communities of truth of which I am member! To God be the glory! 

Jim Sire on “Finding common ground with someone radically different"

Posted by tom | Nov 2, 2012

altYesterday, Jim Sire (formerly a Senior editor of InterVarsity Press and a friend since my undergrad days at Grove City College) took a first look at “Finding common ground with someone radically different," http://blog.emergingscholars.org/2012/11/jim-sire-on-finding-common-ground-with-someone-radically-different/. Today, he explores the topic further, http://blog.emergingscholars.org/2012/11/jim-sire-on-finding-common-ground-with-someone-radically-different-part-ii/. May you find encouragement in his insights.

If you have a question for Sire regarding worldview, please let me know. In addition to the question-answer series on the ESN Blog, I'll be visiting with Sire in November to interview for an Evangelical Seminary class paper on how his thoughts on worldview have developed over time.

Inquiry: Power in "The Hobbit"/"Lord of the Rings"?

Posted by tom | Sep 26, 2012

A friend recently asked me to consider writing a brief piece on how power is portrayed in "The Hobbit"/"Lord of the Rings." Time to gather insights/data from 'the team' (feel free to pick-and-choose what questions you address):

  • In general, how is power portrayed in "The Hobbit" and/or "Lord of the Rings"?
  • What are the influences upon J.R.R. Tolkien's portrayal of power? 
  • What is the relationship between good, evil, and power? 
  • Who do you consider the most powerful characters and why? 
  • What are the implications of giving up the ring (of power)? 
  • How would you compare the writings with Peter Jackson's films in the portrayal of power?

Feel free to add your own questions and refer me to resources (e.g., articles, books, links). My responses coming, but at present I do not desire to bias you ;) In case you didn't figure it out, I'm quite excited about the opportunity and said, "Yes!" Furthermore, if you see me on the campus, in our local assembly, on the "street," I'll be asking the above questions. Be ready ;)

A question for me to raise at Evangelical Seminary . . .

Prayer: The first principle of ascetical theology

Posted by tom | Aug 5, 2012

Spiritual Theology: A Systematic Study of the Christian Life

Prayer is the first principle of ascetical theology in that it is the one act on which all other spiritual exercises depend. Meditation is preliminary to prayer; self-examination leads us to confession; spiritual reading directs the soul to a listening posture. Prayer is also the first principle in that the theological principles discussed in part one [of the book] are activated through prayer. In prayer one enters into relationship with the Trinity, undergoes mortification and grows in the virtues. One becomes a practicing Christian by practicing prayer. -- Simon Chan. Spiritual Theology: A Systematic Study of Christian Life. InterVarsity Press, 1998, 127.

Quote from my readings for a July class on Theology & The Practice of Prayer taught by Laurie Mellinger, Evangelical Seminary, Myerstown, PA.

In partnership with the church, Evangelical Seminary develops servant leaders for transformational ministry in a broken and complex world by nurturing rigorous minds, passionate hearts, and Christ-centered actions.

Review/Application of Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure

Posted by tom | Jul 23, 2012

"Review/Application of Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure" for the Evangelical Seminary blog, http://www.evangelical.edu/links/blogs/reviewapplication-of-adapt-why-success-always-starts-with-failure-.html. Enjoy. Special thanks to Kent Annan, Haiti Partners, for a copy of "Adapt." Looking forward to his return to South Central PA in the fall. More information coming . . .

Inquiry: Psalm 40, songs using the whole Psalm, worship/prayer guided by the Psalms

Posted by tom | Jul 14, 2012

Psalms: The Prayer Book of the BibleFor a "Theology & The Practice of Prayer" class paper based on praying the Psalms -- drawing from Bonhoeffer's The Psalms: The Prayer Book of the Bible -- I'm looking for a few options for songs of Psalm 40 which include the whole text of the Psalm. I'll use them in a classroom presentation, part of which will involve a comparison with U2's version, see http://www.u2.com/discography/lyrics/lyric/song/2/ and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sB4kxMj0-IE.

At present, I have come across:

My impression is that church liturgy (across the spectrum from formal to informal) favors the use of parts of Psalms in worship songs and readings. As you may guess, I'm particularly interested in exploring the importance of praying the Psalms in their entirety, even those with imprecatory sections in daily devotions (individual, communal). Your thoughts on the topic and Bonhoeffer's revolutionary/Culture Making tract are of great interest to me!

FYI: Some material I've delved into and may be of encouragement/value to you personally and as part of a local assembly:

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Prayer is the first principle of ascetical theology

Posted by tom | Jul 3, 2012

Spiritual Theology: A Systematic Study of the Christian Life

Prayer is the first principle of ascetical theology in that it is the one act on which all other spiritual exercises depend. Meditation is preliminary to prayer; self-examination leads us to confession; spiritual reading directs the soul to a listening posture. Prayer is also the first principle in that the theological principles discussed in part one [of the book] are activated through prayer. In prayer one enters into relationship with the Trinity, undergoes mortification and grows in the virtues. One becomes a practicing Christian by practicing prayer.

-- Simon Chan. Spiritual Theology: A Systematic Study of Christian Life. InterVarsity Press, 1998, 127. Reading for a July class on Theology & The Practice of Prayer taught by Laurie Mellinger, Evangelical Seminary (Myerstown, PA). Class begins today at 9 am. Can't wait to get started!

In partnership with the church, Evangelical Seminary develops servant leaders for transformational ministry in a broken and complex world by nurturing rigorous minds, passionate hearts, and Christ-centered actions.

ESN Blog Update

Posted by tom | Jul 2, 2012

In case you haven't already heard, "We just rebuilt the ESN blog. It's better than it was before. Better, stronger, faster." I.e., it has stepped up to the Standard 3.0 theme from @8bit. Way to go Mike!

I've started to work with some of the new formats, check out this morning's post of a quote:

What is the greatest challenge facing the church today?

http://blog.emergingscholars.org/2012/07/greatest-challenge-facing-the-church-today/

Yes, it's from a reading for Theology & The Practice of Prayer (2012 Summer Class, Laurie Mellinger, Evangelical Seminary, Myerstown, PA). Class begins tomorrow at 9 am. Can't wait to get started! Today I'm giving attention to lots of reading, advance prep sheet questions, and conversation with God.

In partnership with the church, Evangelical Seminary develops servant leaders for transformational ministry in a broken and complex world by nurturing rigorous minds, passionate hearts, and Christ-centered actions.

Prayer: A foretaste of the eschatological kingdom

Posted by tom | Jul 2, 2012

Prayer: The Cry For The Kingdom

As in other activities of the Christian life, through prayer, God’s people sense God’s presence among them. In this way they not only cry for the kingdom but also come to enjoy a foretaste of the eschatological kingdom in the midst of the brokenness of the present age.

-- Stanley J. Grenz. Prayer: The Cry For The Kingdom. Revised Edition. Eerdmans: 2005, 30. Reading for a July summer class on Theology & The Practice of Prayer taught by Laurie Mellinger, Evangelical Seminary (Myerstown, PA).

In partnership with the church, Evangelical Seminary develops servant leaders for transformational ministry in a broken and complex world by nurturing rigorous minds, passionate hearts, and Christ-centered actions.

The greatest challenge facing the church

Posted by tom | Jun 19, 2012

Prayer: The Cry For The Kingdom

[T]he greatest challenge facing the church of Jesus Christ today, and therefore every local congregation, is motivating the people of God to engage in sincere, honest, fervant prayer. . . . we must not only pray. We must also reflect on the nature and the working of prayer. As we do so, we discover that ultimately all prayer is a cry for the kingdom. When we come to comprehend this basic truth regarding prayer, we are better equipped to become effective pray-ers for the sake of the kingdom of God.

-- Stanley J. Grenz. Prayer: The Cry For The Kingdom. Revised Edition. Eerdmans: 2005, 1, 7. Reading for a July class on Theology & The Practice of Prayer taught by Laurie Mellinger at Evangelical Seminary (Myerstown, PA).

In partnership with the church, Evangelical Seminary develops servant leaders for transformational ministry in a broken and complex world by nurturing rigorous minds, passionate hearts, and Christ-centered actions.

NT Wright on the guitar

Posted by tom | May 14, 2012

How God Became King

Rt. Rev. N.T. (Tom) Wright sings Genesis & Bob Dylan’s When the Ship Comes In. Video of Saturday afternoon music by a theologian at Hearts & Minds Books (Dallastown, PA) rolled out on the Emerging Scholars Network Blog, click here :)

Question: anyone interested in summer reading group of How God Became King: The Forgotten Story of the Gospels (HarperOne, 2012)?

"Wright"-stuff

Posted by tom | May 13, 2012

Tom with NT Wright at Hearts and Minds Books, Dallastown, PA. May 12, 2012.

Lots of "virtual"-seminary based on hearing N.T. Wright (Research Professor of New Testament & Early Christianity at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland) speak at various InterVarsity conferences (e.g., Following Christ 08) and reading his numerous publications.* Great to have a brief opportunity to chat with Wright, hear him present on the King and the Kingdom, and enjoy his singing (watch for video, in progress) at a fun/conversation filled Saturday afternoon reception/garden party at Hearts & Minds books. Great work Byron! Thank-you!

NT Wright at Hearts and Minds Books, Dallastown, PA. May 12, 2012.

*Note: Picked up a copy of Tom's Targum. Will let you know my thoughts over the summer. If you've already engaged with it, please pass along your "review."

Are you wise? What is wisdom? III

Posted by tom | Apr 14, 2012

According to David A. Dorsey (Evangelical Seminary), Walter C. Kaiser suggests that a proverb is not a promise; that "a stitch in time saves nine" expresses an important truism that a wise person will incorporate into his or her life; but it is not -- nor is it intended to be -- an iron-clad promise (occasionally a stitch in time may not save nine). Dorsey asked as part of the homework:

Do you think this is true of the biblical proverbs? Briefly respond, dealing with each of the following four proverbs in your response: (1) Proverbs 10:1; (2) Proverbs 10:4; (3) Proverbs 15:1; and (4) Proverbs 22:6.

Not sure how well I answered this question. In my homework I shared that I agreed with Kaiser, but preferred Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart’s description of a proverb:

“all things being equal, there are basic attitudes and patterns of behavior that will help a person grow into responsible attitude. . . . a brief, particular expression of truth. The briefer a statement is, the less likely it is to be totally precise and universally applicable . . . phrased in a catchy way to be memorable" (How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth. 3rd ed. Zondervan, 2003, 231-2).

Below are my brief explorations of Proverbs 10:1, Proverbs 10:4, Proverbs 15:1, and Proverbs 22:6, let me know if you agree/disagree with these responses AND what you have to add :)

In Proverbs 10:1, one sees the consequences of one’s behavior. When one follows the way of wisdom, joy comes to one’s parents. When one chooses the path of folly, one brings grief to one’s parents. But it is possible that there is nothing to bring joy to one’s parents, they may be fools and not find joy in their children becoming wise.

In Proverbs 10:4, we read diligence, in contrast to laziness, brings wealth. Although generally true, one may work diligently, as in Christian ministry and/or in a difficult economic context/time (e.g., present day Haiti or the United States during the Great Depression), but receive low income or even live in poverty. Furthermore a rich kid may be lazy, but find wealth increasing due to the diligence and wise investment of those who came before him/her.

In Proverbs 15:1 a gentle response, in contrast to a harsh word, receives reward. But at times and/or with particularly quarrelsome people, gentleness is not received no matter how hard one tries.

In Proverbs 22:6 the consequences of being set in the right direction when young is said to lead to proper behavior throughout one’s life. This is true in many cases, but we all know children who have been raised in a local congregation only to choose another past for the rest of their days. Furthermore, transformation/conversation can occur later in life.

Earlier posts in the series: Are you wise? What is wisdom?, Are you wise? What is wisdom? II.

In partnership with the church, Evangelical Seminary develops servant leaders for transformational ministry in a broken and complex world by nurturing rigorous minds, passionate hearts, and Christ-centered actions.

Are you wise? What is wisdom? Part II

Posted by tom | Apr 13, 2012

Building on Are you wise? What is wisdom? we now have a series birthed by a Proverbs homework assignment for OT532 Historical & Poetic Books (Professor: David A. Dorsey. Evangelical Seminary). Why? Honestly, for the first time in my life I've found the Book of Proverbs hard to put down and I'd like to explore this further ;)

I think that in the past I brought too much of my natural/intuitive inclinations toward the lens of Job and Ecclesiastes to my reading of life, thereby making me impatient with the brevity of assertions/statements found in Proverbs. But this time I've been struck that there's good reason for the Solomonic package to include Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, not to mention the Song of Songs ;) Could it be that intimacy with Lady Wisdom and Lady Folly runs throughout? Let's begin with reading Proverbs 1-9 and wrestling with the question, "What do you perceive to be 5 of the author's most important themes or points in this section?"

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Are you wise? What is wisdom?

Posted by tom | Apr 12, 2012

There are four things on earth that are small but unusually wise:

Ants — they aren’t strong,

but they store up food all summer.

Hyraxes (Or Coneys, or Rock badgers) — they aren’t powerful,

but they make their homes among the rocks.

Locusts — they have no king,

but they march in formation.

Lizards — they are easy to catch,

but they are found even in kings’ palaces.

-- Proverbs 30:24-28New Living Translation (NLT)

Hope to wrap-up the Proverbs assignment for OT532 Historical & Poetic Books (Professor: David A. Dorsey. Evangelical Theological Seminary) this morning. You may be interested in reading that this is the first time I've found the Book of Proverbs hard to put down ;) More thoughts coming, but must turn to the assignment due today at 3pm.

In partnership with the church, Evangelical Seminary develops servant leaders for transformational ministry in a broken and complex world by nurturing rigorous minds, passionate hearts, and Christ-centered actions.

Back to Monday Prayer Time

Posted by tom | Mar 26, 2012

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you wherever he may send you; may he guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm; may he bring you home rejoicing at the wonders he has shown you; may he bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors (197).

After reading week, I once again led opening prayer for SF823: Spiritual Direction Strategies (Professor Jo Ann Kurz, Evangelical). As in the previous sessions I turned to Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals (Shane Claiborne, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, & Enuma Okoro, Zondervan, 2010, http://commonprayer.net/) for insight.*

Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals

The March 26, 2012, entry focused upon Harriet Tubman (1820? – 1913).

Harriet Tubman was born into slavery in the 1820s. In 1849, she had a vision that compelled her to run away, traveling under the cover of night with only the North Star as her guide. Arriving safely in Pennsylvania, she felt like she was in heaven. “I had crossed the line,” she wrote. “I was FREE; but there was no one to welcome me to the land of freedom.” Tubman committed herself to helping others escape to freedom, guiding at least three hundred fugitive slaves to Canada over the course of fifteen years. To those who traveled under her guidance, she was known as Moses. . . .

In a letter to Harriet Tubman, fellow abolitionist Frederick Douglass wrote, “Most that I have done and suffered in the ser-vice of our cause has been in public, and I have received much encouragement at every step of the way. You, on the other hand, have labored in a private way . . . most that you have done has been witnessed by a few trembling, scared, and foot-sore bondsmen and women, whom you have led out of the house of bondage, and whose heartfelt ‘God Bless You’ has been your only reward.” . . .

Thank you, Lord, that throughout history there have been women whose steadfast faith and hope in you have brought about justice, freedom, and security for those who most needed it. We pray we can learn from women like Rahab and Esther and Harriet Tubman what it means to commit our lives to your service. Amen (196-7).

Scriptures were Psalm 119:153 – 56, Exodus 12:14 – 27, Mark 9:30 – 41.

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Does your local congregation desire to take a next step in assisting those with special needs?

Posted by tom | Mar 12, 2012

Tuesday, April 3, 2012. 11 am. Zinn Commons, Evangelical Seminary, 121 South College Street, Myerstown, PA, 17067.

"Grab a cup of coffee with..." Ralph and Carol Honderd from Friendship Ministries, and (CLC Network), both interdenominational ministries designed to share God’s love with persons having intellectual impairments and other developmental disabilities. Click here for a PDF of poster and share with members of your local congregation's pastoral ministry. I'll introduce the gathering by sharing the story of several families, including our own. 

The Honderds retired early from their teaching professions in order to devote more time to spreading the messages of CLC Network and Friendship Ministries and the overall goal of making churches complete and blessed by including and welcoming all God’s people into church families.They emphasize the need for churches to surround and support families dealing with a child or adult with intellectual impairments, disabilities and/or autism. CLC Network has developed a course and course information that can be used by seminaries. CLC is also in the process of putting their seminary presentations on DVD to be used either in classes on site or online. 

Note: Ralph and Carol are graduates of Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Ralph received both his MA and Ph.D. from Michigan State University. Ralph was a professor and coach at Calvin College for 38 years and Carol taught in alternative high school programs for more than 25 years. They have three children and six grandchildren. Their middle child, Karyn, has severe developmental disabilities and presently lives in a local Christian group home.

For more event information call Evangelical at 1-800-532-5775.  

Related article which recently caught my attention: No Barriers Between Us: Enabling people of all (dis)abilities to take part in the community of faith by Nancy J. Patrick (InPart. Winter 2011). Nancy J. Patrick is an associate professor of special education and the director of the graduate program in education at Messiah College (Grantham, Pa.). She’s authored several books on autism spectrum disorders, the most recent entitled Social Skills for Teenagers and Adults with Asperger Syndrome (2008). She and her husband serve as core team members at a church plant, Living Legacy Church, in Hershey, Pa. I have a stack of the periodical with me on April 3 :)

In partnership with the church, Evangelical Seminary develops servant leaders for transformational ministry in a broken and complex world by nurturing rigorous minds, passionate hearts, and Christ-centered actions.

Monday Question Series: What are you using for Monday Prayer Time?

Posted by tom | Mar 12, 2012

Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me. -- Psalm 66:16

Today, I'm leading opening prayer for SF823: Spiritual Direction Strategies(Professor Jo Ann Kurz, Evangelical). As last term, I turned to Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals (Shane Claiborne, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, & Enuma Okoro, Zondervan, 2010) for insight. Note: For the song we'll listen to and/or sing visit Prayer Time: "Woke Up This Morning with My Mind on Jesus". On-line material available at http://commonprayer.net/.

Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals

As for the entry itself, material is drawn from

  • Two saints who have gone before us on this day . . .
    • Maximillian of Thavaste's martyrdom (3/12/295) is celebrated by a feast day today. Apparently because his father Fabius Victor was a soldier in the Roman army, Maximilian was obliged to join at the age of 21. But he refused based on his understanding of the call of Christ, leading him to be considered one of the early conscientous objectors.  
      • "I cannot enlist for I am a Christian. I cannot serve. I cannot do evil . . . You can cut off my head, but I will not be a soldier of this world, for I am a soldier of Christ."
    • Jesuit priest Rutilio Grande (7/5/1928- 3/12/1977, El Salvador) was the first of 17 priests to be martyred in his country due to the countercultural nature of the Gospel. He was driving through the sugar fields near the village of El Paisnal in the Aguilare parish on his way to evening Mass with Manuel Solorzano (72 years old) and Nelson Rutilio Lemus (16 years old), when all three were killed by a machine gun attack. Note: a close friend of Archbishop Oscar Romero and an outspoken opponent of the abuses of the U.S.-backed government.
      • "In 1971 in Rome, the Synod of Bishops on Justice in the World declared: "Action on behalf of justice and participation in the transformation of the world fully appear to us as a constitutive dimension of the preaching of the Gospel, or, in other words, of the Church's mission for the redemption of the human race and its liberation from every oppressive situation. . . . [Rutilio Grande, S.J.] had taken the bishops' statement seriously, and was supporting the efforts of the poor to organize themselves and to struggle for justice." -- Remembering a Salvadoran Martyr (Joseph E. Mulligan, S.J.).
      • 3/12/2012 is the 35th anniversary of the assination of Rutilio Grande, S.J.
  • Psalm 66:16-20: Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me. . . . Note: citation correction to text.
  • Genesis 49:29-50:14: Death of Jacob and the response of the sons as they interact with one-another (remember the drama with Joseph in Egypt!).
  • Mark 5:1-20: Jesus restores a demon-possessed man
  • What are you using for Monday Prayer Time in your own life and/or with a gathering of believers?

    In partnership with the church, Evangelical Seminary develops servant leaders for transformational ministry in a broken and complex world by nurturing rigorous minds, passionate hearts, and Christ-centered actions.

    Prayer Time: "Woke Up This Morning with My Mind on Jesus"

    Posted by tom | Mar 11, 2012

    Tomorrow, I lead opening prayer for SF823: Spiritual Direction Strategies (Professor Jo Ann Kurz, Evangelical). As last term, I turned to Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals (Shane Claiborne, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, & Enuma Okoro, Zondervan, 2010).

    The selection for tomorrow, has an amazing fit for a class conversation regarding grief.* More on Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals March 12 entry, but for now let's turn to the song they ask us to sing, "Woke Up This Morning with My Mind on Jesus," http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CvId9Z6ebw. Note: Music posted here.

    Praise God! Hope you were singing, swinging, and clapping to the glory of God with me!

    *Also a topic which I dug into with

    1. David C. Downing on Friday. His angle being "grief in the life of C.S. Lewis, not just 'A Grief Observed."
    2. Emerging Scholars as part of two posts based upon Paul Nisly's Sweeping Up the Heart: A Father’s Lament for His Daughter (Good Books, 1992), click here.  

    In partnership with the church, Evangelical Seminary develops servant leaders for transformational ministry in a broken and complex world by nurturing rigorous minds, passionate hearts, and Christ-centered actions.

    Poetry appeals more directly to the whole person . . . Part II

    Posted by tom | Mar 7, 2012

    Yesterday, I shared a quote from Tremper Longman III* on Poetry appeals more directly to the whole person . . . 

    How to Read the Psalms

    To emphasize the power of poetry in storytelling, Longman contrasts Exodus 14:26-31 with Exodus 15:1-5. Quite a difference . . .

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