Poetry appeals more directly to the whole person . . .

Posted by tom | Mar 6, 2012

Poetry appeals more directly to the whole person than prose does. It stimulates our imaginations, arouses our emotions, feeds our intellects and addresses our wills. Perhaps this is why poetry is the preferred mode of communication of the prophets, whose purpose depends on capturing the attention of the listeners and persuading them their message is urgent. -- Tremper Longman III. How to Read the Psalms. InterVarsity Press: 1988, p.92.*

How to Read the Psalms

As you may have guessed the class on Old Testament Historical and Poetic Books (David Dorsey, Evangelical) has brought me back to the Book of Psalms. At present I'm working on a paper proposal which will dig into Psalm 139 AND I can't wait to get started! I'm going to focus on Psalm 139:13-16.

 13 For you created my inmost being; 
   you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; 
   your works are wonderful, 
   I know that full well. 
15 My frame was not hidden from you 
   when I was made in the secret place, 
   when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; 
   all the days ordained for me were written in your book 
   before one of them came to be.

*Note: if you're interested in discussing the material with me (possibly even reading How to Read the Psalms alongside me), please drop me a message. For a post from when I read Longman's book in the fall for a class on the Psalms, also with Dorsey, 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.

Evangelical Seminary won re-accreditation from ATS

Posted by tom | Feb 12, 2012

Yesterday via Facebook I read a good report from Tony Blair, President, Evangelical Seminary,

"Evangelical Seminary won re-accreditation from the Association of Theological Schools this week! That's the second group in one week who have looked at us very, very closely and liked what they've seen. It is good to enjoy the affirmation of our peers, and to hear others say what we already know... that what we're doing is good. Very good."

Praise God! As some of you know I've started taking classes at Evangelical. Yes, I'm once again enjoying the opportunity to be an official student at a very good school. To God be the glory!

PS. On Thursday Evangelical Seminary will be host an 11:30 am campus brown bag lunch with Kent Annan, author of two InterVarsity Press books and co-founder of Haiti Partners. For more information click here. What a joy to have this opportunity to partner in the work of the Kingdom of God!

What do these books have in common? Part II

Posted by tom | Jan 24, 2012

In case you were wondering about what books round out those posted at What do these books have in common? Note: First two for OT 532 Historical & Poetic Booksw/Professor David A. Dorsey, the remaining for SF823: Spiritual Direction Strategies with Professor Jo Ann Kurz.

  • Dorsey, David A. "The Literary Structure of the Old Testament: A Commentary on Genesis-Malachi." Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1999. 
  • Fee, Gordon D., and Stuart, Douglas. "How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth." 3rd ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2003. 
  • Kelsey, Morton. "Dreams: A Way to Listen to God." New York: Paulist Press, 1978. 
  • May, Gerald. "The Dark Night of the Soul: A Psychiatrist Explores the Connection Between Darkness and Spiritual Growth." San Francisco: HarperCollins, 2004. 
  • Ruffing, Janet. "Spiritual Direction: Beyond the Beginnings." New York: Paulist Press, 2000.

Hmm . . . Must check to see if I have received:

  • Conroy, Maureen. "Experiencing God’s Tremendous Love: Entering into Relational Prayer." Neptune, NJ: Upper Room Spiritual Center, 1988.

A special thank-you to those who have invested in these seminary classes/expenses (prayer, finances, child care, gifts of books . . .), providing a next step in equipping as the work has extended beyond all earthly expectations with the Christian Scholar Series, Emerging Scholars Network, Penn State Hershey Christian Medical Society (CMS)/CMDA! You are a great blessing for God. As I begin this new day of ministry, I am reminded how the Kingdom of God does not advance except by the Body of Christ serving together.

Look at the time! Must run to a breakfast appointment regarding these labors and then the weekly Penn State Hershey Christian Medical Society (CMS)/CMDA noon lunch lecture featuring a physician from the PSU-Hershey Medical Center. Pray for these conversations/presentations and the advance of the Lord's work. To God be the glory!

What do these books have in common?

Posted by tom | Jan 23, 2012
  • Howard, David M., Jr. "An Introduction to the Old Testament Historical Books." 2nd ed. Chicago, IL: Moody, 2007.
  • Josselson, Ruthellen. "The Space Between Us: Exploring the Dimensions of Human Relationships." Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 1995.
  • Merrill, Eugene H. "Kingdom of Priests: A History of Old Testament Israel. 2nd edition." Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2008.
  • Merrill, Eugene H.; Rooker, Mark F.; and Grisanti, Michael A. "The World and the Word: An Introduction to the Old Testament." Nashville, Tenn.: B & H Publishing, 2011.
  • Nemeck, Francis Kelly and Marie Theresa Coombs. "O Blessed Night: Recovering from Addiction, Codependency and Attachment based on the insights of St. John of the Cross and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin." New York: Alba House, 1991.
  • Noll, Mark A. "Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind." Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2011.

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Ps 19 Part V (Practical Applications)

Posted by tom | Dec 21, 2011

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge." To God be the glory!

Beliefnet article on Forgiveness

Beliefnet article featured in a display at The Power of Forgiveness: Lessons From Nickel Mines (Sponsored by The Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College. 9/22/2011).

In Responding to "The heavens declare the glory of God" (12/8/2011), I noted the focused attention I was giving to Psalm 19. I have posted the resultant paper for Dr. Dorsey's Psalms class at Evangelical in these posts: 

In this final post of the series, I have so much more to say with regard to practical application. None-the-less I offer a few starting places for next steps. Feel free to recommend revisions, corrections, affirmations, and additional practical applications (or work these out further) . . . To God be the glory!

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Ps 19 Part IV (Identify several theological insights)

Posted by tom | Dec 20, 2011

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge." To God be the glory!

Forgiveness Cartoon

Cartoon featured in a display at The Power of Forgiveness: Lessons From Nickel Mines (Sponsored by The Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College. 9/22/2011).

In Responding to "The heavens declare the glory of God" (12/8/2011), I noted the focused attention I was giving to Psalm 19. I have posted the resultant paper for Dr. Dorsey's Psalms class at Evangelical in these subsequent posts: 

Theological insights flow from the Word of God in amazing ways. I offer a few for your encouragement. Feel free to recommend revisions, corrections, affirmations . . . To God be the glory!

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Monday Question Series: Bible Reading?/Saturday Scripture Series: Ps 19 Part III (Verse-by-Verse Commentary)

Posted by tom | Dec 19, 2011

What have you been reading in the Bible lately?

In addition to Advent readings, it's been Psalm 19 for me AND not surprisingly I'm turning to the expanded Saturday Scripture series . . . "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge." To God be the glory!

Psalm 19 Series

Photo taken en route to The Power of Forgiveness: Lessons From Nickel Mines (Sponsored by The Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College. 9/22/2011).

In Responding to "The heavens declare the glory of God" (12/8/2011), I noted the focused attention I was giving to Psalm 19. I have posted the resultant paper for Dr. Dorsey's Psalms class at Evangelical beginning with Saturday Scripture Series: Psalm 19 and Saturday Scripture Series continues on Sunday: Psalm 19 Part II (Historical Setting/Central Point). Now I turn to the section which could have used a lot more time/attention and humbles me with regard to how little I know about the Word of God. Maybe I should have posted a verse a day, but that's not my style ;) I offer what little I have to bless others. Feel free to recommend revisions, corrections, affirmations . . . To God be the glory!

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Saturday Scripture Series continues on Sunday: Psalm 19 Part II (Historical Setting/Central Point)

Posted by tom | Dec 18, 2011

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge." To God be the glory!

Psalm 19 Series Photo

Photo taken en route to The Power of Forgiveness: Lessons From Nickel Mines (Sponsored by The Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College. 9/22/2011).

In Responding to "The heavens declare the glory of God" (12/8/2011), I noted the focused attention I was giving to Psalm 19 and in Saturday Scripture Series: Psalm 19 I gave the first part of my final paper for Dr. Dorsey's Psalms class at Evangelical. May you find the series a blessing. Wish I had more time to give to the paper. Feel free to recommend revisions, corrections, affirmations . . . To God be the glory!

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Saturday Scripture Series: Psalm 19 (Intro/Survey of Modern Theories)

Posted by tom | Dec 17, 2011

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge." To God be the glory!

Psalm 19 Photo

Photo taken en route to The Power of Forgiveness: Lessons From Nickel Mines (Sponsored by The Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College. 9/22/2011)

In Responding to "The heavens declare the glory of God" (12/8/2011), I noted the focused attention I was giving to Psalm 19. I finished the final paper for Dr. Dorsey's Psalms class at Evangelical with more to proces, more say, more to revise, but such is the writing of a recovering perfectionist embracing the mystery of God manifested in His creation ;)

In order not to overwhelm my readers (and to encourage them to come back for more), I've divided the posting of the paper by sections. May you find the piece a blessing. Feel free to recommend revisions, corrections, affirmations . . . Heading out the door with my small upright dolly to help a family involved with the Penn State Hershey Christian Medical Society (CMS)/CMDA with a mid-academic year move. Pray for God's blessing upon their household. Catch-up with you later :)

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Spiritual Reflection Paper: Masters in Spiritual Formation

Posted by tom | Dec 3, 2011

After much prayerful consideration, exploration of future direction in higher education, and a scholarship from a friend, I enrolled in SF511 Spiritual Formation in Ministry. God richly blessed me, my family, and those with whom I minister through the material explored in SF511 Spiritual Formation in Ministry. By registering for SF723: Christian Spiritual Direction, I took a second step in an emerging path toward a Masters of Spiritual Formation and becoming a spiritual director. This paper provides a mid-course window into the discernment process of whether to pursue a path toward a Masters of Spiritual Formation and becoming a spiritual director. The mid-course conclusion is a resounding, “Yes!” To God be the glory! -- From Spiritual Direction Reflection Paper: Masters in Spiritual Formation (11/14/2011).

Our Mission to Theological Educate (Timothy Tennent)

Posted by tom | Nov 8, 2011

“When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” - Deitrich Bonhoeffer. Cost of Discipleship

As a seminary student (Evangelical), parent, and one who equips followers of Christ in their vocation, I've been reflecting on "Our Mission to Theological Educate," http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKPxZVoQo_0 (Timothy Tennent, President of Asbury Seminary, 9/11/2011 Convocation). I encourage you to do likewise, becoming deep, thick, and different with the people of God.


I'm ENTJ how about you?

Posted by tom | Oct 19, 2011

According to the most recent testing, for a Personal Foundations in Ministry class (Evangelical Theological Seminary), my preferences lie with what has been termed ENTJ. In case you're not familiar with the Myers-Briggs Type IndicatorTM (MBTITM), I'm Extroverted (people person), iNuitive (sees possibilities), Thinking (makes decisions based on objective analysis), and Judging (organized/systematic). Supposedly, I'm one of "Life's Natural Leaders."

Honestly, I'm not much for these tests. I think I took my first at the Pennsylvania Governor's School for Teaching (1991) and haven't been convinced of their authoritative value. I appreciate Otto Kroeger and Janet M. Thuesen's TypeTalk: The 16 Personality Types That Determine How We Live, Love, and Work (Dell: 1988) focuses on the MBTITM as a preference indicator on a scale.

Cover of TypeTalk by Otto K.roeger and Janet Thuesen

Questions:

  • If you've taken the MBTITM, where do you fall? 
  • Do you find the MBTITM (or similar tests), helpful (personally and/or for those with whom you work)? 
  • Am I really an ENTJ? If not, how would you characterize me? Note: For more info on personality types, click here.
  • Where does Theresa land on the chart? Do opposites attract? Or are we more alike than different?

More coming . . . 

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.

Library Appreciation -- Let me encourage you

Posted by tom | Oct 1, 2011

Initially I was forwarding The Money May Be Lacking, but a Library Refuses to Go Quietly (Dan Barry. NY Times. 10/1/2011) to share the "good" and "bad" news with a local librarian. As the email developed, I shifted toward a note of encouragement which focused on a particular program which I have recently come to really appreciate.*

Let me encourage you to take a few minutes today to visit your local library and/or share a note of appreciation for their hard work through challenging times. If you have the resources, consider a small gift to assist them as they press on during these difficult financial times.

*Recently I've been enjoying a monthly Genealogy Workshop. I've appreciated the research tools, hints, and personal mentoring as I've begun the arduous construction of a multi-generational genogram for a Personal Foundations in Ministry class (Evangelical Theological Seminary). As you may guess, the professor is zeroing in on how family traits/behavior/stories (positive/negative) are passed on through generations. I'm not sure how many stories of family dysfunctionality and their generational influence I can handle, but the wrestlings approached from the proper direction enable one to actively engage in the healing process in one's life with a ripple effect out into family, life, ministry.

Currently I'm reading Secrets of Your Family Tree: Healing for Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families, which 'sets the stage' by reviewing the stories of David and Isaac. The professor made an excellent choice. It's going to take quite awhile to process through and discuss the material in Secrets of Your Family Tree. I encourage you to check to see if your local library (in the community, local assembly, campus) has a copy. More on the book (and family tree/genograms/storytelling) coming . . .

FYI: Reformation Day (Oct 31, 2007) is a post with some Grosh family history.

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.

A Day in the Life of a Spouse of a Seminary Student

Posted by tom | Sep 20, 2011

On Saturday, a part-time seminary student heard his spouse express surprise with the line:

Secondly, Dahood’s reading of verses 2-4 as “an introductory stanza of praise,” leads an emphasis on Ugaritic cultic worship parallels of “my mountain” and “my stronghold” in verse 2 (1965-1970, 104). 

The spouse was proofing the seminarian's paper on How to Read the Psalms: Psalm 18:2, 16. Afterward she thought there should be an honorary degree for such reading.

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Are are up to being a "Time Changer"?

Posted by tom | Sep 19, 2011

Time Changer

In a phone conversation on Friday, a friend mentioned the film Time Changer (2002). I remember hearing about Time Changer a few years ago, but I never took the time to watch it. Now that I'm finally becoming part of a seminary community -- heading out to Evangelical Seminary later this morning and then logging in via Blackboard tomorrow -- I'm once again reminded of the importance of how seminary communities and their professors consider their calling/legacy. Maybe with Grove City College's Homecoming on Saturday and our celebration of 15 years since graduation, I'm also reflecting about the incredible legacy of the work of God at Grove City College.

So I'm adding Time Changer to the queue. If you have a copy which you could loan us, let us know. Also, if you've seen the film and have thoughts about it (especially if you're connected with a seminary in some fashion), let me know.

Christ Hall at Evangelical Seminary in 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.

Harbison Chapel at SunsetSince its founding in 1876, Grove City College, committed to Christian principles, has striven to be equal in academic quality to the finest four year colleges. It seeks to provide liberal and professional education of the highest quality that is within the reach of families with modest means who desire a college that will strengthen their children's spiritual and moral character.

 

How to Read the Psalms

Posted by tom | Sep 11, 2011

How To Read The Psalms by Tremper Longman III

In addition to Sacred Companions: The Gift of Spiritual Friendship & Direction (David G. Benner. IVP. 2002), which I'm reading for SF723: Christian Spiritual Direction, I'm also digging into How to Read the Psalms (Tremper Longman III. IVP. 1988)* for OT559: Psalms. Wish I would have picked up this InterVarsity Press book years ago! A lot to share, but I couldn't help "kick off" the fall season with . . .

Worship in many churches is a spectator sport. If we listen to the commands of the psalmist, our worship will radically change. It will become communal and enthusiastic:

Clap your hands, all you nations;

shout to God with cries of joy. (47:1)

Ascribe to the LORD, O mighty ones,

Ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.

Ascribe to the LORD glory due his name;

worhip the LORD in the splendor o his holiness. (29:1-2)

Praise the LORD, O my soul;

all my inmost being; praise his holy name.

Praise the LORD, O my soul,

and forget not all his benefits (103:1-2)

The Psalms were born from life struggles, and they speak to people who struggle today. They also arose from people who had experienced liberation from struggle, and so we find expression to our joy when God liberates us from oppression.

Conclusion

As we read a psalm, we learn about God and his care for us. We learn about ourselves as well. We understand our situation better because the whole gamut of human experience is expressed in the Psalter. As David Hubbard put it, the Psalms speak to all seasons of our souls [Psalms for All Seasons (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1971) and More Psalms for All Seasons (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1975].

Our intellect is informed, our emotions are refined, and our wills are directed. What further motivation do we need to spend time reading and meditating on the Psalms?

Amen!

*Note: if you're interested in discussing the material with me (possibly even reading How to Read the Psalms alongside me), please drop me a message.

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

Sacred Companions: Hospitality, Presence & Dialogue, Chapter 2

Posted by tom | Sep 8, 2011

Sacred Companions cover

As you may remember, I began sharing material from Sacred Companions: The Gift of Spiritual Friendship & Direction (David G. Benner. IVP. 2002), which I'm reading for SF723: Christian Spiritual Direction, with Sacred Companions off the shelf and in the reader's hand (8/25/2011) and followed up with material from Chapter 1 (8/28/2011).* In Chapter 2: Hospitality, Presence & Dialogue, I begin to wrestle with the call of spiritual direction.

Hospitality, Presence & Dialogue begins with an illustration of the author, as a parent, learning from his "son about being a companion on a journey . . . a successful tour leader" (46, 46).

All it takes is liking people enough that you don't mind being with them eighteen hours a day, listening to them enough to know what they want and like even better than they do, and being ready to be their mother and take care of whatever goes wrong! (46)

How true it is that "[b]eing must precede doing. . . . spiritual friendship is a gift of hospitality, presence and dialogue. While all of these have a component of doing -- that is, they have to be lived out -- they are grounded in ways of being" (46).

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The Awakened Heart: Opening Yourself to the Love you Need

Posted by tom | Sep 4, 2011

Sacred Companions cover

I sleep, but my heart is awake. -- The Song of Songs 5:2

As you may have noticed I've started posts for SF723: Christian Spiritual Direction with Sacred Companions off the shelf and in the reader's hand (8/25/2011). Another reading for SF723 is The Awakened Heart: Opening Yourself to the Love you Need (Gerald G. May, M.D. HarperCollins. 1991). A quick internet search brought up an interview of May (a psychiatrist, author, and spiritual counselor), regarding his seventh book, see http://www.csec.org/csec/sermon/may_3513.htm.

According to the interview, May found The Awakened Heart difficult to write because material on practicing the presence of love (influenced by Brother Lawrence's Practicing the Presence of God) kept flowing. I can't wait to read how he addresses the cultural conflict between efficiency and love and how the parents love of their children informs a household's understanding of God.

Pray for Theresa and myself that we may truly love our children and not demand production (at our local assembly, home, school, athletic field/gym, music hall . . .).

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

 

Sacred Companions: The Transformational Journey, Chapter 1

Posted by tom | Aug 28, 2011

Sacred Companions cover

I began sharing material from Sacred Companions: The Gift of Spiritual Friendship & Direction (David G. Benner. IVP. 2002), which I'm reading for SF723: Christian Spiritual Direction, with the post Sacred Companions off the shelf and in the reader's hand (8/25/2011). Below I pick up with Chapter 1.* Note: if you're interested in discussing the below material with me (possibly even reading Sacred Companions alongside me), please drop me a message. 

Chapter 1: The Transformational Journey dives into framing spiritual friendship in terms of a biblically based understanding of accompaniment on a journey. The follower of Christ engages in "a journey of following and trusting God as he leads us on the adventure he has planned for us" (26). Who/what comes to mind in Scripture?

How about Abraham, the children of Israel in the wilderness, Jonah (added by Tom), the call of disciples to follow Jesus (Mark 1:14-19, 2:13-17; Luke 5:1-11, 27-32; John 1:35-51), Paul (added by Tom), John in the book of Revelation (added by Tom)?

"The essence of Christian spirituality is following Christ on a journey of personal transformation. The distant land to which we are called is not heaven. . . . The distant land is the new creaure into which Christ wishes to fashion us -- the whole and holy person that finds his or his uniqueness, identity and calling in Christ [inside-out (27)]. Spiritual friends accompany each other on that journey. . . . The inner self counts and in fact is the primary focus of the personal transformation that Jesus calls conversion" (26 - 27).

As I asked in Sacred Companions off the shelf and in the reader's hand (8/25/2011), with whom do you share your soul? Is your spiritual life centered upon the Spirit of God, in union with God through Christ (16-17)?

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Sacred Companions off the shelf and in the reader's hand

Posted by tom | Aug 25, 2011

Sacred Companions cover

If you've been in my office (or seen pictures of it), you know that I have a small library. And when upstairs I regularly look out the window to see/hear my kids excitedly receive/open deliveries of more books to add to the queue :) Thankfully, as I begin reading for the fall term at Evangelical Theological Seminary (Myerstown, PA), I had opportunity to pull Sacred Companions: The Gift of Spiritual Friendship & Direction (David G. Benner. IVP. 2002) off the shelf for SF723: Christian Spiritual Direction.

For some reason, Sacred Companions has sat unread for several years. Now's my opportunity to focus upon a piece by a clinical psychologist who is "concerned about the predominantly therapeutic face of soul care in our culture's church and society" and the entrusting of "the care of the inner life of persons to experts who understand their role primarily in problem-solving and therapeutic terms" (18). "The care of souls is much too important to be left to clinical professionals" and as an amateur Benner does what he does "out of passion" (19). Amen!

Below are a few quotes/questions, more coming as time permits. Such is the life of an amateur :)

Preface

Of all the social changes in the last several decades, nothing as surprised me more than the recent rise of interest in spirituality ["a person's awareness of and rsponse to the Divine" (15)]. For many in Western societies, a hunger for the sacred has emerged out of the bankruptcy of materialism and secularism. And for many in the church, a longing for a deep encounter with God has arisen out of the arid soil of knowing about God but having little personal, experiential knowing of him (13).

Benner wrote in 2002. I find spirituality rich, complex, and experimental on campus (especially Penn State - Hershey Medical Center). I enjoy carrying over musings and resources from the campus to family, local assembly, neighbors, library, etc. But what is spirituality like in the larger culture? Thoughts? 

In the core of our being [i.e., soul (15)] we yearn for intimacy. We want people to share our lives. We want soul friends ["offer each other the sacred gift of accompaniment on the human journey" (15)]. We were never intended to make the life pilgrimage alone.  And attempting to make the spiritual journey on our own is particularly hazardous.

Paradoxically, however, what we most deeply long for we also fear. How else can we explain our reluctance to be genuinely known by those with whom we are most intimate? Often it seems that what we want is the fruit of companionship without the demands of genuine intimacy (14).

Amen!

With whom do you share your soul? Is your spiritual life centered upon the Spirit of God, in union with God through Christ (16-17)?

Personally, I have found through the years the below soul/true friends of great value, helping me "remember that this is our Father's world" (17-18).

  • my spouse
  • a small groups of spiritual friends ["nuture the development of each other's soul" (16)] with whom I meet monthly (various configurations through the years)
  • weekly prayer meetings
  • various mentors, in particular faculty and partners-in-ministry who have invested significant time during specific seasons of my life
  • several spiritual directors ["one-on-one relationship organized around prayer and conversation directed toward deepening intimacy with God" (17)].

Back to reading. It may be awhile before the next post. The life of an amateur blogger/writer and those who journey with him ;)

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

Fall 2011 at Evangelical Theological Seminary

Posted by tom | Aug 17, 2011

Looking over the syllabi for my three fall classes at Evangelical Theological Seminary, Myerstown, PA:

I ask for prayer as I

  • focus attention to accomplish a growing workload. Note: If three is too much, I'll drop 1.
  • apply what I learn directly to walking with God when alone or in the home, local assembly, campus (especially PSU-Hershey), classroom, blog, "cloud."

In retrospect it was a very good decision to take

  • one class in the spring to warm up
  • one class in the summer to finish off the Brethren in Christ Core Classes -- particularly with all the children at home and play.

Time to wrap up some summer reading/writing and dive into a fresh pile of material :)

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

Learning about Leading

Posted by tom | Jul 18, 2011

Finished Another Reading List for Tom (and the reaction papers -- they'll be posted when I have time). In a few minutes, I'm heading out to Leadership & Structure within the Brethren in Christ Church Core Course, hosted by Carlisle Brethren in Christ Church. Can't wait to discuss leadership. It's been awhile and I have changed some in my perspective. More on that later. . . .

Another Reading List for Tom

Posted by tom | Jun 30, 2011

What do these books have in common?

Articles of Government, Canadian Conference Brethren in Christ: most current edition. (Canadian participants are to read this document. It is available through the Canadian Conference Office) -- being 'South of the border,' not necessary for me

Manual of Doctrine and Government, General Conference Brethren in Christ Church: most current edition. (US participants are to read this document. It is available through Evangel Press and/or as a download from the Denominational Website http://www.bic-church.org/about/manual.asp) -- received

Your own Regional Conference Bylaws: most current edition. (Available through your Bishop’s office) -- received

Leadership Books

Collins, Jim. Good to Great and the Social Sectors: A Monograph to Accompany Good to Great. HarperCollins: 2005. -- received 7/1/2011. Thank-you for the loan Carl!

Herrington, Jim, Creech, R. Robert, and Taylor, Trisha. The Leader’s Journey – Accepting the Call to Personal and Congregational Transformation. Jossey-Bass: San Francisco. 2003. -- in process of receiving

Hoke, Kenneth O. Servant Leadership and Theological Understandings: Does the Theology of the Brethren in Christ Impact the way we choose to lead? Unpublished Doctoral Thesis: 2001. (Available through the CMD office at www.bic-church.org/equipping) -- received

Johnson, Spencer. Who Moved My Cheese? G. P. Putnam’s Sons: New York. 1998. -- checked out the library

Rinehart, Stacy T. Upside Down, The Paradox of Servant Leadership. NavPress Publishing Group: Colorado Springs, Colorado. 1998. -- -- in process of receiving

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Family history (and parenting) on my mind. How about yours?

Posted by tom | May 26, 2011

Over the past several days as I've shared about On-line Literature Circles [see On-line Literature Circles and H.G. Wells Interview ;)], I've personally reflected upon the influence of family (and family history) on what

  • I value (and how I live)
  • my children value (and how they live/grow up, seeing who/what is truly 'god' in our house)
  • those with whom I minister value (and how they incarnate the Gospel with 'head, heart, and hands' in their life/vocation).

This is a topic which I dug into last week in two on-line posts:

If you've not already read these posts, I encourage you to do such.

Additional comment: If parenting is part of your daily life, you intend it to be, or you counsel/minister among parents/children, then Wise Stewards: Philosophical Foundations of Christian Parenting is a must read as you shape your philosophy of Christian parenting. If you have not already done such, please take the time to check it out this summer. Maybe this is an apt piece for an on-line book discussion. Maybe I should ask the teacher from Dongal Spring Elementary for some ideas, even a rubric :-0

ESN Post: The Incarnational Stream & Higher Education

Posted by tom | May 13, 2011

The Incarnational Stream & Higher Education (5/12/2011) is the 1st in a series inspired the Spring 2011 'Spiritual Formation in Ministry' class  which I took at Evangelical Theological Seminary. The post also gives you the heads up that we'll be discussing Head, Heart & Hands: Bringing Together Christian Thought, Passion and Action (Dennis Hollinger. InterVarsity Press, 2005) this summer. So if you don't already have a copy, it's time to borrow/invest in one ;)

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