Tuesday, December 27, 2011

We Three Kings (a post for Christmas Vacation)

This post title strikes significance, both in flashbacks and in the distinct representation of the phrase “we three kings”. The flashback comes from me being back in Louisville for college and I was playing Guitar Hero 3 in a friend’s room (this was before I had the game on Wii) and I hear a rock cover song of “We Three Kings” and think to myself, what an incredible way to tell people about how the 3 wise men come around and worship the greatest King of all, our Messiah Jesus.

Christmas has been very joyful for me thus far. Despite the craziness that has happened not even within the 24 hours of me being here, Satan is trying to steal my joy from me. I am driving over to my brother’s house in the attempt to do laundry, and my car dies in the middle of a major intersection of an Austin highway. I waited 2 hours for a tow truck to come and pick up my car to take it back to my uncle’s house. I posted not even a week ago about how it’s important for a Jewish person to know about Jesus being their Messiah and how that can be the greatest joy that they would ever know! How could I go about my day and not express that to people in my own life? That would be kind of hypocritical of me. So I just sat back and decided to worry about it when the time was right.

Anyway, after some time spent with the family over a Christmas show at Gateway Church and then a candlelight service, the entire family sat down for the infamous “Feast of 7 Fishes”. On Christmas Eve (in Italian families) you will eat until your face explodes from being stuffed with shrimps, scallops, mussels, clams, codfish, and of course pasta. I know it’s not the traditional seven, but in some cases you will get short changed. If I pull this off for my own family, my menu would look something like this:

1) Shrimp Fra Diablo (Spaghetti with Shrimp in a spicy Rosa cream-style tomato sauce)
2) Blackened Salmon Fillets stuffed with crab meat
3) Snow Crab legs (this is usually what my mom will make on Christmas Eve)
4) Fried Calamari
5) Mussels in a lemon butter garlic sauce
6) Pan-seared scallops
7) Lobster or crab stuffed Ravioli

As I desire to keep growing in the culinary arts, mastering Christmas Eve (as an Italian) would be vital for my career in becoming a restaurant style chef so let’s just hope that I could pull it off. It will take money and practice for me…I will do this eventually, maybe after seminary. The food preparation would be like something I could ask for the same way Julie Powell did with her blog when she wrote about cooking lobster (out of “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”) when she set up her PayPal account, I could afford to get the ingredients or dishes themselves. Always wishful thinking when it comes to me.

Right before I came down to Austin, I was working on a video game I had been playing as of late. I’m sure if you pay attention to TV, Facebook, Twitter, or to anything in general, you might hear someone mention a video game called “Skyrim”, and it is unbelievable. I play it in the attempt of trying to become a master wizard. I am doing whatever I can to level myself up to become a super powerful mage. I am going through training at a college, similar to the concept of Hogwarts. I have a character called “Nachash” (the Hebrew word for snake), and I am just attempting to level him up by any means necessary. Keep in mind however, legal matters may slow the process down, but it is still worth the effort to play the game on a consistent basis.

Before coming back to Fort Worth, Donna and I went out to the movies and saw the Muppets! We went to the famous movie theater in Austin (Alamo Drafthouse). We sat down and were able to eat a meal together while watching a movie, how cool is that?
ell now that I have blogged fairly sufficiently, I am taking a temporary hiatus. I will not be taking my computer with me to Florida..

I won’t have the ability to seriously blog for a while, so when you read this, know I am not giving it up, I am just taking a much needed break to enjoy my new life as a married man.


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas to everyone! May your holiday be blessed

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Planning a nice night out in downtown Austin with Donna; I'm thinking homeslice pizza on SoCo
Having a vacation that was must needed
Watching Christmas movies :)
Going through book of Romans for quiet time
Reading Children of Hurin by JRR Tolkien
Italian feast of 7 fishes for Christmas Eve
Celebrating Christmas...I'm in Austin celebrating with family.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The importance of Christmas to a Jewish believer

Why would a Christian holiday be so important for a Jewish person, considering that Jews are blamed for the death of Jesus and there is so much animosity between these two groups of people?

Well, here's the deal: JESUS WAS JEWISH!!!!!

Everything that was written about a "Messiah" in the Old Testament, that all was written about one person. Jesus is the Messiah that was promised to the Jewish people, and there was lots and lots of rejoicing that should have taken place, but as a result of some hidden cover up by the authorities and high priests of the Jewish faith. The chief priests knew that Jesus was who he said he was, but they were so determined to cover up what was the truth to hold on to their power that they didn't bother to see what could happen. The Jewish people could finally have peace. A real peace that only Jesus brings.

The point I wish to make is this...

Everything that all believers on earth know about Jesus has reached a dramatic turning point. Jesus came and walked on the earth, lived a life without sin, and lived that life with the intent of giving it all away for people who don't deserve to have a life at all.

The greatest joy for a Jewish person should be to know the Messiah. Nothing breaks me down more than Christmas worship music does. It's the realization that the promises that God made to my people are all true.

"O Lord, You are my God, I will exalt you; I will praise your name. For you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure!" Isaiah 25:1

Lord, Nothing breaks my heart more than the ache of knowing that my own people have rejected the most important name that there is.


"The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness on THEM has light shined" Isaiah 9:2

The list of passages that can be drawn from the Old Testament goes on and on, but the bottom line, it all only points to one person, and that's JESUS!!!! Tell people about him this holiday season. That's what we are called to do as believers.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Holiday Season has started

It's now December 2011!

HOLY CRAP! Looking back on things, I have come a huge leap and bounds long way from where I was last year. It's hard to believe I have been with Donna a year, and in less than a month we are getting married. It's the overwhelming shock and awe feeling that every guy feels when they get this close to getting hitched I suppose.

Well I am working 32 hours a week still, taking 12 hours of seminary classes and struggling to find a balance in life no matter what is thrown at me. God likes to present us with challenges, and as I have been maturing and getting further and further into this new reality, God just gives me a new mindset of "Oh, this is how it's going to be, so you need to get used to it and do it the way that I say you should do it". I am one who learns things the super, super hard way, so when I am told that "no, you are no longer going to do things the way you have been doing them, but rather..." "you now have to do it this way because its expected of you to them this way," I freak out.

School is just around the corner from finishing. I have my final exam day on the 12th, and then I will be getting into the preparing mode for the wedding, finishing up the preparation and everything along those lines.

Gotta get back to studying.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Donna is coming home today :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A post for Thanksgiving.

Now that I am sitting down in a place where I can gather all of my thoughts, Thanksgiving was not a typical thing for me this year. my fiance has been feeling ill for a while now, and hopefully the surgery that she has had will change how she feels. I am just glad for the advances in medicine and technology that exist today. We truly have an amazing God, don't we? He creates knowledge that people take away and can develop into serious helpful tools that the world will take away for the gain of society.

This was by no means a great thanksgiving. But I was however, with my family. That's what matters the most to me in times where there is great distress. That I am with the people who love me. Especially my future wife.

Even in the hospital, there are things to be thankful for. I sat down with my brother Brian and had thanksgiving dinner in the hospital cafeteria. It wasn't bad actually. Plus today, Brian got here from Austin and gave me the first of my birthday presents (technically the second ones) I got coupons for all of my free food I get on my birthday, so yeah, the second presents.

For the serious bloggers out there, only you would get the significance of me getting a Julia Child cookbook (don't worry Julie Powell, I won't do what you did) But if I could, I totally would go through this cookbook and blog about it, but this isn't the same cookbook. It's called "THE WAY TO COOK", and it's great because there are pictures in it. I can gather my ideas for what I want to cook for dinners and stuff like that, and it doesn't have to be a complicated endeavor either. Anyway, I am off to work on a paper, so I will blog again soon over the weekend.

She is in recovery from an important surgery. Will be in the hospital until Sunday.
Thanksgiving was in the hospital cafeteria today
It's a former military housing apartment with hardwood floors.
Well...Donna and I have a place finally.
Hope that your thanksgiving is very very blessed today

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Power of 13

The Power of 13

This is a retrospective of my life from the time I was 13 leading up until now. Showing what God has done and what he has yet to do…

1) 1999
a. Moved to Florida
b. Settled into an official “youth group” setting
c. Back in Public School (was home-schooled for 7th grade)
d. Got used to a brand new life
e. Had trouble with people at school, was getting made fun of a lot.
f. Big into Pokémon cards

2) 2000
a. Transition into High School
b. Struggling to make the most of who I was
c. Started thinking about where I was going to college
d. Met Christian friends
e. Became an uncle

3) 2001
a. Hated my life
b. Wanted to commit suicide
c. Made fun of the most during this time
d. 9/11

4) 2002
a. Came close to being the target of an anti-Semitic hate crime
b. Really dug into the music realm
i. Creed
ii. Weezer
iii. Linkin Park
c. Got the biggest into video games
i. Got a Nintendo Game Cube
d. Got a new youth pastor
e. Big into Smallville

5) 2003
a. Went on a trip to Japan
i. Got my calling into the ministry
b. Felt like I was being pushed to the side in my church
i. Felt like the new youth pastor played favorites and I knew I wasn’t one of them
c. Got to the hardest point (academically) in High School
d. Went on my first passion conference
i. Became an uncle again

6) 2004
a. Got my first real job (Chick-Fil-A)
b. Transition into college
c. Started serving as a youth group leader in Middle School
d. Got the start of my independence
i. Driving a 2003 Ford Taurus SES
ii. Music was the deepest thing for me
1. Discovered “Running Just to Catch Myself” by Mark Schultz, and it has become my absolute favorite song of all time.

7) 2005
a. First instance of being an adult
i. Tax Return
b. First real date I have ever been on (Amber Wilson)
c. Got my first iPod
i. Showed what hard work can do if you put your mind to it.
d. Went on tour of Boyce College
e. Became a mission trip leader
i. Went to New York City on the other side of the youth fence as a LEADER
f. Went to a youth ministry conference in Nashville
g. Went to Israel

8) 2006
a. Went away to College
i. Discovered how capable I really am
ii. Made great friends
iii. Got a whole new perspective on my life
b. Had the hard lessons to learn
i. People started showing me tough love in an attempt to show me that I needed to grow.

9) 2007
a. First realized how I need to not be selfish
i. Gave so much of myself in order for people to get by
b. Realized a calling that God has given me was laying hidden in my mind, so I changed the path I was taking.

10) 2008
a. Got a glimpse into my future, and watched 2 different friends get married, thinking that it would never be me.
b. Got the deepest into video games
i. Worked a summer and bought a Wii
c. Got serious with my ministry, and started planning for the biggest things of all

11) 2009
a. Spent a summer in Japan as a missionary
b. Went to Southwestern Seminary and got a glimpse of what life would be like

12) 2010
a. My health took a turn for the worse
i. Hospitalized for a Heart Attack
b. Graduated from College
i. Showed the world that I was capable of being so much more than what I already was
c. Transitioned to Southwestern Seminary
i. Made close friends
1. Found out who the true friends were
d. Met the person I was meant to marry

13) 2011
a. Preached my first revival
b. Had a girlfriend
i. Asked her to marry me
c. Licensed for the Ministry
i. Taught 2 sermons on 2 different Sundays in the church
d. Realized that my selfishness was running my life and I had to do something to stop it.
i. Had so much happen to me at once, God was breaking down walls and showing me that I really did have to change and make things happen in my life.
Today makes 2 months until my wedding day, and in the month of November, I say the things that make me thankful for each day.

November 7th, Thank You Lord for allowing me to get this far in being engaged, and for all you are going to do in the 2 months until my wedding day. You are the master of my destiny O God, and I cannot live my life or take a single breath without you!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Aspbergers Awareness

With less than 3 months to go before the big day, things are swirling around in my head of how to handle life in general, especially social interactions with others around me. I have so many questions about how to do things differently from what i have been doing, but as I start to gather these answers, I am left in more confusion and shock. But my answers are coming. This is all about me, the dude with aspbergers syndrome.

For the longest time, I have learned how to interact socially, and sometimes i fail at how i interact because I don't know what to say, and will come up with inappropriate responses to people. I try to be funny, but the truth is, I am scared, scared of how to interact with others around me, because I don't know what to say to people or what to do, it is just tough for me to react.

Large crowds are a problem, because I am constantly thinking of how to respond to people's comments, and to react to jokes and statements, It is an overwhelming, stressful situation. Large crowds make me stressed out because I am forced to interact. I wonder if a lot of the problems i have created for myself stem out of large crowds and being in these situations. Overhwleming social interactions can cause problems for those people who have Aspbergers syndrome, but I am 25 years old, how long with this excuse be able to played before people so they can think that I can get away with my problems, I don't know what to do. God give me strength, grant me the serenity...to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things that I can change, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Time has slipped

Sorry everyone, the last post was over a month ago and for good reason (not really) I AM BUSY AS HELL. seriously, 12 hours of seminary course work and 32 hours a week working for the SWBTS Physical Plant can drain a person. Not to mention planning a wedding, but I am truly glad that everything will be coming to its end here really soon. October 7th makes officially 3 months before Donna and I tie the knot; and it is just insane for me. I am getting closer and closer to realizing how great this adventure will be; as the reception hall comes together, the guest list, just everything about the wedding is coming together so nicely. Right now, I am on my fall break from seminary, which is ridiculous because I only take classes 1 day a week, and then I had saved up Paid Time Off from work, so I applied that to this week and am just using those hours while I am off from work as well, so I can have money saved up. My dynamics and values about life in general are changing for the better, but at what cost I ask?

I had come to a horrible place in my life that truly did (in my opinion, but not reality of the situation) cost me everything. Over the weekend of September 23-25th, I would have been attending a retreat with the singles ministry at Southcliff Baptist Church, but like a damn coward, I wanted to leave. I was so selfish in my life, I had made all the wrong choices, and I am here to tell you that life is not all about you, it's just not. We have to step back and say, God you have blessed my life with so many people, so why must I trample all over them? God breaks your heart in areas where it needs breaking. He seriously does, and often times we hate it when God pulls us to the corner like a loving, disciplining father who needs to teach us that it is not okay to do the things that we do. That is what I have learned. As important as I think my life is, "you are a legend in your own mind" you want people to notice you, well take some time and notice other people first.

God has broken through a lot of things in myself that I have not even been seeing in my own life, but others have, and I am just so grateful that people made the difficult decisions necessary in my life to help me succeed, I want to do great things for God's glory, and if that means I have to be taught hard lessons, then SO BE IT. God work in me so I can be used, I don't want to be a useless rusted out tool in your shed, I want to be effective.

More posts are to come, I am writing this one from my Fall Break trip to South Florida, so I am enjoying my time with family.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Starting another long year of ministry and life at SWBTS.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The official (I'm going to say) 3rd season of Flashdevo

I wish I could say that my blogging reviews about what I read in the Bible could be considered like seasons in a TV Show, that would be pretty cool, wouldn't it? But anyway I haven't been working hard enough to keep in the word of God, so I will try my hardest this school year in a state where I could be reading the Bible over and over again, and tell you about how God speaks to me.

So now, the book of Isaiah. (Anytime I hear the words of a prophet it gives me encouragement because the potential still exists in me to have the gift of prophecy strictly due to my namesake, and there honestly have been times where I could say I have had prophetic visions. I have been going through this book throughout the entire summer and eventually hit a wall and paused the time that I would read, but I was going through both the gospels and Isaiah, 1 chapter at a time. This time I was up to chapters 15-19, since that is where I chose to make my pause.

These chapters (15-19) focus tremendously on Isaiah's ability to cast visions or in the way he describes them "oracles" on other places. Particularly the focus i wish to draw from this section is chapter 19 on Egypt.It's remarkable to see how God moves in these chapters because there is a great amount of turmoil happening in the world today, particularly in Egypt, and to see that it can be discussed, that's incredible.

Now as far as the book of Matthew is concerned...I have also been in chapters 15-19, 19 was talking in the sense of marriage, and how Jesus was getting on the pharisees for that. As usual, they were trying to get Jesus to make some sort of foul up (as usual) but Jesus being who he is (praise his name) wouldn't stand for such a confrontation and just takes the law and throws it right back into the faces of those who would oppose him.

Look for more as chapter 20s of each book are discussed in the next post.


Video Game Reviews (Halo and Halo Reach)

This summer I had been so intent on doing so much stuff (mainly reading) yeah, like that was really going to happen. With all of the things falling through the cracks with my job at the Mattress Factory in June, I wasn't able to allow myself to do the things I should have been doing, like spending my time reading. I am actually glad that I have an iPhone, because I am able to listen to my quiet times during the week (like going through the book of Matthew/Isaiah)

I really should be writing flashdevos for all of that, so yeah, let me finish this post first and I will go back and do that, for the first time in so long.

Okay so, this summer my roommate Mark and I have been playing Halo. I remember in April I had a ton of Pokemon stuff, and I finally sold off all of that stuff and now I have Halo games. Best decision I ever made let me tell you. I haven't gotten this excited about playing a video game since I played Medal of Honor: Frontline when that first came out.

The concept of the game is just incredible to me, and today we finished the first game (Halo). Granted I have a long, long way to catch up with all of my friends who have been playing these games for the longest time, but better late than never I suppose. I am working my way through the games getting closer and closer to Halo 4 when it comes out in 2012. I saw the trailer a few weeks ago, I am very excited for it.

These are the games I have played that have made my all time favorite list:

1) Legend of Zelda series
The tops in this series are: Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, and Twilight Princess

2) Medal of Honor series
The only game that matters in this series for me is Frontline

3) Halo series

4) Pokemon series

5) Kingdom Hearts series

Anyway, look later for my flashdevos. I will be going through Matthew 15-19 and Isaiah 15-19 in the next post.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Another school year approaches

Today is the 16th of August...1 year ago, I was sleeping on the second floor of Fort Worth Hall. I had come to Texas with the expectation that God was going to do something amazing. I seriously had no clue what was going to happen. In a year's time...

Okay let's see...

I got to school hating myself because I didn't have a job, now I have a job and have been banking money like it's going out of style. God pulled me out of a horrible work situation and allowed me to see how much he would be able to do in me if I was just willing to trust in him.

I didn't really have a great deal of direction in my life, considering that i had just gotten through 4 years of Bible College and didn't really care how I had performed in school, for me it was just a matter of finishing, period. Wow, was I wrong, I truly needed to get things done in a way that pleased the Lord, and now I see, holy crap! I need to work as hard as I possibly could.

School is an amazing situation for me, but as this is seminary and not college, I literally have to push myself harder than I could ever have imagined. Keep up with my blog this semester, as I will intentionally be trying to get as much posted here as I can. I have to seriously pick a day and time to do this, because with the new semester schedule being as insane as it will be, I have to plan this very very carefully. I will do my best to post, even if it means I forget to do it, but I will try to remember.

Be blessed, and Happy School Year.


I would never have seen the friends that I had made, or the people that I spend all of my time with, Lord in heaven, things have changed for me.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Praying that God would fix my circumstances...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I also found out who my true friends were.
2011...I found love.
God also showed me in order to have your life together, sometimes you have to have it broken and you find what you need to have.
2010...God let my life hang in the balance in order for me to get it back.
2007...learned to not be selfish
2006...taken out of what was normal to me and God started shaping me into who I was supposed to be.
2004...gained some freedom and was challenged to become something greater.
2002...I learned to stand up for myself.
Scared out of my mind that I had to "start over", but learned that God is glorified in the midst of change.
1999...moved to Florida.
Crazy to think how far in life I've come...

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Post Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Post

In every word of the title of the post, I ahd to give a little bit of insight into the movie event of the entire year, that is the second half of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows". Being a huge fan of the series, both movies and books, I had to say that as far as the relationship to the book from the movie, this was by far the best that I could possibly see. The movie was so close to the book, the story was absolutely flawless. I was blown away by the way the movie was done. It was perfect in every absolute regard and I would see it a very thousand more times if I had the ability to do so. Go see it, it's worth it, and by all means tell everyone about it.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Grateful to celebrate my fiance's birthday today...still looking forward to more celebration tonight.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

As I get older, I have come to find that life just keeps getting harder and harder. Only God can hold my head up and say to me EVERYTHING IS OKAY!!!

Monday, July 4, 2011

In Grandbury, TX having dinner at Babe's Chicken House...amazing food and amazing fellowship!
Looking forward to celebrating the 4th tonight!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Back in Texas and back in with a regular routine. Looking forward to a long weekend.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Had a date night with Donna the other night...beach day followed by dinner and a movie; Mr. Poppers Penguins :)
Florist, DJ, Photographer, Catering, Church, and outfits all picked...January 7, 2012...start the countdown.
Wedding plans done...now in Gainesville,FL for a weekend

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Lots and lots and lots of wedding planning have been accomplished. Thanking God for his mercy and provision with everything that has been happening. Looking forward to a date night tonight...seeing Mr. Popper's Penguins with Donna...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Just are lunch at the best place for bagels and Lox anywhere...Too Jays deli. Got my nova platter and banana dream cake. Lunch in paradise...awesome day so far. Went to Beth Sar Shalom messianic congregation this morning and heard my dad preach.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Really really glad to be back home in Florida for some much needed R&R...spending time with family, planning my wedding and enjoying a breather from the clutches of "reality"

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Enjoying productivity on the job prepping apartments for painting...I have yet to get dirty, but this job is very rewarding...

Monday, June 13, 2011

The 365(2) Project shall be posted via Picassa...stay tuned for the photos and link.

Attempting the 365 Project again...

There's no other way around it, I have to get it off the ground again. I have to take the chance and do the project that I couldn't do back a year ago. It would have ended on January 13th, 2011, but now I think it's time for the journey to resume. I miss the pictures, and the dedication to my blog, so why not try it again, I mean I have it in me to succeed. June 13th, the 13th day of the month, I should totally go through with it today. I bet I can totally come up with some new pictures now that I have some mobile media platforms. Check back for an attempt at blogging with an iPhone. It doesn't necessarily have to be a fancy blog like last time, but if I can get this right, then I truly have succeeded in being a good blogger. Here's hoping. I will try today with the first picture, so be on the look out for that. It's my first day of work with Southwestern Seminary, and I couldn't be more excited. You will hear all about that day later...look for the redo of the 365 Project to start today!!!!!!


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Behind the Music: Running Just to Catch Myself

Okay, here's the story behind one of my absolute favorite songs of all time. In 2004, I had just graduated from high school, and driving back and forth from church, my job at Chick-Fil-A, and to my first year of college at Palm Beach Community College. Music really was my life back in those times. I remember hearing the song "Letters from War" on WAY FM (the local radio station), and then I wanted to get Mark Schultz album that the song was on. So I take it upon myself to buy it. I remember switching through the songs and heard at the start of one of the songs a 2 note chord. It was loud, and I couldn't handle it at first. But then as time went on, I kept hearing it and hearing it, and soon enough, I found myself blasting the song the whole way back and forth everywhere I went. As time went on, I memorized the words, and then i found myself making videos with it, some of which are still up, and then eventually it found its way to my cellphone as a ringtone, it was awesome.

That song basically describes my life entirely, and I couldn't imagine any mixtape or iPod that doesn't have the song on it.
I'm sitting down in church listening to a missionary who lived in Nepal.
I'm learning a great deal about how to post for the blog in other formats than the computer

Saturday, June 11, 2011

My first post

Thursday, May 26, 2011

RE-living the past glory days

I am sitting in a cafe blogging. I haven't found myself doing that in over a year. I remember spending a great deal of time when I was still in college driving to Valley Station to do work for my internship with NAMB, I don't even remember the name of the place where I was going, how crazy is that. But today was a day where i needed to sit down at my computer and actually stick to some of the summer plans that i had written down. I had said I would blog and now I'm finally doing that. I barely have anything to say right now though. Everything in my life is changing for the better. I am just expecting God to do great things, I don't know what those things are but I know they will be great, and obviously one of them includes getting married.

I was spending some time trying to get over this bad dream I had. I have developed a fear of chimpanzees. I saw the video on YouTube of the woman who was mauled to death in 2009, and last night I had a bad dream about being attacked by a chimp, so yeah, if I see a chimp I will probably not want to get close to it.

I also have the honor of redoing things that I had done when I was back in those days. I am watching movies on Netflix. Since I got an iPhone last month, I have found it easier and easier to take advantage of free trials. The whole point is that there are great ways to do things now that there's this great deal of technological advances...

Keep looking for more updates from me.



Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Summer enters its beginning time...

Summer planning is really the only thing that I have kept solid right now. Just being able to make plans with people, to do things and to be able to have a structure of how I want to do them. The past week and a half I have been doing nothing but playing Halo Reach with my roommmate Mark. I finally have an extra controller for my 360 (haven't gotten the whole set yet, but looking to get that soon)

Anyway, I have blogged thoroughly for right now, and i would like to go and read or something, so have a blessed day.


Paper on the Rapture

Here's the other paper I wrote this semester, hope you enjoy reading it.


Eschatology is not a simple subject. The theology of the end of the world is a very complex topic. Debates, controversies, and denials have been the case surrounding various sub-sections in this profound theology; however, no branch of theology should be more encouraging or more examined than the rapture of the church. There are several views of this event within Scripture, but careful consideration and attention should to be paid to the specific view known as the pre-tribulation rapture. This paper will argue that the pre-tribulation rapture of the church is the most well supported view by showing the history of this doctrine’s development, the scriptural evidence, and the prophetic evidence.

What is “The Rapture”?

Paul Enns states that: “prior to the advent of the tribulation, Christ will descend from heaven, catching up the church to be with Himself while the tribulation is unleashed on an unrepentant and unbelieving world.” The rapture basically says that the church will be spared from God’s wrath and be brought into his presence. The Second Coming of Christ is the physical return of the Lord Jesus to the earth for the establishment of his kingdom. These events are entirely different. The rapture would entail a physical removal of believers from the earth. Hal Lindsey pointed this out by saying “our present body of flesh and blood, which must be sustained by elements of the earth which are perishable, must be changed to another form. This new form has material being, but it is of a kind that is suited for the spiritual, imperishable, eternal atmosphere of heaven.”

Origins of this Doctrine

It is a safe assumption that when a believer tries to understand what will occur in the “end times” that one would think of the second coming of Christ and not give much thought to this two-hundred year-old doctrine. Although the term “rapture” has been used since the ancient times, this doctrine of a pre-tribulation rapture of the church has been used extensively by numerous theologians. Its most notable proponent was the nineteenth century British preacher John Nelson Darby.

John Nelson Darby

In his article John Nelson Darby: Defender of the Faith, Larry V. Crutchfield explains Darby’s role in the development of this doctrine that became the foundation for this very complex theology. Darby, known as “the father of modern dispensational theology” has had influence on several scholars in today’s world including those at Moody Bible Institute and Dallas Theological Seminary, teaching his view on how the rapture would occur. His view has unfortunately been associated with the fundamentalist movement. Darby’s influence on talking about the nation of Israel and the premillenial return of Christ has been what the modern doctrines have used as their foundations placing high esteem upon Darby in this matter.

Modern day theologians have had several opinions and views on the rapture of the Church, but no view has received more criticism than a pre-tribulation view. More people in a post-modern world will hold to such views as a post-trib or even a mid-trib, but when there is even the smallest mention of the doctrine that is the pre-tribulation rapture, most scholars and opposers in the area of eschatology run in fear or throw up their hands in repulsive declaration saying that it is nonsense and not worthy of further research and study.

This writer begs to differ in that there is so much more that has to be observed in Scripture and the context can clearly point to there being a pre-tribulation rapture and that being the most effective view of the return of Christ and the removing of the church that there is. Darby simply would not have put so much effort into convincing people of this doctrine being the doctrine if he did not think it was what God was telling him what needed to be taught. If the support for this end of days doctrine appears numerous places in Scripture, then this is what should be believed and taught by the church.

The Pre-Tribulation Rapture in Scripture

Eschatology first and foremost means “study of the end”. When people who spend the majority of their time arguing that their ways about how the world will end is correct spend their time focusing on bringing people down, on tearing down the view of others, there is not a great deal of joy for those few people in the world who believe this doctrine. The writer of this paper can testify the experience of ridicule and negativity first hand as there were plenty of instances in which people had blatantly accused him of being “crazy” and “misinformed” The hope is that when one takes an examining look at the scriptural evidence surrounding the pre-tribulation rapture, that there will be a great deal more understanding and insight into how this doctrine is correct and sound.

Looking through the Bible to find a specific topic to discuss can prove to be a challenge because often times the reader of God’s Word needs to look up topics of such interest as prayer, discipleship, fellowship, worship, etc, but when it comes to the end times, there can be challenges that one would face as it is not as plainly visible as the gospel is presented (cf. John 3:16 or 14:6), and it would take carefully thought out research and time spent devoted to finding where the Rapture occurs. Dr. John Walvoord in his book The Rapture Question explains this further by saying that:
“The rapture question, while neglected by modern liberals, is one of the main areas in dispute in conservative eschatology. The Scriptures predict that the church will be raptured or “caught up” to heaven at the coming of the lord for them. The word rapture is from rapere, found in the expression “caught up” in the Latin translation of 1 Thessalonians 4:17. If this is a literal, future event, it is a most important aspect of the hope of the church.”

The first obvious place that believers will seek after to find out about the end times is the book of Revelation. However, nowhere in the Gospels or the book of Revelation is the word “rapture” mentioned. Believers must rely on what Paul talked about in his letter to the Thessalonians. The negative criticism that is received from reading this book lies in the simple fact that John was having a vision. Unfortunately for John, the context of these books are taken and twisted to a degree where it has been shown for there to be many different views on the Rapture and on the Millennium for that matter. Hermeneutic is the very basic drawing point when it gets into how the Biblical approach to the end times is viewed.

Different theologians/different views equal different views on the matter as a whole. The majority of the professors on staff at Southern seminary in Louisville, Kentucky (in the opinion of this writer) are not for a pre-tribulation rapture. Their views caused a great deal of stress for the writer of this paper, and that was a big consideration into the selection of this writer’s educational institution. Believers in Christ should not be in such blatant opposition over an issue in scripture that is so carefully laid out.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-17: “Our Blessed Hope”

Believers really should begin their journey of finding out the truth about the pre-tribulation rapture in the spot where it is examined the most; by the apostle Paul. He describes the event using statements such as “those who have fallen asleep” meaning believers who are already dead. Believers who are dead will be risen first, and be brought to the presence of God the almighty. “Then those who are alive and remain shall be caught up with them in the clouds and we will meet the Lord in the air, in the twinkling of an eye, we will be changed”. In the NIV Life Application Bible, there are great amount of resources that will help readers to better understand the passages of Scripture. Particularly speaking in terms of reference, this publication of the Bible by Zondervan in 2005 offers footnotes to better explain the passage. Listen to what it had to say concerning 1 Thessalonians 4:13:

The Thessalonians were wondering why many of their fellow believers had fallen asleep (died) and what would happen to them when Christ returned. Paul wanted the Thessalonians to understand that death is not the end of the story. When Christ returns, all believers – dead and alive – will be reunited, never to suffer or die again.

The truth of the matter is when it comes to discussions concerning eschatology, especially those in which the subject of a rapture come up, not a great deal of emphasis is placed upon this. Dr. John Walvoord again speaks of the Rapture in his book The Blessed Hope and The Tribulation, explaining the significance behind this passage:

Although the rapture of the church was introduced by Christ the night before His crucifixion as recorded in John 14:1-3, the details of the rapture were not revealed in Scripture until 1 Thessalonians was written. It is not too much to say that 1 Thessalonians 4-5 is probably the most important passage dealing with the rapture in the New Testament. Additional passages are 1 Corinthians 15:51-58 and 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12; but more detail is given in 1 Thessalonians 4 than in any other passage. Probably more pretribulationists base their conclusion for a pretribulation rapture on 1 Thessalonians 4 than on any other single passage of Scripture. By contrast, evidence indicates that posttribulationists find little of a positive character to help them in the details of this revelation. It would seem natural, if the great tribulation actually intervened before the rapture could be fulfilled, that this would have been a good place to put the whole matter into proper perspective, as Christ did in Matthew 24 in His description of the events leading up to the second coming.

Modern Day Influence on the Rapture

The modern age has had severe impact on Evangelical Christianity, and as such, there are examples of what the Gospel has done to people who do not have the “Blessed Hope” of their salvation in Christ. Dr. Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins are best known in the literature circles for their series of books: Left Behind. The series follows the story of a group of people who did not believe in Christ and what happens when the Rapture of the church occurs. There are 16 books in the series, all of which chronologically point to the various points of the tribulation (and even before the events of the end times themselves).

The people soon realize that they have a great deal in common and they seek the help of a pastor of a church who was also left behind. Who lied to the church and told people that they did believe in Christ, but they really did not. Dr. LaHaye used his knowledge of the doctrines of eschatology to portray what he thought would be what the end would be like to the readers, and Jerry B. Jenkins took his skills as a writer to a masterful level. With the release of the twelfth book, Glorious Appearing in 2004; LaHaye and Jenkins’ fame as a writer had 7 of the 12 books earn positions on the New York Times Bestseller list, totaling sales of the series had surpassed 65 million and people were enthused by these series. The writer himself would listen to the audio books of the series, as well as read the young adult version, which paralleled the adult series. The effect of these books was that there was a genuine spark of interest in the writer’s life to examine the doctrines of eschatology and eventually impacted a solid foundation into the study of a pre-trib rapture.

The Time and Date of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church

There is no way to distinguish “when” the Rapture will happen. Historians, theologians, and scholars have tried to determine the date of this event in order that they might tell people to be watching for Jesus’ returning, but the people of God cannot put a date on this event. More than one occasion throughout history, people have tried to place dates on the coming of Christ. It is total blasphemy, considering the words that Jesus himself said to his disciples when they asked him “Lord when will you establish your kingdom?” and Jesus basically responded to them “its for me to know and you to find out”.

As a believer in the Lord, the writer’s simple understanding of the matter is that to put a date on what God will do is simply not a good thing. God is God and we are not. We are not meant to know these things. Many evangelists, such as Harold Camper, the President of Family Radio Inc. This man has put several dates as to when the rapture has to happen, and his latest prediction is for May 21, 2011. Lunacy such as this cannot be met with good results. To try and say that God will do this or God will do that is a horrible thing to do. The website where this information was found, stated that the world would be consumed by fire. In the knowledge of God’s word, people can clearly already say that that is not true. The book of Revelation CLEARLY points to what will happen when the world ends. To even come up with a ridiculous notion that there will be destruction that lasts for 7 days is UNHEARD of.

The Concept of “Prevail” in the context of the church

In his book, What in the World is Going On?, David Jeremiah mentions specifically that “followers of Christ who are raptured will be spared the trauma of death and the coming disasters that will occur when the tribulation breaks out upon the earth” In the view of the Pre-Tribulation rapture, there is always this famous word that should be heard by those who are doing an investigation into this doctrine; “Prevail”. The word prevail means that the gospel has had precedence. It seals the souls of those who have called on the name of Christ for salvation, and it insures their eternal security. Christ himself says that “gates of hell will not prevail” against the Church (Matt 18:16).

The church that Christ is referring to in this context is viewed in a pre-rapture scenario. Once the church has been removed from the earth, the concept of “not prevailing”, no longer pointing to the church but to the tribulation saints. There will be massive amounts of slaughter, of persecution and all of these things will happen against the saints who are left behind.

The Book of Daniel does point to a time where there is an “anointed one” but very clearly, believers can get this idea in their heads; the anointed one that Daniel speaks of is NOT Christ, but the antichrist. The antichrist will persecute the believers who are stuck on earth, and these believers are not the ones in our modern day and age, these are believers who had ample opportunities to turn their faith to the Lamb who was slain for them and chose not to.

The way that there is made mention of various forms of persecution in the End of Days, the term does not point to the people of God sealed by the blood of the lamb during the “Church Age” it refers to the time when people will be persecuted by the Antichrist and that is in the Tribulation. The supposition that there will be protection from the wrath of the evil forces in the world does not apply to the present age in which believers in Christ live, no; this points to the believers that are left behind on earth after Christ has raptured up his bride to be with Him.

The section of the book of Daniel that includes the persecution of the saints; that is in no way referring to the saints that were raptured up. “The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods.” (Daniel 11:36 – NIV) This ruler spoken of in Daniel is obviously the antichrist. There will be a time where there is vast turmoil on the earth and there is a blatantly evil ruler; case-in-point, the antichrist attacking the tribulation saints. The End of Days offers a look into what will happen. Revelation constantly speaks of God’s judgment, and it is told from the point of view of things that have “yet to happen”. People often will overlook the necessity to study these things because the End of Days is a less-than-important doctrine of Christianity; well that simply is not the case. Prophecy is being fulfilled daily and as modern day believers, there should be emphasis placed over these beliefs and traditions because they will continue to be fulfilled.

The Nation of Israel

There is evidence to support this specific doctrine, from the perspective of a Messianic Jew. This idea is a personal idea for this writer, and his very existence is living proof that this doctrine holds true. The people of Israel do not hold to a belief in the Messiah (believers should know that this Messiah is Christ himself), but the fact of the matter is that a Jewish person professing faith in Jesus as savior is evidence enough to show that the times are getting closer and closer to the end.
Satan had a stronghold over the lands in Europe and made people think that the Jews were an enemy that deserved to die and 6 million Jews died at the hands of Nazi Germany. What Satan intended for evil, God intended to use for good, and for his glory. After having just about everything taken from them, the surviving Jews took what little they had aside from their lives and moved to a new land. They took everything and moved to the land that was promised to them (cf. Ezekiel 37). The nation was compiled mostly of refugees (Holocaust survivors) who were left without any hope, and the nation was brought back to life (cf. Ezekiel 37:14).

The Prophetic re-gathering of Israel

The nation of Israel has been torn from limb to limb and yet God chose to bring it back to life. May 14, 1948; only three years prior to this and the war had just ended. Jews everywhere were beginning to pick up their lives that were just about taken from them. David Ben Gurion and a counsel of elders sat in the United Nations in New York City declaring to the world that Israel would be an established nation, and their homeland that they had been seeking after.

Israel as a nation has a terrible habit of being a disobedient one. Their desires are more towards pleasing themselves than it is towards pleasing God, and because of that their choices have landed them in a terrible place. David and Solomon both serve as prime examples of what precisely not to do. Their actions in choosing wives and their sinful natures as human beings show Israel how their behavior should be reflected. Because of the actions of David and Solomon, the people of Israel lacked extreme spiritual guidance that was supposed to be in place and they lived their lives without consequence and it landed the people of Israel in a foreign land as captives. God’s providence rested in the fact that despite the shame and the wondering of how they would be brought back, God still allowed the people to return to Israel. Nehemiah rebuilt the walls around the city and the people thrived in the county. Much like modern day, in which the people of Israel (The Jews) were scattered all over the world, some of which had everything taken from them, and then God decides to give them everything he promises to them in Ezekiel 37. He “breathes life” back into the people and brings them into their own land, and as a result, the people flourished. Even in the sense that Nehemiah was building a wall around the city of Jerusalem when he returned to the city with a group of people to restore what had been broken; these survivors of the war had brought everything they had back into the land God had promised them and were rebuilding their lives.

What God allowed to happen that Satan intended for evil, God turned it all around and used it for good, and for his glory. The main reason why God allows anything in this world to happen is that he brings himself glory, and in this case, his glory was being shown to the people of Israel in that their desires for a land were being given to them. This ties into the pre-tribulation rapture because the predominant view of the end times is that whenever the event does occur, the timeline basically draws its “starting point” from Israel becoming a nation. Dr. Harold Sevener, author of Israel’s Glorious Future; says that “Israel is promised a glorious future by God himself. God’s promises and covenants are based solely upon His own sovereignty. It is the promises and covenants of God that distinguish Him from the gods of the pagans” Although it is clear that this nation’s re-gathering in May 1948, proved to be a sign of prophetic significance; there is so much more that has to occur in the realm of the prophets that Dr. Sevener points it out clearly again in his book:

Scripture reveals that God will pour out His fury and vent His wrath on the empire of the anti-Christ during the 3 ½ years of the Tribulation. God’s judgment is symbolized in the sounding of seven trumpets and in the pouring out from seven bowls (vials). Only the 144,000 and the two witnesses will be exempt from the fury of these judgments.

Both Darby and LaHaye focused their beliefs around the Nation of Israel. LaHaye and Jenkins, while writing the Left Behind series, even make several instances where there are messianic characters as well as locations set in Israel. Majority of the books take place in Jerusalem; their understanding of the Scripture’s teaching on the doctrine is clear. They hold to this view in that the prophecies in Daniel and Ezekiel were to come true and already had. Darby unfortunately never lived to see the re-establishment of Israel in 1948, while LaHaye had.

It is not just the nation of Israel where these prophecies will see fulfillment, it is elsewhere. Modern times have seen things such as massive earthquakes happen. Japan was recently hit by the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in human history, as well as several other countries in the world, natural disasters occurring the way that they have been point to the end of days being closer, and the scriptural evidence of there being a rapture that occurs in a pre-tribulation fashion is overwhelming.


This writer’s position is that there is no other approach to view eschatology except from this very specific and precise method. The world needs their hope, and that hope is found in Christ alone. The position of the church should be one that looks forward to a happy future because their savior is in the midst of it all.

The main reason why this writer went to such lengths as to make sure that this paper was written on and talked about was the fact that there were criticisms on the view that their was a pretribulation rapture received by the peers of this writer. This writer attended Boyce College of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and on more than one occasion, the subject of eschatology was brought up in many situations and especially the pre-Tribulation rapture, and as a result, there were people who took to various opinions and told this writer that he was a fool, and that he was following through with a doctrine supported by a book author, rather than keeping up with what Scripture said.

Scripture should be the decisive factor in any defense of doctrine as a whole, and reality was for this writer, Scripture was used as a means to bring him down. In an effort to get a better perspective on life and a deeper understanding of his faith, the writer left a seminary where the truth was taught, and brought himself into a situation that was beneficial to his theological education; where he could pursue the interest of studying an eschatology that he saw fit for his hermeneutic.

Scripture does not have to be complicated when it is interpreted. The words are written down on a page in the Bible and should be taken seriously and often times literally. If Scripture says “Jesus rose from the dead on the third day” then that must be a true statement! The Word of God holds an unparalleled and unlimited amount of truth, and as it is also inerrant. With that being said, people should come to the conclusion that if the Bible tells of a day when people will go up and be taken off the face of the earth because they have accepted Christ as their personal savior; then that should be carefully believed.

Looking back at everything that has been said, the influence of the theological world has placed severe impact upon the doctrine that the Rapture of the Church will occur before the Tribulation. Despite what many anti Pre-Trib scholars may think, the evidence to support this view is astounding. There is simply too much in scripture for there to not be a pre-Tribulation rapture. Some scholars also hold to the conclusion that there is not a literal millennial reign of Christ, well without a view of the rapture in place, then there is no hope of finding out what will happen. Those seeking after the knowledge that comes from understanding what will happen in the end.
God’s greatest purpose in conveying this truth to humanity so that they might come to a saving knowledge of who Jesus is in their life and that they would not be left behind (no pun intended). Salvation is the key to fixing a life that is without hope. The writer referred to the Rapture as “Our Blessed Hope”. The coming of the Lord should be viewed as something of great joy that believers should be sharing with the world. The tribulation will be a time of great darkness in the world (worse than the world is currently experiencing), and there should be great concern among those who are sealed by the blood of the Lamb, in regards to those who have no hope. The main purpose that this paper was written was the hope that the writer’s understanding of the doctrine of the pre-Tribulation Rapture of the church could show people what is to come. The believers in the world have to turn their focus on sharing the Gospel, on reaching those who do not have any hope, to those who need it desperately.

Adonirum Judson Paper

I had this tradition going about last year right after my heart attack, where I'd put my papers up for people to read, that I'd written throughout the semester, these 2 were my spring semester term papers, the first of which you will read was from my baptist heritage class, concerning the life of a major figure we had to read about. This is about Adonirum Judson...



Being a missionary requires a life of ultimate sacrifice. Often times, people will give their lives for the cause of bringing the gospel to the “ends of the earth” as Christ commands in Scripture (cf. Acts 1:8) . People have gone to countries winning countless numbers of people to Christ and changing the world forever. It is not just the fact that the world would be changed, but also the missionaries themselves would be changed because they had done something for the Kingdom and the joy amid suffering that they experienced changed how they viewed the world. Adonirum Judson was the man that God called from the United States to be a light to the people of Burma. This paper will examine the life of this proponent for Burmese missions as well as look into the ideas he thought concerning baptism.

Judson’s place among the people of Burma made him into a pioneer; he was the very first person from the United States who was serving on the field in a “missions” setting. The entire concept of a person going as a missionary will obviously draw its inspiration from the Apostle Paul who carried the gospel over a cultural barrier reaching Greeks with a predominantly Jewish message. The modern process had taken its roots from William Carey who had been the man that God called from being a simple cobbler to literally changing the face of the known world with his journey that took him to Calcutta. In the sense of America, the movement that changed everything was for going onto the field in a foreign setting and changing the world for God’s glory. The world owes a great debt to his efforts for what he did and for the way that the people had learned to obtain the hope that comes from a personal relationship with Christ. It is remarkable, when the careful attention to detail is shown through the life of Judson that a comparison could be made between him and the Apostle Paul. Both went through imprisonment, sicknesses, and all varieties of trials in order to carry out what God had called them to do as proclaimers of the Gospel. For that is the essential position that a missionary takes upon himself when they go to the “ends of the earth”.
The world of evangelical Christianity owes a great debt to Adonirum Judson, because as the very first missionary from the United States, there was a great amount of education that came with his position. The American Revolution had just ended and Judson was born in Massachusetts in 1788, the son of Adonirum Judson Sr., Judson’s academic intellect allowed him to attend what would later become Brown University and graduated from there as the valedictorian at the age of 19. The concerns of the day would have been over such dogmas as baptism or the Lord’s Supper, and even church membership (considering the previous decades of the 18th century had included bouts of burning people at the stake for the heresy of “witchcraft”)

Missions was NOT a topic of great interest in the American protestant church, and now, there were people like Judson who were becoming the very first people of their day to take the step of faith and go out to a world of “heathens”. Through his bout with a falling out from the faith, Judson found himself attending Andover Theological Seminary and back into the faith. He had become good friends with a deist/skeptic who was leading him away from the faith. But praise be to God in heaven that his life was turned back to the Gospel and the truth that encompasses that realm. Judson would be ordained as a minister by the Tabernacle Church in Salem on February 6th, 1812. He married his first wife Ann the day before that.

On February 19, 1812, The ABCFM (American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions) appointed Judson and his wife to be missionaries to Burma. This event is marked in the United States by the fact that there are now several thousand Southern Baptist American missionaries in foreign fields across the planet reaching the lost with the gospel. A totaling amount of more than five thousand American missionaries appointed by the Southern Baptist Convention now serve on the field.

Anderson’s point was to show people of the day and age, that when missionaries were called to the field, there was not a single force on heaven or on earth that could stop them from doing what the Lord had called them to do. God was at work in Judson’s life and after he had left Massachusetts with his wife, his life would get harder as time went on. Judson’s life only got harder as he went through a total of 3 spouses.
Cecil Hartley spent a great deal of time in his Memoir about Judson discussing the life situation of Adonirum and his 3 wives that he had in succession. Ann Hasseltine Judson who died during childbirth in 1827 , Sarah B. Judson who died of an illness while onboard a ship in 1845 , and Emily C. Judson who died a peaceful death in 1854 . It seems almost cruel to some that such a great man of God would be experiencing such hardships, but when one were to compare the life of Judson to that of Paul, Judson’s hardships are truly nothing. One should consider it a blessing when he or she gets an opportunity to share in the hardships that Christ faced.

The Judsons in Burma

Having left Massachusetts behind them aboard the Caravan, the Judsons were traveling across the ocean and found themselves in India prior to their arrival in Burma. Arriving in June of 1812, the time would be a difficult one for Judson and his family, as they would need to adjust to a new climate, culture and language. The majority of the voyage from the United States to Burma was spent studying the language and developing a thorough translation. However, the Judsons would spend their time in the city of Calcutta, remembering the life of the British missionary who changed the world, William Carey. They would not leave India until 1816. By this time, Judson’s first wife had died.

The concept of a life surrounded by suffering was ever present in his life, and as this writer has made mention prior to this paragraph, Judson could have a modeled life to that of Paul in that suffering in life was ever present. Every missionary on the field at one point or another experiences trials and tribulations as they serve the Lord; it is how one should view their life as a believer in that they are meant to suffer the same hardships Christ himself would have been facing.
Political Difficulties (Adonirum is in Prison)

Much like Paul had been faced with the worst of hardships in the known world, in 1824, Adonirum Judson was confronted with a terrifying ordeal. A man known in Burma as a “Spotted Face” or keeper of the prison, came to their home and had them arrested. The political state of the country proved to be a challenge for the Judsons. Although they were Americans and were not associated in any way with the British, he was confused for an Englishman and was arrested as a result. He was bound up in front of his wife and sent to a prison where he stayed for 17 months. He would be sent to an infamous Burmese death camp called Ava. Judson and 6 other missionaries were imprisoned there and all but one died upon their release. Burma’s condition as a nation was unstable as Alexander McLeish points out in Burma, Christian Progress to the Invasion; that
“while the evangelistic task in Burma is very great, the need of Christian community is equally serious. The on-going task of evangelization will fare very badly if the spiritual vitality and zeal of the Church is not only kept alive but increased.”

Courtney Anderson’s book To the Golden Shore, recounts the life ministry that Judson had and how he was able to see his first Burmese convert in May 1819; a man named Maung Nau. It has been weeks that the Judsons had been trying to get him to attend their services and finally were able to have him come and he was evangelized with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As a result of this person accepting Christ, Judson promptly made the decision to baptize this believer, showing the missionary movement what to do when a person accepted Christ. Modern day missionaries throughout the world have been able to model discipleship after what Judson had done. Anderson later accounts for several of Judson’s converts, talking about the establishment of churches throughout the country that were growing because of this man of God’s efforts among the people of Burma.

The movements of the missionary agencies that would develop throughout the 19th and 20th centuries would place a great deal of emphasis on the conversion of the nationals in the target areas. For a missionary to have a person come to faith in Christ is a serious matter. Judson’s career as a missionary would leave a lasting impact that would be felt and experienced in Burma well into the 21st century.
Burmese people today have given much credit to Judson because they feel he has made lasting impressions upon the country. Even those who are in the country yet do not know much about the realm of Evangelical Christianity; they will say that they had been impacted by what they had previously heard about Judson.

Modern people from Myanmar will tell foreigners that they know who Judson was and that they believe in the Jesus that he preached to them. One of those doctrines that Jesus would have been teaching was Believer’s Baptism. Judson was a man of vision as well as a man who closely followed after God’s plan for his life as a servant serving him in an overseas capacity. In any situation, in any observation of a believer, there should be careful examination and approach into their doctrine, and as such Baptism would be a topic that would be discussed among circles of Christian theologians and scholars.

Judson’s Theological Stance on Baptism

Many missionaries in the modern era have a great deal of gratitude to bestow upon the Judsons. The Southern Baptist Convention (formed back in 1845) had to spend a great deal of time developing their theological beliefs and teachings. This is especially true when it comes to baptism. Influenced by centuries of traditions and blatantly false teachings, there had to be a consensus to where the stand would be when it comes to baptism. Because Judson was the first American missionary, his developments on being out on the field would impact what future missionaries would do when it comes to conversion of people, the teaching of God’s Word, and especially the baptizing of national persons who had accepted Christ.

Wayne Grudem, a prominent modern theologian and author of the book Systematic Theology makes the point “that only those who give a believable profession of faith should be baptized.” Any servant of the Lord, especially those that hold the inerrancy of God’s Word, have to take a very careful look into this important sacrament. As the first missionary commissioned by the United States, one can only assume that Judson’s view would be a significant one.

The importance of Baptism is that the Lord has commanded it. Judson himself spoke about this in his sermon Christian Baptism, pointing out that “Christ commands those who believe to be baptized” , but later goes on to explain why it is necessary to make sure that the practice is properly observed. It is for this reason that
when any practice is proposed and enforced as a binding duty, we have a right to examine the grounds of the alleged obligation. It is not sufficient for the prosper to show, that the practice is innocent, and even compatible with every other duty: it is requisite, that he prove it binding.

Most situations in ministry in which people get baptized require a certain amount of pomp and circumstance, and Judson was careful to observe the necessity of this. He later goes on to talk in this sermon that there is a clear distinction between what should be practiced by the church (speaking in terms of the proper format) and what has been practiced in the past. To this writer, it is made abundantly clear that Adonirum Judson adamantly opposed pedobaptism (the baptism of infants) and points out that the Scriptures are taken out of context by a lot of people. Scholars believe that there are passages in Scripture that could very easily defend the doctrine for Infant Baptism, but Judson points to the standard that as believers,
we cannot suppose, that our Lord used words, in such different senses in the same speech, as would unavoidably mislead his hearers. In the latter passage, the kingdom of God denotes heaven and to receive it with the humility and docile disposition which characterize children.

The point that Judson was trying to make was that in order for a believer to approach believer’s baptism, there has to be a clear understanding that yes; one should have faith like a child, but it has to be representative of the example that Christ sets. Buried with Christ in the likeness of his death and then raised again in the newness of life.
Judson clearly displays his view on this mode of baptism later on his sermon by saying that he had experienced a difficulty before. Judson declared that
I had been sprinkled in infancy, and that this had been deemed baptism. But throughout the whole New Testament, I could find nothing, that looked like sprinkling in connection with the ordinance of baptism. It appeared to me that if a plain person should, without any previous information on the subject, read through the New Testament, he would never get the idea, that baptism consisted in sprinkling. He would find that baptism in all cases particularly described was administered in rivers, and that the parties are represented, as going down into the water, and coming up out of the water, which they would not have been so foolish as to do for the purpose of sprinkling.


Judson’s life is a life lived with trials and suffering. He went through imprisonment, and the death of 3 different wives. Many people in the land of Burma came to know Christ because Judson was able to become the man that God chose to reach them with the Gospel. But in the end, his defense of what a true picture of baptism should be had influenced missionaries for doing what the bible had taught and chose to model their method of baptism after the very fashion that Christ himself would have been baptized in; through immersion in a body of water. Judson had lived his days out serving God; translating scripture into Burmese (still used today), and reaching people with the gospel. But making a stand on the view of how baptism should be carried out was something that should be most honored in the life of Judson. His effort to expound on what Christ himself taught on baptism, and how believers who profess their salvation in Christ should be baptized. Believers must hold to a solid belief, and especially as a missionary, those who reach the people; there should be knowledge given to the national converts teaching them how to be disciples, following after the ultimate example that one can have, and that is believing in Christ for salvation and following after his commandment for being baptized. It is to be done as a public profession of faith that Christ has saved the soul of a heathen, and brought them to redemption through the blood of the Lamb. In this manner, Judson brought this message to the people of Burma, teaching them that they could be saved if they place their faith in Christ.

Stay tuned, one more paper will be posted.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Summer 2011 Plans

This summer will be defined as a time of preparation and enjoyment, as I won’t be leaving Texas for more than 2 weeks; here is my definite vision of what I expect to do this summer.

Part 1: Working Full-time at the Original Mattress Factory
(Need to be banking as much money as possible to save for the wedding) I am setting a personal goal for myself (financially speaking) of raising over $1500

Part 2: Fellowship means that no summer can truly be enjoyed alone. I plan to spend as much time as I possibly can with friends (and fiancé) just hanging out and enjoying life.
What would that look like?
• Hanging Out with Friends
• Watching Movies
• Playing Video Games
• Watching Anime
• Cooking Meals

Part 3: Spiritual Growth is a VITAL part of what I am preparing to do in ministry, so I intend to be reading as much as I possibly can out of God’s Word. I still have my plan of going through the entire book of Isaiah as well as the Gospels, and this is a summer I want to spend changing things about myself, so instead of my typical version of the NIV; I will be doing my reading from the NASB.

Part 4: Physical Renewal is the term I give to the fact that I have journeyed so far because of all God did in my life through me being sick to the point of near death last year. I don’t want to move backwards, I only want to move forward, so here is my chance to take my health seriously and make a lasting permanent change. My goal is to be in the 270s by the end of this summer. I want to take my commitment to doing Weight Watchers seriously. I made so much progress since the incident happened; I do not want to go backwards.

Part 5: Travel is seriously an essential word when someone thinks of the summer. Therefore, I will be enjoying some much needed time back in my home state of Florida, in which I will be planning a wedding as well as seeing old friends and introducing them to the love of my life. We will spend half of our time in South Florida and the other half in Gainesville, I am looking forward to some time spent away from Texas. I haven’t been back in Florida since January.

Part 6: Reading is always a fun thing to do in the summer, considering that it is not a requirement for school anymore, so I want to take in as much as I possibly can.

Joel’s Summer Reading List...

JOHN GRISHAM: The Chamber, The Appeal

JOHN PIPER: The Pleasures of God, Future Grace

JOHN ELDRIDGE: Sacred Romance, Desire

TED DEKKER: Paradise Novels: Showdown, Saint, Sinner (gift from Dr. Nick)

TOM CLANCEY: Clear and Present Danger, Executive Orders

FRANCIS CHAN: Forgotten God

LEE STROBEL: The Case for Christ (Southcliff Singles Ministry…6 Weeks)

C.S. LEWIS: The Chronicles of Narnia

Hoping to be done with all of these books by the end of the summer (August 25th)

I won't be going to Thailand for the purpose of saving money for the wedding, so don't count on hearing about the trip. I will have to come up with some other video I could make off movie maker this summer. Oh well, it was worth a shot.

Hope you guys enjoy reading this (and I'm sure by now you realize that Part 7 of this list of plans was blogging) maybe while I'm home I'll have a picture of bagels and lox to show on here, since I fully intend to go to TOO JAY'S while I am home.


Summer Sizzles

Okay, not exactly original in the title department, but give me a break, I'm a little rusty in this department. I don't have the edge I used to have a year ago. I just couldn't find it in me to sleep tonight (well not right now anyway) so I got up and started blogging. I had made a whole list of things to do this summer, and I wanted to keep up with the list, and blogging consistently was one of those things.

I will do my best to blog each day, but considering that I work full-time, this will be a most difficult task, so don't always expect my posts to be very long, unless I really, really, really feel like talking about something going on. I am just not as dedicated as I used to be with my blog. Especially since I haven't been taking pictures every single day like I used to.

Oh well, still...look to my posts every once in a while.


Saturday, May 7, 2011

First Post of the Summer Season

I want to get into better habits this summer. I mean for starters, I have only been out of school officially for 3 days and I've read close to 100 pages out of something not required for school, it's just great. "The Chamber" by John Grisham. I will have a lot of books to read, especially things relating to marriage and getting married, but I still want to read the way I did last summer. Looking back at how things were last summer, it was really a different situation for me.

Here's what last summer looked liked.

1)I had just graduated from Boyce College with my Bachelor's of Science Degree in Missions (today that happened a year ago)

2)Health-wise, I had just started a new routine of treatment for myself as I had been getting involved with new doctors after my heart attack happened in April of 2010

3)I began volunteering for my parents at Chosen People Ministries

4)I was reading books, and I was blogging

I won't be doing as much traveling as I would have liked to have been doing, since I don't have the time or money to do so. I also won't be going on any missions trips this summer, but I will be going down to Florida to plan a wedding. The love of my life is here in Texas with me and I am so blessed. I will write again more during the weekend.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Sun Sets on the Final Day of the School Year

This is the start of a brand new season for me. Reality is that summer is the prime time for catching up on a ton of things. Reading for fun (never happens during the year), watching movies, going to do stuff with friends, it's just a great time of fellowship and rest from the overwhelming task of being in school. I am looking forward to being in a position where I am just WORKING and enjoying my life and no stress involved.

I will write more after the major day of turmoil (tomorrow) passes.


Monday, April 25, 2011

iPhone update

This is my attempt at blogging on my iPhone. I will probably have to switch over to the computer tonight at some point.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Changes are coming

Okay, for those of you that live under a rock and don't take the time to check my facebook status or don't even know me, I am ENGAGED!!!!!!!!!!!! I asked Donna to marry me on April 15th, and we are going to be married on January 7th, 2012 in Florida, I cannot wait to marry the love of my life.

I not only say this as the meaning of "change is coming" in the sense that I am getting married, but also in the sense that the blog will get yet another facelift.

A new name, a new look, I am excited for it. I hope you will be too.

It went from being about Japanese missions, to being about missions in Asia, and now from the perspective of a Jewish believer. "Bagels and Loxs at the King's Table"

It will just be a blog about life in general, and I hope you enjoy reading it.


Saturday, March 19, 2011

The 3rd Month is Meeting its end

March 19th? I cannot believe it. I keep blinking. What happened to August, and being super excited that I was starting seminary of all things? Me, staring seminary! And now look at me. I am sitting down at a desk working a part time job, helping run a company. I am on staff at a church working for the missions department. I have a girlfriend, who I am crazy about and now I am just thinking “Wow God” look how far you’ve brought me. I have come from having almost nothing to having a great deal of things in my life, and I am blessed beyond anything right now.
I am a little crazy again, so I really hope I don’t add a ton of stress to my life. But I want to go for the 5 extra credit points to be added to my grade in Baptist Heritage, so I am reading 1000 pages worth of book (in some form) to get those points. Right now I have 2 books I am reading on Kindle. William Carey’s “The Inquiry” and John Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress”. I will probably also read the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 (just to get an idea of the doctrine of the Southern Baptist Convention). The Inquiry marks the second book I have read this school year. Technically the first one I read “The Firm” I had started reading over the summer and finished it during the semester whilst reading for fun (a crazy thought I grant you) but I still felt like I had to read nonetheless. But in the sense of what it displays in the realm of missions, Carey is a genius. Talking about what it takes for the world of the Believers to go out and take the gospel to them. There were lists in the book of different people groups and the languages that were occupying those lands. It was an interesting read, that’s for sure. All in all, the month, the busyness of school is not getting me down, I am just moving forward constantly.
FLASHDEVO – 2nd Timothy 3/4 and Isaiah 1
2nd Timothy 3/4:
In a sense, we have seen Paul do so many great things because he is an Apostle called apart from God to preach the Word, and at the same time, he was called to be an encouragement to other believers, and we have seen this time and time again throughout the New Testament, and he has thanked a great number of believers that he encounters on his journeys. One person in particular who has been influenced and included in that group is a young man named Timothy. Paul’s words to him in these 2 books is a guide for future generations (at least that’s how I see it), people can benefit from learning about how to do ministry from older believers such as Paul, who would offer up his guidance and support for those who are in need. Ministry is all about carrying on a legacy and tradition of those people who trust each other and help each other.
Isaiah 1:
“But Israel does not know, my people do not understand”
They have forsaken the Lord. I hate hearing that statement said out loud, but it’s the truth. People who claim to be “Jewish” don’t get the concept of what it means to believe in Jesus and belong to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. It is a great prayer of my heart that the people of Israel turn their face to the Messiah that they simply need to know.
“If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.” For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.
The nation of Israel hasn’t been obedient to God’s commandments, and look at what has happened to them, they are almost wiped out on various occasions, because they DON’T LISTEN. But those who put their trust in God, they will be saved.
Enjoy your weekend.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Revive This Nation - Quaker City, Ohio - March 15th

Okay, I really don't understand what is going on with facebook tonight, so that's the reason why there's a note update on my blog rather than on facebook. If I can ever get it to work, i will let you know.

Anyway, today was another busy day of ministry. Today was where I brought in the Roman Road (Romans 3:21-26) as a topic for my sermon. It has gotten to the point where I have been getting so comfortable with my preaching style. I cannot wait to go over my sermons, since I recorded all of them. The videos will be put up on facebook the minute i have the ability to do it.

You know, when I got into the ministry, I had it in my mind that i could do things better than the people who I saw handle me while I was in ministry (as a student I mean), but the best thing I have found through doing this experience is that I get to be me, and i don't have anyone to be compared to, anyone I have to worry about what they think, the prying eyes, the negative comments that i have receievd in my lfie concerning my ministry, I egt to have it be where its just me and my faith in the Lord. That's the comfort I felt tonight while I was preaching. It was me, and the Holy Spirit leading me. I don't have to worry about what people said, because no one was there to see it. I was always worried about what others thought of me, and how I would compare to others, but now i don't have to worry about any of that, because I am myself...and I am worthy to preach God's word because I am a sinner saved by grace.

Today I went with Pastor Larry to do more work to invite some more people to come out, since tonight and tomorrow are the last 2 nights. I am super excited...I hope that the people we have talked to will come out.

We went to a local cafe called "circle of friends" where 2 people who are known at Quaker City baptist church are owners. We were able to talk with them, pray over their family since their daughter was sick. And after that, we drove into West Virginia to go to a famous sporting goods store called Cabelas, where there was a hall of African Animals that would EASILY and TOTALY rival Dr. Patterson's office. It was a good time.

I can really feel that I was sent here to be an encouragement more than anything. The people in this church needed to hear me encourage them, and that is why I personally feel that I was sent here. I hope that someone will accept Christ because of me, but at the same time, to give people a deeper understanding of their salvation, that's huge all in itself, for I feel I have made a difference in this community.

Blessings and Much Love,

Phil 1:20

1 More update to come before heading back to the Lone Star State.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Eve of a Revival (from the perspective of the preacher)

Today is Thursday. It is now the final day before I depart to preach my revival at Quaker City Baptist Church in Quaker City, Ohio; I am not sure what to expect, but I do know that God is preparing me seriously for what I am about to undertake. I haven't been feeling well over the past couple of days, and I feel like my head is full to the brim with snot....God whatever you are trying to teach me in the time that I am not feeling good, prepare me for what is to come tomorrow and Saturday (the day I leave)

My sermons are like this.

Exodus 12

Hebrews 3

Isaiah 6

Romans 3

Acts 26

Keep looking at this blog for updates...there will be more to come.

Grace and Peace!

Monday, March 7, 2011


I had to think of a really good title to use considering that in exactly 1 week, I will be traveling from the DFW area to Quaker City, Ohio for a weeklong revival where I personally will be preaching 5 sermons. I only have basically 3 manuscripts prepared but that will all very quickly change. 2 sermons on the concept of “The Blood of the Lamb” drawn from Exodus 12 and Hebrews 3, one on the holiness of God drawn from Isaiah 6, one on God’s righteousness and the role of Christ in redemption from Romans 3, and finally I’ll conclude everything with Acts 26.

The title is from one of my favorite songs by the Christian singer Carmen. “Revival in the Land” talks about what happens when demons in Hell hear the saints praying on their knees for revival. Demons are suffering in Hell because of this powerful moving of prayer. This is what I am praying right now, especially as I get closer and closer to going to Ohio to preach.

I definitely consider myself a bad blogger these days. I used to be so good at keeping up with everything and now it’s like WHO CARES? I mean, life just gets in the way of everything and you seriously just can’t find the time or the desire for that matter to sit and write. You have a lot on your mind, yes; but when it comes down to it, this doesn’t strike me as being a priority anymore, so whenever I feel the urge to write something I do it, I won’t just do it for any plain reason like I did in the summer. I do admit that I am envious of all the other people I know who are committed to blogging everyday. I can’t really bring myself up to do all of that.

The weekend was just too busy, March in general is going to be crazy. But I will do the best I can to tell everything that's going on.

Be blessed and look for my more posts.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Barriers of the Heart and Mind...Breaking them!

Realize first and foremost that your greatest enemy is yourself. I can vouch for that on so many different occasions and levels. Be aware of who I am as a person. I am a believer in Jesus, I am proud of my belief, my faith, and I will do my best to share with everyone...

Okay, here's a great thing to learn. When you are approached with situations with people, you must intentially see that not everyone wants to be your friend and not everyone is out to get you. I am so guilty of all of this, I always always always used to think that people were out to get me, and through several experiences that I've had in the past few weeks, I can tell you that I am getting better and stronger at reading how people are...

I can see the truth. First of all the best truth you can take away from what I am saying...YOU ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON in your own mind. Not everyone sees you the way that you see yourself.


Yes, I know it has been such a long time, but tonight I was actually able to say to myself I want to start doing this again...


I had to pick up the pieces from where I had left off in a Quiet time schedule and figure out where I wanted to read, and I had to take after some words of Paul...especially since I am preaching on something pertaining to him, so it is very encouraging to take from the person that Paul discipled.

More to come again soon.

I am enjoying life right now as I am getting ready to go out and preach God's Word in a small town in Ohio called Quaker City, I just finished the last part of my sermon outlines, and now i am working on my manuscripts for them.

Here's the passages:

Exodus 12:21-27
Hebrews 3:1-6
Isaiah 6:1-8
Romans 3:21-26
Acts 26

I am blessed, and I hope you are too.


Monday, February 21, 2011


This is the feeling I get today, rejoicing in everything that God is doing in my life. I feel like Johnny Depp in the movie ALICE IN WONDERLAND...He dances around at a victory that occurs. Alice has slain the Jabberwocky and starts dancing wildly. Honestly I feel the same way right now. God is ordaining so much in my life right now. I want to dance around singing GLORY HALLELUJAH, I LIFT YOUR NAME ON HIGH, I SING HOLY CAUSE YOUR WORTHY, I PRAISE YOU WITH THE DANCE!!!!!!!!

I enjoyed my day, it was full. Lots going on, i was able to sit down with my mom and dad, and my girlfriend concerning my future, and I am rejoicing because the future is shining brighter and brighter each day.

Keep praying for me, the weeks leading up to my revival are going to be busy...


Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day - And all of its after effects...

Honestly, I really don't have the best of excuses to get around why I haven't been blogging. Life is just getting in the way, and all for the right reasons. I mean, I do have a job, a girlfriend, a ministry position in a church (unpaid but still, and a bunch of other things. I mean, I love my life, and things are good, but i just get forgetful. My blog has been lacking. I literally would be writing every chance that I could possibly get and now I find myself doing other things.

Anyway, today was Valentine's Day. This was the first one in a long time where I wasn't alone. I could actually enjoy valentine's Day with someone by my side, and I WAS SO GLAD TO HAVE DONE SO. Donna and I enjoyed a dinner that I myself cooked, and then we went out and enjoyed each other's comapany in Arlington, over frozen yogurt. Life is just good right now. Anyway, back to writing a paper.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Just because I have to...

I hate that statement "just because i have to" it really should say "because I want to". Often times that is how I am feeling in seminary, I am doing things because I have to do them, but not because I want to do them, and it really should be the other way around. I want to do things that will draw me closer to the Lord. As I close this up to do homework, just know i will do my best to blog as often as i can, but school does come first. so if i am not on here like i should be, its because i am prioritizing my time.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Help from those who have gone before us...

I realize I don't blog as often as I should but there are times where my mind just wanders. I should have been blogging everyday since I am a writer, but who really cares that it's not everyday, it keeps my mind fresh and the thoughts that just pop into my head from the day to day happen to end up being talked about on my blog. Today was a blessed day. I had a ton of good things happen to me today. I really have developed a routine for myself. I am blessed beyond words.

Here was my day.

Got up, went to breakfast with my roommate, got bread from the bread ministry at the RAC, worked (had a productive day, learned more about my boss), worked out, went to my hall parents house to had pizza, did laundry, doing homework right now, and taking some periodic mental breaks trying to gather myself together. I needed to blog just because I will literally lose my mind if i can't write about stuff.

I am writing this out today, praying earnestly for my precious girlfriend Donna. Baby, I want you to know how much you encourage me, and I am praying that God's will would be revealed to you in the midst of this trouble you are facing. I pray that you feel better, and I see you smiling at me again.

I wrote the title "Help from those who have gone before us" because basically I am going to include my actual homework assignment, because I don't feel like typing this again. This is from my class for Baptist Heritage, and you are reading about stuff in chapel from this past Tuesday and Thursday (more specifically from Thursday)

Having been around a seminary environment for the past 4-½ years, chapel is nothing new to me. I go because I have to go. (truly a poor attitude to have on my part with all due respect) But once in a great while, there comes a message that brings such serious conviction and encouragement, it has to be mentioned. First of all, I am a missions major. I am planning to go to the field, so hearing anybody talk about missions in general, particularly the father of missions like William Carey gets me excited. Secondly, Dr. Michael Haykin teaches at Southern Seminary (attended Boyce College for undergrad) so it’s nice to hear people from a place where you are familiar.

History is a serious topic. It can be hard to hear it, and it can also be very rewarding. Stories about missions in general weren’t always easy to hear, because people would give their lives in order to spread the gospel. I was encouraged in the regard of talking about friendships. The power of the blood of Jesus Christ saturates everything in the life of a believer. Your mindset is focused on the gospel, and its power to redeem you from what should have sent you right where you deserve to be (in Hell), and then there are the things in life that you really do need to have.

#1 – you need Salvation, you need Jesus

#2 – you need food and water, physical sustenance

#3 – you need sustenance for your soul (friendship)

Haykin referred to friendships that existed between those involved with the reformation in the 1500s being like someone being “knit to someone’s soul”. I have wondered in many respects about the friendships that I develop here at seminary. How many of the people that I have become friends with can I call up 15 or 20 years from now, and have a long conversation with? Friendships are vital in ministry and discussing it from the perspective of people who have lived centuries before us is vital to our lives today in the 21st century as believers. It’s funny that Haykin talked about friendship between the radical reformers after hearing Dr. Steven Smith talk about forgiveness on Tuesday; both of those messages went hand and hand, I had personally felt convicted about forgiveness in the sense it was discussed during the message on Tuesday and followed through, and then hearing what the line of history does to express the value of friendship made me see how serious seminary is. I was blessed and encouraged to hear what history teaches us in even the SMALLEST of details in life. We learn from it, that’s the plain and simple truth I took away from this chapel, we learn from history.


More to come soon.