Monday, August 27, 2007

School Days and Books

I want to be a life-long learner but not a life-long student!

As the fall semester of seminary begins for me I find myself excited and overwhelmed. I am excited by the wisdom and knowledge I am getting through my classes and through the mentoring of my professors. Also, I am excited about growing in character as I try to put into practice what the Lord is teaching me through the Bible. However, I am overwhelmed with the amount of reading and work that goes into my classes. This is why I said I do not want to be a life-long student.

In a couple of weeks I will turn 29 and in a couple of months I will attend my 10-year high school reunion. I feel a little sheepish about telling people that I am still in school. I guess I am worried that they think I am a loser since I don't have a successful, secure job or a big house or other things like that which I could drop casually into a conversation.

But I should really get over any feelings of embarrassment because I am happy about where Jesus is leading me in regards to full-time ministry. (Editorial note: my happiness it not really the determining factor though. Jesus is the leader of my life so I would follow Him anywhere even if it meant pain, sorrow, or death.)

I am hoping that my 10-yr reunion will be a good opportunity to share with my classmates about Jesus and what He has done in my life. I hope to give every one of my classmates a gospel tract and to share the gospel verbally with as many as possible. Those of you who are Christians and are reading this please pray that God will use me to do this on Oct. 12-13. (Those of you who are reading this and are not Christians probably think everything I have said up to this point is pretty strange. Check out THIS and maybe on down the road the type of things I have written above will make sense.)

On a different note, I've noticed that I am addicted to books! I've always liked books, but only recently have I discovered that they are the essential tools of a pastor. The number 1 book of the pastor is the Bible of course. But in studying the Bible it drives the pastor to other books as well: Greek books, Hebrew books, commentaries, background books, books about the Lord's Supper, the Trinity, Heaven, Hell, and so on. And the irony is that all the books that the Bible drives the reader to are then measured by the Bible.

For example, I find myself reading a commentary on the Bible to get insight to what a passage says and then sometimes I find myself disagreeing with the commentary because when I read the passage in the Bible again, it is clearly not saying what the commentator says it said!

In addition to the crazy amount of books that I have to read for this semester, I have created my own list of books that I want to buy and read. You can see it by clicking on my Amazon wish list on the right side of this blog. Check out some of these books for yourselves. Although, I haven't read any of these yet, they have come highly recommended from others. If you are feeling especially generous you can buy one of these for me through the same site.

PS. Time does not allow me to write out all the love and appreciation I have for my friends and family. We recently visited our old church in Austin and it was so good to see again the people we love--you know who you are! Thanks for being our friends.