I Did Not Know Him – on Being in Seminary and the Ignorance of John the Baptist

I Did Not Know Him – on Being in Seminary and the Ignorance of John the Baptist

We stand beneath the light
In the waters, quickened flow,
And watch for him who washes all.
We wash and wait for him
Before whom we were sent.
No, I myself did not know him.
Who knew him? Not his own.
Not the world who held him, who bore
The author of her branches.

The world which his words uphold
Is blind as a newborn babe, though old.
Is blind as cruel amnesia,
which sees and cannot remember,
And is angered by love’s expectation.
And I, with the world, am blind.
It is my world, and I its prophet.
I myself did not know him there
Until the dove descended.

Before my eyes he descended
And tabernacled with one I knew
And had never seen.
The Lord, my friend, the Lord, my cousin,
The Lamb, who bears and buries sin.
I did not know him, but for this reason
I was sent to wash with water,
To see this day and wonder,
That all might see and know.

And shall I minister in ignorance?
Shall I wash until he comes again
If I don’t see him? Do I know him?
Revealed now in water and in blood,
I know him.
And though blind, I see dimly
The face which I will know, as known.
And the trees which walk around
Will be as men again, and as women.

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Calling

Calling

Several years ago I went backpacking by myself. I thought it would be a rejuvenating escape from life’s anxieties- instead it simply added a few more pointed anxieties (bears, weather, getting lost) while removing those common-grace distractions on which I had come to depend (community, coffee, Netflix). It was challenging, but I learned some things.

At one point, after missing a turn and going several miles in the wrong direction, I decided to take a ‘short-cut’ down a gully to a river which I knew to be in the distance. My logic ran something like this:

  • I know the river cuts between here and camp.
  • I know this gully will either take me to this river or to the Mississippi.
  • Either way I’ll find civilization eventually.

So I strove off into the underbrush, following water as it chased gravity downhill. This adventure did not help my anxiety, but neither did it kill me, and hours of cobwebs, thunderclaps, and compass-checks later, I found my river. Across knee-deep clarity I could see the edge of a trail.

Most often in my life, a sense of calling settles into my heart kind of like a river at the base of the hills. There’s a general motion (‘water runs this way’) and there is a conclusion (‘I reckon’ this is where it’ll end up’) without any real clear directions along the way. There is a sense that ‘one way or another, I’ll end up there’- a sense of likely conclusion without any particular reason to expect so. I remember in college having just such a sense of calling, specifically about a summer internship. I was invited somewhere I did not want to go, to do something I did now know how to do. And while I was not excited about it, the sense of certain conclusion was clear- I was going to end up in that internship. I just was. And so I went. It proved to be one of the least pleasant experiences of my life, and also one of the most formative.

As I look towards the spring, towards decisions and direction and calling, I would really love to have a clear word of direction (“DO THIS DREW”). Instead, I’m beginning to get a sense of an inevitable conclusion- an idea about where I might be next year. And with that comes joy and excitement, and fear. Since my college internship experience, I can no longer equate calling with comfort; moreover, I know that church planting does not generally come with a leather recliner. Alas.

Catching this kind of calling takes time, and prayer, and waiting, and checking, and conversations, and advice, and repentance, and listening. And I’m going to keep asking the Lord to be more clear. I have some time. But in the meantime, I’m fairly certain that the Lord is leading me to Himself, in a slowly-rolling-down-the-hill kind of way, and I reckon I’ll hit my river soon enough. That or the Mississippi.

I invite your prayers for continued discernment.

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Light at the End of the Tunnel

Light at the End of the Tunnel

Friends. I have four ridiculous things to tell you about this week.

  1. The mono is almost gone-o.
  2. I turned in my final papers for this semester yesterday- only one Greek exam left!
  3. I just registered for the final four courses necessary to finish my MDiv.
  4. I leave for Costa Rica tomorrow afternoon.

Ok, five things. I got a hair cut. Euro-Jesus/Hobbit/Jedi no more. Back to Drew. I feel instantly better.

It has been a whirlwind of a conclusion to this semester. I don’t feel like I’ve stopped since the mono-month. My prayer life has been unbelievably rocky, with some much-sweeter-than-usual moments surrounded by a total lack of discipline. Part of this is because I’m still trying to sleep as much as possible, and the ox has been in the ditch so long I thought it might be dead.* But part of it is also because I have a stubborn, self-righteous heart, and would rather not admit my need. That has become increasingly obvious this semester, particularly as I’ve studied and worshipped with people I vehemently disagree with. That disagreement easily becomes judgment. I can careen from ‘I disagree with you’ to ‘you’re impossibly wrong’ to ‘I’m definitely better/more thoughtful/more Christian than you’ with remarkable speed, all the while bemoaning my weakness and oft-undisciplined approach to faith. Needless to say, it has been a week for confession and repentance. The glory of the gospel is, of course, that Jesus came for sinners. As we used to say at City Church, when you confess your sins to the Almighty, you are placing yourself in His hands: you are the ones he’s come for. If he had come for spiritual heroes, he wouldn’t have found any.

I ask your prayers for the next couple weeks.

  • For the trip to Costa Rica with OneWorld Health. Check out their website, and pray for the team. 12 of us, trying out a new kind of medical support trip serving refugees in San Jose. I’m staying a few extra days to work briefly with another non-profit down there- stories to come, I hope!
  • For time at home, for rest and re-centering. It’s been a whale of a semester.
  • For ‘future’ conversations. I’m busy scheduling meetings with bishops/pastors/friends/counselors during the couple weeks that I’m home- pray for wisdom and humility, and for clarity as to where the Lord may be calling me.

Happy Advent, all! Thank you for reading, and for your prayers. Keep in touch, and let me know how I can be praying for you.

 

 

 

*Seminary joke.

 

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Hope for the Ungrateful

Hope for the Ungrateful

One would not expect mono to produce gratitude. Frankly, it didn’t- at least not right away. I’ve written already about the thankfulness I felt for friends and family, who checked in on me and took care of me and so on- there was some real gratitude involved for that part of the ordeal. But most of the time that I was cooped up in bed, I was either bored, tired, frustrated, or attempting to be self-forgetful while watching (you guessed it) The West Wing.

It was somewhere in the middle of it, though, that I realized I wasn’t particularly grateful for anything. And not just when I’m sick, but most of the time. I am generally ungrateful.

I have a prayer list (some of you are probably on it) that reminds me of all the needs I feel most poignantly. I have a habit of writing songs or poems or journaling to process suffering or confusing. And I love sad music (like Ryan Adams– isn’t that just marvelous?). But somewhere in between throat sprays and cough drops I realized that I spend a lot more time meditating on the unpleasant things than on the pleasant ones. My creativity, my prayers, even my music choices revolve around what’s wrong rather than what’s right. And while I still firmly believe that sad music is almost always better than happy music, it’s not always better for my soul.

Recognizing and grieving about the brokenness of the world is a necessary part of the Christian life- tasting the suffering around us is a necessary element in understanding and glorying in the Gospel. Yet if the Gospel is fundamentally good news (as the name implies), and if we hope to savor it at all I expect we must give it time to melt in our mouths a bit, too. But I’m not very good at that part, and have needed help.

Three ways that God has brought this about in the past few weeks:

  1. Suddenly, during week two of house arrest, the maple tree out back exploded into color, bright as an enormous dandelion. Every morning as I moved from bed to my recliner to read and nap for a bit, I was astonished to find my room awash in yellow. I could not help being grateful with such glory thrust upon my attention. Conclusion: I need to be outside more.
  2. My roommate George invited me to come hear him preach a sermon at a presbyterian church across the Ohio in Aliquippa. The whole place felt like an older City Church, and the worship felt like home. I could not help stretching my hands out while I was singing, so grateful was I for the reminder of His faithfulness. Conclusion: familiar worship is good for the heart.
  3. Reading through the sermon on the mount in Luke this morning, I came across a well-underlined verse in Matthew Ch. 6. “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and to the evil.

Conclusion: In the middle of what may be God’s most impossible command- to love one’s enemies- he provides the one thing that can empower us to do so: the kindness of God towards the ungrateful and the evil. And as one confronted by the depth of my ingratitude, this verse startled me in its power: the announcement of God’s kindness to the ungrateful caused me, without consideration, to say, “Oh, thank you God.”

We cannot make ourselves more grateful in the moment. We can seek out the good, and remind ourselves of his faithfulness in times past, and seek his face (particularly in scripture), and these help. But above all, the hope of the ungrateful is the kindness of God already extended to us, in a cornucopia of ways. I hope to look for that this holiday season.

 

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You tell me if seminary’s working (a brief update)

You tell me if seminary’s working (a brief update)

If the goal is to be more like Jesus, the answer seems obvious.

Some brief updates (mostly) for prayer

  • Mono takes a long time. Gratefully, the least-pleasant symptoms are mostly gone- I am eating solid food, sleeping well, and not taking any pain meds. The tiredness remains, and it can be discouraging. Pray for joy and gratitude in the trenches.
  • Final projects. Mono’s exhaustion makes even weekly assignments difficult, and I’ve got three big assignments looming. Pray for strength and focus.
  • OneWorld Health Trip to Costa Rica (second week of December). I’ve joined OWH’s December ‘scout’ trip, exploring the feasibility of extending free medical care to Nicaraguan refugees in Costa Rica. This breaks the usual model for OWH’s work, but their commitment to the people of Nicaragua is greater than their commitment to a particular formula. Isn’t that just awesome? Pray for health, safety, and wisdom as the trip approaches.
  • Future plans. I’m having a lot of conversations about the future. Should I help plant a church? Should I help revitalize one? Should I (like Jesus) wrap a towel around my waist, and (not like Jesus) try to restore my once-dominant latte art*? Pray for grace where I am, and for vision for the future.
  • AND, in the past month, I have been called John the Baptist, Obi-wan Kenobi, Gaston, and (of course) Jesus. Nothing at all to pray for here, unless you’re my mother.

Grateful for you all. Keep in touch- let me know how I can be praying for you.

 

*It really was just once, but I won the t-shirt to prove it.

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On Sickness in Community

On Sickness in Community

The leaves are changing color quickly now, green to gold and ruby. The brilliance of the dying summer, light escaping the trees like warmth fleeing before winter. Did you know that all this glory of the leaves, all this gold and ruby, is buried under the green year-round? Only when the light grows too weak to sustain the dominant chlorophyll (green), are the brilliant yellows and reds revealed.

Well, I’m still sick. After several visits to the doctor and some blood work, I tested positive for Mono. For those of you who didn’t feel its wrath in college, Mono is a long-lasting virus that leaves a blistered throat and a throbbing head, sometimes for weeks on end. Its signature symptom is exhaustion- many with Mono sleep for twelve to sixteen hours a day for the first few weeks, and do not recover normal energy levels for at least a month. For me, this currently looks like waking up every few hours to take more ibuprofen, buying menthol cough-drops in bulk, swallowing whatever nutrients my throat allows in smoothie-form, and sneaking into class when I’m feelin’ it. And I’m definitely on the upswing. Everything (and I mean everything) is so much better this week than last. I have a feeling that this coming weekend will be the end of my sore throat (and so the return of good sleep and solid food), but one can never know. I did buy a blender, and that makes everything softer, if not better.

One of the unexpected unpleasantries that arrived with Mono was loneliness. I am generally busy enough to not feel lonely at all- I’m always meeting to study with a friend or grabbing a drink with a fellow student or professor. Only when you’re stuck in your room for days, unable to sleep or drink or eat much at all, and bored even with the glories of The West Wing (Season 2), that a deep sense of isolation sinks in.

As much as I am an introvert (and I am an introvert), human contact fills me with remarkable joy and encouragement. And so, in the midst of being sick as a dog, my community, rallying around me, was the single most encouraging part of the ordeal. Tyler shipped me several cans of soup and bottles of ginger beer all the way from Colorado (‘no sir, there’s no liquid in that’). The Prescott’s made me smoothies (life-saver), painted me a get-well rock (thanks Grace) and came by to check on me. Jeff bought me some incredibly intense mouth-numbing lozenges (canth felll ma thung), and Jack, one of my professors, even made me soup! And darned good soup, too. Not to mention the other gifts, notes, emails, calls, and texts I received from so many of you.

In other words, all the beautiful colors that were already present in my leaf (er, life) were revealed in all their glory when I ran out of strength. Asking for help, in a couple texts/emails and this blog, proved an incredible blessing. You’re a bunch of gold and rubies, all of you. So thank you. For your friendship, your notes, your gifts, your encouragement. I’m still sick, and welcome your prayers, but I’m a whole heck of a lot better. I’m making progress, and I’m very, very grateful.

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An October Update

An October Update

Hello everyone! I feel like it’s been a skinny minutes since I’ve been on here, but I supposed it’s only been a month or so. Still, so much has happened. This will not be a comprehensive update- merely a quick review and an invitation to pray.

A few highlights

  • I flew home for my oldest-best-friend-cousin’s wedding. It was in a Greek orthodox church (to call it a fascinating service would be an understatement) with a reception downtown, interspersed with lots of good times on the island. An excellent trip, full of joy and baclava (if not overly restful).
  • I served as a deacon at the wedding of my roommate from last year. The bride’s family was Japanese, and it was beautiful to see the way the groom bent over backwards to help them understand and participate in an English service. It was an honor to be up there (even if he made me wear some ridiculously fancy Roman garb (nobody tell Rob))
  • I was invited along on a family vacation with the Prescott’s- easily one of the highlights of my time up here so far. We explored all around Fayetteville, West Virginia, and saw the New River Bridge from just about every vantage point imaginable. We learned about the history of the area (from Indians to Mining Camps), ate microwaved s’mores (remarkably effective), and generally had a grand-ol’ time. As a single man, to be invited on a family vacation was an act of astonishing grace to me (even if they just saw it as a couple extra hands). I’m very, very grateful to the Cories.

A few things to keep in prayer

  1. I’m sick. I’ve had a bit of a cold off-and-on for a while now. I thought I had it beat last weekend (went to the second wedding and danced my socks off). But it returned yesterday with a vengeance. Going back to the doctor tomorrow, but would really rather not. Sore throat, headache, the standard stuff. Please pray for healing, and good sleep.
  2. I’ve been encouraged to seek joy in the Lord. After a conversation with a counselor, I have been encouraged to seek the Lord for spiritual healing as well. I’ll likely explore this more in a future post, but in short he encouraged me to hope in the presence of the Holy Spirit to settle my soul in the present, and not only in the Great End. I have realized that such seeking of present joy leaves me vulnerable to disappointment in the Lord, something I wrestle with even now. So please pray for love to overcome fear, and for the Lord to meet me in the seeking.
  3. I’ve got some travels coming up. I have to go on at least one international trip this winter break to fulfill all righteousness (and Trinity’s graduation requirements). I currently have two options. First, OneWorld Health has invited me to consider a week-long trip with them, as they explore serving Nicaraguan refugees in Costa Rica (December). I love this organization, and would love to support them as they step in a new direction. Second, a dear friend of mine has spent some time ministering in Spain and northern Africa amongst Muslim families and refugees. I may (may) be able to land some grant funds for a longer trip to work with him there (14-17 days in January). I’m working out the details right now (some fundraising will likely ensue, regardless), but would invite your prayers as I discern which (if not both) trips I think I’m called to go on. I’m currently leaning towards both- to serve OWH and to learn about my buddy’s ministry abroad. But time and finances will both be concerns there. And also…
  4. I’m tired. After two weddings, a trip, and being sick, I have exactly zero motivation to read/study/move. I would appreciate your prayers for rest and renewed zeal for all things good, but especially for prayer.

I love you all, and am grateful for your friendship and encouragement. Drop me a line- I’d love to hear how you’re doing!

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Killing Sabbath-Breakers, or ‘Thoughts for Sunday Funday’

And the LORD said to Moses, “You are to speak to the people of Israel and say, ‘Above all you shall keep my Sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the LORD, sanctify you. You shall keep the Sabbath, because it is holy for you. Everyone who profanes it shall be put to death. Whoever does any work on it, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day shall be put to death. Therefore the people of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, observing the Sabbath throughout their generations, as a covenant forever. It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.”      Exodus 31.12-17

Sabbath, or else. Here we have a bizarre (and frankly, disturbing) injunction to kill anyone who works on the Sabbath. We read in Numbers 15 of this law enacted- a man gathering firewood on the Sabbath is caught, and stoned by the congregation. To death. For sticks.

Now, how on earth could breaking a day-of-rest warrant anything close to that level of response? Clearly we don’t think of Sabbath as highly as the God of Israel did (Christians, that’s your God too, FYI). What are we to do with that?

To start with, we have to ask- why does God call his people to take a day off in the first place?

“This is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the LORD, sanctify you. You shall keep the Sabbath, because it is holy for you.” 

The Sabbath is a sign, that we may know.

The Sabbath is meant to teach us something. It’s meant to remind us of something. And God tells Israel precisely what it is supposed to remind them of: “that I, the LORD, sanctify you.” Literally, make you holy. We keep the day holy, in order to remember that God makes us holy. Set apart. Clean. Good.

Now why would we need a weekly reminder of that?

I suspect that’s obvious. Because we forget. Daily. Hourly. We forget that God is the one working, healing, saving, redeeming. And instead, we begin to think that life is all up to us.

You know that you are forgetting that God sanctifies us when you get anxious. About money, about family, about our jobs, about our house, about our religion. I’ve dealt with quite a bit of anxiety over the past week, looking over budget stuff and thinking about the future. When I consider that so many of my friends are buying houses while I have no earned income at all,  I start to worry that I might be falling behind- that I might need to work a little harder, a little longer. Should I consider some part-time employment on the side? Church planting is not particularly lucrative (ha)- should I consider ministry opportunities with greater financial stability? That seems rather silly after working at New Bethel for the summer, where Bishop White drove trucks full-time to feed his family, and pastored a congregation (sometimes two!) in his “spare time.” Still, I get anxious.

And I get anxious about my ‘religion.’ Should I rejoice in God more than I am? Should I be more joyful when I come to Scripture, and less frustrated with the hard teachings I wrestle with (like this one)? Should I be less materialistic, or more evangelistic, or maybe just a better student?

As a matter of fact, this is precisely why we get anxious when we try not to work. Why it often takes us a couple days of vacation before we can actually enjoy it. Because we feel like we’re wasting time, missing opportunities, falling behind. Because we think it’s all up to us. Taking Sabbath actually reveals our self-centeredness by drawing out the latent anxieties in our soul.

Whenever those anxieties creep in, we have begun to forget. To forget that God sanctifies us. That God sanctifies me. That He sets me apart, redeems my soul, makes me new. That He’s the one making all things new.

This is why the Sabbath rules of Jesus’ day are so egregious, by the way, and why Jesus so regularly challenges the religious rulers about it. The Sabbath rules had become a means of establishing one’s holiness before God, of ensuring one’s sanctity by not working. Which entirely misses the point. “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath,” says Jesus to an astonished crowd. You’re missing the point completely.

You see, God is so deeply concerned that His people not forget His provision, His sanctification, that He commands that Sabbath-breakers be killed. The Sabbath-breaker is killed as a warning to the congregation, as a declaration to all, that ‘this is the way you are going.’ This is the path you have embarked upon, and it ends in futility and death. Instead of trusting me in rest, you are actively walking away from me in anxiety and self-assurance, and that road will kill you, spiritually, emotionally, physically.

We are stunned to see God command a man be killed for collecting firewood on the Sabbath- ‘it’s such a small offense!’ we think. Would God really kill a man for sticks? But God turns the question around- would you really reject the provision of God for twigs? Would you deliberately forget his favor- just to do a little more inconsequential work? Modern day parallel- emails. How often do we not go to sleep, or not rest, or not spend time with our kids, in order to send another email. What folly.

All of God’s people are to look at the Sabbath-breaker, killed for his transgressions, and be warned against self-assurance. Because such self-assurance always brings death. And we consistently forget that, to our true danger.

Still, the word is pretty brutal. Good thing we don’t have that in the New Testament, right? Well…

There is also a ‘Sabbath-breaker’ killed in the New Testament. To be sure, this man followed the laws of God perfectly, even on the Sabbath- but he did not follow the laws of the Pharisees. He healed a man on the Sabbath, a ‘work’ in their book. This could have waited ’til Monday, after all. In obeying the Father he broke their Sabbath rules, and his true rest challenged their self assurance. And they hated him for it. So they killed him too. They hung him up on so much firewood, where all could see and be warned.

This ‘Sabbath-breaker’ is of course the Lord Jesus, the very Lord who sanctifies. And as He died in innocence He bore the weight of all Sabbath-breaking, the deadly consequence of seeking our own sanctification rather than trusting God’s. He rested, dead in the tomb, all day Saturday, rested in the promises of God to save His people. And He was vindicated on Sunday morning when the Father by the Spirit raised Him again to life. We can look at the cross and see the futility of our striving- the futility of trying to prove ourselves again and again by what we do or accomplish or have. We can look to the dying ‘Sabbath-breaker’ and know that this way of proving ourselves leads to death- a death God has borne on our behalf, that we might go another way. The way of trust, and rest, and blessing. In the death of the Sabbath-breaker, we see not only the consequence of self-assurance, but the very sanctifying work of the God of rest.

Now, we cannot make ourselves holy by our rest- but we sure could stand to remember his provision. I need to remember. So, practically- what are we to do? Last week I got so fed up with trying ‘not to work,’ that I took an axe to the backyard and cleared brush for a couple hours. I don’t think that’s exactly what God meant by ‘resting.’ But are we called to just sit, like Orthodox Jews, unwilling to turn on a light switch or walk or cook? Or like the Pharisees, who reject Jesus’ healing people on the Sabbath, because it qualifies as ‘work’ in their book?

I think we might want to look at God’s command for tithes in Deuteronomy 14.22-29. The goal of tithing is similar to the goal of Sabbath- to remember the provision of God and to properly order ourselves (in our thinking and hoping) under His sanctification. And what does such active remembering look like? Like a feast. Like a party. The instruction is to bring your animals and your grain and your wine to Jerusalem, and sacrifice there, and then eat together. And my favorite part- “If the way is too long for you [to carry all your tithe], turn it into money… and go to the place that the Lord your God chooses, and spend the money for whatever you desire- oxen or sheep or wine or strong drink, whatever your appetite craves. And you shall eat there before the Lord your God and rejoice, you and your household.”

To tithe was to party. You remember the Lord’s faithfulness by enjoying His gifts.

I wonder if we might remember the Sabbath, negatively, by not working, but positively, by having a party. And not a crazy party that wears you out- something simple, wine and cheese with friends or a cookout or a bonfire with smores or fancy grilled cheese night with the kids (or as a couple dear friends of mine do, champagne Sunday nights as a couple). Yes, in other words: Sunday Funday. Not running yourself ragged trying to do something big and exciting, but inviting people into your home and enjoying the many gifts of God that already fill your house. While you’re at it, just say thank you. He has done the work- he has given you all that you have. That’s the point, after all.

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Back to School! (Plus a Sermon)

Back to School! (Plus a Sermon)

Well friends, I have arrived in Ambridge (late, late Sunday night), and classes began (with Greek) on Monday. It was a good summer, and challenging in a lot of ways. In a summer without many significant responsibilities, I was humbled to discover once again how much hope I put in my work, and how much personal significance I seat in accomplishments and ‘glorious’ fruit. Time with Bishop White was remarkably helpful in reminding me of the simple call to love people well as a minister- it doesn’t need to be flashy.

I find my heart in an entirely different place as my second and final year at Trinity begins. Last year I was grieving my home church and my ministry role there- this year I am

eager to step into a new schedule with more discipline than my summer meanderings. Last year I was wary of professors and students (how far can they be trusted theologically? per

sonally?)- this year I have good friends, and I know the lay of the land, and I am eager to learn, perhaps especially, from those with whom I deeply disagree. I’m approaching class with more nuanced listening, and I hope with more humility- and I’m REALLY excited about a Lutheran systematics course I’m getting to take as an elective. By all accounts, it’s going to be legit.

I’ve also picked up a few new roles around campus. I’m student body president, which admittedly feels a bit silly (didn’t I just get here?), but puts some unique opportunities before me. I’m a house manager for some of our African students, and already I’m excited to get to know them.

I welcome your prayers, for classes and busy-ness and settling in. It would be easy to get overwhelmed with so much starting at once- pray for time to continue processing the summer, and for rest.

I have a new address! 319 Sherman St. Ambridge, PA 15003.

And finally, I’ve attached my final sermon from New Bethel for your listening. What a gift it was to grow in a different style of preaching. A lot of growing still to go, but progress!

Love yall. Stay cool out there.

 

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Sermon on Ezekiel 14:1-11, from New Bethel

Sermon on Ezekiel 14:1-11, from New Bethel

For everyone who asked if I had a chance to preach this summer: I did! Below is the recording of my first, from a couple Sundays past. Before you listen, it’s worth knowing that Bishop White made a comment earlier in the service about how ridiculous it would be for him to write out a sermon ‘word-for-word’ and then just read it- I reference that comment in passing during my introduction. Also, the audio is not great at the beginning, but it clears up after 15 seconds or so.

Some notes on the picture above: the robes are standard wear at New Bethel. The hair is standard wear for me these days- not sure how long it’ll last (or how long it will get, for that matter). Bishop White sits behind me- a gracious teacher and mentor, and dare I say a friend-in-the-making.

A couple things to pray for- I’ll be preaching at least twice more while Bishop White recovers from some minor surgery over the next few weeks- prayers for wisdom and humility there in preparing/preaching. Second, I’m having some conversations about potential future ministry opportunities (after seminary) this week and in the next few- I welcome prayers for discernment in those.

Love yall much! I have a few weeks left at home, but am starting to get excited about another semester of study. Starting to. Almost.

-drew

 

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