Sunday, August 31, 2014

Check Out The "Dear Seminarian" Series

You'll want to swing by and check out the "Dear Seminarian" series at FusionTheme. There is lots and lots to think about over there.

Did You Know Lesly's Fam Got A New Dog?

Here is Lesly with the new family dog! They say he is only a few months old. (I don't know about that.)

Read Jacob Cerone's Advice About The Biblical Languages

Students, future students, and future future students, take heed. Jacob Cerone has a message for all seminarians, present and future alike. You will not want to ignore his advice.

Just Back From Gettysburg

Lesly and I just got back from the Middle Creek Christian Retreat Center outside Gettysburg, PA. What an absolutely beautiful grounds and facility. If you are looking for a place to take a church retreat, put on a Christian conference, get away for a staff meeting, etc., you definitely need to look up Middle Creek. I pulled this from their website:
"Middle Creek Christian Retreat Center is a retreat and conference center nestled into 535 pristine acres in Fairfield, Pennsylvania, just south of Gettysburg National Park. Middle Creek accommodates over 50 guests in 17 bedrooms at Laney Lodge and large groups can meet in the beautiful Crowley Tabernacle."
Lesly and I arrived yesterday. We got there just around lunchtime. After getting settled in and saying hello to our hosts and others that had come for the annual Bible conference, Lesly and I went right over to the Gettysburg Battlefield. The entrance of the camp is exactly 8.1 miles from Confederate Avenue. So, we had a few hours to spend together before the evening sessions. We went to the North Carolina monument (best one at Gettysburg, by the way), and then we sat up on Little Round Top for a couple of hours. Today, before we started our short drive back to MD, we went back to the battlefield, this time to Devil's Den and the regions behind it. Oh yeah, and this was the first time we visited Sauches Covered Bridge.

The conference was exceptional! As always with conferences, the fellowship takes the cake! Lesly and I loved spending time with these two sisters who just have the sweetest love for Jesus Christ. Today I had breakfast with a brother from Cary, NC. His testimony really ministered to me. It was a small world. He actually knew my grandfather during a different time, back before they both accepted the Lord Jesus Christ.

Dave Black spoke about missions and Ethiopia last night. This morning he taught from Luke 3:23. Ken Coley closed the conference with a lesson from Numbers 14. What does it look like to be an entirely sold out, obedient, fully-committed Great Commission Christian? If you haven't asked yourself that question, you missed an opportunity this weekend to have it asked over and over again. We had a great time.

Alright, so you know what comes next.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Casting All Your Worry On The Lord (1 Peter 5:7)

Do you know that verse in 1 Peter that talks about surrendering your worry to the one who cares for you? 1 Pet. 5:7 reads, "by casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you." This is probably one of the most difficult things to explain to someone that is in the process of worrying about something. What's it look like to actually cast your anxiety off of yourself and onto the Lord? Well, let me give you some thoughts to consider concerning this verse and its immediate context.

First, we gotta talk about the main thing. The main thing that Peter is talking about here isn't just casting your worry on the Lord. To find the main thing you have to back up to the previous verse. Peter says, "Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, so that at the proper time he may exalt you." God cares for you, but there's just nothing he can do with a proud heart. The only wet clay in his hands is a humble disposition, a broken and contrite heart, an individual that recognizes the greatness of the sovereign Lord of the universe and the littleness of anyone in comparison. This is his world, and we are his possession.

Second, the proper time is God's time. It's a point in time that's fixed by him and him alone. We humble ourselves before him as a prerequisite to what he promises to do. But we don't determine whether or not he lifts us up, nor when, nor how.

Third, you have to make a decision that you are not going to keep the thing, whatever it is, that is bothering you and causing you trouble. I think most of the time we never make that decision because we don't know or don't really believe that God is who God says he is. The first and foremost truth you have to know is our God is the one who cares. And no one cares more than him. No one.

Fourth, I don't know of any way that you and I can throw all our worry off of ourselves and onto the Lord apart from prayer. Now whether or not your words to God are spoken aloud or encoded in silence as they leave your heart and mind and travel to the throne of grace is up to you. But you can't cast your worry onto him without going to him in prayer and telling the Lord something like, "Alright, I can't do anything about this. This is your territory. I'm scared about this. It's bothering me. And it's entirely out of my control. Father, please take this worry and do something with it that brings honor and glory to your name."

Fifth, I'm not sure what to make about this, but the word for "worry" is singular not plural. Maybe it's a trivial observation, but it's one worth making. Why wouldn't Peter just tell us to cast every single one of our "worries" (plural) on the Lord? Well, one reason is I think, when you're worrying and apprehensive about something, it just sorta consumes you. It all bleeds together into one big glob of worry. I know from my own experience that things are usually connected too.

Sixth, you have to make another decision that you are going to leave the worry with the Lord. How's it really doing what the Lord tells us to do if we go to him in prayer, take the worry off of ourselves, throw it off at his feet, only to walk over and pick it back up again, and walk away from the throne of grace with the very burden that sent us there in the first place? But I think that's what we do a lot of the time, and by "we" I really mean me. But I'm learning. I'm really learning. The Lord is really growing me in this area. I can see it, and it causes me to rejoice. I had a few things this week, and when I took them to the Lord, there they stayed. And by God's grace, they'll stay there forever.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Free Online Greek Parser

Have you seen this resource online? All you have to do is (1) type in the verse you want to look at, hover over the Greek word you want to parse, and then (3) look below to find the parsing information (minus the lexical source) highlighted.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Gearing Up For BIB515!

Our students are gearing up for BIB515, which officially launches on Monday. I've got students up in Lancaster, PA and Greenbelt, MD. Today I spent the afternoon reaching out to all of my students. I like to give them a call and personally welcome them to the class. You should really hear the surprise in students' voices when they realize their professor is just calling to say "Hi!" and check in on them. At first they think something might be wrong. After all, why would the prof be calling?! But every single one of these phone calls is a divine appointment. I get to encourage them. I get to remind them that this Greek course is part of the πάντα in Phil. 4:13. In essence, this course will be hard work . . . but they can do it, if they rely on God's strength and not their own. (You still sweat, and sometimes bleed, when you're relying on God's strength.)

All of our students are excited to be getting their copies of Logos Bible software. Our copy of David Alan Black's book is built into a school's Logos package. Add to that, every single one of our students will have numerous Greek language resources and tools. Multiple lexica, Greek grammars, vocabulary helps, etc. It is a great day to be a student at Capital Seminary and Graduate School. By the way, one exciting thing about Capital is every single one of our courses is incorporating Logos into its curriculum. That's right! Very cool!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

BIB530 Finished On Sunday

I've gotten some emails from my prayer warriors asking how the Gospel of Mark class went. I'd say it was a success. But my vantage point is only one perspective. I suppose there are two perspectives that matter a great deal more than mine–the students' and, most important, the Lord's. Teaching is a great joy. Coming alongside brothers and sisters in Christ and showing them how to study the Word of God in a way that will make them better expositors for the rest of their lives is awesome. I love it! This course didn't disappoint.

I remember taking Bob Thomas' Life of Christ course at The Master's Seminary. My life was really forever changed. Between that class and the influence of Dave Farnell and Ray Mehringer in my life, I was resolved to read the Gospels daily in my walk with the Lord. If Jesus is the one into whose image we are being conformed, I want to know what he looks like. And we can see him outside of the Gospels, no doubt (Adam and Eve saw him; Abraham saw him; Moses saw him; Isaiah saw him; etc.). But the Gospels really show us the clearest picture of the life and character that he wants all of us to have.

I love seeing the value that Jesus places on one individual. Mark 5 is a perfect example. Jesus goes from one side of the Sea of Galilee for one single individual. Isn't that amazing? We see Jesus' love for the Syrophoenician woman and her daughter. As busy and as tired and as focused as Jesus was during his ministry, he didn't shoo away the "little people," like you and me. Oh Jesus had such a deep compassion for people. He was willing to expend his entire life for people's salvation. He gave it all, even before going to the cross. Everyday he was giving everything he had in ministry and service to others. My life was changed. If you want to see the Lord Jesus Christ this side of heaven, if you want to know what it looks like to be like Christ, do what I did seven years ago–Make a commitment to read and pray through the Gospels every single day of your life. You will never regret it!

You gotta see this text exchange I had this afternoon with one of the prayer warriors! Look at the first one.

Now, look at the reminder he sent me afterwards. Priceless!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Just Got Another Present In The Mail

I'm getting presents left and right in the mail it seems. Last week my dad sent me a father-son figurine  that really meant a lot to me. Today, I got a package from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. What was inside? Well, Dr. Black sent me his copy of Augustinus Merk's Novum Testamentum: Graece et Latine! This will come in super handy while I'm working on my research on the Complutensian New Testament! Thanks for sending it to me, brother! Here I am checking out this fine codex.

Off To The Office

Lesly and I are getting ready to the head to the office. It's hard to imagine that she's not been there for the last two weeks. What a vacation! I know her friends are looking forward to seeing her. And I bet there is plenty of work waiting just inside the door (hahahhaha). We're getting back into the swing of things.

You know, I'm nowhere near as productive in my life when Lesly is out of town. I remember before I got married how people used to talk about married life. It was as if once you get married, there wouldn't be time to get all the things done that you could when you were single. I found that to be a myth. I think marriage has made me much, much more productive. Lesly agrees.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

She Is Home!

I picked Lesly up at 12:30 last night. It took about forty minutes to get her luggage, and then we made our way home. I am one happy guy. This afternoon I took my babe out for lunch. I just wanted to hear all the stories! Lesly didn't disappoint. She had an awesome trip. 

Since I was living on the bachelor's diet the last few weeks, there is nothing of sustenance at the apartment. So, Lesly is inside Wegmans right now replenishing our supplies. 

Last night was the first time that I picked someone up from BWI at night. Just an FYI, if you want to surprise them, go straight to baggage claim. They go through some secret cave to get there I guess.

Alright, well, thank you all for your prayers. She's home and I'm happy. Now I'm off to enjoy the rest if the day, which by the way is beautiful this Sunday!