Sunday, June 17, 2012

School, week one overview

School of Ministry.
Week One.

Lets see.

Studying? Check

Budgeting from our trip? Check

In the classroom we all have a name plaque on our disk with a list of our strengths from Strengthsfinders.

We're in a new class room this year.
It's across from the EN head office here.

The break room is even fancy and stuff.

Also as soon as we got here we settled in quickly.
I need things to have a home to function in them.

This is especially true in my kitchen.
I didn't feel fully at home until I got to go grocery shopping on Monday and put it all away in an organized fashion.

And to brag, you have to see where we're living.
The views here are amazing.

Yup. Pretty amazing.

I've also gotten to do a lot of cooking.


Burrito's using ground turkey

Quesadillas, using Burrito leftovers.

Orzo with Spinach, roasted Squash and Zucchini, and Yoshida Flounder

Aside from Photo Ops and fun times, this has been a huge week of learning. We have been studying a few main sections this week: StrengthsFinders, Effective Communication, Inside out Transformation, Search the Scriptures and Next Generation Leader. 

StrengthsFinders is teaching us about how to diagnose our strengths, build our strengths and learn to use them effectively. It talks about why we so often look to our weaknesses and try to improve on them (a waste of time and energy) instead of looking to our strengths and developing them to their full potential.

Effective Communication is about learning our speaking strength and breaking public communication into three categories - authenticity, clarity and content. We are just starting this course but will be looking at developing an authentic speaking voice, an ability to speak clearly and an ability to develop content. I'm so excited to learn more about this

Search the Scriptures is about effective bible reading - it addresses the heart of the reader and the styles and tools to digging through God's word. It is both overwhelming and helpful. 

Next generation leader ties a few of these courses together - we are looking at being leaders that know our strengths, that stand in our strengths and that lead authentically.

Most impacting though, has been Inside Out Transformation. Paul Barker (our teacher) has spent most of time helping us understand that the Gospel isn't a one time thing - it isn't just a ticket to salvation. The gospel is a past event and a current status - meaning that is has already happened (so we don't need to strive for change - we are already free) and it is a truth that defines our current status. We don't need to strive for freedom, in Christ we are free. The good news (or gospel) is the realization that we are more sinful than we ever dared believe and more loved and affirmed than we ever dared imagine. 

This has been hitting me a lot this week - it's something Pastor Greg has taught on that I've had trouble grasping. I can understand that I am wicked. I see proof of that every day. I can be mean, vindictive, angry, prideful, arrogant, etc. I just usually clean up pretty nice when I talk to people, so hopefully it's not too noticeable. But trust me, I know it's there. I can even believe that an all loving God of the universe, who made me and loves me, would send his son to die for me. I believe he has freed me from my sin and that I have eternal security in him. 

I can handle all of that - I've heard it, I've felt blessed by that...It is reason enough to worship this God. 

But the truth that it isn't just a one time thing - it isn't just about salvation. Every day I am equally sinful and forgiven. I am wicked and unconditionally loved. Each day the power to move forward, the power to love others, and the power to stay away from temptation comes from the truth of my wickedness and his freedom. That's hard to compute. 

Paul B told a story that finally helped nail this idea into my head. He talked about a situation in world war two where 2 scottish chaplains ended up in adjoining areas of a concentration camp (one in the american side, one in the english side). Since they were both chaplains they were allowed to meet at a fence for a part of the day to talk. Since the guards understood English and German, they would speak in Gaelic. On the American side, one of the prisoners had managed to find a radio, that they would listen to to get news of the war. After a while the chaplain that had been on the American side came with the news that the Germans had surrendered. Now the prisons were free! 

One problem. The germans still didn't know. The news hadn't funnelled down to them from the higher ups. It took a few days for the news to reach the German guards. Over those days the prisons were free-but-not-free. Though their guards didn't know they were free, they walked and acted like free men. They still did the same chores, the same jobs. They still ate the gruel, and were still treated like prisons but they had the knowledge of freedom and that brings joy. 

After a few days the prisons woke up one morning to find all the doors unlocked and all the guards gone - they were finally freed. 

This story has helped me understand this concept in new ways - to walk in freedom and despite the circumstances. 

Anyways...this has been long and we're about to head into Brentwood to hit up Bethel Brentwood, the main church here. We're excited - apparently there's a men's choir singing in honour of fathers day!

I'll fill you in  on class structure and our awesome weekend later!

1 comment:

jenna said...

Love the pics! Could u take a couple of your room and living area?


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