Thoughts from one of my Father’s sons

So…

On June 9, I start a two-week intensive session of seminary classes. I am taking “Christian Perspectives on Contemporary Culture” and “Global Issues in Evangelism”. I am so excited to begin, but I am also very nervous. I haven’t really been a student since I graduated from College 11 years ago (some might argue, not even then!). I was accepted to the program the day after registration for summer classes closed. I had to pettition the seminary to be able to register for classes and then, I come to find out that there are five books for each class that I have to read before classes start. UGH! I mean, I’m a good reader and all. In fact, when I moved to Phoenix in high school I enrolled in Mr. Arthur’s AP English class and discovered I had to have read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn before school started. I ended up reading it on Sunday before school started on Monday. The whole book in one day! Anyway… you might guess that procrastination is a major struggle in my life, and you’d be right. Pray for me!

Last night at the Stirring, my brother Derrick spoke about, among other things,the faithfullness of God. I’m sure you have all heard the platitude that goes, “If God can get you to it, God can get you through it”. I hate trite, Christian phrases like that. In fact, I even have trouble with a couple of verses from scripture because people quote them like they are trite, little, Christian phrases. Romans 8:28 is the scripture version of the platitude I gave above. It reads, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” I have heard that verse quoted at me and at people I know and love my whole life. If someone gets fired or divorced or dies, you can bet some well-meaning Christian is there with Romans 8:28. It really pisses me off…

But you know what? It’s true. And it’s a very powerful statement. Read it again with my notes added:

“In all things (good and bad) God works (God is active, not passive!) for the good (the ultimate good, that only God can know) of those who love Him (something we can only do because He allows us to and gives us the ability to do), who have been called (chosen) according to His purpose (so much greater than my purpose).”

That is truly amazing stuff. Derrick said that the God who is faithful to call us out of the darkness and anonymity of our lives and into the light and son-ship of the life He wants for us, will be faithful to support us and love us and save us and strengthen us. There is an old praise chorus that is based on my theme verse (Phil. 1:6) and it goes like this”

“He who began a good work in you/ He who began a good work in you/ Will be faithful to complete it/ Will be faithful to complete it/ He who started a work will be faithful to complete it in you”

It is my prayer dearest brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, my sweet family in Christ; that each and every one of you will be strengthened by this word from God, our Father. That you will be encouraged through Christ, our Brother. That you will be sustained by the Holy Spirit, our Mother.

Thanks for stopping by. I love you.

SDG,
Matty

Dr. Nick:”Hi Everybody!” Everybody: “Hi Dr. Nick!”

So… lots going on… where to start?

A New Direction for My Life
So, I am applying now to the A. W. Tozer Seminary at Simpson University. God has revealed to me His desire for me to be in full-time ministry. My passion is youth and family/couples ministry and I am very much excited about the direction that God is leading me. For many of you, this news will register like this: “Well, duh, Matthew. We’ve thought you should be in ministry since High School. You should have just asked us.”

It is awesome and, at the same time, intimidating for me to feel a calling of God upon my life. I ran so far and so long to get away from God; trying to escape giving up control of my life. I have found, though, God has a way of pursuing us. The Holy Spirit hounds us; relentlessly following, hunting, searching and eventually wooing us to the loving arms of our God. And, we surrender; and it’s difficult. Some things are SO hard to give up control of.

Crown Financial Ministries
In that vein, I am taking a class at my parents church from Crown Ministries. (www.crown.org) Crown Ministries is an organization that teaches Christian-based financial seminars and classes. They teach “discovering God’s way of Handling Money.” It is AWESOME. I would recommend this class to anyone. Go on their website and see about finding a class or small group in your area. They discuss issues like budgeting, debt, home ownership, saving for retirement and children’s educations and many other important topics. Check it out!

The Stirring
My new church is called The Stirring. (thestirring.org) It is an awesome place to worship and learn more about our God. Right now, we are in a series called “We are Family.” We are being challenged to view our Gathering as a family; and to view ourselves as not just “churchgoers” but as Brothers and Sisters and Mothers and Fathers in Christ. The Stirring has not had much of a youth program, but we are getting ready to start up a Jr. High group and I have made it very clearly known that I want to be a part of that ministry.

Well… that was a little rambling and scattered… I’m not in the habit! Bear with me as I get back in the groove.

My love and prayers to all my readers, old and new!

SDG,
Matty