Category: Dear Seminarian

The Future is Now

It was not the most promising day. Fifty-nine degrees, light rain, and gusty winds were not exactly ideal for my daily bike ride. Yet, I dutifully hopped on my road bike and made my way through the scenic roads of Whatcom County. I found myself praying that day for a trusted mentor who had faithfully served in ministry for nearly forty years, eleven of which we served together in the same foxhole. He recently planted the church of his dreams and was shepherding people, proclaiming the truth of God’s Word, and enjoying a harvest; all prompted and produced by...

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Discipline Yourself for Godliness

Few issues are as important or as controversial as the role of discipline in the Christian life. When we hear the words discipline, we might first think of the soldier out preparing for battle. We might also think of the athlete training hard in the weight room or working on their craft. Still, also, we might think of discipline as something primarily we do. If we’re talking in these ways about discipline, we get discipline partly right. There’s also more to discipline than our effort. As Christians, when we begin to talk about discipline, we must emphasize that it...

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Getting the Most out of Seminary Classes When You’re Already Crazy Busy

It’s a great understatement to say that seminary is a very crazy time of life. The old cliché of seminary being like “drinking from a firehose” has stuck around for a reason. Trying to juggle work, family, church, and school responsibilities can leave you feeling like you have almost no time or energy left for actually learning anything in your classes. While we can’t always do much to reduce our workload or free up more time in our busy schedule, we can take some small, practical steps to get more out of the time we do have to dedicate...

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Joining Your Community

Joining Your Community A few months ago I went to eat lunch with a new pastor in town. We started with get-to-know-you small talk. Then we discussed the challenges associated with moving and settling into a new place. At some point in our conversation, my new pastor friend turned his sights on our town, Odessa. He complained about how much he missed his home town and explained all the ways his home town was superior to Odessa. He also detailed all the things he didn’t like about Odessa, ranging from the terrain to the weather to the people to...

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When Satan Tempts Me to Despair: Struggles and Seminary

It was the second week of my Old Testament Theology class. I missed my Dad’s phone call a few times, and I knew something was up, so I called him back during a break. His words were, “Evan, your mom is divorcing me.”  After the call, I went back to class trying to focus on what the professor was saying. My mind was not focused on the class. Instead, I was thinking about my Dad who has been a great example to my wife and me, my brothers and the rest of the family. I was also thinking about...

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