Thursday, February 28, 2013

That one time I preached in class...

For my practicum class this semester, all of the students are supposed to prepare a message to preach to the class.  (Queue terrifying horror movie screech.) not only do I hate talking with a microphone, but I’ve never preached a message before, and have never really considered myself to be a preacher.  Ever.  Well, on February 5th, I did it.  (I know, I’m shocked too.)

It’s kinda funny to think about how many things the Lord orchestrated to make sure it happened too.  He reminded me in the shower that morning, that I needed to type it up.  In the prayer room, I rewrote my outline and found specific verses o use.  Then Before class I had an opportunity to type it in the library, and I just so happened to have money in my wallet to pay for printing because He delivered to me a customer who wanted to open an account with my store.  In class there was a long pause after the first guy went, and like I usually do, I almost piped up just to fill the silence.  Just before I could stand up to take the stand, another guy jumped up.  My heart was burning inside of me, and I thought my ribs were going to literally explode out of me the whole time he was talking.  He made a great segue, in my mind, to my talk as well, so when Corey asked who was next, I boldly raised my hand.   The talk I gave prompted the girl who went after me.  It’s “funny” because she knew before hand that Corey was going to pick her, but she didn’t know what to talk about until I was speaking.  The Lord orchestrated everything together.

Adam talked about Mary, sitting at the feet of Jesus, that this is the one thing that we should pursue above everything else, and it will not be taken away.  Nathan talked about rejecting the lies of the enemy, and agreeing with the truth of God’s word.  I talked about our hope in the resurrection and Caitlyn talked about our hope and need for Jesus to come back.  It was cool to see the progression, not that we had the same message, but like a continuous thought.

When I was talking I felt like it was totally weak, “rough and ugly”.  I felt like all of my words were landing just beyond the podium like a led balloon.  But my classmates and teachers were really encouraging!  The next morning several people commented that I did well, and one guy even said that he wasn’t in class that day, but that others had told him about it!  People were talking about it? What?  I’m re-awed that the Lord can sue weak and broken vessels for His work and to minister to His people.  Even me!

Since that day I feel like this hope in the resurrection has been highlighted everywhere; songs in the prayer room, talks given, all over the place.  The next morning in the prayer room, there was a sheet of paper in the chair next to me.  I thought it belonged to the guy sitting in the next chair over, but he left, and left the paper too.  I turned it over and it’s one of the prayer requests asking us to pray for two little girls who are grieving the loss of their father some time before.  What are the odds of that?  That it would be directly related to the same message that I had given the day before?  It feels like an extra exclamation point for heaven that this is a message I’ll be carrying for a while.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sometimes, I'm a big doofus.

Monday was the first day of the new semester at IHOPU.  And my first class was Biblical Foundations of Eschatology, with Daniel Lim.  At one point he asks us the same question we've all asked ourselves at one point in time; "Why do we need to study about the end times?"  The class listed off many reasons, several of which had never occurred to me, but one girl answered with; 'Because He[Jesus] is our Bridegroom.' (I confess, I don't remember the exact wording.)  And like a big doofus boy that I am, I kinda scoffed at the answer internally. "What does that have to do with anything?" was more or less my attitude. But to my surprise, this is maybe the answer that Mr. Lim seemed most excited about.

Mr. Lim went on to give a 15-20 minute rabbit trail about Jewish wedding customs and tying it into scripture to show the parallels; even down to Jesus' statement at the Last Supper of 'drink this is remembrance of me.', to the bride groom going away to his Father's house to prepare a home and returning for his bride.  It was quite masterful in the way Mr. Lim tied everything together, and I'm not doing him any credit at all by butchering the story.

This "little girl" in my class, has probably out read, out prayed, and out studied me because she is so in love with Jesus.  It makes me think of Mary, sitting at the feet of Jesus, listening to His every word.  She paid so close attention to Him, that when most of the disciples became disheartened and punked out after His crucifixion, she was the only one to "got it" and knew that Jesus meant to die.  She was the only one who payed attention to know what was in His heart to do.  There were plenty of disciples who spent lots of time with Jesus, but she had known Him in a way that none of the others did.  I wonder what would have happened if Holy Spirit had used Mary to write portions of our new testament.  It would probably blow even the book of Romans out of the water!  Has anyone ever considered her as a possible candidate for the anonymous writer of the book of Hebrews?