Archive for the ‘School’ Category

Plotting a Course

June 14, 2007

While looking for something else to copy out of my journal, I found an entry I wrote just before moving to Graduate Admissions. This entry is dated Sunday, April 23, 2006:

I’ve been thinking a bit about my future. Squinting to see the path the Lord has set before me, by examining the path behind me.

When in the shipyard, I was considering quitting in order that I may go back to school full-time and work part-time, in an effort to prepare myself for the full-time ministry I had a strong desire for.

I was notified of a position at Point Loma Nazarene University, where one of the perks for full-time employees is tuition reimbursement. At the time, I felt this was God’s answer to prayer: a way to work on a Bible degree while still working full-time.

I still believe the Lord gave me that position. Too many things happened in just the right timing for this to be coincidence. But, I’ve begun to consider the possibility, that the Lord used my interest in furthering my education to put me in a position for something else.

Having accepted the position of Graduate Admissions Systems Coordinator at the Mission Valley campus, taking classes will become difficult for me. Perhaps the Lord didn’t bring me to Point Loma so that I can work on a Bible degree.

If He didn’t bring me to Point Loma for a Bible degree, why am I here? Well, what have I learned in the eight months I’ve been here? I think I’ve learned more about professionalism in an office environment. I’ve been able to reinforce my organizational skills, and I’ve had an opportunity to develop interpersonal communication and customer service skills.

I still don’t know everything about the position I’ll be starting at in a few weeks. I know that I’ll have more responsibilities, and I may eventually have people working under me. I think the next thing He wants me to work on is my leadership skills.

Leading is a skill I’ve been inconsistent with. On some occasions, I’m confident and firm in my decisions and directions, while on other occasions, I unsure and hesitant to take charge. I feel this will be a big challenge for me, but I’m eager to arrive on the other side of this hill.

Phil 1:6
“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”

I really like the second sentence of this journal entry. I often find myself living on auto-pilot — just concentrating on the issues of the day and forgetting to take that occasional step back to see the greater picture. I need to remind myself to review where I’ve been, and to look ahead to see if God has revealed any more of where I’m headed.

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NASSCO was my whale

June 14, 2007

I wanted something to write about, so I started reading through the journal I mentioned before. Here is another entry from Monday, January 23, 2006:

I read Jonah this morning. I’ve thought of the shipyard as my Jonah’s whale, so I thought I would read about Jonah. I wanted to refresh my memory of his story. One thing caught my eye. Jonah 1:17-2:1, reads:

“And the LORD appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the stomach of the fish three days and three nights. Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from the stomach of the fish,”

Did Jonah really wait 3 days and nights before he prayed to God? If I were swallowed by a whale, surely I would call to the Lord immediately. Wouldn’t I?

I worked in the shipyard for months before turning to God. From the start, I met Christians in the training classes. I knew Christians on crews I worked with. I talked the talk — to the Christians. I never fell into the other crowd. I tried to resist their language, and I didn’t participate in their humor. But I didn’t speak up, and I was never a witness. Was I running from God? I don’t know.

My experience doesn’t parallel Jonah’s as closely as I had thought. But we both waited before turning to God, even after finding ourselves in over our heads. And it was probably the most impacting event of our lives.

I eventually turned around. I brought my Bible to work, and openly read it during lunch. I would share pieces about my faith as people would ask, but I was never outgoing or forthcoming with it. I blamed my shy personality. I still struggle with this.

Ministry vs Tent-Making

June 11, 2007

I spent nearly 27 hrs on a construction project at church over the weekend. I was so burned out, that I had to take Monday off work to recuperate. This recent experience brought to mind an entry in a “Spiritual Reflection Journal” that I had to keep for a class. Below is an excerpt from the entry for Monday, March 6, 2006.

In class, we’re learning that our Spiritual Passion defines the where for ministry, our Spiritual Gifts define the what, and our Personality defines the how. I know from experience that I have more energy, more motivation and more perseverance when working where I am passionate. But how is this experienced in the realm of ministry and divine guidance?

I am currently working a full-time job, participating in two ministries (with a commitment to a third, which starts in April) and occasionally taking on short-term projects. I feel stretched. I feel stressed.

I enjoy youth group on Friday nights, and I enjoy running the sound booth Sunday mornings. But at work, I feel tired. I occasionally have trouble concentrating. At home, I feel the stress of deadlines, from both work and ministry. My free time is limited and often snatched up by family or friends. I have little down time. Why is this?

If I were called into ministry, wouldn’t the Spirit fuel me for tent-making as well as ministry? How effective can I be if I always feel like I’m on the verge of burning out? Am I committing to too much? Or am I relying on myself rather than the Spirit?

School’s Out

May 9, 2006

Gah!  Finally, the end.  I had my final today.  I think I did alright.

Stuttering Stanley

January 20, 2006

So I was in class Thursday… and we broke into small groups for the last 20 minutes, like we do every class.  Only this time, with 5 minutes left, the instructor says, “Now, I want you to stop wherever you are.  Find the oldest person in your group, because they’ve had the longest to think about this.  And I want them to share with the class something about finding your spiritual passion.”  Not only was I the oldest in my group, but my group was to go first…

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Busy little bee

January 17, 2006

“Tell me what you’ve been doing busy little bee…” Commodus (Gladiator)

I just wanted to let you all know I’m just really, really busy right now.

I have lots of reading to do for my class (not started), an essay paper (ruff draft done) due Thursday, and an assessment assignment (done).

I’m also teaching Sunday School for the youth this Sunday, and have yet to write that lesson (but I do have an idea picked out).

First thing on the list right now is sleep. G’night!

It starts…

January 10, 2006

“It starts. You think you know a guy..” (from Timon, in Lion King)

So, I had my first class today. It was cool. Get this, my instructor is the father of the dean of my department. Literally. He’s my boss’s boss’s boss’s father. Kinda nifty, eh?

If you know me, you know I don’t like reading. Next to writing, it’s probably the least enjoyable part of learning. So how much of these two undesireables does this class have? Well, more than your typical CIS class, but I’m sure less than an english class. Did that answer your question?

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Back to School

January 10, 2006

The last time I was in school was Fall of 2002. I left with two Associate degrees in Computer Information Systems.

Tomorrow, I go back to school to study Theology & Chrisitian Minsitry. It’s only one class that meets for one hour, twice a week, but it’s progress.