I now live downtown Minneapolis with a group of 9 guys (we call our house “The Manhouse”, like a madhouse but with men in it). I’ve been here since April, but just started seminary two weeks ago. I will spend the next 4 years here working on an M. Div with the same group of 15 guys learning the original languages, exegesis, preaching, ministry, and theology. Thus far, it’s been a complete blast. It’s pretty busy (I’ve never worked this hard in my life), but God has been abundantly gracious to me in so many different ways.
My cohorts (companions at seminary) are all incredible men who fear the Lord and long to honor Him. Some of them are training for missions to an unreached people group. Others are praying about becoming full time pastors at a church in the US. All of them strive to live out and share a living and vibrant faith. I have much to learn from each of them. Just last night I was freaking out about how much work I had this weekend, and Scott (a housemate and cohort) was commiserating with me. But at the end of our worries he stopped and said, “Mickey, let’s pray.” I was blessed – oh how much I need to learn that daily dependence!
Classes have been incredible. I’ve just finished sentence diagramming Ephesians 1:3-6 and am struggling to understand what Paul is getting at. “Blessed be God” or “Blessed is God” - Does he desire that the Ephesians join him in blessing God or is he exclaiming that God is a most blessed God? But whatever the case, praise be to the Father who has chosen us and adopted us before the foundation of the world! I feel like I have learned more about reading my Bible in the 2 weeks of classes than I have in the last two years. We’re wrestling through difficult topics like textual criticism (what words were actually in the Bible?), source criticism (did Moses really write the Pentateuch?), worship (why and how should we worship God?). Each topic has been filling and incredibly interesting (well, source criticism is not too interesting) and I’m looking forward to learning more and more as the years go on.
I’ve also gotten a part time job. I’m tutoring math again! I love math and I love kids, so I’m hopeful that this will be a rich opportunity for me. It will also be just enough to get by financially (I hope!), so praise the Lord who provides us beyond anything we hope or dream!
I actually spent much of the summer working a full time data entry job. Tedious, but not too much so. It will be hard to leave (next week is my last). I’ve actually learned a tremendous amount of stuff from the job. Two of which I’ll list here:
1) The importance of single-tasking – I had a couple of major tasks, each one was tedious and long. But I would have all day to do it. So I’d work on something for a couple hours at a time, and then switch. And the great thing of working on one thing for a long time is that you can figure out faster ways to do them, you can understand how the information all ties together, and all these things make you faster and faster the more you work on that one task. I feel like I could get more done in one 8 hour block than I could in 16 1-hour blocks.
2) Keyboard shortcuts are your friend – I spent a couple of breaks looking up keyboard shortcuts for excel and word and now I can zoom through Word and Excel. Add a row, jump to the last entry of the page, hide a row, sum a row, make a table of contents. All done with a few key presses.
One last thing – if you have the time, I would love your prayers for my character and holiness. I was just reading 2 Peter 1 today and this passage caught me:
1 Peter 1:5-8 make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I don’t want to be useless. It is so easy to think that my usefulness to the Lord will be in the knowledge and experienced gained here at seminary. Peter cuts through that and reminds me that it’s about character. With that in mind, please pray that I would grow to be such a man - one of virtue, knowledge, self-control, godliness, brotherly affection and love. Pray that these attributes would be ever increasing as I face the many different pressures of school, work, potential father-in-laws and serving the church.
Longing to be a servant of the Lord with you,