Gordon-Conwell Blog

At the End of the Day | Seminary Student Blogger

December 17, 2013

Amy Gannett

There are moments like these, coming at the end of an academic day, that make all the world seem to halt. I've had Hebrew and flipped flashcards and read books and articles and syllabi. The whirr of academics is constant and becomes merely background noise, going almost unnoticed as the semester takes is shape and pace.

I've been reading here all day, and took in words of Your wonder and majesty from the pens of saints long ago—mothers and fathers of our faith who knew the same You and wrote of the very same You in a setting anything but the same. I've translated the Text and furrowed my brow at the philosophical theologians of modernity and tried to wrap my head around the complexities of spiritual formation.

And then I looked up and looked out the window. A storm is rolling in. Thick and rich clouds are churning above make me feel all so very small.

And I'm reminded again that Your ways are mysterious and wonderful. They can be written about, but there are not books enough to hold them. They can be preached about, but not human language can encapsulate them. Arguments can be formed and persuasions can be attempted, but this day has no lesson better than sitting beneath Your threatening sky. 

Hi, friend. I'm Amy. Mostly, I’m just another twenty-something trying to figure out the stuff of life. I am a nerdy seminary student who loves the smell of old books and early mornings in the library. I am an artist wanabee, a liberal to the conservative and conservative to the liberal, guilty social justice groupie, and a recovering Bible know-it-all with the unreal ability to put my foot in my mouth an astonishing number of times each day. I am a sister to eight of the most hysterical creatures ever created. Good theology, used book stores, and autumn make me giddy. I preach passionately, think deeply, and ask too many questions. I write prayers, poetry and prose. I write about preaching bad and good, gender roles in the Church, the sacraments, stupid things we do on Sunday, politics, and almost everything else that you are not supposed to discuss in polite company. I also blog at oneyellowbird.blogspot.com. Welcome to the journey.

 

Tags: Author: Amy Gilbaugh , student blogger , thoughtfully evangelical

Add comment

COMMENTS

I found your post to be entertaining and enlightening. It is funny how the little things are what He uses to to teach us about His ways.
Wilbur Byrd 1:19AM 12/22/13

The Push and Pull of Grace | Seminary Student Blogger

November 19, 2013

Amy Gannett

Grace is a wonton commodity in our economy of checks and balances. It is a strange creature; a peculiar beast of unknown proportions. We are a people of rush and do-to, and we hurry past grace noting the way she sits awkwardly in the midst of our busy.

Grace—the thing of gifting and giving and forgiveness. And just her posture provokes craving and yet makes us shift in our seats. If we’re honest, grace makes us just a bit uncomfortable. We like knowing our debts are paid from our own pockets, our time is managed by our own multi-tasking, and our memories are maintained by our own control. We would rather not have to handle grace or call upon her services. We are a self-propelled people, hastening on and on not taking unless we can repay:

We’d love to come to dinner, but what can we bring?
Oh no, please let me pay; really, I prefer it.
Sure you can take my kids this afternoon, but we’d like to have Tommy our way next week.

And yet, when the sun sets and the schedule calms, when the bustle runs out and the dust of the day settles, we cannot escape the reality that we are a people for whom grace must be prescribed. At the end of the day, at the end of ourselves, we are all too well aware that all our efforts will not suffice.

When we are late, those minutes will not return to our watches. When we forget a birthday, no length of words will satisfy. When the money runs out or the credit card is maxed, there simply are no more pennies to throw to the gatherers. And in the midst of our lost minutes and money, grace speaks a language we do not understand. Falling foreign on our ears are words of nothing owed and abundant pardon. And while they are strange to our hearing, they come like balm on our failures nonetheless. Well aware of our shortcomings, we turn ourselves at last to grace.

Grace, the stuff that wedges itself in the cracks of our lives, between the lacking and the wanting, holding all together and whispering, All is pardoned, all is covered. Let’s try again tomorrow. And surrendered to her presence we wrap ourselves up and finally let our eyelids rest. 

Hi, friend. I'm Amy. Mostly, I’m just another twenty-something trying to figure out the stuff of life. I am a nerdy seminary student who loves the smell of old books and early mornings in the library. I am an artist wanabee, a liberal to the conservative and conservative to the liberal, guilty social justice groupie, and a recovering Bible know-it-all with the unreal ability to put my foot in my mouth an astonishing number of times each day. I am a sister to eight of the most hysterical creatures ever created. Good theology, used book stores, and autumn make me giddy. I preach passionately, think deeply, and ask too many questions. I write prayers, poetry and prose. I write about preaching bad and good, gender roles in the Church, the sacraments, stupid things we do on Sunday, politics, and almost everything else that you are not supposed to discuss in polite company. I also blog at oneyellowbird.blogspot.com. Welcome to the journey.

 

Tags: Author: Amy Gilbaugh , student blogger , thoughtfully evangelical

Add comment

COMMENTS

No comments yet. Be the first!

The Folly of Forgetfulness, the Joy of Remembrance: A Prayer, Day 6 | Seminary Student Blogger

November 02, 2013

Amy Gannett

Amy is contributing a week-long series on reflection and remembrance. You can read her introduction here; day 1 here; day 2 here; day 3 here; day 4 here; day 5 here.

You Have Always Remembered Us

We remember the childhood trek through the store,
when mommy and daddy faded from sight.
We scurried and scrambled and shook just a bit
and they found us again down the next isle.

We remember the more serious journeys of youth,
the ones that led down dark paths.
We scurried and scrambled and shook a bit more,
and the way out was found after a while.

Now we a grown, big, and mature,
and our seasons of loss are the same.
And we do not see the way out.

But the theme of our past
stings brutally with the truth:
Your eyes have not left us, not once.

In each flight of fear,
In each journey of darkness
In each season of pain,
Your eyes have not left us, not once.

Though we have forgotten,
You never have.

And so we ask,
limply,
humbly,
and undeservingly,
that You might make us among the remembering ones,
even as You have always remembered us.

Would you punctuate the dialogue of our lives
with pause and reflection
that we might, in every season,
recall Your goodness that carried us there. 

Hi, friend. I'm Amy. Mostly, I’m just another twenty-something trying to figure out the stuff of life. I am a nerdy seminary student who loves the smell of old books and early mornings in the library. I am an artist wanabee, a liberal to the conservative and conservative to the liberal, guilty social justice groupie, and a recovering Bible know-it-all with the unreal ability to put my foot in my mouth an astonishing number of times each day. I am a sister to eight of the most hysterical creatures ever created. Good theology, used book stores, and autumn make me giddy. I preach passionately, think deeply, and ask too many questions. I write prayers, poetry and prose. I write about preaching bad and good, gender roles in the Church, the sacraments, stupid things we do on Sunday, politics, and almost everything else that you are not supposed to discuss in polite company. I also blog at oneyellowbird.blogspot.com. Welcome to the journey.

 

Tags: Author: Amy Gilbaugh , equipping leaders for the church and society , spiritually vital , student blogger

Add comment

COMMENTS

No comments yet. Be the first!

The Folly of Forgetfulness, the Joy of Remembrance: A Prayer, Day 5 | Seminary Student Blogger

November 01, 2013

Amy Gannett

Amy is contributing a week-long series on reflection and remembrance. You can read her introduction here; day 1 here; day 2 here; day 3 here; day 4 here.

That Wonted Place

The mornings roll together in sleepy familiarity.

The routine is consistent, the rhythm the same.

But this morning I heard a bird trill a familiar tune,

and suddenly I was back in that wonted place dear to my heart.

Swept up in the music, I sat on my old back porch with Your Words in hand.

I climbed up the apple tree just to check the nest.

I hid between the berry bushes and listened to a searching sister's voice.

And here, on this big brown couch, I remember -

Your eyes upon me are the same eyes,

Your voice within me the same voice,

Your goodness toward me to same goodness.

Two worlds apart, and many journeys between,

You are my constant custom.

And I am grateful. 

Hi, friend. I'm Amy. Mostly, I’m just another twenty-something trying to figure out the stuff of life. I am a nerdy seminary student who loves the smell of old books and early mornings in the library. I am an artist wanabee, a liberal to the conservative and conservative to the liberal, guilty social justice groupie, and a recovering Bible know-it-all with the unreal ability to put my foot in my mouth an astonishing number of times each day. I am a sister to eight of the most hysterical creatures ever created. Good theology, used book stores, and autumn make me giddy. I preach passionately, think deeply, and ask too many questions. I write prayers, poetry and prose. I write about preaching bad and good, gender roles in the Church, the sacraments, stupid things we do on Sunday, politics, and almost everything else that you are not supposed to discuss in polite company. I also blog at oneyellowbird.blogspot.com. Welcome to the journey.

 

Tags: Author: Amy Gilbaugh , equipping leaders for the church and society , spiritually vital , student blogger

Add comment

COMMENTS

No comments yet. Be the first!

The Folly of Forgetfulness, the Joy of Remembrance: A Prayer, Day 4 | Seminary Student Blogger

October 31, 2013

Amy Gannett

Amy is contributing a week-long series on reflection and remembrance. You can read her introduction here; day 1 here; day 2 here; day 3 here.

The Fidelity of Dawn

The dark horizon hides itself
in the blackness of the sky.

The world is concealed in night this hour,
and we watch the motionless mass once again.

We have sat awake in many midnights.

Never has this black horizon persistent.
Never has this darkness been eternal.

And in the unintentional expectations of our own minds,
our hearts respond in new awareness:

Never once have You withheld the sun.
Never once have You left us in the dark.

Every morning,
each dawn,
You are faithful.

Every midnight,
every dark hour,
You are faithful.

And in this dark hour of waiting,
we choose again to remember,
and we choose again to believe. 

Hi, friend. I'm Amy. Mostly, I’m just another twenty-something trying to figure out the stuff of life. I am a nerdy seminary student who loves the smell of old books and early mornings in the library. I am an artist wanabee, a liberal to the conservative and conservative to the liberal, guilty social justice groupie, and a recovering Bible know-it-all with the unreal ability to put my foot in my mouth an astonishing number of times each day. I am a sister to eight of the most hysterical creatures ever created. Good theology, used book stores, and autumn make me giddy. I preach passionately, think deeply, and ask too many questions. I write prayers, poetry and prose. I write about preaching bad and good, gender roles in the Church, the sacraments, stupid things we do on Sunday, politics, and almost everything else that you are not supposed to discuss in polite company. I also blog at oneyellowbird.blogspot.com. Welcome to the journey.

 

Tags: Author: Amy Gilbaugh , equipping leaders for the church and society , spiritually vital , student blogger

Add comment

COMMENTS

No comments yet. Be the first!

The Folly of Forgetfulness, the Joy of Remembrance: A Prayer, Day 3 | Seminary Student Blogger

October 30, 2013

Amy Gannett

Amy is contributing a week-long series on reflection and remembrance. You can read her introduction here; day 1 here; day 2 here.

The Grace of Decided Impatience

We have heard the whispered promise
that You are still to come.

And we, too, have been those who
preached those promises,
claimed those confessions,
declared those decrees.

But we also confess
that as soon as the creed slipped from our lips,
we left the pews without expectation, viable hope, or any bit of impatience.

He ascended into heaven, seated at the right hand of God, the almighty Father, from where he will come to judge the living and the dead.

And so we ask, dear God, that You
would grant us the grace of
decided impatience.

Press our eyes to the horizon,
our ears to the ground.

Fix our feet in holy restlessness
and quicken them towards that which is our final Rest. 

Hi, friend. I'm Amy. Mostly, I’m just another twenty-something trying to figure out the stuff of life. I am a nerdy seminary student who loves the smell of old books and early mornings in the library. I am an artist wanabee, a liberal to the conservative and conservative to the liberal, guilty social justice groupie, and a recovering Bible know-it-all with the unreal ability to put my foot in my mouth an astonishing number of times each day. I am a sister to eight of the most hysterical creatures ever created. Good theology, used book stores, and autumn make me giddy. I preach passionately, think deeply, and ask too many questions. I write prayers, poetry and prose. I write about preaching bad and good, gender roles in the Church, the sacraments, stupid things we do on Sunday, politics, and almost everything else that you are not supposed to discuss in polite company. I also blog at oneyellowbird.blogspot.com. Welcome to the journey.

 

Tags: Author: Amy Gilbaugh , equipping leaders for the church and society , spiritually vital , student blogger

Add comment

COMMENTS

No comments yet. Be the first!

The Folly of Forgetfulness, the Joy of Remembrance: A Prayer, Day 2 | Seminary Student Blogger

October 29, 2013

Amy Gannett

Amy is contributing a week-long series on reflection and remembrance. You can read her introduction here; day 1 here.

Grace to Believe

The orations roll off our tongues
with tradition and ease.

We believe, we do.

We believe.

… in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ His only Son, our Lord …

We believe, we do.

But Sundays have a way of hastening to end,
and Monday meets us with terrors irreconcilable.

Doctors call with news that isn’t good,
Kids call with nightmares we cannot ward off,
The bank calls again and more time is not an option.

And we forget
how to believe …

…in the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting …

So would You, God of our profession,
come and foster in us
the faith of remembrance,
and give us the grace
to recite the creed once again.

And to say,
we believe. 

Hi, friend. I'm Amy. Mostly, I’m just another twenty-something trying to figure out the stuff of life. I am a nerdy seminary student who loves the smell of old books and early mornings in the library. I am an artist wanabee, a liberal to the conservative and conservative to the liberal, guilty social justice groupie, and a recovering Bible know-it-all with the unreal ability to put my foot in my mouth an astonishing number of times each day. I am a sister to eight of the most hysterical creatures ever created. Good theology, used book stores, and autumn make me giddy. I preach passionately, think deeply, and ask too many questions. I write prayers, poetry and prose. I write about preaching bad and good, gender roles in the Church, the sacraments, stupid things we do on Sunday, politics, and almost everything else that you are not supposed to discuss in polite company. I also blog at oneyellowbird.blogspot.com. Welcome to the journey.

 

Tags: Author: Amy Gilbaugh , equipping leaders for the church and society , spiritually vital , student blogger

Add comment

COMMENTS

No comments yet. Be the first!

The Folly of Forgetfulness, the Joy of Remembrance: A Prayer, Day 1 | Seminary Student Blogger

October 28, 2013

Amy Gannett

Amy is contributing a week-long series on reflection and remembrance. You can read her introduction here.

Sunday was Long Ago

Sunday morning has come and gone.
We ate our fill,
and were very proud we had cleaned our spiritual plate.

We heaped our plates with
service,
song
and solitude.

And walked out the stained-glass doors
satisfied,
gratified,
and fulfilled.

And Monday we sat down in passive wontedness,
occupied and busy and
quite unconcerned with eating again.

Like a child who picked his plate clean and refused a return visit,
we have been foolish in our spiritual feeding,
negligent with regard to our need.

And Sunday was long ago.

We cared not for the spiritual deficiency
that slowly crept through our bones
nor did we note the way our hearts
grew languidly cold.

But …

our bellies are beginning to growl.

Slowly, certainly, and somewhat begrudgingly
we are noticing our own dissatisfaction.

We have need, and our selves bear witness that
our need is none other than You.

Hi, friend. I'm Amy. Mostly, I’m just another twenty-something trying to figure out the stuff of life. I am a nerdy seminary student who loves the smell of old books and early mornings in the library. I am an artist wanabee, a liberal to the conservative and conservative to the liberal, guilty social justice groupie, and a recovering Bible know-it-all with the unreal ability to put my foot in my mouth an astonishing number of times each day. I am a sister to eight of the most hysterical creatures ever created. Good theology, used book stores, and autumn make me giddy. I preach passionately, think deeply, and ask too many questions. I write prayers, poetry and prose. I write about preaching bad and good, gender roles in the Church, the sacraments, stupid things we do on Sunday, politics, and almost everything else that you are not supposed to discuss in polite company. I also blog at oneyellowbird.blogspot.com. Welcome to the journey.

 

Tags: Author: Amy Gilbaugh , equipping leaders for the church and society , spiritually vital , student blogger

Add comment

COMMENTS

No comments yet. Be the first!

Choosing to Remember: An Invitation to Reflection | Seminary Student Blogger

October 27, 2013

Amy Gannett

Amy is contributing a week-long series on reflection and remembrance. The following is her introduction.

Saturday morning was slow. It was lazy. And comfortable. And familiar.

This morning I felt the prodding of the Lord to go back through old journals, and so I compiled them, gathering them from every corner of my room:

the ones on the book shelf just a bit dusty,

the one on the coffee table all too familiar,

the ones under the bed all but forgotten.

I spent three hours in those pages, remembering and recalling and crying and blushing. I can hardly believe I once thought some of those thoughts, believed some of those beliefs, was concerned about some of those unknowns. But in those pages I also heard my own voice. The dreams are the same; the desires, familiar.

And the God who made it all happen sat back with me and savored the view:

He has been so faithful.

Page after page, with ink spilled on both sides, He has proven Himself to be the constant companion of my soul. The only One who could walk all those paths and heed all those thoughts. He alone has been the common thread in every season.

I don’t know about you, but I am quick to forget. I am slow of remembrance. I do not recall naturally, or remember unaffectedly. I have to want it, to choose it, and to make time for it.

So, I want to invite you to do just that. I want to invite you to join me in a week of reflection on the faithfulness of God. I want to invite you to pull out your journal, your photo albums, your old blog entries, and recall the faithfulness of our God. I want to invite you to pray with me concerning the folly of forgetfulness and the joy of remembrance.

So go on, grab that journal on your shelf and the one under the bed.

Because these books hold our story.

And they cry,

"But I am poor and needy;
Yet the Lord thinks upon me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
Do not delay, O my God"
Psalm 40:17

Hi, friend. I'm Amy. Mostly, I’m just another twenty-something trying to figure out the stuff of life. I am a nerdy seminary student who loves the smell of old books and early mornings in the library. I am an artist wanabee, a liberal to the conservative and conservative to the liberal, guilty social justice groupie, and a recovering Bible know-it-all with the unreal ability to put my foot in my mouth an astonishing number of times each day. I am a sister to eight of the most hysterical creatures ever created. Good theology, used book stores, and autumn make me giddy. I preach passionately, think deeply, and ask too many questions. I write prayers, poetry and prose. I write about preaching bad and good, gender roles in the Church, the sacraments, stupid things we do on Sunday, politics, and almost everything else that you are not supposed to discuss in polite company. I also blog at oneyellowbird.blogspot.com. Welcome to the journey.

 

Tags: Author: Amy Gilbaugh , equipping leaders for the church and society , spiritually vital , student blogger

Add comment

COMMENTS

No comments yet. Be the first!

A Prayer to be Learning Ones | Seminary Student Blogger

October 10, 2013

Amy Gannett

We are the learning ones, by Your gracious calling.

Here, we open our minds to be filled with
knowledge and wisdom,
truth and theories,
facts and opinions.

Our ears have been open to the words of the studied, and quickly our tongues begin to turn out phrases, too:

We believe this and not that.
This is true, that is not.

More than that, we are among those who are called to the same task.
And in this community of the learning, we have come to stake the ground:

Calvinists and Armenians,
Baptists and Presbyterians,
Preachers and Professors.

But as we do,
as we read,
and then as we begin to write,

Would You grant us the grace of pause.

Would You keep us from hard lines in gray territory.
Would You keep us from hard hearts in teachable moments.
Would You keep us from dismissing truth by naming it crude, harsh or immodest.

Would You give us the grace to truly be the learning ones,
And to rightly fill out our name.

Even as You fill out Yours, good Teacher.
Let us learn to yield to Your Spirit.

Amen.

Hi, friend. I'm Amy. Mostly, I’m just another twenty-something trying to figure out the stuff of life. I am a nerdy seminary student who loves the smell of old books and early mornings in the library. I am an artist wanabee, a liberal to the conservative and conservative to the liberal, guilty social justice groupie, and a recovering Bible know-it-all with the unreal ability to put my foot in my mouth an astonishing number of times each day. I am a sister to eight of the most hysterical creatures ever created. Good theology, used book stores, and autumn make me giddy. I preach passionately, think deeply, and ask too many questions. I write prayers, poetry and prose. I write about preaching bad and good, gender roles in the Church, the sacraments, stupid things we do on Sunday, politics, and almost everything else that you are not supposed to discuss in polite company. I also blog at oneyellowbird.blogspot.com. Welcome to the journey.

 

Tags: Author: Amy Gilbaugh , current students , future students , spiritually vital , student blogger

Add comment

COMMENTS

No comments yet. Be the first!

A Prayer | Seminary Student Blogger

September 17, 2013

Amy Gannett

Our good and gracious Father,

Here we stand at the precipice of many good things:

Classes we have long awaited,
Community we have long anticipated,
And nothing but time for the two to sweetly mingle.

We are eager to delve into Your good things,
and fervently we stretch our hands open
towards You
to partake of Your abundant gifts.

We will sit in our classes with new notebooks
and freshly sharpened pencils.
We will open new books and make friends with their contents.
We will puzzle in the library over vocabulary and exegesis papers
and watch the leaves turn just outside our windows
with mystery and awe.

Yes, it feels we are at the door to Open Spaces
and You have opened it to us.

But before we rush through her frame,
before we adventure out into all the good You have for us,
we choose to pause here for a moment.

We dare not be a healed leper who does not think to thank.

Thank You, good and gracious Father.

Thank You, Giver of all gifts.

For all this is Your doing,
and nothing we have comes from any other hand.

Thank You, Teacher and Master.

Thank You, Companion and Friend.

Here at the beginning of good things
we turn our faces to You
with joy and gratitude.

Thank You.

Amen.

Hi, friend. I'm Amy. Mostly, I’m just another twenty-something trying to figure out the stuff of life. I am a nerdy seminary student who loves the smell of old books and early mornings in the library. I am an artist wanabee, a liberal to the conservative and conservative to the liberal, guilty social justice groupie, and a recovering Bible know-it-all with the unreal ability to put my foot in my mouth an astonishing number of times each day. I am a sister to eight of the most hysterical creatures ever created. Good theology, used book stores, and autumn make me giddy. I preach passionately, think deeply, and ask too many questions. I write prayers, poetry and prose. I write about preaching bad and good, gender roles in the Church, the sacraments, stupid things we do on Sunday, politics, and almost everything else that you are not supposed to discuss in polite company. I also blog at oneyellowbird.blogspot.com. Welcome to the journey.

Tags: Author: Amy Gilbaugh , current students , future students , student blogger

Add comment

COMMENTS

No comments yet. Be the first!

We have Already Forgotten: A Lenten Prayer | Seminary Student Blogger

April 01, 2013

Amy Gilbaugh

Amy is contributing a series of Lenten prayers leading up to the celebration of Easter. You can read her introduction here; day 1 here; day 2 here; day 3 here; day 4 here; day 5 here; day 6 here; day 7 here; day 8 here.

It's only been one day. And we have already forgotten.

We ate our feasts and found our eggs and wore our best pastels. But now there only remains the Easter candy we bought on sale and cold ham in the refrigerator. We've hung up our dresses and tucked our Bibles away again. We'll wear them each again, we're sure. Just when is still unknown.

We've forgotten.

And that reality makes Your works all the more shattering: "You are the light of the World."

Us?

Yes. Us.

This pitiful people, this sinful bunch of forgetful hearts and unfaithful hands. You said we were likened to a city on a hill. A city - great and immoveable, full of life and motion, giving light to the surrounding hills in the deadness of night. You say we cannot be hidden.

You say "cannot" where we say "inevitable" because we see our depravity and You see Your grace.

This, too, we have forgotten.

So be our Light, God of all. Illuminate the darkened crevices of our city; give light to every inner cavity we can name, and especially those we cannot.

Enlighten us in Your holy way and let us remember the light-life of our resurrection God in us.

We pray in the name of the Easter God.

Amen.

Hi, friend. I'm Amy. Mostly, I’m just another twenty-something trying to figure out the stuff of life. I am a nerdy seminary student who loves the smell of old books and early mornings in the library. I am an artist wanabee, a liberal to the conservative and conservative to the liberal, guilty social justice groupie, and a recovering Bible know-it-all with the unreal ability to put my foot in my mouth an astonishing number of times each day. I am a sister to eight of the most hysterical creatures ever created. Good theology, used book stores, and autumn make me giddy. I preach passionately, think deeply, and ask too many questions. I write prayers, poetry and prose. I write about preaching bad and good, gender roles in the Church, the sacraments, stupid things we do on Sunday, politics, and almost everything else that you are not supposed to discuss in polite company. I also blog at oneyellowbird.blogspot.com. Welcome to the journey.

Tags: Author: Amy Gilbaugh , current students , future students , lenten prayers , student blogger

Add comment

COMMENTS

No comments yet. Be the first!

Gordon-Conwell Voices