Gordon-Conwell Blog

Alleluia: A Sabbath Prayer | Seminary Student Blogger

April 06, 2014

Amy Gannett

We come readily enough to Your Sabbath rest.

We come with wearied hands, looking to Your ignition. We come with hungry souls, looking to Your body. We come with inclined lips, looking to Your Church to say

Alleluia.

In this season of wantonness, in our weeks of longing, we gather ourselves here and press our ears to the lips of the saints. And from their tongues we hear the whispered chorus

Alleluia!

When our hearts have forgotten, when our memories fail, we come to this meeting. Here, we are welcome. Here, we may stay and be reminded until the words sink in like ink to the skin, until the measure courses through our veins and raises off our own lips

Alleluia! Alleluia! 

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 , spiritually vital , student blogger

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Unconvincing Words of Aspiration: A Prayer | Seminary Student Blogger

March 20, 2014

Amy Gannett

God of our dreams,

God of our hopes,

God of our inner space,

It is toward You we turn our faces.

We lift our eyes to rest on Your face,

and, perhaps, to rest a while.

We are a people of many whispered desires and unspoken longings.

We believe, and yet we dare not anticipate.

We crave, and yet we dare not expect.

And these thoughts that come to us late,

You know, the ones that come in the dark,

in the quiet,

and remind us how fragile we are

and how unconvincing are our words of aspiration.

The words are "not possible,"

"impractical"

"unimaginable."

But we have. We have imagined.

And we come to You with watery eyes and timid faith

asking that You would imagine it possible, too.

Be the God of words made flesh

and promises kept;

the God of dreams in daylight

and hushed ambition spoken without a shaking voice.

Be Your daring Self toward us again today.

We pray in the name of Hope Himself,

Even Jesus.

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 , spiritually vital , student blogger

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A Revelation | Seminary Student Blogger

March 11, 2014

Kate Hightower

I stood in the storm abounding
My eyes feeble in my head
I couldn’t see for miles
My lungs exhaled my dread.

But on a cloud I saw You
Light shattering the dark
My reach seemed weak and lonely
Weren’t the spark inside my heart.

Reaching for You helps me
Reminds me when You first chose me.
It ceases every question
Of the way You’d have me be.

And time and time again,
Those seven stars You relent
To free Your hand to find me
No time at all You spent.

So tonight I wait to see You
I watch the cloud that will bare You hence.
I reach my hands above me.
For Your love
So vast…

…Immense. 

Kate Hightower is writing to you from the middle of her Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Christian Thought pursuit at Gordon-Conwell—Jacksonville, where she is also a Byington Scholar. She’s an avid Bob Dylan fan, and can always be counted upon for decadent French cooking. And she’s madly in love with her giant, brilliant golden retriever, Stella.

 

Tags: Author: Kate Hightower , spiritually vital , student blogger

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To Remember the Confession: A Prayer | Seminary Student Blogger

February 25, 2014

Amy Gannett

We have grown languid with time and misuse,
and far too accustomed to the language of
“us” and “them."

Yes, even among those who You insist upon calling “us.”

God, look at us
and at the mess we have made.

We have divides ourselves into crafted clubs,
broken up into polite little affiliations
of visceral self-righteousness.

And we are in need of saving.

Yes, even saving from ourselves
and, perhaps, even especially from ourselves.

Would You
in Your startling way of holiness
lift our eyes from our own limitations,
from our self-imposed boundaries that are
so preoccupied with labels.

Would You
in Your potent way of long-suffering
reorient us to the creeds of our faith.
May the words of confession undyingly occupy our tongues.
Let us orate with gratitude and long-vision,
keeping close at hand the faith of our fathers…
…and their fathers, and their fathers, and their fathers before.

Would You
in Your grand way of reconciliation
Recall to our feeble minds the reality of a Church Universal.
Fixate in our minds the communities of the confession
that come in all shapes, sizes, colors and languages.

And bemoan us to remember well
that this creed and catholicity is the reality
of that long-awaited horizon
we have long labeled “Home.”

Beckon us toward that reality, good God of our confession,
and until then bind us together in Your unity,
as we recite with all flesh
the ancient words of faith
confessing the Word that You made flesh. 

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 , spiritually vital , student blogger

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Are the Chaste a Waste? | Seminary Student Blogger

February 21, 2014

Joelinda Coichy

God—I prayed—you have called me to ministry. And everyone knows that I cannot be in ministry without a husband. And God, you know this already, but it’s the end of the first year of this three-year master’s program. If it is best to date for one whole year before engagement, and I am going to need a year to plan (and save for) my graduation-time wedding…then, in faith, I know I can trust you to bring me a boyfriend…well, right now. Amen.

I seriously prayed this. Last summer. And when I was finished, I smiled. And then I thought: God is faithful. His plans for my future marriage/ministry cannot be thwarted. I can have confidence that He will provide me a husband!

And no boyfriend came.

A few months later, after a this-is-so-out-of-the-blue-this-can-only-be-God set of circumstances, I was signing an offer letter for a dream job as the Student Ministries Director of my church’s newest campus. The job would entail not only shaping a new student ministry but helping shepherd a congregation—just as God has given me the passion to do.

I was so excited about the job [read: blindsided by all the work I needed to do to help launch the campus] that it took me a couple weeks to look down and realize that…eh…there was still no ring on my finger and no man on the horizon.

And it was God’s turn to smile. He had been faithful. His plans for my ministry had not been thwarted. But a husband was not a part of the deal.

And I began my ministry as young, single woman.

I am a child of the I-kissed-dating-goodbye-true-love-waits-boundaries-in-dating era, and a proud and adamant complementarian. I believe, strongly, in the power of male and female partnership in ministry. But I am ministering, by “no fault of my own” (I guess, besides signing the offer letter) as a young, single woman.

So my first I-kissed-dating-goodbye-true-love-waits-boundaries-in-dating question is: Is that even allowed (even though I followed the rules and I am still single)?

My second is: If the Pew Research is correct, and people in America are waiting longer to get married and there are likely to be more single people sitting in our pews (no pun intended) and outside our church doors than ever before, what does this mean for how we steward our churches?

I am not proposing that we should change everything or anything really—but I am proposing that we have a conversation, amongst church leaders, about singleness, dating, homosexuality, marriage and healthy church dynamics.

More crudely put, are the chaste (and not so chaste), in our pews a waste?

I think not, and I hope that you would agree. But, if this is the case, then what does that mean for our churches?

I invite you to add your voice to the conversation this Thursday, February 27 at Gordon-Conwell in South Hamilton. Learn more

Joelinda is a second year M.Div. candidate. She currently serves as the Student Ministries Director at Grace Chapel’s Watertown campus. She is a lover of all things beautiful including theater, fall days in New England, chick flicks and the mountains. She counts bargain-hunting her sport and enjoys singing loudly while driving. Above all, Joelinda’s passion is to build relationships that help others understand the transformative power of the gospel.

 

Tags: Author: Joelinda Coichy , spiritually vital , student blogger

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I work in a collegiate ministry with graduate students aspiring to teaching in colleges and universities. Many are single women and a number struggle with the fact that their academic work makes them less appealing to some men, which is a sad commentary on men. I am so thankful for these women (and a number of men as well) who choose to be chaste and who offer their gifts to students and colleagues in secular colleges and universities and keep trusting God with their longings. Thank you for your faithfulness. You are a gift, not a waste!
Bob 10:03PM 03/11/14
I'd say that God definitely doesn't want the focus of your life to be desperately wanting a husband or that would be an idol! His timing is perfect and I would just keep praying for your future hopeful spouse and know that the Lord knows JUST the right time to bring you together. In the meantime, you are called to singleness and are to give thanks in that precious time slot!
Joan Kornblatt 9:18PM 02/23/14
Very interesting topic. Waiting to date won't stifle your freedom. On the contrary, it will give you more freedom to rejoice in your youth. And you'll have time to prepare yourself by developing your personality and, most importantly, your spirituality.
Diane 12:09PM 02/21/14

A Divine Elbow Moment | Seminary Student Blogger

February 13, 2014

Kate Hightower

I don’t know that I will forget the first time she crossed the length of my doorway as she passed through the hall. Aside from being an exquisitely beautiful woman, her presence radiated into my office for those few seconds as she went by. At the Jacksonville campus, we share our space with multiple ministries. She runs her own counseling practice, and she’s trying to get her dream non-profit off the ground. That non-profit wants to build a living space to rehabilitate victims of sex-trafficking. Florida is ranked third in the nation for the level of sex-trafficking that goes on, so it’s a real need, but a brave one. Especially because hardly anyone around here knows about it, even with the high ranking of prevalence.

I got all that information second-hand, naturally. I know that when most people are in this position, they’d probably introduce themselves. Me? I’m shyer than I look. Instead, I passed by her office for the next few months when her door was open. The cow-skin rug didn’t surprise me. I figured she was bold, knowing what she did and wanted to do. This was in addition to the fact that she was one of those rare tall people who walked with perfect posture, showing no signs of being the rest of us tall weirdoes who simply want to blend in with the rest of humanity.

One day, I had this feeling that I was getting a little ridiculous about putting off meeting her. Clearly, there was something about her that I needed to know. Long-story short, that Divine Elbow in my ribs was starting to wear out the skin underneath it. I finally knocked on her door. But because I had built it up to the point of crazy, I probably couldn’t recount what was said in our conversation if you asked. Somehow, we began meeting for Bible study. Due to some messy church experiences, I had grown cynical and weary about women in church leadership, so words will not adequately describe the gravity of me continuing to walk into her office for the next few weeks without blinking. How we had honest, real conversations about my calling and what seminary was doing to my insides. How when she said things about God and my spiritual life, I actually believed her.

The weeks to come brought healing on multiple levels through our relationship. Healing in places for me that I assumed would just stay broken as part of my past. She was an easy ask to fulfill the two-year Mentored Ministry mentor requirement for my M.Div. To my surprise, she was actually excited and honored that I would ask her. She read the entire Mentored Ministry manual, cover to cover, all 80 pages. And it was only the beginning. She has now become an example, an inspiration, and the most exquisite and perfectly tailored Spiritual Mom I could have ever asked for.

I couldn’t ever have told you that God would bless me with all of that just for taking a step and tapping my hand to a door that day. I never understood what people meant when they talked about how God sometimes really does “bless” us through our obedience. I took one step, knocked three times and it utterly changed the trajectory of my life.

We really do worship such a tremendous God. The immensity of healing being in his very “wings” has never been more alive to me than now. I never would have guessed that this was what I needed to get back on track, or even come alive...

…but he knows me so much better. 

Kate Hightower is writing to you from the middle of her Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Christian Thought pursuit at Gordon-Conwell—Jacksonville, where she is also a Byington Scholar. She’s an avid Bob Dylan fan, and can always be counted upon for decadent French cooking. And she’s madly in love with her giant, brilliant golden retriever, Stella.

 

Tags: Author: Kate Hightower , spiritually vital , student blogger

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Your Vast Self | Seminary Student Blogger

January 28, 2014

Amy Gannett

Oh, Lord, 

our Lord.

You are the One we called Father through the ages.

The Father of our fathers and their fathers and theirs.

You are the One who was before,

extending Your vast Self infinitely in all directions of time.

It is You who have outlast our every fear and every fortune.

You are the One standing at the dawn of time with limitless history behind You

and an eternity of days before You.

So it is to You we call when we sense our time-bound selves

have come to the end of ourselves,

because only You never will. 

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 , spiritually vital , student blogger

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Gratitude and Miracle | Seminary Student Blogger

November 25, 2013

Melissa Zaldivar

It took me about a year to read One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, and as I read it I started a gratitude list. The premise of this book is one of searching for little acts of grace that God gives us that we often overlook. Voskamp found that she drew nearer to God as she made it a point to write these things down, to acknowledge them and thank him for giving them.

I started clumsily at first, knowing that I couldn’t just make a list of things I loved, but rather I had to capture moments. It started to grow into habit over time until I bought a little brown book in which I write out those things that spark a sense of gratitude, little whisperings of the Savior’s provision.

106. The raspy shouting of a child trying to whisper in church.
114. Friends returning from long trips.
139. The crowd that lingers after a polo match, wandering in the light of dusk.
166. Walking the Brooklyn Bridge.
194. Pressing record for a living.
246. Rumors of Advent.

Thanksgiving used to be the kind of holiday that I almost overlooked. It didn’t have the pizzazz of Christmas and it was almost impossible to go all the way home for the holiday, so it fell to the back of my mind until mid-November.

This year’s Thanksgiving feels new. After a year of writing down the things that make my world powerfully and pointedly and almost unbearably beautiful, Thanksgiving is a holiday that I am greatly looking forward to.

This year, Thanksgiving falls on the first night of Hanukkah. As a Messianic Jew, I am Christian by faith, but Jewish by tradition and lineage. Hanukkah, the Festival of Dedication, is characterized by a focus on the miracles of life, the faithfulness of God and the dedication with which we must honor the LORD in our own lives. Jesus celebrated Hanukkah in John 10 (which also was when Jesus announced that he was One with the Father).

The Jewish calendar is not the same as the Roman one, and so sometimes Hanukkah is early December and sometimes it’s later. This year, since Thanksgiving is so late and Hanukkah is so early, they coincide, and I could not be more pleased.

Today I was talking to a dear friend about the ways that God moves in our lives through the smallest details to bring us to a better understanding of who he is. Just nine months ago, she and I were strangers and now here we were overwhelmed by his faithfulness as good friends. Gratitude and Miracle.

We are fallen and yet he loves us. Gratitude and Miracle.

I get to be a student of theology for this season. Gratitude and Miracle.

These holidays might have more in common than I realized.

Each year, we recite prayers as we light candles on Hanukkah. The flame glimmers in the window, shining out to the community around us, as if to proclaim the light of God himself. We say in Hebrew, “Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has granted us life, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this season.”

As the sun sets, and Hanukkah arrives Thanksgiving night, I will pull out that little brown book and a pen, writing by the light of a menorah, soul full of family and friends, and I will pour ink onto the page and it will simply read, “Gratitude and Miracle.”

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Hanukkah. May he continue to grant us life, sustain us and enable us to reach new seasons. And may the gratitude for the miracles he gifts us be ever on our lips.

Melissa Zaldivar is an MATH student from California. She loves golf, theology, Jewish holidays, people falling in love, Jonathan Edwards, chocolate chip cookies, her adorable niece and telling stories. When she's not filming and photographing weddings, you can find her reading news articles, watching Parks and Recreation or playing Super Smash Bros.
 

 

 

Tags: Author: Melissa Zaldivar , spiritually vital , student blogger

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Confessions of a Selfish, People-Pleasing Pastor | Seminary Student Blogger

November 14, 2013

Joelinda Coichy

I have been a people-pleaser most of my life. Actually—I think I made it through high school and college in the shape that I did because I knew that being a good student and Christian would very much please my ambitious, emigrant, Haitian family.

I should have known then that I would probably end up working in the church, because it turns out people-pleasing is an area in which many of us pastor-types excel.

To a certain degree, this makes sense. Our call is to care for people and help them find wholeness in Christ. Generally, whole people are “pleased” with God and with us by extension. And we do our best to “give all the praise to God,” but c’mon, we love the goodwill that we receive because of God’s awesomeness (at least I know that I do). And this is not necessarily bad…

But when there are more people than we have the resources to care for and we get tired, our call degenerates. For me—generally into pandering, appeasing and thoughts along the lines of: “If I just show up and smile, I can make it through and they will be happy.”

But, if despite your people-pleasing tendencies you have genuine concern for your flock, here is the BIG, sad catch: people don’t want to be pleased and appeased; they want to be genuinely loved.

I have learned the HARD way that every time I show up to “serve” someone who needs (nags) me without explicit marching orders from the Holy Spirit, my “service” blows up in my face.

Generally, I show up tired, and despite my best acting Needy-Person-X can sense that I am not all there. Needy-Person-X doesn’t get what he/she wants/needs. Needy-Person-X is hurt. And I leave exhausted and—worse—discouraged about myself, Needy-Person-X, and about God’s ability to heal, in general…

Yeah, not ideal!

Genuine love is hard. Really, it can only come from God’s Holy Spirit making me aware of how much, despite my own brokenness, I am adored and provided for. And really, it can only happen within boundaries.

Boundaries that tell me that I am not God. Boundaries that remind me that I only can give what has been first been given to me by the Holy Spirit. Boundaries of rest, quiet and Sabbath that prove to my heart that God is the one at work, not me. And boundaries that prevent me from showing up, tired and needy myself, to “serve” what ends up being nothing more than my own ego and pride.

Joelinda is a second year M.Div. candidate. She currently serves as the Student Ministries Director at Grace Chapel’s Watertown campus. She is a lover of all things beautiful including theater, fall days in New England, chick flicks and the mountains. She counts bargain-hunting her sport and enjoys singing loudly while driving. Above all, Joelinda’s passion is to build relationships that help others understand the transformative power of the gospel.

 

Tags: Author: Joelinda Coichy , spiritually vital , student blogger , thoughtfully evangelical

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Grace Abounding | Seminary Student Blogger

November 12, 2013

Melissa Zaldivar

I’ve been a runner for about five years now, and usually go just a few miles here and there. So when a friend wanted to do a half-marathon, I asked her if I could join. It was, in my mind, going to be great. As a film director, I had my idea of what the next month would look like. I would train on fall afternoons and pound out mile after mile. I would get in distance shape, and the day of the race I would cross the finish line having persevered. The music would swell and everything would come together like the end of a movie.

But a week before the race, I injured my knee and my running advisor told me that I should stay off of it. I started feeling in my heart that something was shifting. The race day was not going to be the way that I thought it would be.

My friend got a really nasty cold and had to pull out of the half and so I coordinated a ride and went to Newburyport for the big day. It was cold and I was nervous and undertrained and had no idea what I was doing. And I wish I could tell you that I ran through the rolling backroads and felt nothing but pure adrenaline and broke all kinds of records and raced well. But I hit a wall at mile seven that turned into a battlefield until mile nine, at which point I met a woman who was running at about the same pace. Her name was Alysha and she was about 10 years old than me. So, we talked about family and kids and marriage and started exhausting the basic details of everyday life. And around mile 11, she told me about her mother-in-law who has pancreatic cancer. Alysha has been taking care of her, quitting her job and exhausting herself to do so.

Life is full of a lot of little details that don’t make any sense, and it sometimes feels like nothing is ever going to change. Like I’ll be single forever and my vocation will never really take off and I’ll never understand Hebrew paradigms and instead of breaking records and finishing well I’m breaking bones and trying to finish. Period.

As we approached mile 12.5, I started to feel that shift in my heart again. I was running toward the finish line feeling like I hadn’t really accomplished anything. I hadn’t had some big, transformative breakthrough. Instead, I was running beside a woman who was struggling just to take care of others (let alone herself) and I almost wanted to just stop because I felt like I was going nowhere anyway. And out of that rush of disappointment and pain and underwhelming feelings, instead of saying something profound, all I could muster was this sentence about a dear family at the seminary who has been struggling the last few weeks with difficult news.

I took a breath and said, “My friend and her husband are going to Philadelphia to talk to doctors about whether or not their daughter will ever walk or even survive the next few months.”

We were silent for a second and I looked at Alysha and I said, “In case no one is telling you this, can I just say: Thank you for everything that you are doing.”

The next few minutes were a blur. We listened to Katy Perry and crossed the finish line and a teenager gave me a medal and I felt, oddly, nothing.
Sometimes, we make plans. And we see life taking one turn when we wanted it to turn another direction. This half-marathon was a case of me trying to make it turn the other way. It was my way of accomplishing something on my own, and in the end, it left me empty. Sure, I did what I set out to do. I ran a half-marathon. But running doesn’t solve anything. The same way that straight A’s or understanding Hebrew or getting married doesn’t solve anything. In the end, it’s not about finishing well. Maybe it’s not even about the finish. Maybe it’s about hitting that wall and still putting one foot in front of the other.

We serve a sovereign God who loves us greatly. Who has planned out route for this race and desires for us to trust in that. While it will always be a struggle for this heart of mine, I have to remember that I’m not really the director here. Life is rarely cinematic. Just because the music doesn’t swell and I’m not being carried on anyone’s shoulders at the end of a half-marathon doesn’t mean He is any less good. If anything, I think that our weakness proves His strength all the more.

So, my friends, may you find yourself racing well. When your legs are strong and your lungs breathe easy, may you thank Him for grace. And when you hit that wall and nothing seems to be going according to plan, may you remember to just put one foot in front of the other. And may you thank Him for grace abounding.

Melissa Zaldivar is an MATH student from California. She loves golf, theology, Jewish holidays, people falling in love, Jonathan Edwards, chocolate chip cookies, her adorable niece and telling stories. When she's not filming and photographing weddings, you can find her reading news articles, watching Parks and Recreation or playing Super Smash Bros.
 

 

 

Tags: Author: Melissa Zaldivar , spiritually vital , student blogger , thoughtfully evangelical

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A really interesting post that should make us think about what we can do and what we do, what our path of life as we live it, I liked it and gave me strength to keep walking. Best wishes.
Tot dental 11:17AM 11/13/13

Your Voice | Seminary Student Blogger

November 07, 2013

Kate Hightower

Struck hard
Lost
In the pitch of night
No room
For a breath
Too close
For fright

Just constant
Motion
To no where in sight
Alone and angry
My purposes run dry

A confession, a surrender
A gasp, a sigh

Stars blister the night
Making dazzled way
For beaming moonlight
The grip to relent

Strength surge to my limbs
Curl into a dance
A symphony calls further
Shatters my trance

And
Then
Your
Voice

“Arise,” say Your eyes.
“Come forth here and stay.”

A gasp, a surrender,
A declaration of tearful reply:

“You are the God who sees.”
And I bathe free in Your delight.

Kate Hightower is writing to you from the middle of her Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Christian Thought pursuit at Gordon-Conwell—Jacksonville, where she is also a Byington Scholar. She’s an avid Bob Dylan fan, and can always be counted upon for decadent French cooking. And she’s madly in love with her giant, brilliant golden retriever, Stella.

Tags: Author: Kate Hightower , spiritually vital , student blogger

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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

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