"As for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
When the wind has passed over it, it is no more, and its place acknowledges it no longer.
But the lovingkindness of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him..."
~Psalm 103:15-17a

Bits and Pieces 3

So, I started putting up some things I wrote down during Brad Buser's class on Acts, and decided it really needed its own post.  So, here are the challenging quotes from that class.  Obviously it was a wonderful class - very challenging and I definitely learned a lot from it.

  • "You are not the supreme issue.  It's not about the people you are going to, either [in ministry].  It's about what God has said to do."

  • "At the end of your life, will you look back on how you followed God passionately, or on how your followed your own dreams and plans?"

  • "Is following God's will what you really want?  Or are you just curious to know it?"

  • "'That's just the way I am' isn't a good excuse.  We are new creatures in Christ.  Set that aside for the sake of the kingdom."

  • "What kind of example are you setting for the people around you?  Do you encourage them to pursue God passionately?  Or do you distract/discourage them?"

  • "What is your credibility?  You have to earn the right to share the gospel by the way you live your life so others see they way you live and will then listen to you."

  • "How much stuff do you really need?  How generous are you? ... It's not what you're giving, it's what you're holding back that matters to God."

  • "To whom much is given, much is required; what are you doing with what you have and what you know?"

  • "Will you have the courage to speak up for Christ even when told not to?"

  • "The centrality of the message is the resurrection of Jesus Christ."

  • "What are you going to give your life for?"

  • "Is everything in our your life subject to Christ?  Even your schedules and plans?"

  • "Learn how to respond rather than react.  Learn to speak without generalizations.  Learn to speak accurately.  Learn to compromise in non-essentials."

  • "How you look matters - how you carry yourself, your body language, what you wear, etc.  Everything about you is negotiable for the kingdom's sake."

  • "How do you respond to people opposing you?  Are you addicted to affirmation?"

  • "You can leave your family and friends for the sake of the kingdom - you have all eternity to spend with them."

  • "You don't have the right to have roots aside from those in heaven."

  • "You're going to give your life for something - what will you live and die for?  Don't live for yourself."


    Bits and Pieces 2

    I haven't been doing this weekly like I was hoping to, but here are some more things I've been learning at Ecola.

    • So, we had a class on missions.  It was wonderful!!  I learned so much.  But at one point he talked about marriage and how instead of looking for someone who is cute/handsome/beautiful/smart/funny, etc, we should be striving to form a "strategic alliance for the kingdom."  "With whom can I 'join forces' so that God will be most honored and His will most done?"

    • Suffering (from the Missions class with Dave Burdette):

      • Suffering does not equal a closed door; it just means that we are in a war.

      • How we face suffering is perhaps our most powerful witness.

      • We are only passionate about what we are willing to suffer for.

      • Do we make decisions based on the risk or danger involved or the glory that God will get?



    • "The 6.78 billion people in the world are made up of 10% practicing Christians, 20% nominal Christians, 30% reached, and 40% unreached.  There are about 24,000 people groups in the world today.  Of those people groups, 8,000 are still unreached.  But, the sad truth is that of all the missionaries in the world today about 90.% work with the reached or the reachable while only 9.6% work with the unreached." (Dave Burdette)

    • "You are a goer or a sender or disobedient" (Dave Burdette)

    • One thing that stood out to me from the Old Testament Survey class with Nate Foreman was about Israel:

      • First, it is in a very strategic location as a thoroughfare - everyone would have to go through Israel.  It is a very strategic location  for Israel to be able to tell the nations about God.

      • Secondly, it is a very weak place.  The Israelites would have to depend on God for everything, from protection (there are no natural defenses there) to rain (Deuteronomy 11:10-17).  It's all centered around God.  (In the same way, God uses the weak today [see 1 Corinthians 1:26-29].  "Rejoice in your weaknesses, because God can work through you, and He can be glorified.")

      • The religious cycle of festivals and holy days was also all focused around God.  The point was to remember what God had done for them and that God comes first.

      • Even in the animal sacrifices, the Israelites showed that their trust was in God - they were to bring Him the best of their flocks, showing that they trusted Him to provide for their future (which was tied up in their flocks).



    • In talking about pride in the Genesis class (taught by Dr. Bill Spear), he said, "People pretend they're pursuing the glory of God, when they are only pursuing their own glory."

    • He also said, "Stop asking God to get you out of hard situations.  He knows you're in them.  Ask Him what you can learn from the trials."

    • And later in regards to marriage, "In our relationships, we make up an idea of what we think the other person is or should be; then when we're married we try to force them into the mold we've come up with.  Try to be open and honest ahead of time so you get to know the real person.  Don't believe the lie that you can change him into the man you want him to be (or that God wants him to be)."

    Schedule, Classes and Homework

    So you might be wondering how this Bible school thing works.  I thought I would write up what a typical week's schedule looks like and also what classes we have this term and what the homework looks like.  You'll notice that we have two classes each week; each class generally meets twice a day - once in the morning and once in the evening.  Here's the schedule:

    • Monday:

      • 9:00 Devotions

      • 9:30 Test over the previous week's classes

      • 10:30 Break

      • 11:00 Class

      • 12:00 Lunch

      • 5:15 Dinner

      • 7:00 Class

      • 8:00 Class

      • 9:00 Dorm Meetings



    • Tuesday:

      • 9:00 Devotions

      • 9:30 Class

      • 10:30 Break

      • 11:00 Class

      • 12:00 Lunch

      • 1:30 Help at the Good News Club (my area of ministry)

      • 5:15 Dinner

      • 6:30 Singing/Worship

      • 7:00 Class

      • 8:00 Class



    • Wednesday:

      • 9:00 Devotions

      • 9:30 Class

      • 10:30 Break

      • 11:00 Class

      • 12:00 Lunch

      • 1:30 Class

      • (sometimes another class at 2:30)

      • 5:15 Dinner



    • Thursday:

      • 9:00 Devotions

      • 9:30 Class

      • 10:30 Break

      • 11:00 Class

      • 12:00 Lunch

      • 5:15 Dinner

      • 7:00 Class

      • 8:00 Class



    • Friday:

      • 9:00 Prayer Groups

      • 9:30 Class

      • 10:30 Break

      • 11:00 Class

      • 12:00 Lunch

      • 5:15 Dinner

      • 6:30 Singing/Worship

      • 7:00 Class

      • 8:00 Class




    Here are the classes we've had so far with the homework assignments, and the rest of the classes for the term:

    • Week 1:

      • Orientation

      • Romans (taught by Prof. Corey Miller):

        • Read through Romans at least twice

        • Write a 3-page paper reconciling Justification in Romans with that of James.  Lay out the key texts, reveal potential problems and attempt a solution.





    • Week 2:

      • James (taught by Bill Blank):

        • Read through James five times

        • Write a paper about your purpose

        • Look up given scriptures (from James and Matthew 5-7) and explain the similarities between James and the teaching of Jesus for each set of verses.



      • Matthew (Dr. Louis Barbieri)

        • Develop a lesson on Matthew 2:1-12; identify the audience, write an introduction, outline your main points, write a conclusion





    • Week 3:

      • Christian Life (Ken Smith):

        • Read a book of the Bible you have never read or haven't read for a while

        • Pick a verse from that book to memorize

        • Make a list of things you are thankful for

        • Make a list of things you are trusting God for.



      • Bible Study Methods (actually focused on Hermeneutics; Dr. Dave Reid):

        • Examine the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15

        • Write out points in favor of the conversion of an unbeliever in application today

        • Write out points in favor of the restoration of a believer in application today

        • Write your conclusion and the key factors in your decision





    • Week 4:

      • Missions (Dave Burdette):

        • Write a paragraph explaining the place adn purpose of Genesis 1 to 11 in the context of the whole Bible.  Do you agree with the position presented in class?  Why or why not?

        • Write a paragraph explaining one of the following:

          • Your basic reason for not being a cross-cultural missionary (if you are not planning on being one)

          • Your biblical rationale for planning on being a missionary (if you are planning on it)

          • Your biggest question/confusion/issue if you are undecided





      • Old Testament Survey (Nate Foreman):

        • Take 2.5 hours to get all by yourself and work on meditating on God's Word and praying

        • Write down what God has been teaching you here, where you are in life, who you fail to pray for

        • Re-write the experience - how it helped you and the highlights of it - and turn this paper in





    • Week 5:

      • Acts (Brad Buser):

        • Read the whole book of Acts

        • Find where Luke joins up with Paul



      • Genesis (Dr. Bill Spear):

        • List 10 aspects of the character and attributes of God that you see as you read in chapters 1-3 of Genesis

        • Write a paragraph explaining where you think God came from

        • Explain the primary reasons people will not accept God's plan of salvation and what those reasons have to do with pride and/or humility

        • Explain what we mean when we talk about the difference between having faith in God and having faith in faith

        • How many chapters of Genesis you read





    • Week 6:

      • Creation (Dr. Donald Chittick):

        • Summarize and evaluate an article from Institute for Creation Research



      • Philippians (Dr. Joey Dodson):

        • Write a letter to a fictional friend who is an undercover missionary in an undisclosed location in Asia encouraging her as persecution is increasing and there is increased pressure on her from the government.  Also, there is some division between two of the leaders in the church.  Use Philippians as your model and email this friend your prayer for her and the church as well as a note of encouragement and advice.  However, since the government monitors all her emails, you must be creative and not speak in obvious Christian terms.





    • Week 7:

      • Ecclesiology (Dr. Brad Harper)

      • Soteriology (Dr. Keith Krell)



    • Week 8:

      • Eschatology (Dr. Keith Krell)

      • Doctrine of God (Dave Jongeward)



    • Week 9:

      • Life of David (Darrin Ratcliff)

      • 1 John (Mark Canady)




    Well, I just previewed this post...it's really long, and I probably wouldn't read it if it were on someone else's blog.  But, just in case anyone really wants to know what goes on over here, there it is.  And if you actually read the whole thing (especially if you aren't directly related to me), I'm very impressed.  You deserve some kind of prize.  I hope to post again soon with some things I am learning from the classes as well as write about some of the "extra-curricular" things I've done.

    Cannon Beach

    Here are some pictures I've taken over the past week or so.  Enjoy!!

    [gallery columns="2"]