Archive Page 2

March 2017 Seminary Update, Supplemental

One of the things that Wesley Seminary offers is the opportunity for people with undergraduate degrees in ministry and such to apply for “Advanced Standing” in various classes. This allows a student to receive seminary credit for specific subjects in which they have already attained at least 6 undergraduate credits with sufficient grades. Continue reading ‘March 2017 Seminary Update, Supplemental’


Seminary Update

This evening, I finished up week 8 of my second semester of seminary training. Given that the semester is 16 weeks long (not counting one week of break), that means that I have officially reached the halfway point of the semester. Assuming it will take me 7 semesters to complete the requirements for my M.Div., I am approximately 20% of the way through the program. Woot! Continue reading ‘Seminary Update’


The story of Lot recorded in Genesis 19 is one of tragedy. A chapter after Abraham begged God to spare Lot and the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah for his sake – Lot and his household should have amounted to more than 10 righteous people in those cities! – we discover just how misplaced Abraham’s confidence was. Continue reading ‘Lot’


Genesis 17 opens with God coming upon Abram and delivering the clearest word of the Lord yet: Live in my presence blamelessly, circumcise yourself and all the males in your household, and I will give you a son by your wife Sarai by this time next year. It was a profound revelation, to be sure, but I can’t help but notice that it was 14 years too late. Between the end of Genesis 16 and the beginning of Genesis 17, there is a 13-year time jump, and that was a big deal. In the beginning of Abram’s relationship with God, God spoke to him on a fairly regular basis. But after Genesis 15, God had apparently gone silent. For well more than a decade, God had seemed absent from Abram’s life, and it was likely the greatest test of faith that Abram would ever experience. The belief he demonstrated in Genesis 15 was clearly strained, else he wouldn’t have compromised in Genesis 16 to marry Hagar. Indeed, the hardest part about believing and following God is when He is quiet, often for long periods of time. The real challenge of faith, though, is believing – acting as though we’ve already received His promise – even when God is quiet. Continue reading ‘Quiet’

Stay the Course

Genesis 16 tells the story of how Abram and Sarai compromised to see God’s promise realized prematurely. You can hardly blame them because they had already waited 10 years without the child God had promised, and they were not exactly spring chickens before that. But by taking God’s plan into their own hands, they caused themselves great heartache and trouble. Their compromise resulted in marital trouble, and Ishmael and his descendants would certainly fulfill the blessing God revealed to Hagar. Whenever we think our plan is better than God’s and so plot¬†our own shortcut, it backfires. You can count on it. So stay the course. Follow God’s plan, even when your patience wears thin.

Genesis 15: In the Meantime and other ramblings

There is so much important stuff in Genesis 15 that it’s difficult to even express it all. Several years had passed, and yet Abram and Sarai had none of the offspring God had promised. Despite all that God had done for them in the meantime, it was entirely natural for them to question and doubt. Several things hit me in this chapter: Continue reading ‘Genesis 15: In the Meantime and other ramblings’

Copy Machine Setup and Repair

A few weeks ago, our church was blessed when the district office decided to give away its old copy machine. I jumped at the chance, and when I traveled that direction a couple weeks ago for a meeting, I took the opportunity to snag the thing.

Well, okay. I say “I,” but in reality, it took a couple of others. And there was a little more to it than just snagging the thing. Thank you to Mark J for helping me load it into the van, and to Tom K for helping me unload it! There is no way I could have done either of those tasks myself!

For the last several days, then, this copy machine has sat in the church library, waiting for me to set it up. And since I finished my seminary coursework yesterday, today was the day. So I went in and turned it on.


Actually, the machine’s display¬†said I needed to shut the machine down and call a service technician. But because I’m both cheap and dumb, and I knew a service call would be a couple hundred bucks and a few days, I thought I would save both money and time by seeing if I could fix it myself.

So I spent some time researching the error message on the internet, and right away, I found a site that claimed to know how to fix it. It’s really simple, they said. So I was hooked. I pulled out a few tools and started taking the back panel off. Something like 10 hex screws later…

The insides didn’t look like the picture.

The instructions neglected to mention that there were covers on the inside of the outside cover. So I pulled out a different screwdriver and started removed about 10 more screws. Then about ten more. And then three more with the first driver, followed by two more with the second.

Finally, the insides of the copier were right in front of me, and it was really just the inside of a computer tower. So I pulled out a couple of connectors and reseated them. Then I pulled out a few cards and re-installed them. Then I unplugged and re-plugged a couple of cords.

All following the directions I found on the internet, mind you!

And when I threw the switch, the copy machine came to life! Success!

So then it was time to replace all of covers and panels, along with the forty-ish screws I had removed, and the copy machine was ready for setup.

Little did I know that I had just done the easy part!

Anyway, the moral of the story is that a pastor wears many hats. Some of these hats, he/she was trained to don. For instance, Bible study, and even preaching to an extent. But I totally missed the “copy repair and setup” class in Bible college, and I haven’t seen it in the seminary catalog.

Add it to the long list of things I forgot to learn in Bible college.