Monday, March 5, 2012

Lent Day 11: Vorwärts! Los!

We have a date! On March 20 I defend my dissertation, which continues to be a work in progress after being sent off to committee. Based on feedback, I'm clarifying the dissertation's objectives and reinforcing primary literature.

The past two weeks, my brain has remained in limbo. I tried to continue intense study after I handed in the dissertation. But without a time frame, my mind and body refused to cooperate or engage. I'm deadline and task oriented so the simple email with a calendar appointment from my adviser has injected me with adrenaline and the will to live.

Meanwhile, my fellow pastor and friend Kim has been writing on leadership and church ministry. Her encouragement to see God's work as process rather than a hierarchy or establishment helps me keep this walk of studies in perspective. Whatever God is doing in this doctoral journey is part of God's preparation for what lies ahead, in the greater picture of the church.

Beginning with a provocative post about Power and church, Kim's been examining the role of those who remove obstacles and train members of Christ's body to minister in the world. I highly recommend her blog Deep Imprints.

God's Word confirms that each person is vital to his plans. The overarching goal is becoming Christlike in being and doing. You are part of that--and so am I.

How is your day or your week shaping up, in light of that?

Read more:
*But Moses said to God, "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?" God said, "I will be with you." Exodus 3:11-12

*Four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. They couldn't bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, "My child, your sins are forgiven."

But some of the teachers of religious law who were sitting there thought to themselves, "What is he saying? This is blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins!" Mark 2:3–7

*It is not those who commend themselves that are approved, but those whom the Lord commends. 2 Corinthians 10:18

Moravian prayer: As we recall in a common Advent hymn: "Not in our own strength, Lord, we move; your kingdom falls not when we fall, but forward presses day by day until your truth is known to all." Dear Lord, remind us always that it is only by your grace that we have been justified. Amen.

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