Welcome! This blog is my attempt to challenge and refine my thinking and writing, as a person of Christian faith, and as a seminarian. Talking about myself always feels awkward, so I’m kind of stretching myself here….
I’m somewhere in my 3rd or 4th year of working toward my MDiv (Master of Divinity) degree from Luther Seminary, in St. Paul, MN. I participate through their Distributed Learning program, which means that I take on-line courses most of the year, but travel to campus at least twice per year to take residential courses during intensives. Though, I have to say that I always love learning anyway. While I’ve taken quite a few courses so far, I’m most passionate about systematic theology, Lutheran doctrine, scripture, and biblical languages (Greek and Hebrew). Which doesn’t really narrow anything down, I guess, but these are the things I most enjoy studying and researching.
I’m a candidate for Word and Sacrament ministry in the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America – www.elca.org), through the Indiana-Kentucky Synod. I’ve been in process and discernment for a while, and it’s been a powerful opportunity to learn a lot about myself. Unfortunately, my discernment remains unclear, even after all this time. There’s an indescribable feeling when I preside and preach at worship, and I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to do both a number of times. In those moments something feels really right about the whole thing, like I really could be a typical pastor. But at the same time, the things I love to do the most don’t necessarily require that. I love teaching and preaching, but I just don’t feel the urge to lead a congregation. Too, I feel drawn to working on issues of racial and LGBT justice, but it’s a challenge when pastoring ends up like being on call 24/7, and I’m not sure I’m willing to juggle it all. We shall see….
“gracewerks” represents God’s grace at work in me. I believe the Holy Spirit lifts us out of our human-ness, with the judging, the assumptions, and the self-centeredness that keeps us from seeing what God is up to in us. And then we can begin to see God at work in everybody around us. Right now as I write this, the words seem superficial – my cynicism rears it’s ugly head. But, my faith reminds me that God will continue leading me out of darkness, into the light of His eternal Word.
And in my day job as a software engineer, I look to the Holy Spirit to help me to serve my colleagues with respect and generosity, and with the best work that I can offer them. As they have made a commitment to me, may I give the same commitment to them, with the hope of glorifying God in the process.
Lastly, I really find inspiration from St. Ambrose of Milan:
“He became a small babe so that you could be fully grown, perfect human beings; He was wrapped in swaddling clothes so that you might be freed from the bonds of death; He came to the manger to bring you to the altar; He was on earth so that you could be in heaven.”