Wednesday, May 30, 2007

New Job for the Summer!

Hello everyone! Here is a picture of one of our nieces. Her name is Emma Faith. I just could not resist putting her up on this blog, especially since we do not get to see her too often.

I do not have too much new stuff to tell you about this summer. Brandy just finished the school year before Memorial Day, but her summer school schedule started on Tuesday and lasts for the month of June. The good thing is that all the days are only 8am-12:30, so there is still plenty of time for summer festivities. She is also enrolled in a leadership academy in which only a handful of teachers were selected in the district!

Ironically (?), after I wrote the last article on "You are the Christ," I was offered a salary position working on campus at DTS. It was hard to know if God wanted us to take the job after we decided that I was just going to go to school without working at all. Since I am not taking any classes this summer, the opportunity was just too good to pass up. Not only is it a salary position, but they are also going to pay for 80% of my tuition, health insurance, and a hefty discount on books! Is God great or what!? I have been praying for many years that God would simply pay for our tuition expenses at DTS, even while I was still a student at Mississippi State. It's amazing to see Him working so plainly in our lives. Hopefully, this will allow us to pay off our student loans and graduate debt-free from DTS.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

"You are the Christ."

Looking back on my first year of seminary at DTS, I am at a loss of words for everything that God has done for me and Brandy. It is hard to believe that we have already made it to this point. It seems like we just moved here!

The latest news is that I quickly received a new job working on campus as a custodian. God has once again proven His faithfulness to me and continues to provide for school and living expenses. Lately, however, Brandy and I have really been challenged to grow in our faith and risk much for the sake of godliness. After everything happened at the church I was working at, we diligently sought the will of God for what I should be doing while going to school. My biggest struggle in my walk is clearly finances and even more pointedly, trusting God.

After I took the job at DTS to retain my semester scholarship, Brandy and I took a week to earnestly seek God’s desire for us with much prayer and fasting. I think that the week went something like this…first, our pastor taught on Romans 8:12-17. We clearly saw that our worries were from the flesh which needs to be put to death, and instead live by the Spirit. In my Greek class, we translated Mark 8:27-38. Verses 35-36 really stuck out.

Those of you who know me well, also know that I am very hard-headed.

I kept asking God to blatantly show me His will for me and Brandy. In another one of my classes, we went through the end of Deuteronomy. It is Moses’ last words to a very stubborn and untrusting Israel. He commands yearly feasts so that they and their children will always remember how faithful God has been to them, keeping all of His promises. It displays Moses’ lack of faith, and his commissioning of Joshua. The command given to Joshua still rings loudly in my ears, “Do not fear…be strong and courageous.”

Still not convinced of what we should do, our class revisited some central themes to Deuteronomy, namely chapters 6-11 and what it means to love the Lord with all your heart, all your mind, and all your soul. We dissected Deut 33:26-29, and my prof gave one of his famous quotes, “What God has done in the past is a model and a pattern of what He will do in the future.” After all this Brandy and I had decided to take one more day to solidify our convictions. Would you guess what one of the graduating students taught on in Chapel? Yep, Mark 8:27-38. Him and his wife came to DTS from Singapore with no money and were about to go back to pastor a church there debt-free. One thing that he said was that verses 34-38 naturally flow from Peter’s statement that Jesus is the Christ. What does it mean that Jesus really is the King, possessor of heaven and earth?

For me, it means that I need to stop worrying about tomorrow, money, and perishable things. It means to be a disciple of Him, I need to put myself aside and take up my cross. If He really is the Christ, it’s time to trust in Him for my every need. After all, what God has done in the past is a model and a pattern of what He will do in the future. I’m sure I’ll come to my own Red Sea crossings, places with no water or food, and territories with giants, but it is my desire to be like Caleb and Joshua, and just trust God for what He has promised.

Verwiel's Visit Dallas

Well, my parents made it down to Dallas for the first time this month. It was great having them visit, and being able to see our family again. They treated us like royalty even in our own house, and seemed to be pleased that we were doing well. They bought us our very first tree, among other things, and washed both of our cars inside and out. What can I say...I think they got bored when they realized that we don't have cable!

Anyway, we toured the JFK sights downtown, played a little golf, and ate lots of food. We will definitely miss having them, and hope to make it up to Wisconsin again soon. Sadly, Rahab is feeling lonely now that they are gone as well. She doesn't get as many walks and misses being able to chew on my dad's socks. They left her a nice gift, however, that she has been gnawing on for over a week!