Posted by: John Adams | June 17, 2008

Summer Is A Time For Changing

It’s been over a year now since graduation, over a year since I started working at Starbucks, and almost a year since I moved to a house on 13th Avenue near Ainsworth Street. Originally, I thought this year would be like a smoking intermission at an old movie, a time to catch my breath between educational pursuits, a lull in the breaking of the waves. On the contrary, this year has been full of a different kind of learning–a time of learning how to be an adult.

This year, I have learned how to work a full-time job, pay bills on time, tithe faithfully, and attend a church without someone else looking over my shoulder. I have begun to argue for my convictions convincingly, while at the same time learning how to sweeten my speech with grace. I have picked up a lot of social skills and emotional intelligence that I probably missed out on in the prior stages of my life.

This year has also been a crash course in the fine art of living in community with three other individual souls with highly divergent outlooks, convictions, and personalities. I have had to make major adjustments to the way I think about people, treat people, and react to people. At work and at home, my personality has been refined and sanded down a bit. I think I have a long way to go, but in the future, I will be an easier person to live, work, and exist with.

That said, this period of my life is quickly drawing to a close. I am feeling what I am coming to believe is a divine discontent with where I am living. I know that I am called to be more than a barista (not there’s anything wrong with being a barista, for a season). I know that Portland is not my home. There have been prophecies spoken over my life that have yet to come to fruition and I am feeling a stirring in my soul to begin to walk into them.

One of the words I have over my life is that I am called to be a leader of people. The prophet said I was a reluctant leader–one who would rather hand the reins to almost anyone else–but a leader nonetheless. I have never felt comfortable leading other people, but I feel the desire to begin to mature in that area.

Another word said I would be like Ezra, teaching the Word of God to a lawless people. Like Ezra, my role will be one of studying the Scriptures and making their meaning clear to people who have never heard them before.

With that in mind, I have applied to Regent University for a Master’s program in Divinity. Regent is a top-notch Christian school with a passion for excellence in education. It also appeals to me, as it is one of the few seminaries I have looked at that values the renewing work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the church, which over the last century has included the restoration of spiritual gifts (such as prophecy, tongues, and the impartation of gifts through the laying on of hands) that had either been lost or relegated to small corners of Christianity for centuries.

Over the last year, I have been greatly edified by the ministries of men in the Reformed camp of evangelicalism. Pastors like John Piper, Joshua Harris, and Tim Keller have helped me a great deal in my appreciation for sound doctrine, as well as embodying a humble orthodoxy that confesses humbly that we are great sinners while preaching with passionate boldness that Christ is a great Savior. Adding to my appreciation is the fact that one of my co-workers comes from this stream of Christianity. His faith, conviction, and joy in Christ have been a source of inspiration and strength to me over the past year.

My passion at Regent will be to work toward an understanding of Scripture that can combine the passion for rigorous study and sound doctrine embodied by men like Piper with an attentiveness to what the Holy Spirit is saying to the churches now. The tendency of Christians who emphasize doctrine is to become rigid, and the tendency of Christians who emphasize the mystical aspect of Christianity is to become amorphous. I want to find a way to combine head (knowledge), heart (passion), and hands (practical expressions of love) into a healthy expression of what the Body of Christ is meant to be.

All that being said, I don’t know whether I’ve been accepted to Regent yet or not. If I am, praise the Lord! If not, well, I guess I have some serious re-thinking to do. Regardless of whether or not I am accepted, however, my friend Bernard and I will be moving my things from Oregon to North Carolina on July 1, as part of a cross-country roadtrip that will mark the end of one phase of my life, and the beginning of something entirely different.

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Responses

  1. John, God bless and guide your journey, to NC and beyond.
    Peace. Katie

  2. I’m happy to see you pursuing your gift of teaching and the acquiring of more knowledge. You’ll succeed in both!

  3. Regent is in coastal Virginia, right? Well, I hope you got in, and hopefully we’ll all see each other once you make your way over here to the end of the trail!
    Take care — have amazing adventures!

  4. Yeah, Regent’s in Virginia Beach. Still waiting to see if I get in, but I’m coming to NC regardless. It’d be cool to have lunch with you in Greensboro when we drive through. Will you still be there over the summer?


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