My First Day at Southeastern

southeastern-jan09I have been surprised and touched by how many well wishes I received from my friends and congregation members as I have started my master’s program at Southeastern.   My first day exceeded my expectations.   This is a great atmosphere (as the picture shows a small part of the campus), and I have learned so much in just half a day of training.   I miss my family and church, but this certainly appears to be a great investment of  my time.

Starting School on Monday . . . A Dream Come True!

On Monday I am going to start work on my master’s degree at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida.   I will travel there several times this year, and will graduate in December.  The degree will be a Masters of Arts in Ministerial Leadership.  I am so grateful that the Leadership Board of CIL is supporting me in this pursuit.

I graduated from college in December of 1996 with clear plans to pursue more education.  My uncle is a professor at the University of Houston, and he advised me to not stop my momentum, because it so hard to start later.   He was right.  For various reasons, I was never able to start.

Over the years, I visted seminaries in consideration of residency programs and was accepted to the two graduate programs I applied for.   Yet, I never found a release from God to move forward.   Honestly, at times I thought this was a dead dream in my life.

Now, I can see that God had His perfect timing in mind.  I am confident that this opportunity comes at the right time, at the right school and with the right program for me.   This entire education process is another sign to me of how God can provide better opportunities than we imagine when we wait on Him.

I hope this encourages you about God’s work in your life!

Sunday’s Unique Experience . . . It really rained!

Sunday, I had a unique and inspiring experience when I started my sermon.    I am going to quote Beth’s blog, because she is much better with details!   Still, I share her excitement in what the Lord did:

Just as Aaron began his sermon – Anointing Rain – he said something like “We are going to talk about the Anointing Rain which comes from the Lord.” That’s not exactly what he said, but it was something to that effect.

The very second that he said “rain that comes from the Lord”, a COMPLETE and TOTAL DOWNPOUR hit the roof of the church. Like pouring it out of a bucket. LOUD. The congregation gasped, some people cheered, one or two let out a little “Yeah!” Ha ha ha, it was awesome, very dramatic, and SO God! Aaron stopped and and said something like “See? God is here!” The rain lasted for about 2 minutes, hard, and then it just stopped and that was that.

I don’t know about you, but I am so ready for God to rain down his presence, mercy, love, healing, wisdom and anointing on me. Bring it on. – Beth

Re-Thinking Your Resolution

The New Year has started, so we all feel obligated to make a new resolution.   New Year’s resolutions are usually self-focused.   When we break our resolution in the first quarter of the year, no one really notices because our goals are self-absorbed. I am referring to resolutions such as: losing weight, making more money, getting better jobs, more recreation, and better vacations.  I suppose some things in that list may benefit others (like losing weight for your family, or making more money to give to charity).  However, most of the time those self-absorbed goals are disconnected from others.

What is a resolution you can make that will benefit others? If you make a goal that will benefit someone else, there is an intangible factor that will give your resolution new meaning.   Your resolution will leave your small world of self, and it will touch lives around you.   This list could include things like kindness, prayer, hospitality – you can figure it out.

I am going to take sometime this month to figure out what goals to make in 2009 that will bring great benefit to the people I love.  I am not going to let the first few days rush me.

What kind of resolutions are you making that will benefit others?   Really, I would love to know.