Somehow the day finally arrived. On May 17th, 2006, I graduated from Southern Seminary. It is a great feeling knowing I am no longer a student. The stress level has fallen and I started to feel like a (somewhat) normal person. No more papers or tests. Here are a few photos. I'll try and get some more up in the photo pages sometime soon. The first is of me and Dr. Mohler. The second shows me with Dr. Bruce Ware.

My time at Southern was incredible. I remain convinced it is the top evangelical seminary in the country. I'm currently in the church search process and I'll give some updates on that in the coming months.


See the J-town Baptist Youth Worship Band

I took my video camera up to church to get some shots of our band (if you can call it a band yet... so far, its me and Erica on the violin and Gentry on the drums). So here are a few songs I recorded. The videos are of us practicing before the actual service. I just wanted people to be able to see and hear what I'm doing at my new church. Plus I love the violin with worship music, I think its adds a lot to the sound. So here are a couple videos and I'll post the .mp3 audio of a couple of them as well.

If you'd like to download the video files, right click on the name of the song and choose "Save As..." To download the audio files, right-click on "MP3" and choose "Save As..."

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
Famous One
You Are So Good to Me/Victory in Jesus Medley - MP3
We Are Hungry - MP3

Preaching - 2 Tim 3:1-4:2

Getting to preach the last couple of Wednesday nights has been a good thing for me. I've been leading music and preaching for our youth worship services, so its been a little stressful getting both things ready, but the benefits outweigh any drawbacks or frustrations, at least from my perspective.

Last night, I talked about why preaching is central to what we do when we come together as a church. I was a little worried that because it wasn't what you might think of as a "youth" topic how it would go over. I think the students grasped it well. We talked about how important Paul thought preaching was as one of his last exhortations (4:2) to Timothy in the last letter we have from Paul in the New Testament. It was Paul's prescription for a church living in a godless age (3:1-5) so that the church might resist that same godlessness from seeping into its own walls. We also saw that the reason for the power in preaching is the supernatural nature of Scripture (3:15-17). Therefore, we said that preaching must have as its foundation the very words of the Bible. When we hear those words and a preacher explains, illustrates, and applies those words, the lost are saved (3:15) and believers are equipped for the lives God calls us to live (3:17).

March Madness

Sorry, nothing to do with college basketball. I know its been forever so I wanted to post some updates. School is keeping me tremendously busy. I was supposed to have to take only 9 hours this semester to graduate in May, but a graduation audit said that I needed one more class. Turns out a class I took last year didn't count toward my degree. It would have been nice to know that then, but I didn't. So I had to add another class for a total of 12 hours, which is a full load. So much for this being a laid back final semester!

In bigger news I've recently been voted in as the Interim Youth Minister at the church where I've been helping with youth. The youth minister, Neil, who had been there for 3 or 4 years took a position in Illinois since he is done with seminary. The church will be looking for a permanent youth minister while I serve as interim. Things have been going well at church and while this is a huge responsibility, it has also been a joy to step in and help out in this way.

The pastor will be away this Sunday so he's asked me to preach for the Sunday morning worship service. I haven't decided for sure, but I'm leaning toward preaching on Psalm 96 at this point. I've been struggling with a cold over the past week or so and I'm hoping that will be gone soon since I have to lead music and preach for our Wed night youth worship service. Thats all the update I can think of for now. As always, I'll try and be better about updating!

The beginning of the end

Time for my first blog of 2006. I didn't write over the break like I wanted, but hey, its a break! Actually the last real break of my academic career. (I guess there is also Spring Break, but thats just a week so I'm not counting it for these purposes.) But the good news is that classes are about to start. Good news you say? Yes! Because its my last semester and graduation is coming soon. May 19th to be precise. After that, I'm no longer a student for the first time in my life I can remember! What will life be like without research papers and finals? I'll know in about 4 months or so.

In other news, I've been sending my resume out some over the break to different conventions, associations, and churches. Hopefully some search committee will like it and give me a call one of these months coming up so I will have something to do after I graduate. Seriously though, I am really looking forward to finding a church and getting started as a pastor in a few months.

Things at church are going well. I really love getting to lead worship for the youth at church on Wednesday nights. I also just started teaching an adult discipleship class on Sunday nights as well. We are reading and discussing C. S. Lewis' book Mere Christianity. Our first class was this past Sunday and I felt like it went well. The people in the class said they enjoyed it. Sometimes people say stuff like that to be nice, but I think they really did like it.

I think thats all for now. I'll try and not take a month to update again.