Thursday, April 25, 2013

Twenty-First Link Year Recap 4/23-4/25

Since I've started off my last two blogs with statements about how weird it is to think that Link Year is almost over why not continue that trend? Well I don't see a reason why I shouldn't do so. That being said, here we go. Link Year is basically done. I know, it's hard to think about. I don't want it to end. But all good things must come to an end as "they" say. It's sad to see it ending though. I am wondering what this summer will look like, so I guess you can say I'm anxious about that.

This week we had the year end with a great speaker, Jonathan Pokluda. He talked about some of the pitfalls you face in college that you have to be wary of. Well I'll just get straight to the point of things that I really liked this week. 

He talked a lot about commitment on Wednesday. It was really good. He said that whenever you have given yourself to a commitment, you have given a promise of your time. You have given a gift of your time. When you look at it this way, just backing out of commitments makes it a lot harder. Sticking to your word is really important. 

Guilt it a great motivator, but it's a terrible motivator because it doesn't last. JP said this and it really stood out to me. While guilt may work short term, a heart change is really what is needed. 

JP also touched on dating a little bit. He said that one of the goals of dating should be that if you leave the person you are dating, you leave them better off having dated you. You don't want to be a regret they had in their past, rather someone they grew through and learned a lot from. 

He said how some people have a fear of commitment. Make sure you actually make a decision. Even if it's a bad choice, just make a choice. If it's not moral. If choose the wrong thing, It's ok. That's what it means to be a Christian. Don't be so fearful of making a wrong decision that it paralyzes you. 

Guys I can't believe this is my last sign off for a Link Year recap. I don't really even know how to end it. On a light note? Something more serious? Maybe somewhere in between? Should I try to make you all weep out of vicarious living out my sadness? I think I know how. If you are near the end of high school or just a year into college, please consider Link Year. I don't think you'll regret it. Anyway I am done now. The journey has been amazing. Carry on everyone. 

       - Timothy Wright
             2 Timothy 2:22

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Twentieth Link Year Recap 4/16-4/18

Guys this is really crazy to think about but Link Year is super close to being over. I know I mentioned that in last weeks blog post...but guess what? It's been another week so that means it is closer to being over. Crazy to think another week gone by means it's closer to being over, hard to follow concept I know, but just try. Anyway, it is a bittersweet thought for me. I have greatly enjoyed my time here at Link Year so much but am ready to see what this summer and then fall has for me. But enough of this sad talk, let's get to the talking of this week. We had Joe White come in and talk to us on Tuesday while Wednesday and Thursday was Tim Watson who is a counselor. Biblical Counselor specifically. Joe was really great and Tim had some really sound advice to give. Here are some things that stood out or I learned!

Joe White recited all of Ephesians to us...while dressed up like Paul. He did it sorta in a theatre type way, making it really interesting to listen to. This was a huge motivation for me. All of Ephesians he just said out for us! Why have I not buckled down and meditated on God's word like that? So that is a goal of mine now, to meditate on God's word so much better that it will just become an outflowing from my mouth.

Joe kind of gave us an outline of what each chapter of Ephesians is talking about. Chapter one is about "being chosen", "redemption", and "pledge" for the most part. Chapter two was about "grace" and "workmanship". Chapter three was just one thing, "mystery". Chapter four gave us a large five. "One", "gift", "lay aside", "put on", and "grieve". Chapter five had just one with, "filled". Finally chapter six had, once again, "put on".

Joe made a really valid a great talk about putting on and laying aside. What in my life can I lay aside and then replace by putting on something? He had us draw a line down the middle of a sheet of paper and then write "Put off/Take off" on one side with, "Put on" on the other side. He then challenged us to go through and write down things we wanted to put off and then put on. This seems like a really good and practical exercise to do so I look forward to that.

Tim talked about how the Master and Mission of our hearts is the factor that determines what we will do as well as why and how we do it. Also how the things we want the most and the things we fear the most are the things that control us. These are both really good things and I know I need to check myself daily on what I want and fear the most. I need to have God in control of my life, not other things.

That's it for this week everyone! This year is going by so quickly but I look forward to these last few days with everyone, weird to think this is my second to last Link Year Recap blog. I'll have to get used to that fact. See you guys next week though for my last one, later.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Nineteenth Link Year Recap 4/9-4/11

I can hardly believe there are only two more weeks left of LInk Year! It's super crazy to think about and while I am excited to move onto my next stage of life, I am also sad to see such a great stage as this one pass on behind me. But I know God has a lot more in store for me so I can't wait to see what is next. Anyway, this week we had a speaker by the name of Austin Ochs. Austin is basically a business man who helps run multiple companies. While he was not a favorite speaker of mine, or even in the top ten, I still learned from him and was glad to see that what he had to say is going to help me throughout my life. His main point was basically how to live a high impact life for Christ wherever you are. It was really cool to see a man who taught on this and also lived it out with his own companies. Well onto some highlights!

Don't grow up to be "Something". Grow to be the person God created you to be. The world will spend ALL its energy convincing you to be anything but that. Where you get your paycheck should be irrelevant. Really just digging into who God has made you to be and being satisfied in that. Super important if you ask me. 

Your pursuit of the Truth is measured by the amount of time you spend reading, memorizing, and meditating on God's Word. Faith is the fuel that turns knowing into doing. Your faith is measured by the quality of your prayer life. Those are all pretty good points he made that I should remember. 

As we mediate on the Word of God the life of Jesus flows out of HIm through the Word and becomes part of our bloodstream. The Bible is the primary means by which we share the life of Christ. 

He made some good points about how helpful reading the Scriptures before bed is really good. Usually what you put in your mind right before you fall asleep is what's in your dreams or what you think about right when you wake up. So putting Scripture in your sub-conscious is really important. I agree with this and have been reading Scripture before bed but still start out my day with it for different reasons. All in all those are both important things to do. Morning and Evening. 

Well everyone that is it. I know this is one of my shortest posts but it was hard to concentrate this week. Let's be honest. But I can't wait for what's in store these next two weeks at this great place! I know God can and will do some great things even in this small amount of time that's left. Live easy and see yah next time.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Eighteenth Link Year Recap 4/2-4/4

Hey everyone, hope you guys had as great of an Easter Break as I did! It would be hard for that to be true for mine was fantastic, but I suppose you can try. Well this week we got the huge privilege of having Sean McDowell come speak to us. If you didn't know Sean is the son of the famous Christian Apologetics/Ethics/Everything Else writer Josh McDowell. I know, it is pretty amazing that we got the chance to hear from Sean! He was really pretty great and definitely ranks near the top of speakers we have had. Well onto some of the things he talked about.

1) For his first 45 minute session on Tuesday he decided to play Devils Advocate and be an Atheist. He basically just sat up there and let everyone in the class throw some questions at him and try to debate against the Atheist worldview. It should't come as too much of a surprise when I tell you that Sean completely destroyed everyone who tried to bring questions against Atheism. He was extremely well versed in what Atheist believe and has read many of the famous atheist writers like Dawkins, Hawkings, Harris..etc. Honestly I greatly enjoyed just sitting in my seat listening to all the questions and seeing how Sean went about answering them. If I'm going to be completely honest with you I was full on rooting for Sean. Can't really pin down why, but I just was.

2) Something that became obvious very quickly during the role playing was how hostile all us students were being toward Sean. It really hit home the point about how most Atheist see Christians as just hating and hostile people. For me it comes down to the key point of winning the person, not the argument. I think that's a very important thing to remember. Because they aren't going to care about what you have to say unless they know that you actually care about them.

3) Objective and Subjective truth. A pretty fun subject for me and something that I learned in Philosophy class last year but that I still greatly enjoyed hearing Sean reiterate. It's amazing how often people get those two things mixed up and always say that religion is Subjective. 

4) He gave us a really good quote, "You know what someone believes about morality not by what they say or what they do, but how they want to be treated.". I think this really hits home on the whole, "What's right for you is right for you and what's wrong for you is wrong for you", basically the whole Relativism thing going on in Postmodernism. 

5) He mentioned the book Darwin's Black Box by Michael Behe. This is also a book that was mentioned in Philosophy class last year and we discussed all the things with Irreducible Complexity. This is a subject that really fascinates me. He gives the whole example of a mousetrap and how if even on single part was not there the whole trap would not work. That being said if the mousetrap went through an evolutionary process it would not work. There is much more to this theory which is why I plan on eventually reading this book. To learn more about it and such.

So that's it folks, it was a great week as I said before. It was also really cool to go eat lunch with the Donyes and McDowell's (Not Josh McDowell, but Sean McDowell, his wife, and three kids). Definitely one of the better parts of my week. Also Sean is a baller, got a chance to play some bball with him while he was here. Pretty sweet stuff. Anyway that about wraps it up, enjoy the weekend and find some obscure holiday to celebrate. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Seventeenth Link Year Recap 3/26-3/28

Hello peeps. I feel like the word “peeps” is appropriate considering Easter is this Sunday. Yes, that was funny and you may laugh now at it. I'm pretty proud of that joke. It wasn't premeditated or preplanned in any way, it just flowed from my mind to my fingers and then onto this digital platform from which you are now reading. Go ahead, clap for me. It was impressive. Anyway, moving on now. This week was pretty great. I know I know, you all are saying, “But Timothy, you say that about basically every week!” Well you exclamatory reader, you would be correct. That is because basically every week is “pretty great”. So there you have it, my explanation. But as I was was a pretty great week.

We had Joe White talk to us for about an hour on Tuesday morning and then for the rest of that class, and throughout the rest of Wednesday and Thursday, we had Joshua Straub. Joe White spoke about Biblical Prophecies. Specifically about the 70 weeks period that it talks about in Daniel. Joshua Straub (officially Dr. Joshua Straub, he has a Ph.D in Psychology) talked about attachment in relationships, with God and others.

So I shall go ahead and give you my five things that I learned this week or that stood out to me. Really most everything Joshua Straub had to say was really interesting and fun to hear for me so I'll try to keep it limited to only a few for him.

  1. The whole thing Joe White went over with the 70 weeks period. Eschatology has always been an area of interest for me and seeing the viewpoint Joe put forth was really interesting. I don't know if I have a set view of where I stand on Eschatology but I lean toward Partial Preterist Amillennial but that's neither here nor there.
  2. Joshua's main overarching point was “Attachment Theory”. Which is basically, “how relationships shape our brains ability to regulate emotion and learn to participate in close, intimate relationships.” He also talked about “Emotion Regulation” which is, “The ability to tolerate and manage strong negative emotions and to experience the wide range of positive emotions as well.”
  3. He (Josh) gave and example of Johhny Cash for one of his examples. The following is taken straight from God Attachment by Dr. Joshua Straub (Published in Christian Counseling Today Magazine
    Vol. 16 Issue 4).
      In the award-winning movie about him, Walk the Line, there is an interesting scene that brings to light what it means to live (and sing) from the heart. With meaning. Purpose. And passion. Having scored an audition with record producer Sam Phillips, Johnny Cash and his band chose to sing a gospel tune originally sung by Jimmy Davis—Were you there when Jesus saved me…saved my soul…the moment he forgave me…made me whole…
      No more than a few verses into the song, Phillips stopped Cash and asked if he had something else to sing. Cash was offended. He asked Phillips, “Is it the song or the way I sang it. Phillips said, “Both.” Cash, noticeably irritated all the more, piped back, “What’s wrong with the way I sing it? Phillips replied, “I don’t believe you.”
          This is convicting for me. Do I really believe the song my life is singing? Do I have passion in
          my life for Christ?
  1. Two good quotes on suffering that I really enjoyed.
    The truth that many people never understand, until it is too late, is that the more you try to avoid suffering the more you suffer because smaller and more insignificant things begin to torture you in proportion to your fear of being hurt.” - Thomas Merton.
    It's doubtful that God can use anyone greatly until he has suffered greatly.” - A.W. Tozer
  1. He (still Josh) spent some time at the end of Thursday talking about how you can walk/get away from past mistakes and tough situations in life. Using the example of Ruth he put forth this system: Ruth leaves her past in four different ways, she leaves it residentially, relationally, spiritually, and permanently.
    Also he talked about how God can use bad decisions and situations for His glory still. Example of this was also shown in Ruth. She is the great grandmother of David. The lineage of Jesus. A nation that was started out of incest (Moab) had a key role in the lineage of Jesus. God can redeem what has happened in your life. It only takes one person.

Well guys I tried to figure out a way to close out this post as brilliantly as the way I started it. But I just don't think I can. But that's okay. I'll live. Alright every-bunny, have a great Easter!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Sixteenth Link Year Recap 3/19-3/21

This week we got the amazing privilege of hearing from Ben Williams. He was a pretty great teacher and conveyed his messages to us well, with sound knowledge and humor, everyone seemed to enjoy him. He used to teach college but now teaches Worldview's and Apologetics in Kansas City. Anyway, the main thing he talked about this week was different Worldview's and how to defend the historical accuracy of the Bible not using the Bible itself. But the best way to tell what he was teaching on is by letting you know the five things I learned this week or that stood out to me.

1) He talked about the five basic things Worldview's have. Five Basic Beliefs: Origin (where did everything come from), identity (what is a human being), meaning (what is the purpose of life), morality (who determines right and wrong), and destiny (what happens when we die). These are all questions that a Worldview answers and that we should know the answers to in our own Worldview.

2) I thought it was really interesting that how in the Eastern religion there is no concept of repentance. Who are you to repent to? If each and every person is a "god" than there is really no one person better than the other. So why would you need to repent? You just have to work and have good karma. That way in your next life you can get a "rank up" in the Caste System. 

3) Buddhism teaches four things. 1st Noble Truth: There is pain and suffering in the world. 2nd Noble Truth: Desire is the cause of suffering. 3rd Noble Truth: Suffering will cease when desire ceases. 4th Noble Truth: Desire can be extinguished by following the Eight-fold-path.  

4) We do not have the original autographs of any book of the Bible. We almost have no original copy of any ancient document. The Papyrus doesn't last. The copying process became very important. When interpreting any ancient text they use the criteria of quantity, quality, and time interval. 
Quantity - How many say the same thing?
Quality - Is the paper good condition? Writing legible?
Time Interval - How much time has passed between manuscripts or documents?

5) New Testament letters started to be written from 50AD - about 80-85AD (maybe 120AD). Oldest NT manuscript we have is Rylands - 138AD. 
     1. We have 5700 Greek Manuscripts.
     2. 10,000 translations in Latin.
     3. All told we have 20,000-25,000 translations. 
     4. We have more than 1 million quotations from a group called the Patristics and Early Church.    These show up in hymnals, letters, books. 
If we lost the first three things, we could still accurately comprise the NT with the fourth.
We have 10-15 manuscripts from within 100 years of the conclusion of the NT. Within two centuries we have approximately four dozen. Of the manuscripts produced prior to 400AD we currently have 99.

These are all really cool things that were taught this week and I am really grateful for the speaker. We learned a whole lot more but this is just a short amount of it. But now it is time for me to go and do more work, thanks for tuning in!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Fifteenth Link Year Recap 3/12-3/14

Well guys it's been awhile since the last time I wrote up a blog post so this should be interesting. And by interesting I mean you'll probably fall asleep while reading this. Sorta like this video exemplifies...

There now that I've supplied you with the obligatory entertainment. Which, by the way, it took me about 20 minutes to actually figure how to embedded a video like that on this blog. It's harder than it sounds, don't judge. Alright so now onto the actual speaker from this week, sorta the point of this blog post.

We had Bret Christopher Jenson (he seemed to like his middle name) teach us this week, he was pretty good. I agreed with and enjoyed basically everything he had to say. He communicated well and knew how to relate to us. Although I think it was tough for some people to focus since it was the first week of class since January. That being said here are some of the things I learned or that stood out to me this week during Bret's teaching.

1) The first day, Tuesday, Bret emphasized being enamored with the Gospel. He pointed out how in verses like 1 Peter 1:3-12, Ephesians 1:3-19, Ephesians 3:20-21, and in other places the language seemed really poetic and just that the author was so enamored by Christ they would even repeat themselves over and over again. Emphasizing points with there awe.

2) He asked us a question on Tuesday that was really good to think about. What would be the price tag or the consequence of a community losing its fascination or enamoring of salvation? I don't remember Bret answering his question, I think his main point was for us to actually think about it. For me I can see it having devastating consequences. If you lose site of salvation (basically the Gospel) then you lose sight of grace. Without grace what do you have?  That's just a short thought but there you go.

3) Bret brought up many issues that needed to be remedied. One of which was "Elementary Gospel". Kinda what I was saying in the previous point, but not fully understanding the implications of the Gospel. It's stinking amazing if you think about it for long. God's wrath poured out on Christ for us! The cup of His wrath was drunk by Christ in our place! It's crazy to think about.

4) Another issue was called, "Gospel Displacement". Meaning that as Christians we tend to think of the Gospel as 'step 1' in our Christian journey. Like the ABC... but the rest of the letters are different steps. But that's not correct, the Gospel is A-Z. It's every single step. If a Christian loses sight of the Gospel they lose sight of the point behind the New Testament. Paul, Peter, James...etc. These were all mature Christians yet they kept constantly pointing to the Gospel throughout their letters.

5) Bret also asked why most modern day churches and community groups (or whatever you want to call them). My thoughts were that they don't truly understand what the Gospel is doing. It's a present tense thing, the Gospel is active and moving. Hebrews 4:12 makes that pretty clear. God still speaks and moves! Why would you forget that? Hold tight to that and believe it!

Well everybody, that's it for this week. Glad to get back into the swing of things. It was good to type up this one. Looking forward to next week's speaker and blog post. Until then, peace out.