Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day Tribute

"Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith." (Heb 13:7)

It's memorial day, a day which was created to honor the service of those who were willing to die to defend the United States of America in battle. This day has noble roots. I want to springboard from this and honor those who led me in the faith and really have shaped me in my walk with Jesus Christ. These men are laborers in Christ and I praise God for bringing them into my life to teach me. I'm Presbyterian and we try not to praise men so these guys really mean a lot to me.

Derek Scholl:

After becoming a Christian I attended a discipleship school in Northern California for one year as a student, Dr. Scholl was on staff as one of the leading teachers at the school. I later was on staff with him for almost 2 years. The last two years with Derek were definitely more impactful than the former. As I worked alongside Derek I really got practical lessons on what it looks like to lay your life down for your neighbor. Derek was always going out of his way to help others, this was particularly clear when it seriously messed with his schedule for studies and class preparations. It was funny, because it was a school/Christian community, there was never a dull day, always an unforeseen circumstance to deal with. In such an environment to be am organizer one really practically learns how to live "not my will but Thine". Derek who has labored so long at "the Land" has through refinement and God's grace no doubt really been an example to me of what it means to lay ones life down for others. (Pictured is Derek and the delicate infant Geneva)

Prodigal Project:

The PP is the ministry I was referring to where Derek Scholl taught bible classes. Because there where so many people who I was involved with it's easier to just lump it all together into one. Living in a Christian community I think is precious, you really have to deal with problems and face one another, no hi-bye relationships. Just living at the land my sin would be exposed as I wouldn't want to do certain things and frankly didn't like certain people, but living in community you have to deal with these things, takes you out of your comfort-zone. In such a context Christianity has feet, it gets very practical. I am thankful for all the friends I have from this ministry and have been shaped by all. Of course I naturally remember the people who I worked with there the most: the Cromptons, Curtis and Elena Neph, TODD (man I remember 4 months in an RV on the road with these about refining j/k it was a blast) I love these guys and it was so nice to live and learn very practically from each other.

To go way back I remember when Chinua Ford taught a series of classes on apologetics, it was
genuinely impactful on me and spurred a dedicated study in apologetics of my own. Jon Hall also was there way back, Jared and Candice, Scott and Devon. Scott Schulties I remember from the Arcata days was zealous to evangelize and did it so naturally. Anyway there are many more from PP I am forgetting but these guys really had an impact upon my development just by practically living the gospel and having a zeal for Christ and the salvation of sinners. I hope one day I will be blessed to work alongside some of them again.

Dave Sczepanski/ Gospel Outreach :

Dave is the pastor of Eureka CA's "Gospel Outreach" church. I have been so blessed to come to know him and the ministry of G.O. Dave heavily emphasized upon the teachings of Martin Luther and it was through his teachings on justification and law/gospel that I really felt a burden lifted off of me. I was free to be wrong, free to be a sinner, free to be who I am, because it is in Christ alone that my righteousness is found. Don't get me wrong the G.O. message is not antinomian, but the teaching really freed me from a performance sense of right standing with God while urging me to live holy. Also it was G.O. that really stoked a love in me for theology through the study of David Well's "No Place for Truth" at their church.

John Piper:

Hey anybody that knows me knows that John Piper is my most listened to preacher and it is hard to be that and not be a major developer in anyone's life. Piper really more than anyone made me see that God is more to be desired than all that this life can offer. God is the most precious being there is and is infinitely satisfying to the beauty thirsty soul. Piper's "Don't Waste Your Life" sermon/DVD really rocked me and has instilled a passion in me to live for Christ with all my might while I live.

My Wife:

This isn't just a consolation entry, my wife is truly a wonderful God treasurer. Of course her living with me probably has the most first hand views of my sin and she is faithful to call me out and urge me to live holy. I thank the Lord for blessing me with her. Love you Lisa.

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