The Joy of Glory

Discovering endless joy in the boundless glory of God…

Month: April, 2013

Letter #1: Seminary is about Jesus

6182407097_a5b26f8e73_z-150x150Dear Jonathan,

So…you believe the Lord is leading you towards seminary for more training before entering the pastorate. Can we both just take a moment to laugh at God’s sense of humor? First you said that you would never pastor and didn’t you also say you would never go to seminary? I hope all those words taste good!

But, honestly, we both know that you do NOT know the first thing about seminary. You don’t know how to choose a seminary, what classes are involved, how this will affect your life and family…you don’t even fully know why you are going! So before you reach for a resource, Google different schools, or even have a conversation with one of your mentors, I want to tell you one simple, central thing that should serve as your starting point in this process.

Seminary is about Jesus.

Nothing could be simpler and nothing will be easier to lose sight of even before you set foot on a campus. The world of academia plus your sinful, prideful heart is a recipe for pursuing anything but Christ! This whole journey from beginning to end must be about Jesus if there is to be any real purpose in you pursuing it. This cannot be about you! That will lead to very toxic places, not only for yourself, but for everyone else around you.

Set your sights on Jesus right now. Spend time on your knees with the Word open before you to give you a hunger and thirst to know Jesus more and more…to have a deeper desire for him…a desire that is not satisfied until it spills out by spreading the joy of knowing Christ to others.

This is the road you want to begin your seminary journey, it is the path you must fight to stay upon, and it is the narrow road on which you want to finish. If seminary is going to be about anything other than Jesus…don’t go. I mean it. If this is not about pursuing Christ then you must ask yourself what it is that you are pursuing. Just so you know…there is no good answer to that question that can substitute for Jesus.

Seminary is about Jesus. Pursue him through it!

Grace and Peace,

J

*To know/understand the premise behind these letters please click here.

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Letters to my Seminarian Self

377778_10100189760550688_641233292_n-150x150I was a student at Beeson Divinity School from the fall of 2008 – fall of 2011. Seminary was an absolutely incredible experience that I sometimes wish I could relive. Yet, there are many things I know now that I wish I had been told before and during my journey.

Presently, I find myself still in close contact with many seminarians or college students who want to pursue seminary. So, naturally, I have been thinking again about the things I wish I had known. From somewhere deep in my strange imagination this particular thought surfaced just the other day, “What if I could write letters to send back in time to myself during those seminarian years?”

So that is what I’m going to do…minus the time travel part. I plan to write letters to my seminarian self that, prayerfully, may be of some encouragement or assistance to current/future/or recovering seminarians. Perhaps, by God’s grace, they may also be helpful to Christian brothers and sisters in general.

I will write one letter a week (beginning next Tuesday) until I feel my soul has been purged of its ponderings. As I recount experiences and tell stories from my seminary days I will take the liberty of changing people’s names to protect the guilty…I mean innocent…ha!

In all seriousness, I pray that the Lord may use these simple, broken thoughts to encourage us to love him with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind…to the praise of his glorious grace.

Jonathan Haefs

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