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Written by Charles Zimmerman Friday, 04 April 2014 15:18

Biblical Alums

This month we hear from one of Biblical’s most recent grads – Mark Novales. Mark graduated from our Urban LEAD program last year and is doing a great job planning a church-planting-church in Northeast Philadelphia. You will not find a more passionate pastor committed to living in mission with Jesus. Please take a minute and pray for Mark and his family when you are finished reading his story.

Here is his story:

I began my studies at Biblical Seminary in February 2011. I completed all the requirements for an Urban LEAD Master of Divinity in the Fall of 2013. Shortly after graduating from Biblical, my family and I planted a church in the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia! CityReach Philly was birthed on September 15, 2014 at Northeast High School. After 6 months we have been used to reach the ONE who is far from God and have begun to see people become passionate followers of JESUS! We recently conducted 12 baptisms! God has also miraculously opened the doors of Tarken Park Recreation Center where we hold weekly Reach Group meetings (discipleship classes).

 

Written by Stephanie Lowery Wednesday, 02 April 2014 09:50

Bible Reading

I would consider myself part of a textually-focused culture, one where reading and literacy are vital. Especially as a student and teacher, and life-long book lover, my life has always revolved around written texts. Just how do people from that context, relate to and understand hearing-dominant cultures, where texts are generally oral, publicly shared, and rarely written?

You might be wondering why this matters, or why it’s something I’m concerned about. After all, neither my neighbors nor co-workers are hearing-dominant people, so why am I spending time thinking about this and how does it affect my daily life?

   

Written by Dave Dunbar Friday, 28 March 2014 00:00

Creation

The debates about the origin of the universe and the beginning of human life, not just between Christians and non-Christians, but within the body of Christ, show no signs of abatement or resolution. And the importance of the topic, combined with the intensity of feeling among all the participants, leads to some very harsh language and unpleasant encounters among believers. Distrust, anger, impatience, misrepresentation, condescension — all this and more flow from those who claim to be followers of Jesus.

Surely there is a better way!

   

Written by Stephanie Lowery Friday, 21 March 2014 00:00

TCK Fitting in

...and what it’s really like to be one.

In 1983, my parents and I moved to East Africa. I was not yet 2 years old, so all my early memories are of Kenya or airplanes. My passport country is the U.S., and at first glance, I look like I ‘belong’ when in the U.S. among other light-skinned people – but I always thought of Kenya as home.

This is part of what it means to be a missionary kid (MK)/third culture kid (TCK). You don’t quite belong in the culture that your parents are from (your passport country), nor do you fully belong in the culture in which you spent your formative years. You create another culture, a third, in-between culture. This can apply to missionary kids, military kids, and others whose families live cross-culturally in their formative years.

Some TCKs are ambivalent about or frustrated by their experiences. I’m not one of those. There has not been one single time that I wished my parents had not gone to Kenya. I wouldn’t trade those years of my life for anything; they were wonderful and rich and beautiful.

   

Written by Jeffrey Monk Wednesday, 19 March 2014 00:00

Work at Work

What is your theology of work? In his marvelous book God at Work, David Miller observes that “many people of faith live bifurcated lives, compartmentalizing their faith teachings apart from their workplace demands.”

Shortly after completing my M.Div, degree and accepting my job as Counselor at Redeemer Counseling Services in NYC, I was deeply challenged by a talk given by Catherine Leary Alsdorf, former CEO and pioneering leader of Redeemer’s Center for Faith and Work. She said, “You who are going into church work need to understand the different challenges people encounter in their work if you are going to help them understand how to live out the Gospel in their callings.”

If a businesswoman in your church asked, “Can you help me understand how to relate my career calling to God’s big story?,” how would you answer her?

Would your answer begin with God’s original purposes in creation, or would you simply go back to the Fall and talk to her about how to more effectively win her co-workers to Christ?

   

Written by Derek Cooper Monday, 17 March 2014 00:00

Unfollowers

It’s never a good day when you realize you have quite a bit in common with the villains of the Bible. It’s even worse when you’ve made this discovery while in seminary.

I always used to identify with the heroes in the Bible. Who wants to be the villain? If ten out of twelve spies didn’t want to invade Canaan, I’d surely be one of the two who trusted God to lead the way. If the entire nation of Israel turned to Baal worship, I’d be hiding in a cave with Elijah’s 7,000 faithful Israelites. If nine of ten healed lepers failed to follow Jesus, I’d be the one who returned to say thank you.

It never occurred to me that I could have anything in common with the crowds who yawned at or mocked Jesus’ message. Even worse than that, how could I have any similarities with the opponents of Jesus?

   

Written by Kelly Pfleiger Friday, 14 March 2014 00:00

As Jesus “went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness,” He was moved with compassion when He saw the crowds of people, “because they were…like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:35-36)

In the same spirit, Bill Campbell, a Biblical alum with an MA in Ministry 2010, shares his heart for the people of Paris and calls us to fervent prayer for the great work God is doing there.

While Bill is quick to praise God for His great faithfulness and blessing upon their ministry in Paris, he longs to see spiritual walls broken down, open doors for home discipleship groups, more workers for this “plentiful harvest” and boldness, protection, and blessing as the Word goes forth in a mighty way.

In Bill’s own words, please pray “for God’s strong hand upon us in our evangelism outreaches, for conversions, healings, deliverances, for the Kingdom to come to bear tangibly as we proclaim Christ.”

Bill is grateful for his seminary education that prepared him for his calling. This short video provides a window into his ministry world.

   

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