Today we bring you a sermon preached by Pastor Nate Bebout. This message was recorded during our weekly chapel service on May 4, 2016.
“Dear Dad, I’m thinking about dropping out of college, so I can do something significant for God instead of wasting my time going to school.” So started my freshman letter to my father.
It seemed to me that going to college and possibly to graduate school was too much work, too much money, and a waste of too much time while living in a world that needed Jesus. I figured I could invest my life better in a community rather than on a campus.
My father wrote back, with a letter that changed my life. Although I did not save it, I certainly remember its contents.
When I was about your age, I weighed the same decision. I was passionate
for ministry and wanted to quit school. I asked for advice from Dr. Donald Barnhouse, pastor of Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. Barnhouse told me that if he had 10 years to live he would spend nine in preparation and one in ministry. He was convinced he would accomplish more
for God in that one year than he would have accomplished in nine years of
ministry with only one year of preparation. He advised that sharpening the axe before chopping the tree means you’ll have chopped more wood by the end of the day.
Higher education wasn’t easy for my dad. His parents attended grade school and no more. He dropped out of high school when he was 16. When he believed in Jesus and was drawn to ministry in his late teens, he decided to go back to school. The journey was hard—Bible school at night, back to high school with teenagers in the fledgling church he started, and then college, seminary and graduate studies. It took him more than nine years but led to an amazing lifetime of ministry. He served in missions and evangelism, pastored a large metropolitan church for 33 years, and became a college president.
Today, we bring you a message by Dr. Jerry Flora. This message was recorded on Wednesday January 13, 2016 during our Seminary Chapel. Dr. Flora is a beloved professor who trained hundreds of students for ministry at Ashland Seminary. He was named Professor Emeritus of Theology and Spiritual Formation.
Today, we bring you a message by Krista Mournet. The message was recorded on Wednesday November 18, 2015 during our Seminary Chapel.
Krista, her husband Terence and their son Lucas have been a part of the Ashland Seminary community since 2010. Krista’s interest in music and worship extends back most of her life, beginning when she would sing with her mother in church as a child, to singing in various church choirs and worship teams over the course of her life and up to the present day. In addition, she and Terence have ministered together in various worship groups since before they were married. In recent years, her university training in theological research has served to deepen and mature her desire to help people worship God through music. Krista derives a great deal of joy from bringing people together to use their gifts in God’s service, in this case in Ashland Seminary’s chapel services. She enjoys cooking, spending time with her family, reading and sharing laughter and fellowship with friends, usually including music, coffee or food.
By Miles Larson
As advent is fast approaching, I was reminded how much more contemplative I become during this time of year. The changing weather forces me to retreat into my own mind and thoughts. Lately, the concept of calling has been frequently on my mind, and I remember when I was considering seminaries not so long ago. It can seem expensive, daunting and if you’ve been out of school for any period of time may seem unreasonable.
In 1981, Dr. Shultz was hired at Ashland Theological Seminary as the first counseling professor. Over the years, he was a key component in local counseling, founding Cornerstone Psychological Affiliates and co-founding Appleseed Counseling and Case Management.
Since 2006, Dr. Shultz has served as President of Ashland Theological Seminary. Under his leadership, ATS has increased focus on its urban centers in Detroit, Cleveland, and Columbus, resulting in growth at each location. The importance of the spiritual life of students is always foremost in Dr. Shultz’s thoughts, as is his commitment to making a seminary education more affordable and accessible for those responding to that particular call from God.
I know that this opening statement will reveal me for the shallow man that I have seemingly become, but lately I have wondered how society ever lived without a DVR! While TV watching has never been something that occupied a great deal of my time, my wife and I have found ourselves spending a quiet evening together “catching up” on a very few shows that have become favorites. Rarely do we watch them when they are really on, which gives us to opportunity to watch them much quicker – because we are able to fast forward all……and I do mean ALL the commercials.
By Rev. Jason Barnhart
“On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’ And with that he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” John 20:19-23, NIV
We recently celebrated Resurrection Sunday. That day where we remember when history pivoted in a new direction. Christ is not dead – resurrection has happened. As the late Yale University historian, Jaroslov Pelikan, wrote: “If Christ is risen, nothing else matters. And if Christ is not risen – nothing else matters.”
Luke Keefer would have agreed with Pelikan but may have adapted the quote just a tad. “If Christ is risen, the church has a job to do. If Christ is not risen, the church can go about its usual business.” Such was Luke’s prophetic call to the church. As an historian who surveyed the entire history of the church, he never gave up hope for its witness.
By Will Gravitt
I remember a story my pastor told about an old farmer and his first time in an airplane. The farmer was offered a ride by the pilot of a single engine crop-duster. Initially, he declined. The pilot was eventually able to persuade the farmer to join him. Crop-dusting is a crazy business. The pilot and the farmer were up and down, round and round. The farmer was white-knuckled throughout the entire flight.
By Amy Davies
Have you become the person that God has created you to be? Are you walking in your divine destiny? Some of us have graduated from seminary more recently than others, and yet, it is good to evaluate our ministry and our relationship with God to see if we are walking in the path that He has prepared and ordained for us. There is a process that we have to go through to become the men and women that God created us to be.
Seminary has been an essential part of our process of becoming who we were created to be. However, this process needs to be ongoing, ensuring that we are taking every opportunity to increase our wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of the Scriptures and the ways of the Lord. One of the most important aspects of walking in your divine destiny is being content with who God created you to be. When you begin to see yourself through God’s eyes, from His divine perspective, you will begin to walk boldly in your unique calling.