I HAVE ONE OF the best jobs in the world. As Assistant Director of Center Education of the Detroit Center, I have the privilege of walk with others on a daily basis, as they work to fulfill part of their calling from God while they are trained At Ashland Theological Seminary-Detroit. I’ve learned that recognizing and embracing our called full-faced, without flinching denying it or minimizing it- are some of the bravest and scariest things we can do. In 1995, when I entered the ATS-Detroit Counseling Program as student, I defined calling as the thing I would do for God. Many of our students also defined calling similarly. Over time, I have discovered that walking in our call has far more to do with embracing our called identity in God, rather than doing a specific thing for God.
Today, we bring you a message by Roberto Ponce. The message was recorded on Wednesday March 25, 2015 during our Seminary Chapel.
As Vice President of Marketing and Recruitment, Roberto brings 15 years of marketing experience to Ashland Theological Seminary. He has created and managed national and international integrated marketing campaigns in the pharmaceutical, banking, insurance, automotive, construction, retail, and higher education industries. Roberto led his own multicultural marketing firm until he was called to ministry.
Prior to joining the ATS’ team, Roberto was responsible for all branding, promotions and recruitment efforts for an Assemblies of God international university. He also worked planning government, public and media relations in Washington, D.C.
His passion in ministry is simultaneous interpreting during church services for Hispanic outreach.
Roberto lives in Columbus with his wife Debra and their three daughters Yolani, Isabel and Sofia.
As we celebrate and remember the life of Luke Keefer, the word legacy has been used frequently. And while I think it is completely appropriate, I also think it would make Luke blush.
Legacy is a loaded word. It is usually reserved for referring to the lasting impact of the famous, influential, or wealthy, and by the world’s standards Luke was none of those. Instead, Luke Keefer was a simple man.
By calling Luke simple, I am not saying that he wasn’t an intellectual or that there weren’t many sides to him. I am saying that Luke Keefer was simple like God is simple.
Today, we bring you a message by Dr. Dan Hawk. The message was recorded on Wednesday March 18, 2015 during our Seminary Chapel.
When it comes to Old Testament scholarship and theology, Dr. Hawk is an expert. He is also an excellent communicator, able to make complex issues of theology accessible to those in his classroom. Students find Dr. Hawk to be kind, compassionate, and a compelling teacher.
Dr. Hawk is married to his beautiful wife, Linda, and they have two wonderful sons, Danny and Andrew.
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.
In Titus 2:2-4, Paul says that “the old women should behave themselves with reverence and not gossip or drink too much. They should give a good example, teach the young women to love their husbands and their children, remain judiciously pure, be keepers of the home, remain full of kindness and be subject to their husbands.”
On the surface, this sounds very sexist and is out of step with our modern world. After all, American society values gender equality. I also value gender equality because the spirit and teaching of the NT establishes this ideal. In the church, the cultural categories that diminish women should be reconsidered in the light of the gospel message that tells us that all are one in Christ (Gal 3:28). As such, I do not believe that American women need to follow Paul’s exhortation as if it were a universal law to be mimicked.
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.
Today, we bring you a message by Dr. Terence Mournet. The message was recorded on Wednesday February 25, 2015 during our Seminary Chapel.
Dr. Mournet sees his position at the seminary as a life-giving cycle of service. Students and colleagues form a supportive, diverse, and vibrant community, which enables Dr. Mournet to strive for his personal and professional goals. In turn, he is able to serve students and God with his gifts of teaching, writing, and scholarly research. Students appreciate Dr. Mournet’s consistency in expectations and his ability to lead class discussions that fully communicate the topic at hand. They find that he is eager to build relationships both in and out of the classroom.
In addition to teaching, Dr. Mournet has a passion for worship. He loves working with fellow musicians as they, together, seek to direct people’s attention towards worship of the one, true God. He plays numerous instruments, including electric and acoustic guitar, bass guitar, drums, and trumpet. Dr. Mournet also likes to express himself through painting, sketching, and other artistic pursuits. To top it all off, he has extensive home-renovating experience – something that was likely passed down through his DNA, as his father was a carpenter and construction foreman.
Dr. Mournet is married to his wonderful wife, Krista, who serves alongside him in leading worship at their home church. The Mournets have one son, Lucas.
Many times I have expressed that I love snow, the more the better. Having been born in Belgium, and having lived in Spain for the last ten years or so, snow has not been extremely abundant in my life. The only times snow has triggered a shot of adrenaline in my body has been occasionally on ski-trips in the French Alps with Young Life Catalonia.
Snow is amazing. In Europe there is an old Scandinavian language that has almost 200 words related to ice or snow (and about a thousand for Rudolf – the reindeer, no kidding). A couple of Sundays ago Dr. Schultz shared with us in his sermon that there is no such thing as two identical snowflakes. I thought that was amazing. Let us just reflect a little bit on that. I will not go into statistics here. Now, if you google ‘identical snowflakes’ you will find some similar looking flakes that are probably altered with Photoshop. For the scientists among us, did I see a hand? Some other factors that influence the symmetric shape of a snowflake are the humidity, temperature and air pressure. This brings us to a not-so-exact study that says that the largest snowflake ever was about 15 inches wide!
I don’t even know if you can do that. Does that qualify? I don’t come from a faith tradition that regularly observes the church seasons, but I see all my Facebook friends giving up sugar, or television, or even Facebook itself, and I think “that’s good….wow, that’s gonna be tough….I hope they can pull it off.”
What’s something I hold onto more tightly than anything? What’s something I could lay down as a sacrifice during this Lenten season?
I know, I know. It sounds all existential doesn’t it? But the last few years have reminded me of something incredibly important.