After this month, we’ve experienced in the flesh why Chicago is considered the 6th major city with the worst weather in the US. It has been VERY cold and we are officially sick of the snow. Come Spring, come…

friob

Besides the cold we’ve actually had an enjoyable month. In particular, we were delighted to have a close friend from Spain, Dan, over for a week. It is so relaxing to speak in Spanish and, for a moment, no longer feel like aliens in a strange land. We’ve also been able to spend time with friends from Chicagoland, which becomes more significant as we realize that soon we’ll be far away from here.

Looking forward, this semester will have a high concentration of preaching. Because I want to grow in preaching God’s word faithfully, I’ve seized a number of opportunities to get better at it. I’m taking specialized preaching classes (in difficult biblical texts like poetic and prophetic books) and will be preaching in a number local churches. Two weeks ago I was also able to attend a Simeon Trust workshop that provides ongoing training for people in ministry to preach better. Finally, Dan, our friend from Spain, encouraged me to write guidelines for preparing a sermon. You can see it here.

I still have a lot to learn about preaching, but a few things have become evident. First, if the Bible is God’s word, it is essential that preachers learn how to read the text carefully to understand not only what it is saying, but also what it is claiming on the reader – what we are called to do in response. Second, the preacher is to clearly communicate that to the church, calling them also to respond to God’s word. This is a sobering thought, actually communicating God’s word to people. That’s one of the reasons I need a lot more training.

Please, keep praying with us:

  • to enjoy this last semester, especially to spend time with friends that we might never see again
  • to keep strong in studies, work and church
  • for my preaching times, that God would keep me faithful to his word and that I speak through him while I continue learning

We love you,

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