Archives for posts with tag: chicago

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,

In this new entry I would like to go on telling you a bit about the kind of life I have as an MDiv student at Trinity. But first a quick update:

  • Last month my parents came to visit us and, because of some very generous friends, took us to Colorado to do some skiing. We had a great time of rest and also got to reconnect with some friends from Spain that live there now.
  • We are now searching for a new church to participate in: we felt that we had contributed up to what we could in the church we were attending and that we needed to find a place closer to the campus where we could build more significant community. The city resulted to be too far away for any kind of interaction with the church members beyond the Sunday meeting and this created a difficult situation not only for ministering to them, but also for us to grow. Please pray that God will lead us to where he wants us to be.
  • This next week Marta heads back to Spain for her sister’s wedding and I’ll spend Easter Vacation catching up on reading and papers so that when she comes back we’ll be able to spend some more time together.

What other stuff goes on on campus?

In addition to classes there are a lot of conferences that happen on campus. My favorites are those put on by the Carl F. H. Henry Center that works on bridging the gap between local churches and theological education.

Recently, for example, they had pastor Alistair Begg from Parkside Church. Both Marta and I were impressed by his passion, sincerity and also sound theology and argumentation. He spoke about important things to consider when becoming a pastor. One of these was “clarity”, and he drew this from John the Baptist’s ministry. Everyone knew what John was asking them to do: repent. As seminary students we need to ensure to keep the gospel simple so that people can understand and respond to the amazing gift God has given us. Here is one of his sessions on video.

Please, keep praying for us:

  • for our search of a new church where we can find community and mentoring
  • for Marta’s trip as she travels to Spain: safety but also that she would be able to enjoy the time with her family and so many other people
  • our jobs: as we look towards the summer and next year, we are praying that God would provide Marta with a full time job (not just freelancing) so that Kenny can kick back a few hours
  • finances: time for scholarship applications is rapidly approaching. Pray for wisdom on which ones are worth the time and effort it takes to fill out all the paperwork, write the essays, etc.

To be continued…

Every once in a while one has the privilege of taking some time off from studies and work and hanging out with loved ones. This week my parents are here from Spain. They have been missionaries there for over 20 years and now are taking a few months off to rest, recap and re-think strategies for the upcoming years. In fact, my dad is keeping a log of their adventures on his blog. We invited them out to Chicagoland to enjoy the good weather… and to just visit the city, taste the food, and enjoy some kick-back time. Below is a picture at Highland Park, a small city really close to where we live with a pretty cool beach right on the lake. Although it was cold and windy, Michigan lake is still a pretty site.