The Joy of Ministry and the Wisdom of Change

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On November 1, 2014, I sent an essay entitled, “The Joy of Ministry and the Wisdom of Change” to the Deacon Fellowship of Colonial Baptist Church. This four-page document was the culmination of many months of thought, conversation, and prayer. It outlined what I sensed was the leading of the Lord in my life to resign as Senior Pastor of Colonial Baptist Church and to concentrate my full effort on the ministry of Virginia Beach Theological Seminary.

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Reflections on God's Grace During Seminary

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VBTS alumnus Luke Bylsma reflects on how he has seen and learned to more deeply appreciate the grace of God during his time at Virginia Beach Theological Seminary. Luke Bylsma graduated from Virginia Beach Theological Seminary with his Master of Divinity on May 4, 2014. He, his wife Karin, and their young daughter have moved to Grand Haven, Michigan to work at Lake Shore Baptist Church with two other VBTS graduates.

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New MDiv Program at VBTS

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Recently the faculty announced an extensive redesign of the Master of Divinity program. The revised program is retains the robust framework of the classic Master of Divinity, emphasizing the biblical languages, Church History, Systematic Theology, and Practical Ministry. At the same time, the new program introduces initiatives to shorten the graduation timeframe, sharpen educational effectiveness, and adapt to student aptitudes and objectives. To meet these three objectives, the new MDiv program is built around the following features:

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A Promise and a Prayer for Chaplain Candidates

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All US Military officers are required to recite this Oath as part of their initial commissioning ceremony and then at every promotion ceremony thereafter. This Oath is a succinct illustration of the Christian’s responsibilities to God and government. Holding in His hand a Roman coin bearing Caesar’s image, the Lord Jesus summarized our responsibilities to God and government when He said, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's (Matthew 22:21b).

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Choosing the Wrong Script: Gideon

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Last week Wesley Davey wrote a post entitled “Reading from the Right Script!” In that post, he framed living life simply as a choice between two storylines or scripts: (1) the Adam script and (2) the Jesus script. The idea of life being a choice between two radically different scripts has proven helpful in my current study in Judges and particularly in the Gideon narrative which presents Gideon’s choice to live and lead by either the YHWH script or the “adam” script.

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