Approaching THE BIG DAY!…………
………September 16th, that is. Officially moving to Leonardtown, Maryland.
Don’t know what to say, other than, I accept and embrace the change. I will miss my friends and family here, the delicious food, my first church which I have called my second home, but new ministries and a new home await me. Let me introduce you to:
I will officially be interning there from:
1) September 30 – December 14th ; 10 hrs/wk.
2) January 6 – March 22 ; 35 hrs/wk.
I will be engaged in various ministries such as their Orphan Ministries, Outreach, Media, Activity Planning, etc.
After my internship is over, we will see what God’s plans are. Do I seek the ordination process? Do I continue there as just a member? Regardless, I definitely want to be actively serving, using the gifts God has given me.
I am excited to be in this stage of my life of not knowing certain outcomes, because these are opportunities to fully depend and trust in God’s plans and sovereignty. I am engaging in faith more and more deeply which baffles me. Faith is what makes God credit to us righteousness as He did to Abraham. I am in right standing with God because of faith?! Faith is receiving God’s sacrifice in the form of Jesus Christ and His forgiveness of sins. Elementary truths, yet not so elementary to most of us because we do not think elementarily. Therefore, a reason why Jesus calls us to be like little children to enter the kingdom of heaven because children are elementary!
Going back to the topic of actively serving and gifts, I am so humbled today after finishing my Homiletics intensive.
Homiletics comes from the word homilies and is thus defined as the art of sacred speech/homilies, also known as the art of preaching. By far this class belongs in my top 3 experiences here at Fuller for many reasons. One of my hesitancies to switch to the MDiv. degree was not all the steps in taking extra classes such as the Greek and Hebrew language courses, but in actually taking the Homiletics course. For those of you who do not know, I have such deep issues of speaking in public. I wouldn’t call it an extreme fear, but definitely my whole body feels faint and I have trouble breathing sometimes. I don’t know where it comes from. I was trying to analyze this past Tuesday as I was preaching my final sermon on Philippians 2. I think a part of it is the fear of not sounding perfect or intelligent. Where this insecurity comes from, I do not know. Besides these moments, I am an extrovert and love people! Hmm…..
However, after successfully preaching two sermons in this class and receiving good constructive criticism, I have experienced the power of overcoming fear through the JOY of preaching! It is an opportunity to tell of my past experiences, good and bad, with and without God, to connect a person to the person of God. All of who I am, God made me to be, and that is a testimony. I have a lot to bring and offer to others not for myself, but to tell God’s story. By telling my story, I am telling God’s story. I also get the opportunity to tell God’s story without telling my story as well! My experience with the Word of God is a unique experience that no one else in the world has experienced – with all my presuppositions, judgments, ideas, experiences, etc. I am uniquely me and so I can bring the Word of God directly to people through the person and personality that is, Paul Kwak. You see, JOY is what kills fear and gives me power to proceed with the art of preaching. The nerves are still there, but JOY will trump my silly fears and also give me purpose because JOY comes from the LORD. Joy that I am saved and His salvation is my strength.
So I am amazed that this great fear of mine has turned into joy.
I am so appreciative of the schedule of classes I had to take in order to take this Homiletics class: 1) Greek -> 2) Exegetical Methods -> 3) New Testament: Exegesis -> 4) Homiletics
Without the proper order and training, I would not be nearly as prepared as I was when starting this class last month. With that said, I was able to reflect tonight and thank God where he has taken me the past four years! I am a completely different man compared to when I started here in September 2009. Completely. Different. Fuller of course has a great role in shaping me. (I would like to quickly make a mental note to myself that continued education is important, even when I graduate. I really should make reading a habit and keep up all that I have learned through journaling, reflection, and community)
I can’t help but think of the disciples right now. They were a bunch of nobodies and “losers”, yet in Acts we seem to be reading about completely different people. As I get older, I’ve come to see more and more that people do not like to accept change in others nor themselves. People prefer to stay the same and be comfortable.
I think that’s why I enjoy reading the New Testament more than the Old Testament. Experiencing my conversion at 21 years old, to me, is a late conversion because you’re a completely “functioning adult” at this age. You are able to discern from the old self and new self, post conversion. With many years of the old self prior to 21, that is a lot to take in! Your entire worldview and paradigm has to change??!! 21 years is a lot to change! That’s why it’s a process of change when becoming a Christian. Discipleship for the disciples took a good three years.
And so I am continuing to change and I think the displacement of myself from California into a whole new culture will continue changing me. Hopefully for the better and into the image of Christ. Into the image of a preacher?? Who knows? This is something Susanna definitely did not want when we were dating and something I never imagined myself doing in a million years, but we both have evolved. We welcome the change and perhaps that is the key in living this life. Welcoming God to be the shaper and for us to be the clay. If we let something else shape us, we will possibly harden….and then….break into pieces.