NOTE: I’m going to start posting my blog updates on Sundays now!
This past Monday, I started the curriculum for Men and Women’s Development Program (MWDP). Within my residency, there are three key areas where growth is centralized; head, heart, and hands.
Most of our ‘head’ growth is cultivated in MWDP (Men and Women’s Development Program). The Men and Women’s Development Program is a seminary type course that spans over the first nine months of a residency. Here we will learn the intricacies of doctrine and theology. We will read all of Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology and a variety of other texts revolving around the supremacy of the scriptures and the God of the Bible. At the end of each quarter, we will be given an oral exam in a roleplaying scenario where we must respond to “real-life” questions people face in the ministry- and responding to those questions in a pastoral manner.
For example one of the questions may look like:
“My wife and I are getting a divorce, we are both Christians but we just believe this is a necessary thing.”
“If God is so good, why can’t He just stop all the bad things in this world and make all things right?”
We will then have to respond to the difficulties of these types of questions using the Word of God. Essentially, this course is teaching me how to pastor people in a very delicate manner. For the past two weeks, I have already read the first eight chapters of Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology- the first eight chapters covered the Word of God in its inerrancy, clarity, revelation, and inspiration. We then did an in-class lecture based off of all of these topics.
One thing I learned that I thought was pretty interesting was the differentiation between God’s revelating to mankind. It’s something I knew existed as a doctrine but wasn’t aware of the technicalities of. There is General (or Natural) Revelation in which God makes His Glory known (or available) for all mankind to see (mode)- this is most commonly seen in creation; see Psalm 19:1-2:
“The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.”
A person in an unreached people group could definitely know there is a God just by observing creation; this is a mode. Yet he is unable to acknowledge the Gospel truth (efficacy). Therefore, that is a lost person because they have not yet heard and accepted the Gospel- that is why we are commanded to GO by Jesus in Matthew 21. See also Romans 10:14:
“How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?”
Another mode of General Revelation can be human conscience- in which God uniquely designed mankind to discern morality or the difference between right and wrong.
There is also Special Revelation in which God makes Himself known by the fullness of truth necessary for salvation contained in the Gospel. The modes of this can be through miracles, dreams, the scriptures, or through the preaching of the Word. In any of these elements, that same unreached person may have newness of life because he has acknowledged/heard the Gospel truth and can accept Jesus Christ as Lord (efficacy).
Now, personally speaking, I love apologetics much to where I could watch a two-hour dialogue on Youtube regarding the Trinity or the Doctrines of Grace. However, for some people, any sort of class with this much content- it might be overwhelming. I have MWDP on Mondays at 9’oclock AM- before that I have early morning prayer with my Goer Missional Community (Bible Study on Steroids). Lots to do!
Worship Pastor Intensive
Another event that took place this week was our first Austin Stone Worship Intensive! Every year, we host a two-day event where we invite worship pastors, worship leaders, and other leaders on a worship team from all around the country to sit and hear from our leadership.
The worship ministry of the Austin Stone is a growing ministry and has become somewhat of a more known worship collective (collection of pastors, musicians, and worship leaders) in the last three years. This is mainly due to the five cultures that define and rule the ministry of Austin Stone Worship.
The Word: We esteem the Word of God. We depend on the power of the Holy Spirit.
Development: We value character over competency. We consider others more significant than ourselves.
Excellence: We are not moved by applause or criticism. We value excellence in everything.
Engagement: We love and worship Jesus above everything. We are a community of shepherds.
Togetherness: We choose comradery over comparison. We choose servanthood over stardom.
As a result of what the Lord has done in and through the worship ministry of the Austin Stone, smaller sister churches are looking to our team in a way where we can serve and equip them so they can serve their churches well.
As for me, the Lord let me play a small little piece to this grand puzzle. Most of us residents were serving by setting up, running errands, engaging with the attendees, hearing from our leadership, and tearing down at the end. I was personally convicted in a session by our Director of Worship, Chris Collins- the session was over the culture of The Word. One thing that’s been repeating in my head ever since- “am I spending time reading the Bible or am I actually spending time with Jesus?”
I listed out several things that were keeping me from the Lord in my daily life and as a result of it- I’ve deleted most of my social media outlets from my phone. Most times I’ll spend hours scouring the depths of Instagram or wondering how well I’m approved of by people I’ve never met. God the Father, the only one worthy of my adoration, already looks on me with favor because of the blood of Jesus! How marvelous!
There was so much “meat” to this Intensive that I wish I would’ve taken notes for- but luckily for me I filmed the entire event.
After Intensive, Adam (my fellow resource resident) and I went to celebrate our work by making a trip to Austin Vintage Guitars!
It was a first time for me and I could not have been more excited. The store had an incredible collection of high-end acoustic guitars. For a Gibson Acoustic lover like me, this place was a safe-haven I didn’t want to leave from. I played a Gibson L-50 older than my grandma (1946), a beautiful Gibson Hummingbird in Vintage Sunburst, as well as a Gibson SJ-200. The electric guitar selection was incredible as well with Fender teles ranging to a 1969 Fender American Jazzmaster in Forest Green.
Today I fired off a couple new amps in the student’s room at our Downtown Campus. The first was a Hendy Amps Capone [15″ Custom Hendy Amps Speaker] and a Supro Thunderbolt+ [Supro TB15 Speaker]. I will either run my primary guitar, a Duesenberg Fullerton Hollow [stocked with Duesenberg “Domino” P-90 pickups] or my secondary, a Fender Classic Player’s Jazzmaster with [Fender stock “Soapbar” pickups].
Due to the nature of my Duesenberg being a hollow bodied guitar and having only played solid bodies- it’s been a lot of getting used to and EQing my board to settings I normally wouldn’t with my Jazzmaster. Regardless it’s super fun to play and you can get some really neat sounds out of them when ran pretty hot, but for students, I have to hold back quite a bit in terms of volume. I also split my signal where my Big Sky signal will go straight into my Supro Thunderbolt and the rest of my board into the Capone- it fills a lot of space the more wet my verb gets.
This Sunday was an odd Sunday in terms of the “broken down” set we used- or in other words, everything except a kit. Audio-wise, the room we use is where a cajon would fit perfectly.
Most of my effects-heavy parts are derived from a cloud verb that I use on my Big Sky and the Reverse Delay I use on my DD-500. Below is a sample of the sounds I used on Simple Pursuit:
– Duesenberg Fullerton Hollow
– Fender Classic Player Jazzmaster
Amps (* Indicates what I use on Sundays)
-Hendy Amps Capone *
–Supro Thunderbolt+ *
– Fender Blues Jr
Pedals (Guitar -to- Amp | * Indicates what I use on Sundays)
– Jackson Prism Boost/OD *
– SP Xotic Compressor (I don’t use this for my Duesenberg)
– TC Electronics Polytune *
– Ernie Ball Volume Pedal *
– Emerson Custom EM Transparent Overdrive (Always on) *
– JHS Pedals Superbolt *
– JHS Pedals Emperor Chorus/Vibrato
– BOSS DD-500 *
– TC Electronics Hall of Fame Reverb (I only use the Spring verb)
– Strymon Big Sky *
– 1964 Audio Triple Driver V3 IEMS
– Dullen Customs 24×16 Paduk Finish Pedalboard
– Creation Music Company Custom Roadcase
Side by side,