As you step out of seminary, dear brothers …

As you step out of seminary, dear brothers …

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The sacrament

(A note I shared with our younger brothers at seminary, on the eve of their convocation which was to be held on 17th March, 2017)

Dearest final year brothers at seminary,

We were privileged to be your mentors for a short time, within the limitations of our immaturity and inexperience. And we all are glad that the Lord has brought you this far, only by His grace, and not by our merit. We are happy that you have come this far. You are the last batch of the seminary that we knew well.

As you approach convocation, may the Lord bless you and fill you with His Spirit.The Lord needs servants who read His word and listen to His voice. May He keep you close to His heart just as you have kept Him.

May the humility of Christ in Philippians 2:6–10 be your trademark, your signature, your logo. May His commitment to give the very best to His people be the force that drives you in His ministry.

May the rest he has ordained into the rhythm of creation be rightfully claimed regularly. Don’t forget.

May your families be a blessing. May your love for your future wife be the love of the cross and nothing less. May your children receive the freedom and discipline which the heavenly Father has brought us up with.

May your commitment to the flock he has given you reflect that of David, who courageously tore away the wild animals, yet was gentle enough to play soothing music.

May a new language and new culture that you are placed in be readily adopted as God’s site of incarnation, and be embraced like a mother would embrace her newborn child.

Through daily quiet time, prayer and regular worship, may your ego melt away leaving only the heart and mind of Christ within you.

May gossip and slander be destroyed from your mouth immediately, the very mouth that receives His life giving body and blood.

May your hands touch only what He has given you lawfully. May your eyes see what He reveals to you.

May guilt from sin, be exchanged for eternal love, justified in His work on the cross for us, and a commitment to never repeat the same, in response to His forgiveness and grace.

There is a world out there waiting for a super human priest, but continue to serve him with all the limitations of a human priest — the very likeness of Him who chose not to employ His super powers.

Looking forward to seeing each one of you thrive in His ministry. Prepare well, there is a long journey ahead.

Welcome, my brothers.❤

Lots of love

George.

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Pastoral Ministry : The Journey Ahead to be Fishers of Men

[This post was written last November and I just found it tucked in my Onenote yesterday. I fell down during sports and games on August 22, 2012. An elbow dislocation and radial head fracture led to an operation in mid-October. Both events were followed by having a plaster of paris cast on for three weeks and then physiotherapy.  ]

Saturday, November 03, 2012

2:43 AM

By this fall and the subsequent experiences I have gained taught me a couple of things.

Let me reflect upon it.

1. This fall happened so that I’d learn something deep from this.

I’ve fallen before and have walked off unharmed or with injuries so small that they are not even worth putting down. I have skidded and fell off a bike which dragged me for meters before it stopped. Nothing happened. God, so graciously kept me safe.

This was a simple fall, admittedly quite fast: An arm that hit the ground, palm-first, resulting in a dislocation and a tiny fracture. But the effect it had on me was larger than tiny.

Three weeks of a plaster cast, painful physio for three weeks and a surgery followed by 2 weeks of plaster cast yet again, I’m yet to recover. It’s been 71 days since I have had a properly functioning right hand.

2.   I need to prioritize my life

Don’t be in everything. Choose the most important and go after it. You are no longer a substitute, [was always a useful one because you knew or could learn a bit of so many things which gave you access everywhere]. The fear of irrelevance and ‘un-wantedness’ used to be plugged by being equipped for being able to fit in everywhere.

It was a way of avoiding loneliness and rejection. But still I can be irrelevant at various places. But that’s ok now. Choose your priorities and become the best in them.

Q: AM I LIMITING MYSELF IF I SUBSCRIBE TO THIS?

3. I should move away from sin. Don’t be stupid by doing the same thing again. It is an exercise in discipline.

4. I need to depend on God and pray. I never prayed regularly in recent times.

5. I have to depend on and acknowledge others’ help. I have to explain. Coming to BD a new life, I wanted to pull up my socks and become a minister who was prepared.. I wanted to work hard and do things responsibly. From the moment I came, I was stressed out due to the volume of work and the very high standards I had set for myself. I learnt a lot. I have grown. But God wants me to improve that growth by making space and time for others.

I had not wanted to be dependent on anyone. So I sought no help, and mostly did things on my own. When I reflect now, I realize that I did not want the discomfort of being indebted to anyone, or have to do any favours for anyone. I’d mingle with the class but would not go out and proactively form relationships beyond that. They were uncomfortable. I’d rather stick to some of my friends and leave the others at surface level.

But now I am completely dependent on people. I was helped by many in moving, carrying my stuff, bringing me food, dressing up, taking notes, etc., etc. There was no by-myself anymore. And there became so many people who I could not pay back. Now I will be open to the goodness of relationships as well as their vulnerability. My parents have spent their lives on me more than I can imagine. I’m standing by the grace of God and the selflessness of many.

6. Make time for reading the Bible beyond chapel devotion. That’s been hard due to my reason, “the sheer amount of work.” Alex, my pal told me his experience while he prepared for the model worship and sermon. When you spend time with the Word of God and give it priority, everything else finds time for itself, and your schedule arranges everything around it so perfectly.”

7. God is taking me to high places in the future. Higher than I could ever imagine. So God is making me dependent on him so that I will stay steady and do well for his glory. Or else I might think I got there because of my effort. Or if I suddenly get there I will think, I don’t deserve this and feel all incapable and overwhelmed, so to prevent that, He is showing me that when I depend on Him and draw strength from His love and power, even without my best hand I can work wonders.