I really started knowing God for real my freshmen year at Cal Poly, back in 1996. I had attended church before that, but had no relationship with Him. Since then, I have loved drawing near to Him, worshipping, serving, reading His Word and learning.
I have been given the opportunity to take that knowledge of God to a different level than has been possible before, through beginning a M.Div program through Western Seminary (being able to attend seminary is one of the reasons we have moved to California). This summer, I got to take introduction to Biblical Interpretation as well as a class called Learning to Love God and Others, which is an introductory class in Spiritual Formation (how we become more like Jesus). Both classes have been great, and deepened my desire to study more what it means to know God and make him known.
Reading and applying and speaking the Bible accurately is a passion of mine. We do not know God except what He has revealed to us, and that revelation is most clear and accurate as found in His Word, the Bible. I believe that it is in knowing God that all of our human desires are met at their deepest levels. I read verses like Jeremiah 2:12-13
“ Be appalled, O heavens, at this;
be shocked, be utterly desolate,
declares the LORD,
 for my people have committed two evils:
they have forsaken me,
the fountain of living waters,
and hewed out cisterns for themselves,
broken cisterns that can hold no water.”
and wonder, how has God made himself to be this fountain of living waters? What does it mean to hew out cisterns for ourselves. I love the imagery of the poetry found here, and it speaks to my soul, inviting me to draw near.
I hear Jesus’ offer, “ On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.  Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” (John 7:37-38). I interpret this to mean that God DOES have fullness for us found in Christ. I want that fullness, and I ask, where is it found? In Jesus Himself.
That is much of why I loved my Biblical Interpretation class. It was academic for sure, but for the purpose of hearing the promises of God in the Bible clearly and accurately.
The second class I took, Learning to Love God and Others, was FANTASTIC and what I believe I want to focus on more and more and more in life, how to move from a broken sinner, far from God in the experience of every day life, and moving towards someone who is mature in their faith, knowing what to do with your brokenness in light of the grace of God as seen in the cross.
We looked at how Christians have thought about spiritual formation and knowledge of God throughout church history. It was great and I want to study it more and more. We read 2 books that I want to HIGHLY recommend: Water from a Deep Well by Sitser and Christ Formed in You by Brian Hedges. I also recommend Practicing Affirmation by Sam Crabtree. The Christ Formed in You will probably form much of my discipleship with believers after they have gone through initial follow-up courses. It’s absolutely great!
I’m simply writing this to say, thank you to all who support us, who know us, who pray for us. I don’t know where a seminary degree will lead us, but I’m thankful for the opportunity to use the mind and heart God has given me, to be trained up in theology and practice of ministry, and to learn more about the God who made us.
PS. I’m taking Theology I this semester, I’ll let you know how it goes.