Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Prelude to My Journey: Part 2

It was late summer 2004 and Florida had become a veritable target for monstrous storms. We had a few storms plow through the state within several weeks. Hurricane Frances had its sights on Florida. We knew that we had to prepare. On a whim (at the time it seemed whimsical) I picked up a copy of A Case for Christ knowing that I would be cooped up inside for a few days. Prior to this I had already been reading more—Spurgeon, Bounds, etc, I liked the way they wrote, their books were words from another time, not “watered down” like many contemporary Christian books. I started to enjoy books with some meat--something to gnaw on for a while. It must have been my personality, when I believed in something, I was hardcore. In high school I played in punk, hardcore, and metal bands. In college I ate, drank, and slept audio and music. Years late, I adopted the phrase, if I'm gonna do something, I'm gonna do it right. I look back in my life, and I noticed that's just how I was raised to do things. So, when it came to reading and studying, the same thing happened.

Anyway...

On September 5th, Frances made its grand entrance on the east coast, while I was unexpectedly entering into the world of scholarship. Now, please don't comment on how Lee Strobel is not a scholar, I'm quite aware of this. This book introduced me to scholars. It was something that strangely interested me. I hated history and reading most ancient texts, it reminded me of school. But it captivated me nonetheless. I devoured the book in a couple of days and was searching for something else to read, something a little more in depth. I had realized that my knowledge of Church history, especially the early Church, was miniscule. Theology didn't interest me yet, just history. So, I purchased a book on Church history, which, if I do recall correctly, I was reading during the next hurricane. It was this book that opened me up to theology and philosophy, so I picked up more books, one of them was Norman Geisler's Introduction to Philosophy. The more I read the more I realized how little I knew. I sat with a dictionary and reference book on apologetics/philosophy by my side to look up all the names, -isms, and -ologies I didn't know. It was an exciting and scary time. I began to question things more and more.

Around this same time, Calvary Chapel was restructuring its college age group. My good friend, Richie, and I were involved. Along with our leader, Brian, and two other friends, we went to work on redefining this group/ministry. Richie, my other good friend Chris (we had played in several bands together over the years), and I were in the worship band. Brian and, another good friend, Josh were involved in the leadership. But early on, it was definitely Richie and me that had the vision for the group. Like many twentysomethings we had been reading about the emerging church...anyone familiar with them will know the direction we wanted to take.

A couple of months after launching the college age group, I stepped down from my position at the church, I couldn't handle it anymore. I had enough money saved up at the time that I didn't have to work much, just freelance some. So, I had a surplus of free time. I used this time to study and study and study. Between being mostly jobless and the college age ministry I was being prepared for something else. The year was coming to a close and the new year was dawning. Little did I know, that 2005 would be one of the most challenging years of my life.

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