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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A DTS student's update

Hey ya'll, hope everyone is well. Kirsten and I are busy with DTS as usual. Just a few more weeks and the students will be headed to Angola, Africa! God is doing exciting things, we wanted to copy what one of our students wrote in a letter to give you his perspective of DTS. Here is his letter:

Hey guys!

So... Jesus Christ is pretty incredible; you might want to get to know him. =)
Eight weeks now, since I came to DTS. Here's my feeble attempt to relate all that's been happening:

Week's five and six were about relationships and then spiritual warfare. But the best week by far was Troy Sherman (Dean Sherman's son) speaking on identity & destiny– essentially, who am I and what am I gonna do with my life? It was a phenomenal week! Jesus basically burned down my box where I figure out life and I was left with just this: Love God and Love other people... I have to admit I was hoping for something deeper and more life-changing. But what is deeper than the Love of Christ? And what changes people more than being loved?

My primary goal in coming to DTS was to let God build my character. But as Troy puts it, “God cannot give me character (yes I said cannot).” Character has to be earned through training – like a weight lifter. The thing that builds my spiritual muscles (as it were) is to go through situations that are difficult – where I am inclined to hate but choose to love.

The greatest act of love was also the greatest act of character. Satan threw his whole deck of cards at Jesus on the cross, everything he could do to get a negative reaction. But Christ, in perfect character, pushed the weight from his chest as he cried out “Looove!!!” and showed us what it truly means to love. This whole concept rocked my world... there is no longer any reason to complain because every hardship strengthens my resolve to love. Like a tree that has to stretch its roots to find water, I now look to problems and things that offend me to bring depth of character to my life.

After the heavy contemplations and spiritual exhaustion of last week, I was ready for a break. And God knew that I needed it long before I did. This week was about physical fitness – meaning less spiritual and mental exertion. Coach Tim Powers was teaching us about the Biblical basis and natural benefits of nutrition and exercise, besides training us in proper mechanics. He has some incredible credentials as a fitness trainer in the secular world – NFL running-backs, Navy seals, movie-stars – but he has also personally trained Loren Cunningham. Through this week, I've been challenged to put into practice the ideas from last week; physical discipline spills over into spiritual discipline, which is character. So I'm investing myself into developing all of me – heart, mind, and body – so that after I have run the race I will not be disqualified.

All this is just scratching the surface of what's going on inside and around me in DTS. My parents have been able to visit me this weekend which is such a blessing. They will soon be taking off on outreach to Central Asia, so our time together is limited (new phase of life I guess). I have been growing a lot closer to my fellow students and I'm amazed at how precisely God has put this team together. I am astounded by God's abounding grace and faithfulness to me of late. I cannot help but fall in love with this God who never stops doing good to me. May you come to know better this God of all surpassing greatness, and may you be forever changed by the mere sight of Him.