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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Back to the Blogging!

Wow. I am shocked. It has been almost two years since I have written a blog entry! Once I got married in September 2010, you can say that my blogging time got erased. There has been many changes in my life recently and some great things that are coming up in the near future. Below, I want to share with you what has been going on in my life since many of you have been asking. I will first mention all of the things that have been going on the past several years, and then explain what I will be using my blog for in the future. I am officially back to the blogging world.

Too Busy to Blog.
Over the past several years, I have been so busy that I even forgot that I had a blog! I have been reminded of my blog recently, and want to make sure that I keep writing in the future. It is good for me, and I need it for several reasons which I will mention later in this blog post.

Once I got married, my time for blogging disappeared. All of the new and wonderful things of marriage were abounding beautifully. My wife is always my number one priority, so to my blog I said, "Goodbye Mr. Blog!" My blog became lower and lower on my list of "things-to-do" because I was getting ready to graduate and get a new job with my degree from California Baptist University.

New Career.
Now that I have graduated and got a new job with my degree, I will be back to blogging. After my first year of being married and living in a depressed federal and state economy, I prayerfully decided to switch careers. I was recently in the industry of civil engineering and architectural design. I was an AutoCAD drafter and designer, with an A.S. in Architectural Design from Riverside Community College. I was in this industry for 5 years and loved the developmental process of designing something conceptually and then building it in reality. Unfortunately, the economy took a drastic toll on my industry and I found myself struggling to keep a job due to the lack of work and companies laying off employees due to a "comprehensive workforce reduction."

When I got my first career-oriented job in the industry as a drafter/designer, I thought I would be making great money and building wonderful things. Nevertheless, I did make great money and build wonderful things, but I knew deep down inside my heart that the Lord wanted me to do something else. In 2006, the Lord encouraged me to go to Bible College and I rejected that idea because I wanted to make money right out of college and get a good job. There was nothing wrong with that economical decision because I prayerfully considered the costs and gains of all situations for his glory. Therefore, I spent the next 5 years working in the industry and serving at my church in various ministries.

The beginning of my new career began in the summer 2009. I was laid off from a wonderful civil engineering company that treated me like family. The bad economy effected the work load and I found myself surviving on unemployment until I got a new job in fiber optic engineering in 2011. During this two year period while I was engaged to my wife, the Lord reminded me of my purpose and how he stirred up in my heart the need to go to school for the ministry. On a random summer day while I was praying about God's will for my life, it all of a sudden "clicked" in my heart, mind, and soul. God revealed to me my love to design and build things as an Architect/Engineer are good, but what He wanted to do through me was greater. I realized the Lord was calling me not to be a designer and builder of plans and structures, but of individuals and the church. The Lord wanted me to be a builder of lives, where I would help people live "architecturally" grounded in the Word of God.

Upon further reflection, I asked my parents if I could go to California Baptist University where I can get my B.A. in Christian Studies. They said yes! My parents supported me and my career began to change. While at school, I learned more than I ever thought imaginable regarding Christian theology, hermeneutics, and pastoral ministry. I met great professors, developed new friendships, and became more well-rounded and intelligent communicator of God's Word. It was during this time I "finally" got a new job in fiber optic engineering. It was not too different from what I was previously doing in the industry. This fiber optic engineering job lasted for entire year until I got the opportunity to be Christian educator and utilize my new degree for Christ and his kingdom. I graduated in May 2011 with my B.A. in Christian Studies, and found myself applying at private Christian schools to teach Biblical Studies to Junior High or High School students. I got several interviews, but unfortunately did not get the job. It was not until one month before the new 2011-2012 school year was about to start I got the job to be a fifth grade teacher. I prayerfully took that position knowing it would develop my resume and portfolio with experience, and I would be able to teach Bible as a class subject.

For the 2011-2012 school year, I became the new fifth grade teacher at New Life Christian School in Norco, CA. It was an experience that I will never forget (for many reasons). I was given the privilege to preach at chapel many times, and share the gospel with other grades. I also got the unique opportunity to teach Bible as a class subject with my own designed curriculum. Therefore, I taught the fifth graders systematic theology! So many people doubted me and said the kids could not understand doctrine at this age level, but I disagreed firmly and explained the doctrines of the Bible are the fundamentals of Christianity which children need to know (e.g. Prutians use to train their kids in the doctrines of the Bible when they began Kindergarten)! It was my hope the outcome of the school year would bear much fruit and it did exactly that. As a result of teaching the kids systematic theology, the students learned to obey and love the Scriptures. My students loved Bible class so much that their end-of-the-school-year-speeches all mentioned how they learned "more about the Bible" in my class than ever before at school or church. Praise the Lord! This was a great way to end the school year from a spiritual and theological standpoint, as God showed me the fruit of my labor and what he wants to continue to do through me for his glory and my greatest good.

What's Happening Today.
Right at the moment it is summer break for me as a teacher. Unfortunately I have plenty of time off from work and have been struggling to get a part-time/full-time summer job that pays over minimum wage. This "time off" has given me the opportunity to think about many things.

I have been reviewing and contemplating all God has been doing in my life. I have concluded that the Lord has called me to be a Bible Teacher in academics and the church. There has been a "pattern of preparation" the Lord has taken me though over the past years of ministry involvement at church, which showed me that he is in fact leading me in that direction.

For the last seven years, I have been serving in the high school ministry and completed all of the necessary classes for service at the church like basics and growth during that time. From 2006-2009, I was a discipleship group leader and counselor who disciple a large group of students eager to grow in the knowledge of God. From 2008-2012, I weekly taught the Harvest: Orangecrest High School Bible Study. From 2008-Present, I am avidly counseling believers in need at the church, and help facilitate the men's sports ministry as a team manager and ministry director/support leader. Recently, I began teaching the doctrine classes at Harvest which are changing to START! basics and growth classes for Christian service at Harvest. Lastly, I have spoken at various high school Christian clubs, chapels, and other churches with different audiences. Based on the success of faithfully seizing the opportunities that were presented to me in ministry, the support of my spouse, the affirmation of peers, the evidence and gifting of the Holy Spirit, and the sense of destiny to be a Bible Teacher in academics and the church has validated my calling. I am very excited to see what the Lord will do next in my life as I seek him daily.

The New Purpose of Blogging.
I will be using this blog for three reasons. First, I will use this blog as an academic outlet of the things I am learning. I plan on attending seminary this next year, unless something hinders that decision. I would like to apply to Southern Baptist Theological Seminary to begin doing graduate work for my M.A. in Biblical and Theological Studies online (Lord willing). I have a close friend who teaches at a local private school who graduated with me from CBU who is doing online work at this school and loving it. He mentioned how "it is doable" as a teacher. I will post more on this next adventure of seminary and why I picked this school verses all of the other seminaries (if everything works out as planned). Second, I plan on updating everyone what is going on in my life. Lastly, I plan on posting any sermons or devotional notes on here from what I am teaching so everyone can read what I am teaching (and possibly upload mp3's of sermons).

Thanks for reading the blog to catch up with me and what has been going on in my life since my last blog post! I am definitely back to blogging, and hope the things I write on here will be encouraging and enlightening. I pray they will encourage you to walk obediently to Jesus Christ, and enlighten your knowledge of the Scriptures.

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What is your favorite subject in Christian Studies?