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Aug 27, 2008 by Howard Baker | 0 Comments

A hearty "Welcome!" to all of our new students and an equally hearty "Welcome Back!" to all of our continuing students. As faculty and staff we do not take lightly the commitment and sacrifice that each student makes in order to be formed into Christ-likeness and to be equipped for ministry. We are thrilled that each of you is here.

After four years in seminary and 12 years in ministry in a state far away, these words were spoken to me by a spiritual director, "Howard, you have a well-ordered, ethical life and you are committed to the ministry of the Gospel. You have everything but the fire." And he was right. In light of the danger of losing the fire of the love and presence of God these are the verses that were read in Common Ground this week:

Luke 3:16 - John (the Baptist) answered them all, "I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."
Lord, immerse us in your Spirit and your fire!

Hebrews 12:28-29 - Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.
Lord, consume us with the fire of your love!

Jeremiah 20:9 - But if I say, "I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name," his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.
Lord, saturate our mind, body, and spirit with the fire of the truth of your word!

Luke 24:32 - They asked each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he (Jesus) talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?"
   Lord, make this community a fellowship of burning hearts!


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