“Awesome Family Trip with all the Mathews – Thanks Mike and Patti!”
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Romans 12:2 says that it’s the renewing of our minds that leads to transformation. That means education has the potential to be a transforming influence – and for me, it truly has been.
I might, however, define education a little differently than most. True education doesn’t happen in a classroom. Transformational education isn’t necessarily formal. As a matter of fact, to our knowledge, Jesus never taught the disciples in a classroom. He taught them wherever they were using their surroundings and situations as springboards to teach lessons which were easily applicable to their circumstances. He taught them by showing them. As a model for them, he didn’t seek to have them ascend to some greater knowledge or understanding but to have them actually become like Him – to apply the things he taught and live them out – he was interested in their transformation, not mere knowledge.
The education I’m speaking of (that which has been life-changing and transformational) has come in many forms in my life. Mike Mathews (my father-in-law and ex-boss/Pastor) discipled me and led me to go deeper in my spiritual life. He challenged my status quo by showing me that there was more. He sent me all over the country (and overseas twice) to go to conferences where I could see new ministry methods, and gain valuable insight into culture. These conferences enlarged my thinking, but when I’d return, it was Mike who came alongside me to encourage new efforts – this is where true transformation happened – in the daily grind of ministry – in working to live out the things I’d been learning.
My time at CBS (College of Biblical Studies) has also been transformational. Dr. Loken, Dr. Shockley, and Dr. Ayers have each stretched my brain capacity, but it has been the experience of working on staff in full-time church ministry which has guided me to transformation. The ideas and concepts which they taught have played out over and over in different circumstances within the church. Through their teachings, I’ve been able to “know what to look for” in order to recognize the real issues going on within the church. My growth has come as I have sought to “be like Christ” in every circumstance. Watching God work in these situations and feeling my way through/learning my role is what has been transformational.
True education (not just knowledge) changes us. The things we learn inform our decisions and affect our behaviors. I have been changed by the education God has granted me – and I’m grateful to Him. I hope to continue to be a student – to continue to be changed/transformed throughout my life.
I’ll close with a quote from Leonard Sweet from his book “Soul Tsunami.”
“In the medical world, a clinical definition of death is a body that does not change. Change is life. Stagnation is death. . . . Skin replaces itself every month; the stomach lining, every five days; the liver, every six weeks; the skeleton, every three months; cheek cells, three times a day. Ninety-eight percent of the atoms in your body are replaced every year – your whole body every five years (men) or seven years (women).”
If “education” = “change/transformation” and “no change” = death, then it only makes sense that we should all be concerned about our continued education/transformation.
February of 1996. I was 26 years old. I had been a youth minister for 8 years. Full-time for 4. The youth had all gotten together for my birthday and given me $$ to go skydiving (on my bucketlist of things to do). My Pastor, Mike Mathews, (He is now my Father-in-Law) was organizing a trip to Israel and came to me saying he’d arrange for me to be able to go for free, but I’d still need some $$ for a passport, food, etc. I decided to skip the skydiving experience in favor of the trip. It was one of the best decisions of my life!
We got to walk in Jesus’ footsteps for 9 straight days. We saw Jerusalem and the temple mount, the wailing wall, the empty tomb of Jesus, Golgotha, Lazarus’ tomb, Bethlehem, & Nazareth. We rode a boat across the Sea of Galilee, hiked Masada, and explored Qumran. Seeing these sites was truly remarkable! I now understand why robbers placed themselves on the road between Jerusalem and Jericho. (It’s a steep road and travelers would be too tired to fight them off.) I will never read the scriptures the same way again. Phrases like “Land of milk and honey” and “Armegeddon” have new meaning!
When Mike described the experience to me, he said that I’d feel like I had gone “home” when we got there. I didn’t believe him. How could I feel “at home” in a strange country, where most spoke another language, and machine guns were seen regularly? He was right! I did feel “at home.” There’s something about that place that goes beyond description. Well, it’s not “something” – it’s someone, and His name is Jesus. If you love Jesus, you will love Israel. Some have called it the “fifth gospel.” Just like the other four, Israel has as story to tell about Jesus, the land itself testifies to His glory!
I hope to go back one day. You should consider a trip too. It will change your life.
If you’re interested, here’s a link to my journal entries from the trip.
The Holy Lands – Through the eyes of Steve Corn (Just right click and select “save as” to download.)
PS – My beard, hair, and clothes crack me up these days.
I figured it’s time to post a few more pics of Kesleigh. These are the ones taken by our friend, Jenny. She’s an amazing photographer. You should check out her stuff or even set up a sitting of your own – she’s really good. Anyway, you can find her at www.jhintze.com. You won’t be disappointed.
Just click the “pictures” tab to get rid of the filmstrip and then click the “right arrow” button to move through the gallery. If you want to see the whole image, click the lightbulb in the center of the pic.
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If you want to see the pics in a regular album, you can see it here: Kesleigh’s Professional Pics
Yesterday, Miranda and I drove up to Pearland for a special day. Miranda’s brother (Jared) and Sister-in-law (Tiffany) were going to be baptized, and Mike (Miranda’s dad) was going to perform the baptism. Cool stuff huh? Well, as it turns out, it wasn’t very “cool” at all – it was actually very hot. When Tiffany stepped into the water, you could see her face immediately struggling. As the pastor, Mike was wearing waders (so as not to get wet) and so he was oblivious to the temperature of the water. He started explaining the story of how she came to this decision, and she just stood in the water literally “cooking.” Finally Mike caught on and he dunked her as quickly as possible and got her out of the water. Jared went so fast, I don’t think he actually got dunked all the way under water. A nurse was called to the holding room afterward and after about 30 minutes she released them to come to their seats. When Miranda and I saw them, their legs were still red and burned. This will be one of those stories that gets passed down through the family each and every time we gather together. It wasn’t funny at the time, but we’ve had a lot of good laughs about it already.
I guess those Baptists really wanna know who’s serious about getting baptized.
PS – Evidently something was wrong with the heating element and no one checked the temperature before the service. I can’t imagine what kinds of lawsuits there might be if there had been children to baptize that day.
Sorry, we didn’t snap any pictures. No one even thought about it ’cause we were all so concerned about their safety and burns.