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September 23, 2010

Hard Work and Bookwork

Hard Work and Bookwork

Tomorrow is the two-week anniversary of arriving at Summit, though it feels like we have been here much longer. My relationships with many of the guys here already are closer than that of some of the people I spent years with in high school. I am starting to feel really settled in. My stuff is all organized (or at least as organized as it is going to get), I don't have to look at the schedule every ten minutes, and I think my body is finally getting used to the lack of oxygen. When I say I don't have to check the schedule constantly, this does not mean I have a great feel for it. I'm still working out a good balance of study time and recreational time, which has led to a couple very late night reads. I'm sure I'll learn my lesson fast though, because Dr. Bauman is hard enough to keep up with even when I get a good night’s sleep.

Dr. Bauman's class is incredibly fun and challenging, but at the same time humbling. He teaches us about a subject for a portion of a class before asking what we think about it. At this point, he slices holes through our logic, showing us where we are wrong, and how our opposition will attack us. A few times right before raising my hand in class, I have thought “What a great answer, I'll be able to defend my idea against him no problem!” Within a few minutes, he's guided me down a path that shows the implications of my ideas that sound almost completely absurd. At this point he usually likes to ask the debater, “Would you like to change your answer?” His method of teaching is starting to show me how to think and communicate more clearly, using more precise words. My ideas and arguments must be thought all the way through, realizing their implications.

What I have learned so far, and what I am just beginning to learn is too much to explain in a short blog. Eric Smith's bible class, small groups, prayer time, solitude, our mentors, and many more resources and activities are already helping me to grow more than I could imagine. Luckily, we don't just sit around and only use our brains all day. Twice a week we work on various projects around the lodge in work crews. I could say that it is one of my favorite activities, because I get such a great feeling from all the hard work and seeing what I have done. However, this might be a bit of a lie. The real reason it’s my favorite is because I can get dirty. Just last weekend we even went camping and hiking. So any of my original fears of only doing mostly bookwork has been completely dispelled. I am excited that I am receiving a well-rounded experience, and I can't wait to grow in Christ more than I can imagine.

Blogger's Bio: With a year done at the University of Tulsa, John decided he needed to take a break. “I enjoy learning just to learn, but I did not want to just be working to get a diploma.” John enjoys music; he plays the piano, banjo and the tuba, and sings. He has also been involved with praise band, boy scouts, student council, football, baseball, and wrestling. He feels called to ministry the old-fashioned way; “I believe that God has called me to be a great Christian leader in my work.”

This post has earned 4 Comments so far.

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  • September 30, 2010 // 11:24 am //  # 
    Lea Ann Mitchem's avatar Lea Ann Mitchem

    John it is good to read about how well things are going for you. Know this is where God wants you to be at this time in your life.  It is amazing and wonderful how God works in our life.

  • September 30, 2010 // 11:39 am //  # 
    Dan Andrew's avatar Dan Andrew

    John, Glad to read your thoughts.  I’d like to be there but am afraid there would be an altercation with your father and I won’t do that.  Mr Bauman’s class I’m sure is good.  His approach makes me think of Francis Schaffer.  Carry on.  Anxious to read hear you “lecture” us on thinking.  Heaven’s blessings.

  • October 01, 2010 // 08:57 am //  # 
    Joe Mitchem's avatar Joe Mitchem

    John, it’s a blessing to me to hear how much YOU are being blessed!  I can’t think of a better place for you to be.  Getting an in depth education about God and his incomprehensible love for us, in such a beautiful place, at such a young age is something you will remember and cherish the rest of your life!  But best of all, is that the knowledge and the close relationship with God that you are developing, will equip you to plant seeds and bring others to Christ!  God bless!!!

  • October 08, 2010 // 03:27 pm //  # 
    Rick Mitchem's avatar Rick Mitchem

    John, 6 munths ago, eye culdn’t evun spel injuneer. Now eye are won!!!
    Honestly, it is a blessing to hear all about what you are experiencing. I wish they had such places and studies like this, when I was your age.
    It sounds to me as if Dr. Bauman is teaching you to go to war. A Spiritual war.
    I don’t know him but I like him already and wish I could learn such things. I hope my grandson learns such things starting now, at age 10.
    Maybe Christian-teaching is something God is preparing you for.
    In any case, I love you and I am proud of you! Keep up the “Good Work”!
    Uncle Rick

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