The Journey

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

So, I know I just posted, but I was looking at some other blogs and came to a conclusion. Many people use the blog as an excuse to use prophanity. What is that all about??? Pastors, seminary students and all others out there blogging...You don't have the right to swear just because your writing on a blog. I guess I am not inherently sensitive to swearing, but it just makes people sound ignorant. I don't know about you, but I want to sound intelligent when I am putting my thoughts out there for the public. (Not that I am saying I do sound intelligent...I just want to sound that way.) Anyways, it struck me as a little wierd and a little funny that these people open up the prophanities in this venue and then filter them in other venues. Dualistic life or harmless venting? I don't know!
Here goes...I will post my thoughts on the book Faith Thinking in several blogs over the next few days. These are initial thoughts and a rough draft of a paper, so go easy!! Here it is....

Reading Hart’s book Faith Thinking has been both an exceptionally challenging and gratifying experience. Through Hart’s detailed explanations and the questions that were raised for me in reading them, I learned a great deal and finally reached a philosophy of knowledge and a theology that transcends the flawed models that I have been forced to grapple with until now. While his ideas laid out in this book are not made with a greater mind the those past, I feel Hart has used this heritage to move our ideas about knowledge and theology to, yet, a higher plain. As I entered into Faith Thinking, I was immediately faced with ideas that challenged my carefully established system of thinking. I was first struck by Hart’s goal to bring faith back into public debate. I saw this as a futile pursuit based on both the modern rejection of faith and the postmodern’s pluralist relativism. In my mind neither a modern or a postmodern would be easily swayed by the faith that Hart wants to imbrace, namely Christianity. However, as I began to read further in his book and see the argument unfold, I was wonderfully surprised. Hart’s theory that faith allows us to transcend both modern and postmodern systems of thought challenged me greatly.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

I know....Long time, no blog! I am sorry I haven't updated in a while. I have been enjoying family and not enjoying the pressures of the end of the quarter. I did, however, finally finish my paper for Systematic theology and will be able to post some of my thoughts on systems of thinking and theology, which I was trying to get on here last week. Also, if you are not a blogger and have tried to leave a comment, it has probably not worked. I need to check with some more tech savvy friends to fix the problem. I will fix the problem soon! Thanks for reading. I am going to head home to a soft bed and a loving wife right now. Isn't God good!!!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving all! Mesha and I are heading for my parents place in Cottage Grove, MN for the holiday. We will join my sister, her husband and my nephew there tomorrow and friday. We don't have the opportunity to gather all that much, so I am really excited. It should be an awesome time of eating, playing games, eating, decorating for Christmas, eating, and catching up on what is going on with everyone. Did I mention eating!! My mom is the best cook. I can't wait to eat all the goodies she is fixing. Well, as they say, count your blessings and enjoy your family. I'll try to post the profound thoughts I have swimming in my head sometime this weekend. Thanks for being patient.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Again, I am on the run and don't have time for much to write. Unfortunately, I am not going to get to the blog I spoke of earlier until another day. However, it is because something really cool just happened. I was studying at Caribou in town and these two random guys started talking to me. It just naturally led into an opportunity to share the gospel and it was amazing. I could feel the Holy Spirit guiding the conversation and I think they really came another step closer to the Kingdom!!! Yeah, God. Also, yeah because I can right my second Verbatim (an assignmnet for school)!!!!
Sorry, it has been a while since I posted anything. I am really busy with school right now. We have two weeks left in the quarter and of course, being the procrastonater that I am, I have left a lot of my work for the end. I have come to some pretty profound (at least profound for me) thoughts lately about thought systems and about God's plan for redeeming creation. It is not new to the seen by any means, but new to me. I hope to write about it later, so check back.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

I have only two things to say about last nights concert. Incredible!!!! Shane and Shane have the uncanny ability to remind me of God's goodness every time I see them. Last night, once again, I got a taste of that goodness, while listening to these artists who, with incredible passion, gave a room full of worshipers a voice to express their love to the almighty God. The only question I left with was, "Why do I always loose this sweet taste?" Why do I ever walk away from what brings me the truest ecstasy I have ever experienced? Why have generation upon generation turned their backs on the sweetest thing and chased after empty idols? I have been inspired to make my life goal to be a daily pursuit of that taste of God's goodness. Today, may you "taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8)."

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

I just read a post from a friend that had the blessing of being at last night's concert featuring David Crowder, Shane and Shane, and The Robie Seay Band. She talked of being refreshed and renewed through the art and words of these incredible artists. I am going to the same concert tonight with my wife and a couple of friends. I cannot wait to be showered by the words and notes written for the King and to gain the fresh perspective that I always seem to get when attending these "praise concerts." All I have to say is that these bands are truly using the gifts God gave them in amazing ways. I am blessed to have the opportunity to experience that expression this evening. I am stoked!
Since my last post, I have had a few noteworthy events in ministry and life. My youth ministry played a game at the Mall of America last Saturday called "Where is Waldo." It went very smoothly despite my fear that it would be a bomb. The students had a blast and it gave me the opportunity to include several parents in our ministry. Even my regular volunteers seemed to have a blast dressing up and seeing if any of the students would recognize them. There is nothing like the feeling of a successful event!!
Another awesome event in the life of the Torkelson's was attending our nephew's dedication this past Sunday. My brother-in-law practically filled an entire section in our small church with family and friends there to support them in dedicating little Dillon. Many of these people are not believers and it was cool that Chris would think to use this occasion to bring them into the church. It is really perfect if you think about it. All these people care deeply about little Dillon and would not miss this opportunity to witness a special occasion in his life. At the same time, they were exposed to church in a non-threatening way. It does not hurt that our Associate Pastor did a great job of preaching on loving God and what that is about this Sunday. Actually, the more I think about it, the more I realize how perfect that sermon was for this group. His message pointed out that loving God is not about a bunch of rules, but it is about a way of life that reflects our love for the Father. In other words, Christianity is not about dos and don'ts, but is about loving God and loving others out of the overflow of grace that is given us by God.
May God lavish you with love and grace today!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Life is good!! I heard a Bebo Norman song, that was in my wedding, on the way home from a meeting last night that makes me tear up every time. The song talks about how a man and a woman are brought together and blessed with a life lived together. One of the lines is "the God of second chance let them dance in a world that is unkind." When I reflect on that song and that line, I cannot help becoming overwhelmed by thoughts of how that truth is being carried out in my own life. God gave me a second chance in life and blessed me with a wife that I don't deserve. The beauty of her soul and the grace that she so freely shows me is a reflection on her creator. Thank you Lord for the blessing of Mesha!
After being overwhelmed by God's goodness in the car, I was blessed to have the opportunity to spend some time with my lovely wife. Mesha is a RN in the birthing center at St. Cloud Hospital and works ulternating day and night shifts. This weekend it was the night shift, so we haven't seen much of each other since last Thurs. We spent time just talking about the day and thanking God for each other. I can't think of a more satisfying evening. I hope you all are reminded of the blessings found in relationship today. God, the triune God, who is eternally one God in community has created us to love Him first, but also to love our fellowed created beings. He allowed us to share the love that He so easily could claim entirely, with other created beings. We were meant to be in community and it is such a blessing! Let someone else know they are a blessing today!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Well, here it is. I am finally giving in to the new craze that is blogging. I am suprised that it has taken me this long to finally get up the nerve to put my stuff out there. Especially, since I am a friend and co-worker of the infamous Brenton Balvin . I will be both posting updates on the Torkelson's life and airing out some of my deepest thoughts ( I am not sure how deep they really go, but I guess I am willing to find out!) I am not sure how much time I will have to post between work and school, but check back if you are interested in news about Mesha and I or are curious about how I tick!