Monthly Archives: August 2012

Six Hundred Seventy Seven Dollars

This is a personal and factual account of how God provided for me when I was in college.

It was March of 1993.  I was finishing up the winter trimester of my senior year at Northwest Nazarene College.  To help pay for classes that term, I had taken out a short term loan from the college credit union.  It was the end of the term, and I still owed $677 on the loan.  The college financial aid office had sent me a note that stated I would not be permitted to register for the next term until I paid off the outstanding balance on the loan.

I didn’t have much money, and had exhausted my options.  I had checked for additional scholarships, and found none.  I had approached my parents about assistance, but finances were too tight for them at the time.  I was working 20 hours a week in the college cafeteria, but my earnings were already applied to the loan.  90% of the earnings went to the loan, and 10% went to me personally.  The last check from the job had already been applied, and I still owed $677.  I only had a check for about $28 – that was the 10%  that went straight to me from the job.  I was out of resources, and thought I would have to drop out of school.

I went to God in prayer.  I prayed: God, if You want me to go home for the rest of the year, that’s okay.  But if You want me to stay in school, I need a miracle.  Would You please give me a miracle?

A miracle came.  In three parts.

The next day I went to the college financial aid office to see if I had any additional options.  They told me that I no longer owed $677, I only owed $177!  Just that morning I had received a $500 scholarship from the music department.  I sang in Crusader Choir.  I found out later that the music department had found some extra money in their budget, and had decided to apply it to scholarships for students in need.

Then I went to my mailbox.  In the mailbox were two envelopes.

The first envelope was an anonymous money order.  It was for $100.  In the memo line was a note that said, “Trust in Him.”

The second envelope had a note and a check for $50.  It was from a gentleman at my home church.  His name was Ron Clary.  His note said something along the lines of “I thought you could perhaps use a little money for school this term, here you go.”  Ron had no knowledge of my need, and had sent the letter before I had prayed.

So, if you’ve been keeping track, I owed $677.  In one day – the day after I had prayed for a miracle –  I received a scholarship for $500,  an anonymous check for $100, and  a check for $50.  And the day earlier from my college job I had received a check for $28.  That equals $678, and I owed $677.  I had a dollar and some change left after paying my loan off in full.

God provided for me the amount I needed, and He wisely allowed me to participate in His miracle with the little bit of money that I did have.

I’m glad I was able to register for the following term, because I proposed to my future wife during that term.  She said yes, and we married in the fall of 1993.

This really happened.  God’s miraculous workings in my life haven’t always been obvious.  But that day they were.  Oftentimes I walk though the desert, and I do not sense God’s spirit clearly.  During those times, I remember the miracle He did for me in 1993.


Filed under General Interest

Interesting Experiment on How Culture Impacts What We Notice in Scripture

Here’s a blog post about an interesting experiment:  Notice the Famine? How Your Location Impacts Your Bible Interpretation

100 Americans and 50 Russians were asked to read the parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-31), and then recount what the parable said.

The experiment found that when the Americans recalled the parable, nearly all of them mentioned that the son had squandered his money (verse 13), but very few of them remembered that there was a severe famine afterwards (verse 14). The opposite was true of the Russians. Most of them remembered the famine, but many didn’t notice that the son squandered his money.

The Americans read the parable like this:

Not many days later, the younger son gathered together all he had and traveled to a distant country, where he squandered his estate in foolish living. After he had spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he had nothing.

The Russians read the parable like this:

Not many days later, the younger son gathered together all he had and traveled to a distant country, where he squandered his estate in foolish living. After he had spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he had nothing.

The blog post suggests that our culture can change what parts of scripture we emphasize, and blind us to other important parts.  Interesting to me, I did a post about the Prodigal Son a while back (in relation to Arminian theology) and I was guilty of the same thing (I noticed the squandering, but not the famine).

HT: NazNet


Filed under culture

What’s Wrong with Calvinism, Part 3, Video Series by Jerry Walls

Here’s the final, part 3 of the series by Jerry Walls – “Why it Matters”.


Filed under Calvinism, Jerry Walls

Todd Akin and Calvinism

I don’t usually get into politics on this blog.  Discussing theology provides plenty of opportunity for disagreement on its own.  But I’m curious if  readers think Todd Akin’s theology has in any way contributed to the pickle that he’s currently in.

For those who are unaware, Akin is the candidate who recently implied that female rape victims have the ability to use their body to prevent themselves from becoming pregnant.  He has since apologized for making the comment.  In the wake of the controversy, many prominent Republicans (including Romney and Ryan) have urged him to withdraw from the race.  Akin has so far refused those calls.

Akin comes from a conservative Calvinist background.  He is a current member and former elder in the Presbyterian Church in America.  He holds a MDiv from Covenant Theological Seminary. The PCA is a conservative Reformed denomination that broke off from the mainline Presbyterians in the 1970’s.  They hold to the Westminster Confession of faith, and do not permit women in any leadership roles.  Well known PCA theologians include R.C. Sproul, and John Frame.  Former MO senator Jim Talent is also a member of the denomination.

I can’t prove it by any means, but wonder if Akin’s ill-advised quote is rooted in Calvinist and Complimentarian theology.  In addition, his refusal to withdraw from the race seems to be consistent with a view where all actions are decreed by God.  I think Akin sees himself as anointed by God and guaranteed to win the Senate seat.


As a personal disclosure, I tend to lean conservative in my political views, but do disagree with Republicans on some issues.  I think Akin ought to step aside now to give a stronger Republican candidate a chance to run for the seat.


Filed under Calvinism

Wesleyan Holiness Sermons

Here are some audio sermons from a Wesleyan Holiness perspective.  The pastor (Dr. Vincent G. Artese) has a strong emphasis on Holiness, purification  and the spirit filled life.  He references lots of scripture and gives explanation of Greek terms.  His style reminds me a bit of Vic Reasoner (for the readers who happen to know who that is).

link here: Pilgrim’s Pathway

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Filed under Arminian Audio

What’s Wrong with Calvinism, Part 2, Video Series by Jerry Walls

Here’s part 2 of the series by Jerry Walls. “The Heart of the Matter”



Filed under Calvinism, Jerry Walls

What’s Wrong with Calvinism, Video Series by Jerry Walls

Dr. Jerry Walls (co-author of Why I’m not a Calvinist) has started a video critique of Calvinism. Good stuff. Walls is one of my favorite Arminian apologists.


August 13, 2012 · 8:50 am