Rob's Status

    Tears in Rain

    Psalm 45:1

    "My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer."

    Galatians 2:20

    I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.



    Sunday, September 18, 2011

    First Day of Class

                The first day of class featured Mr. Michael Mandt, president of Fluidyne Corporation, a globally recognized leader in wastewater treatment technologies. He earned both his undergraduate and graduate degrees through Ohio State University. His lectures and discussions of the day covered mainly the ideas of science vs. religion.

    Although the first few segments of class felt like mere introductions to the instructor and his teachings, Mr. Mandt got a good feel for the student body and our understanding of the current times and knowledge of Biblical truth. I personally admired and appreciated his easing us into the topics at hand as much was revealed and refreshed to my current understanding of evolutionary ideas conflicting with the ideas of intelligent design. Knowing that science is more on the side of Christianity than it actually is to secular science and evolution is quite the comforting and encouraging thought as we were later able to conclude after going thought the motions of what each school of thought actually believed in and how they came to such conclusions.

    Just by comparing and contrasting our supposed origins showed a lot of what true science is capable of revealing. Romans 1:18-25 plainly shows us that God is revealed in all things and even the wickedness and perversion of humanity is without excuse. It is their suppression of the truth in unrighteousness that continues to cause them to tell vicious lies against the Christian faith and I feel that it is highly imperative that believers across the globe should better equip themselves with the knowledge of God to combat such deceit and further expand the Kingdom and love of Christ.

    A lot of what Mr. Mandt lectured on toward the end of the day felt to go a little over my head. I can’t quite decide whether that was due to my fatigue or that it just was too deep in science for me to completely understand. I thought it all rather intriguing all the same despite my ability to understand it fully. Although I feel like I could ask him plenty of questions to help solidify and clarify his teaching, I have an inkling it will just take a little bit of reading for me to really begin to grasp such subjects of time and space. Despite the difficulty and ambiguity of it all based solely of course on my lack of knowledge, I know what was discussed last evening will have a lasting impact and the truly mysterious and magnificent work of God our creator.  

    "My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer."

    Hectic but Providential

    Adventure is usually what comes to my mind whenever something doesn’t go quite according to plan. I usually tell people when I’m lost, “I’m not lost, truly” , and “I’m just on an adventure.” A charming thought only if you have nowhere to go or punctuality is not entirely of the essence. In this case, just recently on my decent to Pegosa Springs, I made my way to Denver Colorado an entire hour short of my flight. Having never been in this situation before, I managed to keep calm. Having my iPod touch with me nearly everywhere I go with big friendly letters on the lock screen that say, “Don’t Panic.” This is, of course, a little something I carry with me for reassurance but mostly a comedic relief I typically get when recalling the muses of British humor easily found in Douglas Adam’s Hitchhiker’s Guild to the Galaxy. Reading the words “Don’t Panic” was very affirming and calming—the Denver airport was not.

    Continental airlines was as accommodating as they could: the earliest flight they could confirm for me was only seven hours past my intended schedule and to make matters more complicated, it was with another airline at another terminal. Long story short, there was a lot of walking involved with this little excursion of very little pleasure. Having not only my backpack loaded with computer gear but also my camera bag didn’t make matters any lighter. At least there were the automated walkways making my trudging across the terminal back and forth between United and Continental costumer service. Little did I know that the merge between these major airlines was still in flux and United couldn’t help me very much with Continental’s issues: one in particular was accommodating me with a ticket that had no value to Frontier. A misfortune to say the least for it required further trudging in the airport and even more stress to my senses. At least I had my iPod to boom the Tron: Reconfigured soundtrack to make things a little more interesting. Also looking at the situation as a sort of action flick made things a little better. I started to pretend that I was on a high-stakes mission and would walk back and forth between terminals to the Italian Job soundtrack.

    After determining that only Continental was the only factor among airlines that could fix the problem they created for me, I decided to finally sit for a meal for after spending sometime at their assigned gates, there was not a Continental soul to be sought. Further waiting took place after dinner but I finally managed to speak with a representative of Continental and set things straight with my reservation with Frontier and getting a valid ticket to board their plane. After a prolonged phone call with Frontier, my reservation had been confirmed and I was instructed to head back to Terminal A to speak with gate 37. Once there, several minutes later, I spoke with Frontier’s customer service and was handed not a ticket but a boarding pass! I was overwhelmed at this point and couldn’t help but gasp with success at the end of my anxious concern for confirmation of my flight into Durango.

    I suppose after looking back at all this now, it indeed was all a hectic mess and quite stressful. I am glad now, however, because I’m all the more experienced especially in regards to Denver’s airport. Hopefully next time the aeroplane I’m on won’t need last minute maintenance on a broken latch and I won’t miss my connecting flight. On the other hand, if I had made my flight that fateful morning, I wouldn’t have run into a fellow student of mine who is also attending Summit Semester. While waiting for my 7:45 flight to Durango through Frontier Airlines, Amy from California was waiting for the same flight as I. I had been wearing a Summit Ministries T-shirt at the time, but she claims to have recognized my face from the start and the T-shirt only confirmed that she knew who I was. Although I didn’t recognizer her at first, it was an extreme delight and refreshment to meet a face I felt like I could actually get to know and not complain to. It was also nice to know I wouldn’t be heading to my final destination alone. Figuring I probably would have gotten to meet her sooner or later in Pegosa, it’s still a rather interesting story to look back on and tell as I hope you have enjoyed this experience as much as I did after everything has been said and done. Looking back now, although rather hectic, it was intriguing and inspiring all at once to see the providence of it all. And that’s how I physically got to Summit Semester, ten hours off schedule and exhausted, yet satisfied with learning a few new tricks, meeting a new friend, and gaining a story to tell. 

    "My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer."

    My Journey to the Summit

               Hardly twenty-four hours has past since I first arrived to Snow Wolf Lodge in Pegosa Springs, Colorado and I could already begin to feel an amazing change in my life—the perspective of it, the purpose of it, the understanding of what my life really means was in a flux and I was enjoying every moment of it. My name is Robert Oakley, and this is how my journey to The Summit began.

    Summit Semester has and will serve many purposes this season of my life but essentially it is an academic gap-year program founded upon Biblical standards. It is a means to an end by which every student has arrived seeking with intrigue and desire not solely exclusive to myself for I have already gotten to know most if not all 31 students who have arrived. We all share the same interest and passion for doing well deep in the Mountains of Pegosa Springs and we’re all highly looking forward to it.

    Getting here in the first place is quite the story within itself, as I would officially like to begin there. You could all say it started when I was born: into a Christian home to parents who both had no clue what to do in raising me as their first born but knew and understood and submitted to teaching me about their faith and bringing me up to claim it as my own. When I was the age of eight years old, I accepted Jesus as my Lord and savior by His perfect will and grace. From that day forward I knew and felt His presence influencing my life every day. It wasn’t up until my later years in high school, however, that I really began to explore for myself life’s great questions, and coming to understand and know not only what I believed but also why I believed what I believed.

    It was through my mother’s teaching and her desire to home educate me that fully allowed me to have the recourses, capacity, and freedom to explore these pressing topics without the pressure and exclusiveness of secular society. Though a great part of my education was founded on a Biblical foundation, one other book that has played a major influence in my life was Dr. David Noebel’s Understanding the Times.

    Coming back to the topic of Summit Ministries and Semester, I actually had very little recollection or understanding of the ministry even a long time after reading Dr. Noebel’s work. Little did I know how drawn in to the ministry I would become years later. My parents along with many elders from my church have also made a huge impact in my life along with authors such as C.S. Lewis, and the many missionary stories I would have read to me or heard about in church.  I was also very fortunate to attend Houston Baptist University near the city of Katy where I grew up getting a solid Biblical teaching in my core education.
    It wasn’t really enough, though, to have such a strong connection with my heavenly creator, my family, my church, and my mere existence on such a flourishing emotional level. There needed to be so much more and I had lots of questions. This is one of the many areas Summit Semester has promised to touch on in regards to further developing my relationship with Christ and those around me. Semester’s mission is also to make my understanding on an intellectual level bringing even more meaning and balance to my own conscience. I am fully intrigued with the idea and pursuit of “knowing thyself” and am confident that in ever seeking for truth, yet seeking first the Kingdom of God, I will know myself according to my creator, my master, and my teacher. This is only part of what Summit Semester is all about and for the next 12 weeks I looking forward to sharing even more.

    Although my access to the outside world will be limited, this time will be one of little distraction and incredible focus on the meaning of life as not just a human being, but a soul created in the likeness of Christ. I plan to write as regularly as I can, but promise only to post updates every Sunday when I can since that is the only time I expect to have internet access. So consider this your first update! I am alive, well, and looking forward to telling you about my great journey through Summit Semester.

    I am praying for you all as image bearers of Christ—Imago Dei.

    Noblesse oblige,

    ~Rob Oakley