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jaredneusch jaredneusch

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Jared Neusch  I'm crazy about my family. Pastor at Bethel Church. Seminary grad. I like a lot of things, and occasionally they get photographed.


The most beautiful thing a dad could ever lay his eyes on. 😭

Learning the complexities of fake smiling for a camera. I’d say his first draft is pretty darn good

Legend, evangelist, hero of mine, and spiritual leader to millions, Billy Graham passed away this morning.
Ever since I was a young teenager Billy Graham was a major hero of mine. I started building a collection of his (many) books and memorabilia about 5 years back and absolutely treasure my collection. Weird fact about me. I have about 7 copies of his most rare published work, his Korean War diary, "I Saw Your Sons at War." I've been trying for about two years to convince Kezia to name one of our children "Graham," "Billy," or "Stadium," and she's yet to come around.

It's this lady's birthday and goodness gracious, I love her!
Watching her love our children the way she does is one of the hottest things on the planet!
Happy Birthday to the woman of my dreams!!! @kezialouise

*Insert sappy Valentines caption here*

⚡️MUSING 3 of 3⚡️
I was giddy during my first theology course in seminary. It was half way through the semester and I was settling into our week-long intensive (40 hours of lecture and discussion packed into one very very long week). This much content all under the same professor, even the best, can at times be a bit grueling. I have more than a few memories of my fellow students and I stumbling out of class at 5pm on Friday mentally pummeled, hands cramped, and walking in a hunched sit-stand posture.
This week, however, was different. The second morning of our intensive we were talking about the imminence and transcendence of God, and the professor had asked one of the students to be prepared with his guitar. Sure enough our intellectual gaze at God’s grandeur led seamlessly into a time of praise and worship. I’ll never forget his rhetorical question as we entered worship, “How can we not transition into a time of praise after contemplating the perfections of God!?” Our mind is one of the greatest instruments we play in the cosmic symphony of worship to the triune God. Pondering the deeper things of God opens our hearts and minds to recognize and walk in the ways of His Kingdom. Don’t allow words like ‘intellectual’ or ‘cerebral’ to be pentecostally taboo or antonymous to ’spiritual.’ Never stand for the mind being labeled a hindrance to the things of the Spirit, nor let it be relegated to an inferior, weaker, or carnal category of your divine makeup. I’ll spare you a list of verses about loving God with your mind, and the repeated emphasis on ‘knowing,’ and ‘knowledge’ in the New Testament. It’s everywhere.
This theology course among many other powerful moments in my time of study helped me realize that good theology both leads to and IS worship. It really is.

⚡️MUSING 2 of 3⚡️ I’ll never forget the first time I was celebrated by my parents for asking a critical question of Scripture. I was probably 8 or 9 and I was challenging a biblical author’s exaggerative claim. Unaware of hyperbole as an innocent literary technique, I was sure I had caught an author getting carried away, therefore rendering Scripture “inaccurate." The praise I received from my parents had zilch to do with the cogency of my argument, and everything to do with their attempt to foster critical thinking. This established an important way of thinking in me, and prepared me well for my time in seminary.
Attending seminary, course after course and lecture after lecture reinforced in me the invaluable truth that God isn’t intimidated by my questions or my mind. Rather, it was most often me that was frightened. As we explore the mansion of Scripture and God’s nature, there’s no door He’s nervous we'll open. There are no skeletons in His closet. I’m still not even sure if He has a closet.
Allow me to clumsily mix metaphors. At times theology and biblical studies can be treated like a rigid museum. We’re told to stay in single file lines, resist touching the glass, and please keep our voices down. Rather, I think these disciplines are meant to be approached like a playground. Scripture is an exciting collection of literature that welcomes everyone to join in, play, skid their knees, ask questions, and be loud. Although the oldest book in existence, it’s not fragile, and it’s not frail.
Rather than your question being the proverbial straw that broke Christendom’s back, consider yourself part of a long-standing tradition of pioneering, questioning, exploring Christians, seeking to unearth the deepest truths of God and His cosmos.

⚡️MUSING 1 of 3⚡️ “Seminary? More like cemetery!” If I had a nickel every time I heard this stupid maxim, well … it may have halved my tuition. There is a bizarre phenomenon in portions of the church where Christian education is celebrated with flags and tambourines until one reaches the masters or doctorate level. Oddly enough, the celebration of dedication to learning more about God and His ways abruptly transforms into fear that you’ll reject everything the church has taught you and then completely leave your faith. I began to wonder, in what other professional field do we encourage people to stay mildly educated as the sweet spot for avoiding deception and maintaining truth? "You’ve got the right major, just don’t learn too much." Would we instruct physicians, lawyers, business professionals, musicians, or psychiatrists to resist moving beyond their bachelors, and if they do, at least continue with fear and trembling?
The fear tends to be that seminaries exist for the sole purpose of chewing up and spitting out wide-eyed Awana alumni and their fragile child-like faith. To be fair, the majority of concern expressed about seminary comes from real experience of their now agnostic friend, or friend of a friend, or friend of a friend who once heard a story.
First, let me say that I had a faith-filled, fabulous experience in Christian higher education, and I’m no anomaly (more on that later). Second, even if seminary was somehow a generally dangerous place for Christians to attend, writing it off shouldn’t be our response. Just remember, the most famous cemetery in Scripture turned out to be just one prophecy away from a living breathing army. So whether we’re attending, prophesying, or rumoring, let’s send life that direction.

With my recent turning of the tassel on a five-year journey towards a Masters of Divinity, I want to take a few moments to share some musings - three to be to exact. (Rightly or wrongly I figure five years earns me at least three musings). Having lacked the capacity or conviction to create a blog, a few instagram posts will need to suffice. If you care nothing for higher education, me, or God, feel free to ignore these posts over the next few days. Everyone else, stay tuned and enjoy. Alright, enough with the prologue and pleasantries … keep an eye out for my musings coming your way soon.

Today Clayton woke up with something (not really sure what yet), so today has been a marathon of Lion King, Bethel Music Kids, drawing, and coffee for his parents.

Flipped through some of my old Billy collection this afternoon. Just try and not fill a stadium with those hand gestures

The sun, Birkenstocks, wheelbarrows full of old rain water, and these two. Not featured is Rosemary just below in my lap.

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