I Think I’m Back in School Again

April 1, 2008

It’s been a challening, rewarding, and rough past few months! Obviously, I have not been blogging as much, thanks to the reality that I am back in school again. Plus, I have been working over 40 hours a week! But the upside is that I have been able to enjoy plenty of free Starbucks coffee (and probably one too many pastries!). But the Lord has been gracious and I am now on the verge of April 1, one month away from the completion of the Spring semester.

Studying at Southern has been both challenging and rewarding. The PhD seminar I am taking certainly fits both of those categories. Right now we are reading Kevin Vanhoozer’s dissertation, Biblical Narrative in the Philosophy of Paul Ricouer: A Study in Hermeneutics and Theology. Enough said.

This may be of interest. I found a link to some of Greg Bahnsen’s lectures online. Greg Bahnsen was known as the world’s foremost Cornelius VanTill expert. VanTill championed a method of apologetics known as “Presuppositionalism”, which is really nothing other than biblical apologetics.

Here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/user/gregbahnsen

Pictures From Australia

February 29, 2008

Here are some new pictures from my time in Australia. Mei Wee James, who took the photos,  sent them to me last week, so I thought you might like to see them as well.

Included in these pictures are Bruce Frost, Daniel and Mei Wee James, Carolyn Smith, and Gary and Juddith Stafford. It also looks like Josh Miles forehead is in one of the pictures.

The first three photos are of one our church fellowship meals we had at Daniel and Mei’s house in Wallaroo. The rest of the photos are from our Queens Birthday lunch last July. We spent the day at the Staffords house, had an outstanding meal (including Baked Cheesecake and King Island Cream!), and had an all around great time together. Also pictured are several snapshots of Gary and Juddith’s beautiful garden, right outside their house in Alford. For extended commentary see my post: “The Queen’s Birthday”

Here is the link:

http://s260.photobucket.com/albums/ii35/weemei/get%20togethers/?albumview=slideshow

Enjoy!

A New Name and A Brief Update

February 19, 2008

That’s right folks, my blog now has a new name. I do have to admit, however, how hard it was for me to change the title from “Brian Down Under” to “Life in Louisville”. It forces me to once again come to grips with the fact that I am no longer in Australia (for now). I must admit, there is just something more intriguing about a blog from Australia, than one from Kentucky (nothing against Kentucky of course). I spent hours and hours pouring over my previous blog title, so moving on to a new title is not the easiest thing to do.

But, by God’s providence, Louisville is where I am at, and I would still like to think that there are some exciting things that the Lord will do in my life here as I continue to walk in the path He has for me. Plus, the possibility that some people may even be interested in those sort of events, propels me to continue to blog. So, here we go. Welcome to “Life in Louisville”

Here is a brief update on how things are going…

Tornados

It is worth mentioning that on February 5 a large portion of the south, as well as the Ohio River Valley had 81 tornados. The event is now know  as the “2008 Super Tuesday Tornado Outbreak” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Tuesday_Tornado_Outbreak_of_2008.

Tennesee was hit the hardest, although Kentucky had it’s fair share as well (according to one website, Kentucky had 27 tornados www.wkyt.com/home/headlines/15481466.html). The reason why I mention this is because Louisville was very fortunate; the closest tornado was several counties over. The weather was bad here though, with lots of wind and rain. God was gracious to this city.

School

Well, I am about to begin my fourth week of classes at Southern Seminary and things are going well. This semester I am only taking two classes due to my work load: New Testament Theology, and Hermeneutics of the New Testament. Right now I am working on a book review for Hans Frei’s book, The Eclipse of Biblical Narrative: A Study in Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century in Hermenutics. Pretty heady stuff.

Work

By God’s grace, I have been able to secure two jobs, both of which fit me quite well. I am working as a Starbucks Barrista, serving lots and lots of coffee, and also working at the Southern Seminary library as a circulation assistant. I like coffee, and I like books. Should fit me well.

There’s a brief update on how things are going right now. I could write more, but I’ve got plenty of reading to do.

My Blog Is Not Dead!

February 5, 2008

Yes, my blog is not dead! However,  in the midst of my transition to life here in Louisville, I have not been able to write in over a month. But do not fear. Lord willing, I hope to write once or twice a week from now on. I’ll also change a few things, so stay tuned!

In the mean time, I thought you might like to read a letter I wrote to Wallaroo Bible Fellowship. It appeared in the Februrary edition of the WBF Monthly Bulletin.

Dear Wallaroo Bible Fellowship,

         G’day mates! Greetings from the United States. I hope this letter finds you all growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I thought it would be an encouragement to provide a brief update on how things are going for me since I left Australia and returned to America. 
         By God’s grace, after arriving in Los Angeles, I drove across the country and made it home to Greenville, South Carolina, just in time for Christmas. I was able to spend a few weeks with family, catch up with friends, and take some time to relax. The Lord blessed me with a wonderful holiday celebrating the Savior’s birth. 
          In mid January, I packed up my car with a few essential items and drove north to Louisville, Kentucky, to begin studies at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Since arriving in Louisville, I have moved into a new house and registered for classes. In fact, by the time you read this letter, orientation will have been completed and school will nearly be under way.
          I have also been able to reconnect with Auburndale Baptist Church, where I hope to serve and worship while living in Louisville. Currently, I am searching for a job, trusting in the Lord’s provision.
          And in the midst of all of this, my mind wanders back to Australia and to Wallaroo Bible Fellowship. It is hard for me to imagine that six weeks ago I was there with you all! Was not the Lord kind to give us that time together? Let’s rejoice in the kindness of God to give us such warm fellowship in His truth. I do miss you all dearly.
          That’s how things are going with me. Lord willing, I will be able to update you all on my progress and we can continue to pray for one another and keep in touch. If you are interested in keeping up with me, you can check out my blog at http://www.bwbunnell.wordpress.com. I hope to keep it up to date with how life is going in Louisville.

Affectionately,

Brian
Eph. 1:15-19

Home For the Holidays

January 2, 2008

Yes, I made it home. On December 21, around 8:00 pm, I rolled into Greenville, South Carolina. Just in time for Christmas.

My trip across the country ended well. I spent one night in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, (where I ate at a Cracker Barrell for dinner and then breakfast), and then spent my final night on the road at Jacob and Trish Cartner’s house in Memphis, Tennessee, before arriving in Greenville. All in all, the Lord blessed my trip and I made it home safely.

Since arriving home on December 21 I have been spending time with family and friends. Mom, Dad, Carrie, Mimi (my grandma-mom’s side), and I had a great Christmas together. I made sure to give both Mom and Mimi there very own jar of Veggiemite, to which Dad responded, “Uggghhh”. It was very entertaining to observe the expressions on their face as each of them tasted their Christmas treat (I think they will stick to less potent spreads). We have had several Christmas parties at our house, and one of the main activites has been to let everyone try Veggiemite. I haven’t had many conversions.

After Christmas I continued in my holiday mode of reading, relaxing, and visiting with family and friends. I decided to spend New Year’s with Uncle Jeff, Aunt Linda, and my cousins, who all live in Jacksonville, Florida. Grandma and Pop (my grandparents-Dad’s side) were visiting as well, so it seemed like a good way to bring in the new year. Plus, Uncle Jeff has a massive HD TV, the perfect place for watching college football games. Further still, Mimi (who lives in Jax) was driving home, so I thought it would be good to travel with her.

So, on Monday (Dec. 31) I drove 400 miles (along with Mimi) to Jax, Florida. We brought in the new year and watched plenty of college football. Even though home is technically Greenville, I always feel like I am coming home when I visit Jax. Our family roots began here, and I still consider myself a Florida boy, so every visit is a special treat.

Tommorow, Lord willing, I will drive back to Greenville, and then get serious about heading up to Southern Seminary in mid January. Classes start January 22. Between now and then I have to move to Louisville, get a job, find an apartment, register for classes, etc, etc.

Re the future of my blog, my plan is to post a few more entries, and then to transition to a new blog of some sort. Since I am no longer “Brian Down Under”, I’ll have to either rename the blog, or do something totally new. I am still thinking about it, so stay tuned for updates.

Happy New Year!

“Welcome Home”

December 19, 2007

Those words were spoken to me one week ago today, the very moment I officially re-entered the United States of America. Here is a brief summary of my life from that moment until now.

Over the past seven days, by God’s grace, I have returned to the USA (Los Angeles), replaced rat eaten spark plug wires in my Honda Accord (with the help of Jeremy Naime), paid to have a timing belt and water pump replaced, spent time with friends (most notably with Chase, Sarah, and Grace Sears, at whose home I stayed while in LA), visited Grace On Campus at USC, hung out with students, contracted a fever, plus some sort of infection rendering the body terribly weak, tried to rest, eaten lunch with Rick and Kim Holland (and the boys), discussed getting another TMS grad to come to Australia with Dr. Busenitz and Ray Merringer, attened Grace Church, and set out on my journey across the United States home.

How’s that for brevity?

Currently I am in Albuquerque, New Mexico, staying at a Holiday Inn Express, still approximately 1500 miles away from Greenville, South Carolina. I left Los Angeles yesterday, drove through Las Vegas and spent the night in Flagstaff, Arizona. Today I traveled a mere 325 miles to Albuquerque. On Wednesday, Lord willing, I will drive to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. On Thursday I’ll try to reach Memphis, Tennessee, and then on Friday, Greenville. I can’t wait to get home for Christmas.

Brrrrr. It’s cold up here in the Northern Hemisphere.

My Last Day In Wallaroo (For Now)

December 10, 2007

After a week of packing, moving furniture, preaching, and then saying a few final goodbyes, it’s time for me to begin my long and ardouous journey home.

Before heading home though, I still had one more Sunday at Wallaroo Bible Fellowship. I preached in the AM service on “Lessons From the Book of Judges”, and in the night service I preached a message on “Five Things You Should Never Forget”. After the service John Vein presented me with a wood carving, made of an indigenous Australian wood, on behalf of the congregation. The carving, in totem pole form, had several carvings, each of which had their own special significance. It is an Australian way of expressing friendship and loyalty. Bruce Frost also presented me with an official letter of thanks from the congregation, as well as a financial gift.

But what was most noteworthy to me on Sunday was the outpouring of love from the congregation. Person after person came up to me, each one offering a words of encouragement and affirmation. This went on for well over an hour until finally, we all had to say goodbye. God has truly been gracious to let me serve a congregation like this.

This morning (Monday) I woke up, finished packing, ate breakfast with Bruce and Margaret, and then drove back to Adelaide. I ran a few last minute errands, and then met up with everyone from the Adelaide Bible Study for dinner. Daniel and Mei drove in from Wallaroo to join us. We ate at  Malaysian Restaurant. They gave me a Jackaroo hat, as well as an inflatable Kangaroo. Once again, I was overwhelmed by edifying encouragement.

Tommorow morning I will fly from Adelaide to Auckland, and then from Auckland to Los Angeles. I leave with a grateful heart for God’s incredible mercy in giving me this unique opportunity. Who would have every imagined it?

Packing, Planning, and Saying Goodbye

December 7, 2007

The last few days have been quite busy. I’ve been packing, sorting through all my books, preparing my final two messages for Sunday, and trying to make time to say goodbye to as many people as possible. By God’s grace, everything seems to be coming together.

After sorting through various flight options, I finally landed with Air New Zeland, which had the best price available. At least I will get to say I spent some time in New Zeland, even if it is only for an hour in the airport. Lord willing, I will fly out of Adelaide the morning of December 11 en route to Los Angeles via Auckland. I should be in LA by late morning on the same day my journey began. Try to figure that one out.

I am really looking forward to spending some time in LA. I’ll be there for almost a week. Still working on a place to stay, but I am sure I’ll be able to figure something out before I leave. My plans in LA include making sure my car is up to snuff for a drive across the country, meeting with Ray Merringer to discuss future interim possibilities for TMS grads in Wallaroo, catching up with friends, going to Grace On Campus at USC, hanging with students, and of course going to Grace Church on Sunday. I may even try to sneak in a trip to Disney Land, but that may be a little ambitious. One other major item I need to take care of is the purchase of new books. I have left roughly 60% of my books here in Australia for the next interim pastor, so I am hoping to repurchase them at Grace.

So that’s a very brief snapshot of what the next week looks like for me.

On another note, I did want to mention that I will be attending Southern Seminary beginning in January of 2008. Lord willing, some time after New Year’s I’ll head up to Louisville, Kentucky, and commence study towards a Master of Theology degree. I am really excited about the opportunity, but will miss Australia, as well as Los Angeles. But God has opened up this door, so it seems wise to walk through.

In the mean time, I have some packing to do.

Clare, Preaching, and Christmas Plans

November 26, 2007

After my vacation extravaganza, it has been back to normal. Here is a update on how life is going down under.

Trip to Clare

On Tuesday I went with Gary and Juddith Stafford to the small city of Clare, located about an hour north east of Wallaroo. Clare is a quaint town, known for it’s wineries, weekend cottages, and Catholic Monastarey. It makes a great day trip from Wallaroo. Gary and Juddith travel there frequently, so they were kind enough to show me around. We ate lunch on main street, drove through the pretty scenery, had afternoon tea at a bed and breakfast, and toured around. It was a nice day trip.

Ministry and Preaching

After a few weeks off, I made my way back into the pulpit this week. Since I will be leaving in a few weeks, I am doing my best to finish preaching through Judges, and also wrap things up in Luke. So for the morning service I preached through Judges 17-18, and for the evening service I tackled Luke 23:33-49. Judges 17-18 was a great challenge because it was so much material. Preaching through large narrative passages in the Old Testament has been particularly challenging, but a great experience.

Christmas Plans

Yes, my time here is coming to an end. My last Sunday service in Wallaroo will be on December 9, and then on December 12 I will be flying from Adelaide to Los Angeles. I will spend a few days in Los Angeles (recovering from jet lag), and then on December 17 I will drive accros the country en route to Greenville, South Carolina (I left my car in Los Angeles). Lord willing, I should be home by December 21, just in time for Christmas, and plenty of pumpkin pie.

From Airlie Beach to Sydney

November 18, 2007

So after walking through the rain on Friday afternoon at Airlie Beach, Dad and I boarded a plane en route to Sydney. We got into Sydney about 8:00 pm, and were at the warm confines of Sydney Bed and Breakfast by 9:00 pm.

Saturday was chock full of activities. We climbed the Sydney Harbor Bridge, toured Circular Quay, and walked through the Royal Botanical Gardens. By lunch time we had walked at least six or seven miles. Then we hopped on a boat and rode around Sydney Harbor. I have never seen so many sail boats in one place. It was amazing. After our two hour harbor tour we went shopping. Dad needed to buy Mom something, so we swallowed our pride and walked around Pitt Street and The Queen Victoria Building. It really wasn’t that bad. =)

After our shopping adventure we went back to the hotel, freshened up, and ate dinner at Doyle’s Fish Restaurant at Circular Quay. We had no difficulty going to bed Saturday evening. On Sunday we walked around the Rocks area, and made a few purchases at the Rocks Market. Then at 11:00 am, I said goodbye to Dad, and he boarded a taxi en route to the airport. A few hours later, I took my own taxi, and now I am back in Adelaide. (For photos: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=71436&l=c8940&id=565915710).

We really had a great trip. It was such a blessing to be able to spend time with Dad. I am really looking forward to heading home in December to get to see more of my family. Being away makes you appreciate your family even more. In the mean time, however, I’ve got a few more sermons to preach.