California or Bust

I joined the millions of people who’ve journeyed to the edge of the world, the west coast, that place known as California.

I was born in this land. I grew up hearing the stories and dreaming of beaches and sunshine. My Cali is different though. It’s mountains and snow, forests and volcanoes. It’s beautiful in it’s own right, a mad blend of my dreamland and my homeland.

© 2014 Tyrel Bramwell

A Prayer (In Light of Call Day)

As it gets closer to Call Day, and before anxiety has the chance to take over, allow me the privilege of offering a prayer (from the Minister’s Prayer Book) for all my brothers and their families:

“O God, heavenly Father, who desirest all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth, give me [as well as my classmates and their families] thy Spirit and strengthen [our] heart[s] that [we] may never despair, but labor in hope, look unto Christ, endure his cross, and finally have part in his joy. Give [us] grace to proclaim the truth wisely, charitably, and acceptably, and so to present the Lord Jesus Christ in word and deed, that people may hear him gladly. Be thou [our] strength and embolden [us] to serve thee, that, renouncing every worldly ambition and unworthy method, [we] may trust only in the power of thy Word and thy Spirit and never shrink from declaring thy saving Word of truth, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” — J.W.D.

Photograph is of the painting that hangs above the baptismal font in Kramer Chapel on the campus of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana.

© 2014 Tyrel Bramwell

Learning To Pray

Practice Chapel

“The phrase ‘learning to pray’ sounds strange to us. If the heart does not overflow and begin to pray by itself, we say, it will never ‘learn’ to pray. But it is a dangerous error, surely very widespread among Christians, to think that the heart can pray by itself. For then we confuse wishes, hopes, sighs, laments, rejoicings – all of which the heart can do by itself – with prayer. And we confuse earth and heaven, man and God. Prayer does not mean simply to pour out one’s heart. It means rather to find the way to God and to speak with him, whether the heart is full or empty. No man can do that by himself. For that he needs Jesus Christ.”

— Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Psalms: The Prayer Book of the Bible

The photograph is of the crucifix that hangs in the practice chapel on the campus of Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, IN.

© 2013 Tyrel Bramwell