We have a desire to remember God's faithfulness. From Samuel's "Ebenezer" to Ann Voskamp's gift list, we quickly learned that if we are not intentional in recognizing what God has given us, we will soon forget it. I woke up this morning feeling particularly grateful for what God has given me in Kansas City, so I'm taking a page from Becky Wilson's blog Sassy Feast: This is my "Good List" of Midwestern Seminary. I don't plan on doing this every week or anything along those lines, but I want to share at least for a moment some of the things that God regularly uses to make my time at Midwestern wonderful.
10. Parkville Coffee
My schedule doesn't allow me to get to Parkville Coffee as much as I did last semester, but the environment of this place is so understated in Kansas City's coffee scene. The baristas are always so kind, and I find myself extremely productive because it feels a lot more like home than my dorm room.
9. For the Church
Last year, Midwestern Seminary launched For the Church as a medium to provide gospel-centered resources to engage, encourage, and equip the church. I'm drawn to the kind of content that gets put on FTC. It is an excellent site to add to your blogroll—it even made me cut a few of my former regular sites out of my routine.
8. Late-Night Shatto Runs
Based in Osborn, MO, Shatto Milk Company is a local dairy company whose milk has developed an almost cult-like following in some circles (I swear by it, at least). I can't tell you how many times the guys in the dorm will go to the store late at night to pick up some milk, and it inevitably turns into good conversation.
7. The Gathering
Throughout the semester, Midwestern holds "The Gathering", a regular time of worship and devotional/preaching. It's refreshing to hit pause during the semester and still my heart.
No, seriously. I miss home a lot, and my phone makes it so much easier to stay in touch with my family. They even sent me live updates this week as they got my cat groomed, which was hilarious.
5. Good Books
I have to read a lot of good books for class, but being a student also allows me to read on my own time. The seminary environment has introduced me to tons of new authors/theologians that have put the gospel and the Christian life in a new light. It's been great to finally have time to be able to dive into guys like Carl F. H. Henry or to be able to hold a discussion about what beauty is from a philosophical, ethical, and theological standpoint with my peers. These kinds of things don't happen in other places.
4. Cracker Barrel
I used to hate Cracker Barrel, but my family has always loved it. What I once envisioned as glorified frozen food has become something that ties me back to the true South and reminds me of my family. I know, it's a little silly and pretty fattening to maintain sentimentality. Just trust me.
3. The Spurgeon Library
Midwestern's Spurgeon Library is an incredible place to work and study. Its curator, Dr. Christian George, challenges students to ramp up their scholarly responsibility as Christians. The opportunity to work underneath Dr. George has in many ways been like an academic oasis for me, and I'm regularly reminded to be thankful for Midwestern Seminary's investment in the Spurgeon Library.
2. John Mark Yeats, Midwestern College Dean
In Dr. Yeats, I have found a role model and a mentor. Though he is incredibly busy, he always makes time for students at Midwestern, and I don't know if I have ever heard him complain. His family is hospitable (though his youngest son might hit you with a lightsaber), and he carries heavy conviction for the church and the family. His placement on this list is no act of overstatement.
1. Emmaus Church
Emmaus Church unashamedly loves the gospel. Being a church plant has endless implications on how you "do" church, but what it means for Emmaus is this: things may not run smoothly, children will probably cry at any event we have, and you're going to have to come face-to-face with your sin. At Emmaus, I feel known. And although feeling known is scary for somebody like me—one so full of sin and so easily forgetful of the gospel—I feel embraced. The gospel shines forth at Emmaus, and it's an honor to be counted as colaborers and coheirs with these men and women.
Cody Glen Barnhart
Cody Glen Barnhart (@codygbarnhart) lives in Kansas City, Missouri, and is a student at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has written for the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, Canon & Culture, Gospel Centered Discipleship, and is a contributor at servantsofgrace.org.