Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Bridging the Word and the World

5/18 2012

Have Thine Own Way, Lord!

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This is a time of great change for students at PTS. As yet another academic year draws to an end, we begin to transition. Some students anticipate a break from studies by going home to be with loved ones or leave for a vacation. Others will begin summer employment, CPE, and summer languages. For those who are graduating, the reality of completing the program is hard hitting. As we celebrate those who know where they will be serving, we also celebrate those who don’t know what is next. Regardless of where we find ourselves, change is upon us. The directional pull of change is strong. It is strong because the sovereignty of God is always at work in that change. For this, I am grateful.

On the days where I am overwhelmed, I find myself singing “Have Thine Own Way, Lord!” This hymn has preached to me over the past three years. The hymn was written by Adelaide A. Pollard who was a Bible teacher and hymn writer. Pollard, was hoping to go to Africa as a missionary, but could not make a way financially. Greatly discouraged, she attended a prayer service at church when she overheard an elderly woman praying these words “It really doesn’t matter what you do with us, Lord, just have your own way with our lives.” Those words inspired Pollard while she contemplated the story of the potter in Jeremiah 18:3. When she returned home after the prayer service, she wrote all four verses of this beloved hymn. Although I don’t know what is next for me beyond PTS, I trust that God will continue to have His way in my life so as to reflect Christ in me by the power of the Holy Spirit. And so He will in us all.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the Potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Search me and try me, Master, today!
Whiter than snow, Lord, wash me just now,
As in Thy presence humbly I bow.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Wounded and weary, help me, I pray!
Power, all power, surely is Thine!
Touch me and heal me, Savior divine.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Hold o’er my being absolute sway!
Fill with Thy Spirit ’till all shall see
Christ only, always, living in me.

Melanie, Senior MDiv student at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

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5/3 2012

Student Survival Kit

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Slowly but surely I am cleaning, organizing, and packing my things up for the big move post-graduation. It has been a cathartic experience looking back over the past three years by way of notes, cards, and gifts I’ve acquired. I came across a gift that each of the students in the class of 2012 received during orientation in late August 2009. During the Activities Fair, the Alumnae/i Council welcomed us with a Student Survival Kit. This kit was full of knick knacks that served as visual reminders of the sage advice and verses so colorfully printed on a note card. It was a happy surprise to come across it again. As I read through each line of the note, tears began to well up because it tells the story that I think most of us have lived while being here at Pittsburgh Seminary. More than that, it tells the story of experiences that have come before us and will come after us. Of course these words of encouragement and advice apply to us all as we live out the Christian faith. I pray it blesses you the way it blessed me. survival_kit

  1. Toothpick: To remember to pick out the good in others. Matthew 7:1
  2. Rubber Band: To remember to be flexible. Romans 8:28
  3. Band-Aid: To remember to mend hurt feelings. Colossians 3:12-14
  4. Pencil: To remember to list your blessings daily. Ephesians 1:3
  5. Butterfinger Candy Bar: Because we all slip sometimes, and it’s okay. Genesis 50:15-21
  6. Gum: So you can stick to it. With God you can accomplish anything. Philippians 4:13
  7. Salt: To remind you God wants us to be the salt of the earth. Matthew 5:13
  8. Candle: To remind us to be a light to someone else’s day. Matthew 5:14-16
  9. Puzzle Piece: To remember that without God we are not complete. Colossians 2:10
  10. Paperclip: To help you hold things together. Ephesians 4:15-16
  11. Nail: To help you remember the price Jesus paid because he loves you. John 3:16
  12. Eraser: To remind you that everyone makes mistakes. Romans 3:23

This post was first published in May 2012 and was updated in September 2015 and September 2016. The Rev. Melanie Kim Hamill graduated with her MDiv degree in 2012 and now serves as campus minister at Ringling College of Art and Design, New College, and University of South Florida Sarasota-Bradenton.

You can also view this survival kit as a SlideShare presentation (below) or PowerPoint.

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