Archives For Robert Thomas Quiring

“There’s no such thing as a stupid question.”  That is the sentiment we are taught as youngsters and it is repeated throughout our lives. However, most of us have a strong memory of asking a “stupid question” and having everyone laugh at us at some point.  As we grow older, many fear to ask questions because we’re afraid that we’ll appear unintelligent or uninformed.  I have found this is even more true with our faith and our Christian education.  “Judge a [person] by [their] questions rather than by [their] answers.” -Voltaire

Question Mark

Asking questions and seeking answers is how we strengthen and deepen our faith.  So, my challenge for all of us is to do just that – to start asking more questions about our faith. Continue Reading…

RTQDuring my three years of seminary, I received the Presbyterian Study Grant (PSG) scholarship.  I was asked to serve on the reading committee of the PSG a couple of years ago and wrote down some tips for future applicants at that time.  None of these tips are groundbreaking, but each tip addresses an issue I saw repeatedly while reading stacks of applications.

ESSAY TIPS

Tip #1: Answer the question

Just like with Ords, one big mistake I saw was people not answering the question.  So, answer the question, “Describe your sense of call,” or for returning recipients, “Describe how your sense of call has changed?”  After I read each essay, I tried to articulate, “This applicant feels called to…”

Tip #2: Write a “You” essay, not an academic paper Continue Reading…

RTQIn college, I had the awesome opportunity to make the pilgrimage from Texas to Washington State to see Dave Matthews Band three nights in a row at the Gorge Amphitheater.  However, to my great surprise, I didn’t really enjoy the first two nights of shows.  The music, location, and atmosphere were amazing – it was my state of being that trumped my enjoyment.  You see, the first night I was uncomfortably hungry and just wanted to find something to eat – we had arrived from Texas just as the concert started without eating dinner. The second night I was simply exhausted – we had made a day trip to Canada and I didn’t get my beauty sleep.  When we were waiting for the encore – I prayed they wouldn’t come back out – so I could go to bed.  Looking back, I’m still fascinated that doing something I loved so much was compromised by my lack of food and sleep; however, I was reminded how crucial it is to take care of my needs so I can be present when I want to be. Recently, I’ve had several conversations with people about how their presence in Sunday morning worship is influenced by their actions and mindset.  I’ve been mentally chewing on these conversations and want to share these three thoughts:

  1. What we do on Saturday night affects how we worship on Sunday morning – Whether you just have to watch that next episode on Netflix, your kid has a late night game, or you’re out with friends, what we do on Saturday night affects our Sunday morning.  Now I’m not arguing that we should cease all Saturday night activities, but I think that naming and claiming this truth is the first step to being more present and… awake in worship.  Set a goal – two weekends this month I’m going to make sure I’m aware of my Saturday night for my Sunday morning.

Continue Reading…