Early this year on this blog, I mentioned (probably more than once) that this semester was going to be a busy one. Well, I’m here tell you that my ability to predict the future remains fully intact. This semester has been a full one. As a result, the blog has taken a back seat.
This afternoon, I find myself with a few moments to provide a quick update. Jessica is out doing some holiday shopping with the older two kids and Alex is napping…check that, Alex WAS napping…we’ll see how far I get here.
This coming Monday is last day of classes for the semester already. I’m finished with all of my papers, sermons, and assignments and, for the most part, I’ve done well on them. However, there’s a few I don’t have back yet, so the jury is still out on those. Tuesday is a review day and then exams begin on Wednesday. I’ve got one on Wednesday; two on Thursday; one on Friday. So this next week will consist of much studying.
The semester has been a thought-provoking one. I’ve learned a lot about how to better read and understand the Old Testament in my Old Testament Narratives class. I’ve gained valuable insights into how to think about and do worship in my Forming Worshipping Communities class. I’ve been challenged to wrestle with and get greater clarification about doctrine in my Systematic Theology class. I took an elective on the book of Job this semester which was very challenging. The book of Job raises a lot of difficult questions and forced me to think about a lot of issues concerning reality of evil and the goodness of Job and the struggles with the consequences of sin. In my New Testament Narratives classes we’ve talked about the relationship between the Gospels and the variety of interpretations that people give to the life and work of Jesus. To say the least, I’m going to have to remember a lot of information for my exams next week.
I’ve also been meeting regularly with my vocational mentor which I’ve been enjoying. It’s been very helpful for me to ask him about things we talk about in class and reflect practically. It’s one thing to talk about things in the context of a classroom it’s wholly different to put them into practice in the context of pastoral ministry. Questions about worship, theology, doctrine, the Bible and a host of other things. So I’ve been very appreciative of what I’m learning both inside and outside the classroom.
In addition to school responsibilities, Christmas is also in full-swing here. We’ve set up the tree and all the decorations and we’ve done a little shopping. However, Alex’s curiosity has prevented us from placing the present under the tree. I’ve also scooped the sidewalk and put plastic on the windows. Yep, winter has arrived!
Last night, Jessica and Bethany and I went to a production of The Nutcracker performed by the Grand Rapids Ballet Company. I'm not what one would call a connoisseur of the ballet, but I thought it was very well done. But the best part was that Jessica and Bethany thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Zachary is getting older so we decided that he could be left in charge of Alex. He did a superb job.