An Update, My Complex, and Our Fellowship
Lately there have been lots of days where it feels like every minute is filled to the brim with the schedules of work, softball, t-ball, dance, class, etc.. I could go on. Sound familiar?
I know I’m not the only one who has a full calendar in May, which is why my friends and I are frequently sharing a knowing smile as we pass by on our way to the next event. Conversations with my husband are scarce, and my youngest is starting to complain about the lack of “just you and me time.”
It’s really not as bad as it could be. We are healthy and the kids are overall enjoying their activities. I love the class I’m in and I’m subbing full-time till the end of the school year which will help pay some bills this summer. I don’t feel like we’ve over-committed there just isn’t room for much more.
Because of all this, the blog and podcast have frankly gotten the short end of the stick. When my evenings are as full as my days I’m left with no room for editing or even much time for thorough pondering. (Don’t underestimate the value of pondering time.) As usual, with my busy schedule comes all sorts of ideas I have for writing and creating, but very little time to execute.
Promoting a blog and a podcast always comes with a fair share of awkwardness, and my intermittent presence seems to call for explanation: also awkward. Still, I’m bulldozing past the awkwardness to offer a quick update on what’s going on around here.
In addition to being a mom and trying to work more hours for the good of the family budget, I’ve decided to pursue a Master of Theology with The American Association of Lutheran Churches. I’ve been drawn to this confessional body for multiple reasons not the least of which are their efforts toward a balanced approach of Law and Gospel, the compassionate language their leaders use when speaking of the lost, and the ease of accessibility to their online seminary. I’ll be applying for acceptance into their Deaconess program and officially starting this fall. (Unless I decide to take Greek this summer in which case I will need your powerful prayers sooner!)
Unfortunately this isn’t one of those degrees you get that sounds SUPER practical. And since I live in Practical-ville, USA, everyone is like, “So wait, what are you going to do with that?” Sigh.
Aside from my potential future usefulness as a Deaconess, my more immediate goals are to become a more qualified and credible speaker and writer. If my intentions are to point women to the Truth, I need to be sure that I’ve done everything I can to get the Truth right. Education seems like the best route to achieve that. And with my background in English education, I’d like to think I might at some point work in the field of editing. Bottom line is I believe this will enable me to serve better, and there is potential for possible employment.
Honestly, at this point I’m just trying to ignore the raised eyebrows from the German show-me-the-paycheck work ethic that makes-up the local culture I live in.
All of that said, I don’t intend to take time off from the ministry I’ve tried to create. The last month or two the podcast has been spotty at best, but I’m hoping to get things rolling again. Every time I wonder if it’s worth messing with, I get a message from a listener sharing their appreciation for my content. So that’s pretty awesome.
Before I sign off for today, I want to share a little of what I’ve learned lately. Even though I’m not officially a student yet, I was able to sign up to audit a class this spring. (Mostly I wanted to see if I was getting in over my head or not.) The class is all about where the AALC comes from, a long history despite the young age of the association. Their roots go back to the ALC and Iowa and Ohio Synods of early American Lutheranism. Turns out there is much to be gained from taking a close look at relations and behavior in these early confessional bodies.
One very practical thing revealed over and over, is the power of fellowship. As we all know, often church bodies are led and their paths steered by academics who are hammering out the details of theology and dogmatics. As a result, much discussion and position-taking is done via journals and writings published. When ideas are tossed about but human relationships and conversation are missing, there is minimal unity of congregations, church bodies, and federations.
Instead when people sit down with one another to discuss these ideas and the context for their fears, hopes, and decisions – believers find unity in Christ. It’s not foolproof for building a physical church, nor does it mean everyone throws their doctrine out the window so that they can build something built solely on agreement.
But this is what’s great about social media. It allows people to find connections with other believers. Sure you can use social media to filter out all those you disagree with. Or instead you can seek out dialogue with others who believe Jesus is their Savior and are sorting through the chaos of real life just like you are.
Understanding what we believe and where we stand is vital. But being part of the larger community of faith – recognizing a Spiritual unity we have with other believers – is a gift and privilege we might be overlooking.
I know I was.
Consider reading John 17 and reflecting on the oneness of the Trinity as well as the oneness Jesus prayed for concerning His children.