My January has been full and bumpy. I think I have the winter blahs and I think I always get them in January. I’m going to have to pay attention next year and see if it happens again. I remember last January was like this. Anyways, I’ve kinda let everything slide, including the blog, of course. I haven;t even been keeping up with all the blogs I normally read. I haven’t even been online like I usually am. I’ve been online, but not really doing anything, I guess. I kinda surf the internet with glazed eyes. I feel like I’m walking around with glazed eyes this month, too. I hope that February gets better.

That’s not what I think I’m going crazy about, though. My hubby started his masters this past September and since then I have been loudly objecting to his suggestions that I do the same. In fact, I think I was objecting more to the voice inside my head than him. He didn’t actually mention it very many times. Well, now I’ve decided that I can do it. If he can do it, I can. And why shouldn’t I? Actually there are lots of reasons I should. His degree will be useless monetarily, while mine would actually get me a decent job so I could pay off all of our student loans (undergrad and grad). At least, hopefully. I am terribly competitive and I guess I have to see that someone else can handle it before I believe I could handle it, too. I did that when we got licensed. I had no plans to do it, but then it just kinda happened! I’m a follower that way I guess.

Another good reason to do it would be that I’m online so much, I may as well have a good reason because that is the only way that I would be willing to go school at this point. Also, I would be getting my degree at just about the perfect time for me to go back to full-time work. It’s a three year degree and I would finish as my youngest completes kindergarten.

I am a little torn as to what my major should be, though. I’d like to complete my graphic design degree. My undergrad was in Christian studies. It was like two half degrees in church planting and graphic design. I transferred a bunch of design classes into my Bible college degree. So, the graphic design side has been pretty useless because I only have some of the knowledge I need and I lack the confidence to try to get a job. I had one interview and I felt so completely lacking, that I never tried again. And it was only at a company that does telephone directories. I need more classes mostly to boost my confidence. However, I would love to do photography. I love photography, but I lack decent equipment. I would have to get the equipment with that degree, though. And it would be loads of fun! I have less chance of a good paying job in my area, though, I think. My last quandry is how to make an art degree fit with my pastoral self. I feel led to do both. I have since I was at Bible college and finally decided on my major there. But, making it fit together and be something that unites my inner self has been difficult. I am passionate about both. Preaching will always be first because I feel a stronger call to that, but design isn’t far behind. I know God wants me to use both for his purposes. I just wish it were all a little clearer.

I’m looking at the Academy of Art University’s online classes. They are located in San Francisco.

Any thoughts?

I feel so special! RevGalBlogPals is a web ring for women ministers. I can’t wait to get to know my fellow ring-mates. I absolutely love that they have a weekly discussion on the lectionary readings. My husband has been following the lectionary for our church service, which means that I follow it, too. It’s great because there are a lot of resources from all of the pastors that use the readings. I like to do my own research and then delve into the great many opinions of others. I look forward to sharing in the conversation the next time I preach (September 30th, I think).

Today I preached on the Sabbath. Following is my sermon outline. I may do another post that more clearly says what I found to be a true Sabbath. We’ll see. 🙂

How do we fulfill the Sabbath?

Date preached: 08/26/07, Sebewaing
RCL Proper 16C
Text: Luke 13:10-17 and Isaiah 58
Subject: How do we fulfill the Sabbath?
Complement: In moderation between legalism and neglect.
Exegetical Idea: The Sabbath was far from what it should have been.
Homiletic Idea: The Sabbath is misunderstood and misused and should be correctly used.
Purpose: Hearers will lose legalistic tendencies and honor the Sabbath.
Type: Deductive, Expository

Songs:

  • Come now is the time to worship
  • Praise ye the Lord
  • O for a thousand tongues
  • Better is one day
  • O worship the king

Prayer
Offering
Announcements
Greeting

  • The family of God

Read Luke 13:10-17

I. What a Sabbath is:

A. A Gift

1 From God to his children

a.) God blessed children with a day of rest

b.) A day that no one could make anyone else work

c.) Mark Buchanan says in The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring the Sabbath,

d.) “God gave us the gift of the Sabbath – not just as a day, but as an orientation, a way of seeing and knowing.”

e.) I learned to join them, the cats in their cradles of sunlight. I curled up or sprawled out beside them and catnapped too. It had a unique power to replenish. Fifteen, twenty minutes later, a shadow like a cool, dry hand edged up my flesh and nudged me awake. I stirred, set up, and went about the rest of my day freshly aware. That image comes to mind when I think of Sabbath; a patch of sunlight falling through a window on a winter’s day. It’s a small yet ample chunk of space, a narrow yet full segment of time. In it, you can lie down and rest. From it, you can rise up and go—stronger, lighter, ready to work again with vigor and a clear mind. It is room enough, time enough, in which to relinquish all encumbrances, to act as though their existence has nothing whatsoever to do with your won. It is an invitation, at one and the same time, to empty yourself and fill yourself.” (Quote found on Biblical Parenting Blog)

2 An outpouring of His love (more…)

The Prayer of JabezI started reading The Prayer of Jabez by Bruce Wilkerson the other day. I have to admit that I tend to shy away from reading or doing things that have gone through a “fad phase”. Sometimes it seems like things get too popular and everyone does something simply because they want to be part of the fad. However, it has been some time since the prayer of Jabez fad and my mom gave me the book and recently suggested again that I read it, so I am.

I am nearly done with it already because it isn’t long. I think I only have one chapter left. My opinion on the book is this: it’s a great prayer and a good practice to pray it. I am enjoying reading the book and praying the prayer. However, I recently preached on the Lord’s Prayer and have been praying that since then. The prayer of Jabez is essentially the same except that it is shorter than the Lord’s Prayer. I think I prefer the Lord’s Prayer actually. It is more focused on God working through you than on God blessing you. God blessing you is a fine thing to pray as illustrated by Bruce Wilkinson’s book, but I think that we all need to focus more on God and stop focusing on ourselves. I think the Lord’s Prayer does a better job of helping me do that. You be the judge for yourself. Try out both. The essential thing for all of us is to seek God and His help and guidance in our lives. We need to be His workforce on Earth.

The Prayer of Jabez: 1 Chronicles 4:10

Oh, that you would bless me
and enlarge my territory!
Let your hand be with me,
and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.

The Lord’s Prayer: Matthew 6:9b-13

Our Father which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Well, I preached on Sunday and I think it went pretty well. My hubby said I only needed to put more feeling into what I was saying. I felt the feeling, but it’s hard to really let it out in front of people and especially people who are just blankly gazing in your general direction. It really helps when people respond with amen and whatnot. A silent crowd is a tough crowd. But I will probably always be working on my delivery. I’m not really that great of a public speaker and I certainly don’t enjoy it. Although, I don’t get too nervous now. I might if it weren’t my own church, though. I don’t know since I haven’t really tried anywhere else.

It was communion Sunday, but I didn’t lead communion. I made a deal with Chris that I would lead communion the next time I am not preaching on communion Sunday. I’ve never done it before, so I know that the prep will be almost like preaching, at least the first time. So I have that to look forward to.

I preach again in three weeks. I’m catching up this summer. I need to preach at least 12 times a year. If I get ordained, it will go up to 15. We only have Sunday morning service because no one will come to any other services. We keep trying, but we end up at the church alone. It’s kind of sad. Anyway, it’s hard for Chris to give up the pulpit because there are so few times he preaches. If he doesn’t preach at least once in three weeks, he starts going crazy. I’m serious. He is NOT fun to be around. So we have to carefully plan when I preach, especially if we have a guest speaker, like a missionary. I preached this week and a missionary is coming Sunday. The Sunday after that is Chris and then me again. That way he should be okay to live with. 🙂 Well, those are my thoughts for the day. Enjoy!