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I have a tendency to not accept good in my life.  I do not think I am alone in this, however…  This is a general statement, but I am thinking specifically of accepting good from others.

One of my friends suggested that women, especially, and myself in particular, are used to being the ones that give.  Receiving puts us in an awkward position because we are not used to it, and it takes the power/control away from us.  We become vulnerable when we allow ourselves to receive instead of/in addition to giving.  And who can deny that it is healthier to be able to both give and to receive?

But there is something in me that does not like receiving, that does not trust it, that feels like it is too good to be true or it will backfire or all sorts of things that could happen.  But if we never risk, we never grow and we never experience.  Who knew that receiving good from others equated taking a risk?

So I’ll remind myself that good is good, and I will work on being okay with accepting it in my life.

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Every time to sit down to write a blog, I realize that all I have to talk about is school-related.  So, frequently, I just don’t.  However, this is where I am in life, so perhaps I should just be okay with writing about my life, instead of trying to make it more interesting.

I’m not used to being so far behind so early on in the semester.  But next week, I have two midterms, a project and an outline due.  I am a little more than halfway done on the project, have a very bare rough draft of my outline and have yet to study at all for my midterms, one of which is in Greek.  Yikes.  Plus, I am helping a friend with a paper he has due next week.  So, add it all together and you can see that my schedule is a bit insane.  These are the times when I question my decision to come to seminary.  And yet, I know that God brought me here and has me here for a reason.  Even in just the friendships I have made, I am so glad I came. 

Now, in a completely unrelated note, you must-must-must check out Wong Fu on YouTube.  One of my friends and I waste copious amounts of time watching their videos, but they are so well done that it is definitely worth every minute.  They are simply amazing.

Today I am downloading itunes.

I never thought I’d do that.  About two years ago, I downloaded itunes to my computer and uploaded my songs to it, twice.  Oops.  I figured I’d just delete itunes and redo the entire process.  However, in the midst of removing itunes from my computer, it woke up viruses I did not know I had.  My computer was never the same.  Now I have a laptop, which I am pretty sure is clean.  However…  I am nervous.  My songs are currently converting to itunes files, and I am waiting with bated breath, hoping nothing goes wrong.

Why the change?  Why after two years of refusing to even consider itunes am I now making the switch?  One of my friends was generous enough to send me his old ipod (I had mentioned I wanted a mp3 player so I could listen to music while working).  So I got the ipod in the mail today, and consequently, am giving into apple.

I am looking forward to having music to keep me company when I clean.

For my Ethics class, we have to write a position paper on a debated ethical issue.  I plan to write against civil disobedience.

Now, I haven’t done my research yet, so don’t jump all over me.  Know that thus far, my argument is in bits and pieces.  Regardless, I don’t see much call in the Bible for civil disobedience.  On the contrary, I see much that speaks against it (excepting, of course, when civil law prohibits one of God’s laws, which would be higher).  I plan on investigating passages such as Romans 13 and Daniel 6.  I want to draw principles from passages such as Jeremiah 29:1-9.  I will look at the life of Jesus, how He came as Messiah versus the Jews’ ideas of what Messiah meant. 

I’m actually really excited to be able to research this topic and to write this paper.  I think it will be fascinating, and I’m curious to see how my ideas about it will hold up under scrutiny.  I have no intention of including feelings on the matter, so just because someone likes an idea, it means nothing to me.  I want to see what the Bible infers about civil disobedience, rather than what we humans think.

A caveat: just because I am against civil disobedience does not mean I am okay with social injustice.  I am entirely for working toward social justice.  I just think that as Christians, we ought to be doing so in a God-honoring way.  So, if God has told us to respect our leaders and to do what our governmental authority tells us, then we should be working with the system in appropriate ways to change it, rather than working against it in inappropriate ways.

I have two seemingly divergent dreams for my life.  This is nothing new, but it feels all the more marked now that I’m at seminary.  One set of dreams is academic and the other is life-oriented.

Now that I’ve been at seminary for a wee bit, I’m already beginning to solidify where I want to take my academics.  I had already decided against theology as a speciality and was waiting to determine between the Old Testament and the New Testament in regard to Biblical Studies.  However, having been here only a month and a half, I can nearly safely say that it looks like I’ll be heading toward NT Studies.  (Unfortunately, I am aware that the NT is not as open as other disciplines, job-wise, but I will ever hope that my gender gives me a leg up.)

I had wanted to give OT a try for my mentor’s sake (not that he asked it of me, but because I have so much respect for him, and he’s an OT scholar).  When I had classes with my mentor, he actually made the OT interesting for me.  However, academically, I have a hard time getting into the OT as a discipline.  There is just something about it… 

The NT, however, seems much more accessible, but perhaps that is merely a by-product of being raised in a NT church.   (For what church is not NT centric nowadays?)  For whatever reason, it just resonates me with more academically.  Interestingly, when it comes to my personal devotion time, I am just as likely, if not more so, to turn to the OT.

Now with all this, I still want to teach, but not just teach.  I want to be able to research, also.  I almost think I’d prefer to just research and write, and not have to teach, but even I recognize that it’s likely not possible, plus life experience will take you farther, in most cases, than research alone can.

However, the other part of me wants the domestic life of which I have always dreamed.  I want a little house somewhere, with a weeping willow in the front yard.  I want my own kitchen, with my own curtains.  I want a husband for whom I can cook dinner.  I want a baby.  (Yes, it’s come back to that, as we all knew it would: it could only be a  matter of time that I could manage to stave off wanting children before it would hit again.)  In other words, I want my own little family to take care of and love and with whom I can live life. 

Incidentally, I no longer think my two dreams are incompatible.  I see it as entirely plausible to have both, just modified slightly from the original versions.  I just hope that I don’t see one dream flourish to the detriment of the other, if indeed I am ever lucky enough to realize both.

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The Apostle Paul has long been my favourite apostle.  His way with words, that he doesn’t pull punches, that he’s simply brilliant…  So organized, so detailed, so wonderful.

Paul keeps me in line, when I’d much rather do my own thing.  Get ready for a rather long scripture:

Romans 12:9-21 “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.  Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.  Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.  Be of the same mind toward one another, do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly.  Do not be wise in your own estimation.  Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. ‘But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in doing so you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Ouch.  That goes against all of my natural inclinations.  The line, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men,” convicted me especially tonight, which is probably good.  I had to humble myself, which I never like, but which I know is for my own good and growth.

In all of life’s circumstances, I know that God is a good God.