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Round 2

Tomorrow morning at 8:00am marks round two of graduate school. We'll start with an appetizer of Biblical Exegesis for a week, then proceed to the main course of Advanced Introduction to New Testament, Leading Transformation in Churches, Healthcare Ministry, and Supervised Practice of Ministry II. This will be followed by a delicious desert of writings for Exegesis, plus a healthy dose of research for NT. Interspersed will be tasty nuggets of Hospital Chaplaincy. Of course, there will be the usual diet of LIFE Group ministry leading, my own small group, campus ministry events, hanging out, bike riding, mentoring group, and who knows what else.

I am particularly anticipating Healthcare Ministry, because this is something that will definitely force me out of my box a little more because I will be perfoming chaplain duties at Hendrick Medical Center for two hours every week. I'm looking forward to adding more tools and experience on relating with random people. Being the introvert that I am, I'm very close to the people I'm close to, but don't generally make a habit of jumping right into the lives of people on first contact. This will be especially challenging because these will be people suffering in many ways that I do not understand. Another selfish benefit to me is that this counts towards the required internship for the graduate program, and I'm glad I won't be under the thumb of the grad school during any of my summers.

Speaking of being under the thumb of the grad school, I'm convincing myself more and more all the time to switch to the MACM degree. I'm going to give myself one more semester under the M.Div, but I'm already preparing a written list in my head of the reasons I should change. Some of them are practical-based, such as money, but many are the result of a continuing examination of what my thoughts and directions really are concerning something like grad school and my chosen direction of campus ministry. But this whole process is under constant prayer, so anything could happen at anytime. God knows the way, I'm just constantly working on the faith to take whatever the right next step is.

Now for the vague confessions. There are some things I am simply confused about right now. Very specific things. Hopefully these things will find some clarity over the next several days and some kind of course will be charted based on whatever comes of them. I'll say this though - God has gotten very good at writing interesting stories with our lives. Take my word - he can change your life in a day. If you don't think you have any interesting stories, then you need to either reexamine your life, or pray and wait. It will come. God is really good at irony. One tip - don't always disregard fortune cookies - they may be a message from God in disguise.


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