random musings...

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Back to school

Seminary classes start again for me one week from today. Four classes this semester.

People & Faith of Israel II
Systematic Theology
Intro to Pastoral Care
Worship and/as Transformative Art

I hope it will be an interesting semester. Hopefully I can figure out this semester if this is really the path I’m supposed to be on. I’m not at all convinced as of yet. Classes last semester were fun and interesting and I’m missing the good people I’ve met there, but on the other hand I kind of would like to have a normal job again and be earning a paycheck too. Finances are unfortunately going to be a part of upcoming decisions. In any case, though, I think this has been a worthwhile experience.

Finally got grades from last semester and I did pretty good for being back in a formal classroom for the first time in 17 years. I was happy with the results.

A New Year

It’s been a while since I posted anything. Haven’t really been inspired. I’m on break from school until February. I had lots of things I wanted to get done during this time, but I’ve not worked much on the big things. I’ve made some progress on mundane things from my to do list. They seem easier. But, for one, I had wanted to do some writing. It doesn’ t seem to be happening. Maybe I will blog some of the things I wanted to write instead of the more formal way I had wanted. I’m not sure. Nothing will happen until next week because the next couple of my days is booked. Who knows? My frame of mind has not been very good for accomplishing anything of significance. I have nothing legitimate to complain about, really, but I spend too much time worrying about where my life is or isn’t going. It’s tiring, but I haven’t been able to snap out of it totally. Feels all very existential. Seems like I need to focus on something but just can’t find that something. What I’m going to do is take a break from stressing by reading a good fantasy novel just for fun.

First semester reflections

One more essay and my first semester of seminary will be done. It has been a good experience so far. All of the classes were interesting, but especially the Hebrew Bible and Theories of Change classes. I feel like I’ve learned a lot, but I can’t say I’m any closer to knowing where my life is headed 🙂 Although, I am going to do a second semester, at least.

I’m going to do four classes next semester, People and Faith of Israel II, Systematic Theology, Introduction to Pastoral Care, and Worship and/as Transformative Art. I’m hoping the Pastoral Care class will help me discern once and for all whether ministry is for me. Right now, I’m thinking not…

In any case, I’ve got lots to think about… do I stay in school past this next semester? If so, MA or MDiv degrees? Where will my funds come from? What are my ultimate goals? If I don’t stay in school, what do I do then? Look to go back to computer work? In school or not, where will I live, Kalamazoo, Chicago, elsewhere? Lots of questions…

randomness

Some random thoughts…

Political issues of importance… to update my list…

Health care
Peace (as opposed to “defense” or “terrorism”… I’m not a pacifist but we’ve gone way beyond justifiable force…)
Global Warming
GLBT issues (marriage, ENDA, etc.)
Economy

Next… went shopping this morning… I generally don’t go for the after Thanksgiving sales, but $3 DVDs? Had to pick up a few new movies at that price, less than the price of a rental.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, what am I thankful for? Family, friends, … that really seems to be the most important thing in life… which is funny since relationships can often be so difficult.

I also made a facebook page yesterday while procrastinating on a paper I’m supposed to be writing for school. Not sure why I need a facebook page but it seems to be what everyone is doing these days 🙂

The paper I’m writing is on Viktor Frankl. What an incredible man he was. I like a lot of his ideas… they seem very appropriate to my experience of life. I just wish the paper was going faster 🙂 If you don’t know anything about Frankl, go read “Man’s Search For Meaning.” It’s the book he is most known for.

Updates

Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything. School is still going well but has been time consuming. This isn’t going to be a long post either. Just trying to convince myself I haven’t given up yet on the idea of blogging. It’s on my todo list and I even have a list of things I might ramble about… I just have a hard time sitting down and doing it. Kind of like exercise. In theory, a very good idea, but… just doesn’t seem to happen like it should. I have the best intentions but then the end of the day comes along and I still haven’t done it. Hmmm…. oh well, sh*t happens, I guess.

Today’s thoughts

Not much profound to say… I have two papers due this week in addition to all the normal reading. I think I have a handle on it though. It will be interesting to see what kind of grades I get back as these will be the first graded papers I’ve written in at least 17 years… I may or may not report how it works out 🙂

I think my life directions are going to become more clear as the semester goes on. I’m loving the theological aspects of classes. I’m not feeling particularly drawn to parish ministry, though. Although I like worship and spiritual formation type issues, there are other important aspects to ministry (such as pastoral care) that I don’t feel particularly called to or gifted in. What that means long term, I’m not sure.

I’m probably repeating myself, but it is an ongoing question in my mind… I’m not sure anyone is reading this anyway 🙂

I’m not even sure what the purpose of this blog is at the moment 🙂 Seems like I should be able to put something interesting down here but I haven’t had much to think about this week except school work. Anyone want to hear about Sabellianism and Arianism? Didn’t think so. That was one of my paper topics. The other is thoughts on parallels between the Hebrew Bible and other ancient texts. An example of a parallel might be commonalities between biblical stories about Moses’ birth and stories about the birth of some ancient king. What might that mean to Christianity and Biblical interpretation, etc. Interesting stuff, to me, anyway.

Back to the grind

Back to Chicago tomorrow… I really don’t have anything to write at the moment, but I kind of feel like if I’m going to journal/blog on here, then I need to do something regularly… It’s been a blah week… too much worrying about life (and the meaning thereof), school work, money, etc. and not enough actually doing what I need to be doing, which is reading and research for a couple of papers due next week. Not to mention the time I should be spending on my spiritual life, including the shamanic healing methods workshop I’m taking. Too much to do and too much to worry about… Oh well, no time for that tomorrow as the day is booked with travel and classes…

Week 4 of seminary

Tomorrow is week 4 of seminary… the long commute is wearing a little. I’m gone from 6 am until 9:30 pm. I don’t really want to move to Chicago, though. It’s too early to decide anything about what happens after this semester.

Been feeling kind of run down today. I think that’s because I started a training workshop on shamanic healing methods this last weekend which went from about 9:30 in the morning until 5 pm with an hour drive each way to get there and home. I know that put me behind in my reading for CTS classes tomorrow. The shamanic healing class will be pretty interesting though. It was a good start, it just wiped me out mentally. The class goes one or two days a month through May. Maybe sometime I’ll write more about the shamanic practices I’m learning. I’m not sure I feel up to it at the moment though.

Baseball season is about over, at least for the Tigers. Already thinking about next season… they have some needs to fill so it should be an interesting off season.

Week 2 of seminary

Two weeks of seminary classes done… I’m enjoying the classes so far. The Hebrew Bible class is interesting and the History of Christian Thought class is, well, history… 🙂 The Theories of Change class has really piqued my interest though, at least for the moment. Our first assigned reading is sections about Mircea Eliade from the book “The Archetype of Initiation” by Robert L. Moore (disclaimer: Moore is also the professor teaching this class). The readings discuss the creation of transforming sacred space and the need for rituals and ritual leaders. I find this fascinating as a way of answering the question of how does humankind find the divine. It makes one think about what Christian worship services could be but often aren’t: a way of meeting the divine to transform ourselves into beings meeting our full potential. Or at least beings on the path to living out our full potential… Eventually, I want to go back and read this entire book. This may be a topic that helps clarify where I’m going on my own life journey. We shall see…

I see my interest in shamanistic practices in this same vein… practices which can be used to connect with the divine in a transforming way. I’ve signed up for some advanced training in shamanic healing methods and I’m getting excited about it. How can I use this to transform and heal myself, others, and the natural world? How can this be integrated into my journey along the path of the Christian tradition? I think these are exciting questions!

First week of school

Well, I’m about to begin the second week of my seminary experience. First impressions… lots of reading, lots of papers, and really long days commuting to Chicago. I’m not sure how I’m going to get all the reading done. Hopefully, I can figure out what to skip or how to skim through it faster. I normally tend to read slowly, though, wanting to catch every word. Right now, I’m just trying to get through it. I’m not sure I’m really retaining that much. Of course, it doesn’t help when after a half hour of reading I get an overwhelming urge to nap 🙂

It’s Sunday already and I still have some reading left and a paper to write for Tuesday… I have tomorrow free to work on it, but I’ve got things to do today. I’m sure glad I don’t have a job at the moment. I sure don’t see how people can manage working and school at the same time, although from a practical standpoint I’ll probably eventually have to figure that out too.

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