Theological ThinkTank

Ph.D. Elements

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For those of you who do not know this–getting is Ph.D. in theology is not like getting a PH.D. or Doctorate in medicine. It does take years of clinicals or anything like that. But it definitely takes more than just having the right grades. You have to prove that you know everything about the dissertation you want to write and research. And unlike normal school, where you take “x” classes and they give you “x” degree, you actually study and research things, learn them so you can give that learning to others. (yeah-Knowledge is one of my spiritual gifts, so sue me ūüôā ) So here are the typical items for Ph.D. in theology:

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a) studies in your specific emphasis (i.e. New testament, Old Testament, etc.) — I want to study Old Testament and especially prophets. I do well in this subject, LOVE reading Isaiah (as it jokingly state it solves all the world’s problems) and have always wanted to understand this very unique element of Jewish culture. Also, its story-telling. Which in academic terms is called “narrative theology.” I’m gradually realizing that while others were trained classical and systematically, I was trained to think story-like in my college classes. And that ties in with my love for reading, for language and using meaning with few words, or even no words. Or using words that paint a picture like Hebrew does for me. And it can be intertwined with the elements I love of church work-of liturgy/working with people and hearing their stories and maybe I am called to show how the text interweaves into people’s lives (So at least I got that narrowed down.)

b) a lot of language — I am also not threatened by this…but it is NOT easy. Those with doctorates in biblical languages have studied at least 5 languages. Greek, Hebrew, Latin, German, probably French, and their own language. They have also probably looked at Aramaic, other ancient near east languages in addition to possibly considering Chinese or Korean (since that’s where church is moving.). And you have to have this completed before your dissertation. Luckily, this is something I can work on now without leaving a job. And I love German so I’m exited about this requirement. Probably another confirmation I should be going for this degree.

C) speaking of dissertation…that’s the ending accomplishment that gets published. I actually beg to let me do this. I must be crazy. But it’s not about the title of Ph.D.but all the research and teaching I want to share with others as well as sink deeply into.

D) seeking a phD also requires studying under someone. I have struggled with this because I want to get with someone who is studying my topic but I don’t want to travel far. My husband and I just moved and I don’t want to uproot what we were trying to solidify. Or at least structure a little. Luckily I stared looking at those at Fuller and located someone I really like both as a scholar and an author. So hopefully contacts with that person will beach out into research and a degree. But contact is better than nothing.

I know I didn’t cover even a tenth of everything, but now it’s visible to see how much work and how much trying on God this is going to take. Mostly because again, I don’t know how this is going to work.

Please God help me get this done!

February follies

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Sunday begins a new month-February. A month of jammed holidays-including the candy inducing and card exploding Valentine’s Day, sometimes Chinese New Year, President’s Day and (occasionally) a leap year. ¬†However, the season of lent typically begins this month-with Mardi¬†Gras and Ash Wednesday leading through the Palm Sunday, ¬†the first “last” Supper, Good Friday & Saturday and finally with Amazing Easter!

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February for me starts with some new items on the agenda to go along with lent. ¬†I have decided to dedicate my lenten time to a Truine God by structuring things into three main ideas. ¬†I will be working on my over well-being (which equates to weight loss, feeling whole both spiritually and mentally as well as general overall “goodness” if it can be explained that way.) Here is how its going to look on paper:

1) Weight Loss–work on losing those 10-15 lbs by Easter. Actually, this will go with the original idea of Lent and “giving up” something for Lent. I am contemplating giving up the bad stuff–the highly processed sugar, soda, sugary juice, stuff like that. But i have two weeks to define this. I have also considering see what it is like to go Gluten-Free or Vegetarian (no vegan, sorry-I’m worried about its affects on my medication.) I know several of my friends who are on strict diets and for some reason, acknowledging that they have a dietary restrictions is where I feel I can walk with them for a bit. A few years ago (2013) I decided to go Kosher mostly because of a discussion I had with a messianic Jewish friend. It was not easy. Shawn and I traveled to Walt Disney World and he had reservations at the Seafood Restaurant “The Coral Reef.” We also ate at a fancy French restaurant in Epcot (the little one up the stairs…the expensive one.) Both of these places had a lot of shellfish-something definitely NOT Kosher-and I struggled with picking something that still sounded appetizing yet was appropriate. It gave me new appreciation for that diet. And it helped me eat better. So that’s step one.

I will also be tying in “doing something for others.” A fairly new but definitely appropriate Lenten practice. This may sound silly-but Scout and I started dog training. Yep-you can teach an old dog new tricks. Scout is 5 years old, learning that yipping and jumping in circles is not acceptable behavior and hopefully getting some lessons in manors. This helps everyone, right? (If you have been to my house you may say yes.) I’m also trying to figure out where to get back involved with rescues. And that circles around back to health and walking. I also want to give a little more, pray a little harder, and loves my friends a little deeper. ;-). I also want to be able to stand against wrong doing, love justice and yet know what Gods patience and timing looks like.

2) The next idea is more along the lines personal development. To work on yourself. An idea that Lent is supposed to be a time of self-reflection, spiritually speaking. I want to work in daily readings, studies, something. I have talked about this before, talked about doing it. But suddenly I have an urge to do this. It’s something I would love to practice with any children if we are so blessed to receive any.

The second item is thinking about my career and my life. I love working for Auto Club, but many people know I have a degree in Theology and while it can relate to the world of customer service and insurance, both are not my dual passion. I believe more so that God is calling me somewhere and yet calling me to be the best at whatever job I am in-which he has made clear is currently claims adjusting. Hence why I work hard in insurance. But every time I look at my books, think of my love for theology-i get depressed and go right into the rut I felt before attending seminary. If some of you don’t know–I struggled for close to 2 years on deciding if I should go to seminary and when I should go back. I missed everything about being theological. So my personal goal is to get started on looking at related jobs to this field and what it takes to get there. Thanks to my choir director at church I got a lot of encouragement to start looking and I realize that every position I wanted to apply for requires a Ph.D. (deep sigh). But I will leave that for another blog.

3) the last item is staying connected and devoted. I want to make it to church more often (I live 45 minutes from church so it’s actually a serious commitment.) I wanted to be a perfect attendee but I’m trying one week at a time. Also it’s about attending and prioritizing the right things.

So-its written down.
I am writing parts of this during church but the pastor just mentioned something that I think definitely goes with this whole blog

Jesus is Lord, and i AM all in! I am yours!
He will be your bucket and bring the rope He will give you life!

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Houston, we might have a problem :-)

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So…

 

Among the millions of things I could learn on my own free time…I decided that joining the 21st century and learn CODING

(half of you are thinking “About time!” while the other half are like “what is coding?”)

For those of you in the “what is coding?” category, Coding is the text typed to set up websites, apps, and several items classified under “computer programming.” For websites, coding it the “html” world of typing things with tabs in the text to guide the server what to do.

For the other half of the world–I’m still learning basics. The fact that I’m a girl even attempting to learn this is a¬†HUGE step, let alone¬†wanting to learn it as a girl even a bigger step. Yes-I actually want to get into this, learn how web sites and mobile apps are made and learn more about computer programs to be prepared for the future. And so I can change the color of your computer screen without you know (hehehe…)

Actually–just taking some basic coding classes I have already learned how to make my blog posts look better. Hopefully things will get more exciting when I learn javascript (who knows)

 

 

Message of the Magi

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Last Sunday was the last “official” moment of Christmas. Epiphany Sunday! even though it is two weeks removed from Christmas-I keep all the nativities up in the house despite taking down most of the Christmas decorations.

In relation to the three kings, our pastor talked last Sunday about how the wise men traveled a long journey, following the path begun and lead by God to the miracle that suddenly and profoundly came into the world. He also mentioned about making sure to ask for directions, accept the invitations and keep your eyes open.

Lastly, each wise men brought a gift. They brought a sacrificial gift, giving something of worth for the little baby in the manger.

Express thanks, learn from the wise men to simply worship and praise God.

Yay for 2015!

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Welcome to another New Year!

2 years ago we thought the world was going to end and now we’ve made it to 2015!.

This is an exciting year:

1) Disneyland and Lady and the Tramp turn 60 this year.
2) April turns 10! I never thought I’d own a dog this long by myself. She’s has been my puppy since 3 months and I love that I decided to take her home when I originally went only to get information about dogs from the Humane Society.
3) This will be my first year in a new home. Even though this started in May ’14, it will be the first full year of times away from the things I know best.
4) Extremely excited to be going BACK to Alaska on a Disney cruise! two things i love brought together.
5) We’re trying to get to visit Indiana this year. I have not been to indiana since my grandma died in 2011. I miss my family, friends and my Alma Mater (Go UE!)

I’m going to leave the group at 5 because its 2015. I like keeping with the five theme.