Saturday, June 30, 2012

In which it is 108 degrees

Yesterday was HOT. Today will be HOT. But the beauty of the modern age is air conditioning. I can't imagine living here before that! We were supposed to be going canoeing today (Saturday) but decided to postpone it to a day that isn't so hot - our teacher was worried it might be too hot and could be dangerous to be outside for so many hours. 

First off, I got to talk to Jenna yesterday via skype. I miss her a lot and it was great to really talk. We check in on WhatsApp most days but video chat is so much better. And it meant I got to see little Austie who was being adorable. He was mostly excited to see Uncle Paul and was very vocal about letting us know! I miss my sister and her boys a lot - so it was a great treat. 

Friday ended up being a half day - but it was a surprise! After we finished our lunchtime session he let us out! It was awesome. The week had been full with large debates about predestination - Calvinism verses Arminianism. These might sound like just theological boring things, but in actuality, what you believe about these things takes on big concepts. The major one to wrestle through is either "everyone has a choice to follow God through His grace when they hear the gospel, though to not chose God leads to hell" or "some are predestined or pre elected for salvation, conversely meaning that some are predestined for hell". These are tricky things to wade through - and each side has hard things to cover. Both choices fall within the doctrines of christianity - so neither side would be considered heresy, or make you outside of the faith (doctrinally) but they impact how you do life and ministry - they are huge motivators. At the end of the day, no matter which side each of us classmates fell on (and I think we're all still prepared to have these opinions changed over the years) we need to have an understanding of God that realizes He is sooo much bigger than us. Sometimes we fall into the trap of trying to understand everything about Him - as if that were even possible! One of the girls in the class, Abigail, gave a great illusion of this - she describes each of us as a pop can  - and we're filled right up with water, floating in a vast ocean. We're full with everything we can understand, but we're in this ocean that is God - who has so much more knowledge. It's un realistic to think that popcan can know or understand the sea around it. 

We covered an hour of Essential Doctrines (finishing our notes on this topic), an hour of talking through the introduction to Tim Kellers book "The Reason for God" (more on this later) and an hour of Gregg Tipton talking us through one verse evangelism - basically that's a way to explain the gospel through one bible verse. It is simple and helps you to tell the points well. Very helpful!

After Paul let us out a group of us went to O'Charley's for lunch. I was over the moon. When  Morgan and I were in Nashville four years ago we ate at O'Charley's and I fell in love with it. I'd go as often as I could. So the chance to eat there again - unlimited sweet rolls and all - was a prize!

And the company was also lovely. 
At our table was me, Paul, Sherwine, Kika and Will.
It made for some excellent conversation. 

There were two other tables of classmates as well. 

We are a happy bunch of people.

It's great to see the camaraderie that is in place in this class and the friendships! When I was at the school 4 years ago there were 12 of us, but we were a more separate class. There was a camaraderie that comes from spending 7 hours together a day, but outside of that there weren't that many deep friendships and we didn't spend a lot of time together outside of class. This class is filled with potential friends and I LOVE that. 

Oh and on Wednesdays the women get together over lunchtime for a womens sessions. We have different EveryNation female leaders come in and talk to us. It's a great time. The first week we had Debbie Austin from Every Nation in Florida come to speak to us. Her husband had spoken to us during a day sessions, so it was great to hear from her. The next week we did a get to know you week amongst our class and this last session we had 3 different women in ministry from around the Nashville area come talk to us about ministry between cultures - african american with caucasian american, and international students, etc. It was a great session. 

This is us with the panel.

After lunch we were asked if some of the guys wouldn't mind going to help the new National Director for Campus Ministry (Nick Jones) move here. He's just transitioning with his wife and three kids from North Carolina, at East Carolina University. It's a big move and there was lots to do! Nick has been in our classroom for the last while, and will be with us all summer. Part of his job will be helping lead us in the school, so he can get to know and shape new Campus Ministers before they head out. 

Since my husband is the biggest of all, we headed over to help. There was only one other girl helping, Victoria, and she was there since Nick and his wife, Heather, had lead Victoria's campus ministry back home (she's from ECU as well). They have a great new house and it was fun to help load them in - Victoria and I were in charge of making the kids beds - their baby daughter has a very sweet green, white and pink room and the boys have a great purple and grey room - in East Carolina University Pirate theme (I'll be honest, I was surprised that a school with a pirate mascot,  had the colours of purple, grey and yellow - but hey, what do I know). We got to meet Heather - she arrived later in the afternoon. I really enjoyed meeting her - she was sweet, kind, funny and very easy going - as a bunch of us opened boxes and trampled through her new house!

Though we are used to helping people move, this was definitely the first time we've helped people move in 108 degree (or 42 degrees for you canadians) weather. It was HOT. CRAZY hot. After we were done helping we drove straight home and basically dove into the pool. Well we stopped to put on swimsuits but we hit the water pretty immediately. 

It was a very relaxing night. I skyped with Jenna, had a long bath and read a great book. Paul got ready for an early morning fishing trip and caught up on some Stargate Atlantis. It was a perfect evening. 

Lunch had been so filled at O Charley's that I didn't get hungry until almost 10 at night - so I picked a terrible for me, but oh so tasty meal of some Nachos with sour cream and salsa mixed together and a Corona, Ole! It was a great choice. 

This is the outside area to our house - it's beautiful - we immediately set our camping chairs up in there. The only thing is that it's so hot (it's outside - though it's totally open to air) you can only really sit there at like 6am, haha. I woke up at 9am this morning and popped my head out there and man - already very hot!

Today Paul got up bright and early to go fishing while it was still "cool" (being a relative term that means not hot). He was heading off with one of the guys from the Every Nation Office - DeNail Sparks. DeNail is the face of the MPD training (support raising) here in Nashville - he does the training that both Paul and I have gone through. He does an amazing job of the training and I really enjoy how he teaches. I heard him 4 and a half years ago in Nashville, and Paul learned from him two Easters ago in Buffalo, NY. Paul is so excited to go fishing with a local! I'm expecting him home in the next few hours as the heat will eventually drive them in - So far it's only 93 here but is supposed to hit 106. 

Our plan for the day is simple - we both have to preach a 6 minute sermon this next week - and most likely we'll be doing that on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. You'll never know for sure which day - other than you know the order you've been drawn. So we need to be ready any time. So we will be spending the day studying and reviewing for the tests and memorization, working on our sermons, and trying to get ahead on homework. We will also be laying in the sun, and swimming in the pool. Some classmates may join us. We might head into town for a CD release party through someone at EN but we also may be lazy and stay here. The world is our oyster. 

I'm still torn on what to preach on. It's important that the message we share be easy to follow and concise. We need to have a gospel centered message (meaning that it is about God's power changing our lives, and not just more moralistic rules to follow). We should have a single concise statement to ease memory and understanding. We should use illustrations throughout our talk and be authentic and honest. Phew. 

I decided to follow my friend Laura's advice and poll some people in the class regarding what I should talk on. They all picked my community topic. Paul helped me see how it can be geared around the bible, and how practically I can make it a gospel centered message. I'm leaning towards this one. 

However I'm always passionate to talk about dealing with insecurity and anxiety and there's something awesome about preaching a power message letting people know that God has the power for them to move forward in these areas. But then again, I love to talk on community. But community is hard if God isn't first transforming your insecurities and anxieties. But He often uses community to do to me these are like me three banner topics that I care about. Yikes!

Alright, I guess on that note I should take my tea and my bible and start to see if maybe God has an opinion on what I should preach to His people about, haha. You know, just maybe. And then on to the studying!

Edited to Add: Paul just came home from fishing and he was over the moon. Pumped.

He caught a bunch of fish and brought home three, one of them quite big! He's gutting and cleaning them out now. It's the one time he's excited to jump into the kitchen and get to work. 

All the fish that Paul and his fishing buddies caught
8 kids and four adults. 
Paul's is that big one!

Now that's a happy Paul!

1 comment:

LeAnna et David said...

I think when we lived in Toronto the humidity pushed the temperature up to 40 for a couple of days. Fortunately I have blanked them from my memory. I'm really glad you have AC and a pool.


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