So we've been in Southern California for about seven weeks now, as I've started seminary at The Master's Seminary. Attending there has been a wonderful time. Classes are great, professors are great, chapels with the students and faculty are great, going to Grace Church is great. It's been really fun.
Classes are indeed a lot of work. I only have classes three days out of the week (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday), but I'm kept busy for what seems like my entire week. In a usual week, I do no work on Saturday or Sunday, but pretty much every other day I'm pretty pressed for any free time. It can get overwhelming, and as a fleshly man, I can complain. But when I think about it rightly, I'm extremely busy doing exactly what I've wanted to be doing for a while now. I'm reading books I've always wanted to read. I'm writing more. I'm studying the Old Testament in depth. I'm learning Hebrew. I'm interacting with other godly young men (the other students) and godly older men who all share a passion for the glory of Christ and for proclaiming that glory to all peoples. God is good to me.
Janna has also been kept busy, for the most part. She's probably not as busy as I am, but she's not far off. She's been looking for a nursing job since we got out here. Early on, that involved researching positions online from different hospitals' websites. Later it involved actually going to those hospitals with her resume and trying to get an interview. As far as a nursing job goes, it's a long story, but because of the amount of experience she got in New Jersey, hospitals want her to start in a new graduate orientation program when she starts at the hospital. Problem is, those are only at certain times of the year (August and February, the times when most graduates graduate). So we're waiting for a nursing job to come in February. Please be praying as you think of it.
In the meantime, she's been interviewing for other part time positions. One thing that looks promising is tutoring K-8 students at Grace Community School. That will provide some income, an opportunity for her to get out of the house, help kids in their school work, and perhaps most importantly create relationships in which Janna can live and proclaim the Gospel to younger children. That's exciting just writing about it. Please pray that that follows through.
So those things have kept her busy. Along with doing the cooking, cleaning, laundry, and other such things, she's not exactly been bored. I thank God for my wife. She's been so faithful and such a servant to me in the last year and three months, and especially so in these last 2 months as we've had to lean on each other pretty hard and pretty exclusively. He who finds a wife finds a good thing.
In light of that I'd appreciate prayer for us in our marriage. Don't worry. We're not on the rocks or anything. I'm just more and more aware of the necessity of shepherding one's family before even supposing to shepherd the house of God (1Tim 3:5), and the reality that the marriage is a prime target of Satan's scheming and of my own selfishness in my flesh. Pray that I'd love my wife as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her. Pray that God would give me the grace to lay down my life in service to my family, and that He would cause me to recognize the distinction between that, and laying down my family's life for my own benefit and ease. Pray that I'd be faithful in sanctifying time for Janna and me to spend together doing fun things, talking, praying, reading together, and enjoying each other and growing with each other.
Pray for my laziness. Man, am I lazy. And I really have no excuse for that; I'm so busy! But my heart is deceitful and desperately wicked (Jer 17:9). I really can tend to be lazy and selfish when I get just the least bit tired, worn out, have a little headache, etc. Pray that God would grant me endurance, fueled by the sight of His glory, that I might run in such a way as to get the prize (1Cor 9:24ff; Phil 3:13-14).
And if I could submit one more prayer request, please pray for us in the area of getting plugged into fellowship and ministry. Grace is huge. They definitely work hard about making it not seem so ominous; they have various fellowship groups, Bible studies, men's and women's groups, and things like that. But the reality is that on Sunday morning there are six to seven thousand people swarming around. Even when you break things up into 2 services, 10 small fellowship groups, each with their pastors, it's big. So we've been going around and visiting different fellowship groups and Bible studies that break out from those fellowship groups and will need to make a decision soon about where to land. We want to be in a place where we'll be discipled and grown, as well as be in a place where we can serve Christ and minister to His body.
And above all things and in all things please pray along with us that Christ will be honored and glorified during our time here. Please pray specifically that He would get what He's worthy of from us, and from all His people. Pray that our hearts would be soft, near the cross, daily amazed at the Gospel, and moment-by-moment delighting in Jesus Christ. Pray that He'd give us eyes to see the Light of the Gospel of the glory of God in the face of Christ, that we might behold His glory and so be transformed into the very image of that glory, and thus be honoring and pleasing to Him.
Thank you all for reading, for praying, for talking with us. If you're back in New Jersey, we miss you, think about you often, and hope to see you soon. Grace be with you all.
The LORD make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace.
- Numbers 6:24-26 -