Romans 12:21

Well, my assignments and reading for school have pretty much kept me from posting anything new the past few weeks. Also, the past week or two has been pretty this:qabsyvj

We’ve had the crud run through everyone in the house. That’s always fun when I have a new job, Mrs. MMT has a new job, Sprout is potty training, and I’m taking these courses. Oh yeah, and at some point, we’d like to have a life. Oh, also, as I mentioned in my reading challenge, I had requested a number of book from Baker, well, I received three in the mail this week. Good stuff.

I’m kind of freaking out about the amount of stuff I have going on. Then again, when my head stops being a lead balloon, things may not seem so bad. Anyway, that means no book review this week, also, the post is a day late. So, I’m just going to double dip. One of my assignments was to write up a few short thoughts on a verse that has particular meaning to me, so this is what I cam up with –

Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. – Romans 12:21

This is a verse that has been important to me for about the last 10-15 years. There are two parts that get to me. The first part, ‘be not overcome’ addresses a number of circumstances. If you watch the news a great deal, or get involved with ministries to the destitute, sex-trafficking, or refugees, you can feel overwhelmed. I sometimes see so much evil in the world that I just want to stop. I want to withdraw and avoid everything, and it becomes easy to feel like it is just too much, so why bother? I really likely the simple, direct, indicative, ‘be not overcome’.

The second part, ‘overcome evil with good,’ is sort of a launching point to many other aspects of the Bible. It makes me think of other verses, such as: turn the other cheek; the darkness fears the light; if God is for us, who can be against us; pray for your enemies; and basically the entirety of Revelation. There is almost a feeling for triumph with this part of the verse. You know that, long-term, in the end, Good will overcome and evil will be vanquished.

There is a lot of encouragement in the verse. To the first part, it says to me that if we are command not to be overcome, then it is within our ability (or that God will give us the ability) to overcome. That is very freeing, you know that when bad things happen, you will not always be overwhelmed, and eventually, goodness prevails. And it’s that second part that is probably the most encouraging. As I mentioned above, the end is already decided, the outcome is not in doubt; evil will be overcome by good.

It is a great reminder of the sovereignty of God. It give you hope and strength to get through whatever trails you may face. My wife and I actually put this verse up on a chalk board by the door not too long ago. We were part of a church plant that died. There were internal issues that actually lead to a church trial and eventually the defrocking of the pastor as well as the church being removed from the denomination. It was a frustrating and discouraging time for us, so this was a reminder that all we can do is what God has commanded is right, and we know that in the end, all will be restored.

New Direction

As many of you probably know, I have been considering seminary for quite some time. My issue was always, what would I do with a degree, especially the MDiv? People who know me personally know that I would make a pretty poor pastor, and I would be quite bad at preaching. That generally led me to look at some of the other master’s programs, especially from RTS. Well, over the past couple months, I’ve actually been looking into counseling. At first, I was looking locally, at places like Richmont and Mercer, but also found some good programs online, such as the counseling degrees offered by Southern, Midwestern, and Westminster. I was especially keen on Westminster, as I thought it offered one of the best mixes of theology and Bible studies, with counseling coursework. Also, they were launching a new online program that starts this fall.

So, I applied. I didn’t get in for the fall, though I guess I’m technically waitlisted, but I am in for the next time the start matriculation, which will be, at latest, fall of ’18; I’ll know for sure in July. One thing I can do right now is take courses at CCEF that will transfer in when I start the full program. So, I did that, too. As of Jan 18, I will be taking two courses, Dynamics of Biblical Change (basically the intro to Biblical Counseling), and Marriage Counseling.

I am not entirely sure what I am doing with this. A few months ago, I was fully planning on making a career change. However, I’ve recently started a new job. As that plays out, I will see if what I needed was a job change, and not a career change. That would mean this would be more for just some sort of ministry, though I don’t know what form that will take.

Anyway, so that is an update of where I am and what you can expect from this blog over the next few months. I will continue to do book review and to be pretend theologian, but there will also likely be heavy doses of counseling related writings.