Why Seminary?

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I had been wrestling with the idea of attending seminary for six years. Growing up in the Korean American church, seminary seemed to be a male-oriented endeavor. I made excuses, telling myself that education would be a better career path because that’s what my female peers studied. In retrospect, I believe my reluctance, in part, was due to a lack of female leaders in the church who I had witnessed on a similar path to seminary.

Consumed with Longing

No matter how many times I ran from the desire, it wouldn’t let up. The conviction to study His Word kept nagging at me constantly. In July of 2016, God shook me awake. I was on the train to the city, dreading the work day ahead. I could feel scales growing over my spiritual eyes; I didn’t like where I was headed. I began to read the Word for some guidance and focused in on Psalm 119. As the psalmist writes in Psalm 119:20, I wanted my “soul [to be] consumed with longing for [His] rules at all times.”

I began to weep. Where was my desire for Him? Where was my love for His commandments? Where was my love for His sheep? I asked Him, “Put me in a place where I will be consuming your Word at all times, Lord.” In just a few moments, the Spirit strengthened me to turn away from my complacent and temporal lifestyle and start taking real steps towards Him. My dead heart was revived to beat and burn with passion for His Word again. I quit my job that week, and He provided me with a new job in a Christian ministry. And finally, with encouragement and whole-hearted support from my husband, I took the leap.

The Decision

I applied for the MA in Theological Studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and by God’s grace, I got in! I know it’ll be a financial burden on my family, and the intellectual muscles that had atrophied since 2012 will suddenly need to be stretched and challenged. I’m already feeling the weight of the upcoming late nights of essays and readings while working a full-time teaching job. My need for the Lord is never-ceasing and ever-growing, and I imagine as God continues to reveal Himself to me, I’ll become smaller and smaller in the light of His greatness, strength, and glory. And what a blessed place to be!

The application to Trinity was a mixture of faith and hope as I looked across the landscape of church leadership and rarely saw someone like me. My hope is that my contribution to the church community will be through the eyes of a girl who mustered up enough faith to obey the Lord. Despite my insecurity and lack of mentors in this area, I hope to learn through my studies as well as disciple and lead the next generation of female worshipers.

Tab

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“Singing Christmas: What Child Is This?” at Harvest Bible Chapel (Elgin Campus)

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Yesterday, Witness and I attended the 11 am service at Harvest Bible Chapel (HBC). It was the first of the HBC Advent services. The worship team added about seven drummer boys from Harvest Christian Academy (the church’s school), so the steady beat of the drums made me excited to usher in the spirit of Christ’s birth. I was happy to see generations of faith playing on stage together. It was relevant and cool, not just the separate children’s choir or orchestra that performs at every special church occasion.  I was so inspired by the worship. From traveling and visiting many different churches, it was such a blessing to see old songs become fresh and new. Meredith Andrews sang “Not For a Moment” with lyrics focused on Christmas. Instead of the normal lyrics of repentance and human emotions, we were suddenly transported to the backdrop of Middle Eastern shepherds, flocks, and angels singing over the birth of Christ. Whoever changed the lyrics did an absolutely brilliant job. It was effortless and truly amazing! I didn’t realize that such a simple change could make such a huge and refreshing impact. Loved it.

This particular service was the intro to the “Singing Christmas” series. James Macdonald hit it spot on with his first sermon. He first warned us to caution, stating that he’d be preaching off of Christmas carols… and before the naysayers could moan about the “Biblelessness” of certain churches, he assured us that the songs he’d be focusing on would be biblical and truth. As I’ve stated before in my Step 1 post, I like that Macdonald lectures as if he’s a classroom teacher, probably because that’s how I teach too. He’ll use relevant topics, like Christmas carols, Elf on the Shelf, video testimonies, and even his own grandson to illustrate the majesty of Christ coming to earth. He concluded with the conclusion of all conclusions, the worship and adoration of our Gracious and Majestic King. It was a Christmas message within the relevance of the 21st century, and one that I won’t easily forget. “What Child Is This?” by William Chatterton Dix will continually be a Gospel reminder for Christian families and holiday shoppers to come.

When the service ended, Witness and I checked out the Harvest Christian Academy (HCA) corner where we were able to meet Marc Abbatacola, the executive director of HCA. He was so very kind, friendly, and down to earth. I’m hoping to get connected to the right people so that I can join the sub list.

That was our fourth Sunday at Harvest Bible Chapel… and I think it’s beginning to grow on me. Once we join small groups come January, I think we’ll be able to tell whether or not we’re going to fully commit to growing with this awesome church. Thanks for joining us onpagetwo! Let us know what you thought of the post!

With Love,

Tabitha