Sunday, March 20, 2016

The New Pick

Good evening friends! I'm writing at the end of another full weekend. It was particularly full because yesterday I finished working my way through the "no-cost, no-credit" introductory series of on-line courses offered by Grace Communion Seminary. Now I am looking forward to doing more, but I need to wait. Other things need to be done too.

Tomorrow I'll start the new "pick" at Metro Transit. This means all us drivers have new routes, and new routes mean I'll be driving with a list of left and right turns in my hand. Toni asked me how long it takes until I don't need to look at the list anymore, and I said it would probably be about 3 days.

All of us make choices every day. Sometimes we're not aware of it. Sometimes we're driven along by habitual patterns of thought and action--but even then the truth is that we are free to choose. We don't need to do the same things this week as we did the week before. We can change. (Jesus makes that absolutely true.)

My choice to take courses at "GCS" might be seen as a pretty radical change. Most of the formal theological study I've done before as been connected with the Lutheran Church. There was a major change for me in terms of denominational life a few years ago, and in 2011 I began serving a non-denominational church. If you have followed this blog, or have known me, you know something about that. I still value many good things about Lutheran teachings, and I still have many personal connections with Lutherans, but I'm less certain that "Lutheranism" as a whole best represents the Lord Jesus. So I've been looking around at other fellowships, and the deeply Christ-Centered "incarnational trinitarian theology" of Grace Communion International seems pretty on target to me.

But the truth is, because I'm not employed by a church right now, I don't need to leap in all at once. I've inquired about two other courses at GCS... one that begins formally on May 9... I'm waiting to hear about the other. As I took the "no-cost, no-credit" introductory courses I read slowly and carefully, making notes and writing out questions that I need to get answered. I don't want to take a big leap unless I'm pretty sure that God is in it. And that will take awhile for me to discern.

If you have any interest in learning about this "new pick" in regard to theological study, I'd love to talk with you. Drop me a line or give me a call so we can talk. I'd love to have company on this journey. As the Grace Communion Seminary Course on "Better Bible Study" says:
"... Scripture should be studied in the context of a community of believers. We are not all Lone Rangers. We admit that others have gone before us, have studied these same things, with just as much prayer and often a lot more expertise, and we cannot simply disregard all their work. God’s Spirit works in other people as well as in ourselves, and we have to at least consider their work to see if it is coherent with what we see in the Scriptures.

"... We also need to consider the present context... that we are in a community of believers. Does our understanding of the Bible make sense to them? Are we getting positive feedback, or negative feedback, from our spiritual peers? No matter how much work we put into our study, we need a little humility about our results..."
If you can't join me in this study, at least hold me in prayer.

I'd also love to have you ride with me on one of my routes. Let me know if you can and I'll let you know where and when to catch me on the 118, 10, 59 or 9, sometime before the middle of June, when we start another new pick.

Thank you, and God bless you now and forever, in Jesus' name.

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