I want my first post to be somewhat introductory, but also not lacking the substance of what this blog page will be about. So I want to share a little of my journey (cliff notes only), and then some Scripture.
I was born into and raised by parents of faith. In spite of early turbulence in life due to the break up of my parents, being raised by a single parent until my mother remarried when I was 5, my mother and dad made it a priority to be in church. I was raised in Pentecostal doctrine, and among charismatic families and friends. I spent all my time, except for one semester, in a Christian school. Due to the time my mother sacrificed, the first school I attended (Kindergarten – 5th grade) allowed my siblings and I to attend free of tuition. I wasn’t the best student, but I benefited from a great system of education that focused on the needs of each individual student, and taught us how to read, and how to learn.
This system continued in the next school I attended (from 6th-Graduation) as the curriculum was the same and the focus was just as good. I got involved in sports here and graduated salutatorian (class of 2)! Church twice on Sunday, chapel on Wednesdays in school and church on Wednesday nights. I spent my whole life learning about the Scripture.
“So keep the words of this covenant to do them, that you may prosper in all that you do.” – Deuteronomy 29:9
I’m 35 now and decided to go back to school to get a bachelor’s degree in…something…anything (accounting). I have been married for almost 8 years and have a 1 and a half year old son. After working many different kinds of jobs, never feeling purpose or fulfillment in the work I did, after 2 years of studies in the Accounting track, I felt like a voice in my heart telling me I was walking down the wrong path. I was pursuing the wrong calling for me. I realized that after volunteering half my life in worship leadership and living all my life near Scripture and believers, I realized that was what I NEEDED to pursue.
But there’s a catch. I didn’t feel like I knew very much about the Scriptures or their purpose. I’ve heard message after message preached about virtually every sought after answer in the Bible, and had simply taken what I was told at face value, never really digging deeper. So I changed my major to Biblical Studies and Ministry. Mostly so I can continue in worship leadership all my life, but more so I can really learn what is in the Bible. And why.
Proverbs 22:6 says “Train up a child in the way he SHOULD go. Even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
I am so thankful that my parents, even though we had some friction, never compromised the value they placed on me, as a person, and on my knowledge of the ways of God. I am thankful that they put me in touch with people who made it their life’s work to teach math, English, Spanish, science, word structure all in the context of the Gospel. I hope I am as dedicated to the life of my child and those placed in my path as they were.
Needless to say, I am biased. I have been raised as a minister. I didn’t choose how my parents would raise me, but I chose this part of my life, because they taught me what is good, and I want that. And that’s OK. It isn’t unfair, and it isn’t politically balanced or socially unsalted porridge. It is steak, peas, potatoes, carrots, gravy…and sweet iced tea.
In my studies, I come across stories and Scriptures many times, and now they mean so much more. I believe them. With all my heart. But that isn’t enough.
“But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves” – James 1:22
James goes on to teach: 23 “For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; 24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. 25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.”
The word translated as effectual here is the Greek word er’gon. We hear words used based on this word like: Ergonomics, which is the study of people’s efficiency in their working environment. In this Scripture, it most likely means an act, deed, thing done: the idea of working is emphasized in opposition to that which is less than work (Strong’s G2041-3).
My prayer is that as we grow in maturity, we begin to understand what Scripture asks us to do. And I love pastors, but please study what they teach, don’t just hear it. Do it also.
God bless you and your family.
EDIT: I have since graduated from LeTourneau University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biblical Studies and Ministry as of August, 2016! Hallelujah!