The Student’s Desk

That we may know Christ

The Student’s Desk Newsletter – December 2009

I am very glad to get to the end of another year, and for once my final exams could not come quick enough. And I truly am amazed and what I’ve managed to cram into my head! I just hope it all doesn’t fall back out over summer. I’ll need it for next year.

This past semester I studied Homiletics (or preaching), and the second half of the Greek course. Greek was particularly challenging as the pace was really ramped up. It seemed we had to learn three times as much material compared to the first semester. Most of it was variants of what we had already learned (supposedly!). At least I had my study methods worked out, and I was able to get to work on it straight away.

Homiletics was a very interesting and exciting subject to study. Though I must admit, I was expecting a semester of being told how to suck eggs! I thought, “I know how to preach. I’ve been preaching for years!” About the third week into the semester I realised, I didn’t have a clue when it came to preaching! I had always struggled to make my talks relevant to the people listening. But the method we learned of witting a talk helped me a great deal to make my talks relevant, and I put it into practice straight away with my talks at the Allambie Heights Spastic Centre. Part of the assessment involved preaching three sermons. I was very interested to see where this would end up given my communication difficulties. Nonetheless, my sermons were very well received, encouraging comments were made, and my results were much better then expected.

Another important discovery was mind mapping software. This allows me to jot down ideas and link them to other ideas. This way I can quickly put all my thoughts down on a given subject and the write the essay or talk once all my thoughts are clearly laid out. I have found it very helpful for writing talks, and should be even more helpful in writing lengthy essays.

Life Beyond the Theology Books

Church services at the Allambie Heights Spastic Centre are still going on strong. Some people have left, others have come, and I still get around 10 people coming along. We have continued looking at the miracles of Jesus, and I, personally, have been enthralled by the biblical presentation of Jesus in contrast to the popular sensationalist ideas that tend to float about our modern society. Jesus just did not fit in to his own time and culture, and was really quite controversial. The reason for this was he was bringing in the Kingdom of God with values that were very different to the culture of his day, and even our culture. I hope some of my excitement has rubbed off on the people there as we’ve talked about the miracles of Jesus.

One thing I am growing more aware of is I’m not only ministering to people with disabilities, I’m also ministering to people who are aging. So it is sad to see people who I once communicated with fluently, now struggling to hear or comprehend anything that is said. Still, it’s always encouraging to see the come along. We recently had our Christmas service, which was again enjoyed by all who came. I also am very grateful to those who help me put the service together. The job seems to get bigger each year, and having the right people on the day makes a big difference.

Well, now that I’ve done 1 year of Greek, what else does one do other than another year of Greek? Seriously! Next year I’ll be doing Intermediate Greek which looks at how the language is actually used, along with canonical issues (that is, why we have the books in the Bible that we have); and Romans which will be looking at what the book is all about, except I’ll be doing it, you guest it, in Greek! I’ve already been introduced to one of the debates that goes on which has left me confused, so I should be in for a fun year! So to prevent all my Greek from falling out of my head before then, I’ve decided to start translation Romans over the Christmas break.

The really good part is I’m getting closer to the end of my degree. From what I can work out, I’ve only got a few years to go, which in my time frame isn’t that long. That’s if I study the Hebrew language as well, which I’m still very keen to do.

There is still no clear direction on what I’ll be doing after my studies, so now is the time to start thinking seriously about this, and praying for opportunities so I can get the right training now when it’s available.

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December 17, 2009 - Posted by | Newsletters, Site News

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