Blog Bytes

March 25, 2007 at 11:05 am (Personal)

I thought since I haven’t posted in just about a month now, it’s about time for me to say something about what’s been going on in my life and brain for the past month.

New Hampshire
We made a trip to New Hampshire for Calvin to interview at a church for a possible Director of Youth Ministry position. It was a fun but exhausting weekend, and are waiting to hear back on a yes or no. This has occupied much of our thoughts, as we have decided that we would like to take the position (by we I mean him, of course!) if they offer it to him.

Seminary Preparations
We continue to prepare for seminary, mostly getting financial aid in order, hoping that they are smart enough to see that yes we really will be in need this coming year, and what we made last year really has absolutely nothing to do with paying tuition next year while we are barely scraping by! I am very much hoping that they will understand this basic principle, even if the federal government does not, because I very much want their Team Ministry Grant, which basically means I can go to seminary tuition free (2 for 1 deal)! What a blessing this would be once we are done…

Mandy Jumps Outside Her Box
After Calvin convinced me that it would be good for me, I agreed to become part of a podcast group/team/thing for www.crosspointings.org and after many weeks of putting it off I finally actually did it. So it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, and actually it was kinda fun, and I’m (okay Calvin you were right) glad I did it and will continue to be a part of this thingamajig, if only to stretch myself. (After all, I do intend on teaching…!) I don’t know if I contributed as much as the others did (sorry!), but if any of you people who know me in “real life” are reading this, you know this isn’t something I’d typically do! And for those of you who don’t know me in “real life”…my “box” is introverted and very shy in new situations. And I don’t talk very much until I’m comfortable. (And then I can be quite talkative…and maybe a little weird…but that’s besides the point) Anyways, to make a long story short, if you want to hear what I actually said (which wasn’t a whole lot, but I’ll get there eventually) you can find the podcast at: Crosspointings.org.

Politics and Religion
It’s actually rather amusing, the topic that we talked about on the podcast, because I had just recently finished reading and digesting a book by Gregory Boyd, The Myth of a Christian Nation. And I’d recommend it, as it was very good. I’ve been thinking much about that in the past month. Christianity and politics, that is. And I don’t like it. In fact, I have a lot more opinions than I mentioned on the podcast, but there you have it, that’s the shyness in me coming out in new situations. But while much of what he discussed I have agreed with for awhile, even before I read the book (especially in modern politics), I’ve been pondering especially about Christians and war, more specifically Christians in the military. It relates to me in a hard way because I’m a “military brat,” both my parents are retired Air Force, and I’d never considered some of the things he brought up.

The Emerging Conversation
The emerging movement has been on my mind a bit lately. Right now I’m reading a book that I’ve had laying around for quite awhile, but I picked up recently just for fun, Emerging Worship by Dan Kimball. Of course, you know me and weekend worship services…ick! Anyways, I think what brought it up recently (as I’ve been thinking about postmodernism and emerging and all this for 5 years now) was interviewing at this church, and what freedoms and limitations we thought we would have there in reaching this generation.

Back to the PhD
I think I have finally realized that I have to go straight on for my PhD after GCTS, there is just no way around it. I had toyed with waiting, settling, and doing it later, but…somehow I just know that’s not going to work. I decided I do really like Brandeis’ program, although there are other possible options in the Boston area like Harvard…I think most of all I just cringe at the thought of being stuck in Mass. for years….can I reiterate an earlier sentiment? ICK! Where do kids fit into this picture? Can I be away from my family for this long? These are the things that whirl in my head. But then…thoughts of Hebrew, and Ugaritic, and Akkadian, and mythology, and textual study, and did I mention Hebrew? dance like sugar plums in my head! It brings tears to my eyes. I’m getting carried away. Next topic.

Fun Time!
I’ve started playing Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria on the Playstation2. Okay, so that’s not that significant, but it’s pretty fun! I’d recommend it. I’m also reading Kendermore, part of the DragonLance: Preludes series about who else? Tasslehoff, my favoritest character! And, some wouldn’t consider this fun, but I’m also reading Myths from Mesopotamia. I, personally, think this is great fun. And fascinating too!

Oh Yeah…
I had a birthday!

I think that’s it. But if I think of anything else…well I guess I can always blog about it! So this was pretty long. I guess this is what happens when you don’t post for a month…

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2 Comments

  1. Jen said,

    Hello,
    I saw your husband’s blog mention that you’re an up-and-coming ANE scholar, so I came over to read more. I saw you mention “thoughts of Hebrew, and Ugaritic, and Akkadian, and mythology, and textual study, and did I mention Hebrew?” and now I’m keenly interested:
    what does an ANE scholar study? and where do they work? Are you going to teach this at a university level? Do you use it to do research somehow? How do ANE studies relate to everyday life?

    Not asking as a snub at all (though I guess it almost sounds like that). The field sounds really interesting; it’s just that I know hardly anything about it and am curious as to what you would do with it.

    And where are you getting your degree from? (I don’t know college abbreviations very well either, sorry…)

    Thanks!

  2. eliana said,

    Hi Jen,
    Nice to meet you! I’ll be honest and say I don’t really see myself as an “up-and-coming ANE scholar,” – I feel like I have so far to go! I just have a specific passion for studying the Hebrew Bible. So to me that means I have to know as much as I can about the text, the languages, and the culture of the ancient near east so I can understand the HB better. Which means getting my Ph.D somewhere eventually. I guess that’s pretty standard material for study for that field, or probably any historically based field of study, I would guess.

    I’m kind of weird because I actually have a passion for teaching Hebrew and the Hebrew Bible to lay people so while I will end up (hopefully) teaching professionally at a college or university (which is normal), I love the church and specifically teenagers – and want to be a help to my husband who is going into youth ministry. I don’t think that’s normal for my field! For me personally, that answers your question to how my field relates to everyday life – I hope to help bring the ivory towers down to earth, even if only at one or two local churches in my lifetime – or who knows, maybe I’ll end up writing some books too.

    ANE people end up as archaeologists, historians, museum curators, etc as well, and I think most of those people normally are professors somewhere too. Research is involved at top universities – hence the other positions. On the global scale, it’s about contributing to our understanding of history.

    Of course, Dr. Q (http://drqohelet.blogspot.com/), who is much further down the path of ANE scholarship than I, might have some different/better thoughts to add. If he’s hanging around and reads this, that is.

    Oh, and I’m getting my M.A. in Old Testament from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, we’re starting this fall. I’m not sure where I’m going for my Ph.D. I’m looking at Brandeis University as a possibility, or maybe Harvard. If I can get in to either of them. 😉

    I hope this answered your questions!

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