Thursday, June 9, 2011

We Made It!

I think we've both been waiting for some really exciting things to happen to us so that people might want to read our blog.  And here we are...2 months later :)  And on the one hand, yes, we survived our first year of seminary!  Thank you, thank you!  And yet, it is a month beginning with the letter "J" and when it is one of these "J" months, we have what is called fittingly called, "J-Term".  In order to stay on track with a three-year program (and if we don't, then well...we'll be here for-e-ver [think Sandlot]), we must take 5 classes per semester.  In order to accomplish this and stay sane...and by sane, I mean gainfully employed, sanitary and fed, we usually take a "J Term". 

This "J Term", Noel is taking Hebrew Exegesis which is a fancy way of saying translating several passages of the Old Testament, the whole book of Jonah, learning more syntax than she ever wanted to know and getting all sorts of fodder for hip sermons on the OT.  It's fun!  She thought she wasn't going to be able to venture on this little project with the same professor and teacher whom she previously ventured through Hebrew II with, but God aligned things marvelously (as He's wont to do) and so there she is.  Every morning for two weeks, you can find her studying Hebrew or chatting nonchalantly with her Hebrew buddy, Ben.  The prof told us not to sit by each other, but secretly I think we're his favorites :)  Lift up Noel that her memory may prove vast and capable in the area of Hebrew and that it would stick and that God's Truth would be deepened in her gut as a result of her study of the Old Testament in Hebrew.  (She's thankful for already learning some interesting tidbits!)

"J Term" holds Evangelism and Church Planting for Greg.  He has been reading a few books in order to prepare book reports due prior to his class which starts next Monday.  None of these books, as of yet, have been all that great and would probably appear mundane and uninsightful to most of you, so we will not recommend them here.  We are both hoping for his sake that the reading material improves and becomes less formulaic (and for Noel, too, because she has to take it sometime in the next year).  A good book on evangelism and church planting is hard to find, so it seems.  Chatting with a friend the other night, we thought that perhaps this class needs some good missional church, how-to-church-plant-and-be-missional kinds of books.  Ironically, we are feeling quite a lack in the "How To" area in most of our classes.  Like, where there's a will and a theology, there must be a way, right???  Well, we believe so...or else what kind of theology is it, really?  Anyway, that's a different soap box for a different day.  If any of you have any suggestions on good church planting or missional church books, please let us know!
And pray for Greg as he is in class all day every day next week that he would learn what it is that God has for him.

When not in "J Terms" ie most of the summer, we can be found at our various jobs.  Greg is still at Starbucks, though he was just relocated...AGAIN.  But, it's all good.  He's at a slow, giant cafe store now that is a great hang out and lets him engage with customers as he likes to do (which Noel doesn't understand at all :) ).
Noel is a manager at an outdoor pool in Midland, about 35 minutes northwest of where they live.  Thus far it's been both a challenge and fun.  Last week, she had a good conversation with Grandpa Jim, as she calls him, about the woes of western PA and the seeming epidemic of very young moms (and dads).  More on that later, but it's people like Jim that make Noel's days out in the sun, yelling at kids and saving lives all worth it....well, that and the wicked tan she's getting!  Just kidding, pray that the both of us would live the joy of the Lord at work and would be lights in dark places.

Thanks for reading, Pfiles.  We regret that we will not be traveling anywhere much this summer and so will not get to see many of you.  But, please do come see us if you're over our way!  And let us know if we can be lifting you up as well.  We wouldn't have made it through our 1000th day of marriage and our first year of seminary without your love and' real, we mean that.