Easter in the Era of BLM

While attending church services the Sunday after Easter, also known as the Second Easter Sunday, I heard what was common for such on occasion and that was a sermon rooted in the New Testament story of doubting Thomas.  My pastor stated in his sermon that Thomas was the only one to whom Jesus revealed himself individually. When he took his seat, our co-pastor whispered to him, after the service my pastor made an announcement to the congregation that he had been corrected by our co-pastor, that Jesus first revealed himself to Mary following the Resurrection.  In my own mind, I immediately went to the Virgin Mary thinking Jesus revealed himself to his mother.  I went to the Scriptures and read, and it was Mary Magdalene.  Both held graduate degrees from Union Theological Seminary and Princeton Theological Seminary, respectively; however, it was the woman, and Princeton alumna, that did not overlook the significance of Mary Magdalene in the story of Jesus Christ.  Inclusion and diverse perspectives did not rewrite the Gospel but highlighted passages important to their own experience which gave us a fuller meaning to the Gospel.  This I believe, that pluralism and religious literacy have a symbiotic relationship, to which inclusion and allowing diverse perspectives enriches our understanding our own beliefs and those of others and encourages a more accepting, pluralistic society.

What would cause such a faux pas to occur? Both ministers were clearly well-educated individuals, so it was not a matter of ignorance. Each had related to the Gospel in their way by that which moved them. Gender differences aside, as it can only be an assumption this was the key factor, and maybe it was, one pastor was moved by the skepticism of Thomas whose faith was reaffirmed with a qualified revelation of the truth; whereas, the other pastor was moved by the woman whose embattled soul had been freed by Jesus Christ when he cast out seven demons, also a qualified revelation of faith based on seeing. The human experience of faith is a relative experience, even among clerics as this example demonstrates.Seemingly, we would think this is where the conversation begins but often this is where the conversation ends.

It’s Really Happening.

Good day, all!

I’m celebrating another small victory, or perhaps large victory.

A little more than one year ago, I set out to return to school and complete my degree with the ambition of continuing onwards to law school.

Last weekend, I took my Law School Admission Test, or LSATs.  Three hours of problem solving and logic puzzles.  I did it!  I’m that much closer to the goal line!

I started writing this post on September 30, 2016 after that mind numbing exercise known as the Law School Admissions Test.  I was ecstatic that I finished this test and was that much closer to achieving the goal I set out to accomplish … until I changed paths.  There have been many updates:

I am no longer interested in law school.  Being back in the classroom and thinking about the circumstances which brought me to this point, I have strongly considered graduate school for social work and American cultural studies, in that order.  I feel that I am of better services to others, and it is more rewarding to myself, to work in interdisciplinary ways which heal and create.

My blogs.  I have had an awkward relationship with blogging which I am truly attempting to shed.  I have compartmentalized my writing experiences in such a way that fragmented sounds like a much better word.  A blog for being a non-traditional student, a blog for sales and marketing strategies, a page for artwork, book reviews, being Christian, fiction writing, and being the scapegoated adult child from a dysfunctional family.  There’s a lot I want to say and just committing myself to any one voice in any singular moment just leaves me speechless, with nothing to say at all.  So, I’m consolidating and moving my blogs into a new home, which I hope you will continue to follow: stmcdonald.com.

A Great Semester … Summer time!!!

Why do I keep the Serenity Prayer on my blog?  The Serenity Prayer is a constant reminder of the three things the God can provide: Peace, Strength and Wisdom. That through the Lord Jesus Christ – through the strength, serenity and wisdom that His teaching provides – are all things possible.
I have returned to college after fifteen years.  How do I feel to have completed my first semester?  Well … Blessed.

Being a nontraditional student is not easy, by any means.  This past semester I have worked full-time, studied full-time and raised my daughter full-time.  It’s a life that means waking up at 6am to be out the door by 7am and work until 5pm, have dinner ready, her homework and her school assignments, and then after a long day, i can finally begin my schoolwork and study until midnight.  Is that tiring?  You bet. It means fractions come before statistics, and TPS reports come before history papers.  That is by far the biggest obstacle facing nontraditional students – the here and now, the present.  And that can mean overcoming significant adversities.    Being a nontraditional student is like betting the farm on a long term gain that requires intensive and immediate investment.  My career is my present financial situation and means of supporting myself while I study, as well as finance my education.  But the time and investment that I make at my job certainly certainly eats into my studying time and schoolwork.  I have on several occasions rolled my eyes and thought “I can think of a dozen ways to better spend my time right now …”  Fractions come statistics, Alvin Ho before Hamlet, but I’m. It the one being graded on either fractions or Alvin Ho, yet these come first.  The most important thing that I can accomplish in my life, to finish my college education, is highly important to me but relatively low on the priority scale.  So where does it fit?  Well, I honestly couldn’t tell you what’s on TV and I’m starting my blog now as opposed this past January.

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (‭James‬ ‭1‬:‭2-4‬ NIV)

The Lord Jesus reassures us that when we are faced with trials that faith in Him strengthens our resolve and we shall overcome; furthermore, that we shall “be mature and complete.”  Wow!  At the end of the finish line is not just a degree, “the paper”, a new job, more money, whatever that finish line may immediately mean to you but we will grow with God and become “whole.”

So that’s why I keep the Serenity Prayer on my blog.  I had a great first semester back, I only have two more left before I’m off to law school.  I will right more but right now … Summertime has begun!!!