Church Plants

The high school called at 6AM to say the high school was closed today. Thirty percent of the student body has either been exposed to Covid or tested positive for Covid. Two of the teachers are out with it as well. Since the pandemic, they’ve had a handful of these cancelled school days for everyone to rest and regroup. The kids have been in person this entire school year so far, though there are rumors of going remote again.

It’s chilly here today. The temperature is registering at 10 degrees. That’s not the coldest temperature ever, but you wouldn’t want to be stuck outside at those temps. I had the kids bring in our old cat Ghost. We thought Ghost was dying over the summer. The hair around his neck fell out and he stopped eating. We brought him inside so that he at least could die in the comfort of air conditioning, but then he never died. He slowly started eating again and the hair on his neck grew back. Normally one of our outside stray cats, he lived inside for several months until it was clear that he was better. He has something wrong with his nose where he sneezes regularly, and with every sneeze he sprays nasal fluid wherever he’s sitting. I finally got tired of that and put him back outside. We put the three outside strays in the garage when it gets cold.

We had a small birthday party for one of my sons yesterday. He turned 13 years old, which makes for three teenagers. Winter is our birthday season, with four of the five kids being born in the winter months of January-March. Without going back and reading old posts, it’s hard for me to know how many times I’ve relayed that information during these years of blogging. Certainly I’ve mentioned it here more than once or twice.

The books for my classes came in the mail today. Next week I officially start at Lincoln Christian University in their Masters of Counseling program. The two classes I’m taking are Into to God’s Word and Theories in Counseling. The theories class is an 8-week class that once it is over, turns into Abnormal Psychology for then another 8-week class. That makes for a total of three classes over the semester. I’m actually looking forward to it.

The way it came about is kind of silly. After going back to the doctor to follow up in the fall, he once again recommended anti-depressants and counseling. He says the anxiety has been an issue for several years and he thinks Prozac would basically wipe that out. I wasn’t interested in taking anti-depressants, and after all of last year with all the reading and personal healing I did I really didn’t think I needed anymore counseling (which I did for 2 1/2 years in the 2017-2019 range) or personal introspection. But I wanted to follow at least one of his suggestions. I asked if he had a recommendation of a place to call and he gave me the name of a church that does counseling services. When I called them up, they said they were capped off with a 50 person waiting list.

I googled and found another local Christian place, but it stood out to me that there was that high of a demand. I’m kind of tired of spending money on myself. This particular place bypasses insurance, which we don’t have, and pro-rates the prices based on income, which helps a little. It’s still $100 every time I go. I’ve gone three times so far and have been spacing them out to about every three weeks, not including holiday weeks that have happened in there. The girl I’m going to is a recent graduate from this Lincoln University. After one of our visits I came home and looked up the program.

The counseling program is offered through their seminary, which I think is funny. Because of that I have three theology class requirements, hence the Intro to God’s Word. The other two are church history and systematic theology. I actually was wishing the other day that I could take more theology classes and less psychology ones, but that’s okay. The MA in Counseling requires 60 hours and would be a very practical degree. Lord-willing when I’m done with it, I want to go back to the Hope Counseling Center with the 50-person wait list and apply for a job. If that doesn’t work out then I hope to be able to use it to somehow serve the people in my local church community. Things like grief support, marriage encouragement, and basic mental health care are practical health and human services I feel important to provide for our Christian communities when possible. These are all services I wish would’ve been more readily available to me through the years. I know others could’ve benefited greatly as well.

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