This weekend was parent’s weekend at the Insty. My wonderful parents got to experience Branson in its prime, meaning at Christmastime. Now I completely understand that it is just the first week of November but I live in a city that has had a Christmas tree on the landing since about October 24th. Branson thrives on this holiday. Silver Dollar City is the Plaza on steroids.
Anyway, the class went to Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede Christmas Show. Dolly Parton is a secret love of mine and Dixie is probably one of my favorite shows in Branson. And the food they feed you is incredible; you get a whole chicken to yourself. Since Branson is basically in the Bible belt you can expect the gospel to be presented at any show at any time of course after first saluting the Veterans.
Dixie was no exception. They did a Branson-tastic nativity scene. But friends, what I am about to tell you is slightly embarrassing:
I teared up when the scene was complete because of how incredible the birth of Christ was. Ok, I know it is one of the most important events ever to happen but I did not know all the history or details until the last two months in class. It is overwhelming to go into the Christmas season knowing what I now know about the Bible. So much of what I learned has changed my view on the Bible. All I want to do is read it and learn more.
Did you know that during the silence era (which is the 430 years between the Old and New Testament) there were 3 events in history that completely got the world ready for the birth of Christ? The Romans built roads, a written language and religious persecution that provided a need for a Messianic hope. It is incredible to see how from Genesis to Malachi the world was being primed for a Savior. The Bible is so perfectly put together, it’s incredible. Don’t even get me started on pre-exilic, exilic and post-exilic prophecies. That is a whole other blog post for another time, but let me tell you, it’s pretty cool.
5 Random things I love about the Bible:
1. Moses did not get to go into the Promised Land but God let Him see it, and he is standing with Christ during the Transfiguration.
2. Leah was the unloved wife of Jacob but Christ’s line went through her son Judah.
3. Shamgar killed 600 Philistines with a goad (a.k.a. a big stick)
4. Deborah was probably really kick butt. She was the only female judge and was a military leader.
5. Jesus’ model of evangelism (John 4)
I never realized how busy I would be at the Institute (hence why I have blogged very little recently). I mean, I was busy in college between working, doing school, rowing, stressing out about my future (who knew it would be in Branson?) and having a social life. But the Insty is a whole new level!
Run Down of a typical week:
-Homework until I leave for K-Life
-Internship at Forsyth K-Life 2:30-8:30
-Possible Ballroom Dancing Class in the near future
-Kitchen Duty noon-2pm
-Me time 2pm-6pm (this is VERY important that this happens every week)
-Homework until work
-Class 8am to noon
-Kitchen Duty noon-2pm
-Homework or me time depending on the week
9:15-10:30 Precepts (Study the life of Abraham this semester!)
10:30-12:30 Timothy Group (also referred to as t-group, which for the record, I basically have the best t-group there is)
-Kansas City Chiefs Game, time varies (also VERY important that this never is missed and we are 5-2 right now)
10 Rules/Tips I have for Insty:
1. Homework time is taken seriously. When it is scheduled I work for that amount of time no matter how little I have. If I finish an assignment I move on to the next one, which would explain why I finished my Bible Overview project 3 weeks ahead of time. I don't do homework after 8pm unless it is absolutely necessary. The best time to socialize is at night.
2. Get involved in the community; do not stay in the Insty bubble. Act out what you are learning in class.
3. Sit by a different person at meals each day.
4. Never leave all of precepts until Thursday night (I did it once...never again)
5. Sleep. For at least 7 hours a night.
6. Embrace the fact that it has been Christmas since October 24th in Branson.
7. Do laundry once a week, no matter how little you have. The longer you wait to do laundry the more it piles up and more of an effort it is to get it done.
8. Ask questions in class. No matter how dumb they seem.
9. Make sure your time in the Word is not just homework-related.
10. Love the season of life I am in. Sure I live in an island themed cabana and sometimes feel like I am a freshman in college again but when else will I see snow on palm trees? Or go to a Branson show on a whim? Or spend a year devoted to becoming a disciple of Christ? Or live down the street from my directors at kamp? Or live with a community of believers? Or go to church in a castle? Or work on developing 5 core values that will benefit my ministry? I've got it made.
I promised myself I would not turn into the Insty student that tries to convince everyone I meet to go through the Insty but I am on my way to being that person. Seriously. It has been an amazing 2 months and I still have until April to keep learning in this community of believers.
I have to teach twice in the next week. The thought of it makes me want to vomit. I have always said I never wanted to be a Bible teacher but here I am teaching the Bible, does that make me a Bible teacher or a follower of Christ? Currently undecided.
I teach on Tuesday morning on spiritual gifts and the roles in the body of Christ and I teach next Monday on an era of the Bible. Not so secretly I want the Exodus Era. Moses is my man and I am exactly like the Israelites, doubting God when He always provides for me. And I have a recipe for Manna that I want to use. But be praying. I have been sick for about 8 days and I still sound like a man with a smoker’s cough.
Well friends. I’m signing off. The new Taylor Swift CD just ended on the last song and I have church in the castle tomorrow morning. And I have a paper to write. And in the words of Taylor Swift: Long live the walls that crash through, how the kingdom lights shine just for me and you. Long live all the mountains we moved. I had the time of my life fighting dragons with you.