Life Update: Working, Sabbath, & School

Hi everyone,

Here is another life update, which is kind of spontaneous as I’m also working on homework.  But here are a few life updates:

  1. I started working at Walmart!  I am a cart-pusher, which means I’m in the sun most of the time I’m working, I’m basically working out as I push and organize carts, and am constantly listening to a walkie-talkie and my co-workers.
  2. I’ve decided to continue my practice of sabbath-keeping.  I’ve been scheduled to work on Sundays for the next three weeks, but I’ll be letting my boss know tomorrow that I’d like Sundays off, even if it means cutting my hours.  At this rate, with working four days a week, I’m clocking 32 hours a week.  I’d rather stick to just the part-time (24 hours a week) that I originally wanted, so I hope this works out.  Who knows.  I’ve really enjoyed celebrating and practicing the Sunday sabbath each week, as not only does it include church, but it involves devoting my day to God and His Son Jesus.  For another reason, it is a day of rest for me, where I do only a little bit of homework and just chill and read the Bible!
  3. School is underway, and I finally am getting my books for class.  There’s a few bumps in the road as far as having to get physical books, but most of my books are on the Kindle app (or soon enough, on my Kindle Fire!).  I’m learning more about how to be inclusive in my writing to other students who may not believe God is male, or that God has a gender.  From now on, I just say “God” or “Godself” when I talk about God to be most inclusive to my classmates and professors.

It’s all very exciting.  I still don’t have health insurance, and we’re looking for a new place to stay (all four of us), but I’m hopeful.  Sort of.  I know that at least God’s got something up his sleeve.

Thanks for listening!

Alleluia,
Leigh Todd

Proper 19: Jesus & God

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Picture of First UMC in York, NE.  I took this last Wednesday after Bible study!

Hi Everyone,

Today was another Sunday at First UMC here in York, and it was another Sunday celebrating Jesus in our lives.  Rightfully so, Jesus should be the center of our lives, as praise to the Son gives glory to the Father.

Today, I was reminded that Jesus is our Shepherd, the voice of God (very much the Word).  Also today I was reminded that God has a specific, Eternal plan for all of us.

Meaning, he has a plan for each of our lives for good – a great plan.  A plan we can’t mess up.  As Pastor Penny taught us a few weeks ago at First Christian Church, we can’t see the scroll of our lives until we get there, so we should trust God.  We were reminded of something similar of that today.  Pastor Art told us, as Jesus knew how the story was going to end in his crucifixion, death, and resurrection for the good of all, God and Jesus know the plan for each of our lives.  We should trust our Heavenly Father that He knows what’s good for us.

The Father revealed to Jesus the plans for his life, and now the Father reveals the plans for our lives to Jesus.  We can’t see the overall plan for our lives; we just see the immediate plan/consequences.  We should trust God!  God’s plan stretches as far as our entrance into Heaven and our Resurrection!  His plan includes Eternity!

So what does this mean for my life?  For your life?  God only implements plans of goodness.  So while he does not cause bad things to happen, he might use them to build us up to be better people or to use it to better our lives somehow.  My life, for example, includes an eviction from last August and dealing with health issues such as functional hypoglycemia and really bad migraines.  While I know God’s plan includes not one of disaster, I know he uses these bad experiences to build on His plan for me.  I’m hoping his future goals for me include becoming a pastor in either the United Methodist Church or Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and to raise a strong and wonderful family between Jacob and I.

I also pray that God’s plan for the United Methodist Church includes total inclusion for the queer community (across the whole of the church).  The church’s board will decide this in February of 2019, so we’re all praying and hoping that the board will hear Jesus’ message of inclusion and unmerited love for all, including our queer siblings of God.

To this we hope.  God, in your mercy, hear our prayers.  And may your plan include hope for me and everyone else in the Holy, Universal Church.

Alleluia and Amen.

Love,
Leigh Todd

Life Update: Starting Seminary

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York High School Marching Band at Yorkfest!

Hi everyone!  I know I’ve been posting a lot of my sermons and testimonies instead of life updates, so here is an update!

I started Seminary last Tuesday.  I was really nervous about video-conferencing my classes and making sure I got the readings done this past week, but I did it!  I’ve officially completed week 1 of graduate school, and am now embarking on my second week this Tuesday.  I LOVE my Religious and Theological Interpretation class, and am already enjoying my Intro to Theology.  I’m somewhat enjoying my Intro to the Old Testament class, although I feel like the professor is pushing her interpretation of the Bible on us as the most correct way.  This professor is very disorganized (her Moodle page is a disaster).  But, I will not judge this class by one week.  Once I get the hang of reading the Moodle page/syllabus, and I get used to her style of teaching, I know the class will become easier.  There’s always one class that is daunting in the beginning!

Also, this weekend was Yorkfest. Here, businesses paraded through downtown and marching bands from various high schools competed against each other.  My youngest brother, Dane, marched this Saturday.  My family cheered him on and the rest of York’s marching band.  It was all very exciting, even if it took a while!

Then this past Sunday, instead of going to a church that I feel doesn’t accept me, I went to a very liberal United Methodist church here in York.  Here, they don’t follow creeds and welcome all biblical interpretations and sexual orientations and genders!  When I went to church at First UMC this past Sunday, I felt so loved and cherished.  Even though the music was trinitarian, when I mentioned that I was a Unitarian, they said “Welcome!!”  I was elated to just feel welcomed and not judged for how I view the Bible.  All means All at this church.  I’m still hoping to attend First Christian Church in Lincoln sometime starting this semester or next semester, as I am still a Disciple of Christ, but I’m going to enjoy being at this church until then.

[Also, I loved and missed the call and response that this church does, such as “Lord, hear our prayer,” because I haven’t experienced that in a LONG TIME!  I also loved really worshiping Jesus this Sunday, as worshiping Jesus gives glory to the Father! I really missed modern Christian music, as York’s FCC uses early 20th century music that doesn’t seem to touch my heart.]

As for other parts of my life, I was denied Medicaid and immediate enrollment for Nebraska’s healthcare marketplace, so on Thursday I’m going to ask for 32 hours a week at orientation (I’m going to work at Walmart!) so that I can apply for health insurance from them.  I pray and hope that this can happen, and that I can finally get Jacob and I health insurance, even if the premium comes out of my paycheck every other week.  I would love your prayers on this matter, as well as us getting an apartment soon when my sister’s lease ends in the beginning of October. Please, send all prayers and good vibes for these matters.

Thanks for reading my life update!

Alleluia.

Thanks,
Leigh Todd

Social Gospel: Apostasy

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16 If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that you should pray about that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin,and there is sin that does not lead to death. – 1 John 5:16-17