Life Update: Revelation & What To Do With It

Hi everyone,
I hope your week is going well so far. Here a few life updates:

  1. Still Unitarian. Tried out the Trinity a while back, but I cannot deny some aspects of the Gospels where Jesus had real relationship with his Father, and testified that there is only one God, Yahweh. Also, I know for a fact from previous New Testament classes that Paul and the early disciples did not believe in the Trinity, as per their writings in the New Testament. When I thought I believed in the Trinity, I thought I received revelation from God explaining how the Trinity worked (Father: Mind; Son: Body; Spirit: Power/Spirit). But while I can finally understand the Trinity, I just don’t believe in it. I’ve had friends try to convert me back to the Trinity and ask me to repent and believe like doubting Thomas, but I know my faith. I know what I believe.
  2. Still in the swing of Seminary right now. I’ve thought multiple times about transferring somewhere else, but every Seminary that I like (and that seems accredited the highest standard) requires the use of Zoom or video chat in a live classroom. I’ve hated being in a classroom since at least my senior year of high school. I don’t mind doing purely online class, where I read the lectures on a PDF, watch pre-recorded lectures, and submit and connect with my peers via Moodle. That has always seemed perfect for me. Anyway, most accredited school (if not all) require at least some participation in a real-life class setting (even if by Zoom). So, I’ll just be staying at United until graduation. Most of the time I feel like I don’t fit (as Nebraskan trying to fit into Minnesota’s culture), but I absolutely love my classmates that I’m friends with on Facebook and my professors that I’ve gotten to know.
  3. Working at Walmart. Good news, I got a raise! A .22 cent raise, but whatever works. Finally starting to save up some money for the future!
  4. Thinking of the future. Kristin has hinted that she’ll be moving out when Brendan graduates so they can live together, and while I’m stressed that I’ve got all the bills to pay once she moves out, I’m looking forward to having this place to just me and Jacob. I can’t wait to decorate it as I please and turn Kristin’s bedroom into me and Jacob’s office. I’m hoping, with money saved up, to get more of my own furniture and start living like a real adult.

Well, that’s all folks!

Happy Ash Wednesday! And have a thoughtful Lent.

Alleluia and Amen.

Thanks,
Leigh Todd

Life Update: Advent Approaching

Hi everyone,
It’s been a little while since I’ve given my last life update, so here it goes:

  1. I’m growing closer to Catholic salvation theology and mysticism. I’m enjoying studying about Heaven and Hell (and even Purgatory!), and how we can fall from grace.  See my latest “Informal Thoughts” post for that.
  2. Advent is getting closer, so I’m studying up on Matthew and Luke and preparing for Christ’s coming to Earth.  I’m really excited for Christmas, since it’ll be my first with a Christmas tree in FOREVER! Jacob and I had been evicted before we celebrated our first Christmas as a married couple with a Christmas tree.  This year will be a first for both of us.
  3. I’ve been listening to Classic Christmas music on my Pandora/Spotify for the past month now!
  4. The job at Walmart is going good – I love working with Don and Jimmy!
  5. School is…okay.  I wish I could do better on my assignments, though.  I need to devote more time and energy into my papers. I don’t want to be the student I was in high school/undergraduate who always did everything last minute (and terribly).
  6. I got my own desk and marker board finally!!  Productivity for the win (also organization!).
  7.  I’m hoping to study Mormon studies and Pastoral Theology at Seminary!  I’ve decided to be both a rural pastor and rural chaplain!

Well, that’s all I got!

Thanks,
Leigh Todd

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

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

Hopeful but realistic

IMG_20180513_160951638-EFFECTSHi Everyone,
Thanks for stopping by on my first installment of how things are going with Seminary and onward.  Right now, I’m still in St. Peter, waiting to graduate from Gustavus and am preparing for a fun summer with my sister, her girlfriend, my husband Jacob, and saving money.  I’m also preparing to register for classes and take my new student orientation for United.

On some sad news, Jacob and I have been denied from having housing at United’s on-campus student housing.  In actuality, I’m not very sad about it since United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities is moving campuses to somewhere in St. Paul, MN.  This will make finding housing in St. Paul much cheaper than in New Brighton (which is a very expensive suburb of Minneapolis).  So, I’m actually hopeful that Jacob and I can find a small studio in St. Paul that is cheap and clean.  We’ve got some time ahead of us to build my credit score and save some money before we apply for apartments, sot that’s good.

As for as registering for classes, my Seminary adviser said that taking two classes is perfect if I’m going to be both working and going to grad school.  So that’s good!  So, I’ll take two classes for the first semester (which, at six credits, is still full-time at United).  And unlike Gustavus, which charges a flat rate at Full-Time and Part-time, United will charge by credit, so I’ll won’t be charged a whole bunch of extra money just because I’m a lowest-credit full-time student.  That’ll be nice!  This’ll make United much cheaper than Gustavus.

Speaking of money, United will cost about a little bit over $10,000 per year.  This is drastically different than Gustavus, which is a little over $50,000 per year.  Big change!  This means smaller loans.  And one of the good things about not taking student housing is that I won’t be taking out more loans to pay for housing, which is better overall.  Paying for apartment while going to school will be tough, but with only taking two classes (one on Thursday and another only three days in October), I’ll be able to work full-time.  Plus, I’m hoping that I can save some money over the summer to pay multiple month’s of rent in advance.  This is hopeful wishing, but I’m just trying to be both realistic and optimistic.

Thanks for checking in!

Have a good rest of your April.  I”ll likely check in again in May, towards graduation.

Thanks,
Leigh Todd