The Rice family has some exciting news to share!!! Normally I (Marissa) am the author of our blog post but today we have some excited news to share from my hubby (Darren)
Throughout life there is opportunity for choices, some choices change little regarding your direction in life, others drastically alter the course of your life, your family and those around you. My life has repeatedly been altered by the decision to pursue relationship with Jesus Christ and allow the Holy Bible to be the only source of truth in my life that all other things are tested against. Now to be honest its an up and down road, sometimes relying on myself and my own plans and sometimes really relying and resting in what the Bible says and my relationship with God. But through everything I can strongly say this, God is faithful! He is faithful through all things and will always provide what we need if we are pursuing him.
Here is the crazy thing I have found through the process of surrendering my life to God. He has some crazy plans, as I have studied the word, applied it to my life and allowed God’s word to convict me I have found myself in places I would not have pictured before. As I am pursuing God there are several things that are on my heart as key to being a disciple of Christ and living a life that is following the word of God. These things include, being the spiritual leader of my family, admonishing and encouraging others who are also pursuing Christ, and surrendering every decision to the Lord by not allowing my convenience to dictate what I choose but rather allowing the Word of God and the prompting of the Holy Spirit to guide my direction.
These things have lead me to a place where I am really recognizing the ownership I have in leading my family, and discipling those around me, my kids, those I am in community with and seeking out others to lead to Christ. As part of this pursuit I have realized that the more I dive into Scripture the more I have to learn. There are so many great books and study guides out there, podcasts, sermons and other inputs to learn more and more about the Bible from, however, I have really been feeling challenged to engage in something more formal. Formal training in biblical exposition that will equip me to better encourage and admonish those around me, my wife, my children, and those in community around me. This might seem like a crazy idea at first, but as I mentioned earlier it seems that by surrendering decisions and plans to the Lord he often takes us places we don’t expect to go. I would have never ever picked going to seminary as a thing that I would have done, but with God at the center of my life, and my decisions being based around him I have to open the door to His plan.
When I think about going to seminary I really think about how doing God’s work is something that is going to be central to the rest of my life. I don’t see it ever going away, and if I am going to be doing God’s work I don’t really know when, how, or where he is going to call me to do His work. So in addition to feeling like He is leading me in this direction I feel that as a follower of him I have to be preparing myself to be ready to follow His calling.
Right now I am spending time investigating options, reading doctrinal statements, and looking at finances. I want to pursue what God is calling me to, but also want to be a wise steward of what He has given me. Marissa and I have been in the midst of ensuring our lives and our finances are focused on God. We are dedicated to pursuing this formal education in Biblical teaching but also dedicated to getting out of and staying out of debt. So for right now, until we have the funds and income freed up to get started, we are looking at schools, paying off debt and working on raising money to cover the cost of tuition which ranges from $14,000-$35,000.
We know and believe that God provides for all of our needs, and that he is faithful to us when we are faithful to him. Thank you for your prayers and support through this journey of faithfulness.
Wow, I can say I am one proud wife! As a commitment to being faithful stewards and working to be the encourager and supporter in this journey ahead, I have decided to start to fundraise in many different ways to show that we are working hard to pursue this calling, and believe that God will be our provider and we are walking in that faith. Would you consider walking with us, in prayer support, and if you feel called help us by participating in our fundraising efforts. I plan to share and communicate openly about how we are walking on this journey, and am excited to have you walk with us! Thank you!