A Word of Thanks

As always, thank you never goes without saying. So I'd like to begin this blog with a prayer of thankfulness:

God, you are so incredibly good. Thank you for being a God worthy of praise, for being a God that sees and knows us intimately, for pursuing us. Thank you for pursuing me, my heart and my mind. Thank you for pursuing all of us. Thank you for the opportunities you've placed in front of me this year and that you will put in front of me this next semester. Thank you for all of the people in my life who have decided to partner with me this year and support me in my ministry, either financially or with their prayers and advice. You have truly blessed me so that I, in turn, may try and bless others around me. You are so good and so faithful and I am thankful every day for you. Amen.

Now, for all my supporters, I feel like a broken record but I mean truth is truth is truth and it's worth repeating: this year, and all I've experienced and learned, would not be possible without you all! I am currently working on individual thank you letters for each of you so expect those sometime within the next month.

A Word of Apology

I completely forgot to do a blog for the month of November and I've been on break for a good chunk of December so a lot of this is going to be kind of old news that I've spoken to a lot of you about already. So I am sorry for that. I am also sorry for the lack of photos in this blog. I apologize and I beg your forgiveness. The last time I apologized for something in a blog though, my sister Chelsea made sure to let me know that I was not forgiven. But you know what, "where sin abounds" and all that stuff.

The End of the Semester

A quick recap of my first semester as an apprentice is necessary. 

We read all of the Old Testament, which I had never done before. Paired with this, we listened to a lecture series called "Foundations of the Old Testament" taught by Iain Provan, a professor at Regent Seminary. If you have never read the entirety of the OT, first of all, I get it. It is jam packed with a lot of weird stuff and it has more than it's fair share of uncomfortable situations and wild moments. Second of all, I want to encourage you to read it! It is beautiful. It explores the human condition in such a way that the New Testament simply doesn't. It makes up 75% of our Bible, to ignore it or outright condemn it is a dangerous and ultimately detrimental. After all, when Paul says that "all scripture is God-breathed and useful..." the New Testament hadn't been written yet and the scripture Paul was speaking about would have been the Old Testament. Not to mention how knowledgeable Jesus was with the OT. All of that to say, whether you've read the OT or not, I urge you to approach it and let God reveal himself and his character to you anew. Be rooted in the word, friends.

To finish the semester, all of the apprentices gave sermons with the prompt "This is My Gospel".

The purpose of this was to find our story, our song, our gospel and to share it with our fellow apprentices. This is not an exercise in relative "your truth. my truth" exposition, rather, it is an exercise in discovering and describing how the Jesus' truth has impacted our lives. So in a weird and beautiful paradox, it is both subjective AND objective.

My gospel that I chose to share is that I am never alone. By far, the most formative experience of my life was the sickness and subsequent death of my mom. And by far, this is when God showed up the most in my life. The low point in my life connected me to God in ways I had never fully appreciated. It wasn't that God had been distant and decided to come close, rather, I began to realize how close God had always been. I realized that I am never alone. I have the word of God, the body of Christ, and the Spirit of God living within me. I knew all of this to be true when my mom was completely healthy, but the longest journey a disciple has to make is from his head to his heart. I knew it, but now I believe it.

All of this has left me so excited and ready for the next semester of the apprenticeship and what it holds for not only myself but for all of the apprentices.

My Life...

Every New Year's, myself and a group of close friends take a trip. Last year we began the new tradition of going up to Edwards, Colorado. A city high up in the Rockies. A city I am currently writing this blog from. It is beautiful here and while surrounded by the mountains and some of my best friends, I can't help but imagine this is a tiny glimpse of Heaven. I'll most likely include some pics of some of our views in my next blog.

Prayer Requests

- both of my grandparents on my mothers side recently came down with COVID and both have improved but both could definitely use some prayers.
- the teens that I am working with...winter break can be a beautiful and restful time for some, and a hard, stressful, and perhaps unhealthy and dangerous time for others. Please be in prayer for their hearts and minds and families in this season and that we can start the Spring semester off with a bang and can pick up right where we left off in the winter.
- my own head and heart...please be in prayer that I can continue to grow and develop as a leader, teacher and disciple and that I can lead, serve, and love the people around my well.
- as always, prayers for my fellow apprentices and their own ministries and that this winter break has been a restful one for all of them as well

Matt Carothers





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