Thursday, July 23, 2009

Enough already

Springfield has been sunny, the people I've stayed with are fabulous hosts, and it's the last class together with my cohort. We're the first group through a new PhD program, guinea pigs for faculty and adminstrators and our own stamina. About ten of us have stuck to the schedule and taken every course, getting through as fast as we can. After this week, we're on our way to writing our dissertation proposals.

It's just about time to return to Seattle. Family, friends, and familiar surroundings tug at my heart. The weeks away were crammed with stimulating ideas. I can't believe how much a head can pack around, and how quickly details are gained and lost.

I spent three weeks in the library preparing to write comprehensive entry exams to our doctoral program. Friend and fellow student Paul agreed that we'd probably lost several years of life in the process of studying for it. For each of us, it was one of the most stressful experiences of our lives. And we don't know if we've made it through: the profs are busy and our exams aren't graded yet. "This would be the straw that breaks my back," Paul said. "If I didn't make it and had to rewrite, I think I'd be dead." He's a dramatic, funny guy with an Eastern European / New York background. But he might be right on this one. I don't know if I'd have it in me to rewrite.

Then two weeks of classes flew by: Evangelism, Discipleship, and Church Planting, followed by Cross-cultural Leadership and Research. This week, we presented outlines for dissertation proposals for the cohort and professors to prod and poke into workable directions. We have six months to submit the proposals before two to four years of research and writing. There's only one more required week in Springfield, capped by a monster exam and an oral defense at the far end.

Between, my office desk was updated and projects are rolling along. It's back to work Monday. The challenge always is to find time to study when the routines resume. Good thing we have the prayers of friends surrounding us, and a God who holds people, time and tasks in his hands.

He is enough.

Read more:
*Put your hope in the LORD. Travel steadily along his path. He will honor you by giving you the land. You will see the wicked destroyed. …Look at those who are honest and good, for a wonderful future awaits those who love peace. Psalm 37:34, 37 NLT

*(Jesus) "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one." John 10:27-30 NIV

*Be very careful, then, how you livenot as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery.

Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:15-20 NIV

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