Monday, February 21, 2011


Well, a miracle has occurred or for those of you who don't believe in miracles hell has finally frozen over......just teasing for all my theologically correct friends.

I passed my ordination interviews. This has been one of the longest goals that I have ever strived for; longer then my time in the military, longer than undergrad, longer than grad school and even longer than my doctorate.

I know that God was with me through the entire process even when I felt the most abandoned. There were times that I wanted to give up but I am stubborn and felt that this was what God wanted for my life.

Now it feels as if this is not the end of the journey but the beginning of a new one.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Road Bump on the Journey

After almost four years of working on my doctorate, the doctoral committee said that I have to totally rewrite the research chapter. This would not have been unexpected a year ago when I first submitted that chapter, but obviously someone let it fall through the cracks and they didn't look at until now. Keep in mind that I submitted the entire manuscript last November for review. So now they are saying they see no way for me to graduate in May but perhaps I will have all the rework finished in time for the August graduation. It is the school's policy that this chapter is the first one that a student has to turn in, so they have had it for well over a year and now they decide that organizing the chapter using the Wesleyan Quadrilateral didn't work for them. (guttural scream inserted here)

This is kind of funny because I just posted my review of "Shattered Dreams" and I'm aware that this is not really a shattered dream but it was a disappointment. I thought that I had almost finished this chapter of my life and was looking forward to having it behind me. My advice for people who are thinking about getting a D.Min. degree, think long and hard on it because I am not sure that it was worth all of the pain and aggravation that it has caused me.

Shattered Dreams from the Perspective of Naomi

Dr. Larry Crabb is a well-known psychologist, conference and seminary speaker, Bible teacher, popular author and founder/director of New Way Ministries. In his book “Shattered Dreams: God’s Unexpected Path to Joy”, he writes about our shattered dreams as being “ordained opportunities for the Spirit first to awaken and then satisfy our highest dream” (5).

Crabb uses the story of Naomi from the Book of Ruth in the Bible as the guide for his book. He begins by telling the devastating loss that Naomi faced in a foreign land with the loss of her husband and both of her sons. The story of Naomi is woven throughout the entire book in an interesting and touching way. This woman lost everything that she thought was important and yet God was able to use her story and her life for a deeper purpose. Crabb says that “a profound encounter with pain brings us to make a choice. Either we change or we sink into bitterness, despair, or hedonism” (84). By using the illustration of Naomi, he teaches us the way to become closer to God through the grief of a shattered dream.

“Life is not an opportunity for things to go well so we can feel good. Life is an opportunity for us to be forgiven for requiring God to make us feel good and for turning from Him when he doesn’t.” (140) Crabb is trying to turn us from cheap grace and get in tune with the true grace that comes from a deeper relationship with God.

This is not a book that you will probably pick up and read in one sitting. It requires time for some of the concepts to sink in. It would make an excellent book for a small group to study together, especially since it comes with an eight week workbook.

I received this book for free from Waterbrok Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.


Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Lesson in Patience

The wonderful snow storm of last week (can you hear the sarcasm in my voice?) caused my Ordination Interview to be postponed until this coming Thursday. I was so psyched up for Wednesday, but I really haven't been as impatient as I expected. I know that this snowstorm was not sent to test me but it has been a lesson in patience for me. Patience is not one of my strong suits as you might have inferred from my sarcastic tone, but it is probably necessary for my growth as a human being. :p

I'm still waiting for my dissertation to be returned from the doctoral committee. That should be enough patience practice for one person to endure in a month, right?

I did finish a book that I am reviewing, "Shattered Dreams" by Larry Crabb. I will post it here later this week after I actually write the review.

So this week hasn't been totally wasted. I spent a lot of time with my daughter as we were locked in the house. This coming week with 68 degree temperatures will probably be even better for our relationship. Being locked in a house with a hormonal teenage girl is not the most relaxing thing in the world. Luckily, she spend most of the time asleep.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I had to take a class away from a couple that was so fundamentalist that they were driving the young parents, whom they were teaching, away from the class in droves. If fact, the class was pretty much defunct because no one was coming and the woman said, "They just aren't committed." Hmmm, I wonder why? The problem is that no one ever complains or bothers to let the staff or clergy know until it is too late.

Therefore, I have taken the class over effective immediately and will teach it until it is up and running again and we have some competent leaders for the class. The former class leaders have decided to visit the fundamentalist church down the road (this was before I took the class over). I guess it was there last act to try and find like-minded people to sway to their way of thinking.

My Senior Pastor is very upset that they have left ($$), while I think "good riddance". They were like a poisonous dart and it was spreading. I am glad that they are going somewhere else and I hope that they are happy in their new church.

I wonder if we are so conditioned to hold onto people so our numbers aren't affected that we don't see the benefits of letting people leave the church.