Thursday, November 13, 2014

Of Books and Degrees

Hello, there! It's been awhile. In fact, it has been since last January since I posted a blog. Not to recap my last year (for I even wouldn't want to read that), but some significant things have transpired, most notably the completion of my dissertation and Ph.D. in Leadership Studies.

Though I haven't seen my final work yet (the bound copy) of my dissertation, I will (Lord willing) at Thanksgiving time.

Several things are thrown in sharp relief at the completion of such a long period of study.

First, it is good to breathe. After seven years of study, writing, re-writing, reviewing, and learning, it is good to sit on the back porch with a cup of tea and just breathe.

Second, life has seemed a little disoriented over the past few months. I have shared with many that I am trying to figure out how to do life now that this season is officially over. I have found that the simple yet important things in life bring the greatest joy. My daughter's laugh. My wife's hand in mine as we walk together. Actually doing physical labor around the house and yard. Preparing to preach and preaching. Loving and leading God's people. Good stuff!!!

Third, I am never done studying, writing, re-writing, reviewing, and learning. I guess, in a nutshell, that's what leaders do. We continue to grow.

Finally, I have been reminded lately of the brevity of life and the fleeting moments we have for impact. Many of you know that Laura lost her dad a few months back. We are still walking through the grieving process day by day, but God has been faithful to bring comfort through His Word, His Spirit and His people. I will miss my Father-in-Law, but look forward to that time we are reunited again because of the hope we have in Jesus and His resurrection. Until then, may I (and we) take every opportunity we have to extend the gospel to those who are hopeless and work to help others grow toward a Christ-centered life.

All said, may we study, learn, grow, love, and lead for the sake of others and for the sake of the gospel.

As Lewis said, Many Blessings.

Pastor (Dr.) Jim