Tag Archives: college

A Long 179 Hours (5 Years After the Fact)

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been 5 years since I finally finished my Masters in Ministry. The following was first published in January of 2013. On a side note, I also received the seminary’s Theology Award – yay me!

Woo Hoo!

Finally, at the end of this spring semester, I will be graduating seminary with an M.Min. It has been a long time coming, too. As a matter of fact, there are people who were born after I started college who already have doctorates and are practicing medicine!

Nevertheless, even though it is not a Doctorate of Divinity or a Doctorate of Philosophy, it is still an accomplishment. It is an accomplishment that has been brought about by the accumulation of 179 credit hours. If you add to that the hours I completed that were not accredited, I would have close to 225!

How Long?

But what does all that really mean? How long did it take to complete 179 hours? Seven and a half years? Far from it, my friends. Far from it.

The average college student, if he didn’t do anything else, could have completed all of the above hours of courses in 6 years.  Add in the total amount I have taken and an average student could have done it all in 8 years, if not sooner. So, when you stop and look at how long it took me, well, let’s just say I am not average.

Here are a few points to put things in perspective…

  • 1971 Press ReleaseRegGas was less than $1 per gallon. The year after I graduated high school, a friend of mine and I took a 1971 Chrysler Imperial on a road trip from Tennessee to Florida. That car could only get 200 miles to a tank of gas, and we still had money to spend.
  • Cassette Tapes to Clouds. When I first started college I was so excited to get a Pioneer cassette deck for my 67 Mustang. Now, my iPhone can hold more music than I could have afforded to own in the 80’s.
  • Bag Phone to iPhone. The first cell phone I used was bolted to the floor of a truck and had a rotary dial, not buttons. The first cell phone I owned came in a bag with a battery four to five times the size of an iPhone. I couldn’t always afford to talk, but I would hold it up to my ear while driving (it was legal to do that back then), especially in the dark, just to show off.
  • Typewriters and Printers. Most people don’t remember typewriters, but I had to use them in high school. Later, after the advent of personal computers, I was able to snag a Tandy 1000. But do you remember those old printers that used paper that had to be guided on rollers? It would take 10 minutes to print a 10-page paper! Still, it was better than typing.
  • Textbooks to E-books. When I first started college an e-book was unheard of. Now textbooks are offered for iPads, Kindles, and phones. I still prefer something with paper, however.
  • Babies to Baby Makers. I have been going to college for so long that babies born when I started have already graduated college and started families! Those babies are now older than the age of girl I was dating in 1987!

It has been a long 179 hours, that’s for sure. Sorta reminds me of eternity. The big difference is that I’m actually looking forward to eternity 🙂

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Filed under Future, General Observations, Life Lessons, wisdom

My Daughter Does Opera

I know I’ve posted a lot, already, but this is my daughter we’re talking about. 

Katie is a Music Education and Biology Education Major at Bryan College. Today she performed a piece while I was at work, so my wife filmed it. 

I downloaded the video and then uploaded it to Youtube so you guys could see it. 

I don’t have the foggiest idea what she is singing, but it’s pretty. 

Enjoy! 

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Filed under music, Relationships and Family, Uncategorized

A Prayer For My Daughter At College

The Text

Yesterday I got a text from my daughter who attends Bryan College in Dayton, TN. She spoke of how stressed she was, of how little sleep she was getting, and how she misses the simpler life at home.

She sent a picture to me. It was a picture of the back of her left hand. On it was a reminder written with a Sharpie. She said:

Katies HandI’m killing myself trying to remember everything. I went to bed with this on my hand. Then I got it on my blue sheets and my face. But at least I made it to class this week.

Later she wrote:

“My emotions are going haywire…because I am so stressed. Yet, at the same time I don’t feel stresses in some areas…And those are the areas I leave out…”

I responded with:

“I haven’t been praying for you like I should. I’m sorry. But I will.”

The Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the mercies you have shown to my family and me. Thank you for my family, including the opportunities you have given us. In this case, thank you for providing the place and the means for Katie to go to school. Thank you for the opportunity she has at Bryan College.

Now Lord, I have been to school and have gotten my degrees, but I have never walked in my daughter’s shoes (they’d hurt). Her emotions are different. Her dreams are different. Her likes and dislikes are different. But one thing I do know is that she loves you with all her heart and wants to honor you with her success. Please help her to do that.

Lord, I am her earthly father, but you are her “Daddy God,” her “Abba.” You opened the door for her to go to Bryan. You provided the scholarships to pay for the tuition we could not afford. You gave her the gifts to sing and play music. All I did was watch over her and instruct her in Your ways while she was under my roof. Now she is completely in Your hands. Watch over her and grow her into the godly, intelligent woman you want her to be – for Your name’s sake.

Katie is stressed out, but doing her best. She wants to be the model of integrity and honor, but some other students are making it difficult. Give her the strength to stand strong on her principles and counsel her with your Spirit when she’s confused or questioning what to do.

Father, you are the One who gives peace. Your Son is the Prince of Peace. As Katie has willfully taken your yoke upon her, make her burdens light as You pull along side her. Give rest for her soul and mind. Reassure her with the peace that all things work together for the good, to them that love you and are called according to Your purpose.

And dear Lord, help her to keep things straight in her head, or in a datebook, or on her phone, or whatever. Waking up with permanent marker on her face before class can’t be helping with the stress level.

In Jesus’ name I pray, AMEN.

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Filed under Faith, Life Lessons, Parenting, Relationships and Family, Struggles and Trials

The Arrow Is Launched (My Daughter Is Going to College)

As a Parent

As a parent, it is very difficult to let my daughter go off to college.

Frankly, it feels like my heart is being ripped out, much like the first time my heart was broken by a girlfriend when she left me. It’s a painful feeling of loss, something that can never be cured, fixed, or done over.

Katie Baby Picture June 96Katie is my firstborn daughter. I was there at her birth…changed one of her first diapers…rushed her to the hospital when she was sick…threw a dog (Spot) across a room when he bit her…cried when she got injections…rejoiced when she accepted Christ…cheered her teams to victory and protested in defeat…cried again when I had to discipline her…listened with amazement at the first song she wrote…felt like a rock star when I played with her on stage…felt like an un-spiritual pagan when she spoke of her walk with God…bristled with anger when she got a boyfriend…and said, “That’s my girl” when she intimidated her own youth director at church.

Now, she’s grown up. There’s no more time. She’s leaving. My heart is breaking like never before. The pain is real.

As a Christian Parent

I once posted a comment on Facebook about my feelings. But the things people kept telling me had the same general theme: “She will be fine.”

IMG_3010Let me set the record straight. I KNOW she will be fine. I KNOW she will be OK. You don’t have to tell me that someone will be there at college to look after her, because I know darn well she can take care of herself! I am not worried in the least about her safety, her relationships, what she may or may not get into, or anything like that. She WILL be fine because she is prepared and God is with her. I am not going to worry. My problem is simply the fact that she is leaving.

But you know, that’s what children are supposed to do, right? They are supposed to leave, to get out of the nest, etc. What kind of parents would her mother and I be if we never prepared her to be a God-fearing adult? She was an arrow in my quiver, and now’s the time to let her fly.

Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the gate. – Psalms 127:4-5 NKJV

As an Archer

Fellow parents, let me tell you exactly why I am not worried about my daughter, Katie. First, when she was just a baby, I dedicated her to the Lord. I covenanted with my wife to raise her in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord.” To the best of our ability, we have done just that.

Secondly, we have done with her as a warrior does with his arrows. We kept her safe and protected, just as the arrow is protected in the quiver. Just as the warrior makes sure the flights on his arrow are straight, we made sure she learned the Truth (John 14:6) so that she could navigate through the winds of life toward her specific target. Like the shaft of the arrow, we trained and molded her character. And like the all-important arrowhead, we made sure Katie was as sharp as possible, as effective as could be, to make her mark on whatever target was propped in front of her.

Katie with guitarNo, I am not worried; I am painfully proud. I have prepared a weapon for God’s glory, one that is now leaving the bow in flight toward her God-given goal. I have done all I can do, including aim her in the right direction. Now that she is on her way, I have complete confidence she will stay on course.

Train up a child in the way [she] should go: and when [she] is old, [she] will not depart from it. – Proverbs 22:6

Confront the “enemies in the gate,” Katie! Victory is yours!

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Filed under Christian Maturity, Homeschool, Parenting, Relationships and Family

Up-coming Posts

For several weeks my brain, or at least the part that initiates writing, has been numb. I have been wanting to sit down and write about things that interest, concern, or humor me, but life has had a Novocaine-kind of effect. All I’ve been able to do is look at my computer and then say as shake my head, “I’m too tired.”

There are, however, a couple of things about which I want to write, especially within the next couple of days. One has to do with my daughter going off to college. Another has to do with going to church on Sunday nights. On top of that, I am working on finishing another book I’ve been working on: a shorter, mostly humorous collection of thoughts from driving a school bus.

I did recently write about Robin Williams. I would like to share a few more thoughts regarding depression, suicide, etc.

By the way, just the other day a young lady – a teacher – came up to me and personally thanked me for the first volume of Proverbial Thought. She said it made a big impact on her life and drew her closer to God. Seriously, now THAT’S a compliment.

Please, friends, try to go to church somewhere this Sunday morning (if it’s not already Sunday morning where you are). And, if possible, go somewhere to church in the evening.

Until my brain gets a little more feeling back, may God be with you all!

Oh, and please pray for those being killed because of their faith, looted because of race, and sold because of their gender.

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A Long 179 Hours

Woo Hoo!

Finally, at the end of this spring semester, I will be graduating seminary with a M.Min. It has been a long time coming, too. As a matter of fact, there are people who were born after I started college who already have doctorates and are practicing medicine!

Nevertheless, even though it is not a Doctorate of Divinity or a Doctorate of Philosophy, it is still an accomplishment. It is an accomplishment that has been brought about by the accumulation of 179 credit hours. If you add to that the hours I completed that were not accredited, I would have  close to 225.

How Long?

But what does all that really mean? How long did it take to complete 179 hours? Seven and half days? Far from it, my friends. Far from it.

The average college student, if he didn’t do anything else, could have completed all of the above hours of courses in 6 years.  Add in the total amount I have taken and an average student could have done it all in 8 years, if not sooner. So, when you stop and look at how long it took me, well, let’s just say I am not average.

Here are a few points to put things in perspective…

  • 1971 Press ReleaseRegGas was less than $1 per gallon. A friend of mine and I took a 1971 Chrysler Imperial that could only get 200 miles to a tank of gas from Tennessee to Florida, and we still had money to spend.
  • Cassette Tapes to Clouds. When I first started college I was so excited to get a Pioneer cassette deck for my 67 Mustang. Now, my iPhone can hold more music than I could have afforded to own in the 80’s.
  • Bag Phone to iPhone. The first cell phone I used was bolted to the floor of a truck and had a dial, not buttons. The first cell phone I owned came in a bag with a battery four to five times the size of an iPhone. I couldn’t always afford to talk, but I would hold it up to my ear while driving, especially in the dark, just to show off.
  • Typewriters and Printers. Most people don’t remember typewriters, but I had to use them in high school. Later, after the advent of personal computers, I was able to snag a Tandy 1000. But do you remember those old printers that used paper that had to be guided on rollers? It would take 10 minutes to print a 10 page paper, but it was better than typing.
  • Text books to E-books. When I first started college an e-book was unheard of. Now text books are offered for iPads, Kindles, and phones. I still prefer something with paper.
  • Babies to Baby Makers. I have been going to college for so long that babies born when I started have already graduated college and started families! Those babies are now older than the age of girl I was dating in 1987.

It has been a long 179 hours, that’s for sure. Sorta reminds me of eternity. There, a day will be like a thousand years, and a thousand years like a day. I’m looking forward to it.

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Filed under Future, General Observations, Life Lessons, wisdom