Tag Archives: School

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

Random Comments Before Vacation

School’s Out!

As I sit here writing this, my mind is drifting, daydreaming (except it’s 9:06 pm) of tomorrow’s short bus-driving day.

No, now I’m eating tapioca pudding. My wife said, “You’d better eat this pudding Haley bought for you, or her feelings will be hurt.” I said, “I forgot about it!” Tapioca pudding is a favorite of mine, but for the life of me I have no idea what a tapioca is. A fish egg? Fat ball? Jello turd? I have no idea, so don’t tell me.

Anyway, tomorrow school gets out early for Christmas and New Year break. Woo hoo! Three weeks of doing honey-do lists, entertaining guests, and getting up later! Woo hoo! Three whole weeks with no pay! Exciting.

What’s the point? Well, if I don’t write so much it will be because I’m busy while on vacation, that’s all.

Random (sorta) Comments

It’s now 10:50 pm. People stopped by for a visit (that’s life in a parsonage). I’ve eaten a sandwich. Had a Coke float deezert (just spelled it the way it sounds). Time to get back to this post before I go to bed.

Cuba. I’m not too sure what’s the right response. I hate what Communism has done to that Island. I don’t trust anything Obama says regarding Cuba. I would love to have some Cuban cigars. Just sayin.

Order my book. Please, order my bus book – you’ll love it. It’s funny with some solid spiritual content, but not overbearing. Buy some copies to give away.

Logos Bible Software. I have Logos 5 (with more stuff than I’ll ever use). Why do upgrades have to be so expensive? Why separate module options for different denominations? Doesn’t that sorta go against the idea that the Bible is what it is? I don’t get it, other than it must be a money grab. Not impressed, I am. Disappointed, frankly.

baby girlClothes on dogs. Do dogs know what doggy clothes are? If not, why does my daughter’s dog love to put on clothes? Something ain’t right.

Forgetful wife. Why is it when I am the last one downstairs, like right now, my wife forgets everything she needs upstairs and then hollars at me and tells me to bring them when I come up? I just find it oddly convenient how she doesn’t seem to forget all these things when she is the last one downstairs. Again, just sayin.

Pakistan. Last, but definitely not least, my heart breaks for the people of Pakistan. My blood boils when I think of those who killed all those children and adults. I wonder who in the Taliban, or whatever, thought killing 100+ children would make for good PR? I wonder how the scumbags are enjoying their flaming-hot virgins?….wait….. What I meant to say was, I wonder how the scumbags are enjoying the hot flames of hell? Probably came as a shock.

Good night everybody. Say your prayers – and save one for me.

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Filed under blogging, Christmas, Countries, current events, politics

Feedback Needed! Don’t Be a Snotty Susie!

The following is an excerpt from a new book I am trying to complete within the next few days. It will be called Life Lessons from the School Bus. Let me know what you think. Marketable? Funny? Gets the point across? 

“Losing Marbles”

Once there was a little girl on my bus who cried over everything, especially when she didn’t get her way.  She ended up losing her marbles.

Snotty Susie

One morning this little girl – let’s just call her “Snotty Susie” – was crying about how everybody hated her.  Seriously, not two minutes after getting on the bus she started in with her caterwauling (the howling or wailing noise a cat makes). For the next 15 minutes the rest of the kids tried to console her, but all she kept saying through the sniffing, slobbering and crying was “Nobody wants to be my friend! Everybody hates me! WAAAAAH!

Fortunately, we reached the elementary school before everyone went deaf from the crying. Then, just as “Snotty Susie” was stepping off the bus, a little boy who had gotten off in front of her looked back and said, “Nobody hates you, Susie; we just don’t like you.”

At least the little guy was being honest.

The Great Giveaway

Well, that afternoon, when the elementary kids were getting on the bus to go home, “Susie” got on first and sat on the front row. “Would you like a marble, Mr. Baker?” she asked. “No,” I said, “I have plenty.”

What kind do you have?” she asked. “The round kind,” I replied.

Then, as the other children entered the bus, just as soon as they walked past her, she would ask, “Would you like a marble? You can have it for keeps. EVERYONE! Get your FREE marble, if you WANT one!

I asked, “What are you doing? Why are you giving away your marbles?” She said, “Because I am going to MAKE them like me.

Honestly, I felt sorry for the poor little girl. No one had ever taught her how to make friends.

Life Lesson

When we treat people poorly, and then try to buy their friendship with shiny trinkets, we end up losing our marbles.

“Snotty Susie” usually had a bad attitude about everything. She regularly talked mean to other kids, made fun of them, and then cried out in emotional pain when someone wasn’t nice to her. No one wanted to be her friend because she was NOT friendly! She couldn’t even buy friends for a day.

The saddest part was that I picked up a handful of marbles after all the children got off.

Route Suggestions

  • King Solomon said, “A man that has friends must show himself friendly” (Proverbs 18:24). How can you be nice to someone today?
  • Don’t try to buy your friends. If you do, you’ll just go broke (marble deficient) trying to keep them.
  • Don’t let anyone buy YOUR friendship. Be a real friend to somebody who’s a marble short.

[UPDATED IN AN ATTEMPT TO BE LESS SOPHOMORIC. I HOPE IT WORKED.]

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Filed under book review, Humor, Life Lessons

Thursday Thoughts

It’s almost Friday, so just hold on a little longer. In the meantime, here are my thoughts about a subject totally unrelated to World War Three or the supposed liberal victory in the “culture war.”

Honest Questions

Yesterday, in the elementary school lunchroom, several children started badgering me. Because yesterday was “Fan Day,” the little crumb-crunchers were wearing the colors of their favorite teams and wanting to know which college sports team was my favorite.

“Well, it all depends on who’s playing whom, and what sport,” I answered. “But can’t you pick a favorite?” they asked. “No,” I said, “because I have attended several colleges – Chatt. State, UTC, Hopkinsville College, Western Kentucky Univ. (one class), Temple Baptist Seminary, Covington Seminary, etc. – so it’s hard to pick a favorite; it all depends.”

At that point a 5th-grade girl started to laugh, then covered her mouth.

“What’s so funny?” I asked.

“Oh, I can’t say, ’cause it wouldn’t be nice,” she replied.

“Go ahead, what is it?”

“It wouldn’t be nice.”

“Tell me,” I insisted.

“It’s just, well… If you went to all those colleges, then why are you still driving a bus?”

That’s an honest question, I suppose. (Give me a second to bandage my ego)

It’s a Choice and a Calling

Those in ministry are some of the most educated poor people around. Honestly, how many people do you know with graduate and post-graduate degrees working multiple, low-paying jobs? Pastors do it far more often than you think.

So, why is it, with all that education and papers on my wall, I am “still driving a [school] bus?” The answer is pretty simple and two-fold: 1) I need a job with flexible daytime (and summer) hours; 2) it’s God’s will.

photo (7)Sure, there are other things I could be doing to make more money, like pastoring a large, “fully-funded” church. However, like most pastors, I serve the Lord and His flock in the place where He has chosen to send me. And if that means I have to do a little extra to pay for braces, then so be it; it keeps me humble.

And besides, there’s no “secular vs. sacred” when it comes to what I, or any Christian does for a living. We are called to be “salt and light” wherever we are. In my case, there’s a particular school bus that was bland and dim – it needed me.

That’s why I still drive a bus.

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. – Colossians 3:17 KJV

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Filed under Culture Wars, ministry

School Bus Thoughts

There are days when driving a school bus can drive me crazy.

One day I asked a little boy, “Are you wearing socks?” “Yes,” he answered. “Then will you take one of them off and stuff it in your mouth?!

On other days I have fun just aggravating the little crumb crunchers. For example, I keep telling two little girls that their neighbors are aliens (like from another planet, not Mexico). They say, “Nuh uh!” I say, “Uh huh!

Last week I told kids to ask me what my favorite letter of the alphabet was:

Little Girl: “What is your favorite letter of the alphabet?”

Me: “Y”

Little Girl: “I don’t know, you told me to ask. What is it?”

Me: “Y!”

Little Girl: “You told me to ask you, so I’m asking you what your favorite letter is!”

Me: “Y!!”

Little Girl:Uuuuggghhh! What is it?”

Then there are other days…

Elementary kids will tell their parents “good-bye” before they board the bus, then they will do it again once they find a seat. Almost without fail my first and second-graders will take ten seconds to hug and say “good-bye” at the stop, but then rush to lower the windows in order wave as they scream out as we pull away, “Bye! Bye, Momma! Bye!

Later in the day, when I take these same children home, they talk and play with each other (sometimes too much) until they get close to their stop. They’re usually not thinking too much about getting off the bus, but the moment they feel the bus slow down they gather their things and move to the door. As soon as the door opens they see their mom, dad, or granny…then scream…then run to their side…then embrace … like it’s been forever.

I’ve noticed that no matter when death comes, it always comes as a shock…a surprise. Even when we expect a loved one to pass away from a long-term illness, the moment of death is like that moment on the bus when a child leaves: the time for departure has been expected, but that last “good-bye” is never enough.

But hallelujah! Praise God for homecomings!!

I don’t know about you, but I’m looking out the window. Yes, I’m enjoying the time I have with my friends and family down here, but home is just around the bend. Any moment the bus will be slowing down.

photo (41)Are you looking for that door to open? Are your things in order? Can you sense the ride is coming to an end? Believe me, once it stops I’ll be jumping off and running to the House.

I’ll see my earthly dad…I’ll see my Jesus…I’ll scream…I’ll run…then embrace…

Just a thought…from a school bus.

14 Comments

Filed under Christian Maturity, Faith, Future, General Observations, Life Lessons, the future

Taking Time Off

Dear Friends and Followers,

I will be taking the next few weeks off in order to focus on my last 2 weeks of seminary and preaching. Unfortunately, I have fallen behind on some critical assignments, so this blog must be placed in the hands of others.

I will be inviting some other bloggers to be guests over the next few weeks. So, please keep coming back, even if I am somewhere locked away in front of a Word document.

My last post was my 400th! Can you believe it? I guess it’s a good time to take a break. Maybe I will come back a little wiser.

One last thing. Our deepest condolences go out to the Shea family. George Beverly Shea died today, and that breaks the heart of millions around the world. One thing is certain, however – he is probably singing “How Great Thou Art!” face-to-face with the Savior.

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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.

12 Comments

Filed under Future, General Observations, Life Lessons, wisdom