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Mind Blown

I am now officially a grad student. I have attended my first class in Master’s level work and I find that I have a lot of catching up to do. Having been out of academia for about three years has apparently taken it’s toll (not to mention I’ve been awake since 3:30am), but I think I can make it. I’m just going to do a little bit at a time and I’ll get to where I need to be. In the meanwhile, I feel like my brain exploded.

That is all.

MSE

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Starting Grad School

This week has been one wild ride! On Wednesday, I went up to Criswell College for new student orientation and to get registered for classes! My goodness, it sure was good to be back up there! I was very honestly surprised.

It’s really amazing how God has shut doors in my life to push me back to Criswell. Some of you know I’ve had a pretty tough couple of years. Fortunately, though, there has been a group of strong Christian guys who have held me accountable during this time. They are awesome!

I thought I might go back to Tulsa (where I was several years ago) and continue education there. These guys seemed hesitant, but allowed me to pursue it. I went up there to look for work this past January, but to absolutely no avail! I didn’t even get a call back from a single place! So, I couldn’t move up there. Door closed.

Next, I thought I might as well try to go for a Master’s degree in Scotland at one of their fine institutions. Sounds awesome, right? When I went to tell my accountability group about it, not a single one thought it was a good idea to pursue right now. We spent a few long hours talking solely about it. It honestly took me aback that all of them disagreed with me. In the end, I still wasn’t sure they were right, but I put my trust in their judgment on the matter and relented. Another door firmly closed.

Then I applied to Dallas Seminary. They have such a great academic program and, with people in their New Testament department like Wallace and Fanning, I thought it would be the perfect fit for me. It didn’t take long for them to come back with a rejection on account of the issue I’d dealt with in the past couple years. That door felt slammed in my face.

So, I gave it some time, but this past summer I felt compelled to go up to Criswell to see what might be open there. Right away I felt welcomed and was honestly very impressed with them (which is surprising considering I went to school there for two years in undergrad). The admissions counselor encouraged me to apply and before I knew it I’d been accepted! Financial aid fell into place. My job’s hours changed, for an unrelated reason, which allowed me to take all the classes I wanted. Now, other job possibilities are opening up in the fields where my heart is!

God is so good! He even uses slammed doors to direct us to the places He wants us to go!

MSE

My Latest Purchase

Aside from reading books, I also attempt to find other hobbies. I enjoy hanging out with my friends, driving (which was more enjoyable when gas was less expensive), running, and boxing. Granted, I am not as good at any of these things as I would truly like to be, but I love them all the same.

Well, I just made a new purchase on Amazon which may or may not mean a new hobby for me. I bought a harmonica! I’ve heard it’s not that hard to pick up how to play, and I really like the idea of being able to carry an instrument with me in my pocket. Wherever I am I can pull it out and start playing! That’s the idea anyway.

I don’t know if I will love it or end up hating it, but I won’t know unless I try!

MSE

College Jobs

I am in job hunt mode right now. I do have a current job (which is always nice), but I could use one that’s either closer to where I live or where I am about to start grad classes in a few weeks. I’ve often thought how nice it would be to work at the school I go to in some capacity – admissions, teacher’s aid, security, etc. I plan on figuring out if they are hiring for any position, but I thought I’d pose a couple questions to y’all first. What has been your experience in looking at work at the school you attend? How did you find out about the position? Did you find it good or bad working at the place you attend? Is there anything I should be especially mindful of in my own search?

MSE

Book Shopping

For anyone who has read this blog in the past, you know that I have a love of books. Free books are the best, but on occasion there are books that I must buy. With classes starting in only a few weeks, this is one of those occasions! However, there is a right and a wrong way to pay for books on a budget.

I’ve done the math for my fall book purchases and have compared three different book stores. My school uses Dallas Seminary’s book center for their regular needs. The store itself is a fantastic place! I highly recommend if you ever find yourself in the area that you stop in for a visit. I could get my books there for about $210.

Of course there is Amazon. I could get all my books there for a tidy sum of $200.33! Neither of these two options is very far apart and they are not bad for a whole semester’s worth of books. But…there is a less expensive place!

If I went with Abebooks my total price for the semester comes out to $118.48. That’s $80 less than Amazon! I know I could use that money (possibly for more books). I’m liable to give up some amount of quality, however I’ve found that most of the books I’ve received from them over the years have been immaculate.

All this said, I will probably use Abebooks for most of my purchase and then get a certain few books that I want to be sure are pristine from Amazon.

MSE

Wales

Since learning about my family history a few years ago, I have developed a heart for the people of Wales to know Christ. My family came to America from the area around Dolgellau, Wales in the late 17th century.

I hope that in the next year or two I will be able to go back there for a couple weeks and begin telling people about Jesus. My desire is to continue to do this year after year. Do I know the logistics of it yet? Nope. Do I know costs or if there are any missions organizations already there? Not a clue.

I’m beginning to talk with a friend who is a missionary in London about what is going on in Wales, but I am in such an early stage and I really don’t know the direction to go to get this started. If any of you have any ideas, I’d be more than happy to hear them!

MSE

Fall Courses

I’m pretty excited to be going back to school this fall. Criswell was a great place to finish my undergrad career (they were the last stop on a set of four colleges), and they appear to be an even greater place for grad work! So, without further ado, the classes I will be taking this fall:

Philosophy of Language
A study of the nature and use of language in general and specifically its ability to communicate religious truth and experience. Key thinkers representing major historical time periods (including the contemporary) and supposed problems for Christian theology are examined. Important questions include how temporal language is used to discuss the eternal God.

Reformation and Post-Reformation Theology
An examination of the views and influence of the magisterial Reformers and the Anabaptists and their significant theological heirs and opponents until the end of the eighteenth century. Special focus is given to the continuing influence of these groups and their views on contemporary evangelicalism.

New Testament Intensive: Matthew
Advanced analytical research of the Greek text in selected portions of the Gospel of Matthew in order to discover the contextual message and purpose of the text, its theological contribution, and its significance in the life of the Church. Attention will be given to historical setting, grammar, literary structure, textual criticism, and lexical analyses of the text. Students should not take the same exegesis course twice, even if different passages are being examined, in order to gain as wide an exposure as possible to different genres in the New Testament.

The one I’m going to enjoy most is the class on Matthew. It’s taught by my old Greek professor, Dr. H. Leroy Metts! He is awesome!

MSE