Friday, January 4, 2013

New Beginnings

Wow.  Didn't realize it's been two months since I last posted. Since then, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years, three of my favorite times of the year have come and gone. The days around Christmas were a mix of both fun including my daughters graduation from Southern, and yes, a little stress. The stress was generated by the need to finish the pre-class written assignments for my January doctoral class at Denver Seminary. Eight book reviews, and additionally two longer written assignments, one of which I didn't notice in the syllabus until late, made for some long hours at the word processor.  However, the day after Christmas I finished the papers and now await the most enjoyable aspect of the class, the on-site classroom lectures and interaction.

My course this month will be taught by Dr. Gordon MacDonald who I've taken a class with before, I think this time last year. He is a prolific author having penned probably a dozen or more popular volumes that circulate widely in evangelical Christianity and even in the corporate business community. Much of his material and his focus is in the area of self-development, self-discipline and self-evaluation. In the last class I took from him I found it very interesting to hear his presentation and read his book chapters in the area of the 'stages of life' and how the needs, challenges, and goals of life change from decade to decade.  What's important to you in your 30's will change when you're in your 40's, and definitely once you hit your 50's.  "Can I get a witness?"

Dr. MacDonald writes a lot of ink and is passionate about  addressing the important areas of your life in order to be productive in your professional ministry through age 70.

The areas of emphasis that he believes are important includes the emotional, intellectual, physical, and spiritual. He believes that exercise and diet and attention to the physical is as important to giving our best as is growing your ministry skill set. While that's not a new idea to Adventists, it's also amazing to see how Christian thought leaders today are connecting with the ideas and thoughts of Ellen White who espoused the same concepts a century ago. Committing to being a 'lifelong' learner is another major theme that he introduces to his students. He is also, like many of the professors I've had in Denver, a proponent of  a weekly Sabbath rest though connecting that blessing with Saturday is not part of the conviction.

My January class, which concludes with the post-class assignments in March, marks the conclusion of my class-work seminar's and inaugurates the dissertation stage in my program.  Amazingly, I began this doctoral journey with trepidation, at the very beginning of my tenure here in KYTN, and three years later, I am I think, a more informed leader now than in 2010.

As opportunity presents itself, I will write more from Denver next week.  Today and through Sunday, I am in chilly Pigeon Forge, with the LE's on their annual retreat.  Peace and joy as athe Sabbath draws near!

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