I am posting this blog from Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. I am happy to report that I successfully defended my dissertation this morning. I have been working on the dissertation for over two years and the dissertation defense is that last big step before graduating. I have been researching and writing on the subject of spirituality and leadership, specifically I have been trying to understand how God shapes the hearts of leaders. In the defense, my committee of three asked me clarification questions on various parts of this dissertation. They have also asked me to make a few revisions to make the dissertation stronger. I have finished up the revisions this afternoon and plan on submitting it to the editor tomorrow for ONE MORE EDIT. The editor will send it back to me to for one final round of corrections and that is it.
I owe a lot to Dr. Steve Seamands, my faculty adviser. He has given my a lot of encouragement and pointed me to a lot of great resources. His Trinitarian vision of ministry helped to shape a lot of the ideas that have found their way into the dissertation. (If you want to read some of Steve’s work, I recommend his book Ministry In the Image of God: The Trinitarian Shape of Christian Service.
I also owe a great deal of thanks to Jenni (the moopie). She has shared me with the seminary and the dissertation work. Without her support, I couldn’t have done any of this. She stayed home (and ate crap) a lot of days and weeks while I was off to class or interviews for the dissertation. I love you moopie!!!
For all the good there is to celebrate, there is just as much tragedy to mourn.
I turned on the TV this afternoon to take a little break from the dissertation revisions and I saw the report of the people that had been killed a Virginia Tech. The death toll is at 32 at the time of this posting. What a tragedy. Jesus said that the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. Last night, I finished hammering out some notes for the small group I am going to lead Wednesday night. The title is “A Brief History and the Final Defeat of Satan.” Our small group is studying spiritual warfare and I was asked to lead the study this Wednesday. I am not falling into the simplistic trap of saying “The devil did it….” but when I see evil and death, I see the works of the devil. What I learned in putting these notes together is that whenever the Bible talks about Satan (or the devil) it very often talks about his demise. Jesus said, “I saw Satan fall like lightening.” Then he said, “give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you” (Luke 10:19 KJV).
Jesus is alive.
Jesus is the king.
Jesus rules over all.