Some time back, in the post “Third Degree Burns,” I presented you, my dear reader, with the decision-making conundrum of what I am doing now that my Master of Divinity sits on the shelf. If you’d like the background, you can click through and read that post.
The decision has been made. I am going to pursue, after completing the next year of language study, a Doctor of Philosophy in Theology. My likely emphasis area will be History, but I’m not certain beyond that. In truth, I probably shouldn’t know more than that since I’d probably have to change it to match what my advisor and major professor guided me to anyway.
With this comes a few critical prayer requests from me.
First, I ask you to pray for my ability to handle this workload. Before I do student stuff, I must do pastor stuff. Before I do pastor stuff, I do father stuff. And before I do that, I do husband stuff. That’s the hierarchy of stuff for me, so it’s critical that I do all of those well in the process.
Second, I ask you to pray for the church I serve. They are a gracious lot of folks, truly, but there is a twofold concern. One is that folks will not “bother” me since I’m doing school, and therefore I will fall short as their pastor due to ignorance. The other is that folks will contact me, and I’ll handle it badly. Neither of these is acceptable.
Third, I ask you to pray for the finances in going to school. It’s not mega-expensive, but it’s not cheap, either. It represents a need of around $5000 a year, including $1000 for tuition that I need in the next month. So if you would pray for that, I’d appreciate it. (If you’d like to contribute to that, I’ve got a Paypal account!)
Fourth, I ask you to pray for the school. I was told by one professor that I was one of the most time-consuming students he’d had. He meant it well—but I’ve matured past my slacker phase (mostly) and have gotten into my “If I’m not right I want to know why!” phase. As in, these are all the reasons I’m sure I am right, so give me reasons why you say I’m wrong! Further, I’d like to see the school (www.bhcarroll.edu) grow in stature and reputation, because it not only helps my friends who work and attend there, but helps me.
Fifth, I ask you to pray for my children. We homeschool, which meshes well with distance learning. But I can set a bad example of student life if I’m not careful. I want the kids to love learning, not hate it because Daddy hates.
These last two are the most important:
Sixth, I ask you to pray for my children. This is going to take a lot of work, and they are going to keep growing up while I do it. I don’t know what I’ll miss, but I want to know my kids more than I want a gold star on my diploma. That’s a concern.
Finally, I ask you to pray for my marriage. Ann is supportive in ways that I cannot put words to, and she volunteered the idea of doing this—I was suggesting taking time off. She’s all for getting it and getting it done. I failed to make any sort of grand gesture to show how amazing she was in getting through the Masters phase, and I’ll fail to show how well she supports doing this. But I can be a troublesome husband.
This is where I am, and what I need right now. So if you would pray for me in that, I’d appreciate it.