Monday, December 27, 2004

Why Wake Forest?

Now that Christmas is over, I hope to be posting more regularly.

I thought I would start by posting a little bit of the decision process that Gay and I have gone through to decide on Wake Forest.

The first, and most important thing, is that we both feel that God is leading us to Wake Forest. When we finished our visit to Wake Forest, we both had an overwhelming feeling that this was where we were supposed to be. We were both very impressed with Brite, but we had a few concerns about the number of CBF churches in the area, and the lack of a CBF church with a contemporary service in the area. There are plenty of CBF churches in the area around Winston-Salem, and the church that meets in Wait Chapel on the campus has a contemporary service on Sunday nights.

One of the things we had heard about Wake Forest was that it was very academic and not ministry oriented. So, this was one of the questions I asked while I was there. The students told me that starting in the second year, you have to do internships. During his address at the luncheon, Dr. Bill Leonard, the dean of the divinity school, said that his goal was to train students who could both preach the gospel and had the academic knowledge to be able to answer the tough questions. I also asked the admissions director about this, and he told me that out of the last class, only 3 students had gone on to further academic study; the rest were in ministry positions. He said they had opportunities for internships in whatever field interested me, from internships at North Carolina CBF to local churches and hospitals.

Financial Aid and housing also affect this decision. Brite had great student housing at good rates, and I was nominated for a CBF leadership scholarship there. That would cover my tuition and probably most of my books. I haven't received an offer for financial aid at Wake Forest yet, but that should happen in the next couple of weeks. As far as I know, it is still possible for me to receive at Wait Fellowship which would pay for my tuition, books, fees, and a living stipend. That fellowship would relieve a LOT of the pressure on me and Gay, so it is definitely something for everyone to pray about. As for housing, the cost of living is low enough in Winston Salem for us to buy a condo or a small house with what we should make on selling our house. That would save us from having to pay tax on what we make on the house.

Both Brite and Wake Forest had excellent libraries and facilities. Personally, I know more about the faculty at Wake Forest, but I have been told that the faculty at Brite is also excellent. Gay and I have heard Dr. Leonard speak on a couple of occasions, and we have always been impressed with his knowledge and insight. We met Dr. James Dunn, the former director of the Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs, at CBF this year, and had lunch with him while we were at Wake Forest. We are both huge supporters of the BJCPA, and the work Dr. Dunn has done with them. I read Dr. Charles Kimball's book, When Religion Becomes Evil, and thought it was excellent.

Gay asked me yesterday if I was disappointed that we weren't going to Brite. I said I was a little disappointed, and that I have nothing bad to say about Brite. We were treated very well there, and we both really liked Fort Worth.

Gay and I would both appreciate your prayers about the financial at at Wake Forest. As I stated earlier, the Wait Fellowship would take a lot of pressure off of the both of us.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas

Moravian Love Feast in Wait Chapel at Wake Forest

Merry Christmas!

We just finished the Christmas Eve services at Bayshore, and they were beautiful. This marked one year since the sermon that convinced me that I was being called into ministry.

The advent theme this year at Bayshore is "Fear Not." And, I have to admit that I have been a little bit scared since I was accepted at Wake Forest. That acceptance all of sudden made things very real. I now know that next August, Gay and I will be moving to Winston-Salem, NC. I wonder if I can do the college thing for 3 years. Wake Forest is probably one of the most academically challenging programs out there, and I wonder if I can do it. Can I learn Greek and Hebrew? I know for a fact that I can do it, but it can still be very frightening at times.

I am thrilled that I was accepted at Wake Forest, and I am looking forward to studying there. I know God is going to be with me throughout the whole experience, and I also know that most things worth having require a lot of hard work. But, I don't think I could do it without Gay. She has been so supportive throughout this whole thing. I've said it before, and I will say it again, I am very lucky to have her. I think she is one of the reasons I wasn't called into the ministry earlier; I was on the track I was on so that I could meet this amazing woman.

The night was also a little bittersweet for me, because these were the last Christmas Eve services I will work at Bayshore. I have always enjoyed working these services, and I love the people at Bayshore. Although I will go to Bayshore for Christmas Eve services in the future, it won't be the same. But, the time has come to move on, and I accept that.

Merry Christmas, and thanks again for all of your prayers and support.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Wake Forest Update

Wait Chapel at Wake Forest University

I received my letter of acceptance to The Divinity School at Wake Forest University today! It said I was recommended for merit scholarships, and that I would be receiving an offer for financial aid in the next 2 weeks. I then have 30 days to accept or decline their offer of admission.

So, it looks like Gay and I will be headed off to Wake Forest next fall. I'll post some more over the next few days, as I have more time to put my thoughts together.

I added a Weather Channel module to the right column of the site to let you see the current weather in Winston-Salem. (Remember, Wake Forest is in Winston-Salem, the old Wake Forest campus in Wake Forest, NC is now Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.) You can visit the website for the Divinity School by clicking here.

I would like to thank everyone for all of their prayers and support!

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Sorry I haven't posted

I'm sorry I haven't posted much recently, but its advent season at chuch. I'm actually playing Santa Claus for the preschool at Bayshore tomorrow, in addition to running sound for a preschool show. For the rest of the week, we have another preschool show, the staff Christmas party is at our house on Friday night. We have church as normal on Sunday, and then a service for people who are grieving on Sunday night. So, things are a little bit busy.

I will post some more once we get past Christmas.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Friday, December 10, 2004

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to me!
Happy Birthday to me!
Happy Birthday to Gil!
Happy Birthday to me!

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Brite Update

As some of you may know, Brite requested a response from me on their offer of admission by December 17th. I talked to them today, and I was able to get that extended until Feb. 15, which should give me plenty of time to hear from Wake Forest. I still have to work out the housing arrangements at Brite, but I think we can work that out too.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Yee Haw! Accepted at Brite!

I received my letter of acceptance to Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University today! If you have reading this blog for a while, you know that Brite was my first choice for a long time, and is now a very close second choice. The letter also said I would be nominated for a CBF leadership scholarship. I am very excited that I was accepted at Brite, and I would be completely happy to go there.

Now we wait to hear from Wake Forest...