Thursday, March 09, 2006

Boston - Day Four

Success! They said (well, … I thought) it couldn’t be done. All the lights were with me on Hwy 114. I made it to the interstate in well under seven minutes. Traffic was flowing at a quick page on 128. I made it to Exit 17 (Grapevine Road) right at the fourteen minute mark. I had a chance and I did it - I pulled to a stop in the seminary parking lot at the 19:54 mark. What a thrill! I appreciate all your thoughts and prayers during this difficult endeavor. But together - we did it!!!

I've also realized that when you’re away from your family and living alone in a hotel room for several days, it is the small things that make your day.

I know I am alone for another reason – I found myself talking out loud to myself in the car this morning. A regular conversation and no one else was in the Taurus. And I was using some silly half-hillbilly/half-Elvis voice. I stopped as soon as I realized what was going on.

Class began today with another devotion – this time led by Dr. Sid Buzzell, the co-teacher these two weeks and a reader/mentor for our upcoming thesis. He read from Judges 9:7ff about the fable of the trees. It’s an interested story I don’t believe I have every read. It deals with being chosen king and the lesson of the fable is (according to Dr. Buzzell), “if able aren’t willing to lead, the willing who aren’t able will lead.”

A LONG time of discussion ensued regarding the pressure to perform the professional/CEO role of pastors. Dr. Robinson noted that there has been a shift in jargon that reveals the shift in pastoral roles: it used to be called a pastor’s study but now it is called the pastor’s office.

This devotional and introspective time lasted until 1015, at which time we took a long break. Tough, huh?

When we returned from break, Dr. Robinson had us go around room and discuss our individual thesis ideas and where we are and the problems we have and the questions we want to ask. There are some very interesting subjects being pursued:

1) Marvin – Preaching first-century parables in 21st century world

2) Marshall – Effective preaching to African-american female

3) Christine – Testimony of preaching

4) Kurt – Preaching Christ in all of Scripture to postmodern

5) Jeff G – Speaking so mind sees it

6) Burt – Preaching to denominationally diverse congregation

7) Seahawk – sermon application, but want to narrow it down

8) Bill – Develop house church in ???

9) Omar – Role of preaching in Latino church in Massachusetts

10) John W – Internship for preaching majors at college – field-based education

11) Steve – Preaching in Mormon Context

12) Ken Z – Preaching in poverty areas (working class communities)

13) Ed J – Preaching that builds multi-cultural congregation (gotta narrow to specific cultures)

14) Mike R – How to use movie illustrations effectively

15) Bryan G – How D. Bonhoeffer can impact 21st century preachers

16) Mike F – Preaching in Exilic mode with primary focus on needs of Caribbean people (secondary focus on probing thesis that if not Caribbean person, as a Christian you can be considered in Diaspora) Haddon said focus only on Caribbean aspect

17) Lorna G – Homosexuality is Sexual Immorality: Let the Church say so!

18) Paul B – Teaching Teens to Lead spirit-filled life in secular world

19) Davin W – Preaching to multi-generational congregations (differences in generations) in Owenton, KY

20) Brent S – Preaching Christ with our eyes open: Apologetic of suffering

21) Jeremy M – Defining core content of gospel for British Evangelicals (attack of substitutionary atonement).

22) Duane B – Develop teaching module for Nazarene preachers for preaching holiness with biblical authority

23) Jeff S – Expository Doctrinal Preaching

24) Rick M – I can’t remember. He’s writing another book.

25) Darryl D – Theocentric preaching as opposed to anthropocentric preaching

We then broke for lunch (cheeseburger). When we returned to class, we finished discussing the thesis ideas and got into our teaching groups to discuss next week’s assignment. John, Steve and I decided we’d rather meet at the hotel so we left seminary and met for about 40 minutes in the Idaho room. We all feel pretty confident that we are doing what we are supposed to be doing. We teach our lesson first thing Tuesday morning.

After a quick trip to Barnes&Noble and Border’s Books for some material on Mormonism (for Steve), we ate dinner at Johnny Rockets. I enjoyed a chili dog but the joy has left me at this point in the evening.

I returned to the hotel room at 6:30 and worked until 10:20 on chapter one of my thesis. It came in at eight pages (Dr. Robinson said between five and eight). I will turn it in to him tomorrow and hopefully get it back before the end of class. That will give me all weekend to review it and revise it before next week’s one-on-one interviews.


Jim Pemberton said...

Congrats on breaking the 20-minute barrier.


You have to be a G-man to spell that.

Mike Cline said...

Man, I sure wish I could trade places with you...spend all weekend working on a paper. I guess all I'll do is watch the ACC Tournament. I may read the paper. You know Ive gotta keep my mind sharp.

Rodney Harrison said...

Jeff...Jeff...Jeff, Jeff, Jeff. I am really concerned that you are not eating well. You have been in Boston for one week now and all that you have managed to eat is Tennessee BBQ, Teryaki Wings, and the mall food court. It reminds me of when I was a kid and going to the beach(Hello! GREAT Seafood) with all of my Dad's extended family and my aunts always choosing to eat at Captain D's. Now we all know that you are a BRILLIANT man, FAR mare intelligent than any of us will ever be but...I feel that I really must help you out here. Boston has some of the finest restaurants in the country and I have taken the liberty of researching and writing my own thesis on dining suggestions for Boston. My trustworthy source is Food and I know that we can believe everything we read there. Especially when Rachel Ray recommends all of the great places that you can eat in Boston and spend less than $40.00 a day. So here are some of my findings. "No Name Restaurant" at the Boston Pier has been operated by the same family since 1917...The best in seafood. "The Union Oyster House" Famous! Famous! Famous! you cannot come home without going there and eating CLAM CHOWDER (Hello again!! It's a Boston thing, not Tennessee BBQ.) For Chinese, Rachel recommends "King Fung Garden." I could not find the location but when you are the King of Fung it has to be good. I would recommend that you locate Mr. Fung before heading to the food court again to satisfy your frequent chinese cravings! (Too bad you don't have a GPA system, or whatever you call it in your trusty ole Taurus to help you find it!) For your south of the border cravings there is "Casa Romero" where you can get "Cactus and Cheese Mole." I am sure they can do your white sauce substitution thing. Now here is the PERFECT place for you. "Sports Grill of Boston." Rachel says it has TONS on sports memorabilia, several hundred BIG SCREEN TV's and you must try the "Lobster with creamy Rissoto and Shitaki Mushrooms." And at last, but certainly not least, you must try "UNI" where you can get Sea Urchin, Barnacle and the freshest Sashimi you will find anywhere. Here's what I am could never get that here at the China Buffet... so go for it. Be bold!! Be brave!! Walk on the wild side!!

Well, At least I feel that I can sleep better tonight knowing that I have given you this MUCH needed advice on fine dining in Boston. The thought of you being there and only being able to eat at the food court has kept me awake for several nights now. Just trying to be a blessing!!

Seriously...We are praying that your remaining time goes well! God has great things ahead for you and we are blessed to know you and serve with you. We'll see you next week. You at least gotta try some Boston Baked Beans and a big slice of Boston Cream Pie!!