Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Boston - Day Three

I really wanted to sleep in today but got up just fifteen minutes late. Still made it to class in plenty of time although I still failed to break the 20-minute barrier (20 min, 30 seconds from hotel to school parking lot). I think the bottleneck is the path from the hotel to the interstate (lots of traffic, lots of stoplights – right now it takes right at seven minutes). If I can hit the lights just right, it can be done!

Dr. Robinson had us compose a Psalm for the morning devotional. He asked us to think of something that upset us or caused us sadness or pain. I couldn’t really think of anything personal except missing the family so I came up with some sort of quasi-imprecatory Psalm. Here it is:

How long, O Lord, will you allow your Church to trample your grace underfoot?

How long, O Lord, will you tarry while shepherds strive first to entertain sheep in desperate need of less entertainment?

I see some tell jokes and think we are setting the mood.

I see some bribe people with gifts to enter your sanctuary and give them nothing of real value.

I see some sell Christian breath mints that aren’t even that good and call it witnessing the gospel.

I see some think the key to winning the world is getting people to watch certain movies.

I see some trying to find "purpose" in preaching other’s sermons.

I see some more concerned with keeping Christ in the Christmas tree than keeping Christ in the Church.

I see some concerned most with not boring the flesh instead of killing it, afraid the offense of the gospel will turn people against them.

I see some trying to be all things to all people but failing to realize it was Christ’s holiness, not his coolness, that attracted and ultimately changed sinful people.

I see many who have forgotten that the gospel is the power unto salvation.

How long, O Lord, will you continue to be mocked?

How long, O Lord, will you allow us to carry the Ark with unclean hands?

How long, O Lord, will you withhold your judgment of the very house of God?

We then quoted Psalm 23 aloud as a class.

We spent the entire DAY going over more information on teaching, focusing on outcomes and goals and objectives. My mind really began to glaze over at times as the terms kept flying in with amazing regularity.

Lunch was good – spicy Cajun chicken. Rather, the spicy Cajun part was good. The chicken was dry and tough.

One thing about this third residency is that there are a lot more breaks in the class schedule and the breaks are longer. One “break” lasted almost 40 minutes. I spent the breaks in the library and bookstore. While in the library I look at old theses down in the basement near the periodicals. It helps to see what other D.Min. students have done and what I can expect to have to do in the near future. The theses run the gamut from about 100 pages to well over 300 pages. Dr. Robinson said to shoot for between 150 and 200 pages – because he stops reading after 200 pages. Of course, he was kidding but it must be brutal to have to read that much material from this many guys – plus he has other D.Min. courses on top of ours.

The afternoon classes finished around 3:30 PM and I went to the library. I checked out a copy of a thesis that is pretty close to mine and also found a few books that might prove helpful. I did some bibliographic research and found four journal articles that I photocopies. However, the copies cost ten cents for each page and I blew about $1.40 when I was holding the book the wrong way and only got half of each page on the copied paper.

I got back to the hotel around 5:00 and went out to eat with Steve and John. A favorite spot from the first two years (Jumbalayas) was turned into a different restaurant called “Red Sauce.” We didn’t know what it was but went anyway. I was hoping it was a BBQ/Chicken type place and the “red sauce” was BBQ sauce. My grandfather made an awesome sauce that we’ve always called “red sauce” and my hope was up. However, it turned out to be an Italian place so I ordered the usual when I frequent an Italian restaurant – chicken parm. It was very good but I’d rather have had Papaw’s BBQ chicken.

Back in the hotel around 7:00 PM, I sat down for an evening of reading and studying. I hope to complete chapter one of my thesis tonight.


Jim Pemberton said...

Lois is a pollo parmigiano freak and orders it frequently as well, probably because she doesn't like anything else much. She was distraught when Mi Pueblo stopped serving it.

I went to Chuck's class tonight. I'm torn now because I want to go to both classes when you get back. I did promise a pre-trib buddy of mine a copy of the literature you will have when you do your class.

Chuck, If you want to read the mini-debate between the realtivist and myself that I mentioned, you can find it here:

Mike Cline said...

Too bad your lunch wasn't special. Mark brought flounder filets today and we made fish sandwiches complete with tarter sauce and cole slaw. The meal was completed with Marks famous Food Lion chocolate cake. Brian shared your prayer with us. Thanks for remembering our need for your blessing. It was a great meal. Sorry you missed it.

Andy said...

Hey, maybe the usual Thursday crowd will gather for lunch today and I'll get a chicken sandwich with extra mayo in "rememberance of you."

Anonymous said...

Dear (Jeff? Rev. Spry? Sir?):

I'm a longtime lurking fan of your blog. Steelers and Yankees drew me into your profile, thoughts on God drew me into your blog, and long story short you're now at the top of my bookmarks.

A line from your class-assignment psalm -- "I see some trying to be all things to all people ... " -- keeps ringing in my ears because of a debate that's been raging in my Sunday School class over the church marketing itself.

Can I read that sentence in our next discussion?


Jeff A. Spry said...

Anonymous, email me at