Wednesday, February 3, 2016

I Absolutely Love To Teach

I love teaching! Being able to teach here at Capital is a huge blessing in my life. I remember getting the call from our president and receiving the invitation to come here to Greenbelt! It was indescribable. I remember the first time I walked out of our apartment here in Maryland and drove to campus knowing I was going to walk into my first seminary class. I remember the first phone call with a student before the course actually started–he thought something might be wrong because he had never got a phone call from the professor before a class started. Nothing was wrong, of course. I just love reaching out to the students and connecting with them. I remember the first email from a student after a class finished, thanking God and sharing the number one thing God did in his life through the course. There's so much more. Tonight I'm just winding down the day thinking about how amazing it is to do what I get to do. I'm so thankful to the Lord for the blessing of getting to teach!

Monday, February 1, 2016

What's Going On This Week?

1. Well, I'm about finished with the final proof of Antonio's book before sending the manuscript off to the publisher.

2. By the end of the week I'll finish moving my collation of the Vatican manuscript data over to a "critical" format (like a modern critical Greek New Testament), which will be included in my dissertation for the Complutense University.

3. I called my students for my Greek course that is starting up in a couple of weeks. I love touching base with them before the course starts and getting an opportunity to encourage them.

4. I'll be meeting with a few students this week at my office. Two of them are a husband and wife team! They are going through their master's program together. I love it!

5. Lesly has been helping some of our new staff members with learning our student services protocol and systems. She really knows her stuff when it comes to CampusVue and everything pertaining to admissions.

6. We went to the Embassy of Ethiopia today to pick up our passports and visas. We are good to go! 2 year visas!

7. I'm listening to Iowa caucus news in the background. Who's gonna win? Your guess is as good as mine.

8. Yesterday we focused on the Jewish feasts in Leviticus. I couldn't help but opening my Greek New Testament and flipping over to Luke. Do you ever do that? You know, the pastor is teaching from one place, but you just gotta go chase something down somewhere else (most of the time connected to what the pastor is teaching, of course!).

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Getting Past Vocab

My friend Jacob Cerone has a post over at the Logos Academic blog that's definitely worth the read. The title is "The Open Secret to Mastering Greek and Hebrew Vocabulary (It’s Not Flashcards)." Read it here.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Read "Identifying Extremes"

In a post titled "Identifying Extremes," Henry Neufeld talks Pauline authorship and scholarship that considers all the evidence . . . and perspectives. Read it here.

Did We Get A Lot Of Snow?

I can't tell you how many texts I got over the past few days: "Thomas, did y'all get a lot of snow where you are?" The answer, of course, was "Lots!" Lesly and I went out and navigated our neighborhood turned winter wonderland. It was pretty remarkable. I love walking around in the snow. I remember as a kid going out in the snow early in the morning and not coming home until super late at night. My brother and I didn't come home until we could here my dad outside calling out to us at the top of his voice, "Thoooooomaaaaaaaas . . . Roooooooooooobeeeeeeeeert . . . Thooooooooooomaaaaaaaaaaas . . . Roooooooooooooobeeeeeeeeeeert . . . ." My brother and I would have been across the street playing army with our guns. Those are probably some of the best memories of my childhood.

Well, Lesly and I didn't go outside and play army, but we sure did have fun in the snow. We even had a race! I gave her a 10 second head start. We were racing to the street light in the parking lot of the elementary school across the street from where we live. You get really tired when you're running (trying to run) through snow that comes up to your thighs. If you're looking for a workout, that beats running at the beach any day. I was exhausted afterwards!

Well, here are some pics from Snowzilla 2016!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Manuscripts Are Done . . . Now The Second Hardest Part

So the manuscripts are finished. I've collated them using the Complutensian Greek New Testament, and now I'm doing the second hardest part–looking at the data. The collation work isn't in itself all that hard. It's just super time consuming and tedious. That's why Dan Wallace said this: "For one person to collate all of the Greek MSS of the NT it would take approximately 400 years." I've definitely bitten off a portion (albeit just a sliver)!

This afternoon before I left the office, I glanced over the collation work from Matthew 1–7, just to get an idea of where these manuscripts line up with the Complutensian Greek New Testament. The table now hangs in my office. Just Matthew 1–7 stretches down to the floor.

Highlights From The Past Two Weeks

The past couple of weeks have been slam full. It's been really nice, though. There's lots going on. I'm watching our adult undergraduate program in Greenbelt grow and grow. It's exciting to see so many brothers and sisters in Christ that have wanted to finish their undergrad studies but life just got in the way. Our undergrad program really is a provision from the Lord for so many in nation's capital. I walked past a class last week and saw twenty students in the class. Very exciting!

Brian Pinzer was teaching a class last week (or maybe it was the week before last) for our Masters of Arts in Ministry program. I couldn't help but snap a picture. One reason is I want to be able to look back when I'm 70 and see what it was like here on campus in Maryland. But I also know how nice it is to have a picture of a class I'm teaching, and it's the last thing you think about sometimes when you teach. So I snapped the picture for Brian and texted it to him. He swung by the office later and told me thanks.

Our faculty and staff gathered up in Lancaster on Monday for our bi-annual "DNA" day. We focused this Monday on the "N," which is our "need for one another." Folks, we really do need each other. Monday's meeting was a great reminder of just how important this truth is.

On Tuesday this week I had a student come in with his pastor. Jose is starting up his second ministry internship this week. He and his pastor wanted to come in so that they could figure out how to maximize this internship. I'm sure glad they did. It was exciting to get to know Julio (Jose's pastor). Julio, by the way, has a huge heart for Peru, where I'll be returning in June to teach for a couple of weeks. He wants to see the whole church adopt this nation and invest their time, money, strength . . . everything together in reaching the lost of Peru. And he wants to connect not just his church here with churches there, but he wants to pull in lots of churches here and make a collaborative and shared impact on Peru for the gospel. I love it!

Friday, January 15, 2016

"When I'm Gone"

So I've sat here for about fifteen minutes, typed over ten or fifteen words, erased them, did it all over again, and erased them now what seems like fifteen times. There just really aren't any words to introduce or point you to the link I'm about to share with you. All I can say is this one will hit a chord in your heart. Read "When I'm Gone" here, and watch the music video for the song. I know there are a lot of people wondering "Will I be okay?" when they lose someone they love. This song is just a simple reminder, "You'll be fine."

My prayers are with Rory and his family. My favorite verse in 1 Peter reminds us all that God stands ready to untangle every tangled up emotion, set every broken heart, strengthen every strength-depleted soul, and plant every wobbly leg on the firmest foundation (1 Pet. 5:10). To those who are called to the God of all grace, he promises to send all of his grace to you in your times of greatest trial and sadness. He promises that he himself will do it, so we need look to no other. Great is his love, it never fails.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Almost Done With The Manuscripts

I can't believe it. I'm one manuscript away from finishing my collation. That's huge news. I went and told Lesly that I've got one manuscript to go. Her reaction was, "Great! We are going to celebrate on Friday!" Yep, we'll be taking a trip to California Pizza Kitchen to mark the milestone. I can't wait!!!