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Thursday, December 15, 2005

First Semester Complete

I just finished my first semester of the Ph.D. program at OU. It's kind of hard to believe that I was just able to write that. I mean, this is the guy that had to retake English 1 and College Algebra. How sad is that? It's amazing how we begin to change as we begin to know our true selves. When I left to go to college at SAGU, I thought the only thing I wanted to do was be the pastor of a church. Getting an education was only a means to that end. Now, many years later, I have realized that education is much more than a 'right to work' and it goes further than helping us get better paying jobs.

One thing that really disappoints me about the denomination that I am affiliated with is that I don't feel they do enough to promote the idea that education is inherently good. Knowing more about what God has created, the people that he has created, and the works that those people have created gives us precious insight into aspect of God himself. I pray that we realize God has given us more than the Bible, though that is a treasure beyond comparison. He has decided to us his creation to reveal his glory. Spend a weekend on a mountainside and you'll begin to catch a glimpse of that.

When I got home last night, I was overwhelmed thinking that I've made it this far. I still have 3 more semesters of coursework and then 3 years of writing, but I'm making progress. Isn't that what we all look for in some way? Progress. Progressing toward a deeper relationship with Christ. Progressing toward meeting a spouse. Progressing toward rebuilding relationships. Progressing toward life goals and dreams. I am thankful that our Lord knows us, what we can handle, and exactly how to assist us in conquering our fears and fulfilling our dreams.

Monday, November 21, 2005

A Tiring Time

It's been awhile since I've posted, so you know things have been busy for me. School is wonderful. I love reading texts and talking them over with other graduate students. I love forming arguments and then presenting them to my professors for evaluation. I love knowing that because of my efforts now, I'll be doing the Kingdom a service in some way.

I just finished a paper that I am about to hand in to Professor Zagzebski and am really nervous about how it is received. She recently published a book entitled Divine Motivation Theory in which she gives an ethical theory based on the life of an exemplar. Well, I have tried to adopt her theory to give a new account of moral responsibility. It seems that some of the people who debate the issue of if persons have freedom or if their actions are determined, tend to hang moral responsibility on the freedom of the individual. If my account of moral responsibility works, we can hold people morally responsible for their action, even if they had other choice but to do as they did.

If this is well received by my professor, it may turn into a dissertation topic. I really think that it 'works' and would love spending the next 4 years of my life developing it and making it more systematically rigorous. What is nerve racking is that she could very well say, "It's nice but doesn't really work and here's why."

In the next few days I'll try to post my paper "Motivation-based Moral Responsibility" online so you can read it if you like. Oh yeah, I finally finished my response to the Assemblies of God position on alcohol and sent it to Thomas Trask.


Sunday, October 23, 2005

I'm An Uncle!!!

(Well, not yet but soon.)

I just finished visiting with my family and it seems that my brother and sister-in-law are going to have a baby sooner than later. I'm really excited for them and can't wait to have a lil' one around all the time.

This is really great for TinaMarie and me as well. Now that Greg and Nesa are going to have a kid, my parents won't be breathing down our necks to have a kid. Before my brother got married, my mother was always harassing both of us to hurry up and get married. Once Greg got married, it was like they forgot I was single....which was great! Hopefully their kid will have the same affect.

I'll be praying for Nesa's health and Greg's sanity these next 9 months or so. We all would appreciate your prayers as well.


Thursday, October 13, 2005

I'm a Racist?

Talk about a buzz word in society today. Being a racist or sexist today is pretty much unexplainable. These two categories are reserved for only the most ignorant of people. Evidently, though, I fall into both of those categories; well, at least according to one person.

I know you're wondering what in the world happened to cause something like that to happen. Good news for you, I'm going to tell you. Wednesday I walked into one of the classrooms on the Philosophy Department floor to put down my cup of coffee at a seat before going to get a few things out of my office. Almost as soon as I walked in (before I could even let go of my cup) the professor that was still in there from the previous class started yelling at me for not waiting until her class was finished. Now, if she was in the middle of lecturing I could understand. If she was still talking to a few students I could understand, if was just talking to one student I could understand. But, she was not. The classroom door was open as far as it could be open and no one was in the room except her. I didn't say anything to her, didn't even make a noise other than my shoes hitting the floor (and I am pretty ninja-like, so that was minimal).

So where does the racist, sexist stuff come in? Right here. After yelling at me for rudely interrupting her class (which was not meeting mind you), she asked, "If I were a white male, would you have came in her!?" (FYI; she is a black female professor in the English department) Which in response I exclaimed, "What are you talking about!". She then said, "Well, it's just a product of your poor upbringing." And that's when I lost it. I'm not sure what all was said in the next few minutes, but I do remember (after she told me to "just leave") telling her that she doesn't get to play the race and sexist card and then just expect me to walk away. I was so furious I was shaking. The entire floor heard our'conversation' and when I did leave she went to the department chair's office and yelled at him for the next 10 minutes. I haven't seen her again since the incident, but I'm sure it'll be interesting when I do.

The whole scenario got me thinking, she accused me of being degrading to minority woman on the basis that I'm a white male. Now, I gave her no reason to think that (walking into a classroom is hardly grounds for implying someone is a sexist and a racist), she made her decision based upon my gender and my race. Now if that isn't exactly what is required to be called a sexist and a racist, I don't know what is. I made no judgment about her until after she started yelling, and my judgments from then on had nothing to do with her race or gender.

Now I don't want to trivialize the fact that many minorities do face all sorts of crap, especially in large institutions. What is unfortunate for those that do experience hardships based on race, gender, etc. is that people like her make it easy to downplay and trivialize the actual instances of racism and sexism. I know it will be difficult for many in our department to take seriously the next account of someone being treated like crap because of sex or gender. I pray that whatever is going on in this woman's life to cause her to react in such a way be removed (and/or healed) and that she can begin to see people for who they actually are, and not images she might project on them.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The Rigors of Life

Well things haven't got much easier since my last post. I finished my paper on the essential nature of God's perfect will and how it would not have been better for him to create humans with the same type of will. What I didn't do, was perform successfully on my most recent logic quiz. I had a total brain freeze before class and could not remember any of the rules that allows me to do the types of things I was asked to do. I'm really frustrated to say the least.

The last few days I have begun to have a better understanding of one thing though. I am blessed with an awesome wife. TinaMarie has been such an amazing support to me. She encourages me and pushes me on when I don't feel like I'm cut out for Ph.D. work (which has been more often than not lately). I pray that I'm able to show her how much I appreciate all that she does for me and that there will come a day when it'll be all worth it.

Blessings to all.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Ludicrous Speed!

Do you remember in the movie Spaceballs when Colonel Sanders says, "Prepare ship for Lightspeed" and Dark Helmet responds, "No, no, no! Lightspeed's too slow...We're going to have to go right to Ludicrous speed!" and then everyone gasps at that unheard of request? Well, I feel like sometimes I spend my entire life at Ludicrous speed, I guess maybe a more deserving name would be Lifespeed.

Now, don't get me wrong. Tina Marie and I didn't do much of anything while we were on our honeymoon, but that was only two weeks and over two months ago. Currently, Tina has a full time job (thank God!) and I'm very busy at school doing stuff for my Ph.D. You see, I have this calendar that has all my assignments and their due dates. I look at the next 3 months and really start to freak out. That's when I'm reminded of the old adage, "Stop worrying you freak! You don't have to do everything at once, just do one thing at a time!"

Okay, so that's not much of an adage, and it's about as old as however long it took me to type it, but you get the idea. The point is, thankfully I've been given enough time to do what I need to, a wife that wants me to succeed and helps whenever she can, and my God is faithful to give me the wisdom to do what I need to do. I guess with that in mind, Lifespeed isn't so bad afterall. So with that said, I'm signing out and signing off.


Sunday, October 02, 2005

Another New Beginning (at least onlne that is)

Well, here we are again. I've opened up another new blog. I think this will be the one I'll actual post stuff on though. I've got a MySpace (see link) and a Xanga ( but those lost their appeal shortly after opening up. They're nice to find old friends though, but I think this will be the primary place for me post information about what is currently going on in the various facets of my life.

As we go through the journey of life together please feel free to leave comments, suggestions, or just plain old disagreements. That is what makes life so interesting, hearing from those that completely agree, those that vehemently disagree, and those that find themselves somewhere in the middle.