March '18 Update
About three years ago, with the permission of my wife and the elders of our church, I enrolled in the Doctor of Ministry program at The Master’s Seminary. This program had just been revamped under Steve Lawson with a particular focus on preaching. It seemed like a great opportunity for me for several reasons:
I would be able to get more training so that I could be more effective in my ministry to pastors overseas
An advanced degree would also be helpful for some of the training centers I teach at which are seeking accreditation
Dr. Lawson and several other gifted, well known preachers and scholars would be a part of the program
It was just too good to pass up! Well, little did I realize the work that was before me. After over 20,000 pages of reading, more than 60 papers, nearly 250 hours of lecture, tens of hours of sermon review, and a 350+ page dissertation, I find myself, by God’s grace, now staggering across the finish line.While the class assignments certainly took a lot of time and effort, the dissertation was by far the greatest challenge. I had about 8 months to complete a full draft, but I was traveling overseas for about 2 of those months, so in reality, I had closer to 6 months. And I still had to do preparation and grading for the training overseas as well as the many pastoral responsibilities at my church. And for one who is more inclined towards math and science, writing 30 pages is quite a challenge, let alone 300 pages!
But thanks to God’s grace at work through your prayers, I have just turned it in. For those interested, the title is: “Preaching the Minor Prophets: Hermeneutical Principles and Practical Helps.” Yes, I know it sounds like a real page turner but, for me, the topic was somewhat therapeutic because it gave me a chance to write something that I wish I had written when I began preaching through the Minor Prophets a few years ago. My advisers have also strongly encouraged me to get it published and I have talked to a few publishers who have expressed some interest. Maybe after a taking a break from it for a couple of months I will come back to that. Your prayers would be appreciated.
Speaking of prayer, I want to take this opportunity to thank you who have been praying for me in regards to this degree. I am so grateful for the prayers of the saints and how God has answered them by sustaining me through it all. Again, THANK YOU!! Here are some other requests that I would appreciate you bringing before the Lord.
My next trip: Please pray for my upcoming trip to the Philippines (Cebu and Davao) from 4/12 to 4/30. We will be teaching through Module 5 (out of 6 modules). In this module, the pastors will be preaching two sermons from the prophetic genre—one from Zechariah and the other from Revelation. We will also be reviewing how to study prophecy as well as looking at the doctrine of the Bible and current issues related to it.
Future plans: Since there is only one module left in Cebu and Davao, we will be discussing on this trip possible next steps at these locations. Please pray for wisdom as to the Lord’s direction on whether to start a second batch at these locations or to consider others.
Family: Please pray for Brie for these last two months of school as she has several AP exams, class finals, and the lead part in the school play to prepare for. Pray that she would be a testimony for Christ at Burbank High School. Pray the same for Daniel and Carissa that they too would be a testimony on their college campuses—Daniel is at UCSD and Carissa is at UCLA.
Support: Thank you for your ongoing support. Please continue to pray for more churches to commit support for the Pastors Training Ministry this year.
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