Things I Believed Before Getting my Seminary Degree

In 2007 I wrote, things I believe before getting a degree and I've always had the intention of returning to it and responding after finishing the program. I wrote it about a year in to the process, but I think I had only taken one class at that point. Granted in January I changed from an MDiv to an MA, but I'm done. While a lot of this is unrelated to theological things, they were all ideas I wondered about being changed in the process of seminary. And here are my thoughts:

1. Uneducated people should be allowed to teach. Not everyone, but some people.
  I believe this more now than I did then. Seminary does not a gifted teacher make.

2. God seems to bless even the very unhealthy (theologically or practically).
  I believe this more now as well, but more from experience in ministry than anything I learned in seminary. Shocking how unhealthy we are really.

3. God seems to bless me, which isn't a sign that I'm doing anything right.
  Keeps blessing my socks off. Not sure why.

4. Conservative is probably a better leaning than Liberal

5. I have to be open to liberal ideas (definitely not all), and definitely new things in the christian world. Not closed off to music, etc. 
   Hmm.... not sure what I think now. I lean awkwardly conservative these days.

6. Raising kids is not about how well you do it, or lead, or how good of a person you are. It seems to be 100% based on the Lord's grace that they will turn out well or not.  We can help, but they can still turn out funny. 
   Still early in child-rearing to know.

7. Writing a book is one of the best ways to make a lasting impression.
   The influence of books is laughably larger in my life than sermons.

8. Books can help you to fall more in love with the Lord.
   See above. But I think more than books, people.

9. Just because some publishing company printed it, doesn't mean its true, or even worth reading. 
   Wow. Shockingly true.

10. People all turn out weird. Its okay to become weird in your old age.
   Look forward to it.

11. Money will wont make you happy.
   How much are we talking about? Okay... still agree.

12. Loving my wife is more important that my studies.
   I think I was good at living this until the last three months or so, there was definitely tension.

13. I want my ministry to be first place before my studies.
   I lived this, but it was hard. Keeping school in a place where it can never take precedence over my work (ministry), that was hard, but I'm glad I did it.

14. Taking forever to get a degree is probably a reality.
   Whew. Six years.

15. Having a PhD by 35 is still pretty impressive.
   Still possible, not sure if I'll pull it off or not, or even if I want to anymore.

16. I shouldn't be concerned with how impressive it is if I ever get a PhD.
   True, but feeling like I'm probably supposed to, makes it difficult to be unconcerned with.

17. People with PhD's can be losers just because they have one. Dont be a loser. 
   Holy snap. There are a boatload of Dr. Losers.

18. Discipline sucks when you're developing it, but I seem to like life better when I am disciplined.
   True, and true. I would now add that discipline is infinitely harder when you have children. Your time is not your own to arrange appropriately. Even in the morning.

19. Children are a HUGE blessing no matter how much work they are.
   Ha. While in general I definitely believe this, I don't always believe it in the moment when my 2 year old is screaming and my three year old is vomiting in the car. Did I mention I'm just a few months away from adopting two more. Ha!

20. Children are your most important disciples. 
   I hope I manage to never forget this. They are also right there along with our wives as catalysts for sanctification.

21. God's creation is fascinating, beautiful, and should be pointed out just short of the point of annoyance.

22. God has blessed me, but that doesn't mean I'm doing anything well.
   Funny I mentioned this twice (see #3). The Lord really has blessed the poo out of me. It's ridiculous. Why does he keep doing that?

23. Money still wont make me happy. 
   But beer might. At least temporarily.