Friday, January 09, 2004

The Eighteen Year Plan

I graduated today. No, I'm not kidding. I finished something I began 18 years ago.

And it feels great.

It is ironic that I left before finishing to do youth ministry ('91) and then came back to finish ('95) but left again for youth ministry and finally came back to get a degree in youth ministry after I have decided that I'm not supposed to be doing youth ministry any more? It is ironic that I graduated 13 years after I should have and my favorite number is 13. It is ironic that for years I was looking for a wife at ACU and had about a 1.4 G.P.A. and since I've been married my G.P.A. is 3.89.

I returned to ACU in August of 2003 and if you had asked me a month before if I was coming to Texas I would have looked at you like you were crazy. The same scenario as in 87.

I made a 4.0 in my last four classes and if it sounds like I'm bragging I am. I was a terrible student and am living proof that people can and do change.

But I didn't do it alone.

The following have helped my more than I could ever say and more than they will ever know.

Bob Strader, Bob Gomez, Bill Ranikin, Steve Weathers, David Wray, the late Jim Mankin, and Bill Teague are just a few of the faculty who took a huge interest in me.

Mitch Wilburn, Grant Boone, Phil Schubert, Alan Ross, Paul Schulze, Ty Lovell, & Kyle Conway were true friends who I would fall on a sword for still today.

My mom and grandma were sour on the idea of me going to school at first but ended up being big fans of mine.

Bill and Virda Stevens gave in ways that they wouldn't want me talking about.

But it was my bride, my babe, Kim who believed in me the most. Thanks Kim for loving me every step of the way.

I'm beginning my Masters in a few days. I'm going to spend the weekend celebrating (read, doing odd jobs around the house and eating steak on Sunday) and then it is back to work on Monday. Hopefully this degree won't take 18 years.

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