Friday, May 12, 2006


So to catch you up on what's going on in my life, I am attending Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas in the Fall. My application and acceptance to the seminary are answered prayers. In fact, they are a dream come true.

You see, 6 years ago I laid face down in the sand one night by the ocean and asked God what I should do with my life. It was the summer before my senior year in college and I was living in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina as part of a Christian summer program. I was at a real crossroads since I was facing graduation and didn't know what the future held. The one thing I did know was that I wanted Jesus to be the leader of my life. Too many times I had done what I wanted to do in life and then just hoped God would bless it. That summer I prayed many times for God to give me direction in life. I don't know how or when He spoke to me. I didn't hear an audible voice or anything like that but by the end of the summer I definitely knew He wanted me to be a pastor.

Since then, there have been many wonderful things and trying events in my life. Of the good things that have happened, I think of marrying my wife, and having a baby. Of the difficult things, I think about the death of my father, and the growing up I have had to do. Who would have known that the daily grind and responsibilities that come with being an adult would be so testing of your character and emotions? But I am thankful for both the trials and blessings that have shaped me thus far.

I have had several jobs since graduating college and although each of them were good in their own way, I didn't really see how they brought me closer to being a pastor. So I asked the Lord again what I should do. I planned to be a pastor when I retired someday but there wasn't any certain plan that I could make that transition since I haven't been saving for retirement and my future income would probably be modest as well.

Then I realized (or God opened my eyes) that "if I know the Lord wants me to be a pastor then what am I waiting for?" There is no guarantee that I will live to be retirement age.

So going to seminary seemed like a good idea. I know that God can grow me in the character I need to be a pastor but I also need knowledge and application, such as how to study the Bible for all it's worth, how to preach faithfully from the Bible, how to disciple others and apply the Bible to our lives, etc. Going to seminary seems like it would give a good foundation for me to preach for the rest of my life which is what I want to do and how God has shaped me.

So I decided to step out in faith and apply to a seminary. If I was accepted, it would involve moving, selling my house, taking a pay cut, and working and studying hard for 3 years. But I trusted God with the details and applied anyway.

Now, as you already know, I have been accepted to SWBTS and I am so excited! Indeed, this blog will probably become a series of updates on what's happening with me and Karen while I am studying in seminary.

Well, there is so much more I could say but attention spans of readers are only so long. So I will say that God is good. He knows what He is doing. Already our house has sold for our asking price, after only being on the market for 2 days, and we get to stay in it until the end of the summer until we transition to Fort Worth. I didn't know how the situation with our house was going to work out but we prayed and BAM! God answered our prayers. Wow.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

My Last Name

Tonight I was reading the Bible and I happened to be in the little book of 1 Peter which is tucked in the back of the New Testament. Now, I am not surprised when I see the word "bishop" in the Bible, since there were leaders in the early church that filled that role. Since, my last name is "Bishop" I also happened to know that the word in the Bible is sometimes translated as "overseer". I was surprised to read in the following verse that the word can refer to God himself.

1 Peter 2:25 For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

How do you like that? That sort of blows away the modern image of guys in robes in the Anglican and Roman Catholic church!


[Middle English, from Old English bisceope, from Vulgar Latin *ebiscopus, from Late Latin episcopus, from Late Greek episkopos, from Greek, overseer : epi-, epi- + skopos, watcher.]

The etymology of the word bishop comes from the Greek word episkopos (επισκοπος), which can be generally translated as bishop, overseer, superintendent, supervisor, or foreman. From the word episkopos are derived the English words episcopacy, episcopate and episcopal.