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Confusion is a word we have invented for an order which is not understood. Henry Miller

Well, I thought I would quickly plop down a quick update of where I am in this whole sabbatical and dissertation writing process.

First sabbatical stuff that has nothing to do with my dissertation. I’ve found..:

...that I really enjoy listening to sermons. I feel built up. It is kind of a weird experience. Since I have been preaching at EBC 11 years, this is the first time I have had a chance to be “preached to” for more than one week consecutively. I am also looking forward to preaching again.

...that since I’ve stopped being a pastor, I have had more chances to share my faith, personally, than in the past 11 years. The epiphany: Being overly busy doing pastor things sometimes stops me from doing Christian things...gotta’ rectify that when I go back.

...that while visiting a lot of New England churches recently (on Sundays), I am very encouraged and very discouraged. I am encouraged because I see God at work in New England. Many churches are returning to the task they were called to -the mission. I am discouraged because many churches could care less about the mission, are self-centered, protective and have deceived themselves into thinking that they are doing God’s work, when biblically they are doing no such thing...just my opinion, but I think that you probably see the same thing all around you.

...that I cherish the times I find myself alone and sense God is there with me. By the way, “with me” means not the pastor-me or the husband-me or even the dad-me. I mean the Phil-me. The me that only God knows.

As far as the work I am trying to get done before the deadline of March 31, it looks like this:

1. Books read this month:

“Writing Up Qualitative Research” by Wolcott

“ChurchNext” by Gibbs

“Pagan Christianity” by Viola and Barna

“Revolution in Leadership” by McNeal

“The Jesus Creed” by McKnight

2. Read and noted between 20-30 journal articles.

3.Conducted two cases studies.: Mill Pond Church in CT and BEFree multi-church plants in NH.

​4. Began coding those case study interviews.

5. Began writing introduction, problem and theology sections of my dissertation.

You may ask, “Are you on schedule?” My answer is - “I have no idea at all.” Most of the information gathering, reading, note taking, and interviewing has resulted in a brain full of jumbled information. It is like my brain’s card catalogue was spun in one of those lottery ball mixers. There is a ton of great insights and amazing facts in my head. What it means, how it goes together and what is relevant, is in question right now. I hope, as I write, the card catalogue becomes more organized. I am hoping that the quote by Henry Miller is true: “Confusion is a word we have invented for an order which is not understood.”

Originally posted SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2009




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