Post for January 19-21, 2017

Gentlemen. I told you how -now that school has started- I intend to write to you each day in my post for January 8-18. That is still true. But boy has school started strong! Because I was out of town Monday 4:00 AM- Wednesday 4:00 PM, I didn’t really start my school work until the Thursday the 19th. And when I did, I discovered that the first week was no pushover. I’ve been trying to do my readings so that I can turn in at least one assignment and so far have failed two days in a row. That being said, last night I was getting close and I am certain that if the Lord wills, today will bring success.

So, if for some reason you’ve taken to reading my posts as soon as they go up, pray for me that the Lord will give me success in my studies this day. I’ll tell you all about it on the form – and possibly here if it goes so well I can turn to a bit of blogging also.

I love you dearly and am grateful for our partnership in the gospel.

Explore, catalogue, and consolidate 1.18.2017

The time has come again to address my notecards. I also want to lump in my “eager to do” list also as school is starting again.

Here’s the remaining items (I’ll still update the original posts with Links as I address these) from notecards 12.10.2016:

  1. Texts to research/respond to concerning a proposed call to bi-vocational ministry (and rejection of the full-time pastorate).
  2. Attributes of a ‘man’ that is good to marry (I should spend time developing these)
  3. Studying Successfully:
  4. “Specialized” or “well rounded/a Jack-of-all-trades”
  5. Pursuit of: health, wealth, love, and happiness
  6. Concepts for church giving
  7. Programs of the church:
  8. Stop owning; start stewarding
  9. Time well spent:
  10. Habits for Living

Here’s the remaining items (I’ll still update the original posts with Links as I address these) from “eager to-do”:

  1. Clean the office floors
  2. Review relational schematic
  3. Go through books I own and catalogue
  4. Do some yoga
  5. Organize Google and Safari Bookmarks
  6. Digitize to memorize
  7. Renew tags for my car

Here’s the new items on my current notecards:

  1. Put personal holidays on calendar
  2. List visits and put some on calendar
  3. Advice given by Warren Buffet to college seniors
  4. Put school deadlines on calendar
  5. Create budget/cash envelopes
  6. Visit an accountant/tax lawyer/fiduciary

Post for January 8-18, 2017


It has been so sad and so good to neglect writing to you. I’ve dealt with the horrors of January and the end is in sight. As you’ll remember, there were three parts of January that really gave me hesitation before school began.

Two are almost totally resolved. The answer is in sight and the time need only pass for them to be finished. The third is related to work at the church and will come to pass when Pastor William is ready. I cannot rush that one more than I already have.

These past two weeks have been primarily focused addressing the two almost resolved. It has stopped me from writing because so much of my days have gone to that work which I have shared with you, but do not yet intend to share through this forum.

School technically started this past Sunday, but the first bit of homework is due tonight and with me in Kentucky Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, I determined to not record until Thursday. It makes me a little nervous to go from sparse writings to lots of writing overnight, but I with the Lord’s help I will succeed.

Thank you for praying for me in these trying times. When all three horrors have completed, I will likely write about them in the past tense for my records sake – but no promises.

As always, I’m grateful for your accountability and your friendship. May the Lord keep us until the Day of Christ Jesus.

Post for Jan 1-7, 2017

Well… 2017 is upon us! I need to publish something!

It’s been fun to not be writing for the first week. I spent some time playing a video game -Rome: Total War. That was a blast. I still haven’t finished it but I’ve had to put it aside so that I can get back to work. The week was really a restful start and then a transition into the new year. So, I cleaned my office, got a desk calendar, and addressed my goals for this season. Then, I went on the 7th to visit Tim in Chatsworth and we finalized my goal sheet to start when classes begin. Really, it was an encouraging and hopeful week. It has only made me more and more excited for this year as a whole.

Before I can get to the fun part of this year as a whole, I need to make it through January. There are two big things happening in January. The one that I’ll tell you about now is my wife and I are buying a duplex. Or at least, we’re trying to. We are currently under contract and are trying to figure out a lending solution so that we can close in the next 3-5 weeks. Hopefully we will succeed, but that is causing us a lot of stress for now. Assuming we succeed, the real work begins of making it livable before our lease runs out in May. I think that part will be the most fun.

To my accountability partners, I will try to write four or five days a week to you answering the question, “how do you feel about how you spent day _”. Everyone else, thanks for following along. Feel free to comment.

Potential schedules. Part 3. A look at the current (and my second) semester.

As I think about this upcoming semester, I hope that I have a more realistic expectation of what it takes to be a successful full time seminarian. However, I think that I still am figuring that out as each section of courses requires slightly different work. One thing I really want to keep with school work in mind, is the habit of a block of time devoted to studies each day. This will help things from getting out of hand and school work from slipping down the slippery slope of procrastination.

Also, three of the things I really want to do this semester are 1)keep a set of daily disciplines for my health and life goals, 2)keep a few blocks of time weekly open for working on larger projects, and 3)travel more. I’m not sure if those things are all possible to do at the same time, but I really hope they are. Making it difficult is the ever present list of means for supplementary growth. It is still true that  a lot of the things I would doing to supplement my education, while good and useful, are not as aligned with my current life goals. Furthermore, they do not account for the work obligations I have at the church. One of the first conversations I hope to have in the New Year is with the Pastor in which I articulate my role in the church so as to acquire a description of my responsibilities.

With all of that in mind, I need to give my core values first priority, church work second priority and then my school work third priority. Fourth priority should be my life goals, fifth should be my list of means for supplementary growth. Somehow, while honoring my priorities, I will craft a schedule that allows for the three things I really want to do listed above.

It will have to have local obligations excluded from at least 2-3 days of the week so I can travel. It will have to have a short list of disciplines so as not to get bogged down the way my first attempt was. It will also have to leave large blocks for larger projects on my local days. It will have to be intentional and planned in advance to prevent double-booking and allow for coordinating with Hayley.

Here’s what I’m expecting at this point:

Each day is split into ‘morning’, ‘day’, ‘afternoon’, and ‘evening’. Each ‘morning’ is filled with “Disciplines” except for Sunday which has “Church activities”. Each ‘day’ is filled mostly by “School work” (on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday), but has “Church activities” on Sunday “BX/Practice with Hayley/CBI” on Wednesday and nothing on Saturday. ‘Afternoon’ is filled on Monday and Friday  by “Church Work”; Monday and Tuesday allow for not weekly meetings with Ron and Mike by Skype and in person respectively; Tuesday and Thursday allow for “larger projects”; Wednesday is devoted to “PoC/School work”; and Saturday and Sunday are empty. Each ‘evening’ is empty except for Wednesday which has “Church Activities”.

That allows for potential travel Sunday afternoon to Tuesday and Thursday morning to Saturday. Also, it’s been given the Hayley stamp of approval. So, it’s what we’ll use to start. Also, here’s a chart to help visualize:

  Sun Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat
‘morning’ “CA” “Di” “Di” “Di” “Di” “Di” “Di”
‘day’ “CA” “SW” “SW” BX/PwH/ CBI “SW” “SW”  


Mike PoC/ “SW”   “CW”  






This season of life’s goals

I’m eager to write part three of the mini-series on scheduling which will outline how I hope to spend my time in this upcoming Spring semester as a full time student. I’d especially like to finish while it is still 2016. Before I can though, I must share a document that describes the life goals I am in the middle of pursuing. There will be some parts that allude to even older documents. Ask about those if you’re interested; this is the relevant one:

“Things to do in an introduction to adulthood.”
-March 21, 2016

The document that motivates the title of this present one was a hand written work produced on April 12, 2015, as I was considering the potential gains of staying professionally (without going back to school) an additional year in Cleveland, TN. Ultimately, my wife and I decided to stay because the perceived potential gains far outweighed the perceived potential losses. “Things to do in a 2nd year off” can be found here[1] and revisited here[2] and concluded here[3].

In the same vein, I’d like to set goals for the upcoming season of life categorically. I consider the introduction to adulthood to be my twenties. I am not ignorant of the fact that many people die in their twenties and that many people beyond their twenties are still grasping basics of adulthood – I expect to be among this group after my twenties. But I’d like to succeed in several aims and goals are the vehicle for productivity in my life. Here are those goals:


  • Establish Bible Reading Plan and develop habit of following reading plan
  • Journal via computer through Bible reading plan for 1 year
  • Establish weekly prayer sessions and attend faithfully for 1 year
  • Read in Greek and Hebrew several times a week for 6 months
  • Visit all U.S. Cistercian Monasteries
  • Complete Bible “To Memorize” began in 2015
  • Memorize “To Memorize”
  • Create a recording of a Psalter with Hayley
  • Fast in the Summers
  • Honor the Sabbath
  • Tithe


  • Maintain a Relational Schematic
  • Develop Mentors
  • Develop Family Tree


  • Fast in the summers
  • Take walks with Hayley; 200 each calendar year
  • Hike a famous trail
  • Stretch daily for 6 months
  • Have personal trainer for 4 months
  • Bike across America
  • Complete a marathon
  • Run a 10K
  • Join an Ultimate League for a season
  • Join a Soccer League for a season


  • Receive an MDiv
  • Receive Math Certificate (Khan or other online school)
  • Learn Spanish, French, German, Biblical Greek and Biblical Hebrew
  • Attend Masseur Training
  • Consider an MBA or Accounting certification
  • Consider a Masters of Apologetics
  • Consider a DMin or PhD
  • Consider a Masters in Counseling or Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Consider Chiropractic School
  • Consider Law School


  • Work 3+ months employed exclusively as a missionary/in ministry
  • Work as a blogger


  • Develop “Financial Independence” and “Retire Early”
  • Give and receive Power of Attorney to/from Hayley


  • Visit and stay in an Igloo
  • Spend a month traveling
  • Spend a month submitted to Levitical law
  • Live a month on legumes


  • Visit all U.S. Cistercian Monasteries
  • Visit the Iona Community
  • Take a Reformers tour
  • Take Hayley to Harry-Potter World
  • Take Hayley to Disney (Land or World)
  • Explore possible places to “Settle Down”


  • Blog: Letters to Mitch
  • Blog: Book Reviews
  • Blog: Self-Improvement: Relational Path, Physical Path, Financial Path, Prayers


As my list is coming to an end, I want to conclude with tentative scheduling, yet I see that scheduling will change from season to season as different emphases are placed and obligations accepted. Therefore I’ll finish here. May all things be to the glory of God.

[1] Things to do in a 2nd year off
[2] _Things to do in a 2nd year off_ Revisited.
[3] Things done and un-done in a second year off