Just for fun, here is what Wordle says my dissertation is about.
My Professional Project/Dissertation Missional Spirituality: Practices for Developing Missional Disciples Among Emerging Adult University Students is finally fully wrapped up. The defense has been passed, edits have been made, and the final copies are submitted to the library. It has been quite a journey—years of thinking and research followed by many months of intense writing. Though I’m the one who receives the title “Doctor,” I could not have completed this process on my own. I am so grateful to those who have supported me along the way. I thought it fitting to publicly share the acknowledgements section of this work.
The Christian life is not a solo endeavor. The triune God who is an eternal community calls His people to the shared life of community that reflects His nature. This Professional Project develops the missional importance of Christian community. But even more, this project was written as an expression of Christian community. As this project progressed, I became more and more aware that this project would never be completed without the support and encouragement of the Body of Christ. For that I am thankful.
To each of the pastors interviewed as part of this project—thank you for making time in the busyness of ministry to share your knowledge with me. Your missional hearts continue to inspire me. It is a privilege to count you as colleagues in ministry. May God continue to lead you and your congregations as you incarnate the Kingdom in your neighborhood.
To the members of my Professional Project Committee, Dr. Juanita Leonard, Dr. Guy Brewer, and Dr. Bruce Mac Murray—thank you for investing in me. Your partnership in this project will further its benefit for the Kingdom. Dr. Leonard, this project would not have been completed without your patience and support as Committee Chair. I am grateful for all of your well timed encouragement.
To the members of Faith Community Church, Grayson, GA—you will always have a special place in my heart. Thank you for granting a young pastor a place to grow in ministry. It was as your pastor that I first became aware of many of the ideas presented here. You were always a deeply supportive community through the learning process. “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.”
To my current ministry community, Indiana Wesleyan University—I am so blessed to be part of this community. Dr. Jim Lo and the Dean of the Chapel staff, your support during the last months of writing is greatly appreciated. You regularly encouraged me to spend time writing despite all the other needs of ministry. It is a privilege to share ministry with you. Thanks also to each student who shared a book or resource you discovered that was relevant to my research. The sources you shared have greatly shaped this project. Those of you who expressed excitement to someday read this work often brought encouragement when it was most needed. Thank you. Students, it is a joy to see Christ being formed in you daily.
To my family, Alison, Eliana, Ashlyn, and Ian—sharing life with you is the best part of my life. This project could not have been completed without your support. Thank you for believing in me and the importance of Daddy’s “big paper.” This has truly been a family effort. May our lives together reflect the fullness of the triune God.
To the triune God, Father, Son, and Spirit—it is beyond comprehension that You choose to invite us into the divine life as partners in Your mission. May my life, and this project, bring glory to Your Kingdom.
I want to send a hearty welcome out to anyone who was directed to this website from the Real Life, Real Faith Blogathon on Faith ON Campus. It is a privelage to be included among such great contributors.
I also wanted to let you know that my writing is currently focused on my DMIN Project and I will be rather quiet on this website until this project is completed. Sure, I’ll post a quote or a brief article once in a while, but the conversation will really pick up again in Spring 2011.
In the mean time, feel free to subscribe to my rss feed so you’ll be informed when I do post!
I’m in the process of moving embracethegodlife.com from paid hosting to free hosting in order to be more missional with my money. If you stumbled on the site during the transition, take heart. Things will be up and running here soon.
Please continue to pray for the Briles family and Lakeview Christian School.
Please pray for the Indiana Wesleyan community as we conclude our Summit Week today. God is doing amazing things, and I am convinced he is not finished yet.
I am also burdened for friends who are experiencing painful ends to relationships. I pray for God to grant them healing and peace.
“Long before God laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love.” —Ephesians 1:4.
Lakeview Christian School student loses battle with disease
Family spent last day at home with 11-year-old
Jill Briles is grateful that her 11-year-old daughter was able to come home and spend her last day with her family before passing away.
Chrissy Briles, a Lakeview Christian School student, died at 1:15 a.m. Tuesday at her home, surrounded by her parents and three older brothers.
Jill Briles said her daughter came home from Riley Hospital for Children at 7 p.m. Sunday. Chrissy had been at Riley about six months.
“We expected to have a couple of days (once we got her home) but were surprised,” Briles said. “Our plans are not always God’s plans.”
Chrissy had been asking to go home from the hospital for a long time, her mother said.
“She was very excited to be coming home,” Briles said. “She was near tears at the prospect of going home.”
If Chrissy knew she was going to die, she never conveyed it, Briles said.
Her mother said she is thankful for the doctors and staff at Riley for getting Chrissy home so quickly, especially since it was over the weekend. It was important for the family to have Chrissy home when she died, she said.
When she arrived at home Sunday, Chrissy was wheeled to the house by her father, John Briles.
“John requested that the ambulance stop at the entrance of our drive so that he could wheel her home, given the sad fact that he will not have the pleasure of escorting her down the aisle,” Jill Briles wrote on the family’s Caring Bridge Web site.
Chrissy’s dogs were at the house to greet her, and Jill Briles’ room was made up especially for Chrissy, with pink sheets and pink pillows, according to the blog. Chrissy had requested to sleep in her mother’s room when she came home.
The family was able to spend more than a whole day with Chrissy before she died.
While Chrissy’s family was grieving and making funeral arrangements Tuesday, Chrissy’s friends at Lakeview Christian were grieving, too.
The Rev. Duane Seitz, pastor at Lakeview Wesleyan Church, said the students gathered at the sanctuary Tuesday morning. Counselors met with students in groups to talk about the situation and to help the kids through it.
“I don’t think the kids were prepared,” Seitz said. “You’re never really prepared, even when you know it’s going to happen.”
The students had more than an hour to talk to the counselors, Seitz said. The counselors talked to the students about the grieving process, what to expect and how to handle emotions.
Jill Briles said the family members appreciate all of the support they received during Chrissy’s illness.
“Words cannot express how much we’ve appreciated all that people have done,” she said. “It’s been overwhelming and amazing.”
Chrissy’s illness began with kidney problems and high blood pressure. An allergic reaction to a medication resulted in toxic epidermal necrolysis disease, which caused Chrissy’s skin to blister and slough. The disease eventually led to other complications.
“It was just one thing after another that kept complicating her (hospital) stay,” Jill Briles said. “I’ll never know why things turned out the way they did, but I just have to trust.
“Chrissy had a sweet spirit about her. She was a trooper through it all. She was very strong for a little girl.”
11 year old Chrissy Briles, whom I mentioned in prayer requests yesterday, diead at home early this morning.
Please pray for her family during this difficult time.
Also, please pray for the teachers and administrators at Lakeview Christian School as they walk with their students through this difficult situation.
Hear our prayers, O Lord.
I’ve got a lot I’d like to Meander about today, but I am overwhelmed with concern for some needs in my community. So instead of my normal Monday Meanderings, I am asking you to pray.
Pray for the family of Chrissy Briles. Chrissy is a 5th grader at my daughters’ school. She has been at Riley Children’s Hospital for most of the year. Her condition has continued to worsen, and she has come home to be with her family in her last days. For this family we pray, O God.
Pray for another family in Eliana’s class whose Father had a heart attack this morning. For this Father and his family we pray, O God.
Pray for the teachers and administrators at Lakeview Christian School as they help young children to walk through these difficult situations. For these teachers and administrators we pray, O God.
Pray for Indiana Wesleyan during our Summit Week this week. May students be open to the word of God, and may lives be forever changed. For our students and campus we pray, O God.
Welcome to embracethegodlife.com, the website of thoughts, writings, reviews, and sermons of Pastor Pat Hannon. Pastor Pat currently serves as Associate Dean of the Chapel at Indiana Wesleyan University.
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