Monthly Archives:August 2017

Why I Chose Boyce

19 Aug 17
Anne Russell
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I wrote this essay as an entry for the academic excellence scholarship at Boyce. The topic assigned was “the importance of theological education,” but I didn’t have much to say on the formal education side. With the help of my mom and an amazing English teacher, this paper was born. I hope you enjoy it:

Why I chose Boyce, by Anne Russell

I do not think that Boyce is for everyone. I do not need to go to a college campus to learn theology. I grew up homeschooled, and my parents taught me how to study the Bible, and how to learn from books without supervision. For me, Boyce isn’t about the information and books. I can find good books online, or by looking at the library. I go to Boyce because of the professors.

The first dual credit class I took at Boyce was with Dr. Crider. Dr. Crider taught me that a personal pursuit of holiness is one of the best gifts you can give to the people you serve. He also leads the chapel orchestra. By watching how he talked about the music and how he prayed for the group, I have learned that even instrumental parts can be acts of worship and to treat every part as important.

I took several classes with Dan DeWitt. From Dr. DeWitt, I learned that not everyone who disagrees with me is foolish, and that two intelligent people can look at the same evidence and have two different conclusions. Because of Dan DeWitt, I can love Alex Rosenburg’s book The Atheist’s Guide to Reality and think of it as a brilliant book, even while I disagree with it. I have lost the insecurity that demands that I belittle other points of view.

From Mrs. Crider, I didn’t only learn how to write a paper, I learned how to love words and to long to do my best at everything I did. I learned the value of asking for help because she was (and is) always willing to help me when I had writing problems.

From Dr. Lewis, I learned that growth requires intentional change. I learned to care more for other people: to take time to talk to them and learn about them, to rejoice when they did well, to invite them into my life. From him, I learned that it is more important to do my best than to be the best compared to everyone else. I learned to appreciate when other people did well, rather than feel jealous or sad.

From all of the professors who took time to invest in me, I learned the power of investing. I have grown so much in learning to be friendly because I saw how kindness and genuine interest in other people can transform their lives. My teachers have done much for me, and I long to do more for others.

I can find books on my own. I can find sermons online, and learn music theory from YouTube. I can learn theology by reading theology books. Theological education is important to me, but I do not love Boyce because of what I’m learning; I love it because of the people that teach me.

Will I Ever Learn? – July Goals

04 Aug 17
Anne Russell
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I’ve made it through another exciting month. I’m a little annoyed with myself right now, but I’ll get to that in a minute. First, let’s focus on the positive:

 

To start, I read some great books this month. I read Audacious by Beth Moore, a fabulous book about God’s love for us and our response. It was mind-blowing. I also read Julia Child: A Life (I wrote a review of this one) and finished The Sea of Monsters. I also read some books that don’t fit on my reading challenge list including Red Queen, Manners and Mutiny, a couple more Percy Jackson books, and Prudence (which I wouldn’t recommend because of some inappropriate content.) It’s been a good month for reading.

 

I have continued reading on Audible, and have continued with my Bible reading plan. So why am I frustrated with myself? I am completely failing my writing challenge. For the past few months, I’ve been telling myself: “This is the month that will change everything. I will take down this writing challenge like a boss.” But do I do it? No. Also, I clearly have not posted any blog posts in the past two weeks. Ugh.

 

Not only am I annoyed with myself, I’m also exhausted from the emotional effort of getting re-inspired every month. So this is it. The month when I give up actually do something specific. To solve the problem, I’m going to see what I’ve been doing wrong the past few months, and do the opposite this month.

 

  1. I haven’t picked a set time to do this. When I wanted to start taking vitamins every day, I kept forgetting until I decided to do it every morning before I went down for breakfast. I’ve left writing out of a routine, and I’m suffering for it. Solution: I’m going to write after I finish my quiet time every day.
  2. I haven’t made a specific commitment. “I’m going to change everything” isn’t very helpful. “I’m going to write every morning for X days” can be much more helpful.

Ok, here’s my new and improved goal: I’m going to write every morning as part of my routine for 90 days in a row. It could be hard, especially since school is starting in less than two weeks, but I’m committed now. 90 days will help me make it into a habit, instead of a wish.

 

So here’s to second chances and new habits. Tomorrow is day one. And in the words of an unknown person: “One day or day one. You decide.”