Monthly Archives: December 2017

Epiphany 2017

the LORD opens the eyes of the blind.
The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down;
the LORD loves the righteous. (Ps 146:8 ESV)

I took two days off altogether from writing, for Sunday worship and rest, then Christmas day, and yesterday I got back to putting edits into my manuscript. While doing this somewhat mundane work, God opened my eyes to see something in my analysis that I’ve been looking for for over a year.

Last week, when meeting with a mentor in Canada, he encouraged me to rethink something I’d decided to leave out of my dissertation, since I simply couldn’t get it to work. And also, I had plenty of other things to write about, including a fairly important theoretical issue in the development of new tones.

But yesterday I took another crack at it, made an assumption that I hadn’t liked (and still don’t really like, honestly), and the rest of the pieces just started falling into place.

So in the middle of the afternoon on Boxing Day, God opened my eyes. I thank God that he still does that. And thank you for your prayers for us, and especially for my ability to do my work. We really can’t do this without your support, and we’re grateful that you’ve joined us in this work.

Merry Christmas!

White Christmas morning

The snow stuck around for a bit, and more came down this morning. I know it’s may seem like a small thing, but I remember wishing for a white Christmas all my childhood, and not having it more than once or twice. So this morning I’m thanking God for this icing on the cake of the celebration of Jesus coming to be with us:

And I’m particularly grateful to be able to share this with our kids, who are outside building snowmen:

And the whole thing tastes great!

Merry Christmas, again. May the Grace and beauty of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you in this day of celebration!

Home Stretch

I know it’s been a while since I’ve written much about my progress through my degree program, but I hope it has been for good reason. I guess we all hope that we do what we do for good reason, but in any case, I hope a short update will begin the road to making amends.

I met with my advisor this week, and it sounds like I’m on track for graduating this year, as early as May 2018. That will involve finishing a complete draft of my dissertation by the end of 2017 (i.e., about two more weeks), in addition to a number of other deadlines to revise it according to comments from each of the three members of my committee, before defending it and turning in a final copy for posterity (Lord willing, in early May).

So, as I feel the push to finish the home stretch well, I realize I need your help more than ever. Please join us in praying specifically for the following:

  • Diligence to write, edit, and correct my work (especially with the boring/tedious stuff, like checking the clarity of what “this” refers to.…), that it would be clear
  • Clarity in analysis, that I would be writing what is accurate and true about these languages, and what they say about language more generally
  • Time management, as I try to balance the above with communicating more broadly about our work (e.g., a long overdue newsletter!), spending time with our family (e.g., Christmas!) and ministry in our local church
  • Financial support to make all of the above possible, without additional stress

That’s about it. We covet your prayers as we seek to do right by the various responsibilities we have. Thanks so much for being behind us in this!

Now I need to get back to my second day of Edit/Find… on the word “these”; apparently there are 178 of them left to check. :-)