Sunday, July 25, 2021

There Are So Many I Want to Thank

One week from today it will be over. On August 1st, the Lord and I will begin writing a brand new chapter of my life, post-retirement. There's so much I want to accomplish this week, but one of the most important is best expressed in a quote by Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone:

Great discoveries and improvements invariably involve cooperation of many minds. I may be given credit for having blazed the trail, but when I look at the subsequent developments, I feel the credit is due to others rather than myself. 

 Hence this post. There are so many I want to thank:

  • Allen Carden of Biola who saw potential in a kid from Hawaii and got him into college even though his high school grades weren't exactly stellar.
  • Peggy Russell who arranged for me to receive an academic scholarship that paid for my tuition for the last 3 years of college and through my entire M.Div. program.
  • Harry Sturz who taught me to love Greek and then taught me how to teach it at Biola. Harry, I learned everything important from you. I miss you.
  • All my teachers at Biola and Talbot but especially Drs. Mitchell, Rosscup, Bynum, Kwast, McDougall, Flory, Christian, Kirk, Kurtanek, and Payne.
  • Bo Reicke with whom I spent three wonderful years studying for my D. Theol. degree. No one ever modeled for me the balance between humanitas and pietas like he did. I want to be just like him when I grow up.
  • All of my wonderful faculty colleagues at Biola/Talbot and Southeastern. Thanks for reminding me that my task as a teacher is to work myself out of a job and pass the baton to Jesus.
  • To all the publishers who accepted my manuscripts: Zondervan, B & H, Baker, Kregel, T. & T. Clark, Eisenbrauns, Lang, and Energion. You are such a blessing.
  • The colleges and universities abroad that invited me to teach in South Korea, China, Ethiopia, India, Armenia, Ukraine, Great Britain, Germany, and Switzerland.
  • All the personal assistants I've had (you know who you are -- thank you!).
  • The administrations of all the schools I've been a part of. 
  • The authors whose books have helped me to think more biblically -- especially Jacque Ellul and Vernard Eller.
  • Becky who believed in me from day one. Thank you, honey, for never giving up.
  • My kids and grandkids who keep me laughing and who teach me to accept life's challenges with grace and courage.
  • All of my dogs who always managed to greet me with tail-wagging enthusiasm when I came home.
  • Most importantly, I'd like to thank the thousands of students I've had in my classes through the years. I want to thank each and every one of you for your willingness to include me in your academic journey and for all the laughter and tears we have shared. Thanks for letting me be me but also adding your own personalities to the mix. It's been a fun ride.
Steve Jobs once said, "My model for business is the Beatles. They were four guys who kept each other's negative tendencies in check. They balanced each other and the total was greater than the sum of the parts. That's how I see business: Great things in business are never done by one person; they're done by a team of people."

Accordingly, the last word of thanks must go to the one with whom I've been co-yoked since I put my faith and trust in him at the age of 8. My story has been weaved into his every step of the way. Jesus, you are still the model to which I aspire. I love you.