Dear Center for Theological Studies,
It is your blogger, Deidre Richardson here.
I am writing to announce that on May 20, 2011 @ 10am, yours truly will graduate from Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, NC with a Master of Divinity degree in Christian Apologetics.
This summer, I plan to return to my work at the blog, with a class I'm taking somewhere in-between now and August. In any case, I intend to get back to the research I love. I have started a good series on the Doctrine of Eternal Judgment, and so much remains to be written.
Let me say for now, that I am so honored and thankful to the Lord that this day has come. Over the last five years, I have suffered so many hardships, including the deaths of a great uncle, a close cousin, and last but never least, my mother, Teressa Richardson. The Lord has been gracious to me in my program and has helped me through all the grief and hardship I've faced. On today, I carry my mother's Duke University undergraduate Bible as I walk into Binkley Chapel to honor my late mother, who was (and still is) my biggest inspiration and my dearest of all friends. I am truly missing her this day, as she would have been the proudest mother in all the world. I thank God for her presence in my life for 24 years, the godly principles she taught me, the way she taught me to be successful for Christ. I was so graced by the Lord to be born into a God-fearing family that loves the Lord, His Word, and His kingdom, and it is a grace bestowed upon me that I promise never to forget. My mother was such an example for me in her lifetime, and she showed me what it means to never let hardships and trials get the best of you. It is because of her presence in my life (and her example) that this blog has become what it is and that I will graduate today.
I would also like to give honor to my mother's parents (my grandparents), who have taken on a somewhat parenting role since mom's departure from this life. My grandfather and grandmother have been "angels" in my life, without which I would not have this day to experience before my very eyes. I would also like to thank my twin sister, Danielle, for her support through the years. We have always "played in the sandbox together," and now, she is married to a godly man (my brother-in-law, George), and we are both achieving our educational dreams. Mom would be so proud of my sis and I if she were here. Somehow, though, I know she knows...and she is beaming in glory. I promise, the angels will not beat her praise to God today :-)
I would also like to honor my church family for their support in my life, their constant prayer and encouragement when I needed it. Special thanks to my Pastor, who supervised me for my field ministry course this semester. He supervised my work in ministry and had to give an account for my efforts. I thank God that I was allowed to shine for the Lord in my ministry work this semester. He allowed me to be creative and do what God has called me to do. Without such space and support from my Pastor, I would never have been able to achieve my ministerial dreams. Thanks Pastor, for your continued presence in my life.
I couldn't let this day go by without giving a special thanks to two dear men in my life: Ken Keathley and Steve Lemke. Dr. Lemke, thank you for taking a chance on little 'ole me and allowing me to write for the Journal for Baptist Theology and Ministry. I am so honored that you would show interest in my work. I thank God for meeting you in New Orleans, getting to know you, and I look forward to future endeavors as you and I labor for the glory of God.
Last but not least, to Dr. Ken Keathley, someone who has become extremely dear to me in my life. Words cannot express how proud I am to be mentored by you, and how overjoyed I am at the thought of pursuing a Master of Theology degree with you at my side. I don't know how or why the Lord graced me with your help, but I am so grateful that He did. I thank God for your example in my life, your numerous moments of grace, and your heart for God and love for His Word. It seems as if God "bonded" us together, and what an amazing ride it's been. I anxiously await and look forward to the things God is going to do through us for His kingdom. To God be the honor and the glory.
I ask that you, my readership, would pray for me as I enjoy this special day with family and friends. Today is proof of the wonders God can do when you take one day at a time. I love you all, and hope to write more soon.