Tuesday, July 22, 2008

God Bless Beneficial Finance!!!

That's all I've got to say about THAT!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Mellow Haze

It's the end of Junior High Challenge, a summer camp for kids entering 6th - 8th grades, here on the campus at KCU. I've been sponsoring this week, because a. my son wanted to attend, and b. our church didn't have any sponsors attending the week.

So here I am.

We're staying in the dorms, and I'm not sleeping very well. I'm not going to bed until 1 or so; normally, I go to sleep around 11.30. And the beds are short and hard; I'm 6'7", and don't care for short hard beds.

So I'm sleep deprived.

Add to that the fact that I spent my entire summer, from 15 May to Tuesday of last week (8 July?) feverishly working on my book. I haven't really taken any time off this summer, and I.need.time.off.

Money? Yeah, always worried, always stressful. More month than money, you know?

Daughter going off to college--actually, she's coming here to KCU, but we're still getting her ready to leave home. I'm worried about her.

I'm not ready for my classes.

I have maintenance and repair things I need to do on my house, but I'm worried about all the professor and Dean things I need to do.

We're trying to refinance our house, and it looks like it may have to go on hold until September--not what we wanted.

We haven't taken a vacation at all this year.

And I'm just tired. Tired. Tired. Tired.

I'm going to Findlay, OH this Sunday, to participate in Kris Langstaff's ordination service. Beth and the two youngest kids are going with me; we're going a day early, and we'll probably go to the beach or something. That's all the vacation we'll get this summer.

I'm spending my days (daze) in a mellow haze of exhaustion, with a couple of pinches of anxiety thrown in.

@#$% Beneficial Finance

We've been trying to refinance our house. We currently have our mortgage through Beneficial Finance, and our interest rate is fairly high.
(Why is our interest rate high? Well, in 2001 we bought a house in Cartersville, Georgia. I was pastoring a church there. The church split, and I got fired. We moved back to Texas, to Waco, and I finished my Ph.D.

But we still owned the house. So we rented it for a couple of years. Everything was fine, until the renters moved out without telling us. Actually, they told the property management company, but the managers just didn't tell ME--but that's another post.

So we were left trying to make two house payments, and were not able to keep that particular arrangement up. So our credit rating was damaged, and it's taken us four years to rebuild it. Anyway: that's why our interest rate was bad, and why we qualify for a much better rate today.)
So we've been trying to refinance. We've gone through all the dance steps, etc., and everything is set up for our refi. EXCEPT--and I just found this out today--we have a prepayment penalty of $7,500 if we refinance before September.


Which completely screws everything up, I think.

Dang Beneficial. When we signed the papers on this mortgage, they told us, "You can refinance it in a year, and bring the interest rate down." That's what they said.

But what they meant was, "You can refinance this in a year or two as long as you refinance it with us, and no body else."

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Commentary Is Done

Last week, I finished the manuscript for my commentary on Philemon and the Pastoral Epistles, and mailed that sucker off to Smyth & Helwys. The title of the book will be Reading Paul's Letters to Individuals: A Literary and Theological Commentary on the Letters to Philemon, Titus, and Timothy.

This commentary has an interesting history. Three senior Southern Baptist NT scholars were supposed to write the commentary. The first two had to withdraw from the project, for a variety of reasons. The third, Hulitt Gloer, wrote a manuscript but was unable to finish it due to health problems. So in January, Charles H. Talbert (the editor of the series and my doctorfather at Baylor University) asked me if I could complete the project. So I did.

This commentary is a scholarly commentary, based on my own research and investigation of primary source literature and cutting edge secondary literature (e.g., Bruce Winter on the new Roman woman; Craig Evans on imperial propaganda; my own work on succession; K. Waters on virtues; etc.)

A few things are unique about the commentary.
  1. First, it's aimed at preachers and undergraduate students. It's scholarly, but not too scholarly for any educated person to read and benefit from it.
  2. It's primary strategy is to read Paul's words and thoughts against what we know about first century thought and philosophy, particularly Jewish thought and philosophy (Philo, Josephus).
  3. The section on the Pastoral Epistles (Titus, 1&2 Timothy) is the first to be written with a historical understanding of succession, and how that phenomenon would have shaped the ancient readers' understanding of what's going on between Paul and Timothy / Titus.
  4. I wrote the commentary with Logos's Libronix Digital Library system up on my computer. That means I had the Greek text and Bauer-Danker-Arndt-Gingrich at my fingertips. I also made extensive use of Perseus for word searches. (Now if they'd just make Perseus available for Windoze machines!)
They're telling me that the commentary should be available for sale before SBL in November; that would be great. But honestly, right now I'm just glad to be finished with the thing--at least until the proofs come in the mail somewhere around 1 August.