Random Question: "Why the moniker Dr. D?"

Sometimes people will ask how I settled on the moniker Dr D or ask why I carry such a pretentious title.  In the interest of clarity, here's my multi-faceted answer. 

(1) Go with me back to my childhood.  I wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer (some things never change, do they?).  But my mom consistently encouraged me to not settle for less than the best I could do, no matter what that was.  She never went to college nor did my dad, but for them, education was a highly prized asset.  While they didn't tell me how far they wanted me to go in school, they wanted me to give it my best lick.  When I went to Dallas Baptist, they were thrilled when I graduated.  When I went to Southwestern Seminary for my masters, they were excited for me.  While I don't think either of them really understood why I wanted to do doctoral work, they were so very proud that I did.  I keep a picture in my doctoral diploma frame that I took on the day I received it.  The picture is just of the diploma and my dad's hands.  It's a keen reminder of how I got there.  THUS, I wear the title "Dr" to honor my parents. 

(2) My wife Julie married me right as I was starting doctoral work.  While neither of us knew how difficult it would be to finish, we worked, sacrificed and prayed it through.  When I got near the end, my wife tackled my bibliography - hundreds of sources in several languages, some of which she had to learn as she went along.  She never once complained about the challenges it presented.  Her faithfulness and passion in partnership with me were amazing!  THUS, I wear the title "Dr" to honor my wife and her work. 

(3) When I was first starting doctoral work, I also began pastoring the Memorial Baptist Church in Corsicana, TX.  Some of the most amazing and loving people I've ever had the privilege to know, these people paid for my school for the duration of my degree.  While there were some there with advanced degrees, we were largely a blue-collar church which suited me fine.  They put up with me being unavailable for large blocks of time.  They tolerated lots of bad sermons when I didn't have the time to prepare like I do now.  They loved us and were so selfless in their kindness to me and my family.  When I graduated, I placed in my dissertation a kind word about their service to me and my family.  THUS, I wear the title "Dr" to honor those who made it possible in the first place. 

(4) When I graduated, many who loved me told me I HAD to use the "Dr" title.  I didn't earn the degree to be lauded with that title.  I did it because I felt like the Lord directed me down that path.  It's not an arrogant thing to me - it's an obedient one (that's another blog post!).  THUS, I wear the title "Dr" as a reminder of one of most significant leaps of faith I've ever taken. 

(5) The "D" part is obviously my name but there's more to that as well.  While in college, the only people who called me by my given name were my professors and my parents.  Everyone else called me just plain "D."  I don't know why - it just happened that way.  I liked it and so it stuck.  When I earned my degree and relented that "Dr." needed to be a part of my title, "Dr Wood" seemed so formal.  I'm not teaching every week, so I struggled with it.  Until my wife said "How about Dr. D?"  I loved it!  And thus my moniker. 

If you call me by my given name, I'm not offended nor do I feel slighted.  If you call me pastor, that's a title I especially value.  But when you see me refer to myself as "Dr. D", realize it's not about arrogance but about the path I've walked with the Lord.