So I'd like to make my own contribution to the confusion. I'd like to nominate a new image as the iconic, neo-Rockwellian personification of the holiday.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
So I'd like to make my own contribution to the confusion. I'd like to nominate a new image as the iconic, neo-Rockwellian personification of the holiday.
Monday, December 15, 2008
So the question is: Where can you talk honestly and freely about sexuality and the many challenges it brings? Do you have friends where that is fair game? Classes? Professors? Small accountability groups? It seems that if you don't, we should provide some safe places to ask and have our questions answered. I would be interested in providing that kind of safe environment, but would be interested in what you think.
1. Is our campus an open place to discuss struggles/issues with sexuality?
2. Are we judgmental about struggles in this area?
3. Do we have sufficient resources available for folks who want to grow in their sexual sobriety?
Let me know!
Monday, December 1, 2008
But what if there's nothing on your table this thanksgiving? How do you give thanks then? With our economy in the shape it’s in and with the country in an uproar about bailouts and meltdowns and with our 401k’s becoming 201k’s, many folks are looking at less on the table for which to give thanks. How do you give thanks when there's nothing on the table? The answer is that we have to look at the seat of thanksgiving--that we have to pay more attention to who is sitting in the chair than what is served on the table. What do I mean? Listen to this little snippet of Scripture:
(Artist's rendition of Yahweh's Throne)
The angels give us the example--we can give thanks to the one who sits in the Seat of Thanksgiving, even if there isn't much on the table for which to give thanks.
After a number of years in the pastorate I came back to Virginia to help a good friend run his chain of high end jewelry stores. For two years everything was great. But with terrible fourth quarter sales in 2007, our bank called in their business lines of credit. They came in and confiscated the jewelry as collateral. After a valiant effort to liquidate the inventory, we threw in the towel in early July. I had to personally call the 35 remaining employees of our business and let them know that they were the latest victim of our economic downturn. I found out the next day that I had joined them among the ranks of the unemployed. So on the brink of a recession, on the cusp of the biggest drop in the stock market ever, I was sitting at home thinking about my wife, my 3 children, and wondering why the sky was falling. Maybe some of you have been in a situation like that, and maybe you have family who are in that spot. What do you do when the table is empty and the kids are asking questions and the bills are piling up? How do you give thanks then?
My wife Bridget had it right--during that period of time she said to me, “You’ve got to remember Jesus is still on the throne. He has got something better for you, I just know He does.” She like St. John urged me to lift my eyes, and see that despite all evidence to the contrary Jesus was still in the seat of thanksgiving, He was still sitting on his throne, and “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, “Because the throne is a symbol of power, and Jesus sitting on it means that He is able to do immeasurably more than I could ever ask think or imagine.
I don't know what's on your table this year, but from my own life and from the Scriptures I've been reminded that its more important to know who's sitting in the seat of thanksgiving rather than focus on what's on the table. We can give thanks to Him who sits on the throne...no matter what life serves up.
Perhaps St. Paul said it best,
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. Phil. 4:12
Friday, November 21, 2008
H. Wayne Huizenga Jr. aka "Junior" in his own parlance, spoke twice in the Hampton Roads area yesterday; once in the Leadership Prayer Breakfast and again in a special chapel at Regent University.
I've heard famous folks speak before, and to quote Forest Gump, " (famous speakers) are like a box of chocolates, you never know when they're going to get goey and ooze onto the floor or when you'll bite into one that looked good but turned out to be licorice flavor, ukkk!" Maybe that wasn't Forest Gump, but I'm sure someone said that.
From the outside, the box of chocolates looked good; famous wealthy guy from a famous wealthy family who was living the American dream. His bio says he's the President of the holding company that owns a controlling interest in the Dolphins and their stadium, which seems a bit convoluted, but hey; who's kidding whom--this is the guy who gets to sit in the luxury sky box and watch his favorite team every week in the fall--pretty much every little boy's dream! As he said, he had the cars and the houses and the travel and the lifestyle that we all want. But it wasn't enough.
Now I've been around church to know what was coming next. Like the little boy in Sunday School when the teacher asked him "What has a furry tail, climbs trees and eats nuts?" responded "Teacher it sounds like a squirrel, but this is Sunday School so I know the answer has got to be God or Jesus." I knew the answer was going to be "Jesus" (which of course I don't disagree with) but somehow my life has always seemed more complicated than that.
That's when this box of chocolate surprised me. Junior described his encounter with Christ, without hesitation and in powerful detail. But the most powerful part to me was his transparency in describing the steps and the stages by which he discovered that Jesus was the answer to his problems.
First, he was blessed to have a friend he enjoyed, who entered his world with whom he had fun. They did guy stuff like go fishing and ride submarines. Cool. Then he noticed there was a difference in the way they lived their lives. Junior asked great questions, "Why are we so different?" Then he responded by going to church. I loved the fact that he couldn't find any of his immediate friends who went to church. Really it makes me sad, because most church-type Christians have few "unchurched" friends. Then about 18 months later (if I have my facts straight) he had an old-fashioned "get saved" experience at a church. And even then he professed a discomfort with that label.
Wayne Jr. was extremely open, vulnerable and transparent with the struggle to "keep your eyes on Christ" while having alot of money. He talked about steps he takes regularly to grow in his faith, and to model his life on that of others he admires. He talked about ways he attempts to avoid mistakes his dad may have made in giving too much time to business. I came away thinking, "I relate to this guy, and his process of becoming more Christlike, less focused on self, and being honest along the way."
So for once, I reached into the box of chocolates and the one that came out was even better than it looked. Way to go Junior, our prayers are with you.
PS (Any way I can get tickets for this year's Super Bowl?)
Monday, November 10, 2008
Now for those of you who know the Scout laws, "A scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, etc." you'll notice one important camping skill is left out...
Probably that's because when I was a Scout, all I had to worry about was myself. Now, I have three kids a wife to look after, and that's where patience comes in. I'm not saying I'm perfect when it comes to camping. I left so many things at home it wasn't funny (D Batteries for the air mattress pump, extra batteries for the lantern...that went out 10 minutes after we got there, skewers to roast the hot dogs and marshmellows, you get the picture) But that didn't keep me from being annoyed at others... no sirree. I could be impatient when somebody else forgot things (paper plates and cups) annoyed when my son kept running off into the woods without telling anybody, or of course, entered the worst GRUMP ZONE of all when we got home and it was time to unload all the smoky things left in the family van.
It's a little humorous to me that God chose a family camping trip to teach patient faith to the forefather of three great religions...Abraham. Such a mundane venue, in a way, and yet such a profound journey.
Gen 12:4 So Abram left, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran. 5 He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan
I have long since discovered that I am by nature impatient...more concerned with the end result than the process; more worried about final perfection than concerned with the small steps in between. Family camping reveals to me how short-sighted my approach is. It reminds me that the process of discovering what one forgot is in itself preparation for the next trip, and the next.
Abraham learned lots of lessons while camping with his family, the best ones when he wasn't in such a hurry he couldn't share a little hospitality with friends (Gen. 18) or drop what you're doing to help a family member who got lost (Gen. 14) It was when he got IMPATIENT that Abraham got in trouble (Gen. 16) like when he got tired of waiting for God's promise to come true and made up his own plan. (Although in fairness to Abe, the story reveals that it was actually his wife Sarah's idea...which she conveniently blames him for later. Another camping pitfall...)
Family teaches us that life is not about SELF...it is about community. Family takes patience and proves that going TOGETHER is worth the wait. I was reminded that regardless of what I know or the experiences I have, if I can't use that knowledge to enrich the lives of those around me, it's pretty pointless. Our camping trip wasn't perfect, but it was the pefect opportunity for me to develop patience. And I needed it...
Prov. 19:11 A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.
Where do you need patience ? What helps you develop it?
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
1. No one was killed as a result of exercising their constitutional right to vote in the United States of America.
2. An African-American was elected President for the first time in US History.
3. Women in America had the freedom to vote or not vote for a woman on a major party ticket.
4. Women in America had the freedom to vote or not vote for a woman as president.
5. John McCain, Obama's opponent, overcame imprisonment and torture as a prisoner of war to run for the highest office in the land.
6. Unprecedented voter registrations repudiate charges of apathy among the electorate in America.
7. Experts claim this election boasted the highest voter turnout rate in years, perhaps a century.
8. A Single mom raised a boy who became president, giving hope and inspiration to many.
9. Barack Obama was able to see his grandmother one last time before she passed away, thanking her for the enormous role she played in his life. What grandmother hasn't thought that her grandson or granddaughter might not grow up to be president?
10. Unprecedented numbers of young people got involved in the election process.
11. Hispanic Americans are playing an increasingly crucial role in national elections.
12. "Conventional wisdom" that is, know-it-all pundits telling us normal people what will happen, got set on it's ear in a number of ways...from Hillary Clinton's defeat to Sarah Palin's VP selection.
13. We have not suffered a terrorist attack in the 7 years following 9/11/01.
14. An enormous number of people feel buoyed with hope after the election, and believe good things about the future of our country. It sure beats cynicism!
15. John McCain gave an excellent example of how to lose gracefully.
16. We'll have little kids in the White House again.
17. Obama's victory means we don't have to watch silly
political ads for another four years.
18. Military servicemen who place their lives in harm's way will have their ballots counted, even if it takes time.
19. We can move from talking about the bad economy to
doing something about it.
20. Thousands got free Starbucks coffee, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Chic-fil-A, Ben and Jerry's and others just for voting. I love this country.
21. Tina Fey will have to find a new skit for the next 4 years.
22. God is still on His throne, and shapes the lives of nations and individuals as He choses. No human can limit His power and no government exists without His permission. We can pray and support this government and this President because God can bless it, and bring peace to our lives.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Perhaps because of his own difficult background, Juan pictured our life in Christ as a journey—a spiritual road where the initiate or beginner climbs ever higher through difficulties ultimately to union with God. But that journey is one that takes us through the darkness. We sang earlier with Kim and the team, sometimes the road is marked with suffering, is it not? San Juan de la Cruz says that there are times when the road is a dark one. His famous phrase is the “dark night of the soul.” Perhaps you knew that the great Polish Cardinal who became Pope John Paul II wrote his doctoral dissertation on the concept of faith in St. John of the Cross. He points out that for Juan “Faith is night.” Night is the emptiness that reveals our desire for the world and its pleasures. Night is that which weans us from our desire and attachment to wordly things. Faith in the dark Night reminds us that our attachment to lesser things often prohibits our union with the greatest thing—God himself.
In my own life it has been the loss of things dear to me—it has been the tragic loss of innocence, the loss of status,—the loss of income and of certainty and of a sense of control—these losses that were black as the night sky—wherein God has shone more brightly than ever.
I'm wondering how your faith journey has been...has it been an Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind? Or the active night of faith? Let me know!
Monday, October 20, 2008
Rod’s obituary will appear in the Virginian Pilot on Tuesday and Wednesday, and will provide details about the time and location of the burial on Thursday morning, October 23. At 7:00 p.m. on Thursday evening a memorial service will be held at Kempsville Presbyterian Church. Dr. Danny Gilbert, one of Rod's first graduate assistants and protégé, will preside. Danny is also an M.Div. alumnus of the School of Divinity.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Most people I meet know very little about the Bible, which is all cool. It doesn't so much bother me, because most people I meet who THINK they know alot about the Bible unfortunately don't. But without question the one piece of the Bible even folks like Bill Maher know is the dictum "Judge NOT...!"
Thursday, October 2, 2008
- While academic procrastination is not a special type of procrastination, procrastination is thought to be particularly prevalent in the academic setting, where students are required to meet deadlines for assignments and tests in an environment full of events and activities which compete for the students' time and attention. More specifically, a 1992 study showed that "52% of surveyed students indicated having a moderate to high need for help concerning procrastination
When I was in school, I used to leave a book on Procastination on my coffee table, just so when someone asked me if I had read it, I could say "NO, I HAVEN"T GOTTEN AROUND TO IT."
I'm wondering how procrastination works for you--is it fear that grips you? Is it a nagging perfectionism that inists everything must be perfect for others to be impressed with your performance? Is it just anxiety--that won't let you start on the multiple projects you have because you just don't see how you'll finish?
Ok--a little Bible for you. “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.”- Proverbs 29:25
For me, procrastination is about the snare of fear--wanting to have my stuff together so that others will be impressed. The bigger the project, the more I want it to be perfect--and the more I want others to like me and my accomplishments. I remember putting off my senior paper in College (it was supposed to be over 100 pages) piling research upon research, and never quite getting around to putting it all together. In that instance, it took someone else to come alongside and help in order to get the wheels moving again.
So here's the questions:
1. What are you procrastinating?
2. Any clue why?
3. Who in your world is in a place to help you have a better perspective on your fear?
Friday, September 12, 2008
Over the administration building of Regent is emblazoned a verse:
"And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others."
These words of St. Paul to Timothy represent the call to recruit world class faculty who in turn entrust their knowledge and wisdom to students, who in turn become "Christian Leaders to Change the World."
Truth is, all of us wonder some time or another if God could ever use us. Lord knows I ask myself that question most every day. But clueless, mistake-prone clods such as myself are exactly the kind of folk God has chosen to spread his word and His work around the world.
One of my other mentors, Dick Woodward, would often say, "If you see a turtle on the fencepost, you know one thing for certain--he didn't get there himself." Amen. Thank you to Pat Robertson and all the faculty and staff of Regent University for a great 30 years. I am proud to serve here, as a turtle on a fence post--waiting to see what God will do next.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Ok, I suppose this blog had to get spiritual sometime. I want to reveal my (top?) spiritual gift...the gift of SARCASM! You know how it works, you wait for someone to say something semi-serious, or hopelessly naive, and they've just set themselves up for the hammer! I have mastered the wicked little cut down, the eyebrow raised dismissive comment, such that I have been asked onto the 2012 Olympic Synchronized Sarcasm team.
Sarcasm you know what I'm talking about.
Sarcasm is stating the opposite of an intended meaning especially in order to sneeringly, slyly, jest or mock a person, situation or thing. It is strongly associated with irony, with some definitions classifying it as a type of verbal irony intended to insult or wound. Sarcasm can also be used in a humorous or jesting way depending on the intent of the person speaking
So what's the big deal? Everyone uses it...we live in an upside down language world where everything we say is ironic, sardonic, sarcastic or biting somehow. well--I know for me I have become a little "en guarde" lest I be thought too serious, or too earnest, or well, just a big dope because I am just a bit old fashionedly (is that a word?) sincere.
and here's my point (someone out there is seeking one, I'm sure) Last night I was interacting with an old friend on Facebook about their view of VP Nominee Sarah Palin's speech. My old buddy is quite a bit more hip than I (not hard) and also a bit more liberal. So I tried not to let on that maybe, just maybe I enjoyed it, and threw a couple of one liners out into cyber space. I realized that I was scared just to say what I thought, so I hid behind my sarcasm.
Since I've been on campus at Regent, I have had startlingly sincere feelings of happiness, excitement, and hope. I find myself smiling for no reason. for those of you who don't know my story, I've been through quite a bit to get here, and not all of it pleasant. So to be in a place where I can use my gifts and maybe help people at the same time, and meet the most fantastic people in the world, well golly Beave, it's just swell. :-) (caution--sappy dope alert) And when I feel that, I find myself wanting to protect myself by using sarcasm, pretending not to be so twinkly-eyed about the situation, in the hopes that no one will burst my bubble.
I shared this info with Dr. Carlos Campo, our new Academic VP. He said to me, "When you quit smiling, and go back to being sarcastic and cynical, let me know, because that's not good."
How do you use sarcasm? When is it good? When is it somethign to hide behind? Let me know.
I promise not to mock your answers...too bad. ;-)
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Today I attended the COGS Back to School BBQ Bash. I have to say it was an awesome event. I met some amazing students, had some great food (go Chef Dan!) and best of all, played the greatest of all games CORNHOLE. It's the kind of sport that makes one want to repeat its very name over and over... CORNHOLE,CORNHOLE, CORNHOLE.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Ok--I suppose in a blog it would be somewhat important to know a few things about the person speaking. Or typing. Or blogging. You get the point.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Hooray! It sure beats unemployment. My journey has been quite an interesting one, which I suppose some blog time I will get into.
As for right now, I am interested in connecting with students at Regent University. (sorry to all my non-student friends) Shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org. HEre are the questions I am interested in!
1. What is your opinion of the spiritual climate on campus?
2. What one or two things do you think would make the biggest impact spiritually on campus?
Give it a shot, and we'll do this blog thing together.