Friday, September 12, 2008

Turtle on a Fencepost

So I am standing on a stage this morning behind the Rev. Dr. M.G. "Pat" Robertson, asked to say a prayer for this great man on the occasion of Regent University's 30th Anniversary. There was a special edition of the 700 Club shot on location at Regent today. All I could think was "I've watched this man on TV since I was a kid--what do I have to say? But then I realized that as inconsequential as I felt, I was a realization of Pat Robertson's dream. Dr. David Gyertson was one of the original seven faculty and staff members of Regent. (then CBNU) But more importantly to me, he has been my pastor. As I learned God's truth from him, I sensed a call in my own life to spread the word of God.

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

Spiritual gift of Sarcasm

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. ;-)