A quick update on the ministry and how we are doing. There are lots of good things happening, about which I’ll try to give you glimpses in the months ahead.
We just completed (i.e., survived!) our major service project, Teams & Toys, where we mobilize varsity teams to provide holiday gifts for needy children in the community. Tremendous event again about which I’ll say more when I catch my breath…
After a 1-yr mandatory hiatus, following a 10-yr. term, I was re-instated as a faculty fellow at Mathey College. I’m grateful for this opportunity to connect and serve.
This month I was asked to give the homily at the Christmas Vespers observance, held in the Rocky Common Room and sponsored by the evangelical Christian groups at PU (AIA, PEF, Manna, PFA, BSF).
Staying humble (or at least “less than cool”) via parenthood
Marie: “Hey Dad, I think I see some brown hair.”
“Oh, you mean… gray… oh no. Ouch! That’s cold-blooded!”
“That advertisement doesn’t make any sense to me.”
“Dad, I don’t think they were marketing to your age bracket!”
Fortunately, a comedian, Jeff Allen has enlightened me with wisdom:
“Teenagers are God’s revenge on humankind. It’s as if God looked down over His creation and said, “Let’s see how they like to create someone in their own image who denies their existence!”
“I have looked in the Bible and nowhere does it say what age Satan was when he rejected God’s authority. I’m thinking he was 15…”
All kidding aside, we’re enjoying the process of watching our children become young adults, and we consider ourselves very fortunate to have been entrusted with Luke (18) and Marie (15).
Let me share an incident that culminated this past summer which energizes me. The father of an offensive lineman on the football team (Michael Crowder ’11), spoke with me at his son’s graduation in June. I had met both briefly at move-in day in Sept. ’07, and this father now reminded me that it “was a big deal to him” that we “providentially met” as he dropped his son off and left. I told him, “you’re welcome and I’m glad it worked out.” Then, this big father (who played himself recently in a TV show entitled “Coal,” featured on Spike TV), gently grabbed my shoulder, stared into my eyes and said emphatically, “No, you need to know that was a very big deal to me for him to find a Christian community so far from home (east Tennessee).” => Praise the Lord! And Michael proved to be a huge blessing to AIA as an active participant & student leader, and is now in law school. The Princeton campus is a strategic mission field with young adults, a time that impacts the trajectory of their lives. And one worthy of my time and one which multiplies your investment. Thanks for standing with us in prayer and financial support. May God send many more Michaels (& Michelles!) our way, and may we push them along in their Christian journey.
FYI: The 6-part series of conversations about faith (“Keeping Faith”) with professors in the campus newspaper, The Daily Princetonian, may be of interest. All 6 were interviewed by Robert George, renowned professor of Jurisprudence (and devout Catholic). The final one (12/15/11) was with Religion & Ethics professor Eric Gregory (Baptist).
In same paper, there’s also coverage of the thrilling buzzer-beater in OT by men’s basketball over Rider. I was there in the stands, 20 feet behind the bench. And the junior who swished the game-winning 3 is in a Bible study I lead with several of his teammates on Monday nights.
FYI.2. Prominent Professor of African-American Studies, Cornel West, has indicated that he will leave PU at the end of this school year to begin teaching at Union Theological Seminary in New York City.