Once I was told that everything on earth is a broken version, or a shadowed resemblance of what will be found in heaven. I don’t know if that’s entirely true, or all the ramifications of that. But I do wonder, if the singing in chapel can move me to such awe, what will it be like to hear all the saints and angels sing together someday? HALLELUJAH! That will be cool!
“Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: all of them make me laugh.” ~ W. H. Auden
US (English-born) critic & poet (1907 – 1973)
Dinner is one of my favorite times of the day. But I am a morning person - how can this be? It is at dinner that I get to spend time with my friends and laugh with them. It is also the time when I hear the most laughter.
Laughter is one of the most important aspects in a person’s life. I love to laugh and I love to hear my friends laugh whether it is at me or at something else. Laughter is one of my favorite parts of life.
Here at BBC I find myself surrounded by people who love to laugh and joke around. As usual there are times when things get a little out of hand. That is to be expected when you are having a good time with your friends.
Friendships are formed usually over a good laugh. And that is how many of the people here became some of my closest friends and most of those times of initial friendship was founded at the BBC cafeteria tables.
I pray that you have a lot of laughter in your life and a good number of friends to share that laughter with. I know I do.
What typically happens when your teacher catches you goofing off in class? In most cases your teacher will either throw a very long glare from the front of the classroom or call you out in the middle of the lecture. Normally you wouldn’t expect your teacher to take you out for lunch after you’ve been goofing off during the lecture.
Greek III is the kind of class where you start to delve into the more minute details of language study, and during one particular class hour I started to move into “ADD” mode. I don’t usually have an attention deficit, but once we started talking about “aspect” and “aktionsart” in relation to the Greek verb – my attention plummeted. This sudden plunge of attention to Dr. Decker’s lecture eventually culminated in reaching for my iTouch during the lecture (again, not characteristic for me at all).
My Greek professor Dr. Rodney J. Decker is a genius. You can find his Greek textbooks on Amazon.com. He knows Macbooks better than anyone I know. He wrote his doctoral dissertation for D.A. Carson, one of the top theological scholars in America today. And he can also spot a student using his iTouch during his lectures.
Dr. Decker calmly said my name once. I looked up sheepishly, and put my iTouch back in my pocket. Dr. Decker said no more about the incident until a few days later. I was hanging out with a friend of mine in the dorm one night when I got a new e-mail in my inbox. The sender line said “Rod Decker,” and I thought that I was about to receive a polite but firm e-mail of positive reprimand. This was not the case.
Instead, Dr. Decker told me how uncharacteristic it was for me to not pay attention in class. He asked if there was anything wrong and offered for me to reply with any questions I might have – which I did. I was honest with him and told him that I had been struggling to understand why an M.Div. degree was considered profitable for pastors. I didn’t quite understand. His response was an invitation to lunch that following Wednesday.
Dr. Decker took me out to Quizno’s and answered my questions. He asked me what God was doing in my life and what I perceived to be my future in ministry. That was how I was rewarded for goofing off in class, something I never plan on doing again… maybe.
One of my favorite Professors at BBC is Dr. Don McCall. Those of us in his program affectionately call him “P.D.” or “Pastor Don.” I had the privilege of serving in ministry with PD during my Freshman Year of College, and there is one phrase he repeated to us over and over that has stayed with me.
“Expectations destroy gratefulness.”
What does that mean? Well, exactly what it says. It is no more simple or complicated than it sounds.
“Expectations destroy gratefulness.”
I have thought about that a lot this last week. See the phrase has been so cemented in my brain this last year, and I have used it when admonishing friends, or the teens in my youth group. But never before had I really allowed the concept to apply to my own life.
“Expectations destroy gratefulness…”
Finally, I am beginning to understand just how my expectations of people, or classes, or ministries have caused me to demand certain things out of my experiences. When, the reality of the situation is, God is the one who has sovereignly ordered my life and my experiences to teach me what He wants.
Why does it always take me so long to catch those things? I don’t know, but thankfully God has me here where I can be under the influence of people like Pastor Don. So, thanks PD!
As some of my friends and I sat in on the first quarter of our Lady Defenders Basketball game today, we were reminded of one of the unique aspects of BBC Athletics. Its not that we necessarily dominate on the court, or have some real fancy style of play. Nothing like that.
What is unique about our teams is unity. I am not talking about all of the ladies on the team working together or being buddies. The unity I am talking about is best described by Romans 15: 5-6.
“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Whether a Lady Defenders dives for a rogue ball, shoots a free throw, or simply calls out cheers from the bench she does it for the glory of God! I have heard people say that is important to the team and so on, but I haven’t spent much time watching the games. This morning I just casually walked in the gym, not expecting to learn anything. Just catch a glimpse of the game. But what I found instead was a group of women united together as a team, glorifying God! Way to go Lady Defenders!!!
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. ~ George Santayana, The Life of Reason, Volume 1, 1905, US (Spanish-born) philosopher (1863 – 1952)
This year I am taking American History II. My teacher Miss Cagley is one of the reasons I love history so much. Honestly! For me history is one of the greatest subjects that one could ever learn. If we did not have our past, we would not know where to go from here. The past is the starting point of the decisions that will be made in the present.
Now some think that they cannot learn anything from History. I disagree. History is filled with advancements and with failures that we can learn from. One of the biggest and funniest lessons to be learned from history is to never try a land invasion of Russia. Okay you might think well duh of course, but think of how many times it has been tried.
Napoleon. Hitler. Both tried. Both failed. Miserably I might add.
However, my point is no matter how silly it may seem we can learn from history. If we do not glance back every once in a while how will we know not to make the same mistakes?
I encourage you to get into history and find something new that you can take with you in the present. For me? Well let’s just say that my lesson from history is there is nothing new under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 1:9- “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”
The great aim of education is not knowledge but action. ~ Herbert Spencer
English philosopher (1820 – 1903)
How true is that quote? In my opinion, it is exactly right. The reason why I am here is not just so I can learn all that there is, but I am here so that I may learn how to take that information and put it into action.
What good is knowledge if we do not know how to use it and what good is it if we know how to use it but don’t. That is why I love my professors here at BBC. They are first giving me knowledge then they teach me how to use that knowledge. Moreover, they even go as far as giving me opportunities to use what I have learned.
My Theology class this year is the perfect example. I am taking Theology IV with Dr. Cragoe and his wife. I just love the class. Today we looked deeper into Baptist distinctives and as the class progressed, he gave us examples of other churches’ standings on the Bible and how church is to run. He then asked us to look for the differences and for the Biblical inaccuracies of the statements.
This will help me in the future as I search for a church to settle down in or even how to communicate the Gospel to someone who wants no part of it. This knowledge will also help me in every aspect of my life, but only if I actually use it.
Training men and women to put into action what they know – that’s BBC. That’s one of the many reasons that I love it here.
Is there a class that actually challenges you to use the knowledge you have? Better yet, do you take up the challenge when it arrives?
Summer Kinder works in the Admissions Department at BBC. She attended Bowling Green State University and Ohio State University before arriving at BBC in 2001. Summer joined BBC Admissions in 2008 and has loved every minute of it! She enjoys being involved in student ministries with both teens and elementary-age students. She recently returned from a missions trip to Kenya, and I wanted her to share a few thoughts on her trip.
DN: Summer, tell us when and why you traveled to Africa.
SK: December 26-January 3rd – I went with my local church, Parker Hill Community Church (www.parkerhill.org). It’s only 1.8 miles from BBC’s campus. We partnered with the 410 Bridge (www.410bridge.org) – an organization that partners American churches with churches in Kenya.
DN: What were some of your goals? Did you accomplish them?
SK: Our primary goals were to build relationships and help with school projects. We worked with Kenyans to make sidewalks and level the floor in the elementary room, but it was not a very “work-oriented” trip. We did whatever they needed and spent time building relationships with the Kenyans during the times that would normally seem “unproductive.”
DN: How did BBC prepare you for a trip like this?
SK: BBC helped me develop a heart of compassion for those in need and for ministry in general. Education courses helped me interact with kids better. Courses like Defending the Faith and Proclaiming the Gospel helped me interact with Kenyan believers and discuss our faith more intelligently.
DN: Are you going back to Kenya?
SK: If the Lord allows, YES!
Baptist Bible College encourages students to take short-term missions trips. We provide short-term trips for students during the summer, and we also encourage students to work with their local churches’ short-term trips as well. Learn more about our Missions program here: http://www.bbc.edu/college/academics/program_missions.asp.
Naps are always needed, but usually dorm life keeps you up. Play some beach volleyball. Stay up till 6:00 AM working. Go to class from 6:30 AM till 9:00 AM. Sleep till 2:45ish. Go to meetings, meetings, and more meetings. Pick on the freshmen as much as possible.
Learn some Greek – talk some end times. Learn some evangelism – talk some church education. Hangout at your friend’s house – watch a movie. Watch your school’s baseball team play at the nearby stadium. Lead worship after curfew. Go work in the office for a little bit. Spend time in prayer.
Miss out on the cafeteria food you already paid for and eat Chinese buffet food that costs a lot JUST because you want to.
A date here, a date there. Homework everywhere.
Agendas, meetings, good conversations, dumb conversations, social overload… accomplishments, failures, lessons learned, friendships made, money lost, life goes on and life is good.
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