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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Timely and Humbling Reunion

In 1980 we drove to Denver in a U-Haul start a new ministry. Consequently, through the 1980's and 90's, I had the esteemed privilege to direct two evangelical Christian ministries at the University of Denver. As it happened, the original ministry's sponsorship (i.e., Campus Ambassadors) changed in the late 80's (i.e., Dayspring Ministries at DU), but the efforts, under my leadership, remained effectively and seamlessly the same. During those 15 years, that ministry was a team effort. It was recognized and honored twice for it's "...outstanding contribution to the students, faculty and staff..." at the University of Denver. But I'm not reporting that because I want to toot a horn of recognition. I merely want to provide a brief context for what I'm about to say next.

In the years since then, I have wrestled. Candidly, I've been increasingly disappointed in the sameness, the stuck-ness and the tameness of my/our life's situation and experiences after those so comparatively rich 15-years at DU. I've thought "nothing's happening anymore." The excitement I/we knew in that part of my/our lives has been very difficult to replicate--and I'm still STUCK in Denver! So I've quietly wondered, "OK, where's God?" our present stuff (compared to what I/we have experienced so routinely in those many unmistakable, evidential events that wrote HIS unmistakable signature into our past?  

Through a good friend..."God speaking!"
The ministry's design was one that developed and then enlisted student leaders. So, today Judi and I have many friends who were students, then, involved in that ministry effort. These men and women are now spread across the globe. Some of them variously stayed with us in our home through holidays that were, for them, collegiate years, very much away from their families and homes. Having purchased a home near DU, we established an onto-the-campus spring board. So, for example, we hosted a twice-monthly all-comers and all-you-can-eat dinner in our home for students, staff, and faculty. It quickly became an a highly anticipated event. It was one that our student leaders had little difficulty encouraging hungry student friends to visit for a real home-cooked meal.

Sunday through Tuesday of this week, Judi and I again hosted one of our then student leaders from that era--Gerardo Silva. Today this remarkable man lives in Venezuela with his extended family, his wife Maria and his three children. Gerardo is now 50 YEARS OLD, and during his visit with us in our home he reported about how much our lives impacted his own. On Monday (it was really c-c-c-cold!--5 degrees F) we walked around the DU campus together. He reported how grateful he has been to God for the kind of content, personal relationship and life insights he gleaned through his experiences as a beloved student, and as a member of our leadership team at DU in the early and late '80's.

God was talking to me, through Gerardo: "Dick, quit your silly still...Quiet your impatient and angry heart! Right now recommit yourself to patient perseverance and to forward movement...because I'm neither asleep nor are you 'lost.' Time and eternity are MINE to do with--and with you--as and how I please. Trust me!!" 


" you have always obeyed [my suggestions], so now, not only in my presence but much more because I am absent, work out your own salvation with reverence and awe and trembling....Not in your own strength, since it is God Who is all the while effectively at work in you--energizing and creating in you the power and desire--both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight." Philippians 2:12,13. (Amplified Version)

OK. Give that some thought...if it "speaks" to you.