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Monday, July 22, 2013

Helping In A Deep Hole

About 6' Down...and counting
This spring I began the challenging task to dig a l-o-n-g French drain on the west side of our house. It was about thirty feet long, 30 inches wide, and eight feet deep! Yup...that was a hole...a little over 22 cubic yards of dirt--and rocks. And to shorten a long dirty story, I got about a third of the way into the project and had to get some help, no thanks to a developing knee situation that summarily required surgery.

So I paid some highly recommended college age or college focused guys to help me forward the job; as it turned out--three brothers. Coincidentally all of them had connections to the Colorado School of Mines. They helped me get the job finished in fine order and we had a great time working together--well, they worked and I hobbled around, convalesced and talked (as they worked). Ha

At one point in the process one of them was asking me about my ministry experiences at DU. In my response we discussed the CAIRD program at DU and how it came about. I told him how I saw so many of my student friends devastated by sudden personal pain and disillusionment with that horrific news--that their parents were divorcing--and how it prompted me to create a faculty sponsored outreach to these men and women. He got all quiet and said, "Wow, that happened to me and my brothers, too."

So, I told him more about CAIRD, about it's informal nature, student leadership, students-supporting-students through some really emotionally painful and stressful times, like just going home for weekends or holidays, for example. He responded with a, "Wow, that would have been a great blessing to me and to many of my friends on the CSM campus." 

Pray for me...maybe you'll help me get there to "...extend a cup of cold water to these..," your cup through me (Matthew 10:42).

Godspeed,
Dick
Missions Door website








Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Is Old-er More Beautiful...Relating to Those Twenty Somethings?

Lana Del Rey
So how am I supposed to relate to these twenty something men and women? I know for a fact that several college-focused ministries retire their staff in their 50's. They've decided age doesn't relate. In a cultural environment so dedicated to young and beautiful (click there), and old is stodgy and stuck, that decision might make a lot of sense, but it makes anxious has-beens and cast-offs of what was once handsome and beautiful. 

Lana Del Rey's popular song, summarizes the crucial question...
And will you still love me
When I'm no longer young and beautiful?
Will you still love me
When I got nothing but my aching soul?
I know you will, I know you will
I know that you will
Will you still love me when I'm no longer beautiful?
Will you still love me when I'm no longer beautiful?
Will you still love me when I'm not young and beautiful?

Clearly, our universities and colleges across the country don't buy into that "old doesn't relate" and it's no longer beautiful decision. If they did, the bulk of their professors would be...well...much younger. So, if the question we're really asking is about the variety of really effective ways we can create to reach into the hearts of collegiate men and women, then age actually offers advantages! Consequently, I'm realizing, Wow LORD, maybe you've carefully prepared me for THIS....amazing opportunity!

And that confidence has already been confirmed. Where and how? In the recent statements made by "my" students (since since those DU days) at Rivendell College, at the University of Colorado, and in my work with Centers for Christian Study International. I've been in collegiate-related trenches with some amazing students through the past three decades....so maybe I'm even better now than I was some years ago!? 

While I was at the University of Denver I really did learn some things, and I was able to do some really fun stuff with the students. Yes, some of those times were pretty physically rigorous. Admittedly, that more rigorous stuff won't figure as prominently into my personal ministry plan this time around. But my younger team members can and will do those things. Thank God for "team." I am already prayerfully anticipating the men and women God will raise up to play those roles to compliment this effort at the CSM!

Through the years at DU, CU, CCSI, and most recently at Rivendell College I looked for "itches," and I soon become an"itch scratcher." We did some really fun and practical stuff to address obvious--and not so obvious--student's needs. Those successes opened all kinds of doors for other ministry-related efforts and some shoulder-to-shoulder experiences with students, faculty, and staff--especially at DU. They paved the way to some amazing campus-community relationships and huge opportunities to share the Good News of the Kingdom. With God's blessing I anticipate seeing some of that happen at CSM. 
Examples?...
  • DUELIX...A university-wide mentoring program for juniors and senior students matching potential professionals with seasoned area professionals and respecting disciplines and passions.
  • CAIRD...A university-wide support group experience for undergrads and grad students nursing the wounds of parental divorce.
  • Volunteer Investments of time and professional skills to help students and staff in the counseling and career center at the University under institutional supervision.
  • The Man Class...a 12-week tutorial and discussion format about male-female expectations and communication enhancement in general and in dating
  • Smarter Romance...a dating paradigm, seminars, and an appropriate Biblical dating posture that helps couples appropriately and best answer the question, "Should we continue this relationship?" 
  • Leadership Development opportunities through the the Dean of Students offices at DU.
  • The Peak Leadership Program at CCSI and Rivendell College matching students with Boulder area field ministry opportunities.....
  • E-Cubed...Engineers Reaching Engineers with the gospel; students, professors, and old-new alumni.
Not as pretty but...
I'd like to be on the campus in the fall, 2014. If you know me, and you have not done so already, please do these four things for me, starting initially with some thoughtful prayer: 1) Go to the Missions Door website; 2) Read through my bio page and consider, "Is God challenging me/us to be a 'behind-the-scenes' partner in Dick's ministry at CSM"; then, 3) after your careful and prayerful consideration, make your decision. If you say, "Yes," then, 4) Go back to the Missions Door web page, above, and sign-up.  Please join me; I will be thrilled to have your ongoing prayer and financial support!

Next time:  We'll see...God knows!

FYI...I'm going to use this blog to help me keep you up to date on what's happening on my way to ministry at the Colorado School of Mines (CSM). Please subscribe to this blog...and it will come to you automatically. (At the top of this blog where it says "email address" enter yours and click, "submit.")