I apologize to those of you (OK - the one person) who contacted me inquiring about why I have not updated my blog over the last 3 days. I just got back in the office Wednesday after being gone for a week for my daughter's graduation from Liberty University. What a rare and amazing week it was. Here are some of the highlights from my trip:
I was able to visit with several former ministry colleagues of mine. Sean Patrick (a liberty graduate) interned under me when I was a youth pastor in West Milton, Ohio. He is now the President of Finish Line Ministries out of Columbus, OH. Their main ministry is in Malawi, Africa where they have planted over 250 churches and seen thousands come to Christ. I am so very proud of Sean and how God is using him!
I also got to visit with Brian Penn and Rich Brown (both are also Liberty graduates). We were all youth pastors together in the same district and worked in partnership on many events including summer camp. Brian now lives in Columbus, OH and Rich is now “Dr Richard Brown,” a professor in the Youth Ministries Department at Liberty.
I was able to meet and sped some time talking with Doug Gilmore who is from Gaylord and the E-Free Church who now lives in Virginia. He is an adjunct professor at Liberty. We have communicated often through email and Facebook but this was the first time we were able to talk face-to-face.
We were able to visit the elementary school in Lynchburg where Joy did her student teaching last semester. Her cooperating teacher and the principal at the school both communicated to us how uniquely gifted Joy is and what a thrill it was for them to have her in their school. Please do pray with us that God will make His way very clear to Joy over the summer.
Graduation was amazing. I am so proud of Joy. She was one of only five students in the entire Education Department to receive an excellence in teaching award. The weather was perfect. Luis Palau’s talk at Baccalaureate was powerful and Mitt Romney’s speech at Commencement was equally as good.
As proud as I was of Joy, I was equally proud to be an alumnus of Liberty University (and now the parent of an alumnus). Liberty had 14,000 graduates this year and will go over the 80,000 mark in enrolment this fall (most through their distance learning program). They are the quickest private school ever to go over the one billion dollar mark in net assets. To think that back in 1971 when Dr Falwell launched the dream that God gave to him, it was just a mountain with a barn sitting on it. It is amazing what God can do through one person who has enough faith to believe that God can do it!
We also had the opportunity to share this time with my parents and Laura’s parents. Being that graduation was over Mother's Day weekend, it was the very first time in the 25 years that we have been married that we were all together for Mother’s Day.
On the way home we were able to spend the night with some special friends in Ohio. This couple is who I stayed with when I was a summer intern youth pastor in Ohio the two summers before my college graduation.
Week's like this do not come along every day! They are few and far between! But, Lord willing, we will be able to do it all again in two years when my son is part of Liberty's 2014 graduating class!