Sunday, February 15, 2009

Red and yellow, black, brown and white...

Today I preached in an Hispanic church in St. Petersburg, FL. Tonight I had dinner with a Judson alum who has sang opera in 14 different nations. Last Sunday afternoon I participated with three of our students in an Elgin-wide attempt to get people to talk rationally about immigration. Last Sunday evening I enjoyed a wonderful concert of Korean musicians who sang every word in either Italian or Korean with the financial proceeds going to help Judson students. I am reminded of the legacy of Adoniram Judson as the founder of the modern missions movement. I am reminded that the world impact of Judson University is significant and needs to expand even more. Should we look forward to the day that Judson looks like Elgin or the United Nations or like Wal-Mart on Saturday morning? Those are good models, I prefer that Judson look like the vision of Revelation 7:9 where "a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples and tongues, standing before the throne..." to praise our Lord.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Wonderful Thing

It is a wonderful thing to be loved. Tonight is Valentine's night and I am in a hotel in Tampa preparing for a sermon tomorrow and naturally the sermon is on love. The hotel is advertising a Valentine's package that offers a meal for two for $75 and, for an additional $25, the couple can have champaign! Linda is not here but the Valentine's card she gave me before embarking on this trip sits on the dresser as a reminder that I am loved and that is a wonderful thing. She wrote, "We will be apart this year, but no one will take your place. My heart is yours and I will be waiting for you to return." It may be wonderful to be rich and famous, I do not know, but it is a wonderful thing to be love. It may be a wonderful thing to be powerful and influencial, I do not know, but I do know it is a wonderful thing to be loved. How grand to receive the undeserved appreciation and affection of another--a wife and/or God. I have been blessed with both and thus I am doubly blessed.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Serve the Student

I had dinner last evening with Gayle and Dale Terjung, the first art major to graduate from Judson. Dale's artistry is apparent in the 4 stained glass windows he created and gifted to the Weber Center as a depiction of the 4 logos used in Judson's early history. When he came to Judson in the early 1960's there was no art major in the catalog but President Ben Browne recruited his wife, Rachel, to teach those first art classes until a professor could be hired to meet the need and build the program. The Judson commitment to serve the student was evident in those earliest days and continues now in all our majors. I am grateful for the entrepreneurial spirit of those early founders which continues to live in our present faculty. Thanks, Terjungs, for the wonderful meal and the delightful conversation.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Furlough Response

I am amazed today at the rally being experienced at Judson University. We had to deliver bad news last Friday about the economy and in that meeting furloughed our staff for up to 10% of their work days. The mail, however, over the past 5 days has been 8 to 1 positive for the decision. We have made the commitment to retain jobs and benefits for our team so that we are all in this together. Thanks to everyone for sticking to the task. Bob Erickson's story is working, thus far, "All hands on deck."

Thursday, February 5, 2009

February 1 deadline

I am back from the trip and February 1 has passed. The first day of February was the day spring numbers were to be in so that decisions could be made about the economic future of Judson. Though traditional enrollment is stronger than last year, the adult numbers need some help. Today I will finish formulating the plan for Judson and announce it tomorrow at 3 pm. We have no problems that $20m and Jesus cannot solve--we have half that formula already in action on our behalf!! Onward and Upward!

"Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house, and test me now in this," says the Lord of hosts, "if I will no not open for you the windows of heaven, and pour out for you a blessing until there is no more need." Malachai 3:10.

Friday, January 23, 2009

January 22, 2009

I had lunch in Louisville, KY, with an alum who graduated in 1970 and has spent a career in the elementary and junior high classroom. She knew all the previous four presidents at Judson and now got to meet number 5. While at Judson she worked in the president's office, lived in DR and even in the Faculty Apartments. She has fond memories of all the founders and earliest professors: Browne, Thompson (both Dr. Ed and Mrs. Ed), Boss, Becanson, Erickson, Brady, Reed, Warner, Juergensmeyer, Wagauman, Hsieh (both Jeanette and Ted). Her most recent contact with her alma mater was two years back when she attended a reading conference where Steve Layne was the featured presenter!

And may all who come behind us find us faithful. May the fire of our devotion light their way. May the footprints that we leave, lead them to believe...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

January 21, 2009

I am about to leave for a preaching and fund-raising trip to Florida. The high today in Elgin was 22 degrees. Let's see what the weather is like in the Sunshine State.