Why labor minute after minute on-line with email, Facebook, web research, Emerging Scholars Blog ... hour after hour in prayer, Bible study, 1-1 appointments, phone conversations, presentations ... day after day in campus visits, retreats/conferencing, training, reading/writing. ...
Because of the passion to sow, water, and harvest the seeds of the Gospel, i.e., the redemptive love of God the Father, the Son, and the Spirit not only evidenced in history through the cross/resurrection/ascension but even now overflowing from the life of the people of God into the lives of others as we eargerly dive into the reversal of sin/darkness/death while anticipating complete restoration in coming of the new heavens and the new earth.
How does one sustain such an endeavor over what is approaching 14 years, now with 4 kids running around?
- Not on one's own!
- By the grace, power, love and strength of God the Father
- one becomes shaped more and more like Christ through the redemptive work of the
- people of God (through time/space and accountability).
- There is no doubt that the call to be about such a mission involves all of one's person and that God the Father has wired me to enjoy digging into the transitional/habit forming years of higher education with whomever he sends across my path. AND I'm inspired by the call of the Upside Down Kingdom, the new heavens/new earth, the outrageous task of identifying, encouraging, and equipping Christian scholars to be redeeming influences among the people, ideas, and structures of higher education.
- I followed the call to follow God with my whole person as part of the Kingdom of God at the time of conversion/commitment/transformation during my first year at Grove City College ('93). The call to student leadership came at the Urbana Student Mission Convention '93. I stepped into the commitment to InterVarsity Christian Fellowship staff at Urbana '96.* But God alone is my rock and strength.
I stand upon this rock today as Stephen Nichols, professor of theology and church history at Lancaster Bible College and author of Jesus Made in America: A Cultural History from the Puritans to "The Passion of the Christ" partners with Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's Emerging Scholars Network to ...
- Preaches on "To Whom Shall We Go?" (John 6:66-69)
- Teach an adult elective for the whole congregation on Jesus Made in America: Honest Looks, Honorable Responses (10 - 10:45 am)
- Present on Jesus for the Academy: Freeing Christ from our Agendas for the 2nd Central PA Christian Scholars Network Lunch.
Time to get ready. Join me prayer that God the Father will be glorified through all this day's activities/conversations. Pray for Stephen Nichols, by the direction of the Word & Spirit, to clearly contrast Jesus the Christ with the Jesus of our culture/time, challenging participants to follow Christ alone as individuals & as the people of God. Praise God for the good communication between all involved in preparations. At present we have 42 guests for the lunch. Praises: With the help of some volunteers, I finished basic set-up last night. My parents have been able to help out with the kids this weekend.
*Note: What will happen at Urbana 09, just 77 days away? Pray for meand the others which fill the Rams Stadium, St. Louis, to share/live the challenges/lessons we receive from the Word, Spirit, and people of God from around the globe.