Ask Them Questions

Question

Last night, I had the opportunity to go over to a couple’s house for dinner. I provided a “Mistake Cake” Dessert (what was supposed to be a bundt cake, that turned into a trifle) they provided a delicious dinner , and we just chatted about life.

The conversation was delightful-topics including marriage, exegetical preaching, current readings, and the like filled our evening. Before we sat down to eat, I asked the Mrs. about how she was feeling about life right now.  I asked what she found most difficult, how each member of her family is dealing/processing with the current situations, and just listened to her story.

I didn’t think it strange to ask her those questions, because I care about her! I want to know how she is doing! But later in the evening, her husband said something about how rare it is that someone ask how SHE is doing. They have been in ministry for many, many years, and she has mentored many people. They have found that most of the time, the conversations circle around how the other person is doing. Far too infrequently, he said, is her life and struggles addressed and talked about.

Honestly, I was surprised by that.

But then I thought, perhaps that is normal for people in ministry, or who have a counseling heart. Perhaps they listen SO often, and give advice SO frequently, that others simply forget to ask how THEY are. And they deeply need ministered too as well!

So I guess all this to say, that when you are sharing your life and burdens with others, do not forget to also care for their burdens. Remember that their shoulders that help bear your pain, through strong, could certainly use a friend to bear their pains as well. 

This quote has been steadfastly on my heart and mind these last few months:

Loving

Listen. Love. Ask. Care.

Thanks for reading 🙂

A Prayer for Lancaster Bible College

As most of you know, I have the joy of working at my alma mater-Lancaster Bible College. I spent 4 years here earning my Bachelor of Science in Bible, and my Bachelor of Music in Music Performance. The meaningful class content, engaged faculty and staff, and deep-thinking fellow students transformed and trained my mind to think biblically. I loved my time here so much, that upon graduation-they couldn’t get rid of me! I work in the Admissions Department, had the privilege of earning my Master of Arts in Ministry through Capital Seminary and Graduate School and am now working towards my PhD in Leadership Studies. I am constantly impressed with the students I get to rub shoulders with here. I am encouraged by their passion for the gospel, for missions, and for discipleship. The leadership at LBC is par excellence-modeling humility, wisdom, ambition, personal care, and an enormous amount of servanthoodedness.

We received an email today from President Teague about this week’s biannual (self-funded) Board of Trustees retreat in Florida. They meet together to “develop a framework for our strategic plan for the next five years, focusing on six thematic areas of discussion that encompass initiatives related to recruiting and retention, program refinement, people development, fiscal strength, campus expansion and enhancements”.

He closes his email with the plea that “historically we have seen major decisions emerge from these times when trustees earnestly seek God’s leading for the future of LBC.  I ask that you uphold our Board of Trustees in prayer during three intense days of reflection, discussion, and strategic planning on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. “

When I look back on all the Lord has done in and through LBC in the last 5 years I am delightfully amazed. Off the top of my head, He has made happen the following: a library, dormitories, new degrees, new programs, new departments, athletic championships, a downtown presence, additional campus locations, not to mention the training of hundreds and hundreds of men and women to be loving and articulate salt and light in churches, schools, businesses, theatres, and society both here in the states and around the world.

All this to preface the fact that I want to post a prayer for our leaders this weekend. If you are a current student, alumni, friend of the college, faculty or staff-I encourage you to take some time to pray for them as well!

Dear Heavenly Father and High King,

First of all, thank you so much for the gift of salvation. Without your Son’s atoning death on the cross-we could neither come into your presence for help, nor desire to make you known and glorified. It is because you have made a way for us to be reconciled to you that we have purpose and joy. Our purpose and joy is in you; please help us to not forget that.

You have created and sustained Lancaster Bible College with the purpose of making Your Name great to every tribe, tongue, and nation. You have ordained everything concerning LBC from its location to its leadership-and we are grateful to be part of the work that you accomplish through this institution.

Right now, we lift up our servant leaders-Dr. Teague, Dr. Dearborn, John Zeswitz, Josh Beers, and the Board of Trustees. They each know and love you, Lord. They each believe in the mission of LBC to train men and women to think and live according to your precious, holy, inerrant Word. We pray that you, through the power of the Holy Spirit, give them wisdom, counsel, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control during these meetings. We know that true wisdom comes only from You, and they can do nothing apart from your gracious leading. We rely completely on you for guidance. As they plan for the coming years, grant them your absolute peace being confident that you know exactly what the next 5 years is going to look like. We know you have gone before us, Lord and so we pray for your direction as our leaders attempt to prepare for the days ahead. You are holy, omniscient, perfectly wise, faithful and absolutely sovereign over all of creation. Please show our leaders the steps to take so that You are magnified on this earth through LBC and more people can come to know you through our graduates. Also, we pray that their time in your Word this weekend especially is revitalizing and joyful.

We pray that our leaders rely on you and stay focused on your glory as they navigate complex and unknown waters. We praise you for being the only true God to whom no waters are complex or unknown. We thank you for the abundant blessings you have already bestowed upon our institution and ask for your continue guidance as we seek to be the best stewards of what you have given us.

Through the power of the Holy Spirit and in the name of Jesus we pray-Amen.