Posts Tagged ‘Chi Alpha’

From Fear to Love

February 26, 2015

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”  Proverbs 9:10

I have this verse on a poster on the wall in my office at the college.  As a philosophy instructor I consider it to be particularly appropriate since philosophy is made up of two Greek words that together mean ‘the love of wisdom’.  I consider faith in God to be the starting point of my philosophy of life.  Traditionally,when discussing this verse, I emphasize the need to believe in, be in awe of, and to have respect for, the person of God, resulting in obedience to His commands.

The other day I was in a Chi Alpha meeting at the college where I teach.  Chi Alpha is a student club for Christian growth and outreach.  At our campus, it primarily is a weekly meeting for prayer and Bible study.  It is open to all students, faculty, staff, and guests.  One of our regular guests is a retired gentleman who comes to the college library to read.  At this particular meeting one of the students brought up the question of the fear of the Lord.  We discussed it for a while and had agreed upon basically the definition that is stated above.

As we were concluding our discussion, the retired gentleman offered a different perspective.  He pointed out that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.  He commented that we start with that attitude, and grow in our love for God.  I have been periodically reflecting on that thought for the last two days.  I John 4:18 says ”  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. ”  We still believe in, are in awe of, and have respect for God, but it is to be rooted in love, not fear.

One of my concerns is that people will over-emphasis the love of God to the point that they presume upon his mercy.  I have had people tell me that they know that what they are doing is wrong, but that God will forgive them.  That line of thinking is very dangerous.  We are not to “continue in sin that grace might abound.” (Romans 6:1)

However, as I thought about it, I was reminded of I John 5:3 “ For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. ” A healthy maturation of faith will be an increase in love resulting in obedience.  If we truly love God, we will live in obedience to His commandments.

Our obedience to God may begin out of fear, but it is matured in love.

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Dodgeball at 50?

October 3, 2011

I used to be pretty good at dodge-ball.  I was reasonably quick and agile in my youth.  This past weekend I attended a Chi Alpha Iowa retreat.  One of the events on Friday night was black-light dodge-ball.  I was a little hesitant because I was concerned that it might not be a good idea for a 50-something to play dodge-ball with college kids.

I shouldn’t have been worried about it.

My reflexes have slowed down considerably since I last played.  I was eliminated very early.  Hey, at least the only injury suffered, was to my pride.

I have begun to think that it might be time to ease off the throttle in other areas of my life as well.  That slowing down, just a little, might be a good idea.  This means that I will have to trust that God will give me wisdom as to what is important, that I will use my time and energy on the things that really matter.

Hopefully, along with the gray hairs, and the slower reflexes, will come the necessary wisdom to live the life that God has intended for me.

Chi Alpha’s First Year

May 10, 2011

The semester is coming to a close.  Finals are next week.  The first year of Chi Alpha at the community college where I teach, is coming to an end.  I have appreciated the opportunity to share in the lives of students, to pray with them about shared concerns, and to spend time in the Word of God together.

Last fall it was an idea that took shape, and became a reality.  We found interested students, began holding meetings, received official recognition, and learned a lot in the process.

It’s a start, and I hope that next year will be even better.

24 Hour Run

April 11, 2011

Well, I did it.  I have signed up for a 24 hour run.  This does not mean that I have to run for 24 hours, but that I will have 24 hours to complete as many laps as possible on a 400 meter track.  This will be done by a combination of running and walking.  (Actually, they permit crawling as well, but I hope it doesn’t come to that!)  A friend of mine from church has participated in this event for 22 consecutive years.  It’s his fault!  Actually, this past winter I was on a 10 mile run on an inside track when the idea of participating came into my mind and wouldn’t go away.

I just want to give it a try.

I am also going to use it as a fundraiser for the Chi Alpha group that I work with at the college.  I will seek people who will sponsor me per mile completed.  My goal is 100 kilometers, which is about 62 miles.   I have upped my weekly mileage, bought some new shoes, and am looking forward to the experience.

I’m actually kind of excited about it.

Pastor/Teacher/Chi Alpha Leader

October 7, 2010

Tuesday was our first Chi Alpha meeting.  Chi Alpha is a campus ministry sponsored by the Assemblies of God, but open to anyone.  I am happy to be able to have the opportunity to lead this activity at the college where I teach.  I have been a lead pastor of a local church since 1991.  I have been teaching philosophy, ethics, logic and world religions, on a part-time basis at the local community college since 1998.  Chi Alpha allows me to blend the role of teacher and pastor at a secular location.   It is a wonderful opportunity for me, and I look forward to what God is going to do with this new ministry.

Chi Alpha @ CCC

August 26, 2010

I have been pastoring the same church since 1991.  I have been teaching at CCC since 1998.  This fall there is something new.  In a way, it is a combining of the two jobs that I have been doing for so many years.  This year we are hoping to start a Chi Alpha group at CCC.

Chi Alpha is a student ministry organization affiliated with the Assemblies of God.   Frequently Chi Alpha groups are led by individuals who act as campus missionaries, or pastors, on a full-time basis.  They raise their support from churches that support their vision of reaching out to the college students.

I am not becoming a full-time Chi Alpha worker, but none-the-less, will be working in campus ministries on a volunteer basis.

We are starting with a light schedule.  We will have bi-weekly meetings consisting of a time of sharing, a time of prayer and a time for Bible study and discussion.  We may have occasional outreach or fellowship activities as time and interest dictate.

At this time I have fulfilled the school requirements for a student group, except that I need a sufficient number of students indicating interest.  I have sign up sheets around the college and hope to have enough names shortly after classes begin in the fall.

I would appreciate your prayers as I begin this new endeavor.