This week during chapel, the theme has been Transformations.
The main text is from Romans 12:1-2 (which, thanks to a wonderful youth pastor, I still have memorized after like four years).
On Monday, the first day of classes, we got out of classes early because the professors and faculty had to change for chapel.
They walked into chapel wearing their robes, most of them slightly different colors depending on their areas of study.
There were a few speakers, but one in particular stood out to me.
I never did get her name (no one introduced themselves or the people speaking before or after them), but her story was incredible.
She started out talking about how after graduating from high school she boarded a Greyhound bus to another state to attend a college she’d never even visited before. Her trip was a bit disconcerting because of one of the other passengers, but she made it out fine. After that “sour” comment, she said that she trusted that our journeys here weren’t quite so nerve-wracking.
A bit later she talked about how, after segregation had officially been outlawed, two young black (African-American, whatever) men walked into a restaurant whose owner/manager had told all of his staff that they would be fired if they served anyone “colored.” Our faculty member followed the men out of the restaurant on the hunt for a new job.
At this point in her speech, we as a student body began to applaud and cheer. But she held up her hand and told us to stop. As a young white woman, it was easy for her to find work elsewhere. Those two young men had been more courageous than she.
That blew me away.
I forget what the point of her speech was, but it dealt with transforming.
On Wednesday, another faculty member spoke about marks.
She showed us a picture of Harry Potter, and a picture of Zorro’s mark, and then brought up her friend K and how her father used to tell his children to remember their last names and to remember to Whom they belonged.
Then she shared a video of what students and faculty are saying about our school, and about what marks it is leaving in our lives.
She went on to talk about two of our seven core values and beliefs as a school.
1. Learning –> excellence
The Liberal Arts should really be called the Liberating Arts, because this school is helping to free us to do what we were created to do. We are to be citizen as well as leaders here and in Heaven. Phil Vischer (the creator of Veggie Tales) was once quoted (apparently, though I can’t find the quote) as saying something about how we are obsessed with fame. or Hollywood is. Something like that. I didn’t write the whole thing down. 😦 Anyhow, our speaker said something about God-sized dreams, and then she brought up a few Olympic athletes she knows. These athletes don’t come into training going, “Go easy on me today, Coach.” Instead, they push themselves, in order to maximize their gifts.
2. Our relationships are to reflect Christ, and our connection as the body of Christ.
She spoke about how community can be good and bad, and how we should have courageous conversations, and gave three examples.
The first story she shared was about how she had an assistant who would always finish her sentences or interrupt her, and she didn’t appreciate it. She had to do the hard thing and let him know that she felt undervalued or something. He understood and apologized and they worked out a system that would let him know when he was doing it again.
The second story was about confronting someone about stealing.
The third was about her own personal struggle and leaning on a close friend who eventually had to do the hard thing and say “I can’t do this anymore. I have my own life and a child to care for and I can’t counsel you for hours every night on top of that.” or something.
She spoke about the parable of the 99 sheep and mentioned that our generations have strikes against us (I don’t remember the significance) and then shared seven phrases to employ when doing the hard things:
I care about
She went on to talk about how people also need affirmation and encouragement—if you see someone doing something your appreciate, TELL THEM!
She said that we are to be marked by love, and to change the world. The final thing I wrote down was a quote from a priest: “May you be ruined for anything less than the glory of God.”
Today’s speaker was I believe one of the pastors on-campus.
She spoke about how she now owns an NLT Bible titled “The Transformation Bible.” Perfect for this series, huh?
I’m going to type what I wrote down and expand on just a few parts of it. Okay?
2 Tim 2:15 – study to be approved
standard of truth w/out God?
knowledge of =/= heart for God
begins w/ what we think –> believe –> do
Saul –> Paul begs the Gentiles
provoked to holy jealousy (the world)
“living sacrifice” = oxymoron
system–animals ; didn’t change people’s behaviors, but became ritual. Hence the Cross.
John 15:12-14 – you can’t/won’t obey a God you don’t know
live and die unto God, not ourselves — be God’s
obit for a class project –> thinking about whether she was truly the person she had written in that obit
We may only have today.
Not sacrifices: church, chapel, tithing, forgiving, loving others (Going to church/chapel is a privilege, and the other three should be things we do because we love God, not because we’re sacrificing. Although tithing can be a sacrifice, depending on your situation, possibly?)
Gal 2:20 “Christ lives IN ME!!”
2 Tim. 3:15
Our degrees will not be worth it if we do not spend time with and know the One our university (and our degree) represents.
She ended with this:
God said: Let us FORM man in our image.
Satan says: I will DEFORM man with sin.
The world Says: We will CONFORM them in our image.
Education says: We will INFORM man by (I forgot this one, sorry!)
Society says: We will REFORM man by culture.
Christ says: I will TRANSFORM man by grace.
This year is going to be filled with change and transformation. I can already tell. Going to chapel three times a week, and possibly worship on Sunday mornings at a church nearby, and maybe worship on-campus on Sunday nights, is going to challenge and change me, and I’m excited.
I have a three-day weekend now, thanks to Labor (or Labour if you’re from parts of Europe or Canada!) Day. I’m planning on spending it sleeping in, doing some homework, chatting with one roomie (one’s leaving tonight for a music festival thing), and probably watching TV or movies or something. I might go to a campus worship event on Sunday night. It happens just about every Sunday night for at least an hour. It’s mostly music I think. I’ve heard good things about it. Might check it out. Considering I can’t get to a church just yet… Haven’t found anyone with whom to carpool. 😦 We’ll get there someday.
I could also go to the State Fair, but I don’t know anyone else who’s going and I don’t really want to wander by myself.
So I’m probably going to stay here. But that’ll be okay. Free-time! 😀
I also plan on listening to this as much as possible. It is currently on repeat on YouTube. I have to memorize the books of the Bible for my Intro to Bible class, and I figure song format will work best. I used to have the order memorized, but I forget half the song we used in 1st-2nd grade… so I’m using a newer song. Because we tend to remember things better if they’re in song form rather than just saying them over and over. 🙂
So those are my plans for the weekend. What’re yours? 🙂