Friday, September 4, 2009

So, I turned 60 today

It's an ironic feeling that I am going through today. It's my 60th birthday and I don't feel any different at all from the day before when I was still in the 50's decade.
My brother is turning 60 today also. He's a great brother, and a good friend, even though he whines too much. That's him...he's not too bad looking for a 60 yr. old.
And so is Tom Watson, of Professional golf fame. We all came into this world on Sept 4, 1949...so did a lot of other people I'm sure.
My siblings are mainly older, so they are enjoying my coming into their decade. I have three older sisters, and one younger...and oh yeah, a brother who has gone on to be with the Lord along with my mom and dad. I was born in 1949...Harry Truman was president...bet you don't know his vice-president...shoot, most people don't even know who the current one is. [By the way, in 1949, Alben Barkley was the VP]. In 1949, Sara Lee introduce her cheesecake, and "silly putty" arrived, along with 45 rpm vinyl records. "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" made it's way into print, and so did "Death of a Salesman" by Arthur Miller. In 1949, besides my brother and Tom Watson, Billy Joel, Merly Streep, Bruce Springsteen, and Whoopi Goldberg shared the year with us. I think it was a pretty good year for creating entertainers. But 49 didn't last but a year and we were in the 50's. I started school in 1955...no kindergarten, just first grade. Mrs. Peter's was my 1st and 2nd grade teacher...she was also my next door neighbor for a while.
I've lived through the bomb shelter era, the Russia-Cuba crisis, JFK's assassination, along with his brother Bobby and Martin Luther King. I made it through Richard Nixon and LBJ...both of whom I'm convinced were crooked. I shook Nixon's hand in an airport in Oshkosh in 1968 when he was running for President. Didn't tell my father who was a die-hard Democrat, but it did get him my vote that year, something I soon would regret. I made it through Seminary, which unless you've done it, you have no idea of what that really means. I love God, have since I was 19 and he found me in college. I survived the Vietnam era, and then the 70's...wow, anyone who made it through the 70's probably can't remember a lot of things about it...it was the blah era. I grew up in the 60's era a Packer fan, and have been hooked since. I became a Badgers fan in the early 80's and have been hooked since. I still remember the "Miracle on Ice", which is the most memorable sporting event in all of U.S. sports history - from my point of view.
I married the gal who help me find God, and we've managed to hang in there for 38 years...with four kids that I couldn't be more proud of. Thanks Linda, Kelly, Chris, Lindsay and Andy for loving me...I'm blessed.
It's crazy to think of it...I'm sixty! But it could be worse. My motto from this point onward: "Senior Citizen, give me my bloody discount!"

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

New Beginnings are Exciting

Hi Folks,
Tomorrow Christian Life College - Madison launches into existence. The registration and orientation for the first semester's first class has gone well. Like all new beginnings there is a bit of excitement mixed with "oh, I hadn't thought of that yet".

Christian Life College-Madison is going to be an off campus program of CLC in Mount Prospect, IL. You can check out CLC's web site at http://www.christianlifecollege.edu/
I am going into this as the school's Academic Dean and as thus am taking the challenge of academic integrity seriously.

I've been asked a couple of times, "Why do this?"

I have been a pastor for almost 35 years. I went through seminary training and although there were value differences I've always held on to my academic training in that Christian worldview as an invaluable part of my own formation.

NOW, I have a huge concern for this generation's ability to relate Christianity's values and principles - gained from scripture - back to the world in which they live in.
I'm writing some material for the school's eventual web site. Here's what I wrote in the section on "About Us":

"We want to equip Christians with the knowledge of Christ so that they may walk in confidence and excellence in the world around them. 'A life of steadfast discipleship to Jesus Christ can be supported only upon assured knowledge of how things are, of the realities in terms of which life is lived' -Dallas Willard.
Serious and thoughtful Christians find their faith under attack in many institutions of learning because of assertions that their faith and beliefs cannot be based on knowledge in the context of modern life and thought. As a result beliefs are relegated to mere “opinion”, or rituals based on outdated traditions. The result is that Faith stands separated from Knowledge. Even Christians fall prey to believing that knowledge is an enemy of a life of faith. We do not.
CLC-Madison seeks to bear witness to truth and knowledge in both matters of faith and academics.
'God has room for people with very little sense, but He wants everyone to use what sense they have...God is no fonder of intellectual slackers than of any other slackers. If you are thinking of becoming a Christian, I warn you you are embarking on something which is going to take the whole of you, brains and all...One reason why it needs no special education to be a Christian is that Christianity is an education itself!' - C. S. Lewis"

It's worth considering isn't it?