Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Prelude to Thanksgiving - Reframing

I am the faculty sponsor of the Baptist Collegiate Ministries group at my college.  It's a part of my life I don't talk about a lot but that takes some energy.  I love the kids, but the policies for RSOs at my college are prohibitive--lots of paperwork.  I don't blame the college per se; I think it's a system or SACS issue. Regardless, a part of me would like to be relieved of it if another faculty member needed to do it for tenure or promotion.  Maybe we will get a new good Southern Baptist faculty member who wants to sponsor it (just kidding--I plan to do it until the Lord says differently).

Anyway, I run the lunch meeting on Wednesdays, called Thirsty, and bring food and provide a short program.  It's informal now; it used to be a big deal, with music, etc.  I usually speak or have the students give testimonies or play a game. 

Tomorrow I will start a series on Thankfulness, using I Thess. 5:18, probably the most important verse on gratitude:  Give thanks in everything, for this is the will of God concerning you.  It's not clear to me whether "this" refers to the present circumstances of the act of giving thanks.  It could be both.  All I know is that we need a lot of reframing and taking of different perspectives if we are to be thankful.  Students whine about the crunch time of the semester rather than being thankful for the opportunity to get a degree (and hopefully an education--the two are not synonymous!).  I was able to take care of my mother this summer, and thanks to hospice, not put her in a home or hospital.  I am so thankful for that, although taking care of her was hard, of course. 

Everything we are tempted to whine about can and should be reframed to fulfill this commandment in I Thess.

But . . . we need to be careful not to become the Pharisee in Luke 11.  "Lord, I thank you that I am not like this other man ......"

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