Posts Tagged ‘graduation’

C and diploma - crop

Congratulations to our youngest daughter, Courtney, who graduated this month from Bethlehem College and Seminary with a History of Ideas major.  Congratulations to this bright, lovely, introspective, and witty daughter who displays the right mix of sense and sensibility.

My dear Courtney, you have worked through many challenges to accomplish this goal and have overcome the very demanding rigors of your major.  You have read thousands and thousands of pages and written hundreds and hundreds of pages.  You have grown both in your knowledge of western thought and philosophy as well as in understanding of how God has been at work throughout time and through eternity. You show great wisdom in applying revealed truth to everyday life. During these years, you have been witness to Jehovah Jirah, our Provider God, working on your behalf again and again through God’s people (tuition help, full-time employment for your earning year, generous housing provided, even oil changes and serpentine belts replaced at no cost).  This is your God; He who walks with you now into your future!

We look forward to seeing how God will use all the gifts He’s poured into you as you remain yielded to him.


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Bryce with Kim and Dana I
Congratulations to our dear son, Bryce, as he graduated last week with his B.A. in History of Ideas from Bethlehem College and Seminary. Bryce’s first year of college was at the local university where he was a percussion major. With his hard work ethic and God-given ability, it’s likely he could have distinguished himself in that field.

However, the Lord got a hold of his heart mid-way through his freshman year and called him away from that to a Christian college and most decidedly to Bethlehem. What a blessing to watch his spiritual growth that first year as he developed a gravity and intentionality about his faith. It was also a joy to find him in a program that really challenged him for once with its stringent demands and Socratic wrestlings. Bryce not only rose to the occasion, but excelled.

God, alone, knows his plans for this young man of character. Bryce is submitted to God’s leading and there is no other place we’d want our boy. Seminary graduate, John Norris, addressed the others in caps and gowns that day, “No part of our lives is unclaimed.” I know this is Bryce’s heart.

Congratulations to our funny, earnest, talented, dedicated, hard-working, submitted son. Joy to you in this moment, direction throughout your life, and Victory in the end!

Great love,

– – – – –

Education is not the mere transfer of knowledge.  “Education is the instilling of habits of mind and heart that incline and enable students for the rest of their lives to:

Observe the word and the world…
Understand what they observe…
Evaluate what they have understood…
Feel that evaluation [own it]…
Apply their discoveries to all of life…
And express these discoveries clearly and accurately and creatively and winsomely…
for the glory of God and the good of the world.”

~Chancellor John Piper, articulating the driving vision and standard of a BCS education as he addressed 2015 graduates and family at the President’s Reception earlier that evening.

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Ashley snip IICongratulations to my oldest daughter, Ashley, who graduated this month from NDSU with a music education degree.  Through the course of her college years, she took a year off to work as Miss North Dakota and competed in the Miss America Pageant 2008, she got married, moved out of state (finishing her last five classes as a distance learner while working for a year as a full-time personal banker), had a baby and did two student teaching placements (one in high school and one in an elementary setting).

During her NDSU years she sang in the Concert Choir, Madrigal Singers, and Bison Arts ensemble and was able to travel to Arizona and Easter Europe with these groups.  She played Maria in West Side Story, Lily in Secret Garden, and finished her NDSU years as the soloist at her December 14 graduation, singing the National Anthem and the school’s song, “The Yellow and the Green.”

It has been a blessing to watch our firstborn be fashioned into the lovely, hard-working, life-loving, life-giving, accomplished person she has become and to watch God teach her and steer her to himself as she stepped through the doorway of adulthood.

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Today (Memorial Day) was to be my scheduled break down.  May with all of its pleasures tried its best to bring me to my knees…but here I stand (praise God).

This month has been a flurry.  My older son’s graduation from college May 12 and my youngest daughter’s graduation from high school yesterday (May 27) were mighty bookends in themselves.  However, throw in all the year-end school activities for me at the school where I teach and for my daughter–band and choir rehearsals, concerts, school musicals, recognition events, and field trips, etc.  Then there were my end-of-the-year job requirements–inventory, book orders, room cleaning, supply lists, furniture moved, etc.

But the major unknown was the arrival of our first grandson, due May 14.  As I write, Monday, May 28 at 9:30p he has still not arrived!  We expect to hear of his arrival tomorrow as my oldest daughter has begun mild labor.  In looking ahead to the month of May, I never dreamed that I might be able to see Calvin on his birthday–what a gift!  I took two days off near the end of the year thinking we would be traveling the five hours to see our new arrival.  He did not come, but God knew that my husband and I would need those extra two days to prepare for our daughter’s graduation party.  And God demonstrated his great orderliness in allowing Dana and I to graduate our baby before becoming grandparents.  He also allowed us today to see two of our kiddos off as they left to work at Bible camp this summer–everything in its season.

God-willing, tomorrow morning we will make our way to the Cities to see our new grandson.  Tonight I am full of thanksgiving and praise…and prayer as I beseech our Father for health for Calvin and my daughter and that he would strengthen and uphold her in her time of trial.

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Congratulations to our baby…our smart, funny, grounded, talented, beautiful, youngest daughter, Courtney, on her high school graduation.  Dad and I are so proud of you and your accomplishments!

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We’re waiting for the arrival of our first grandbaby.  My oldest daughter Ashley’s due date was 5 days ago.  We’d hoped to be traveling the five hours to the Cities to welcome our little Calvin Taylor, but instead we’re still waiting.  I realize though that Calvin is right on time and our good God has been keeping the comings in and the goings out of mankind for many millennia now.

Our oldest son, Seth, just graduated a week ago today as an illustration major from MCAD (Minneapolis College of Art and Design) and we’re also preparing for my youngest daughter Courtney’s high school graduation next week.  As we approach and pass these mile-marker in our lives, we begin to see our days pass before our eyes in snapshots, all the highs and all the lows, all the joys and all the fears.

So as we watch our son face a new direction, as we prepare to send our daughter out into the great wide world and as we wait to welcome a new generation into the world, there is a very real temptation to get a jump on things and begin to worry right away for the futures of those in our spheres of influence.

After all there’s so much that would lend itself to worry: Ashley’s safe delivery; Calvin’s safe arrival; Ashley and Andrew’s new life as parents; Ashley’s student teaching next fall with a new baby; Ashley’s student teaching placements and advising teachers; Andrew’s new job beginning in June; Seth’s future employments; our second son Bryce’s search for summer employment; Seth and Bryce’s recent attachments; was it best for Courtney to pursue an associate Bible degree before her career degree; how will she pay her expenses next year; how will any of them–Ashley and Andrew with a new baby, Seth with new adult expenses, Bryce and Courtney in college–pay their expenses.

Then there’s Dana and my own situations to worry about: what will empty-nesting mean for us; I’m gladly moving from teaching 2nd to 3rd grade next year, but will that mean another two years of getting home from work well into the evenings as I develop new curriculum for this new grade; Dana’s business which has struggled since the economy crisis began in 2008; our health as we get older; the health and well-being of our dads…

It’s plain to see…if I don’t begin worrying now, how will we survive?!?!?

Then every once in awhile, like Prince Rilian in the Narnian Chronicle, The Silver Chair, I enter my right mind and am gratefully reminded of John Piper’s teachings on Future Grace and specifically his declaration that “anxiety is inadequate faith in our Father’s future grace.”  I pray that God will help my unbelief and grant me faith and peace in the grace that will await us in our futures (my own, my children’s, and in my grandchildren’s futures).  Praise be to God who is always working on behalf of his redeemed for our good and his glory.  This propitious God will have his grace waiting for us in that big nebulous near and faraway we call the future…even over the horizon.

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Dan Buettner, author of The Blue Zones, was the speaker at my son Seth’s commencement from MCAD.  He does not address the role of Christianity in the Blue Zone, indeed he evaded speaking on the role of spiritual happiness at all, but I found his happiness research interesting, nonetheless, and thought it applied well to new graduates.

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