CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith for the Years of Winter… ©
My first appointment after seminary was to The Wesley Foundation [Methodist campus ministry] at Indiana State University and Rose Polytechnic Institute [now Rose-Hulman University] in Terre Haute. Campus ministers were not trusted by the church. We were young and did not have stern and forbidding church members to keep us in line. So there was a Director of each WF, over the campus minister, the pastor of the local church next door, thus providing oversight and control over us young whipper-snappers. The Directors received a salary but didn’t actually do any of the work of The WF, except to veto something once in a while.
On my first day there, the Director called me over to his office and said, and this is a direct quote, “Let’s talk philosophy of campus ministry. I’ll go first. My approach is to stay on top of things at all times to be sure nothing happens.” My philosophy, of course, was to make sure something happened, regardless of what it was.
The good thing is that neither of our philosophies made any difference. The Holy Spirit ignores our philosophies and systems and flow charts and causes to happen that which is necessary to God, even if we are trying to make sure nothing happens, or even if we lose sight of the Spirit in the plethora of things we are trying to make happen just for their own sakes.
John Robert McFarland
I tweet as yooper1721.
Joe Kirk lost a leg. Lonnie Blifield lost his eyes. Victoria Roundtree lost her skin. “Zan” Zander lost his mind. Four homeless and hopeless Iraqistan VETS who accidentally end up living together on an old school bus. With nowhere to go, and nothing else to do, they lurch from one VAMC to another, getting no help because, like the thousands of other Iraqistan VETS who are homeless, unemployed, and suicidal, they do not trust the system and refuse to “come inside.” After another fruitless stop, at the VAMC in Iron Mountain, Michigan, a doctor is found dead, and the VETS are accused of his murder. Distrustful, strangers to America, to each other, and even to themselves, they must become a unit to learn who really murdered the doctor, so that they can stay free. In doing so, they uncover far more, about themselves and about their country, than they dared even to imagine. VETS will be released by Black Opal Books on August 15, in paperback and ebook. It is available for pre-order now, from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BOKO, Black Opal Books, and any independent book store.