Friday, September 21, 2012

A Joyful Day of Celebration

Monday was a joyful day of celebration for our university. Dozens of LETU faculty and staff members worked diligently to make it a very special day for our guests and students. I will always be grateful to you.

As we celebrated the gift of a new student center and of $18 million already pledged to our fundraising campaign, God added the gift of rain to farmers and ranchers worried about our parched land.

Mark Jonah reminded us in chapel Monday that celebration is one of the spiritual disciplines for everyday people that John Ortberg includes in his book, The Life You've Always Wanted. It is a study many of us are using with our life groups this fall.

Ortberg writes this:
True celebration is the inverse of hedonism. Hedonism is the demand for more and more pleasure for personal gratification. It always follows the law of diminishing returns, so that what produced joy in us yesterday no longer does today. Our capacity for joy diminishes. Celebration is not like that. When we celebrate, we exercise our ability to see and feel goodness in the simplest gifts of God. We are able to take delight today in something we wouldn't have even noticed yesterday. Our capacity for joy increases.

The celebration begun on Monday can continue in our hearts and daily draw us closer to a God who is the provider of all gifts. We can celebrate the 500 construction jobs that are being created in our community and the paydays those families will enjoy over the next 18 months. We can celebrate the work God is doing in the lives of hundreds of alumni and friends who will give to this building and to the other pillars of our "For Such A Time As This" campaign. There is so much joy awaiting us when we celebrate how God will transform the lives of students who will use the Allen Family Student Center. (Watch the construction progress here).

So, let Monday's celebration continue in our lives forevermore. In big buildings and small butterflies; in loud applause and in quiet hugs, let's take delight in His every gift. It will draw us closer to Him.