Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Good News of New Life

The Thursday before Jesus was crucified, he gathered for the last time with his disciples and celebrated the Passover meal which today we call the Last Supper.

Those intimate moments between Jesus and his disciples have inspired artists throughout the centuries to depict what that scene might have looked like. From the 22nd chapter of the book of Luke, we know that Jesus and his disciples reclined at the table as He gave thanks for the cup and bread and then shared it with them.

Shortly thereafter Jesus humbled himself and washed the feet of his disciples, even the ones who would betray and deny him. And it was later that evening, in the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives, He prayed in anguish, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done."

It was not to be. Instead, He was betrayed, arrested, denied, mocked, beaten, judged and crucified. That Friday was a dark day, but as we know, Sunday was coming with a resurrection power that would forever change the world.

As we look toward Easter Sunday, I encourage us all to take time to silently reflect on the promise fulfilled by Jesus' death on the cross. Through Him, we have victory, new life, and the promise of eternity. That is Good News!




Thursday, March 21, 2013

IncrediblyLETU



LeTourneau University is an incredible place. Every single day, I marvel at the creativity and ingenuity of our students, our faculty and our staff. The difference that each of you make is immeasurable.

To those of you who work with our students every day, you are our front lines. You are changing lives, molding them into the men and women who will truly make profound differences in every workplace and every nation. They do this by carrying both the Good News of Jesus Christ as well as their hearts and minds into the world that surrounds them.

Each and every one of you are part of this incredible LeTourneau story. You are LeTourneau University.

This year, we've started communicating with our alumni in a fresh way to stay in touch with them and keep them up to date on some of the most exciting things happening on campus. The initiative has a simple goal: to tell the story of LeTourneau University through emails, a blog, and (for those who enjoy a more visual experience, an infographic).

Any of you who are a part of the LeTourneau Nation (faculty, staff, students, parents, alumni, friends of the university, and more) are part of this incredible story. In every classroom and office on campus, and in every workplace one of our graduates inhabits, incredible pieces add up to the single greatest university in the world. And any time you'd like a look into the latest at LeTourneau, you'll find the content from all of our alumni communications, and more, at the blog link above.

If you have an incredible story that you think should be told, we want to hear about it. Email your story ideas and let us help to share your successes and the little pieces of incredible that make up this amazing place. Or, request to receive IncrediblyLETU alumni communications to stay up-to-date about your incredible alma mater.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Hip Hop Meets Faith & Work


Do you know Hip Hop? Do you know the Grammy Award-winning artist Lecrae? Trust me, our students know him and his music. He is one of the voices of their generation. I don't know him but I know Tim Tebow and Bubba Watson, and they are fans of Lecrae's rap music.

He recently challenged the church with a message that strikes me as true when he said:

"The reason why the church typically doesn't engage culture is because we are scared of it. We're scared it's going to somehow jump on us and corrupt us. We're scared it's going to somehow mess up our good thing. So we consistently move further and further away from the corruption, further and further away from the crime, further and further away from the post-modernity, further and further away from the relativism and secular humanism and we want to go to a safe place with people just like you. We want to be comfortable."

Lecrae recently mentioned our LeTourneau University Center for Faith & Work in a tweet. In doing so, he shared our Center with over 580,000 of his followers. If you think about Hip Hop as his workplace, then Lecrae is doing exactly the same as we ask of our mechanical engineering or accounting graduates.

In another indication that our new Center for Faith and Work is becoming part of the global conversation about the integration of faith and work, director Bill Peel was invited to give three lectures on the topic at a Singapore church last week. I joined him at Hope Church Singapore and in several meetings with business and ministry leaders. I was encouraged to learn how many first-generation Christians in Asia are now asking the complicated question of how to make Jesus their Lord, not just on Sunday but also on the other six days of the week.

I believe they were encouraged to hear the story of R.G. LeTourneau who claimed God as his partner in business. They were eager to hear what Bill has labeled "workplace grace" as a mechanism for sharing God's love at work. They have no "Christian University" like LETU in Singapore. They have only comprehensive state universities and private seminaries. They were encouraged an institution like LETU existed; one with a mission to graduate competent professionals with Christ-like character. It was liberating for them to hear that they didn't have to choose work or ministry; instead, work done for the glory of God is ministry.

I returned home praying that God would clearly show me all He is doing in Asia and how LETU might join in that work.