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Many of you know our Howard Vanderwell, the CICW's Resource Development Specialist for Pastoral Leadership. You may not know that he's dealing with cancer again (for the fourth time in his life). He wrote something recently that his family shared on his Carepage and that seemed worth sharing here too. We hope it provides a word of blessing in this Lenten season and as we look ahead to Easter. It goes like this: Rest My heart is agitated this morning. It cannot find rest and peace. The circumstances of life are pressing in on me, and causing me anguish. I am weak, My digestion does not work well, My stomach will not receive food willingly, I continue to lose weight. I wonder what the days ahead will involve. For I have cancer again! It feels like my whole life has been shattered, and only time will reveal how it is put back together again. All these foes twist me into a position where I don’t want to be. I have plans and desires ... To work, To be active, To go to the office and write, To enjoy my family and friends, To go to church, To walk. But I cannot, for I am too weak, And my strength is shallow, So I sit in my Laz-y-Boy, And rock, Watch TV Read a book, Or the mail. And stare out the window. It’s hard to find rest in a Laz-y-Boy! My rest must come from elsewhere. From outside myself, From outside of this life, From the Lord, The Maker of heaven and earth, Who made all things, And made me, And watches over me. Who gave me his Son as my Redeemer. Who adopted me. Yes, he is the source of my rest, I can find it in him, Surely I can. His record of loving actions is clear, Proving that he is trustworthy. He created the world and all things. He holds it all in his hand lovingly. He designs good purposes for it all. He has given me life, A good, rich and valuable life, With valuable family, friends and loved ones. He came here to earth to suffer and die, And then arose victorious over death, To provide for my eternal welfare. And he now reigns in heaven, Sending his angels to care for me, Preparing to come again someday. I am safely in his fatherly hand! That should be enough for me! I can rest in Him, For he is strong and he is loving! (Psalm 62) What a marvelous combination!! So I must not fret, (Ps.37) Kick against His ways, Charge him with neglect, Doubt his promises, Feel alone or abandoned. I can call this disease evil, but I may not call it wasted. I can hate the disease and fight it, but not the good purposes he has. I can weep in pain, but not doubt the trustworthy One. I can feel alone, but not abandoned by anyone. Yes, I must always keep up my guard against fretting. And when I become weary of such a battle, as certainly I do, I must turn back to Him for new strength, courage and patience again. With the exhortation, "Remember, Howard, do not fret!" And then reset my course again! Fretting is not faith. Other actions are the expression of the faith to which God calls us. Faith is such a large idea in the Bible and in God’s way for us, That he writes it large across the pages of Scripture, So large that one cannot miss it, Repeated in many different forms and words and ideas, Like... "Commit your way to the Lord" "Trust in the Lord" "Delight yourself in the Lord" "Be still before the Lord" "Hope in the Lord" "Wait patiently for the Lord" And all these lead to the same destination, Which is called "Rest" and "Peace." Even in the midst of turmoil and anguish and disappointment. There is no other route to this destination! I will follow it as best I can. I will seek his strength even though it is trusting against the grain, I will affirm his trustworthiness even when my heart does not understand, Even when my eyes are blurry with tears and my heart cries out. I desire healing so fervently, But I desire peace and rest of heart and soul even more. My soul finds rest in God alone!!! (Psalm 62) Howard Vanderwell (01/17)
The physical plant team at Calvin College is amazing! Look what team members Phil Van Til (carpenter), Doug Herrema (painter) and Dean Gunni...
Not likely that there are any members left on this earth who represent the Calvin College Class of 1936, but their gift to the college from long ago has been renewed and restored recently thanks to the good work of a trio of current-day Calvin employees. During a past fundraising campaign the college used this tagline: "Grateful to our ancestors, faithful to our heirs." Our hope at Calvin (and at the Worship Institute) is that we daily demonstrate both gratefulness and faithfulness in a multitude of ways, including places to sit that hold a history.
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