What a blessing to have heard from Nathan Foster, Assistant Professor of Social Work, Spring Arbor University, Spring Arbor, MI, over the the past several weeks.Â To wrap up the series I leave you with
- Belated “Happy Fathers Day!”
- Few quotes for inspiration
- Encouragement to pick up a copy of Wisdom Chaser: Finding My Father at 14,000 Feet (Nathan Foster. InterVarsity Press. 2010) for your summer vacation or reading group.
Much Loved Nothing
The implications of being loved just as I am are staggering.Â It was becoming clear that if I really understood that I was loved by God, I would have no need for pride or the crushing desire for others approval.Â Knowing I was loved was liberation from myself and from my silly ambitions.Â I was becoming a little child, free to explore the world with zero to prove (p.58). …
I would not rise from this experience to fight another battle the same way.Â The memory of this defeat would squelch my pride.Â Instead of retreating to the old lies about myself, however, I opted to let the ideas I learned on Longs sink deep into by consciousness.
- My accomplishments didn’t matter.
- Failure didn’t define or diminish me.
- I could just be.
- I was a nothing.
- I was a much-loved nothing
- This was liberating (p. 63).
Rising and Falling to Assumptions
Dr. Chris Wilgers is a gifted counselor with whom I worked for several years.Â I once asked why his clients seemed to do so well.Â He told me that when someone walks in his door, he begins to pray that God shows him what this person could be if they were healed.Â Rather than asking God what is wrong with the person, Chris asks about his or her potential.Â Once aÂ picture starts to form, he has this unique way of praying the transformation into the person.Â He treats the person as if they were fully whole (p. 127).
Beauty Beyond Imagination
Much of who I am today I learned from my dad, yet I didn’t know that I was learning from him.Â He used the most powerful form of education:Â example (p.159).
Join me in giving a big thank-you to Nathan for the gift of sharing his story and time with us.Â Great to have an Emerging Scholar such as Nathan part of the ESN mix!
About the author:
Tom enjoys daily conversations regarding living out the Biblical Story with his wife Theresa and their four girls, around the block, at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church (where he teaches adult electives and co-leads a small group), among healthcare professionals as the Northeast Regional Director for the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA), and in higher ed as a volunteer with the Emerging Scholars Network (ESN). For a number of years, the Christian Medical Society / CMDA at Penn State College of Medicine was the hub of his ministry with CMDA. Note: Tom served with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship / USA for 20+ years, including 6+ years as the Associate Director of ESN. He has written for the ESN blog from its launch in August 2008. He has studied Biology (B.S.), Higher Education (M.A.), Spiritual Direction (Certificate), Spiritual Formation (M.A.R.), Ministry to Emerging Generations (D.Min.). To God be the glory!