I celebrated a birthday this past week. It was marvelous to celebrate with family and friends and receive so many wonderful comments on that day. The interesting thing was the responses from a wide variety of friends from a wide variety of locations—high school friends and church friends. But the overwhelming responses were from friends from Trevecca Nazarene University.
My daughter and her family are visiting us from Swaziland where they serve with The Luke Commission, a Nazarene Compassionate Ministry partner. This year, TLC began expanding their eye department and started screening adults for cataracts, in addition to the giving of reading glasses, which has already been in place as part of their comprehensive care. In doing so, the organization will offer the hope of sight through cataract surgeries for the people of Swaziland. In training for the screenings, the staff chose to shift from using the word surgery. The words used for surgery in Swazi culture can relate more to how an animal is butchered. TLC has chosen to replace surgery with wash when explaining to the patient how the procedure will be performed. Changing the wording changes how the procedure is perceived.
Do you remember when you enrolled at Trevecca as a freshman? Do you remember all the emotions you went through as you entered a “new beginning” of your life story? It’s happening now to the incoming freshmen and their families. I spoke with an investment client of mine this morning and his statement to me was very revealing. He said, “This has become my second job—getting my son ready for his freshman year.” It is overwhelming but our Trevecca enrollment staff is the best. Great job to them—this is the largest incoming freshmen class.
I vividly remember my parents loading me up in the family car and taking me from Belle, W.Va. to Trevecca in Nashville, Tenn. I was excited, scared and frankly, overwhelmed with the idea of being on my own. I remember thinking to myself, I’m not sure I want to stay. I knew about Trevecca from other people who had gone there, but that’s not the same as experiencing it for myself. All fears, concerns and second guesses were put aside when, just a few days later, I was elected President of the Freshman Class; and to tell you the truth, I never looked back.
I’ve had the privilege of representing the Alumni Association at the banquet for the College of Lifelong Learning and at the Commencement ceremony recently. Our graduates have compelling stories to tell: some right out of high school and some out of jobs and careers and then on into earning their degrees. Much credit is owed to the people who’ve surrounded these graduates—family, friends, colleagues, and professors. We all have a story and the common thread of those stories is Trevecca. Whether you went to class on The Hill or took classes online, Trevecca has left its mark on you. Our graduates are well equipped to enter into the world to make a difference for God and for His Kingdom.
I like to play golf—operative word—play. Since I have the attention span of a gnat I have trouble watching golf tournaments on television; but, I did tune in to watch Jordan Spieth run the table to win the latest Masters Tournament. Very impressive! What’s more impressive is his calm and mature demeanor given the fact that he’s 21-years-old. His dad taught him at an early age to set a goal and pursue it, and I think that’s great fatherly advice.
Trevecca junior Zach Farnum kicked off a web-series on Trevecca’s campus showcasing good ole Nashville.“Music City Live!” the first talk show for Hart Street Entertainment Production debuted online last Thursday. A team of more than 20 young adults—mostly Trevecca students—developed the web-based talk show.
Creator Farnum compared it to a night show.
“I saw the need with Nashville expanding. When you go to New York or L.A. you can go see Jimmy Fallon or Jimmy Kimmel,” Farnum said. “There’s nothing in Nashville, and it’s Music City.”
Recently the Lord gave our family an incredible gift in the form of a little person. His name is Emmett Lee Hastings. Emmett has a bigger story than what I’ll delve into here, but ask me about it someday—I’d love to share it with you.
The title of this blog is a question Emmett’s doctors posed to us as his adoptive family—“How’d you get involved in this tragedy?” In other words, why in the world would anyone who already has four children choose to take on another, especially one with medical challenges?
I was talking to an investment client of mine recently who works with inmates. I said to him that he has an opportunity to mentor these guys and maybe influence them to do right and never come back to where they are presently living. His response? I just do the right thing, act the right way and expect them to do the same. So I said, "Dude, that’s mentoring."
So, this is Christmas! It’s an enchanting time of the year, full of reflection and time with family. I’m grateful for a wonderful life. I’m grateful for Trevecca Nazarene University which has played such an important part in my family’s life. It was at Trevecca that I began the journey of being rather than seeming… and the journey continues.
My family and I received a Christmas card years ago that still rings true today. It reads: