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I work at Trevecca Nazarene University – a Christian university in the heart of Nashville.  I went to school here from 1978-82 and got a bachelor’s degree in communication.  Then I worked here from 1985-1992, went away for five years and have now been back on staff since 1997.  I even earned a master’s degree in education in 2003.  I guess you could say that I just can’t get away from Trevecca.

It is a great honor to have been associated with an institution and its people who’ve meant so much to me!

It hardly ever happens but lately I’ve been feeling restless.  Maybe it’s just that I’m about to celebrate another birthday in a couple of weeks.  Or, maybe it’s because I’m human and I am prone to forget that I have a sense of calling to do what I do here at Trevecca.  

Oh, I have a job description and a clear sense of direction from my boss, the president of TNU.  I’m trying to do my best to fulfill my stated responsibilities.  But every now and then, I benefit from experiences that are akin to a spotlight on a stage in a dark room.  And just a few moments ago, in a chapel service during our bi-annual Spiritual Deepening Week, I had one of those spotlight experiences.

Everything about the chapel service this morning reminded me of the essence of my calling.  Trevecca students and employees filled the room.  So did God’s presence!

As I watched hundreds of students come forward, along many other professors and staff members, to lay cards with prayer requests on the altars, I knew again that Trevecca was a special place.  I knew that I was doing what I was supposed to do where I was supposed to do it.

Although I’ve served in various roles at Trevecca during these 28-plus years as a student and employee, one thing has remained constant.  That is, I’ve done my best to spread the good word about TNU and why students should come here.  I’ve also tried to affirm those who invest in it financially.  I believe in this place called Trevecca.  I know there are other great Christian colleges out there, but I also know that Trevecca is worthy of support.  

Every time a local Nazarene church sends in its “education budget” payment, it is investing in the future of students from its congregation as well as students it may never know.  Every gift from wealthy donors or people who have very little combines to make it possible for a potential world-changer to sit in our classes.  And every time an alum or a friend or an admissions counselor encourages a prospective student to consider attending, there’s a chance that student could encounter moments like we just had in chapel.

Trevecca continues to grow and develop in impressive ways as an academic institution.  We are grateful for a beautiful campus with very fine facilities.  TNU is indeed located in the heart of Nashville, one of the “it” cities in the US.  We have a lot of things going for us!

But we are also still a place where students, faculty, staff and administration can still encounter each other in a place where the earthly and the heavenly mysteriously intersect.  And when that happens, all things are possible.

I thank God for speaking to me today through Dr. Carla Sunberg and the worship music led by gifted TNU students.  I thank God for the gift of life and the opportunity to share it with so many.  Trevecca has served as a bridge, a launching pad, and a safe harbor for me over the years.  Today, Trevecca was the place where God reminded me that “we can always come home.”

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