I was in a restaurant the other day and a friend I hadn’t seen in a while came in to eat. We saw each other and approached warmly to give a handshake and a hug.
After exchanging pleasantries, he asked, “What’s been up with you lately?” A very regular thing to ask to an old friend. My response started, “Well…a lot actually.”
What would constitute a lot? Well, my beautiful wife, Jennifer, finished her PhD in Family Ministry from Southern Seminary back in December, which was huge for us. This was a long 5-year long process that began with her being laid out on the coach recovering from a back surgery. She defended her dissertation a couple days before Christmas and passed with high marks. She will walk in May.
What else? Well, back in July I made a switch from full-time faculty to full-time administration at Campbellsville Univ. I still teach a two or three classes per semester in the School of Theology, but my main responsibility is to serve as Dean of Online Education overseeing 25 fully-online academic programs at CU. I am only 6 months into this new role when, just over the new year, I was asked to take leadership of the Graduate School, which has graduate programs online, on the main campus, and in Louisville. This has been a HUGE growing experience in academic leadership, vision casting, team building, and systems management. The learning curve has been steep.
What else? Well…I told my friend at the restaurant… I am still serving as transitional pastor at First Baptist Monticello. We’ve been there right at a year. It is such a healthy place to be. Great people. Sweet spirit. Generous in ministry.
What else? Well, my oldest son has to get braces and my younger son is really doing great in school.
What else? We are just a couple months away from finishing off all our student loans. Hallelujah. And Jennifer is planning a fabulous western US summer vacation to celebrate her completion.
What else? Well…as I recounted all of these life developments with my friend, I began reflecting in real-time that I am as happy as I have been in years. I am feeling the shine of God’s favor and blessing. I am amazed at His goodness and kindness to me and my family.
So what’s been up with you lately?