Greetings from Bluffton, Ohio. This week I am the speaker for Spiritual Life Week at Bluffton University which also comes with the perk of getting to hang out with various students, faculty, and staff. The theme for the week, which we chose way back in the summer, is “No fear in love,” that delightful short phrase drawn from 1 John 4 which says, “There is no fear in love, but perfect loves drives out fear.” This was one of our Twelve Scriptures passages and it felt like one that had a lot more depth to explore. Much more than just occasional emotions, fear and love are like two different operating systems, the program behind all the other programs through which everything gets filtered. I spoke at student worship Sunday evening, forum yesterday, and will have a final presentation at chapel tomorrow.
Some observations while on campus:
+ Students love their smart phones. Wow. Lots of texting and surfing going on everywhere you look.
+ TED talks are really popular. I don’t know how many times a reference to a TED talk has come up in the last few days. Lots. The professor of the social justice/social change class I sat in on used the last 20 minutes to feature a TED talk about Barefoot College in India – pretty much like having a world renowned guest speaker. Tonight I’ll be on a panel discussing Brene Brown’s wonderful TED talk The Power of Vulnerability.
+ It’s cold.
One more random thing: I bought a bike! to replace the stolen-while-writing-a-sermon-about-the-sermon-on-the-mount bike. A bike shop in town had a bike that fit perfectly with a seat that was scarlet and gray. Looked like it belonged in Columbus. Now I hope it fits in the Civic.
Please know that I carry you in my heart while I am here and that it is a joy to represent you. A number of your names have come up in conversations with folks here who know you. And it is a gift to have the time to spend some unhurried days with college students talking about fear and love.