Confidence in Christ During Times of Uncertainty
Lately, the news has centered on the current financial crisis felt across the globe. I’m sure we’ve all been confronted with the fragile state of our nation’s economy in one way or another. I want to remind you, Biola, that times of uncertainty are part of this life. In Genesis 26, we read how Isaac and his family faced times of uncertainty. There was a famine in the land and Isaac wanted to flee to Egypt, but God told him to stay where he was. God wanted Isaac to be confident (from the Latin con= with, fides= faith) in the promises he had made to him. Paul writes in Philippians 1:6, “Be confident of this very thing, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ.” Even when there is famine in the land, we as Christians are to have confidence—faith—in the Lord, our provider. He will carry us through just as he carried Isaac by the end of chapter 26 to the well in Rehoboth. Let us all encourage one another and stand together in confidence during these difficult times.
At the end of September, Biola’s Board of Trustees convened for its annual retreat. This year’s meeting was particularly significant as the President's Administrative Council presented a draft of the University Plan to the Board, which generated constructive discussion and put us on track for the next steps in revising and developing the planning document. Please read about the outcomes of the retreat and the initiatives we are preparing to advance.
Earlier in September, my family and I went to serve the children of Tijuana, Mexico with Larry Acosta, Biola alumnus and president and founder of the Urban Youth Workers Institute. Thank you to all who donated items for the children in Mexico— you made a difference in their lives. We worked alongside Larry and his family cooking dinner, worshiping and spending time with God’s people in Mexico. I want to encourage Biola to continue to partner with organizations like Larry’s that reach the world for Christ.
The semester is in full session and I want to give you a glance of all that has taken place at Biola in two short months. The first President’s Faculty Luncheon of the year featured Dr. Mike Wilkins, distinguished professor of Biola’s Talbot School of Theology who spoke about his scholarly defense of Peter’s declaration of Jesus as the Messiah (from Mark 8:27-30), which is part of the Historical Jesus Study Group of the Institute for Biblical Research. The Art Department and the Office of the President co-hosted a reception )at the university Art Gallery featuring the art of William Kurelek, a well-known Christian Canadian artist. Roberta Ahmanson, owner of the collection and influential Christian philanthropist, and Biola art professor Dan Callis each gave an engaging talk about the artist and his work.
October has been designated by Congress as “Christian Higher Education Month” and we thank the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities for its outstanding commitment in supporting the Christ-centered academic enterprise around the globe.
This week I travel to Seoul, Korea to speak in a number of churches, meet with Christian leaders and give presentations at Calvin University, one of our sister schools in Korea. I will also meet with Biola alumni and strengthen Biola’s relationship with our Christian brothers and sisters in Korea.
Later this month, I will head to northern California for the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities annual Presidents’ Retreat. The focus will be on the latest trends in higher education’s use of technology and I look forward to bringing the ideas and discussions back to Biola.
On October 22-24, Biola hosts the 73rd annual Torrey Memorial Bible Conference. Guest speakers Dallas Willard, Becky Tirrabassi and John Coe will address the theme of “Sex and the Soul.” Dallas Willard’s presentation on this topic at this conference and at the most recent Christian Spirituality and Soul Care Lecture Series addresses a critical topic today’s youth need to hear.
October also brought Parents Weekend and I had some meaningful time with parents who came to get a sense of their sons’ and daughters’ experiences at Biola these past two months. Thanks to the good work of our Parent Relations staff, these parents were able to see how the Lord has already begun to transform their lives. The Ladies’ Tea, hosted by the women of the Board of Trustees as well as Trustee spouses, took place to raise money for the Biola Fund, which provides scholarships for students. Professors Erik and Donna Thoennes shared touching stories of how some of their students are impacting the world for Christ in all corners of the world. For the students of international missionaries, however, Parents Weekend isn’t always a possibility. Paula and I will host a dinner later this month at our home for Mu Kappa, Biola’s “missionary kids” club to extend love and care in a home setting.
The 30th annual Golf Tournament will be held at Los Coyotes Country Club in Buena Park with the goal of raising funds for student scholarships.
I am looking forward to seeing our alumni and friends in the Denver area on November 1 at the Denver Seminary Chapel in Littleton. Please visit the Alumni site for more information. I hope to see many of our Colorado alumni there!
Blessings to you during a busy fall season and continue to pray for Biola students as they engage in their semester studies.
Barry H. Corey
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