Today, I spent my day talking with students here. I heard great testimonies of God's saving grace and saw a lot of evidence that the Spirit of God is graciously at work among the men (and women... go Hilary!) called here to study in preparation for life and ministry.
I'm really looking forward to tomorrow. I get to teach an Evangelism and Church Growth class. I get to make announcements in other classes about the new internship we're starting at Christchurch. I get to talk to more students at an info table in the student center.
But what I'm most looking forward to tomorrow is worshiping God in chapel with all the professors and students. It's been nearly 5 years since I last worshiped God in Alumni Chapel (pictured above). It's a special place to me, because I heard the Word of God there and God has changed my life as a result. It's also a special place to me, because there I sang praises to God with brothers in Christ like Jim Ramsey (now an Army Chaplain in Iraq) and John Folmar (now a pastor in Dubai) and Dan Pflug (now a pastor in Michigan) and Byron Straughn (now ministering with Campus Crusade for Christ) and Monty Shanks (now finishing his Ph.D. at Southern) and others.
What follows are the words to the last song I sang in chapel here: Soldiers of Christ in Truth Arrayed, written by Basil Manly, Jr.
Soldiers of Christ, in truth arrayed,
A world in ruins needs your aid:
A world by sin destroyed and dead;
A world for which the Savior bled.
His Gospel to the lost proclaim,
Good news for all in Jesus’ Name;
Let light upon the darkness break
That sinners from their death may wake.
Morning and evening sow the seed,
God’s grace the effort shall succeed.
Seedtimes of tears have oft been found
With sheaves of joy and plenty crowned.
We meet to part, but part to meet
When earthly labors are complete,
To join in yet more blest employ,
In an eternal world of joy.
Words: Basil Manly, Jr., circa 1860; this hymn was written for the first graduation ceremony at the Southern Seminary.
Music: Mendon, German tune, arranged by Samuel Dyer, Supplement of Samuel Dyer’s Third Edition of Sacred Music, 1828