A little excited, even if YOU think it’s silly….

So ya know how sometimes something comes around in life and it causes you to get a little excited, and it may seem silly or no big deal to others?  Well I sort of find myself there right now – for anyone else that really doesn’t know much about me or the college I attended (also where I grew up) this whole post won’t mean much to you and you will probably be lost, but that’s okay.

I got a call a couple weeks ago from my dad – now first thing you should know is that I really don’t do much of the whole phone deal with my mom or my dad – I am pretty slack like that.  It works out nice that I am living and working near my sister because she keeps me pretty plugged in because she talks to them way more than I do.  It is not like there is some big problem or that I don’t love them etc. etc. – that is just sort of how we operate.  It is sort of the whole – if there is something big or important that comes up we will be in touch – but otherwise it is life as usual, sorry if that sounds bad.

Anyway back to the phone call – so since my dad was calling I figured something was up – we made a minute or two of small talk and then he proceeded to the information he needed to receive or give to me.  He asked me about being willing/able to speak at this year’s Gospel Rally (for those that have no clue what the heck that is – it is Roanoke Bible College’s Annual Homecoming and Preaching Rally).  I was being asked to speak for the Friday Morning – “Alumni Preacher” session.  And here is where we get to the crux of the matter.  For me, this is an honor and it is something that I am excited about getting the opportunity to participate in.  For others they see this as something that has outlived its usefulness and should be done away with or either changed greatly, and I hear a lot of valid arguments on the needing some change aspect.  Ultimately though this is something that represents a great deal of who I am and what helped me to become the person I am today, so it really is something of excitement and a true honor, no matter what anyone else thinks.

Lots of people have lots of DRASTICALLY differing opinions about the college, but this place has been something that has played a major role in my life.  This is not to say that there have not been dark moments in her history or bad decisions and difficult times, but then again what sort of an institution has not had those things happen.  I tend to look a little bit to the upside and brighter angle, the many lives challenged and changed through her work to draw people into full-time, part-time, and volunteer service of our King!  How many countless men and women that have served God in mighty ways and have sacrificed in untold capacities to affect the lives of young men and women.  I am truly thankful to God for allowing myself and my family to have been a part of such a rich tradition.  Again let me remind you that I am not blinded to the negatives and have even expressed my concerns over things in the past and patterns I have sometimes noticed in the present and the future, but all in all I believe firmly and wholeheartedly of God’s guiding hand upon this wonderful place.

So I am grateful for the opportunity, excited about the possibilities, and humbled for the process that now begins over prayerfully listening to what God would have me prepare through the power of His Spirit for that moment in March, when the Gospel Rally rolls around.  I welcome and invite you all to be there, not because I am speaking, but because of the friends and fellow partners in the Gospel who will be there, for the young students who are currently enrolled that we can set an example for, for the faculty and staff that we need to encourage in their efforts of service and to bring Honor and Glory to God for the things He has done, is doing, and will continue to do through the efforts of a wonderful institution.  Not to mention some excellent times of worship through word and song that will take place.

I give a special call/invitation to those who I attended RBC with – those graduates of the class of 1998 – I know last year was our “big push” with it being our 10th Anniv, but I would love to see you all again – and those who couldn’t make it.  Also for those who graduated after us in the class of 1999 – those who we built great friendships with – it would be awesome to see many of you as well.  

This is such a wonderful time to share the joyous times of God’s richest blessings in our lives – to share the tough moments and dark days of struggle that the Lord has FAITHFULLY brought us through – and HECK just to sit back and laugh about those late nights in the dorm, the crazy times at strange events, the random road-trips and everything else in between.  You all know that no matter what your “experience” was like while @ RBC – that as you think about those times in college you can recall a story that brings a twinkle to your eye, a smile to your face, or even a full on belly laugh for all to hear – so why not come back and enjoy this time of fellowship.

I’d love to HEAR from anyone and everyone – drop a line and let us know if you can or cannot make it – or simply leave a lil story about your time from school and let’s all enjoy the moments together!

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9 Comments

Filed under Family Stuff, MACU Stuff

9 responses to “A little excited, even if YOU think it’s silly….

  1. Denise Wood

    Neal, I have never been able to be at a Gospel Rally, but I HEAR loud and clear what you are saying. I love that place! I will try very hard to be there to hear you speak. It would be an honor.

  2. Chatty

    this is cute neal… a little reminiscent are we?

  3. Hey Denise – good to hear from you – and it would be wonderful for you to be able to attend this year – if you have not been back in a while you will be amazed at the changes there. God is doing some good things and it is always exciting to be back and catch up with everyone. Hope all is well and that maybe we will see you in March!

  4. Marty

    Okay, congratulations! In all sincerity, I would feel honored, and I didn’t even grow up as a campus kid. And I know God will prepare you, and you’ll have some excellent things to say…then, like Forest Gump and Jerry Reuben you’ll get up to speak and the microphone will crap out like it always does, and no one will hear anything you have to say until the very end – “And that’s all I have to say about that…”

    I hope I get to see you there – even if I don’t hear you.

  5. Aaron

    Oh, crap. If you’re speaking, I know I won’t be there! 🙂

    Dude, what an honor. Congrats on the invitation. You’ll do a killer job. I’m not sure if we’ll be able to make it or not. I’m a ’99 guy, but we’ll be in the midst of trying to get our house sold so we can get to G-Vegas. So it’s hard tellin’ where we’ll be or what we’ll be doing.

    I hear you about the pros and cons of the Rally, as well as the history of the school. I’m thankful for my time there, and I’ll admit that I’ve spent my time raggin’ on the direction they’ve taken (it’s one thing to constructively criticize… another to bash, and I’m afraid I’ve done some of both). But they are turning out people for service in the kingdom. It’ll be interesting to see how things develop as our generation starts to move into prof rolls in the colleges.

    I’m honestly not 100% sure how much longer the college system will be effective in training kingdom workers (the church needs to take that mantle up again… and it is starting to happen). But it is one avenue that God has used and is still using. Will be interesting to see how it all develops in the coming years.

    Congrats again. Hope your Rally sermon is shorter than your blog posts 🙂

  6. Hey Marty & Aaron – ya know what is really funny – I got a notification that Marty had left a comment so I went to the comment page and started reading it (not realizing that in the mean time Aaron had left a comment that had not notified me) so I didn’t pay attention to the name on it and was all sorts of confused why Marty & Exie were moving to G-vegas and why they might not be @ Rally since Exie had already said I would see them. Then other parts of the comment I was all sorts of confused – not until I finished it did I realize I was reading Aaron’s comment ha ha ha – gotta love technology and not paying attention!

    Thanks for the kind words – I look forward to seeing whomever is there and hopefully bringing something that will not only encourage the long time workers but challenge ALL of us to greater heights of service and not resting on our “laurels” – or another word that Aaron would probably feel more comfortable saying in public than I would ha ha ha ha ha.
    Oh yeah by the way – nice shot at the length of my posts buddy boy ha ha ha – and yeah they are limiting me to 25 min – that isn’t but 1 minute per year of my life that I lived on that campus – is that even possible???

    Marty – funny stuff about the mic’s but I ain’t afraid to yell

    Aaron – I hear ya on the changing role of the college setting for training and the church’s role – I have had some stuff bouncing around my head about the future of that as well – I def think some shifts in ways it is done is a must – good call

    Thanks guys – hope all is well for you all!

  7. lsaufley

    I was going to say what Aaron said–about not being sure if we’d be there or not . We haven’t been since I think 2003. I know Annagrace was a baby and she’s almost 7 now.

    Anyway, I’d love to hear you speak. You were awesome at Oasis last year so I know you’ll ROCK. Maybe we’ll see ya there!

  8. Kellar

    Congrats Neally! That is really cool! When is they rally? If it doesn’t fall on Spring Break or our retreat in TN for our May North Africa trip, I’ll try to make it.

    Who is the Aaron above? And why is he moving to Greenville? Just thought it might be helpful to know about future neighbors.

  9. Aaron

    Kellar,

    It’s Aaron Saufley from up in VA… we’ve spoken twice by phone in the past 8 years. The last time, you called me to ask me about someone who wanted to do an internship with CCF (I think they listed me as a reference).

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