Thursday, March 30, 2006

Wesley Foundation Student/Alumni/Supporter Work Day

WKU Wesley Foundation


Spring Cleaning & Maintenance Day


Saturday, April 8 from 8am-4pm




The Property Committee at the Wesley Foundation would like to invite you to an Alumni and Supporter Day. We need your help sprucing up our facility. There will be an on-site review of the WKU Wesley Foundation by the Higher Education and Campus Ministry Team for the Kentucky Annual Conference on April 12 and we want to put our best foot forward.


Please come ready to work – painting, landscaping, cleaning, building……as well as fellowship, food and fun. We will provide breakfast, lunch and a fun afternoon seeing the Hilltoppers play baseball at 3pm.


Items that can be donated: To update the look of the facility, here are some things we are looking to purchase, but would prefer to have donated:


Bistro patio sets (2), park benches, solar landscape lighting, new signage, sofas/  living room furniture to match newly donated leather furniture, small kitchen tables, paint, new water heater.


Projects for the work day are listed below. Please review and see how you can help. If there is anything you can donate – items or expertise, please let us know.


Landscaping: weed and mulch flower beds, trim trees, cut grass, install solar landscape lighting, spread grass seed/lawn care, clean out gutters.


Front porch: stain concrete on porch, clean up current furniture (prefer new furniture), add special touches that will make it more inviting. (This is the first area anyone sees. We want it to look welcoming and homey.)


Outside stairwell: sanded and repainted.


Inside hall way: cabinets need to be built or donated for storage.


Living room, chapel, basement and kitchen: deep cleaning (dusting, vacuuming, cleaning windows), rearranging/ decorating, painting.


Specialty projects: roof repair, plumbing (leaky sink) , adding electrical outlets to porch area, replacing attic insulation. Please let us know if you have skills to help us accomplish these things.




As you can see, we can use many hands and a range of abilities. Please let us know if you will be joining us! RSVP to 270-842-2880 or email


Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Spring Cleaning on Spring Break--Wesley Foundation E-Letter

Dear Friends,


I hope each of you had a great Spring Break.  Ideally you would have come back energized and refreshed, ready to tackle the gathering challenges of a few more weeks left of school.  It never ceases to amaze me how the pace of classes seems to quadruple once the end is in sight.  Hang in there.  You really only have a few brief weeks left.  Take a deep breath; you can do it.


This Thursday we are beginning a new study based upon the book Who Moved My Cheese.  This should be particularly helpful for those looking at major life changes in the next few months (i.e. graduation), or even those who are still trying to figure out what happened to their sanity when the made the leap to college.  Change is a regular part of life.  We will look at the ways God helps us not just survive it, but thrive because of it.  Look forward to seeing you at 7pm this Thursday night!


Now For Sami’s Ramblings About Jesus:


Last week a group of students and I rented a van (Honda Odysseys are nice!) and headed to Mississippi for Spring Break.  Several years ago a trip like that would have been filled with beaches, fun in the sun, relaxation, and a time of taking a siesta from the daily grind of college life.  Because of the devastation of hurricane Katrina last summer, we were heading south to make a difference.


I just have to say that getting out of my comfort zone, doing some hard labor, and getting covered in the leftover mess of someone else’s hurricane . . . is perhaps the coolest experience I’ve ever had.  We arrived in Ocean Springs, Mississippi with nothing but work clothes and willingness.  We didn’t even have tools.  But the crew leaders told us, and later showed us, that availability is enough.  We were enough.  Without experience.  Without skills.  Without knowledge.  We were enough to help bring hope to people’s lives.  It still astounds me when I consider it. 


Mostly we tore things out.  Old trees, old drywall, old nails, old insulation, old mold.  (One afternoon we did get to hang sheet rock; that was cool!)  In these flood ravaged houses, everything had to be stripped down and out so that something new could be restored.  The old and damaged had to be removed.  What was left had to be sanitized.  And only after all remaining traces mold were gone could rebuilding begin. 


What the crew leaders often found as they went into houses is that some of the mold pre-dated the storm.  Sometimes it was caused by a leaky water heater.  As I pondered this remark it made me think of our lives.  Sometimes it takes storms to reveal the state of our hearts, just like the hurricanes revealed what was really going on under the sheet rock in people’s homes.  I hate it, but it is true.  It’s the bad stuff in life that shows where we really are in our walks with the Lord.  Someone said to me one time that many people believe themselves to be holy when really they are just happy.  It’s hard to be holy, Christ like, when hardships are introduced.  It’s hard to love the world that Jesus died to save, when that same world is knocking our lives over.


What brings me so much hope is that the cleansing of the Lord’s love is so faithful.  God is able to clean and sanitize our lives, rebuild and restore us, just as willing volunteers have begun the work of rebuilding the Gulf Coast.  And the miracle of grace is that the Lord sends us help we often aren’t looking for.  One of the neatest things we did was walk around a neighborhood looking for random yard debris.  Often the folks who had their yards cleaned out weren’t even home.  And the one’s who were home had not expected to see us show up.  Wow.


I want to invite you to live this challenge with me:  1) Be available.  The Bible says that the harvest is plentiful for the laborers are few (Luke 10:2).  Volunteer to be a laborer in the harvest.  The Lord of the harvest will show you what to do.  2) Be courageous.  When the storms of life come, be willing to let the Lord use it to refresh and restore who you are, even if it means seeing the truth of what lies behind the walls in your heart.  Allow the Lord to turn bad things into good things, even as Scripture says (Romans 8:28).  3) Be hopeful.  This make take the most availability and courage of all.  When the storms hit, it is so easy to just give up.  If people who have lost everything can find hope in the unexpected gift of drywall, we can trust God to bring us what we need too.  Know that God is able to do a new and beautiful thing.  I love His promise found in the book of Joel (2:25):  “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten.”


Thank you for sharing this journey with me.







Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Do others want what we have? -- Wesley Foundation E-letter

Dear Friends,


It’s so nice outside (a little cold though).  Hope you are enjoying the hints of Spring that are popping up all around!  I love it when Spring begins to be real and not just a fluke of warm weather interrupting the cold.  It reminds me that my life is like that; newness is always just a season away.


This Thursday we are going to explore the adventure of going on a Mission Trip.  We will have folks share their past experiences with mission work, how it changed them, and what to expect (plan for) when you go for the first time.  This will help us get geared up for our Mission Trip to Mississippi next week, where we will help with Hurricane Relief Efforts.  It should be fun.  Remember, free food at 7pm, program at 8pm.  Love to see you there!  For more info or a ride

call 842-2880.


Now for “Sami’s Ramblings About Jesus:”


Last Thursday night several of us went to see Amazing Tones of Joy sing at DUC Auditorium.  It was awesome!  The way those young men and women sang about the Lord and moved in rhythm to the music made me want to get up and join them.  I left hungry.  Hungry for that kind of joy, that kind of enjoyment of the Lord.  Not that I don’t enjoy the Lord.  It’s just that enjoying the presence of Jesus is something that seems to get crowded out in the midst of serving Jesus. 


I am reminded of the time I spent in CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education).  It was like my college experience on steroids.  I was in a classroom setting that also had a practicum component, basically learning to be a better pastor by working as a chaplain in a hospital setting while writing long papers about it and undergoing intense peer review and supervision.  It was stressful, and I wasn’t dealing well with the stress.  One day my supervisor said to me, “Sami, I hope you aren’t taking this [my stressed out, anxious, defensive attitude] home with you.”  His words hit me like a ton of bricks.  In my worn-out-ness, I was only thinking of how I was being affected.  I hadn’t given any thought to how my reaction to my circumstances was affecting others.  I guess I thought they should just have to deal with it.  Needless to say I wasn’t much fun to be around.


I hope I’m better about leaking my exasperations with life on to every one else.  I guess what I’m saying is that sometimes in trying to live out our faith, we can become toxic to be around, the worst advertisement in the world for what the world needs the most:  Jesus.  But when I heard those students sing the other night, something in me leapt up.  I wanted to be one of them:  I wanted to raise my voice in song, lift up my hands and heart in joy.  To enter into the wonder of reaching for the God who constantly reaches for us.  I wanted to be one of them.


I can’t help wondering how many times a person without faith in Jesus Christ wants to be one of us who follow Him when they look into our lives?  Truth be told, I don’t know what the answer would be for someone looking into my life.  But I know that the Spirit of the living Lord inspires.  The Spirit of the living Lord captivates.  God’s Holy Spirit makes us hungry for more of Him.  And when we are saturated with Him and His Spirit, people can’t help but be drawn to Him.  I guess the issue is how much of what we do for Him is actually done IN Him? 


O God, fill us with Your Spirit.  Show us how to simply live and breathe and move and have our being IN You, so that those whose lives we intersect with are drawn to You.  Forgive us for all the ways we work so hard at sharing something which cannot be manufactured but is truly GIFT:  Your presence.