Thursday, May 10, 2007

Congratulations on surviving Finals--Wesley Foundation E-Letter

Weekly E-letter:


Dear Friends,


Hope you have all survived finals week.  As a way of celebrating the end of the semester, we are taking a road trip to the Spaghetti Factory in Nashville tomorrow night.  Just meet at the Wesley Foundation at 5pm if you would like to join us.  We'll carpool there!


Now For Sami's Ramblings About Jesus:


Many of you have finished for the semester.  Some of you have an exam or two left.  The fact is that the semester is drawing to a close.  Can you believe it's here?  Hard to imagine since it seems like yesterday we were just beginning.  Just yesterday it seems I was walking up the hill with a big belly full of  baby, yet today Isaiah Wesley is six months old.  Wow.  Time flies when you're having fun.  Or that's what they say. . . .


Speaking of time flying, I was reminiscing about high school this morning as I was getting ready for the day.  In particular I was remembering one of the most influential teachers I ever had.  Her name was Mrs. Bauersachs; many of us just called her Mrs. B.  I have yet to see another like her in public education.  She lived her faith in such a profound way that it spilled all over her students.  I guess what I remember most is that I loved her classes (she taught English and writing).  She went out of her way to make students feel at ease.  Before our exams she always tried to "do a little dance" beforehand, usually telling a joke to relieve our anxieties and help us lighten up.  I always appreciated that she genuinely tried to make us laugh.  Not many teachers did that—most of my other teachers were too wrapped up in teaching their curriculum to see that laughter mattered.  Perhaps the thing that imprinted itself on my person more than anything else is the day that Mrs. B said, "Do whatever you want to in life, just love." I found in her statement a profound encouragement to live the life one longs for, rather than falling into someone else's dreams, but also an imperative that really is imperative.  She taught us that love is important business. 


And it wasn't just her words that emphasized the importance of love, her life demonstrated it too.  Mrs. B. was in charge of organizing the spring talent show.  Going against school tradition she allowed some students in a rock band to enter.  These were the kind of students that everyone else had all given up on.  But she believed in them and allowed them the same kinds of opportunities as the more "acceptable" kids.  Unfortunately, the young men broke the dress code and performed in sleeveless t-shirts that were cut completely up the sides.  Their band was disqualified.   I had her class afterward.  I'll never forget the scene that unfolded when there was a knock at her classroom door during that period.  In stepped the same student whom she had taken a chance on and had broken the rules.  With as much sincerity as I've ever seen in a teenage young man, he simply said, "I'm sorry."  And with tears in her eyes she forgave him. 


Don't ever think that love isn't costly.  That was her last year at my high school.  I guess love was too radical for the administration to handle, because they fired her.  And I know she left heartbroken, because when she packed up her room at the end of the year, I tried to help her.  She didn't much want help.  My last memories of her leave an ache in my heart. 


But heartache is not her legacy; love is.  My time with her cemented something in me that longs to live Love.  No matter the cost.  For those of you who have received these e-mails for a while, you probably recognized a theme a long time ago.  Every message I feel God gives me to give revolves around, centers around, finds its beginning and ending and being in Love, God's Love.  My heart is to do for everyone who will listen what Mrs. Bauersachs did for me:  bestow love on each person as a beautiful child of a Living and Good God.  God loves you.  Every fiber of my being tells me so.


So go forth into this new season, this summer break.  Do whatever you want to—just love.  Live in Love.  And know how powerfully Love calls your name.  And wherever you are Mrs. Bauersachs, thank you.





Rev. Sami Wilson
Campus Minister/Director

WKU Wesley Foundation
1355 College St.
Bowling Green, KY 42101
(270) 842-2880

Thursday, May 03, 2007

You're almost there! Wesley Foundation E-letter

Dear Friends,

It is hard to believe that classes are officially over. It has been one crazy year. When I think of all
that has happened in my own life over the last nine months I am staggered by the many changes that have
taken place. There were so many times when I thougt, "Can I really make it through?" And here I am on
the other side of such silly thoughts. Maybe you are on the other side of your own silly thoughts.
Anyway, praise God we made it! Now if we can just survive finals!

Here are some activities to help the last days along:

Tonight is the last movie on the lawn. We'll set up the grill on DUC South Lawn about 6pm. We'll give
away free burgers and dogs as long as they last. After that we'll watch "Facing the Giants" on the
Academic Complex. Should be fun. If it rains we'll take the party back to the Wesley Foundation.

Next week's awesome adventures:

Ladies Tea Party--at my house Tuesday at 5:30pm. I'm pulling out the good china girls!

Guys Cookout--at my house Thursday at 5:30pm. These are the special ranch and A-1 burgers, hand

Roadtrip to Nashville--Friday we'll celebrate the end of the semester by riding down to the Spaghetti
Factory downtown Nashville.

Join us for some good times!!

Now for Sami's Ramblings About Jesus:

Last night I got the privilege of speaking to a group of high school students about the things that
matter most. I asked them about the things they cared about the most, as well as their biggest
challenges. Their responses were so thoughtful and honest. The biggest issues centered on trust and the
difficulty of living up to expectations. As you read this, you are probably thinking something
like, "Some things never change." In the midst of taking a deep look into the core of who we are, we
then listened to the deep wisdom of Scripture. I say listened because several of the students read the
passage aloud, and all of us listened for those places where the word of God really seemed to speak to
those deep places in our hearts. The passage we looked at came from Proverbs 3: "Trust in the Lord with
all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall
make your paths straight." Good words to live by.

Amazing how such ancient words spoke so powerfully to the present realities of this very young
generation. In the tension of this last week of school, it speaks to us as well. This is a time when it
is so easy to try to manipulate one's life into a neat package, and say to the world, "This is who I
am!" But like all tests in life, some finals are harder than others to conquer. At the end of next week
some students will be doing a victory dance; some will be wearily traveling home feeling like they've
been beaten down. And so the words of comfort come: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean
not on your own understanding." Comfort! What comfort?!

The comfort of letting God be God, the comfort of entrusting ourselves to hands more capable than our
own, the comfort of the relief that comes when we admit that we don't know it all. The truth is we don't
need to know it all. We just need to surrender it all into the sturdy, yet gentle, tender, yet wise,
hands of God.

I spoke with a young man last night who was so full of Jesus, suffused with a passion that lit up his
eyes and his heart. He was there to help with the youth. He shared with me the story of how he left the
University he was enrolled in to return home and attend the local community college. Most young people
would be devastated by such a move. But this young man's eyes shown as he told me how God had
orchestrated this move in his life, and in so doing had opened up possibilities for him that were his
true heart's desire, including a new relationship that brought him much joy and a closeness to his
mentors that buoyed him up. He was involved in a powerful ministry to youth that he loved. If he had
trusted in his own wisdom he would have been lost and miserable. By trusting God at a difficult
intersection in his life, he was found and blessed. The world just can't offer that.

So in these final days when anxieties run so high, remember who is really in charge, who is really Master
of the universe. No, it's not he-man. It's God. Who loves you and calls you by name. Trust me, there
is great safety and joy in answering. Until next time. . . .



Rev. Sami Wilson
Campus Minister/Director

WKU Wesley Foundation
1355 College St.
Bowling Green, KY 42101
(270) 842-2880