From the Executive Director

I’m not sure if it this is only my perspective, but it seems like people are generally stressed and stretched right now. It might be attributed to the uncertainty of election time and the instability of our economy in addition to the challenges we routinely face within our homes, workplaces and ministries. There is a general sense that we are all feeling the “squeeze” right now.

So, how do God’s people respond during times like these? Because we are human, I suppose the responses differ based on our many personality types. Some of us retreat and shut down, some divert themselves into unhealthy pursuits, and some push on in their own strength – ultimately burning themselves out. Regardless of our human reactions and responses, it is so easy for all of us to forget to push into God and trust in His strength during stressful times.

My sinful response to stress is to push on in my own strength. Without fail, I eventually hit a wall (inadequacy, fatigue, frustration) and finally admit to myself and to God that I am not up to the task. Through his Word and in my heart his message to me at that time is “Be with me. Love me.” He lovingly reminds me that if I keep the Main Thing the Main Thing, He will be my strength, and I don’t need to sweat the small stuff.

You may or may not relate to my dilemma, depending on your personality. The lesson is that in a time of fearfulness or stress, he is sufficient. He will meet us right where we are and lift us up.

Your sons and daughters are coming into the final stretch of a busy semester. They are working hard to turn in assignments and test well on exams as they approach final exams only six weeks away! As the Lord is faithful to encourage you, feel free to encourage, lift up and bless your student. Remind them that God is faithful and promises to be the strength they need. Remember how much it means to them when you are confident and supportive.

And … let’s hold each other accountable to rely on God for our strength. As you pray for your students and the faculty and staff at George Fox, I’ll be praying for you!

I hope you are blessed this day!

Sheri Philips
Executive Director of University Relations