Almost Time

Those of us left at 3400 IH-35 North are beginning to count the hours until there is no one from Concordia left at this address. By this time next week, there may be no one left here. Boxes are packed and ready to be picked up...computers will be gathered and taken to the new campus early next's getting harder and harder to find books, files, etc that we might need. And life is getting a little sadder as the time approaches.

What is one to think about all of this? It is time to say goodbye, and yet saying goodbye is mixed with many different emotions. Watching buildings come down makes one realize the temporary nature of life. Watching cranes being erected that will build new buildings boggles the mind at "how do they do that?" Wondering if the right decisions were made to move or not allows one to engage in debate and dialogue with ones self - always an interesting discussion. And trusting that God will walk along side all aspects of the move provides great comfort for the days, months and years ahead.

As I walked down one of the hallways on the new campus earlier this week, I thought to myself whether or not Concordia would be at this location 82 years from now. Only God knows. What I do know is that Concordia University Texas will continue to be faithful to its calling of developing Christian leaders who go out into the world to make a difference - and to increase the Kingdom of God.

So while it is with mixed emotions that I approach this final week at 3400 IH-35 North, it is with gratitude to God for his blessings in the past and hope in the future toward what He will provide.

A New Vision - QUIET

I like to talk - and I like to be involved in conversation with other people. I find it hard to be quiet for any length of time. My wife and I used to attend a Taize service when we lived in Houston, in which there was 10 minutes of quiet after the reading of the Gospel. The first time seemed to last an eternity (and was uncomfortable but as we went to more of these, the quiet not only became tolerable but was welcome. In fact, the quiet went by too quickly and I craved for more.

So what does this have to do with Concordia's new campus? Having open spaces and being away from I-35 and the urban environment makes for quiet space. Walking from the parking lot to my office in the morning will provide me with quiet time. Taking a walk between buildings will provide me with quiet time. Wandering around the campus in the middle of the afternoon will provide we with quiet time. Of course, I could fill that quiet time with my Ipod or my cell phone, but maybe I will just be quiet. God's word tells us to "be still and know that I am God." Jesus went out to the mountians and the seas to be quiet and pray. Quietness can provide me (and others) with the following:

-time to relax
-time to pray
-time to be still
-time to think
-time to plan ahead
-time to listen

As one who is mostly busy (and likes to talk) I have not learned yet to embrace the quiet. Perhaps this new location will give me the place - and the time - to use the QUIET to know more about myself - and to learn more about God.

A New Vision - BEAUTY

As I walk around Concordia's campus these days, the beauty that once was is quickly disappearing. The fountain is destroyed, trees are torn down, sidewalks are ripped up, and building material is in heaps. Our little urban oasis is quickly being left behind.

But as I walked around the new campus the other evening, I began to understand a different type of beauty - a sense that the beauty of nature and natural foliage is VERY different from the beauty of the city and what I often call "the symphony of concrete." Natural beauty - that which occurs through trees, rocks, skies and sounds of nature - produces a calming effect, very different from urban beauty. To be able to look out and see walk out among the sounds of wander through vines and sit and listen to quietness - all of this produces a different type of response as one visually takes all of that in.

So what might this have to do with education - and how can Concordia leverage this in its mission of developing Christian leaders? Let's start a list:

1. Natural beauty allows one to relax and breathe a little easier, which allows the brain to more fully capture and remember what has been learned.
2. Natural beauty often brings one more fully in touch with God, allowing people to sense God's presence in a more distinct way.
3. When one engages with natural beauty on a regular basis, they might be more inclined to engage with stewarding the environment, making them more apt to become "green" Christian leaders.
4. The beauty of nature often inspires one's artistic manner, allowing the right side of the brain to more fully engage and enhance learning.
5. Engaging with natural beauty can lead one to explore the writings and thoughts of such thinkers as Thoreau and Emerson, bringing students in touch with philosophy and great writers.

What an opportunity to USE this new space Concordia has been given. They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I have to believe that no matter what one thinks about the new campus, it is - and always will be - a bastion of BEAUTY. If you have more items to add to the list above, let me know at

A New Vision - SPACE

Concordia is moving - check out the pictures at! Exciting times? You bet! But the question you, me and everyone else should be asking is - WHY is this so exciting? The act of moving is anything less than exciting - too many headaches just for updated buildings. Over the next few days, I want to explore some of the WHYS of Concordia moving - and hopefully get some feedback from people.

SPACE: I was out on the new campus last night and walked out to the veranda overlooking the Preserve on the campus. As I stood there and listened to people talk, I felt the breeze blowing, listened to the birds singing, and looked out over miles and miles of green. Deep at heart I am a city boy, loving the roar of I-35 and being able to find an ethnic restaurant within a 5 block walk. But last night I experienced what it means to have SPACE.

SPACE creates the opportunity for deeper thinking...SPACE creates the chance for ever-increasing dialogue...SPACE allows for one to be alone from time to time and experience God in a new and different way...SPACE creates new possibilities for thinking - and isn't that what the academe is supposed to be about...SPACE is a friend to dreamers, allowing for today's students to develop into tomorrow's problem solvers...SPACE makes room for people to be together and create deeper community.

God is transforming Concordia University Texas, making it a place he can use to further the Kingdom of God. I believe that SPACE can do all these things - and more! What do you believe?