When I started teaching at Indiana Wesleyan (as all first year professors will confess), I was totally unprepared for the routine of teaching 12 semesters hours per week. The lecture preparation, handouts, in-class projects, grading, and overall classroom management was an overwhleming undertaking. The first class I taught was first year New Testament Greek. Everything I had prepared for this one hour class (and it took me 10 hours to prepare it) was on a PowerPoint presentation. I had practiced it several times, in the actual classroom. When I arrived in class, another professor had taken the computer cart to this room. I was left with nothing but an attendance sheet and students. So, as a last resort, the class consisted with me telling my students my conversion story; from being completely lost to being found by Christ; from an alcohol and drug abuser to becoming a new creation in Christ (1 Cor 5). It was unplanned and unrehearsed. In all honesty, I think a flannel graph presentation would have been a huge improvement from this first classroom effort.
However, as the last two students were leaving the classroom (and they sensed my utter frustration coupled with academic failure), they whispered to me, you may not have taught us Greek, but you showed us the "Power of God." My spontaneous words to them as they were going out the door were "Go with this God." They turned, and smiled, communicating to me that they sensed a true blessing through our encounter that morning. I may have failed them miserably as a professor, but nevertheless, Christ Jesus had enriched their lives.
Thus, now, at the end of every class, I send my students out into the world with those words; "God with God." BTW, in every course I teach, I still begin the first day of class of each new semester with my testimony. So, after 8 years, 4-5 classes per semester, and a few summer offerings; I've shared my conversion experience 100+ times...and I have sent students out from these classes with a "God with God" blessing maybe 3500 times. In all honesty, each class is the best; and each group in each section is a special treasure that the Lord Himself puts before me. Thanks be to God.
Last fall, a fellow professor asked me, "Why not put into written form a weekly blessing to offer over students as they begin each week?" (Thanks, Keith). With that as a brief history lesson, this Blog has taken shape as a compendium of these "Go with God Moments." If you read this with any regularity, you will overhear the Biblical blessings that I pray over the students of Indiana Wesleyan University each Monday morning.
And now, may you as well,
God With God.