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The President's Circle
When God Moved Out …
(download the President's Circle as a PDF here)
Am I writing to any recent ‘empty nesters?’ Your last child has moved out, entered college, or got married … and now you are alone with your husband or wife! Many have to get acquainted again with each other and learn some routines! Do you remember a favorite business, favorite restaurant, or another establishment that closed their doors and moved out? It was a sad day … who would take their place and provide what you longed for and enjoyed?
Recently, reading through Ezekiel, I once again came to the passage in chapters 8-10 when God moved out! It is heartbreaking to read the prophet’s account of God speaking to His people, His people ignoring Him, and then replacing Him with idols, other gods, and even with the worship of the sun! And all this in His Temple!! In His House!! How could this happen?
Ezekiel’s message came from the Lord in September during the sixth year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity. God gets hold of him while leaders of Judah were in his house and said:
“Son of man, He said, do you see what they are doing? Do you see the detestable sins the people of Israel are committing to drive me from my temple? ...” Ezekiel 8:6 NLT
They have done the following:
“… walls covered with engravings of all kinds of crawling animals and detestable creatures”… ”weeping for the god Tammuz” … “worshiping the sun” … this all took the place of the Lord Jehovah in His own House! (Ezekiel 8:10, 14, 16 NLT) And then you see it, feel it, and shudder with what is happening … God is Moving Out! In chapters 9, 10, and 11, you see the “Glory of the Lord” departing. He is moving out! He is leaving! He moves from the Holy of Holies, then to the entrance of the temple, then to the door, the outer courtyard, to the gate, and:
“Then the glory of the Lord went up from the city and stopped above the mountain to the east.”
Ezekiel 11:23 NLT
Has the Lord become distant to you? Has He moved away because something else has moved in? Has something else taken His place, and His position? Have you lost the sense of His closeness, empowerment, and comfort? Has His peace moved away? Has hope diminished? Reflect on these words:
“…I know what you are saying, for I know every thought that comes into your minds.”
Ezekiel 11:5 NLT
In my journal, I wrote the following: “When God moves out, when God moves on without me, a deep sense of loneliness, emptiness, fearfulness, and hopelessness prevails.” Am I connecting with anyone?
But there is more! God, in His marvelous grace and mercy, promises His people a NEW DAY. He is planning to give them a NEW HEART! (Ezekiel 11:14-21 NLT) This will not be the end of the story!
Listen carefully … God is not done with you! He has not given up on you or your situation! Your problems, difficulties, issues, hurts, and heartaches have not exhausted Him! Your troubles, disappointments, and fits of anger have not discouraged Him! Listen to what He says:
Psalm 50:15 ESV:
“Call upon Me in the day of trouble. I will deliver you and you shall glorify Me.”
Do you have trouble? Call on Him … tell Him … and He will deliver you and you shall glorify Him! What an invitation! Accept it and go! Peace and solutions will appear!
God’s forgiveness is GREAT! He will restore and bless! And His return in your life, His felt presence, power, and provision will once again be yours. All that you need is in Him, Jesus Christ, our Lord! Go to Him! Get to Him! There is no need for you to be the way you are. Ask Him to return in His entire splendor and glory and place Him first in attention, service, and obedience! He will come back in such strength and song that all will know God Has Returned!
The Latest Happenings…
▪ The new carpet in the W. T. Watson Administration Building lobby has been installed. This was made possible through a grant from the Chatlos Foundation.
▪ Plans for the new Student Residence Hall are under the third review by the county. When they are approved, the College will be moving forward on this needed project. Five apartments had to be rented again for resident students enrolled for the fall who are unable to stay on campus due to space. Additional funding will be necessary to finish the project. Major donors along with professional, church, and business development leaders will be assisting in this project.
▪ Dr. Ralph Enlow, President of the Association for Biblical Higher Education, will be speaking at the Faculty and Staff Retreat Wednesday, August 10, 2016. Dr. Enlow has keen insight into the needs of faculty, staff, and students. The theme this year, 2016-2017, will be Vision. Ted Engstrom told this story:
“A little girl was on a cruise ship and she and her father were standing on the deck. It was a beautiful clear day and the air was crisp and fresh. The little girl, standing on tiptoe, said to her father, ‘I can’t see anything.’ The father picked her up and put her on his shoulders, so that she was higher than everyone else on the deck and was able to see everything around her. ‘Daddy!’ she exclaimed, ‘I can see farther than my eyes can look!’”
One writer said: “Sight is a function of the eyes; vision is a function of the heart.” With this in mind, we will begin a new year with a clear vision of who we are, where we are, where we need to be going, and what we need to do to get there.
▪ Practical Christianity Foundation provides excellent easy-to-read devotional commentaries. This organization is an excellent resource for every Bible teacher and interested student of His Word. They also provide weekly Bible devotionals via e-mail. Contact Dr. Solomon Mekonnen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
▪ Soccer Camps have been in action on campus this summer.
▪ A one-week Honors course taught by Dr. Tom Woodward and Dr. Eric Bargerhuff is being held August 1 – August 5, 2016 on campus.
▪ The new semester at Trinity College of Florida is set to begin. New Student Orientation will start Saturday, August 13, and classes will be underway on Monday, August 15, 2016. The first regular chapel will be held August 17, 2016.
▪ The Trinity College of Florida 2016 Convocation will take place Friday, August 19. Convocation is the formal calling together of the faculty and student body at the beginning of each new school year. The doctrinal statement is reaffirmed and students are challenged and encouraged as they begin their studies.
Urgent Prayer Requests…
▪ Admissions in both the traditional and degree completion programs. Pray for the staff and for students making final decisions and provision for those who desire to attend.
▪ Returning students and their need for funding their education and direction for the future.
▪ New Student Residence Hall: last minute details, meetings, and funding.
▪ Faculty and Staff Retreat: Refreshment for faculty members and staff members alike.
▪ God’s Call on His young people attending Trinity College of Florida: Opportunities, placement, and provision.
“God’s saying is doing. His promises are one with His performance of them … The whole glorious essence of God is engaged for the performance of every promise. He would cease to be God if He failed to perform any promise.” David Clarkson
Now this is something to think about!
Your prayer support and partnership are making a significant difference in the lives of students at Trinity. You will see the results for all eternity!