When our pastor Wayne spoke on 2 Timothy about Paul’s attitude as a prisoner, I couldn’t help but think of our friend and neighbor, “Brad.” Jayson and I didn’t know him well; we’d gathered about as much from the regular domestic disputes that trickled across from their driveway into ours, as from actual interaction with him personally. But from the time he moved here with his fiancé “Kay” and their six-year-old daughter, “Sue,” Brad was clearly a wildcard – engaging, straight-forward and quick to own the faults that come with his impulsive, ”robust” personality. Now, after nearly two months in the Orange County Jail, Brad awaits next month’s trial that will determine whether his violent run-in with an associate will keep him behind bars for the rest of his life.
Of course, there’s more than one way to live as a prisoner. Whether it’s the slavery to sin that our new campus director at University of Central Florida addressed at our first large group meeting when he recounted the Lord’s intervention in his sexual past, or the unnamed slavery to religion of countless self-righteous “good kids,” it is safe to say that in a room of 500 18- to 22-year-olds on a campus of 60,000, the Lord has his work cut out for him.
That is to say nothing of my own life, or the Whelpley household. While visiting “Brad” a few weeks ago has given us a new gratefulness for our freedom to come and go, eat, and hug as we please, this season of transition for me (Carrie) back to campus ministry, even just 1-2 days a week, has rattled a host of chains in my own heart. Will I be a bondservant to Jesus Christ, who alone has loosed my bonds (Psalm 116:16)? Or will I be a prisoner to performance, approval, food, appearance, comfort, security, order, competence, or control? Praise the God of Freedom!
- Lasting spiritual growth & healing for Brad, Kay & daughter Sue.
- Endurance for UCF staff team & 50 student leaders during the fall push.
- Focus & balance for Carrie as she discerns where to invest on campus.
- For Jayson & his team as they keep leaping the hurdles between them and the launch of the apps and site they’ve been working on.