Next week, Lord willing, my family and I will be at the annual Bible lectureship at Freed-Hardeman University. While we cannot attend for the entire week, we are excited about going for most of the sessions.
The FHU lectures are on our “every year” list of events. We simply do not miss it. Why? It is more than just “we went to school there.” Here are 7 reasons we always attend and mark our calendar months in advance for the following year.
1. A Deeply Biblical Emphasis. Each year, a theme is chosen, based upon a specific book (or section) of the Bible. That theme is more than in name only. The speakers emphasize God’s Word in a deep and meaningful way. I always come away with a deeper appreciation for, and knowledge of, the book that is the theme book.
2. Great Themes. Speaking of those themes, I am always amazed at the theme, and about how there are so many lessons built around that one theme. In 2011, the books of study are the Minor Prophets, and the theme is “Proclamation and Promise.” While that may seem like a very general theme, those who attend will be amazed by how many lectures are under that umbrella. And, of course, the theme is always deeply Biblical.
3. Friends. Each year, I am blown away by the interaction among hundreds and hundreds of Christians from all over the world. It is a joy for me to get to interact with many friends who I only get to see during that time of the year. If I started naming them all, this post would get really long. But the smiles, conversations, and encouragement are worth the trip!
4. Family. With a family of preachers and elders, the FHU lectures become somewhat of a quasi-family reunion. We do our own thing as far as listening to lectures, but we try to spend as much time as we can together (read: we eat together a lot!). When you are a preacher, visiting on weekends is basically “out,” so weeks like this mean a whole lot.
5. Singing. I can’t get enough of singing with thousands of faithful Christians from around the world. This is just another example of that!
6. The FHU Students. These students open up their campus to us each year and let about 5000 guests run over everything for a week. They put up with overcrowding, long lines, and messed up schedules. And they always do so with smiles and with grace. Each year, as we leave, I reflect on these young people and the joy they bring to the week. They give me even greater hope for the future of the Lord’s Church!
7. The Books. I love the book fair! While I don’t spend a lot of money, just the piles of books (and the time visiting) give me all sorts of ideas of reading material, class ideas, and sermon thoughts. If I’m not in a lecture, you can pretty much be assured I’m “book looking.”
Are you attending? I hope to see you there!
What brings you each year to FHU for the lectures?
…Oh, and a special “looking forward to it” to my brother-in-law, Jeremiah Tatum, who will be speaking in chapel on Thursday!