{Fun Friday} Welcome Summer

okay, okay.  We know the first official day of summer isnt until June 21st, but were close, right?

Now that classes have ended and summer classes have begun, we cant help but think and long for a specific scent and sound.

If you guessed the beach and the ocean waves, youre tracking right with us. 

 So on this beautiful Friday, sit for a few minutes, rest in Gods beauty and listen to the sound of the waves!!

Happy Memorial Day

From Women’s Life:

Happy Memorial Day to you & yours!

We hope you have plenty of time to enjoy this day!  We also hope that you’re able to spend many moments reflecting on the meaning of Memorial Day and the sacrifice of the men and women who died to protect our freedoms!

What a love, what a sacrifice!

Thoughts from Graduates {BWI}

Today, we are going to hear from Linda McLaurin, a recent BWI graduate.  To read previous posts from this series, Thoughts from Graduates, click here to learn from a seminary graduate, and here to learn from a college graduate.

Graduation was not the true intent of my starting this program. I just wanted to become better equipped in serving the Lord. To lead those who were already Christians to develop a desire to know God more and develop a life where He took priority. I wanted to be able to answer questions about the Bible being true and God’s Word. So many lost today believe that the stories in the Bible are made up and I wanted to better defend my faith as I encountered opportunities to share with them.  I also wanted to become better equipped to serve the church. The diploma was a nice reward.

 I have been a pastor’s wife for thirty-five years and have often been called upon to assist my husband in his ministry. Through the years, I have listened to many confidences and people have come to me wanting counsel. I wanted to see if in those thirty-five years I was leading them the right way. Through this program, I learned that perhaps I have been on the right track, but because of the program, I believe that I am better equipped to continue in serving the church and assisting my husband with his ministry.

First of all the program offered by the Biblical Women’s Institute is such a blessing. I believe it serves as a real help to women who are ministering in their churches. Not all of us are called to get a degree in ministry, but the Biblical Women’s Institute opens the door for many women to become better prepared to serve in their homes and churches according to God’s plan.   BWI strengthens women to serve alongside their husband in ministry or, for those not married to a minister, to more effectively serve in their local church. 

Deuteronomy 6:6-12 is a call for the people of Israel to remember God’s commandments and what He has done for them.  I believe these verses apply to us today.  To hide His Word in our hearts and to remember what He has done for us through His Son’s death.  I see the BWI as an instrument in helping one obtain a better knowledge of God through His Word, understanding doctrine, church history, and Baptist history. I never thought knowing church history was that important.  I believed you just needed faith to help you show the world Christ.  I have learned that to reach today’s lost we must be able to answer the questions they have about our beliefs and faith. My mind is not as good at remembering things as when I was young, but I now have resources to help me respond to some of their difficult questions. 

I enjoyed and benefited from the classes. I loved getting to know some of the ladies in my classes. At first, I was a little intimidated because I was so old and was fearful of taking the classes.  As time wore on, I felt welcomed and became more relaxed. I was amazed at how hungry some of them were about learning more about God and how they could recall Scripture. I respected them greatly. I will miss getting to know more of these young ladies who work so hard to serve Christ, now that I have graduated.  There were also some older women in classes with me.  Several of them were women whose husbands were called to pastor later in life. I admired these women for the courage they had to return to school and become better prepared to serve alongside their husbands in ministry. 

I will miss the weekly trips to the campus and getting to know the teachers as well. Several teachers just had a heart and love for what they were teaching and made learning more desirable. 

You ask me what is a sixty year old going to do with a diploma. My answer is that I am going to use it to bring Christian women into a closer walk with God and use it to bring the lost to Christ. I hope to use what I have learned to serve our association and church in a better capacity. I pray I will use it to serve Him more faithfully and to the best of my ability for you see our work is never done. We are to live for Him each day and I pray I will use it to bring glory to His name. I could never have finished if He had not been with me.

I am the wife of an associational missionary.  I have to say my husband was supportive.  He drove me to class when he could and encouraged me to take the classes. I appreciate Southeastern for offering this program for women. I would encourage any woman and especially pastors’ wives to attend.

Linda is a native North Carolinian, growing up in Gastonia and living most of her adult life in Eastern North Carolina.  Linda has been married to Dougald McLaurin, Jr. for more than 40 years, and has served alongside him in ministry while he has pastored several churches in the area.  Linda attended Appalachian State University, received her degree from Fayetteville Technical Community College, and now her diploma from the Biblical Women’s Institute of Southeastern Theological Seminary.  After 31 ½ years with the North Carolina Educational System, Linda is currently retired and resides in Nashville, NC.  She is engaged with her husband in the ministries of the Tar River Baptist Association where he serves as Associational Missionary; the ministry of her local church, Ephesus Baptist Church in Spring Hope; and involved in women’s ministry in her church and community. 

Linda has two adult children.  Her daughter Lisa lives in Fayetteville, NC and her son Dougald III lives in Youngsville, NC and is on staff at Southeastern Theological Seminary.

Today we will hear from Laura Hahn.  Laura graduated last Friday from the College at Southeastern.  We in the Women's Life Office love Laura, and she has such a servant's heart. College gals, glean from her today.  You'll be glad you did.

If you missed yesterday's post, please click here.

I’m a real college graduate!!!

Oh my, the whirlwind of emotions that comes from graduation. I’m leaving a place that I have come to love. I’m leaving my school, my workplace, and my apartment. I’m leaving all of it at once. However, I keep remembering that my memories will not disappear, and the lessons learned will be in my back pocket for future reference. As I prepare to leave, I am excited to give you a glimpse into what has happened in my head and in my heart during my time here at Southeastern.

When I look back at my time here at SEBTS, I have a variety of memories made and lessons learned. I remember taking Greek my first semester and learning hundreds of words of vocabulary, and then taking a freshman introductory class my last semester. I’ve lost intramural basketball games, had my heart broken, made friends for life, traveled overseas with professors, and made a million other memories.

The College at Southeastern is definitely not what most people would label a typical college experience. There are no wild, drunken parties or 300 person classes with rampant cheating. However, there is the occasional late night Sheetz run and last minute procrastination on 12 page papers. We may not have Division 1 sports, but intramural football does get pretty intense.

Yet there also are many things that stay the same no matter what college you attend, at least for the girls. We still talk about boys and get overly excited about a first date. We still obsess about what we eat and then get on work out tangents. College girls still have the same problems whether you went to a bible college or a state school. But that is where the importance of SEBTS comes in and why I am so thankful to be graduating from this institution.

There are two primary lessons I have learned from my time at SEBTS.  These two lessons actually tie into each other:

Follow God in obedience every single day, and He will provide everything I need.

“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” –Philippians 4:19
This verse and this promise require complete surrender. I’ve become an expert at the prayer, ”Lord, I give you control of my future.” However, I’ve had to learn that giving God control of my future means following Christ on a daily basis. Imagine that, right? I’ve learned to trust Him with the big picture, but it was rare that my actions and worries actually reflected that. As I say to myself, and I say to you: follow your sovereign King everyday and do as He commands.  The result is this: He will provide everything you need.

2.     Do not lose your awe of God.

“Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!” –Psalm 33:8
It is easy to let your understanding of God be simply intellectual, but my challenge to myself and to you is this: let your knowledge of God draw you close to His face and His presence so that you may stand in awe of Him.

My main advice to underclassmen:

While grades and GPAs may not be the most important thing in the world, what you are learning is! I don’t want to get on my soapbox, but this is so important: Do not ever use the excuse, “But it isn’t about grades” to justify shoddy work. Instead, tell yourself, “I will use what I’m learning to further my ministry and my capability to share the Gospel more fully.”

Yes, I understand the power of the Spirit and how important it is to let him lead you in ministry. But at the same time, God called you here to learn at Southeastern to learn about Him and prepare for that ministry.

Your grade, 9 times out of 10, reflects how hard you worked and how much you actually cared. Laziness and complacency should not define your time here at Southeastern. Let your time be marked by working hard and yearning to know how to do your job well! This means understanding theology, worldviews, New Testament book outlines, and what Old Testament poetry means. And yes, it might even mean comprehending Nietzsche and Freud’s works.

Start the habit now of getting things done on time and doing them as well as you can. Don’t let complacency rule your life. Do your best out of obedience to God.  Stand in awe of Him.  He will guide your life, and He deserves your best!

So with that:

Work hard, give God the glory, and worship him with all that you have. You won’t regret it!

Laura Hahn is a graduate (as of Friday!) from The College at Southeastern, receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Christian Studies with a minor in missions. She has been a member at Open Door Baptist Church for over two years and enjoys participating in Spanish Fellowship. She enjoys spending time in the outdoors, preferably the mountains, and reading a good book. This July  through December, Laura will be in the Philippines with the IMB doing church planting and discipleship among an unreached people group. As soon as she return Laura will be applying to nursing school at UNC-Chapel Hill.