As many of you are aware, the Fall 2013 is just beginning. This past week, ACU hosted Welcome Week for all of the incoming students. Those of us in faculty/staff roles have been here all summer and are glad to welcome the new students. The rest of the student body will return over the weekend and classes will begin on Monday. I’ve already written my annual Five Thoughts for New Students post, but today I wanted to share briefly about something else.

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During Welcome Week, one of the most popular events is called Candle Light Devo. Candle Light Devo begins around 9:00pm on Tuesday of Welcome Week. It is an opportunity for new students to be welcomed by the ACU community. As new students walk from the coliseum to the amphiteatre, they each hold an unlit candle. Lining the path along which they walk are current students, alumni, faculty, and staff—each of whom are holding a lit candle. As the new students process to the amphiteatre, everyone is singing praise songs. Once all of the new students are seated in the amphiteatre, then the first person on each row has her candle lit and then passes the fire on to the next person. It’s really neat to watch all of the candles come to life.

1175133_10200139577882173_1633444594_nAt the devo this year, my boss (Bob Strader) preached. He talked to the new students about what true thriving looks like. As part of his talk, he asked me and another English grad student to read scripture. My scriptures were Isaiah 55:2 and Proverbs 14:12. At the devo, I just read the scriptures. But, below are my reflections:

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Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,

Bread. The anchor of life. The harvest of the earth. The root of satiation. Do not pursue that which does not offer sustenance nor that which takes from you life.

and your labor for that which does not satisfy?

Labor. The cultivation of the life. The movement of the earth. The root of meaning. Do not pursue that which is not creative nor that which robs you of joy.

Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good,

Abstain from the crap. And the poison. Sift through the food offerings of this world. Of this university. Of your classes. But consume that which is good.

and delight yourselves in rich food.

Discover joy in the eating. In the food offerings of this world. Of this university. Of your classes. Sing and dance and shout.

There is a way that seems right to a person, but its end is the way to death.

Do not trust your heart only, or only your brain. Your emotions are not infallible and your reason is corrupted. Seek out life and beauty and truth. In humility and love.