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40 Days of Seeking God K A Devotional L

Montreat College Š

K Introduction L “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” –2 Chronicles 7:14 The Lord has used Montreat College to transform lives for his kingdom for nearly a century. He has equipped thousands of people to go out into the world as salt and light, bringing the hope of the gospel to schools, corporations, community groups, law offices, government positions, small businesses, social service agencies, nonprofit organizations, and ministries around the world. 40 Days of Seeking God is an invitation to students, staff, faculty, alumni, trustees, friends, and supporters of Montreat College to collectively and intentionally seek to orient their hearts toward God. The following pages are filled with testimonies of God’s work in the lives of Montreat College students, alumni, faculty, staff, and supporters. God’s people have been praying for this special place for decades, and God has answered their prayers. This devotional is intended to guide you in your prayers for Montreat College. May you be reminded of God’s faithfulness over the next forty days as you seek his blessing for Montreat College.

K Day 1 L Living Life by Example For almost a century, Montreat College has offered grace and refuge for many. It has been a place of healing within the Montreat Bubble. The fresco of the prodigal returning to the father on our campus is very indicative of the spirit of Montreat College - a place of 2nd and 3rd chances. I came here 16 years ago as a new father. I grew up in a broken home, and didn’t really know what it meant to be a dad, a husband, a professional colleague, or a mentor for others. Through the example of my colleagues, and the gracious kindness of my students, I have learned - at least a little - what it means to be a Christian man, a mentor, a leader, husband, and dad. This place has been a place of growth, maturity, beauty and strength for me. This is an exciting time. God is moving. But we need to seek Him as a community. Throughout this 40-day journey, you will hear powerful stories and testimonials of how God is using Montreat College to transform lives for our students, alumni, staff and faculty. Thank you for joining us as we collectively and intentionally seek to orient our hearts toward God the next fourty days. In Christ, Jim Shores j4i

Dr. Jim Shores Associate Professor of Communication and Environmental Studies


K Day 2 L A Call to Confession In alignment with our Reformed traditions, we are called individually and corporately to: • Examine our hearts • Reflect on our words, deeds, and motives • Repent of our specific transgressions (sins of omission and commission) • Ask God for forgiveness We believe that because we are fallible beings, it is important for us to do these things. It is only when we obediently seek God’s face that we are aligned with Him and His will. You are invited to let Christ work in your flesh and spirit through the spiritual discipline of confession. Here is a model for confession: O God, before whom all hearts lie bare and open, keep me from hiding anything from you that I have done this day in thought or deed. What I have hidden from others let me openly confess to You. Your tender mercy covers my sinful deeds for which I humbly ask Your forgiveness: For every defiling thought; for every word spoken in undue haste and passion; For my lack of self-control; For every stumbling block I have j6i

put in an other’s way; For every lost opportunity to bless or be a blessing; For lack of gratitude. May Your Holy Spirit rule in my heart more and more each day and give me victory over these and other sinful ways. “Christ is more of an artist than the artists, he works in the living spirit and the living flesh, he makes men instead of statues.” –Vincent Van Gogh Grace and Peace, Dr. Gary Van Brocklin

Dr. Gary Van Brocklin Professor of Bible and Religion


K Day 3 L A Call to Confession “A man who confesses his sins in the presence of a brother knows that he is no longer alone with himself; he experiences the presence of God in the reality of the other person. As long as I am by myself in the confession of my sins everything remains in the dark, but in the presence of a brother the sin has to be brought into the light.” –Dietrich Bonhoeffer

As our community is entering this time of prayer, fasting and turning our hearts back to God, it would be a shame to leave out the importance and key factor of confession. This may be a very difficult task because, unfortunately we live in a community who has, overall, failed at this spiritual practice. We have been living our lives, for whatever reason, without the acknowledgement of our sin. In The Celebration of Discipline Richard Foster states, “Confession is difficult because we all too often view the believing community as a fellowship of saints before we see it as a fellowship of sinners...we imagine that we are the only ones who have not stepped onto the high road to heaven. Therefore, we hide ourselves from one another and live in veiled lies and hypocrisy.” Perhaps you, like me, are guilty of this reality. I have lived a life of needing to keep up appearances. I try so hard to put myself in the best light possible and after years of wearing this perfect mask, I begin to fool myself and believe that could never share the bad and ugly side of my heart. Oh, how pride has taken over the very core of my heart! It is a shame that my life has not been living out the reality and the depth of the cross! j8i

You see, when we fail to recognize and admit that we are sinners at the very core of our being (Psalm 51:5, Romans 7), we fail to see the significance of our Savior dying on the cross, cheapening the act done for our salvation and hindering our daily relationship with Jesus Christ. Without understanding the reality of the cross, confession would be only psychologically beneficial. But when viewed in light of the cross, confession “...involves an objective change in our relationship withGod and a subjective change in us. It is a means of healing and transforming the inner spirit” (Richard Foster). As a community and Church, we must understand that confession is both a private matter between the individual and God (1Tim 2:5), and corporate (James 5:16) between our trusted brothers and sisters. Please join me today in reading Daniel 9 as we reflect on confession, remembering this passage is just as applicable to us as it was to our forefathers (1 Cor. 10:11-13). It is my prayer that this portion of scripture speaks to, encourages and even convicts you while we turn our hearts towards Christ. Blessings in Christ, Lyndsey Wall ‘10

Lyndsey Wall ‘10 Director of Service


K Day 4 L A Call to Confession One of the joys of working here at the college is living in community with students, staff and faculty. As interim chaplain of Montreat College, I am surrounded by colleagues such as Dr. Van Brocklin (read his Day 2 – Call to Confession) and Lyndsey Wall (read her passionate plead of confession, Day 3). Their words and actions, like those of many others here, are what make this place we call Montreat a real and genuine community. Next week students, faculty and staff will share their powerful stories and testimonies of how God used Montreat College to transform their lives. As we enter a time of family and community-centered activities today, and looking forward to worship and Sabbath tomorrow, let us invite the Holy Spirit to work in our lives. “I am the LORD All-Powerful. So don’t depend on your own power or strength, but on my Spirit.” (Zec 4.6.) This was the message of the Prophet Zechariah to Zerubbabel, the Governor of Judah. This same message is for us today. We strive in various ways to accomplish what we believe to be good things for God, but all too often we fail to wait for his empowerment. Rather we seek to carry out our responsibilities in our own strength.

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When I worked as a bible translations consultant in Africa many years ago, the translations office was on the third floor of the “Bible House” in Kinshasa. We often had problems getting water to our third floor restroom. The only solution was to go down to the outside tap on the ground floor and fill a bucket – ever so slowly – with the precious liquid that trickled out there. Only then were we able to carry the bucket up the stairs to flush our toilet. One day my assistant came in with what he thought was a brilliant idea. All we needed to do, he said, was to run a garden hose from the first floor tap up to the third floor window and then we would have all the water we needed. He did not understand that it was not the plumbing system that was our problem, but the lack of water pressure. How often we attempt to solve our problems in Christian organizations by altering our systems or restructuring – by changing our “plumbing” – when the real problem is our lack of Holy Spirit power. If Montreat College is to move forward, we need the power of the Holy Spirit above all else. Peace, Dr. John Ellington

Dr. John Ellington Interim Chaplain

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K Day 5 L Inviting the Holy Spirit For many of us fasting is mysterious. Perhaps we skip over it as something from the past. It sounds uncomfortable and its purpose and practice may be uncertain to us. Yet in the Old and New Testaments we have many examples of fasting - both corporate and individual. Esther and her maidens sought God by fasting from food and water for three days with the result that Haman’s plan to destroy the Jewish people was thwarted. Ezra and the returning exiles fasted and sought God for safe passage from Babylon back to Jerusalem and they arrived safely. Jesus considered it vital and included it in his Sermon on the Mount. In Matthew 6:16-17, we read Jesus saying when you fast, not if, so he clearly intended for his followers to practice it. Not only did he teach it, he practiced it while in the wilderness. Why are we instructed to fast? In some ways it is a form of self-humbling, of afflicting our souls. David writes in Psalm 35, “I humbled my soul with fasting.” This doesn’t sound fun. But, as Derek Prince writes in Shaping History through Prayer and Fasting, “Fasting deals with the two great barriers to the Holy Spirit that are erected by man’s carnal nature. These are the stubborn self-will of the soul, and the insistent self-gratifying appetites of the body. Rightly practiced, fasting brings both the soul and the body into subjection to the Holy Spirit.” With these hindrances to the Spirit diminished, we are better equipped to receive the truth about him and ourselves. His will and leading become clearer. Clarity comes in how he wants us to relate to him and to others. j 12 i

So how do we do this? What are some guidelines? In the same way it helps to set a specific time for Scripture reading and prayer, setting aside a regular day for fasting is helpful. Begin slowly, perhaps with skipping only a meal or two. Fasting from food and liquids should be done cautiously and not for extended periods. Accompany your fasting with study of Scripture. Finally, fast expectantly and with faith since fasting is Scriptural and to be a regular part of a Christian’s life. For further reading, I highly recommend Derek Prince’s book mentioned above and the video linked below. (Interestingly, he visited and spoke in Montreat and Black Mountain.) Derek Prince video, “When You Fast, Not If” An especially instructive sermon recorded in Christchurch, New Zealand

Watch the video >> Blessings, David Philips

David Philips Elder at Christ Community Church

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K Day 6 L Encountering God It is a challenge to put briefly what God has done in my life through Montreat College and its people. When I first drove through the Montreat gate, I knew that I wanted to learn, I knew that I wanted friendships, and I knew that I wanted to be open about my faith and be encouraged in it. I had no idea that not only would these desires be met and satisfied, but I would be given blessings and experiences that I didn’t even know I needed. I have been given the precious gift of friends who are on fire for God, who have challenged me in my spiritual and personal life, and who have shown themselves to be loyal and loving even through my weak and dark moments. I have been graced with professors who were patient through my incessant questions, who challenged me to think outside the box both in my field of study and in how faith is incorporated into work. They have believed in me and shown me that I have more gifts and abilities than I knew and have helped me cultivate those talents. I have also encountered God in phenomenal ways, more deeply than I even knew existed and have had my faith radically impacted for good. I honestly went to college wanting a degree and a few friends. j 14 i

As I graduate in December I realize that I gained those things and much more: a stronger worldview, a broad and diverse family who have shown that they truly love me, a deeper understanding of myself, and a passion to use my abilities for the glory of God wherever He may take me. “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”–Ephesians 3:20-21 In Christ, MK Bellamy ‘12

MK Bellamy ‘12 Student Government Representative

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K Day 7 L Motivated to Serve Others “It is never too late to be what you might have been,” said George Eliot. Bill Loelius, Montreat College alum and adjunct professor, has lived out these wise words, and he encourages his students to do the same. With a full-time job and family of four, Bill completed not only one, but two degrees at Montreat College, and now has returned as an exceptional, empathetic professor for adult business students trying to accomplish the same feat. After a twenty-year absence from education, Bill began attending Montreat College’s School of Professional and Adult Studies program in 1994. Shortly after receiving his BBA from Montreat in 1998, he pursued his MBA, which he completed in 2002. Thinking back on his degree acquired from the College, Bill says, “The education delivered by Montreat College prepared me for success in my business affairs and motivated me to serve others.” After receiving his MBA, Bill started a company called Receivables Outsource Solutions, which provided specialized commercial accounts receivable management and recovery services for the Fortune 1000. He is currently the Vice President of Business Development for Cube Six, Inc., which produces an enterprise management and accounting system for service businesses called ServMan Software. He is also a founder and multi-term president of Carolina Crown, a non-profit organization focused on developing excellence in young people through performing arts education. j 16 i

In addition to his full-time responsibilities, Bill has served as an adjunct faculty member at both Montreat College and Strayer University for many years. Now a faculty member, Professor Loelius shares, “In fact, that is why I pursued my MBA in the first place: to give back through teaching.” “Montreat has meant a great deal to me as both a student and an instructor,” says Professor Loelius. “The School of Professional and Adult Studies program has helped crystalize my Christian worldview, provided the knowledge to serve effectively in the business sector, and has since afforded me the opportunity to share my experiences as an instructor for today’s students as they grow in faith and understanding of the important role they play in society.” “Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.”– James 4:13-17 Planning is good and necessary, but only God knows what the future holds for us. James reminds us to never leave God out of our life’s plans; to do so is arrogant and foolish. Instead, we must always be aware of the Lord’s purpose in our life and glorify Him in all our actions. Ask yourself, “How much of a role does God play in my life?”

Bill Loelius ‘02 Business Professor

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K Day 8 L Making an Investment for His Family Anyone who has spent a significant amount of time on Montreat College campus has probably run into Wilbourn Kosgei. Affectionately known as “Willie,� Wilbourn is very tall, has a fun-loving, kind-hearted personality, loves corn on the cob, and is a dependable hard worker. But there is a lot more to him than the basic observations. Willie was recruited by Jose Larios when he was still coaching at Warner Southern College in Florida. Because Willie is from Kenya, it took several years for him to obtain a visa. Once he did, he enrolled at Warner Southern and was there for three semesters. When Larios decided to take the job as Cross Country coach at Montreat College in 2007, Willie followed. Willie went on to qualify for Nationals four times as a Cavalier - a two-time qualifier for Cross Country and a two-time qualifier for Track. This is only one example of his great accomplishments athletically, academically, and personally. Willie is embarking on a marathon of learning as well. Kenya has a high rate of unemployment. Most of the people are farmers. It is difficult to earn a good living without a college education or proper training. Willie decided that the best way he could provide for his wife and three children was to come to the United States and obtain a business degree, which he completed in 2010 at Montreat College. j 18 i

He has now gone a step further, enrolling in the master’s program in Business Administration at the College’s Asheville campus. Since he arrived here six years ago, he has been home to see his family three times. As much as he misses his family, he feels that pursuing his MBA at Montreat is a wise investment and will benefit his family in the long run. Currently, Willie is living at Rockmont, a boys’ camp in Black Mountain, working at the camp during the summer and at Howerton Dining Hall during the school year. He plans to obtain his master’s degree and graduate from Montreat College in December of 2013. Willie looks forward to returning home and reuniting with his family. He hopes to get a good job, and maybe even start his own business, putting his two Montreat College business degrees into practice in his hometown of Eldoret. Willie is now on the final leg of the race he’s been running for the last five years, and he will be met with a great reward at the finish line. “...let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” -Hebrews 12:1b-2a

Wilbourn Kosgei ‘13 MBA Student

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K Day 9 L A Sense of Calling When I joined the faculty thirty-nine years ago, it was with a sense of God’s calling. Although I received an excellent education at three public universities, my professors were never called upon to help me see the intersection between faith and learning; for them, the two were necessarily separate. What drew me to Montreat College was its mission to do exactly that: to help students bring a biblical lens to their academic learning. Integrating faith and learning is a life-long process, not a matter of simplistic biblical proof-texting, or shallow, Sunday school moralisms. At the same time, faith in Christ serves as a guide as my students and I work through intellectual challenges, personal conflicts, and real-world decision making. To neglect faith is to cut learning adrift on a sea of relativism; to neglect learning is to set sail on faith issues buffeted by conflicting winds of pietism and legalism. At Montreat College we have faculty members and students who combine proactively their passion for learning with their passion for Christ. They don’t see the two as mutually exclusive. Instead, we explore how faith can inform learning and how learning can inform faith. I pray that we will continue to do this as we move into our next 100 years as a college. j 20 i

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God-this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.” –Romans 12: 1-2 Don King

Dr. Don W. King Professor of English

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K Day 10 L Pray Without Ceasing “But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another. We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people. Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil. Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass. Brethren, pray for us.”–1 Thessalonians 5: 12-25

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>> Montreat College People of Prayer video: Watch the video >>

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K Day 11

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“You give them something to eat” Jesus spoke these words to a group of disciples with limited resources who faced an overwhelming need. They had been so busy with ministry that they were tired and hungry. They needed a break from the crowds, and so they traveled to a remote place. When they arrived, crowds quickly spoiled their solitude. Jesus showed compassion and began to teach the people once again. Finally, the disciples appealed to Jesus to recognize the practical realities: “Send the people away...” But Jesus answered, “You give them something to eat”–(Mark 6:36-37). We all know the rest of the story. The only one of Jesus’ miracles recorded in all four gospels is the feeding of the five thousand. The famous title of this miracle omits the many women and children who shared in this amazing display of grace. Individuals and ministries can grow tired. The needy people we are meant to serve may seem a burden rather than an opportunity. The need is overwhelming and our resources seem small. However, this attitude leaves Jesus out of the equation. Jesus didn’t just multiply the loaves and fish. Holding the seemingly meager resources in his hands, he gave thanks! Later, when referring to this miracle, John describes it this way, “... the people had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks” (John 6:23). Giving thanks is j 24 i

an essential manifestation of true faith. We are to offer our requests to God in the context of thanksgiving (Phil. 4:6.) Montreat College is facing a dramatic challenge. The need is overwhelming. Our resources seem small. We must not send the people away empty. Jesus commands us to give them something to eat. We need to begin by giving thanks. The miracles will follow! In Christ, Jim Wood

Jim and Susan Wood Pastor Jim Wood is the founder and former Executive Director of Wears Valley Ranch located in Sevierville,Tennessee.

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K Day 13 L Completly Broken Five years ago I dropped out of college - in part because I had become increasingly frustrated with trying to fit the ideas of my Christian upbringing with my (by then) very secular worldview and lifestyle. Like that puzzle piece that you think must go in a particular spot but won’t fit even when you hammer it with your fist, I had tried and failed to fit God into my world. Foolishly, my thoughts, words, and deeds became increasingly selfish. I awoke several years later to the realization that I was a drug addict, a liar, and an adulterer. I felt broken, helpless, and alone. Graciously, the Holy Spirit alerted me to the fact that I was most certainly not alone, but a long and difficult journey awaited me. It was an incredibly difficult process giving God the control I thought I had. I lived out of my car for a while, usually crying myself to sleep, too exhausted to stay awake. I must have cried out to the Father a thousand times, “Help me! Fix me! Just tell me what to do!” (See Psalm 51). It is only when we become completely broken and emptied of ourselves that we realize we literally cannot do anything. We readily acknowledge that God created us. If we would not exist without him, why do think we can do anything apart from him? In 2 Corinthians 3, the Apostle Paul reminds us that “our competence comes from God.” j 26 i

It is the realization of utter need that I awaken to every morning — “Father, I need your grace today.” I now enjoy a more beautiful and grace-filled marriage and life than I had ever imagined for myself. Hallelujah! He is a God of restoration. I cannot help but draw some parallels between my own ongoing restoration and that of Montreat. Our Father has allowed each of us to be here now and I thank him for the opportunity to be a part of this community. “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me is not without effect.” –1 Corinthians 15:10 In his grace, Ben Lillard

Tiffany and Ben Lillard Ben is a Montreat College student Human services major.

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K Day 14 L A Life of Service Montreat was a household word in the home in Hopewell, Virginia, where Elinor Sue Burney grew up. Her father’s brother, who was a Presbyterian minister, assured Sue’s father that Montreat College would be a great place for her. Sue matriculated in the fall of 1943. When the college transitioned from a two-year to a four-year program in 1945, Sue begged her parents to allow her to finish her college education at Montreat, rather than transfer to a college in Virginia. Sue was especially proud to be able to tell her mother for the first time in her academic career that she was in the top 10 in her class her last two years. Of course, that first graduating class of four-year students had only ten! If not the top student academically, she certainly was very active in college life. The 1945 SunDial, the college annual, says that she was secretary of the Athletic Board, president of the Charm Club, played varsity soccer, basketball, tennis, and volleyball and was in the Hiking Club, Kappa Pi Beta, the choir, and the senior class representative to the May Court. Sue was asked to return after her graduation in 1947 to teach physical education to the students at Montreat High School, which for many years served as the training ground for aspiring teachers at Montreat College. Thinking that God might be calling her to be a missionary, Sue left Montreat at the end of that year to enter Columbia Bible College for a year. Sue received a graduate degree in counseling at the University of Virginia.

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This advanced degree led to twenty-one years as a counselor in middle school helping young people with their problems at a critical age. In 1987, Sue retired from teaching in the public schools, but certainly not from life. Sue went on to serve as academic counselor to military personnel who were pursuing a college education and as a tutor for terminally ill students in their homes. She loved this and recalls how brave the students were and how much they taught her about life. Sue was the 2006 recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Service Award. She passed away the following year. For Sue life was serving, and serving was life. Dr. Anderson, first president of Montreat College, writes in his history of Montreat, “From the beginning the school majored in Christian character. Special care was given to the scholastic education but while it provided the best in the field, the supreme purpose for the existence of the College was to produce the highest type of Christian womanhood.” He would be pleased to know how beautifully his vision was fulfilled in the life of Elinor Sue Burney.

Elinor Sue Burney ‘47

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K Day 15 L A Bigger World Andrew Bauman spent four years at Montreat College studying “a bigger world,” and then he went out and started trying to make part of it better. A Bible and Religion major with an emphasis in Worldviews, Bauman (‘05) and his wife Christy were led by God to seek “a big narrative to live by and live for,” and subsequently felt God’s calling to aid and renew his people in the poverty-stricken country of Malawi, Africa. Thus, around the beginning of 2010, the Baumans started a non-profit called Collective Hope with their extra wedding money. Rather than using their funds for a house down payment, they purchased an eleven-acre plot of land outside of Lilongwe, Malawi, in the district of Kaduwa. After interviewing community members in Lilongwe about their most desperate needs, the Baumans proceeded to plant crops, buy farm animals for a farm co-op with the local villages, dig a well for farm irrigation and drinking water, and provide education for six orphaned children. Currently, the couple is further working to launch medical clinics offering pediatric care and sustainable business projects such as bee keeping. Collective Hope’s goal is to empower local villages through sustainable farming, education, economic development, and medical care. The couple currently lives in Seattle, Washington, in an intentional community located in an economically depressed neighborhood. When asked how Montreat College prepared him for the world, Andrew answered, “My time at Montreat was an intricate part of my development of a global ministry and for deepening my heart towards the poor and broken of this world.”

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Not only is God renewing the lives of many Malawians through Collective Hope, he is changing Andrew and Christy Bauman as well. Andrew said, “When we come to the realization of our own depravity, true renewal and redemption sneak in.” “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’–Matthew 25:34-40

Andrew Bauman ‘05

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K Day 16 L The Lord Led Me to Montreat Montreat College has a reputation for being a refuge to those who are lost, confused, or searching for something much bigger than themselves. My college journey fits into that image. In a sense, I wanted to run away from home, but I didn’t know to where I was running. I just knew I needed to get away in order for me to truly serve God. What I didn’t know was that I wasn’t ready yet to serve him according to my preconceived views. So the Lord led me to Montreat. I have been at Montreat almost six years now, five of those I spent as a student - and each new person I encountered was used by God for my training, while he used me to encourage them along their journeys, too. Sometimes I succeeded with flying colors, and other times I fell flat on my face. But God has always been there. I’ve had my joys, frustrations, celebrations and disappointments all among Montreatians and inside Montreat. Did God abandon me in any of those times? Never, and he certainly isn’t leaving us anytime soon. Whatever happens: whatever struggle, bitterness, disaster or ‘bad news’ confronts Montreat and our family, just remember Isaiah 41:13. “For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says, ‘Do not fear; I will help you.”

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Montreat still is and forever will be a refuge for those seeking healing. God gave me my peace, and he is using me to guide others here to find theirs through my work in Montreat Admissions. Stay strong and seek him. Many blessings, Kathy Spallinger Claud ‘12

Kathy Spallinger ‘12 Montreat College Admissions Counselor

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K Day 17 L The Place I Had Prepared God used Montreat College alumnus Heidi Osler to change my life. While at the University of Idaho, I was in a Bible study with Heidi. This was during a time when my husband and I felt a call to move east, and I had been applying for faculty positions in the east. One day, Heidi told me about an opening in the OE department (one day before the application cycle closed). I faxed my information that included my philosophy of Christian Higher Education (which God helped me write, since I had only been a believer for a short time and had never set foot on a Christian college campus). My application arrived on the exact day the committee was making final decisions on who to bring to campus for an interview. Not only did I get the interview, but I also had the chance to visit Montreat on a beautiful, sunny spring day. I felt God’s presence from the time I started talking with Ben Fortson and Brad Daniel until the time that my family moved across the country in the summer of 1996. God handled so many miracles as we prepared to move and head East with two young boys (ages 1 ½ and 4). As we were travelling through the mountains of Western North Carolina, these were the words that we heard on WMIT: See I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and bring you to the place I have prepared. –Exodus 23:20

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Oh, what an awesome place he prepared! God continues to work through this place and people. I am continually ministered to and allowed to see God’s hand in ALL that we do. He has sustained my family and me through many difficult times. I am confident he has everything good in store for this college. Blessings, Dottie

Dr. Dottie Shuman Professor of Outdoor and Environmental Education

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Don’t Be Anxious Sitting on the porch at the rectory in this fall weather is sublime. With pipe in hand, enjoying the smoky essence of Virginian Lone Jack tobacco, I watched as a leaf detached from one of the towering oaks over the rectory. My mind began to race in many directions: “I’m the only one who will ever see this leaf drop, its life is over, what a ride that must be, oh yeah, God sees it and the cycles of life.” So, what can we learn from one leaf falling from a hundred feet? There must be several ideas exploding in your mind. I think we can learn much from a leaf. A leaf has stages of life, just as we do. A leaf experiences growth and stress, sun and drought, wind and frost. We too experience many stresses in our life. Knowing that this is the way things are, how can St. Paul say to us: “Have no anxiety?” Remember, Paul writes Philippians from jail! This is the context of his statement. Paul tells us to rejoice in the Lord always. He then emphasizes this point again by saying rejoice. He says this knowing that being in Christ gives us forbearance. In other words, we’re to have self-control in the world in which we live. He reminds us that the Lord is close to us. He sees everything and knows everything. Anxiety is to take a back seat to the closeness of the Lord. Don’t confuse concern with anxiety! We are to have concerns, but anxiety is a completely different animal. Pay close attention: Paul says we are to have no anxiety; he doesn’t leave us j 36 i

aimlessly drifting, but rather, offers spiritual counseling and guidance. He encourages us to activate our spiritual life. He says have no anxiety, but “in everything by prayer and supplication...” Paul is reminding us to activate and cultivate our spiritual disciplines: We are to be a praying people while facing our cycles of life. What assurance do we have? St. Luke also reminds us: “Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.” – The Reverend Thomas W. Allen ‘97 The fruit of SILENCE is Prayer The fruit of PRAYER is Faith The fruit of FAITH is Love The fruit of LOVE is Service The fruit of SERVICE is Peace. - Mother Teresa

Rev. Thomas W. Allen ‘97

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K Day 20 L Foundations Recently, our worship arts students and faculty led a chapel in which they celebrated heroes and saints of the Christian faith. In this celebration, they led our community through a historic prayer called “The 4th Century Te Deum.” We want to remember our past and celebrate God’s faithfulness in our lives. In this process, we offer the following prayer followed by a video by our own Sue Diehl about our founder, President Anderson. The 4th Century Te Deum You are God: we praise You You are the Lord: we acclaim You; You are the eternal Father You are the eternal Father All creation worships You To You all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherabim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, Heaven and earth are full of your glory. The glorious company of apostles praises You. The noble fellowship of prophets praises You. The white-robed army of martyrs praises You. Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims You:

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Father, of majesty unbounded, Your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, And the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide. You, Christ, are the King of glory, Eternal Son of the Father. When You became a man to set us free You did not disdain the virgin’s womb. You overcame death, And opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. We believe that You will come, and be our judge. Come then, Lord, sustain Your people, Bought with the price of Your own blood, And bring us with Your saints to everlasting glory. Amen. The following video evidences God’s faithfulness through the work of our founder, President Anderson: Watch the video >> Daniel Bennett, PhD Associate Dean of Students

>> Dr. Robert C. Anderson Founder of Montreat

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K Day 21 L With a Grateful Heart Thank you for being a part of this incredible journey of faith–40 Days of Seeking God through prayer, fasting, and reflection. God is not only working in and through Montreat College during this time, but He is working in each of our hearts, renewing and sustaining us in our relationships with Him. We hope you enjoy this lighthearted Watch the video >> which captures the sincere (and fun) side of our Montreat campus students –have a great Thanksgiving! In addition are some Scripture passages. We want to share with you a song and a few verses to help guide our hearts and minds as we celebrate God’s blessings this Thanksgiving. We encourage you to read these aloud and meditate on the words in worship to our Creator. “Give Thanks” Give thanks with a grateful heart Give thanks unto the Holy One Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son Give thanks with a grateful heart Give thanks unto the Holy One Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son And now let the weak say, “I am strong” Let the poor say, “I am rich Because of what the Lord has done for us” j 40 i

And now let the weak say, “I am strong” Let the poor say, “I am rich Because of what the Lord has done for us” Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”–Hebrews 12:28-29 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.–Colossians 3:15 I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving. –Psalm 69:30 Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.– 1 Thessalonians 5:18 Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done.–1 Chronicles 16:8 Blessings in Christ, our Savior and Lord! Jared Nielsen ‘12

Jared Nielsen ‘12 Alumni Coordinator

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K Day 22 L Leaving a Legacy Recently, the Student Government Association (SGA) led a special worship service in Gaither Chapel entitled Montreat Unite on a Sunday evening. The time of worship was spirit-led and powerful. Committed Christian students, faculty, administration, and members of our community gathered together in worship of our Lord. One of the songs played that night was the popular song by Matt Redman entitled “10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord).” The lyrics to this song are listed below. More importantly, the words of this song help to capture the heart of one of the most important women in Montreat College’s history. During the founding of Montreat as an educational community, it was Sadie Gaither Anderson (the wife of Dr. Robert C. Anderson) who set the tone, set the vision, ensured that faculty would be paid, exhibited gracious hospitality, served as a contributing member to the development of community, and the list goes on. Her epithet reads: “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life-Revelation 2:10.” We thank God for the faithfulness of this woman and the legacy that she has given all of us who are a part of the Montreat family. The video below tells more about her life and her dedication to Christian education. We give special thanks to Sue Diehl in the preparation of this video: Watch the video >>

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“10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)” by Matt Redman Bless the Lord, O my soul O my soul Worship His holy name Sing like never before O my soul I’ll worship Your holy name The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning It’s time to sing Your song again Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me Let me be singing when the evening comes Bless the Lord, O my soul O my soul Worship His holy name Sing like never before O my soul I’ll worship Your holy name

Bless the Lord, O my soul O my soul Worship His holy name Sing like never before O my soul I’ll worship Your holy name And on that day when my strength is failing The end draws near and my time has come Still my soul will sing Your praise unending Ten thousand years and then forevermore Bless the Lord, O my soul O my soul Worship His holy name Sing like never before O my soul I’ll worship Your holy name

You’re rich in love, and You’re slow to anger Your name is great, and Your heart is kind For all Your goodness I will keep on singing Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

Jesus, I’ll worship Your holy name Lord, I’ll worship Your holy name Sing like never before O my soul I’ll worship Your holy name Jesus, I’ll worship Your holy name I’ll worship Your holy name

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K Day 23 L Foundations As we continue to reflect on the history of Montreat College and God’s blessings over 97 years, we would like to share a video on Miss Elizabeth Wilson. Miss Wilson served Montreat College for 25 years. She served as dean of students, professor of Bible, acting chaplain, professor emeritus, “House Mother” and member of the Board of Trustees. She is best remembered for her dedicated service, loyalty, sacrificial financial aid, and never-failing hope in the future of Montreat College. She was someone who remembered everyone’s name and took time to stop, listen, encourage, and offer godly counsel. When she saw a student with financial need, she would anonymously give money toward their tuition. She was loved and admired by all who knew her. To honor Miss Wilson and express gratitude to her, the Elizabeth Wilson Scholarship was established in 1975 by the Alumni Association. Today, thanks to the generosity of Miss Wilson and other donors, the Wilson Scholarship provides an opportunity for Montreat College students to gain professional experience and valuable career skills while being mentored and developed as leaders. You can watch the video below (see link) to learn more about the Miss Wilson and the impact of the Wilson Scholarship. Watch the video >> j 44 i

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.� –Psalm 100:4-5

Miss Elizabeth Wilson

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K Day 24 L Living Life with Joy Recently, we had the privilege of sitting down with World War II Survivor and Montreat legend Mr. Andy Andrews, to talk about his fondest memories with Montreat College. When Andy and Helen Andrews arrived in Montreat in January of 1965 Andy served with the Montreat Conference Center, and Helen began working in the Montreat College bookstore. Larry Wilson, dean of students, noticed that students were spending lots of time with Helen in the bookstore; he invited her to serve as the director of student activities. Andy remembers: “The students loved Helen. Anytime there was a holiday, she always threw a party. She’d also stay with the students until everything was cleaned up. Helen also became the campus scheduler. She was very involved in the college for 26 years.” Andy also shared, “We started the Conservation Club around 1967 by making an announcement at Chapel. The purpose was to plant trees, stock fish, clean Flat Creek, and promote stewardship of our environment. We even stocked turkeys donated by the North Carolina Wildlife Federation. The Club existed for about 10 years.” The Conservation Club under Andy’s leadership was one of the most popular clubs in the history of the college. The club facilitated ‘Earth Day’ which was today’s equivalent of Community Day. According to Andy, “the key distinctives of Montreat College are the j 46 i

quality of students, the Christian commitment of the faculty and staff, and the beautiful location of the North Carolina mountains.” “Montreat College affords the opportunity for students to closely interact not only with the faculty and staff, but also with outside guests and to learn from their experiences. It’s important to share the stories of older people with the younger generation-to expose students to people who have wisdom by experience. Helen and I would also have sunrise services to have devotionals and watch the sun rise with students. The physical location with lots of hiking allows students to enjoy God’s creation, and the many talents (musical, athletic, theatre performance, etc.) of the students adds to the Montreat experience.” Andrews fondly recalls one student, Pete Post, who was the leader of the Conservation Club. Upon graduating, “Pete’s testimony was striking because he connected the quality of teachers, the Christian environment, and the location of the mountains with his life-changing experience. This transformational experience was and is at the heart of Montreat College.” No matter what challenges came their way, the Andrews’ faith never wavered as they applied their life verse Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” When there were big programs that Helen was involved in, Helen would say “Andrew, I don’t know if I can get through all of this,” and Andy would say “Oh, yes you can.”(Philippians 4:13) “God has always been good to us, and we are thankful for Montreat College.” –Andy Andrews

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A Lesson from the Book of Numbers The story recorded in Numbers 11 is a story of discouragement and weak faith. The Israelites were grumbling about their troubles. Moses, as their leader, had to hear all the complaints and intervene with God for them. The people wanted meat to eat, just like they used to have when they were in Egypt. Moses listened to them and prayed to God, “What have I done to deserve this? You’ve made me responsible for all these people, but they’re not my children...(vss 11-12 CEV). Yet the people kept complaining: “we’re starving out here, and the only food we have is this manna” (CEV). They wanted meat. Finally the Lord promised to send them meat. But his promise was met with unbelief. Moses responded: “At least six hundred thousand grown men are here with me. How can you say there will be enough meat to feed them and their families for a whole month? Even if we butchered all of our sheep and cattle, or caught every fish in the sea, we wouldn’t have enough to feed them.” (vss 21-22 CEV). The answer of the Lord in verse 23 has been translated in a variety of ways. More literal renderings of the Hebrew idiom say something like: “The Lord answered to Moses, ‘Is the Lord’s arm too short? You will now see whether or not what I say will come true for you.’” (NIV). But it is instructive to consider some other translations of the key verse:

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“Has my arm lost its power?” (NLT) “Is there a limit to my power?” (GNT) “So, do you think I can’t take care of you?” (Message) “I can do anything!” (CEV) Bible readers learn in verses 31-32 that God did provide as he had promised. He sent a strong wind that blew quails in from the sea to the point that the Israelite camp was covered with birds, piled high for miles in every direction. Montreat College may be in need and we may be complaining to the Lord, but we need to remember that God’s “arm is not short,” his power is not restricted by our limited view of what he can do. So let us keep praying and see what God’s wind might blow in for us. Blessings, Dr. John Ellington

Dr. John Ellington Interim Chaplain

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K Day 27 L Prepared Montreat College has profoundly shaped the person I am today. God has used this place, the professors and staff, and especially my community of friends to help me grow in my faith. This place just has something unique about it that makes me feel like I’m at home. Even after almost four years as a student here, the level of genuine care my professors have toward my peers and me just blows me away. It is not uncommon for me to arrive to class in the morning and have one of my professors ask how they can pray for us that week. In a little over four short weeks, I will be graduating and heading out onto the next leg of my journey. I can say without any hesitation that Montreat has prepared me not only academically for my future, but spiritually; it has built me up in my faith to confidently proclaim Christ wherever I find myself going from here. I love Montreat so much not only for what it has meant in my life personally, but also for what I know it will mean for countless other students who will be fortunate enough to find themselves embarking upon their collegiate journey here. In Christ, Ellie Smith ‘12

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“We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done. 6 so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. 7 Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.” –Psalm 78:4, 6-7

Ellie Smith ‘12 Human Services major

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K Day 28 L Giving Hope This past October, the Montreat volleyball team joined up with me to raise money for breast cancer patients in Asheville. I am the director of The Hope Chest, a local organization that provides limited financial assistance for women diagnosed with breast or gynecologic cancer and who are experiencing economic difficulties due to treatment cost. The Hope Chest provides resources for women and their families, and supports health and wellness education and cancer prevention programs. As director of The Hope Chest and as someone with a heart for those suffering from cancer, I am very appreciative of the fundraiser event at Montreat College. The Hope Chest exists to provide a range of assistance to women in WNC diagnosed with breast or a gynecologic cancer and funds raised aid in accomplishing our mission. The organization is part of a larger network of cancer-related groups that provide resources for people dealing with cancer. It was at Montreat that I was equipped to serve at this life-changing organization. I earned my associate’s degree (‘99), bachelor’s degree (‘03) and master’s degree (‘06) through Montreat College’s School of Professional and Adult Studies. Also, I am humbled that I was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Service Award in 2011. The education I received in the Montreat College School of Professional and Adult Studies strengthened my skill set that I acquired from earlier

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academic and life experiences. The requirements and demands of course studies taught me how to express my thoughts well and effectively communicate ideas. These communication skills, along with my MBA degree, have served me well in carrying out my executive director responsibilities. I talk with many people on multiple levels to promote female cancer awareness, convey patients’ need for assistance, and solicit financial support. I also Learned business acuity aids in managing practical, fiscal, and legal non-profit responsibilities. The time I spent in the classroom at Montreat College had a lasting impact on me. Spiritually, I was thankful that class began with prayer (especially on test days). Learning the different belief systems challenged students to think about what they believed personally and whether or not that belief was arrived at through cultural and environmental exposure. I gleaned insight into the convictions and opinions of friends and family from what was taught. My faith was confirmed through the Biblical approach to teaching and learning. You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. –Galatians 5:13 -Kathy Haney ‘06

Kathy Haney ‘06 Director of Hope Chest for Women

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K Day 29 L Redefined I come from a home of divorces, lies, secrets, addictions, and a family of brokenness. Growing up, I was great at stuffing my problems and emotions. I was better at being the funny one who had it all together, so I did that and did it well. I played sports, went to church on Wednesday and Sunday, hung with the “cool” kids, and did the “popular” thing. As I got older, I realized the effect my family was having on me; I got good at lying, manipulating, and getting attention to feel accepted, loved, and popular. However, I was so confused -- I was confused about who I was, so I tried to cling to and be anything to everyone. I came to Montreat to escape my past and finally wanted the chance to be whoever I wanted to be in a place that no one knew who I was or where I came from. I thought that in coming to a Christian college, I needed to have it all together, know all the Bible answers, and look a certain way. I tried to “act the part” for the first couple weeks, until one Sunday when I went to Fellowship of Christian Athletes and they were talking about how it’s important to confess your sins to others. What? I came 16 hours to get away from my home life. I was not about to tell these “churchy” people about my sin. Then I sat down and heard these people confess their sins, and I realized that they’re human too. I realized the people here are just as broken as I am. Through that one night here at Montreat, the Lord started a work in me that continues to this day.

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I left Montreat after four months. I ran from this place because I started believing the lies again that I wasn’t good enough and that my sin was too much. Yet, two and a half years later, I was brought back to Montreat College. I live with five girls who remind me of the gospel daily with the way they each love and serve me and others. I am dating a guy who the Lord uses to show me His redeeming love and grace, and I have my best friend back in my life to remind me of God’s faithfulness. I play for the women’s soccer team that won the conference tournament for the first time ever and is led by a coach who loves the Lord. I get to go to classes where the teachers lead me in prayer before they start their classes. I know I take it for granted some days, but this school has completely redefined the way I see myself and others. I praise God for bringing me here, taking me away, and then bringing me back two years later. Ashley Edwards 1But now, this is what the Lord sayshe who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. 2When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. 3For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. –Isaiah 43:1-3

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Ashley Edwards and Noah Hall

K Day 31 L What does Montreat mean to you? Watch this video and hear the meaning of Montreat College for many who have passed through the Gate. Write to us, what does Montreat mean to you? Watch the video >>

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What to Do When You Face a Crisis During the course of our lives we will experience times of crisis. Sometimes the crisis happens to us in our personal private lives and sometimes it happens to us as a part of a group or an organization. One thing is certain about life, no one is exempt from crisis and no one gets a pass. A crisis is defined as “a situation or period in which things are very uncertain, difficult, or painful, especially a time when action must be taken to avoid complete disaster or breakdown.” Sound familiar? I’m sure it does if you have advanced in life past your childhood years and unfortunately for some even during childhood. Since crisis is inevitable we should ask ourselves how we should handle challenging times in our life or the life of an organization we belong to. For us as Christians, God has revealed himself in Scripture as the one who has the ability to help us overcome any trial or test, and when God brings us victory, he is also glorified and exalted amongst all mankind thus setting the stage for revival to take place. We have a wonderful promise in God’s Word that states: “No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what

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others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.”–1 Corinthians 10:13 God assures us that if we put our confidence and trust in him, He will always provide an escape route and victory in the trials we face. When the Nation of Israel faced destruction at the hands of surrounding nations during the reign of King Jehoshaphat, the king models one of the ways that we can also handle crisis. Let’s look at what Jehoshaphat did after hearing that off in the distance “a great multitude” was coming to fight against him (2 Chronicles 20). Jehoshaphat was obviously ill prepared for this battle for he did not feel he had the man power to match their strength; otherwise he would not have been so afraid. Jehoshaphat took the following steps to deal with this crisis: 1. He used his fear as an indicator that he needed to seek God. Fear did not paralyze him it led him to prepare for the challenge at hand by calling on the Lord. 2. Because of it being a crisis that would affect the whole nation of Israel, he called everyone to a fast. Corporate crisis demands corporate participation. 3. He reminded himself of who God is by reminding God of who he (God) is. Confessing God’s attributes builds up our faith to believe that “nothing is too hard for God.” 4.He acknowledged his own inadequacy and limitation to handle the crisis in his own strength.

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5. He acknowledged that his strength came from God; he was now “strong in the Lord.” 6. He heeded God’s command to “not be afraid.” When we give the battle over to the Lord, he is now solely responsible; there is no need for us to worry or to be fearful any longer. 7. He followed God’s instruction no matter how seemingly ridiculous they may have seemed. 8. Lastly, he instructed the nation the praise God at the beginning, during, and after the trial. God is still the same and is well able to deliver his people today as he did for the nation of Israel then. Although this does not exhaust all the many ways God delivered and delivers us from crisis, I believe you will find several of these principles in every story of God’s victorious intervention in the affairs of his people. - Pastor George K. Logan

George Logan, Pastor New Day Christian Church Montreat College Trustee

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K Day 34 L Being Drawn I often find myself looking back to how I ended up at Montreat College. The conclusion I have come to is that it had absolutely nothing to do with me. God led me here through a series of events, conversations, and decision making that would have never happened if left to my own devices, and I am extremely thankful for that. Montreat is the place where I have encountered first-hand the intersection of faith and education, and it has radically shaped the way I view the world. My professors have been excellent role models and examples of what Christians should look like in their respective fields and I have been greatly encouraged and mentored by so many people at this institution. I have also been blessed by many student led initiatives such as Montreat Unite Worship Night and the chapel band. Even just the general sense of community found in the residence life on campus has impacted me. God draws people to this place and blesses them with community, and I consider myself incredibly blessed to have been a part of that in my time here. “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.� –Romans 8:14 In Christ, Michael

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Michael Weller ‘13 Chapel Worship Leader

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K Day 35 L Found in the Blue Ridge Mountains Have you ever felt so good that you just wished it could last forever? I definitely had that kind of feeling when I first stepped on Montreat College campus. Who knew that five years later I would be working in the Montreat College Admissions Office as a proud alumnus and representing an exceptional college every day? Montreat became God’s tool of transformation for me. He introduced me to a place where I felt safe and loved. He made it evident that a door would always open if I just kept knocking. He proved me wrong when I thought I was in control. And he taught me how to persevere even with a seed of faith. I was a transfer student from Russia. I had no family in the U.S. when I came to pursue an international business degree at Montreat. As a matter of fact, I was not a Christ-follower. I always thought I was in control and I could be whatever I planned to be. Of course, we all know how that goes, right? God masterfully used all my misconceptions and turned them to the valuable lessons. When I was denied in my student visa, I turned to him. I read the Word and learned to pray. He brought me back to Montreat six months later. I was not in control any longer and loved it! Montreat always calls my name and I think it is the Lord Jesus Christ who openly seeks my presence here. I know that through his love I can better share my story, his story and the love for an amazing, blessed j 62 i

place like Montreat. I was inspired to quit smoking and joined Highland Christian Church. God started blessing me in so many different ways. Of course, I still had my struggles and went through multiple faith trials, but he was always there. In fact, Montreat College was always there, too. I will never forget the multiple emails of support I received while being stuck in Russia this summer. The sense of support and unity never left me. I am always embraced by the Montreat community, students, co-workers, and friends no matter what hardships I may be going through. I once was lost and I was again found in the midst of the Blue Ridge Mountains on the other side of the ocean in a small but powerful place like Montreat College. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”–Proverbs 3:5 Blessings, Elena

Elena Pashina ‘10 Admissions Specialist

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K Day 36 L Relationships My experience at Montreat College has been largely defined by the relationships I have the developed and the people I have encountered in our community. Fellow students, professors, staff, and members of my church community greatly influenced my growth as a follower of Christ, a student, and a leader. I have also had the opportunity to see tremendous growth in the lives of others. I have seen students come to Montreat completely against God and Christianity, but God softens their hearts and draws them to Himself during their time here. We are in a nation and culture that seems to try to take God out of everything. Yet at Montreat, the belief that all truth is God’s truth prevails. The students who come to Montreat have a real opportunity to experience a biblical worldview that is not only taught, but lived. I saw students’ lives impacted not only by their time in the classroom, but in other campus activities such as dorm social gatherings, student government, student clubs, and athletic teams. In our SPAS program, I met students who grew by learning how to master being a full-time student while working and providing for their families. As a student, I often encountered challenges trying to keep up with classes, work, running, relationships, and my spiritual life, but God used all of this to prepare me for His plans for my life. I am so grateful for Montreat College and the people God has put into my life to mentor me, challenge me, and build me up in my walk with Christ. j 64 i

One of my favorite Scripture passages is from Jeremiah. Many people are familiar with verse 11 which says “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” However, it is important to remember that this is God’s Word to nation in exile--a scattered people. As a community we have struggles and God’s plans are not always what we want, but his plans are always good. Listen to how the passage in Jeremiah continues: Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” –Jeremiah 29:12-14 Blessings in Christ, Jared

Jared Nielsen ‘12 Alumni Coordinator

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K Day 37 L God Used This School to Shape Me When I arrived at Montreat College in January of 1993, I was in desperate need of a community where I would be challenged and encouraged in my faith, my academic endeavors, my friendships, and all that life involved. My “Montreat story” involves God’s redemptive plan to save my life. One year prior to arriving at Montreat, I was leading a life of destruction. I was a student at a large state university, my priorities at the time did not include nurturing my faith in the living God, and my lifestyle was the furthest from anything acceptable in most communities. I was looking for adventure in all the wrong places (concert tours, the immediate high provided by drugs and alcohol, the thrill of getting away with illegal behavior). After failing out of school, being arrested for drug possession, and almost losing my life, I found myself on my knees seeking the God who had been so integral in my daily life before high school. In the months that followed, I recommitted my life to Christ and went on an Outward Bound course in Utah. During those 21 days in the wilderness, I came to realize that maybe I could use my love for adventure and wilderness to help other adolescents form a lasting relationship with a God who loves them. I returned from that program and called my parents to share the great news and let them know I would be staying in Colorado to explore this newfound field called “Outdoor Recreation”. j 66 i

My parents said someone had given them a flier for exactly this kind of program at a small school called Montreat-Anderson College. I quickly decided to return home, visit Montreat, and agree that I would give it a semester to see if this could be a fit. Little did I know that shortly after I arrived, I would have the opportunity to develop lifelong friendships with faculty and students, receive Christian mentoring and get to explore this idea of using the outdoor classroom as a tool for personal and group growth. Montreat College provided the context for me to mature as a Christian young man passionate about his profession and searching for answers about the future and my role in it. I am eternally grateful to the faculty and staff who gave me a second chance, and I have returned to teach at Montreat in large part because of what they invested in me and how God used this school to shape me. -Andrew Bobilya ‘97 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” –Jeremiah 29:11

Dr. Andrew J. Bobilya ‘97 Co-Chair and Associate Professor of Outdoor Education

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K Day 38 L Service-Driven It is part of the mission of Montreat College to be “Service-driven.” Service is an integral part of the culture within our community. In the book of Isaiah, God rebukes His people, Israel, because their prayers and fasting were self-centered and often at the expense of others. He commanded them through the prophet Isaiah: ”Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter- when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.” –Isaiah 58:6-9 In the next page is a video from our Community Day this fall. However, Community Day is simply one of many organized or organic service events our community is involved in. The ministry LOT (Least of These Ministries) was founded by a Montreat alum and serves the homeless in downtown Asheville. Today, it is still managed by students and staff at Montreat. j 68 i

Watch the video >> As we pray, may we be a people who loose the chains of injustice and provide the poor with shelter! The 40 Days Team


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K Day 39 L Waiting with Hope As we near the end of the 40-day prayer initiative with Montreat College, we are also entering the spiritual season of Advent. In both of these spiritual endeavors, we find ourselves waiting. The Psalmist in Psalm 90 encourages us to seek God’s wisdom and not our own regardless of our circumstances: “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Relent, O Lord! How long will it be? Satisfy our morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days” (Psalm 90:12-14). During this 40-day prayer initiative, friends, family, and colleagues around the country have joined in prayer for the future of Montreat College-that our collective heart would be reoriented towards our the heart of God. During this time, we received a word of encouragement from our colleagues at Vanguard University in Southern California. They had hit rock bottom in their accreditation process. In the remarkable turnaround experienced by this fellow CCCU institution, they were reminded of the term coined by J.R.R. Tolkien: “Eucatrastrophe”. ”Eucatrastrophe” is the idea of hope in the midst of catastrophe. Tolkien demonstrates this concept with Sam in his novel The Two Towers: “’What am I to do then?’ he cried again, and now he seemed plainly to know the hard answer: see it through.”During this advent j 70 i

season of waiting amidst our numerous personal and communal circumstances, may we set our hope on the true Hope that we have God sending his son Jesus to be with us and as the Psalmist declares, “May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us-yes, establish the work of our hands� (Psalm 90:17). Thank you for joining us on this journey! Daniel Bennett, PhD Associate Dean of Students

Daniel Bennett, PhD Associate Dean of Students

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K Day 40 L Staying Thirsty Our Christmas tree is still just a tree. Per our Team Crumpler tradition, we picked it out days ago. It’s the fullest tree we’ve chosen in years. But, it doesn’t have lights. Still isn’t topped by our star. My now teenagers have not placed their favorite ornaments on the branches. But still, that bare tree is a reminder that we are counting the days until we celebrate the incarnation - the greatest moment in history, in redemption, in your life and my life, in God’s pursuing love story. But, there is another remarkable thing about this year’s tree. It’s the thirstiest tree I’ve ever seen. When you pick your Christmas tree off a lot, it’s a little like rolling the dice. Was it really “fresh-cut”? Or, had the tree been on the lot for days? The true test came after it was all set up in your living room. You water it. And, then you wait. This year, we have watered and watered and watered our tree. Every day it drinks all of the water that we put into the stand. It is thirsty. In this season of praying for Montreat, are we thirsty? Do we really long for change in our lives? Do we really desire to see God do more than we can ask or imagine? Do we keep going to him? Do we keep reading his Word? Are we single-minded in our devotion to the Lord? Do we obey him no matter what? As we come to the end of our time devoted to seeking God’s best for Montreat, find space and grace in your life to live your “thirst” for him. Drink in these texts: j 72 i

“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.–Psalm 42:1-2 You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. –Psalm 63:1-3 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”–John 4:13-14 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. –John 6:35-36 The Montreat campus is full of trees--everywhere you look. Many of you have a tree up in your house. My prayer is that when you see these trees you would be reminded how thirsty you are for all God has in store for you and all He has in store for Montreat. –Dr. Marnie Crumpler

Dr. Marnie Crumpler is a trustee at Montreat College. She and her husband are pastors at Peachtree Presbyterian Church in Atlanta and have two teenagers, John and Anna.

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40 Days of Seeking God Devotional