Sunday, March 30, 2014

Alumni Sports Night

SAMSUNG            Last night at PIU was the annual alumni sports night. Our alumni were invited to the campus to join with the students to play some basketball and volleyball and to enjoySAMSUNG            snacks and fellowship. So several alumni joined students, staff and faculty for a fun evening. I am not sure who won the games and am certain that it didn’t really matter. It was good to see some PIU alumni that I had not seen in a while and I think everyone had an enjoyable time.

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Students, staff, alumni and faculty played a little volleyball together

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The kids especially enjoyed the snack time. I asked Courage to pose for this picture (left) as if she was “really hungry for ice cream.”

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The kids sang together as the “fans” enjoyed the volleyball game

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Covenant Players at PIU Chapel

SAMSUNG            Friday’s chapel this week featured the Covenant Players. They have performed at PIU several times in the last few years as they tour our region of the world. They also have done several drama SAMSUNG            workshops for us in the past. Their performance, as usual, was excellent and they also pack a powerful message into each play. We also enjoyed a good time of fellowship with them after chapel over some ribs, chicken and rice.

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I especially enjoyed this drama which dealt with being a peacemaker, and giving and receiving forgiveness.

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Daisy led this exercise to begin chapel. I think they are doing the “French fry” on the left and the “chicken sandwich” on the right.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Tuesday Chapel

SAMSUNGAfter a week of Spring Vacation, classes and chapel resumed this week. Our chapel speakerSAMSUNG            Tuesday was Bayview Church pastor, Kevin Elwell (left). Kevin worked with us at Yigo Baptist back in the 90’s and was Matt and Mike’s high school teacher then. He moved back to Guam about three years ago to pastor at Bayview. He spoke about how our society tells us that we will have success and “find ourselves” either by “self restraint” by keeping rules, or “self-expression” by “letting it all go” or “being authentic.” He used the movie “Frozen” (which I have not seen) as an example of this. Kevin’s main point, from Philippians 2, was that God calls us to neither of those. Instead he calls us to “self-sacrifice.” It is in self-sacrifice that we really find ourselves and reflect the “authentic” person that God meant us to be.

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Samantha and Serenity enjoyed the singing time

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And the dancing time

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It was another enjoyable chapel

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

PIU Student Profile–Shelter Alokoa

(The following is from our upcoming PIU Spring semester newsletter. If you would like to receive the newsletter, which comes out 3 times per year, send me dowen@piu.edu or Samantha sowen@piu.edu an email and we will make sure you are on the mailing list)

Shelter HeadshotShelterihna goes by Shelter and has been attending PIU since the Fall of 2012. In high school Shelter was familiar with PIU as faculty often preached at her church and her parents had both taken a class or two at PIU. After looking through a liberal studies brochure, Shelter decided to enroll in the Associate of Arts in Liberal Studies degree program. She was excited to take liberal studies courses at a school where she could also take Bible classes to help her grow in her faith.

Since enrolling at PIU, Shelter has taken advantage of many opportunities for service and leadership. She is currently a Resident Assistant in the women’s dorm. Additionally, Shelter has participated in Voices of Micronesia performances both on and off campus. Academically, Shelter has excelled. “I love to learn and while here at PIU, I’ve learned a lot…The courses have not only been intellectually challenging but also spiritually.”

The things Shelter most appreciates about her time at PIU are the DIVERSITY of staff and students that provide the opportunity to regularly interact with different perspectives, staff/faculty that REALLY CARE about and connect with students, and PIU’s emphasis on DISCIPLING students to help them grow in their faith. 

This May Shelter graduates from PIU with her AA in Liberal Studies.

Monday, March 24, 2014

PIU Student Profile - Darlicia Celis

(The following is from our upcoming PIU Spring semester newsletter. If you would like to receive the newsletter, which comes out 3 times per year, send me dowen@piu.edu or Samantha sowen@piu.edu an email and we will make sure you are on the mailing list)

Darlicia HeadshotDarlicia, who prefers to be called Dar, is a first year student at PIU. Although, this is not her first foray into college. Having attended two other colleges both on Guam and the Mainland US, Dar can confidently say that coming to PIU was “a step in the right direction!” Since enrolling at PIU this past fall, Dar has felt very welcomed by students and staff and very well supported by her instructors. “PIU has a unique educational system in which staff and faculty invest their time and resources to ensure that students obtain the highest level of education offered. Whether it be following up through emails for online classes to trying to connect outside of the classroom, my teachers have gone beyond anything I’ve ever experienced in my past college experiences.”

An ambitious student, Dar is taking more than a full load of classes, and working both WEwork and Federal Work Study jobs on campus to help pay for her education. She comments that grants help a lot! Her gratitude for her great experience at PIU is what motivates her to study hard and participate in PIU activities.

To donate to PIU’s Rising Tide Scholarship Fund to help students like Dar, contact Celia at caitoigue@piu.edu

Saturday, March 22, 2014

On Reading the Church Fathers

This afternoon I laid down on the couch and read through a good chunk of the The City of God by St. Augustine. The main reason I am reading it is because this semester (and last) I have been sitting in on a class taught at our PIU seminary (Pacific Islands Evangelical Seminary) which reads through the classic works of theology and church history. As I mentioned in a previous post I have read a lot ABOUT the classic works but have not read a lot of the actual works themselves. I think this is a major hole in my education that I am trying to fill. Believe it or not I actually have had pastors and teachers from my past tell me that we shouldn’t read the church fathers, or anything before the Reformation, because they are “too catholic.” Just “barely dipping my toe” into the pool of these writings has opened up a whole new world of resources to me and given me a much better understanding of what I believe. So here are a five reasons (there are many more) to read the Church Fathers…

  1. To not read the church fathers causes one to miss a valuable witness to what the apostolic writers were talking about in the Bible. We have books that were written by people who were discipled by Jesus’ actual disciples! Why would we not want to read that? They provide very early commentary from inside a very similar church culture to that of the Bible.
  2. Related to that, is that we really do not understand Christian Theology if we do not understand the history of how it developed. And… if we want to understand how theology developed we need to read the actual theologians who developed it. They provide perspective from the “inside” of the development of the ideas and not just a modern interpretation of it.
  3. We need to read outside our own modern perspective. This point is developed far better than I could do it in the two articles we read for the first session of the Readings in Church History class: C. S. Lewis' “On the Reading of Old Books” and Dorothy Sayers' “A Vote of Thanks to Cyrus.” As Lewis said, “Every age has its own outlook. It is specially good at seeing certain truths and therefore, need the books that will correct the characteristic mistakes of our own period. And that means the old books.” Lewis advised the reader to read two old books for every modern book read. It is wise to get outside the “spirit of the times” once in a while to be discerning about what is going on around you. The old books of the church fathers have helped me see that there are very different ways to look at theological questions than what I am used to.
  4. Related to that, is that we need to read outside our own theological perspectives regularly. When we read only books that we agree with we tend to become parochial and partisan in our thinking and we begin to lose the capacity for self-criticism and get stuck in a theological rut. The older I get and the more I study, I find that I agree with N.T. Wright that “30% of what I know is wrong. The problem is I don’t know which 30% it is.” The church fathers don’t fit into our modern doctrinal categories (For some reason St. Anthony did not have a theology of Christian dating) and forces us out of the theological boxes we have put ourselves into.
  5. Finally, and I know this may be a shock to some who think that God was not doing anything before their own church was founded (hyperbole here for effect), the Holy Spirit was active in the lives of God’s people long before the Reformation. There are amazing stories of conversion, deep insights into the mysteries of God, encouraging examples and commitment and sacrifice, along with very important insights into issues we are dealing with today. I was amazed at how much that I thought was new was already being written about and discussed 1500-2000 years ago.

I know that sometimes that the writing is a little thick and hard to work through but I recommend that you work your way through some old theology books. You can find most of them for free by running an internet search or going to an archive site like http://www.ccel.org/. Or even better, you could come join us on Wednesday nights at PIU as we discuss some of these works.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Saying Goodbye on Guam

One of the greatest things about Guam is all the cool and interesting people you get to meet and work with here. There are people here from all over the world, from many cultures and, if you keep your ears and eyes open, you can’t help but meet interesting people and learn something new. 1888965_10202779482341682_1011189607_oOf course, the downside to living in a place where people come and go so much is that you are often having to say good bye to people that you like. Tuesday we officially said goodbye to two friends.

At lunch we said goodbye to Rob Watt as the PIU family gathered at Lone Star restaurant for a farewell lunch. Rob has been Dean of Students at PIU for about 4 years now. Before that Rob served as our site coordinator in Palau. Rob and Leyla are now in Houston, Texas waiting for the birth of their daughter and are also waiting on God to show them their next place of service. Over the years at PIU I have appreciated the many discussions I have had with Rob and we really have had an “iron sharpening iron” relationship. I need to work on those metaphors I guess. Rob has been a good friend and I will miss him and know the Lord will use him and Leyla wherever he sends them.

SAMSUNG            On Tuesday evening, Mike, Samantha and the kids came over to say goodbye to Saori. Saori is one of Joyce’s faculty colleagues at the Japanese School of Guam. She moved in to our house almost a year ago for a “home stay.” We enjoyed having her stay with us and she kind of became part of the family. She is headed back to Japan, after 3 years on Guam, where she will be a high school teacher. Maybe we will visit her there someday. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

PIU Days– Day 3– Mountains

SAMSUNG            The final day of PIU Days arrived on Sunday. It seems to me that every year the programs get PIU Days Har (1)bigger and better each night as each team tries to top the program of the night before. This year was no exception to that as the Mighty Mountains team closed PIU Days with their program. They presented a musical about how Humperdink Everyman decided to leave his “provincial town” and climb the mountain and find himself. He was confronted with a lot of different choices but found that he could not climb the mountain without the help of the Creator of the mountains. When he found God,he found himself. The play was a lot of fun and very different than anything I had ever seen before in PIU Days. Gandalf even showed up! Good job Mighty Mountains!

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The afternoon began with the Sky team defeating Tehom to win the volleyball championship

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Basketball ended in a 3 way tie as Tehom defeated Sky and the rain defeated both teams

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But the sun did come out again to the delight of the fans

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The program was set up in secrecy – only Pikachu peeked out

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We knew we were in for something different when PIU Provost, Sam Mabini, began the program with the prologue to Shakespeare’s Henry V, followed by Scott, errr Humperdink, singing about leaving this provincial life

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I guess he couldn’t buy what he needed to go to the mountains

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There was a lot of singing about going up the mountain

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Gandalf and Frodo Warned Humperdink not to go to the mountain

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Humperdink met a Pokemon master, another character that I am not sure who she was and four power rangers on his journey

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Power Rangers followed by some singing

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And some joyous dancing

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There was a love interest, but that led to rivalry…

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And violence, but we did have a WWE announcer to introduce the wrestlers

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The Mountain “men” would not allow Humperdink to climb the mountain

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Humperdink was saved when the voice of CS Lewis told him that he would find himself by finding Christ

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Melvin sang about it and a Harnolx-angel led Humpedink to salvation at the top of the mountain

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Then the big final number

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And Happy Birthday to Scott

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And finally, gourmet hot dogs!!