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The President's Circle

Reflection, Rejoicing, and Renewal

2015

(download the President's Circle as a PDF here)

A New Year is upon us!  It is packed with opportunities and challenges.  It is filled with moments that God has planned to show Himself strong in our behalf. It will be a year in which the Lord will display His unmatched ability to perform the unique and to accomplish the impossible.  Reflect on Ephesians 3:20 NLT:

“Now all glory to God, who is able through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”

Did you see the amazing expression?  It is “…through his mighty power at work within us.”  It is the same in Colossians 1:29 NIV:

“To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.”

Something amazing is going on here!  God is ministering to us and through us for His Divine Purpose.  Supernatural transactions leading to transformation are occurring for service purposes.

I personally felt these transactions when my dear wife, Phillis, graduated into the Presence of the Lord December 5, 2014.  In our forty-five years of marriage, we experienced much together. There were the tough times and the good times. She was victorious every step of the way.  Yes, fears, concerns, pain, and difficulties were on the agenda for her since 2006, however, the Lord was enough.  Every day was special and we continued to hold to the promises of God.  She received the ultimate healing last month and has become the best theologian in the family and then some!

I wanted to briefly share with you three powerful realities that I experienced the moment of her graduation as she traveled from my arms to His. What God gave me, as II Corinthians 1 teaches, can assist others in their journey.  They are real and continue to pulsate in my life.  They are not new or some unknown commodity, but real in every sense of the word, beating with substance and form.

  1. A powerful sense of calmness and comfort.  The events of that hour and a half prior to her passing were powerful.  A great deal was going on … words, music, speaking, tears, cries, the EMTs, fire department, Sheriff, and much more.  But over all this was a profound sense of calmness and comfort.  What was really important was very clear:  Relationship!  The others did not matter.  Everything was OK.  God was there and that was enough!  Nothing was out of control.  He was in charge and there were physical confirmations of this.
  2. A razor sharp sense of clarity.  In other words, what was really important had its rightful place … relationship as mentioned above.  All the stuff, the things that clamor for our attention, was in the back seat.  They had no power over me.  What really was important was front and center.  My focus was clear.  There were no “cataracts” on my vision.  I saw clearly as if I were on a mountaintop looking over the valley.  Priorities were crystal clear.
  3. A death defying commitment.  My commitment to Christ, Phillis, and family was so strong, you could cut it with a knife.  The commitment was solid … take me before a firing squad, threaten me … it did not matter. It was a divine strengthening and determination unlike before.  During her passing and then following a few days later, I found myself saying and doing things for others without concern for personal safety or gain.  Those things really mattered to me for the Glory of God.  It was not controlled by personal preference. I was strongly thinking about others and their hurts and challenges.

The above realities created a new resolve, generated a new rejoicing, and birthed within me a fresh renewal for 2015.

This is my prayer for you as you begin a new semester in a new year:  May you possess a sense of divine calmness in what you encounter, clarity in what to do, and a strong commitment to follow through on all your responsibilities!  You will sense an abundant fulfilling.  A great spiritual lift is awaiting you!

The Latest Happenings

As I mentioned above, Phillis, my dear wife, entered the Presence of the Lord.  Your words of comfort, encouragement, and support have meant a great deal to the entire O’Farrell family and me.  Thank you for caring and making a difference.  There was a viewing Friday, December 12 and a Celebration Service and committal Saturday, December 13, 2014.

She ministered powerfully to many and possessed a keen interest in higher education and excellence as demonstrated in her children.  A scholarship has been established in her honor, The Phillis O’Farrell Memorial Scholarship.  She knew the expenses that were involved in furthering your children’s education, having navigated her children through college and graduate school as well as supporting me in college.  At present, $19,803 has been given to endow this fund to assist students in their academic pursuits at Trinity College of Florida.  We are truly grateful for your sacrificial support.

Seventy-five attended the Faculty and Staff Christmas Dinner.  It was an evening of fellowship and celebration of the birth of Jesus.  Dr. Richard Williams, Chancellor, and his wife, Lillian, were in attendance along with several board members, President’s Council members, and their spouses.  An extended time of appreciation was given to the Faculty and Staff, along with a devotional by the President.

A memorial service for Dr. Ray Murray is planned for Saturday, January 17, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. at Calvary Baptist Church in Clearwater. It was his desire that this memorial service exalt the Lord Jesus who guided his life in private, business, educational and community affairs. Ray served on the Trinity College of Florida Board of Trustees for 22 years, including service on the Executive and Finance committees.  He was a well-known philanthropist and entrepreneur in the Tampa Bay Area.

Dr. Ralph Enlow, President of ABHE (Association for Biblical Higher Education), was present on campus December 15 and 16, 2014. He was here as a consultant on a range of subjects from academics to finances to future trends, while meeting with the Cabinet and other departments of the College. His expertise and friendship over the years have been deeply appreciated by all.

The remainder of the funding for the new Student Residence Hall is pending the Lord’s provision. Everything is ready for future construction once the needed funds are secured.

The current Residence Hall opened Wednesday, January 7 with new student orientation set for the following day. Classes officially begin Monday, January 12, 2015.

A total of 38 new students are expected to begin classes this spring in the traditional and degree completion programs.

A gift of $50,000 was received last month to assist the College in general operations and salary compensation. This was a huge blessing.

Prayer Requests …

Pray for the new Student Residence Hall. The total unmet need is $1.3 million.

Pray for the online program. Gifts are being received in memory of Dr. Ray Murray for online development. To date, $4,020 has been given.

Pray for new student orientation, retention of returning students, and the refreshment of faculty and staff.

Pray for the activities of our basketball teams and their outreach.

 Pray for Campus Preview on April 17 and the recruitment of new students for Fall 2015.

“Lord Jesus …Give me a deeper repentance … Give me a deeper trust … Give me a deeper knowledge of thyself … Give me deeper power in private prayer … Give me deeper holiness in speech, thought, action … Plough deep in me, great Lord.” A Puritan prayer, The Valley of Vision

Serving with you,

 



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