Chapel: Get your ‘hope’ app up and running
By Rick Vacek
GCU News Bureau
The “Making a Difference” theme in Chapel at Grand Canyon University is winding down, but the applications for that message will live on long after the final service of the school year next week.
Monday provided two approaches to using the “hope” app. Before the Chapel band jammed about Christ’s relentless love, President/CEO Brian Mueller shared his thoughts about the feelings engendered by the weekend memorial service for GCU student Ashley Laneri, and later Kent DelHousaye gave students reason to run toward a bright future.
DelHousaye, senior pastor of Bethany Bible Church in Phoenix, related a humorous story about participating in a footrace — Schlotzsky’s Bun Run, in which the idea is to “run your buns off” — to give traction to his talk about running away from evil and toward good.
It would be inaccurate to say that DelHousaye isn’t a fan of running. That would be much too positive.
“I hate running,” he said. “I look like Phoebe in ‘Friends’ with my hands flailing.”
But he did it because he had trained with a friend, he’d like to be in better shape and there were prizes at the end of the race, just as there’s a prize in heaven for running the race of life properly.
DelHousaye pointed to 2 Timothy 2:22, in which Paul wrote, “Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”
“What Paul is really telling Timothy,” DelHousaye said, “is, ‘Grow up!’”
It is significant, DelHousaye added, that Paul used the word “flee.” We should handle this the way a fugitive runs from the law, he said, but in this case flee from evil desires, false teaching, ignorance, foolishness, arguing and resentment.
“As human beings, we’re not born to naturally want to do the right thing,” he said.
Instead, we should act like a hunter pursuing its prey in seeking mature righteousness, which DelHousaye defined as faith, love, peace, pure desires, Biblical truth, kindness, gentleness and patience.
“No more excuses,” DelHousaye told the students. “You can’t keep playing that card that says, ‘Well, I’m in college, so I can do whatever I want.’”
Mueller’s talk underscored the importance of what GCU is doing in the community, in particular its partnership with Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona to renovate up to 700 homes in the neighborhood.
He said the service for Laneri, who died earlier this month from injuries sustained in an auto accident, was the best he had ever attended, and the word he took away from it is “hope.”
“What most struck me about it is that there was a lot of sadness but no despair,” he said. “What Ashley represented that day was hope. What is so different about our life as Christians? What is so different about what we have to give to the world? It’s hope.”
That’s what GCU is aiming to give people in west Phoenix through its mission work.
“As a Christian community, we’re in the middle of a lot of despair,” Mueller said. “God put us here for a reason. He put us here to be a source of hope to the surrounding neighborhood.”
It’s a free app, and the rewards are priceless.
● Next week’s Chapel: Special program for final service of school year
Contact Rick Vacek at 602-639-8203 or firstname.lastname@example.org.