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Ain’t No Cure for the Summertime Blues…Or Is There (Remix)?

May 17, 2013

On campus one night, I said, “I’m sixty-one years old…today.” As the applause died down, I said, “Thank you, my favorite color is blue, my size is ‘medium’ and the stores down the road are open 24-7.” Then came the present better than anything I could get from a store. “You don’t seem anywhere near that age.” I don’t think so either but there lurks inside me an inner “codger” who gets out occasionally. So let me vent him now.

When I was your age going to college, books were engraved on rock and there were no backpacks to carry them in. No buses on campus and the freshman dorms were so far away from everything it was like walking to Nicaragua for breakfast where we had gruel. No meal plans, the same for lunch and dinner. And there was none of this Charles Dickens stuff, “Please, Sir, I want some more!” (Oliver Twist was a wimpy punk!). Papyrus hadn’t been invented. Neither had language. Profs grunted and scratched themselves and we just had to remember it as best we could because you couldn’t write anything down. There was no Facebook when we left campus for the summer. We just clamped our teeth down on sticks and screamed it out for three months. And we were glad just to have sticks to clamp our teeth down on…

Okay, I’m back and my inner “codger” is locked up with his pudding. Terms are mostly done and graduates have all “pomped”. Thousands of students will head home for the summer. Summers can be tough. Many new Christians only understand their new faith in the context of the campus and a Christian group. Home can be a desert with non-Christian family and/or friends. Some have no church home or a family church that doesn’t serve up much meat on the bone. Add to that the stress of the job search to help with tight finances. While I didn’t have Facebook then, I wish I had. Today we do and we should work it like mad through the summer; someone else may really need the encouragement. One guy writes, “Hey, everyone! I miss y’all guys like woah. LIKE, WOAH!” He’s not alone.

I’d like to help – first with a couple of things for your summer reading list. One is “Surprised By Oxford” (Nelson) by Carolyn Weber. A young woman takes her sin and brokenness off to grad school at Oxford – and finds Jesus Christ. If we’re tired (and I am) of hearing the baloney about how the university is death to faith, this book brings home a big slice (with butter) of all the good things that Jesus does on campus that we will miss this summer. I’ve been told this is a Christian “chick” book. My response? HIKE UP YOUR BIG BOY BRITCHES, SUCK IT UP AND READ THE BOOK….BE A MAN! My second is “Meeting God in the Flesh” (IVP) by Don Everts. This little beauty glides in under the radar and is a spiritual IV speeding Jesus into our deep places. Hearts and Minds Books will give the usual “Geezer” discount of 20% if you say you saw them here. Both of these will be fresh oxygen for the summer.

To go even further to keep you fresh for the summer, all posts on this summer will be Bible studies from the Gospel of John for students away from campus as well as lovers of students on sabbath reloading for next fall. We did this last summer it really popped for you guys. And John hasn’t run out of Jesus. Each study will have both a heart application (personal) and a “street” (ministry) application. If these help you out, be generous with that posting and sharing thing.

Hot summers can be spiritual winter. Let’s help each other out there. If anyone wants to shoot a prayer request this way, just comment at the bottom of any of the posts. Or use  Put down your name as “anonymous” or, more fun, disguise yourself under a fake name. Seriously. I don’t need to know and Jesus knows where to put the prayer no matter whose name we use. You could be Chutney Cadwallader III, Omar the Bad from Wichita or Ottoman Okra…doesn’t matter. But real requests, okay? I’m glad Grandma is finally getting those tattoos sanded off from her minor league hockey days (She meant to tell you about this when you got older.) but this should be from you. Something like, “Dear Dave or Geezer, I’m worried. I seem to be growing a second head and I couldn’t even seem to get along with a roommate last year!”

If you think this might encourage students or those who love them, then share, subscribe, twitter and all that social media stuff. You can also go to Facebook and shoot me (David Swartz) a friend request or look at something called Geezer 1 and ask to join.

Please return our seats to the upright position and hand your infrared night vision goggles to the attendant at the rear as you leave. See you next post at

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