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geezeronthequad: One Thing You Will Need For Your Desert Island.

May 19, 2014

What do we need to survive tough times? Some answers come from those “desert island” surveys. A Swiss army knife with enough attachments to build a beach condo and sharp enough to slice through thick trees or perform unexpected surgeries. Enough games on my smart phone to keep me too preoccupied to remember I’m on a desert island. The best answer might be Ramen noodles. Why? First of all basic nourishment. Most desert islands don’t have trees loaded with mangoes and herds of wild boar who will lay down in front of us and die ready for the barbecue. If most desert islands were that great, wouldn’t somebody already be there and have built a five-star beachfront hotel? If we’re the first, it’s a grim ride. And we could hurt ourselves with homemade weapons. A second reason, escape. A raft made from Ramen noodles will never let you down; it will only get bigger. In “The Castaway”, Tom Hanks didn’t have Ramen noodles and by the time he figured out how to escape, he was screaming at a volleyball he’d named “Wilson” and riding on a matchstick over a reef that almost took his leg off. Ramen noodles – don’t leave home without them.

Many of you on Geezer 1 will be on a desert island shortly. Some will be home for the summer; summers get tough for a lot of Christian students. Many are new or young in the faith and do not have anything that takes the place of the campus group. They may not have many or any Christian friends at home. Maybe no church or one that doesn’t have much bang for the buck biblically speaking. Some Christian students maybe taking summer classes amidst the ghost town campuses can be during the summer with the rest of their campus gang doing cool things like evangelizing those big stone heads on Easter Island. Maybe we’re the faculty who teach those classes. We’re now just regaining intelligent speech and coordinated body movement  from a full teaching load and had hoped to do a little writing. Now we’re teaching “The History of Pudding; How Butterscotch Has Shaped the Modern World” to flip-flop and cut off wearing, techno addicted Slurpee zombies. Campus ministry staff? After saying those teary good-byes to people who leave campus taking pieces of our heart with them, we head out to see family and do some fund-raising. We’ve lived on an eight month caffeine high stoked in hundreds of coffee shop appointments and conversations that didn’t even begin until almost midnight. There’s about as much mentally left of us as an Oreo cookie sucked into a black hole. Desert islands – different things to different people but deserts just the same.

Ramen noodles won’t help here. Let help get you through the desert island this summer. It’s not like the scintillating ideas and biting wit found here will do that. The next post will begin the summer Bible posts; the Scripture itself is the well we need for many reasons through the dry days ahead. First, God will be speaking. The theologians’ big boy word for this is “revelation”. What does He reveal? Primarily Himself. He tells us things about Himself we never could have known if He hadn’t.

Imagine Einstein explaining the rules of lacrosse to the ants on the sidewalk. Do the ants care? Are they interested at all? Not likely. But the bigger question would seem to be ‘Why is this so important to Einstein?’ Whether we’re interested or even awake, God will be speaking into our desert. God listens deeply and speaks strategically.  This is especially true with Scripture that seems to lay there saying absolutely nothing (Think the Levitical sacrifices, the instructions on how to build the tabernacle, those long strings of “begats”, etc.). When we read verses that seem completely divorced from anything in our lives, we should be quick with a question. “Why did the Holy Spirit want this in here?” Maybe this is something important to God (even though it means nothing to us) and He wants to share it with us!

Because God speaks, we can trust the Scriptures to be stable, solid and unchanging. They will anchor us through the summer. Drifting away from them, we will drift away from Him. I’ve been around long enough to see people used by God go soft in their living of and taste for the Scriptures. They just sort of evaporated from Kingdom concerns and effectiveness, some of their lives ending up in bad places. The Bible will anchor us throughout the summer because it’s a God centered book. (Duh) Seriously. When most people, including Christians, think about God, they often start with themselves (their thoughts and opinions even when talking about Scripture) and end up rummaging around in what the Bible calls vain imaginings. Starting with ourselves just dredges up murky spiritual glop properly known as “dreck”. (Think about all the stuff you might pull out of a sink strainer or grease trap. Now pour that in your brain.)

Third, we will draw life and refreshment from the  Scriptures that will not only carry us through but may actually make us enjoy this desert we’re in! God actually enjoys deserts. Notice how often individuals or groups find themselves in deserts and wilderness. God knows that He will have their undivided attention and can do some of his deepest work in places like we might be this summer. Alexsandr Sozhenitsyn, who told the world about the horrors of Stalin’s camps, looked back over his time in those terrible places. “Bless you, prison,” he said because this is where He met Jesus Christ. This time we thought we would have to endure until next fall might be when hidden keys turn and hinges swing open that shape the rest of our lives. And we could come away with richer intimacy with Jesus and deeper fire than might have come from the Christian friends and groups we miss.

I’ll do my part if you’ll stay tuned. And if we end up screaming at a soccer ball by the end of summer, “Dave” or “Geezer” might be a good name.

If you think this might encourage a student or someone who loves students, then share, subscribe, twitter and all that social media stuff. If you get, then you might want to check out Geezer 1, the Facebook clubhouse that’s a mix of students, student ministry leaders, professors, administrators, musicians, artists, writers, composers, broadcasters, booksellers, cultural entrepreneurs and thinkers as well as a few campus rats who think that Jesus Christ thinks that the university is a special place. You coming on board would only make us better. Take a look and send a Facebook request to join or go directly to and ask to be let in. If the Facebook dog eats your homework (and he sometimes does), we will ask you to resubmit.

Please return your seat to the upright position and give your infrared night vision goggles to the attendant as you exit to the rear. See you next post at


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One Comment
  1. Reblogged this on geezeronthequad and commented:

    Summers off campus can be tough…I’ve got your back until the fall comes


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