A few weeks ago, a student at Cornerstone remarked that she didn't have a Bible at home. I had just received a donation of Bibles, so, I turned grabbed one and told her to take this home. She was shocked -- and thankful.
After 19 years of having a front row seat to God's work at Cornerstone, I couldn't be more excited than I am right now about the year to come! Won't you pull up a chair and see God...
While wishing you a Happy Easter at Christmas may seem odd, we like to say at Cornerstone that Christmas is the beginning of the Easter Story. Over Advent, we have been laying out the reason God sent his son to be born of a virgin (Christmas) only to be crucified as an innocent man (Easter). This trajectory summarizes God's redemptive plan to restore the fellowship (friendship) between man and himself by removing the sin that has separated us since birth -- which could only be done through Christ's sacrificial act.
Cornerstone was recently blessed to have Bob Corlew, the new President of the Lions Club International, along with several members of local Lions Club chapters on campus to test our students' vision. This gift had me pondering our students' vision.
As readers of these updates know, I get emotional when helping the young men at Cornerstone learn how to tie their tie. It is such a rite of passage but one that my father never took the time to share with me, a fact that used to weigh heavily on my heart.
"God's work, done in God's way, will never lack God's resources." Hudson Taylor
I know I have shared this quote from Hudson Taylor in the past, but, it has never had more meaning to me than it does this year.
There are few experiences more complicated than having a student walk into my office, break out in tears, and explain that his mother is in the hospital and say "it's serious, Mr. Max." The magnitude of pain only increases when you know the back story of this single mom who has had to fight and battle to protect her only son, her only child, from a young age -- and is now in the fight of her life to beat cancer.
On the third day of school, an upper class student stopped me during my morning greeting. After relating the details of her horrible night and horrible morning (details her mother had already told me over the phone unbeknownst to this student), she said, "Mr. Max, will you pray for me?" Almost dismissively, I said, "of course I will..." and with my body language, and a soft tap on her shoulder, I kind of moved her on and was about to greet the next student.
On Monday, August 29th, a group of businessmen, one from as far away as Central Michigan, came to greet Cornerstone's students on their first day back to school. It was powerful to see these men, all of whom have been successful in various ventures (accounting, NFL, real estate, etc.) shaking the hands of our students and providing encouraging words as they entered the building. It was equally as powerful to gather with these men to pray for our staff, students, and families before our doors even opened.
As someone who just celebrated the "black lives" of six Cornerstone graduates, in the midst of preparing for the return of 135 "black lives" in the fall, I found the recent news from Dallas, Baton Rouge and Minneapolis particularly upsetting. While Cornerstone's students are out for the summer, I can envision the pain on their faces, and can almost hear the discussions they are surely having with their friends and family as each new video comes to light. This past week's news would have made for a lively and prayerful time at Cornerstone.