Graduation Day at Westminster Seminary

Posted in From Al & Libbie, Reflections at 9:14 pm by Al

Today Westminster Seminary graduated more than 125 students. Herb Lusk, pastor of the Greater Exodus Baptist Church in Philadelphia, received an honorary doctorate and was the keynote speaker (the address was excellent!) I was thrilled simply to be there and to be part of the ceremony. (Just days ago it seemed possible I might not be able to make it.)

One of my tasks was to read the name of each of the graduates as they walked across the stage to receive their diploma. There really is nothing more thrilling than to see the success of your students. Students probably don’t realize how precious they become to their teachers through the years. What a bittersweet process teaching can be–forging strong bonds and relationships with students, knowing full well that in a few very short years we will be sending them out of our lives. Perhaps forever. It’s like raising children, only on a much shorter time cycle.

For me today was special because I had the opportunity to give the charge to the graduates. Again, I cannot say enough how grateful I was to the Lord to be able to do it–even having to sit on a stool, with my clotted leg propped up. Sort of like having a fireside chat in the den or something. I was grateful that the Lord kept the pain in my leg at manageable levels. And the help from so many was just overwhelming. The president even wheeled me down the aisle and up onto the stage.

Afterwards I had wonderful conversations with graduates and alumni and parents. Gift upon gift for me.

Just wanted to share the joy of the day, undimmed by other circumstances in my life. In fact, other circumstances added something to the joy of the day! God is good.

Blessings, Al



  1. Susan Michaelson said,

    May 25, 2006 at 10:24 pm

    Al, it was a real joy to hear and see you today. Mazel tov on managing all those names so effortlessly! More than that, I so appreciated your message on abiding. Your life and demeanor are testimony to the truth of your words.

    My boys and I continue to pray aggressively for your return to health.

    Love to you, Libbie and your family,


  2. Thomas Mak said,

    May 25, 2006 at 10:53 pm

    Glad to see you today too. I am looking forewards for my turn, to hear you reading my name. May the peace of God be with you as you will have the result of your MRI on Friday.

  3. Kent Morton said,

    May 26, 2006 at 7:07 am

    Dear Al,

    Obviously I’m not among those fortunate enough to see and hear you at graduation, but I rejoice with you that you see the experience as such a tremendous gift. Your testimony brings to mind Phil 4:8. Right focus is everything.


  4. judi said,

    May 26, 2006 at 9:51 am

    al, i was so glad to be able to be at graduation, watching drew and adrian FINALLY get their degrees! but to see you sit there reading those names, as you watched each of your disciples cross the stage… it really was like letting your little birds fly out of their nests, out into the big world to do what God has called them to do.

    i’m glad your leg pain was manageable, but more glad that you were able to be part of the service. praying for your MRI results.

  5. Diana Frazier said,

    May 26, 2006 at 9:29 pm


    What a wonderful thing it was to see and hear as you read each name and then give the charge. A testimony to God’s grace to you and to our entire community. And a clear reminder of what it means to be in Christ.

    Jeff and I continue to pray for God’s mercy to you, Libbie, and your family.



  6. Paul Sweeney said,

    May 27, 2006 at 11:06 pm

    Dear Al,

    I am glad you were able to make the graduation ceremony, and particpate in such a meaningful manner.

    My favorite moment from commencement rehersal was when I witnessed Stafford Carson admirably struggle with many difficult names. When he got to mine, a wiide grin crossed his face and he said, “Finally an Irish name!”

    Well, the careful pronuciation of those difficult names should remind you and Stafford and all the professors at WTS that you have largely impacted the fulfillment of the great commission in our day. You have prepared men to take the gospel to the ends of the earth!

    God has used all of you mightily, and he is doing the same work in you now. This is evidenced by the comments on this blog. God is using your circumstances, and his grace to have a global effect for the gospel. How good id God!

    You have my prayers,

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