There were five songs that provided me with strength to stay in the fight and continue to lead and administer for this educational ministry. This journey defined to me why God said when serving His purpose that you must prepare for battle, not a vacation. In the midst of the storms as well as our celebrated accomplishments, these songs spoke to my heart and inspired within me that God would do what He said He would do. I would like to share these gospel songs with you and if you have never heard them, you can listen and watch the music video on YouTube. I am certain they will speak to your soul if you open your heart to receive the message within each of the songs.
Encourage Yourself, by Donald Lawrence
On this journey, I have learned that often when you're attempting to do God's will by serving and blessing others, there will be days that it appears nobody is interested in the challenges facing you. Donald Lawrence ministered to my heart in his song, Encourage Yourself, which describes these situations you may be faced with on your spiritual journey. In these instances, it will be necessary to encourage yourself and stay the course and know that God is with you, He knows your situation and He is working behind the scenes on your behalf, for His glory.
God Favored Me, by Hezekiah Walker
Hezekiah Walker's song entitled God Favored Me couldn't have been released at a better time. This song ministered to my spirit as I experienced the deep valleys of false accusations that led to the College being investigated by multiple agencies. I knew we were innocent of the charges, but I would later understand enduring this experience was part of the journey. The song often spoke to my heart as tears flowed from eyes and as I felt God's spirit and learned invaluable lessons from this trying experience. Doing right is an act, not a feeling. The righteous acts of man are favored by God. This doesn't mean that you will be mistake-free in your efforts, but God judges a man's heart and sees those things associated with his daily actions. During this decade, I personally witnessed the prayers of the righteous prevailing in adversity.
Never Could Have Made It, by Marvin Sapp
I have this song saved on my smartphone because Marvin Sapp described perfectly to me how Arkansas Baptist College never could have made it through its financial crisis during the fall of 2013 without the favor of God. Without any advanced notice or warning, the method in which the College received Title IV funding was abruptly changed during the semester. As a result, ABC was not able to draw down Title IV funds for nearly six months; consequently, the College was required to operate with cash advances from the local banks to keep the doors of the College open. This stress would take a toll on me requiring that I spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in the hospital. There is not a shadow of doubt in my heart that without God, Arkansas Baptist College never would have made it through this storm. This test is recorded in my brain as a testimony, and what was a mess became a message describing the faithfulness of our God if we boldly trust Him and lean not on our own understanding. As we came through the storms, my faith increased as I depended less on myself and more on God. As a result, I would become stronger and wiser in the Lord and better prepared to serve mankind.
Grateful, by Hezekiah Walker
It takes both sunshine and rain to produce a rainbow and I learned that God ministers to his children through both. I am so grateful to have been selected to be a vessel for the Lord to work through me at ABC. I witnessed that God doesn't care as much about my ability and educational credentials as He does about my availability and my humbleness to serve the least of these. I am so grateful to have been able to share in the miraculous events that took place on our campus and community during the past decade. When I think back about the students we have served and the community we have economically empowered, I am truly grateful. But through these experiences, I learned that you are even more grateful when you come through the storms and finally see the sunshine again. Another valuable lesson recorded was that when I run from the storms of life, rarely will that produce the pruning effect that God intended for me. However, this tenure taught me to stand with God through the storms of life and trust in Him totally and in this process. I have learned to always be grateful for God's protection and His saving grace no matter the situation facing me, no matter how uncomfortable I may perceive it to be.
My God Is Awesome, He Can Move Mountains, Charles Jenkins
As I conclude this Decade Report, I want to do so with a statement from the most valuable song of my tenure, My God Is Awesome! In the Bible it tells us that we have not because we ask not. God will tell you that that wasn't the case with me at ABC. I stayed at the cross praying for blessings for the students and the community. I have discovered that God is slow to bless you when you're attempting to bless yourself. If you are slow to see the blessings of the Lord, you probably aren't in His purpose. Remember, all things work out for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose, not yours. God is awesome when we are in His purpose. God's vision birthed inside of me 10 years ago came automatically with His provisions. This vision was given to me by God after I decided to align myself with His purpose for my life. This is when the miracles from heaven were activated to 1621 Dr. Martin Luther King Drive, Little Rock AR 72223, and as a result you have just witnessed Kingdom Transformation from our Awesome God to bless our students and our community we call home.
Fitz Hill, President, Arkansas Baptist College
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|Date:||May 2, 2016|
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