My 37,000-Foot Spillover


I am writing this at about 37,000 feet above planet earth on a three-hour flight headed home from meeting our 14th grandchild. It is dark in the cabin. My heart is in the frame for serious joy. And it is a good time for letting my thankfulness spill over onto you. Thankfulness not only for this little girl, but for Bethlehem College & Seminary, and for the privilege of being part of it, and for your partnership in this great work.

I want this school to be there for my granddaughter in 18 years—just like it is today. Or even stronger. So my thankfulness for her and for Bethlehem College & Seminary come together as I write this letter.

I want her to get an education in serious joy through knowing the great books, in the all-revealing light of the Greatest Book, in the service of the Great Commission, for the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

And I want her to be a fruitful member of a local church, pastored by a Spirit-filled man who preaches unashamedly and accurately the whole counsel of God from the Bible with Christ-exalting clarity, and with the same serious joy that my granddaughter tasted in her college years—the kind of joy that is unshakeable in the worst of times, because it is joy in the Savior, not in circumstances.

So you can see how my love for this little girl, and my love for our college and seminary come together. A college to equip her for life-long learning in Bible-saturated serious joy. A seminary to equip her pastor to deepen and strengthen that serious joy with the solid food of God’s word.

And while my thankfulness is spilling over, two more things.

One is the incredible privilege at 73 of still throwing myself into this great work. I get to teach courses on the very things I am writing about, be part of weekly chapel, participate in the faculty forums, meet monthly with the president, sit with the board of trustees, travel to represent the school, etc.! What a gift to me at age 73!

And finally my thankfulness spills over for you—the partners without whom there could be no Bethlehem College & Seminary. It is not lost on us that we have conceived a funding philosophy, that makes debt-free education possible, while calling for seriously cheerful and generous giving. Thank you for your part in that.

Well, there it is. My 37,000-foot spill over.

I pray that you will taste the serious joy that we seek, with God’s help, to build into our students.








John Piper