Using lots of jokes and anecdotes interspersed with Scripture, Steve Arterburn delivered a powerful message to Anderson University students during chapel [listen to this chapel on the new AU podcast through ITunes or watch the AU Chapel Webcast]. Arterburn is founder and chairman of New Life Ministries, the nation’s largest faith-based broadcast and treatment ministry and is the host of the nationally syndicated New Life Live! as well as a best-selling author. To students Tuesday morning, though, he was an entertainer, teacher and fellow Christian with daily struggles.
He caught the audience’s attention by beginning with several questions. “I’m curious about your journey at AU,” he said as he started to laugh. “How many of your plans are going exactly how you thought? How many of you woke up wanting to praise Jesus and you already blew it?” Students who related offered laughter and applause. “It’s always something,” he said. “The question is not whether you will have a something, the question is what will you do to react to the pain you experience and struggle and loss that is reality?”
Arterburn went on to speak about his trials during college including becoming addicted to food and promiscuous which led to pressuring a girlfriend to have an abortion.
“There are always things we do. The world says we should eat it away, drink it away, sex it away and deal with suffering in the way of the world,” he said.
To help students better understand his point, he offered an analogy. “These things are like fool’s gold,” he said, “being shiny and beautiful, but they’re worthless. The world offers us all kinds of fool’s gold. There are roads that seem right, but always end in death and destruction.”
Arterburn ended his message with hope, telling the students that no matter what sins or imperfections they may have accumulated during their time, everyone has the capacity to achieve amazing deeds for the Lord. “Do you want to be healed?” he asked the audience. “If you want to experience healing, there has to be openness, authenticity and connection. No matter what, God is never done loving us. God comforts us so in exchange we can comfort other people.”
As he thanked the students and walked off the stage, the audience applauded with many staying after to recount their own trials with one another as well as Arterburn.
When asked what he will take away from the message, Adam Ottinger answered immediately, “It’s OK if you mess up, but you can come back and live your life for God,” he said as he smiled. “God uses your poor decisions and can turn them around as helpful tools for you and other people.”
Arterburn broadcasted New Life Live! Wednesday at 1 p.m. from WQME 98.7 FM, but is no stranger to the station. He and his wife own a home in McCordsville as well as Laguna Beach, Calif. and since last winter, he has often used WQME to broadcast the show.
“It’s a nice thing for us because it’s a nationally-syndicated show,” said Matt Rust, program director of WQME. “A show of this size coming out of Anderson, it’s a big deal. It’s one of the most listened to programs we air.”
— Lynelle Miller is a reporter with the Anderson Herald-Bulletin in Anderson. Visit the Web site at www.theheraldbulletin.com