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David Stevens In just a couple of weeks, Asbury University will welcome hundreds of alumni back to campus for a weekend of fun, fellowship and faith-filled conversations.

The weekend’s theme is “Be Bold,” and a series of speakers, devotionals and discussions will invite alumni to contemplate how God is calling them to live lives of courage and boldness each day. Boldness can show up in our daily lives in both big and small ways. It’s these little acts of courage that God calls us to as He moves in our lives.

Chapel speakers will be speaking about the theme of boldness throughout weekend services. This year’s speakers include:

  • David Stevens ’73 (Chief Executive Officer of Christian Medical and Dental Associations)
  • Philip Thornton ’68 (Asbury University Professor Emeritus & Consultant at Global Impact Missions)
  • Sarah Thomas ’93 Baldwin (Vice President for Student Development & Dean of Students

Thornton’s chapel is entitled “Be bold when…” and Baldwin’s sermon is entitled “Bold Grace.”

“The Bible challenges us to be bold,” Thornton said. “Like Daniel we are to be bold when facing adversity. Like Jesus we are to be bold when we need to forgive. Like the centurion we are to be bold when we need God’s intervention. Like Peter we are to be bold when we need to take that step of faith. Even in our weakness we are to be bold in our dependence on the Holy Spirit.”

Stevens will speak on the topic of “Sufficient Courage” and is excited to share the ways God has enabled him to live boldly through his personal experiences and walk with God. Stevens is the co-author of two books that explore the topics of leadership and courage, written alongside Bert Jones ‘89.

Stevens’ career has taken him around the world where he was called to be bold in hospitals working as a missionary doctor, war-torn villages during moments of historic political unrest and American courtrooms in fighting for bioethical issues.

David Stevens working as a medical missionary.

“God has put me in situations where boldness was key to success,” Stevens said. “It’s realizing where your boldness, confidence and courage comes from. It comes from the Lord, and knowing He’s there and holding your hand during that surgery you’ve never done before. And, these other instances, just being shot at, crashed in planes in Africa and all sorts of stuff you never thought you’d do…. That’s the key — realizing that God is with you and He never takes you into anything He’s not going to go into with you. You can be bold because He was bold.”

Though Stevens has been called to boldness time and again throughout his lifetime, he points out that there’s no limit to where God’s calling to courage can take us as He is continually working things out in our faith for His glory.

“God doesn’t finish with us,” Stevens said. “It’s not like, ‘Okay, you’re bold enough now.’ I think the by-product of boldness is that your faith is stretched.”

People often questioned the decision he and his wife made to raise their children on the mission field in third-world countries. His answer? Danger is everywhere, including on American soil, and you cannot ignore the Lord’s call to be brave where He’s placed you.

“I think our spiritual muscles, like our physical muscles, need to have tension put on them to develop and to grow and to be strong,” Stevens said. “Stepping out in boldness to do things you’ve never done before does that in our own lives and it has an effect on everyone who knows us. People are looking for leadership, probably now more than ever, and they’re looking for people who are willing to step out.”

Stevens, whose own children and grandchildren are living and working as missionaries, hopes to remind Asbury alumni to be bold not just in their own lives but to step out of the way and let their children and grandchildren live boldly as well.

David Stevens presents in court.

“It’s easy to be bold yourself but not be bold with what you value so much,” Stevens said. “What are you willing to put on the altar like Abraham did and sacrifice it to God and say, ‘Here God. Here are my children. Here are my grandchildren for your glory and for your kingdom. I’ll pray and I’ll support and I’ll encourage, but I’ve given them to you. I’m not going to take them back just because I’m trying to make sure they’re secure and not at risk.’”

An Asbury education certainly prepares one to live a life of boldness, according to Stevens. In classes and through spiritual life activities on campus, students are challenged and given the tools to answer God’s call to bravery.

“I think students at Asbury have some great role models of boldness and get taught the spiritual foundation for it and the application of it in their lives,” Stevens said. “I think we are so much better equipped and prepared to be bold in this world than the vast majority of our colleagues, and we need to thank God for that and make sure Asbury continues to have that affect in our country now more than ever because it’s so badly needed.”

How will you be bold this season? We invite you to visit campus for Reunion 2018 and partake in discussions and conversations around the intersection of the Christian faith and courage.

To register for Reunion 2018, visit asbury.edu/reunion.