Our second entry in the Back 2 School Guest Bloggers’ Week is from Darrell Cook. Darrell is the director of the Baptist Collegiate Ministry at Virginia Tech and has been in campus ministry for like, 32 years. I can’t remember how old he is even though I wrote a birthday tribute to him this year. He’s a great friend, a co-mastermind behind churchplanting123.com and interacts redemptively with collegians on a daily basis.


After several misunderstandings (“Guest clogger? That’s not exactly my style of dance.”, “Guest logger? I don’t have a lumberjack shirt.”), I agreed to be a guest blogger on Jeff Noble’s often-acclaimed and sometimes read “Notes from the Trail.” Seriously, I’m happy to do it because I love my pastor, look up to him, and learn from him regularly. So here they are, “Five Things I Didn’t Learn in College.” Jeff’s keyboard, enjoy the time off.

  1. Women and men communicate differently – Okay, I did know this a little bit back then, but most of my knowledge in this area has come post-college. The four females who live in my house continue to teach me daily how to communicate.
  2. The Redskins are a bad football team – Didn’t learn that in college, because they were good back then. Since they have never seen it, my kids don’t believe that the Redskins were ever good. They really were good a long time ago. Honest.
  3. The Church is more resilient than I can imagine – Two churches that I have gone to don’t exist anymore. My father (a former pastor) warned me before I left for seminary that I might be heading in the wrong direction because, “the church is full of hypocrites.” I have seen good people treated badly by church leaders on several occasions. But despite all of that, I have time and again seen the radiant Church rise out of the ashes of a bad situation. The Church is at her best when people understand the ministry of reconciliation, when her people embrace the gospel, savor the freedom Christ brings, and spread the word to others of the goodness and faithfulness of the Father.
  4. Knowing what to pay attention to and what to ignore is pretty important – I used to think that absorbing as much info and experience as possible would help me along the way, but many things that seem useful are just distractions. Finding the still small voice can make every other sound, no matter how seemingly helpful, take its place as just background noise.
  5. Don’t take it personally – There are countless opportunities in life to be offended by the words, actions, or lack of action of others. Too often I have taken offense when it would be much wiser to assume the best and extend grace. Colossians 3:12-13 speaks loudly to me here, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”

On this day...