Hanging in our kitchen is a sign that says, “life’s greatest blessings call me grandma.” The sign asserts several significant aspects of reality, one of which is the obvious fact that the kitchen is grandma Peggi’s domain not mine. I visit there and help there. From that kitchen I am regularly fed and in that kitchen I am often entertained, informed, corrected, guided, reassured and hugged. But the sign of blessing is a sweet reminder that grandma’s kitchen is a very special place for young grandchildren to both bless and be blessed.
Hanging in visible places around our home are other signs of blessing:
- Choose joy
- May all your weeds be wildflowers
- Live life joyfully
Each of these signs of blessing was artistically handmade and given to us at Christmastime by Steve Varvis, Ph.D., and his wife Teri, just as they were given to many others. June 30, 2016, marks the last day of Steve’s service as provost/senior vice president, which is just one of many administrative and faculty roles in which Steve has blessed Fresno Pacific University for more than 30 years.
On July 1 Dale Simmons, Ph.D., officially assumes his duties as the interim provost/senior vice president, and Steve begins a well-earned and long-delayed sabbatical semester, after which he will move back into full-time teaching, scholarship, writing and a wide range of multidisciplinary contributions as a university professor. Steve has engraved countless signs of blessing in the people, programs, policies, plans, priorities and physical facilities of Fresno Pacific University.
His legacy is a Christ-centered university that consistently finds ways to joyfully harvest wildflowers in a world where pernicious weeds of all kinds constantly threaten to overwhelm the most noble of intentions. The academic and spiritual vitality of Fresno Pacific are signs of blessing for the region and the world. Steve helped us learn how to serve joyfully in the name of Christ, even in the hard times. The fact that Steve will be able to continue serving Fresno Pacific the rest of his career is a beautiful sign of God’s blessing on the university and on the church worldwide that we serve.