Sunday, May 31, 2009

Ralph Graduates!

CBF greatly encourages life-long learning. In 1998 while on our first off-field assignment Ralph began a journey of completing his Masters of Divinity degree through the Baptist Theological Seminary of Richmond. BTSR was willing to accommodate Ralph's need to study long distance (a very long distance!) and his inability to be on-campus regularly. The administration at CBF supported the idea and enabled Ralph to be at BTSR when required. It was a long journey and Ralph persevered. We fondly recall the Hymnology class requiring him to join the hymn sings via phone. This meant getting up at 1AM and singing in the pantry so he wouldn't disturb the rest of the family. What did the neighbors, security guards coming and going at odd hours, think when they heard that??

The Stocks family made their way to Richmond along with friends to whoop and holler when Ralph's name was called. The night before graduation a towel service was held. Each graduate receives a towel as a symbol of serving as Christ did, humbly. We laughed later when our good friends, Laura (Virginia's WMU executive director and commencement keynote speaker) and Henry McDaniel presented Ralph with a BIG towel! They decided after 11 years of study he needed it.

We would like to thank all of you that supported Ralph through this journey. We appreciate the prayers, words of encouragement, loaning of books, the use of vehicles to make the trips to Richmond, and the many other gestures of kindness during this time. To God Be the Glory!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Today Ralph and I celebrate 24 years of marriage! Has it really been that long? We celebrated by going with our children to Busch Gardens and having a great time as a family.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Amy Graduates!

Graduation! How can we suddenly be the parents of a college graduate? Amy's graduation from Campbell University has been one our most anticipated activities for this off-field assignment. What a celebration it was!

Family and friends joined us for a graduation supper the Friday night before. Since Ralph also graduates the end of this month (more on that in two weeks) we had a huge party for both of them. We had family from Missouri that brought the famous Earnhardt ribs, friends from everywhere including South Carolina, and our CBF supervisors from Atlanta (They have been very supportive of Ralph's journey to get his degree for all these years!) The rain held off so we could be outside. We put together puzzles of old pictures of Amy and Ralph and then played "How Well Do You Know Amy & Ralph?" It was surprising to see how many people actually knew so many details! Everyone had a fun time.

Graduation day began with the baccalaureate service in which Ralph had been asked to read scripture. So he, Amy, and Tyler got invitations to the VIP luncheon. The rest of us joining them in the afternoon for the commencement service. With over 500 graduates it took 25 (!) minutes for them to process in! We stood proudly when the name, "Amy Lee Stocks, Magna Cum Laude" was announced. Then before we could blink, Amy was a college graduate.

After a light supper at Amy's apartment, we all made our way back home. What a day! We were tired but Ralph and I could only grin from ear to ear with pride! Amy Lee Stocks, Campbell University, Class of 2009.