A Warm Heart

One of the first things you realize as you step into my office, is my love of Auburn University. From the picture of Toomer’s Drugs (that serves the best hand squeezed lemon and lime aid) to the book about Auburn’s undefeated football season (that would be the 2004, not the 1993 season”¦which was nice also), there are reminders of my time at Auburn all around my office. I even have Ronnie Brown‘s rookie card that Derrek Engeler gave me. Auburn is part of who I am, and it doesn’t take knowing me long before you find out that it holds a warm place in my heart.

I still look back on my time at Auburn as foundational to what God has done in my life. My time at Auburn was not just about getting a degree in Civil Engineering but building my relationship with Him. I saw Him place me in a community of people who were trying to obey Him and seeking to fall in love with Him. They did not just want to know God themselves, but wanted to help others see God through what He was doing in their lives.

I remember reading my Bible and beginning to wrestle with the ramifications of what I read. I had been exposed to the truth of God’s word through great teaching when I was younger. I was now dealing with the applications of that truth. Their were times that it gave me great joy and comfort, but other times that it broke my heart as I realized just how deeply my disobedience hurt God.

Seeking to apply what I was learning is what led me to share Christ with others. It was not something that came naturally. But as I took steps in initiating conversations, I really got to know people. As I got to know them and what they thought about God, my heart was warmed. I can still remember the gambit of response people had to Christ. But mostly I remember how many had just never considered Christ.

I still get great joy sharing with people about my time at Auburn. One of the greatest joys about what I get to do here at Stonebriar, is to help people fall in love with Christ. For some people, it is clearing up misconceptions of this person they had started a relationship with. For others, it is getting to introduce them to Him. In both cases my heart is warmed as I get to share about the difference Christ has made in my life.

Published by: John Shapiro

Join the Conversation


  1. Thank you for the good word. During the past year while attending Stonebriar, I’ve come to have a closer relationship with Christ. The Pastors at Stonebriar along with my outstanding Bible Fellowship teacher have removed the ‘fluff’ of religion and placed the space with the great ‘stuff’ that is need to have a stronger relationship with Christ.

  2. I just couldn’t help responding to your great love of Auburn and how God worked in your life to draw you closer to him and to find application for the truth you had already learned.

    I must say that I love BIOLA University for many of the same reasons. My Jeep sports a BIOLA License plate holder, my home has evidence of BIOLA everywhere with coffee mugs, BIOLA Connections publications, T-shirts and more!

    A recent joy was to walk thru Commencement at BIOLA just last month. While my picture was in the annual as graduating in 1971 it took me “only” till December 2006 to finish my last three courses to graduate at age 65. It was no small thing to receive my diploma from Dr. Clyde Cook, President of BIOLA and head of the Missions Department when I attended BIOLA and to experience the commencement address by our own Pastor, Chuck Swindoll.

    Recollections of Torrey Bible conference with Dr. Ryrie, Dr. Pentecost, Dr. Hendrix, Dr. Kyper , Dr. Walvoord and other great men help me understand why God has kept my heart centered on him. I can also recall amazing teaching in BIOLA chapel from men like Ray Stedman, and young men like Louis Palau, Tim LaHaye, Josh McDowell, Stuart Briscoe, John McArthur and many more.

    The memories of good friends like John Coulombe who spoke at our first Stonebriar Men’s Retreat and recently on Sunday Morning at Stonebriar Community Church are walking testimonies of men who live their lives to draw men, women and children to our Father.

    The legacy of BIOLA and Missions encompass the globe and began the formation of a passion for missions that God has given me.

    I’m thankful for BIOLA and other great evangelical schools on higher education that minister to the heart and soul and mind.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *