Bluefield College students were challenged to develop a more intimate relationship with God during the school’s 20th Annual Duremdes Christian Emphasis Week, September 28-30, featuring the nationally renowned ministry of Generation Next evangelist David Nasser and the uplifting music of Dana Jorgensen.
Sponsored by Drs. Gene and Jane Duremdes of Princeton, West Virginia, BC’s Christian Emphasis Week is designed to challenge students and the community at-large to “examine their spiritual lives” through the facilitation of inspirational speakers, like Nasser. Sensing a “special calling to share with the students of Bluefield College some of the blessings [they] have received from the Lord,” the Duremdes say their hope is that the annual event provides the opportunity for students to “seek answers to life-impacting questions.”
“It’s their (the Duremdes) desire that every student at Bluefield College know the love of God,” said Campus Minister David Taylor about the purpose of the annual Duremdes event, “and that through Christian Emphasis Week students have a genuine encounter with Christ.”
This year, Nasser served to facilitate that purpose as keynote speaker for Christian Emphasis Week. A speaker, author, minister and visionary whose ministry reaches out to the high-tech, attention-lacking culture of Generation Next, Nasser spoke to BC students about developing an intimate relationship with God so that we hear not only his shouts, but also his whispers. We reach that level of communion with God, Nasser said, through intentional, regular prayer.
“Celebrities and dignitaries have access to people of influence, but we as Christians have access through prayer to the God of the universe,” said Nasser, who uses relevant methods in sharing his message to more than 700,000 people annually. “In the busyness of life, set aside time for prayer, for your relationship with God. Find that sacred place to pray and to be in intimate communion with God.”
Nasser, founder of DNO Ministry, a rapidly growing mentoring and consulting organization, also spoke to BC students about the fraud of doing the right thing for the wrong reason. Christianity, he said, is not just about our actions.
“It’s okay to raise your hands in worship, unless you’re doing it so everyone will say ‘look at how spiritual he is,” Nasser said. “It’s alright to pray in public, if you’re not doing it to impress people. What we do as Christians is less about our actions and more about our heart, our intentions.”
Jorgensen — a one-time aspiring professional hockey player from Canada who washed cars and delivered pizzas before moving to Nashville, Tennessee, to turn his singing and songwriting hobby into a career — led the music and worship for the week. Performing songs from his third album, “Everything to Beautiful,” Jorgensen said that while his music offers encouragement and hope, it also presents simple, honest questions about following and trusting God.
Between the messages in his music, Jorgensen shared his testimony and three important points he challenged BC students to live by: 1) to be encouragers of one another, 2) to pray for one another, and 3) to love one another.
“When we allow God to do his work,” said Jorgensen, who played music in a rock band before becoming a youth and worship leader at North Shore Alliance Church in Vancouver, “we realize that no matter where we’ve come from, no matter where we are, no matter how dark the path may seem, God truly turns ‘everything to beautiful.'”