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The Magazine for Alumni and Friends of Calvin College

Book of Hearts
By Mike Van Denend


Three hundred and fifty words are not many to express spiritual truths.

Yet given a difficult assignment, Calvin alumni and friends are meeting the challenge and sending the Alumni Association thoughtful messages of faith.

Since last summer, hundreds of Calvin-connected persons have been invited to write a 350-word devotional for a book entitled "My Heart I Offer."

The book will contain 366 devotionals, one for every day of the year. (One alum even wrote a piece especially for Leap Day, February 29.)

"My Heart I Offer" is a joint venture of the Alumni Association and the college's development office and will be made available to alumni and friends this fall, mainly through the Calvin Fund appeal.

I serve on a committee chaired by Wally Bratt '55, professor of German, emeritus; Sunmee Jo '93, a legal aid attorney and Alumni Board member; Tracey Gebbia '85, a graphic designer and Alumni Board member; pastors Mary Hulst Antonides '91 and Scott Hoezee '86; and Calvin director of foundation relations Lois Westveer Konyndyk '66.

We seven alumni have the privilege of reading these most amazing songs of the heart.

Some of the submissions were written out of sorrow, others from a mountaintop of joy. A teacher reflects on the childlike faith of his students; a biologist walks through the woods and admires what she sees as the work of a mighty God.

There are cancer survivors, camp counselors, adoptive parents, soccer coaches, blues singers, proud grandparents, homebuilders, computer experts and Bible students. In short, "My Heart I Offer" represents the story of our lives.

While all three living Calvin College Presidents --- Spoelhof, Diekema and Byker --- wrote a devotional and some writers mention specific campus experiences in their message, the book is not a group of Calvin reminisences.

Rather, this volume will declare that many alumni of Calvin have truly made their life's motto that of the college's. They have offered their hearts to God and served Him, promptly and sincerely.

Through "My Heart I Offer," we will all be encouraged by what God has shown them on their journeys. Perhaps each day we read a devotional, a fellow Calvin grad will help equip us for our journey.

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