Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Well Done!


Matthew 25:21
His master replied, "Well done, good and faithful servant!  You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.  Come, and share your master's happiness!"

Recently, my family attends the dedication ceremony of three resident halls on the Emory - Oxford College campus in the small, historic town of Oxford, Georgia.  We are guests of honor as one of those halls is named after my father, William H. (Bill) Murdy.

Dad's career began at Emory University in Atlanta, or "Big Emory" as the Oxford College folks refer to it.  He taught biology for over 30 years, serving multiple times as chairman of the department.  Time and again, Dad found himself in situations which called for true servant leadership (you can read a detailed description of what it means to be a servant-leader at my friend, Andy Wood's, blog Lifevesting).  His talents were noticed.  Really noticed.

My brother, Bill, affectionately recounts the day when the president of Emory tapped our father to be the new dean of the then struggling Oxford College.

"Can you give me a few weeks to think about it?"  Dad asked as this would mean a huge life-shift for him.

"I'll give you all the time you need," the president assured him, "as long as your answer is 'yes.'"

And, as they say, the rest is history.  Dad served as dean of Oxford College from 1987 until he retired in 1999.  In those 12 years, the college saw a massive transformation for the better.

Why?  Because Dad let with vision, confidence, and respect for all who worked with him.  He valued their input.  He listened attentively.  Everyone had a role to play.  Everyone was an important part of the Oxford team.

Dad never asked anyone to do anything he wasn't willing to do himself.  He was never too busy to lend a helping hand or give requested advice.  He practiced the art of civil discourse, and compromise when necessary.

But, as the speaker noted when recalling Dad's qualities:  "Dean Murdy never compromised on his values."

Nor, should we.

As Christians, we are called to carry Christ's message of love into the world, but not be of the world.  We are called to be good and faithful servants, in tasks both large and small.  If we are following our Lord, we are loving Him with our whole hearts and loving others as ourselves.

Dad's life and work reflected this Golden Rule.  The beautiful residence hall may bear his name, but his legacy of love, leadership, and service are written on countless hearts of Oxford graduates, faculty, and staff.

And, on the heart of God . . .

Well done, Dad!  Well done!

~

At this point in my posts, I usually leave a question for you.  Today, I leave you with photographs from this day's events taken by my husband, Danny.  Enjoy!


It was a windy day, and these coverings of photos and plaques kept trying to blow away.



My brother, Bill, and mom, Nancy, talking with Oxford folks.



Waiting for the ceremony to start.


Dean Stephen Bowen is the first speaker.



Joe Moon, Dean of Campus Life, was hired by my Dad and is still faithfully serving the college.


Michele Sheets, Director of Residential Education & Services


Bill and I holding etched glass tributes to our father's legacy.  Very emotional . . .




Virginia Rose was so well behaved during the ceremony.



Three generations enjoying the beautiful day.


The residence hall


Love this photo of my dad . . .

Will you pray with me?
Dear Father, create in us the heart of a servant, that we may love and serve You with our whole hearts and love others as ourselves.  We thank You for the lives and legacies of other Christians who have inspired us in our faith walk.  May we one day hear You say of our earthly lives, "Well done, good and faithful servant!"  Amen.

Postscript:  After seeing the photos, some of you may be wondering why my father is not at the ceremony.  Unfortunately, or, perhaps, fittingly, as Dad always hated being "fussed over," his Alzheimer's has progressed to the point where he can no longer leave the house.

28 comments:

  1. Your father sounds like an amazing man. You must be proud and very grateful. What a beautiful legacy sweet Martha. I loved the photos.
    Blessings sweet sister.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Leah!
      Yes, I am proud of my father - he touched so many lives for the better as both a professor and a dean. I just wish he was in better health . . .
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  2. WOW, your dad sounds amazing and you are obviously very proud of his achievements. What a life filled with blessings! ♥

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    1. Yes! Dad blessed so many others during his tenure.
      Thanks so much for coming by, Kathy, and for your kind words!
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  3. Martha,

    Thanks for sharing this amazing tribute to your daddy. He is a treasure, as are you. It sounds like your dad would have been a wonderful instructor to have or a wonderful boss.

    My prayer is that I live my life in such a way that one day, I hear, "Well, done, my good and faithful servant..."

    Love and blessings!

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    1. Thanks so much for coming by, Kim!
      Dad was all of those things, and so much more. And, may we all live in such a way that the Lord will one day say to us, "Well done!"
      Love and blessings to you!

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  4. That's so wonderful. What a tribute to an obviously wonderful guy. Sad to hear about the Alzheimer's, but this is a beautiful post. Thanks Martha.

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Jason, and glad you liked the post.
      Yes, Dad was truly a servant-leader. :)
      Blessings to you!

      Delete
  5. Oh my, what a legacy and a tribute, my friend. You and Bill have huge footsteps to follow, and an amazing heritage. I believe the marks of the greatest leaders are, when they are in the process of leading one group, others look to them as an example as well. It's one thing to be the boss... it's another to multiply the canopy of influence across generations, spheres, and interests. Your father was obviously that kind of man, and it explains a lot about the servant and leader you are today.

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    1. Thanks so much for coming by, Andy, and for allowing me to share the link to your wonderful blog!
      I am so touched by your kind comment here. I don't consider myself a "leader" per se, but a servant? Oh, I hope and pray so! And, yes, Bill and I do have very huge footsteps to follow, ones for which we could never be thankful enough.
      Blessings to you always, my friend!

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  6. Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Galen, for coming by and for your kind comment. So appreciated, my friend!
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  7. Just beautiful Martha! Your father sounds like an exemplary and wonderful role model. And it lives on in you! Thank you so much for sharing! :)

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    1. Thanks so much, Vrndavana, for visiting today and for your heartfelt comment. Know that this touched my heart and soul. If I can be half the person my father was, I will one day hear, "Well done!"
      Love and blessings!

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  8. How proud you must be of your dad. Beautiful tribute!

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    1. Thanks so much, Debra! Yes, I couldn't be prouder. :)
      Love and blessings!

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  9. Respect to your dad...and for all those in the teaching profession which in itself is a noble one.
    It must have been a emotional travel down the memory lane.
    Prayers with you and your family.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Janaki!
      Yes, it was very emotional for us all, but we were all so happy we could be there for Dad when he couldn't make it.
      Thank you for the prayers!!!
      Love and blessings!

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  10. A beautiful and touching tribute, Martha. Your dad is a perfect example of how Christ is one great leader and yet He came down to earth not to be served, but to serve. I see why you are an amazing lady... a great man raised you well. Hugs to you and God bless. <3 :-)

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    1. Thank you, Irene, for your kind words here.
      Yes, I had a great example in my father in how to live with love, honor, dignity, and values. I'm one very fortunate daughter.
      Love and blessings!

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  11. I can feel the pride you must be feeling at such moments :)

    God bless, and touchwood Martha lovely pics and yes very touching moment!

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    1. Thanks so much, Me!
      This was a very happy day for us, though emotional, too, as my Dad is suffering so much right now.
      Thank you for coming by!
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  12. Lovely photos and congrats Martha! And love that your Dad's story of hard work, persistence, and always staying true to himself. Must have been a great role model for so many young people and your family too. It will be nice to see Murdy whenever you walk by it or visit :) I'm sure it will bring back many fond memories of your Dad for many.

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Vishnu!
      Yes, it is a lovely tribute which will bring back fond memories for so many. Very proud of my Dad and all his hard work.
      Glad you enjoyed the photos, too.
      Blessings to you!

      Delete
  13. Lovely tribute Martha. I can feel the pride and joy. What an inspiration your dad was. Thanks for sharing your lovely photos.

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    1. Thanks so much for coming by, Suzy!
      Yes, Dad was such an inspiration and I couldn't be prouder of him.
      Love and blessings!

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  14. This is very inspiring Martha ~ what a great man your father is!

    I felt I was part of the whole celebration ~ we celebrate God and your father who has generously lent his heart and his hands to the young ones.

    I pray with you ~ may the Father recognize us and our may our life offering be fitting to join Him in His Heavenly banquet.

    Lord, we offer You our hearts.

    Lots of love dear Martha and I continue to pray with you for your father.

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Melissa!
      Glad this post made you feel a part of it all. :) It was a glorious day for our family.
      And, yes, may our life journeys make the heart of God sing for joy!
      Love, prayers, and blessings!

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