Embracing the Mistake

For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again… Proverbs 24:16

The anticipation of finishing up the lion drawing filled me with excitement. I could not wait to share it with the team. At this point, I had spent nearly 21 hours drawing and praying over the team as I created the lion. I only had two small sections left to fill. We were driving along the freeway and I did not want to wait until we arrived at our destination so I pressed on in my drawing. The roads were smooth and I did not think it would interfere. Just as I started to draw, we hit a major bump in the road and I drew a a line across the section that messed up the design I was going to create. At first, I froze and gasped, but then I told myself, “Wait! Just as in life we must embrace the pain in order to grow, how can I embrace this mistake and use it for the glory of God?” I looked at it for a minute said a short, “Help me LORD!” prayer and then I had an idea. It was not the design I had originally intended, but it was beautiful in its own right. When someone gazes at the lion, they would never know that I had messed up when I only had about 10 minutes left in drawing when I had spent a total of 21 and a half hours preparing.

Sometimes, we mess up bad. We hit a major bump in the road, we make a choice that causes us to fall into the pit of sin. We say something we should not have or just choose the wrong path for a season. Instead of fighting God, we need to just embrace it and ask Him to help us move through it. Without our realizing it, it will become a part of God’s great design in how He grows our character. When we embrace our mistakes by owning them this is when God can use them.

Father, please help us to embrace our mistakes and give them over to You!

Simply, Dr. Tara Rye

Click here to order a T-shirt with the lion drawing to support the Israel Team.

“Skies Are Blue” GU Studio Band Project

“Skies Are Blue” GU Studio Band Project

Grace University’s Studio Band produced and released “Skies Are Blue” this past spring.

All songs on the album (except Holy Night) were written, arranged, and recorded by students in the class. Each student contributed their own unique skills/talents to the songs.

The majority of the music was recorded at Commonwealth Studios throughout the 2015-’16 school year.

It is available at all your favorite online music services.


*Skies Are Blue is the product of the Grace University Studio Band class in Omaha, NE.

Rob Benson (drums)
Andrew Dick (bass guitar)
Brian Dick (electric guitar)
Shamez Foster (lyrics/voice/acoustic guitar)
Obed Gamez (assistant recording engineer)
Christa James (lyrics/voice/cello)
Jana James (voice/violin)
Jon Molina (recording engineer)
Julia Nachtigal (lyrics/voice/piano)
Ryan Nordstrom (lyrics/voice/acoustic guitar)
Andy Stone (lyrics/voice)


Congratulations to the Donald J. Tschetter Servant Leadership Award Winners

Congratulations to the Donald J. Tschetter Servant Leadership Award Winners

Each year, Grace University faculty select the graduating man and woman who exemplify well-balanced Christian character, outstanding scholarship, and spiritual leadership consistent with the high ideals of Grace University. 

As the winners of this important award, Hunter McNeel, Christian Ministry, and Elisa Castillo, Music Education, were presented with a symbol of the Servant Leadership pyramid of Grace University for showing strong evidence of the following seven characteristics:

  1. A biblically literate student.
  2. A critical thinker.
  3. An obedient disciple of Jesus Christ.
  4. An engaging citizen.
  5. A compassionate leader.
  6. A global Christian.
  7. An equipped professional.

As part of the award process, recipients shared how Grace University helped transform them and identified some of these distinctives that have come true in their lives. 

Hunter shared, “There is nothing that our God cannot do. I have met people from around this world; and with all these people I hear the LORD’s love for them and His plan for them. God is moving around the world in ways beyond us, and I thank God for giving me such globally minded people at Grace to show me this awesome God that I am getting to know.”

Elisa followed with, “If I could summarize the greatest thing I learned during my time at Grace I would say: I learned that only someone who is an obedient disciple of Jesus, who has a surrendered heart, can experience abundant life, the kind of life God intends for us to have. And it is only when we have that kind of heart that other good goals, such as being biblically literate or an equipped professional, make total sense and can be fully met.”

This special award was established to honor Donald J. Tschetter who embodied the University’s mission and faithfully served the Lord at Grace University for 49 years from 1958 through 2007. In honor of their father, the children of Donald J. Tschetter presented the recipients with a financial award.


An Important Message from Dr. Jim Eckman

Dear alumni and friends,

Change is not something I especially appreciate. I love life when it is stable, predictable and orderly. But living in a fallen, broken world means that change is the norm and instability, temporary dysfunction and re-orientation more frequent than we desire. Grace University is undergoing one of those periods of change and instability. David Barnes has resigned as president and the Board of Trustees has asked me to re-engage with Grace. I retired nearly four years ago and have developed a number of ministries in which I am deeply involved. In addition to my adjunct teaching, I am on staff at my church part time and intensely involved in teaching four Bible studies throughout Metro Omaha. I am also engaged in several writing projects and in a mentoring ministry. However, I love Grace University, having devoted a significant portion of my adult life to this ministry. So, I have agreed to advise the Trustee Board and assume a leadership role in development at Grace.

The faculty and staff of Grace University remain deeply committed to the mission of Grace: To develop servant leaders for the home, the church and the world through excellence in biblically-integrated education and through life change in a personal, discipling environment, all for the glory of God.To sustain this mission, the Board has embarked upon a significant re-structuring and re-organizing of the University, and has also launched a critical analysis of nearly every aspect of the University. jim-eckmanFor example, the Board is assessing Grace’s entire athletic program, which grew significantly over the last three years. Further, the Board is analyzing the scholarship and discounting-of-tuition program at the undergraduate level, which has also grown over the last three years. The Board strongly believes that significant changes need to occur in each of these areas, which will necessitate additional adjustments and the re-allocation of University funds.

As President Emeritus, I remain deeply committed to Grace’s mission, to the faculty and staff, and to the students, both undergraduate and graduate. I have continued to teach at Grace as an adjunct professor and have led mentoring groups with some of the men at Grace. In dependence on the Lord, the future of Grace is bright. We are graduating 97 students this year, who will be change-agents for Christ. Graduate and adult-learner enrollment for fall looks strong as do key undergraduate programs. Over the years, through your prayers and your gifts, you have demonstrated support for the mission of Grace University. I am asking you to heighten that support. We need you to partner with us in meeting the financial needs of Grace for these upcoming summer months. Our need is quite significant and I am inviting you to do two things for me:

  • Commit to praying for Grace daily this summer. Pray for the Board as they analyze and reorganize each aspect of the University. Pray for our faculty as they teach, prepare and invest in our students. Pray that God will provide out of His abundant grace the funds needed for the critical summer months.
  • Commit to a sacrificial gift to Grace University to sustain the school during these summer months. I am asking you to be as generous as you can possibly be to meet this need.

Thank you so much for your prayers and your financial support of Grace University. We are doing important and eternally significant Kingdom work at Grace. Your partnership with us in this ministry will yield eternal dividends for God’s Kingdom work at Grace University. Thank you.

In His mighty grasp,

James P. Eckman, Ph.D.
President Emeritus