Monday, December 1, 2014

Holiday Cheer

I wish I could share with you everything that has happened in November because I just feel like it has been such a challenging and encouraging month.  I definitely can't, so I'm going to pick and choose just a few things to talk about.  First, I want to ask: how has ministry impacted you?

I would like you to think about this question for a second.  I'm assuming it has, otherwise you wouldn't be interested in reading this.

Without ministry I would be in a much different place.  I'm not really sure if I would have graduated college or would even be alive right now.  I was making some pretty stupid, dangerous decisions in high school.  What was worse, no one really knew about them except for me.  To the world I seemed fine.  I ran cross country.  I was on science bowl.  I finished high school with a full year of college credit.  But I can tell you underneath all of that there was a chaos and destructiveness even I didn't fully understand.  God really did change all that, and he used campus ministry to do it. I've seen so many lives changed just like mine, and it just amazes me over and over again what God can and is willing to do.  Now each of those people is out there impacting others for God in the same way they were impacted.  That is just so cool to me, and I think that is what college ministry is all about.  We get to impact so many different types of people: jocks, loners, fraternity and sorority people, atheists, muslims, international students, and the list could go on and on.  The possibilities are endless.  Once students are impacted, the gospel never stays with them.  They become compelled to share it with as many people as they can.  It isn't just the school that becomes impacted, but families as well.  The families the student has and will have.  FOCUS is doing its first annual fundraising initiative.  In order for us to keep growing and impacting students, we need money.  We need you to send out the video anyway that you can: Facebook, twitter, instagram, and especially email.  Email it to everyone you know who would be interested in keeping college ministry possible.  Thank you for all that you do, as well.  Without your belief and investment in college ministry, the people on these campuses would have a lot less people working to bring them closer to God which is such a sad alternative reality.  You have already made such a difference to these students.

On a lighter note, I hope your holidays went well.  I got to spend Thanksgiving with my brother which was a lot of fun, then I flew home to Amarillo to spend time with my dad, stepmom, and sister.   It was a very busy break, but I think it was exactly what I needed to keep me going until Christmas break.  Ugh, I can't even believe Christmas break is so close!  We just had our last Friday night FOCUS before we left for the Thanksgiving break, and we're having our Christmas party on Friday, December 5th!  This semester has literally flown by.

So I want to share a really cool story with you about our outreach.  The last week we were doing our questions on display boards at TWU it was so incredibly cold.  It was just going to be Kaitlyn and I standing in the cold, so we weren't really sure if we wanted to switch to campus conversations.  We thought not a whole lot of people would have stopped since it was so cold outside.  Well people did stop, and we also had the most student help with working the boards at TWU since we started in August.  While we were all trying to engage people, this girl stopped and hung around for a little bit, trying to read what all the boards said.  I asked her which board she was going to pick as most challenging to her, and we started talking about her faith.  I ended up getting her number and inviting her to our TWU FOCUS that night.  One of our other students, Adriana, did a similar thing, and we had two girls from outreach come to our FOCUS that night.  They both attended FNF, too.  It was just so incredibly cool to see what happens just by showing up and being faithful with what you're given.

Another thing I'd like to share is what we are doing in Ronnie's class.  We just finished reading all of the gospels, and we are working on sermon's that explain the gospels in our own words.  We are basically answering the question I asked you previously, and I can tell you it is not an easy question to formulate an answer for.  Having this assignment has been so good, yet so challenging because I've had to sit down and think through why I do and believe what I do.  Some scary questions can occur when you look deeper into Christianity.  There are a lot of inconsistencies or unknown subjects that seem so important, and this year Ronnie has really helped us ask those scary questions while navigating us to the important answer: Jesus is Lord.  Writing this sermon has just helped consolidate all the thoughts, fears, emotions, and convictions I've come away with since becoming a Christian.  I'd highly recommend for you to think through what your own gospel is if you haven't already.

Lastly I want to share an encouragement I received.  So at the beginning of the month I was just under $300 short a month.  I had so many stressful things going on that fundraising had changed from this gift from God to something else I had to worry about.  I asked God to help me out and show me who he wanted to join his team.  His response was someone showing up at my house and asking me if I still needed supporters.  I literally had to do no work!  I'm still $200 short, but God helped me change my thinking pretty darn quick.  I know money is probably about to get really short for you with the holidays coming up, so I hope this reminder I received helps you as well.  God will provide, so go ahead and be generous:)

Well that is all I have for you.  Thank you for reading.  I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and safe travel!  See you again next month:)