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There is Joy in the House of the Lord

 Greetings!  The semester is back in full swing. Above is a photo of our most recent Thursday night service. The campus is very particular about when we can reserve rooms, so we booked our student's favorite coffee shop. I'm not sure if this photo does justice of how packed the room was. I felt incredibly cool and trendy as I sat on a bar stool. I'm not sure how the pregnant lady ended up on the bar stool...  Anyways... Our semester started with a bang! We had our annual winter retreat in January. Over 500 students attended and we had a wonderful seminary professor come and speak. I wanted to share a couple of my personal highlights of this camp. Of course, the speaker was amazing. From the conversations I've had with students, many were impacted by a sermon he did about taking your emotions to God. Many of the students who shared this with me have gone through something traumatic or devastating in the past years. They felt like God would be disappointed if they shared
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Big News at the Bottom.

 Happy New Year!  The photo above is of some of us at Inks Lake State Park during our staff retreat.  We made it to the new year! I hope you all had some time of rest during Christmas time. Since you last heard from me, our semester ended and students went home. At UTA, We did a Christmas devotional service and then ended with a party. At TCC, we went to Chick-fil-a and all got free sandwiches. I love the rhythms of ministry. We always end with parties and food.  Over our break, we rested. We read our assigned reading for the break; a fabulous book called To Love as God Loves by Roberta Bondi . If I could surmise what I learned,   it would be that many things i.e. our sin and our lack of humility get in the way of loving those around us. The book looked at how monastic church mothers and fathers tackled this common issue with prayer and seeking God. This book was what our retreat centered around. Graham preached the chapter about love. Also, We went to Houston to visit one of Graham

It's Close to the End

Happy Late Thanksgiving.  I hope you had a great one with loved ones. I know I did.  Waldo was posed so perfectly by our Christmas tree that I had to snap a photo. The photo above one of our students taking home pizza from our event in November, Pizza Theology. She just cracked me up bringing to box with her into the lecture. Her name is Laura and she is easily one of the kindest people I know. She is one of our senior nursing students. The range of people she knows blows me away. I had the opportunity of hanging out with her and some TCC students during this month. I walked into our TCC cafe and there she was. My immediate thought was this girl is juggling so much, and still makes time for friends on other campuses.  I believe so deeply we need nursing students who model being a good student and someone who makes time for others. I see many nursing students disappear or become less involved once they are in their program. This isolation is honestly driven by fear of not preforming wel

Warning: This Post Has TONS of Photos.

 Somebody pinch me. How are we already done with October?  October felt daunting to me. I had several big events planned on most of the weekends this month: FOCUS's fall camp, my annual visit to Wichita Falls with students, and visiting Tenth and Broad for their Diamond Jubilee Celebration of missions. All of these events were special and exciting, but I felt intimidated that they would leave me feeling drained from lack of rest. You know I love to host and make sure people are having a great time. I prayed and God gave me the strength to be present at all of these events. It really helps that I get to work with some fun people.  On that note, I want to say thank you again for supporting me in ministry. Your partnering with me through financial support makes this ministry possible. I am so grateful for your faithful prayers. It never ceases to amaze me how kind God is and I am reminded as I type about this past month. Thank you! Anyways, Let's get into the first event: Wichita

Read Your Bible

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God."- Colossians 3:16      Back in August this verse was introduced to the staff as our theme verse. Our theme verse for the year is something we let guide our year as we plan everything. Last year, we focused on how to do evangelism through friendships. It was something we heated up and talked about with our leaders often. We saw students being bolder than ever in their classrooms, making efforts to befriend people who would not typically come to a ministry event. So, I love how this year's verse is influencing our community.       Our staff team has started different initiatives to promote scripture reading: a scripture memorization challenge and hosting a public scripture reading event weekly. The scripture memorization challenge has been going well. The first challenge was to memorize the Be

Many Reasons to be Thankful

Praise God for the 90 Degree Weather!  Our team is celebrating. We made it through the welcome week at UTA. It was hot. The days were long, but we met so many students. Our first service had 135 students attend. This was mind-blowing for us. Last year, we averaged around 85 students each week at our weekly service. I am finding myself celebrating the boom in our attendance and also, celebrating the opportunity for these people to hear the gospel through our service. It can be so easy to measure success by having more bodies in seats. I am praying that our student leaders will help us as we connect with each of these new students. I am praying we have tons of new one-on-one bible studies. Pray that no one will be overlooked as we experience this surge of people.  Our theme for this year is "Between Two Worlds". In the past two weeks, we have been preaching through the Beatitudes, exploring how Jesus compares His kingdom to our world. It starts in verse 3 by saying:    “Blessed