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August Update!

 

Hello again! Summer has come and gone. We wrapped up the last few days of the month with covid. I was a tad thankful for the reset. For anyone who knows campus ministry, August is the fast-paced beginning of the year. There's a lot I'm looking forward to, but it is crazy. Pray for us as we go out and move the freshman in (Ahhh, it's been so hot). Pray as we have new leaders step up. I'm excited about how they will rise to the occasion. We also have four new leaders at Tarrant County College. Pray for them as they partner with Graham and me for year two on the campus. Anyways, here's what I've been up to. 

I am continuing my one-on-one bible studies with people who are in town. I have had the pleasure of meeting with a lady from TCC named Amelia. We meet during her lunch break and it is seriously so sweet. We catch up and then do our bible study. I am excited for what she will do in the fall. 

Graham and I both had the honor of attending our church's teen camp. We both were able to preach a lesson there. Our theme was "Called by Name" and it is based on Isaiah 43. Verse one of that chapter says, "But now, this is what the Lord says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine". Shoutout to the very first episode of the Chosen. This is the verse that Mary knew and was threaded throughout that episode. 

Every sermon had the theme of God calling you. My sermon was specifically being called through suffering. The youth pastor wanted the sermons to preach from the Old Testament. In sharing and writing my story, I had a perfect verse from the Old Testament to share that actually ministered to me during that time. I have a vivid memory from when my mom was in hospice. My brain wandered and the thought crossed my mind, " People have left their faith for the same reason and sometimes even less". This wasn't a moment that I was actually considering leaving Jesus. I just realized that I was currently enduring a moment where some have chosen to walk away. Death is so hard to watch and go through. About as quick as that thought came through, a verse popped into my head. It comes from Isaiah 29: 

You turn things upside down as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, “You did not make me” Can the pot say to the potter, “You know nothing”?

This verse became a very meaningful image for me from that point on. Suffering is like being clay that is molded by a potter. A lot of work goes into creating beautiful pottery. First, you have to pound down the clay. You have to scrap the excess off and sometimes you have to completely start over. I found that this verse spoke to me deeply. I was like the clay asking the potter why he made me the way he had. I used this imagery in my sermon. I was able to share my story with my mom and her fight against cancer. It was surreal speaking to sixteen and seventeen years olds about this. I felt like I was looking out on people right at the age when my life changed. I also was able to praise all the good things God did during and after my mother's passing. Our suffering can be mixed into times of joy and plentiful too. 

I got to stay with students who were graduating. It made me excited for the school year to start. But, I was able to interact with all high school-aged ladies I had a moment with one of the teens where she confided in me about difficulty with her parents. I asked a bunch of questions and then realized she was exactly ten years younger than me. Guys. Any advice on realizing you are getting older? It's like yes, I have the mental pathways to recognize there are people younger than me, but man, it's wild the distance of ten years. Here's my shameless plug: pour into people who are younger than you. Teens want people in their youth to talk to and show them, Jesus. Kids want Jesus-loving adults to serve in their church and point them towards truth. I am so glad I got to go.

Thank you so much for your support of my ministry. It is unreal to think it is the start of my fifth year doing this work. You guys make it possible. I know I say this every month, but I cannot stress the gratitude that fills my heart every time I begin to type. Your prayers are my lifeline. Your support encouraged me to move forward. Thank you! 




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