Skip to main content

July Update!

Hey! We made it back from Italy. 

I still cannot believe we got to go. We are incredibly thankful. The weather and the pasta were hot. We praise God we made it back in one piece. 

I wanted to share a more reflective update this month. One of my favorite parts of my job is doing one-on-one studies with students. I love reading the Bible and creating space for people to think through God's word. Our series this summer at our services is actually over our study. We are teaching the heart behind the lessons. Our one-on-one study is called "Focus on Jesus". It's about eight-nine lessons (many people take whole semesters to go over it). We cover different biblical concepts and well, help people focus on Jesus. 

The first lesson is called "Words of Life". There we talk about how we view scripture and what we expect to get out of it. This, to me, is such an important place to start. We talk about what biases we might bring and how we should come to the Bible humbly. I love this lesson. So, I really loved when one of our pastors Garret got up and shared a sermon about it. It has been on my mind since hearing him. He shared that he had recently been ministering in some really tough situations. Situations where people were utterly broken and devastated. He shared that in those moments when facing these unthinkable circumstances, all he had to offer was the word of God. No words from his worldly wisdom could suffice. What gives people hope is what is in the Bible. What speaks into the darkest places is God's word.

 I have found in ministry that often a temptation I face is to give people my thoughts or psychology. I'm a natural problem solver. I love thinking up steps to help get people out of messes. Of course, the issue here is that this might be alright when a student oversleeps but is super problematic when it is matters of the heart. I should not just slap a bandaid of steps on someone who is struggling to pray. "Oh, just add an alarm to your phone. You'll pray more then". I should be inquisitive. I should pray and discern what might be causing them to not seek God. Steps are helpful; we all need practicals at different times, but in my effort to problem-solve, I can miss the opportunity to bring them to the foundation of life that is God. John 4:13-14 comes to mind: 

 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

I can be like the water that leaves people thirsty when I don't point people to Jesus. the Bible is like living water to me. I can think of many ministry situations this semester where the people I met with needed to hear the word of God. Only God could speak into the pain they were experiencing. The word of God was like a tether for their soul because God felt distant. I wanted to share this because I think we all need to be reminded of the powerful resource we have. I pray you too can prayerfully think through where you need the word of God. I pray that your words can be like living water to the people around you. 

A personal favorite to share with people is Hebrews 4:15-16:


 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.


This is good news. 

Thank you so much for your support of this ministry. Be praying for August. Pray we can be ready to meet all the freshmen!! It's an exciting time. 

Here is some of the art I saw in Italy: 

This one... can't remember its name, but it is Eve and the snake. The detail was amazing. There is a little snake head on her shoulder. 

This is a tapestry in the Vatican. It is depicting people killing their sons after Herod's decree. This one amazed me. It is so beautiful, yet it is showing something horrific and gruesome.

This painting of Jesus is just gorgeous. It was breathtaking. 



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

August Update!

  This update is full of prayer requests and news! Let’s get started.  I just got back from our summer staff retreat with our entire staff team. One of the key parts I want to underline is: we have not had our entire staff together on a retreat since my apprentice year. Our staff has boomed in size because we are taking on nineteen apprentices this year. Nineteen. It’s exciting to experience a surge of new people and to see our team grow. I had a strange moment during the retreat where I realized some of these apprentices were students when I started back in 2018. Now, I get to partner with them in reaching our campuses this fall. I guess that’s what happens the longer you work at a place.  One of the most exciting updates I have is that we will be pioneering five new campuses this fall. Each team is focusing on a different campus. One thing that has blown me away during my time in FOCUS is how the Lord has worked on community college campuses. I remember visiting a Collin College serv

February Update!

  Hello again! It’s time for an update. This month is packed with ministry goodness; let’s hop in.  January is all about our annual winter camp and school starting. I thought this month would be a little slow due to school being online for the first three weeks. Thankfully, I was wrong. Many of our students were in town despite the virtual schooling, we have been able to have our meeting in person on campus. This has created energy! With classes being online, our staff decided it would be a great idea to start the semester with an evangelism sermon series. We are wanting our students to grow in seeing their classroom as their mission field. Graham actually got to preach one of the messages! He casted a vision for us having the opportunity to bring little pockets of heaven to our world now. The idea is that we know Jesus and how he brings life. We have been given the same mission to bring life to our spheres. Pray that as classes go back in person our students will be bold! I found this

November Update!

  November is my favorite month. I am excited for the leaves to change and for the weather to get colder. Students are counting down the days till they can go home for Thanksgiving break. I cannot believe there are 5 weeks left of the semester. Pray for our students as they prepare for tests. Anyways, let’s get this show going.  Ministry has taken a while this semester to settle for me. I am leading a small group at UTA and helping with TCC. I felt like the first two months were full of meeting people then October hit and I was left wondering how one person can hang out with all the people I’ve met. God has been bringing such neat people into my life this semester. My small group at UTA is going well. Our group consists of some ladies who are in their second or third year in our ministry mixed with new girls. So, our veteran members have been taking initiative to include the new ones. Sam and I have been thoughtful in considering what topics to talk about. There is an opportunity in o