HEY GUYS!!! There’s something on my heart right now that I would really like to share with you all. There comes a time when our independence becomes almost…unappealing. It’s a time when your love for your family and the love for your home really comes out and you can’t help but long for them. Its a time when our pride gets pushed aside and all we want is to be at home again where there were no problems and no worries. That time has hit me sooner than I had thought, and I miss my family.
College is full of stress and full of business. Sometimes I fell like I’m ALWAYS on the go and have no time to myself to just relax. This really gives me an appreciation for the life I had back home that I took for granted. Some things I had then, that are now an entire state away, really pull on my heart strings and now I really miss them. The biggest thing I miss right now is by far my three little sisters.
I don’t know what your relationship is like with your siblings, if you have any, but I love my sisters more than anything in the world. My sisters names are Abigail, Izabel, and Porsche (10 years old, 8 years old, and 4 years old). Being without them has really shown me a lot of things I have taken for granted and really underestimated the amount of my life that they took up. We’ve always been really close but now that I’m so far away from them, I can really see how much they really meant to me. And now that they’re getting older, getting more social and having more peers in their lives it scares me knowing that their friends are impacting them more than I am. I want to show them Christ and His love but I’m afraid they won’t see that in their lives now that I’m not there. And it isn’t just my sisters that I miss but there’s a lot of things about my home that really suck to be without.
I just want you guys to know that sometimes we lose God’s gifts and forget God’s in the process of following God’s plan. And now that I’m in college, separated from my family, I can see the times God blessed me and I didn’t take notice, or I was given a gift from God I wasn’t aware of. I just pray that we, as a school, really take in the value of our families, and of God’s love, and really try not to forget the things that are important instead of getting lost in the future that isn’t even here yet. We have priorities right here and now that we cannot look past that we need to give to God and ask Him to work on, and that He works on those things through us, as Christians. That thing is my family and that’s what’s on my heart right now.
We went hiking through the Swiss Alps for our PE class….how sick is that.–yeah pretty sick right?! This was most definitely one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. We road trains to Stoos and then had to ride cable cars and then ski lifts (yes ski lifts) to the top of these massive mountains! It was the most breath-taking place I have ever been in my life. No doubt. The pictures that we have do not come close to its beauty. It is an experience that you have to actually be there to comprehend the magnificence.
We saw the land where Switzerland originated and that was so neat to learn about. The hike that we did was called The Blade. It got this name of its drop off slopes on both sides of the path. We hiked across the Swiss Alps on a trail called The Blade that was only about three feet wide. And yes- that is incredibly cool. The hike was three hours long and I wanted it to never end. A small group of us have already discussed going back and doing it again on a free day. WAIT- did I just say that in my free time I’m going to go hiking through the Swiss Alps? Why yes I sure did.
This experience has been so life changing and I cannot wait to see what it will bring in the next two months!
Learn something new today: The spiral ramps in castles or structures go clockwise for fighting purposes. It gives the native the advantage as they fight because it gives them bigger space for the hand and sword. While the enemy coming up has the opposite smaller space and the disadvantage.
This last weekend my paradigm was shifted from cool, fall weather consisting of scarves, boots, and pumpkins to a distant land far, far away filled with sunshine, shades, and desert. I was ready for a mental break, for a shift of gears. I was ready to set aside the college chaos for a weekend and allow my mind to take in something fresh and new.
Arizona is quite different from the epic state of Kansas. It contains a beauty that is quite unique, consisting of cacti, palm trees, red rock, and mountains. My man and I took off for this spectacular place for his daddio’s wedding. We were stoked, not only just to hang out with the Anderson clan, but also to show our support and excitement of a union between a wonderful man and a wonderful woman, both whom honor and love the Lord. The entire weekend was a laugh fest as people simply enjoyed each other’s company, and I was welcomed with open arms to be a part of this family and their celebration as if I had always been. Let’s just say, it was most definitely worth the trip. #realtalk
If we look hard enough, there are examples of redemption all over the place. As fall begins, I am reminded that the leaves will begin to turn and fall, plants will begin to wither and fade, and the cold will soon begin. Snow and the long winter will eventually set in and before we know it all green will cease. Yet, spring will surely come as it has always come, and the new will spring up and flourish. This weekend, as well as this season, is yet another reminder to me of how beautiful it is that God allows us to shed off the old and take on the new. Time and time again the opportunity is provided to become something new, something fresh—a redeemed being. We are never to a point where this opportunity is taken away because it is something not based upon our performance or character, but is something based completely on the character of our Lord—SOLID. We are not bound by our former selves unless we so choose to be bound. This freedom we crave is ours so long as we simply accept it. How beautiful it was to witness a picture of this as I saw a man so filled with love and joy as he awaited his beautiful bride, and as I saw a couple stand before us and commit their lives to each other before the Lord.
The congregating of Christ followers most likely started directly after the spread of Christianity in the first century. Over MANY years we have what we call church today. The beautiful buildings, sometimes testy air conditioning, hopefully comfy pews, potluck dinners, and outlandish youth group games are how the typical description of the church is perceived in typical minds and conversation. But, is that all we are? Are we defined by what we have and the look we give off? Have we become that superficial as a society? Now, don’t get me wrong, nice churches are most definitely a blessing from God. But if you dig deeper what really defines the church.
The church is the people, not the building. Now, there are some questions that arise with this statement. For me, thinking about this brought up the fact that in the Old Testament the church WAS the building and not so much the people. But why? In the Old Testament the church/ tabernacle had a Holy of Holies that was not for the common man to enter. This where God was; this is where the church was.
When Christ died, so did that. The Advocate ( Or in Greek, Paraclete <— I learned that in New Testament class) or the Holy Spirit changed the way things work. God is found in us. We have the opportunity to experience the power of Christ in our lives more than before. Now, this does not discredit church. We are still called to come together in Christ’s name! Plus, I mean who doesn’t love the wacky youth group games! Am I right or am I right?
The picture above was my church youth group on Sunday morning. I put it because my topic is church and what defines it, but mainly because it looks so sweet! We met in a building, but to me, many of those people I could experience the power of church outside that cramped room! I see God in those people more and more each day. That’s what it’s like here at MNU. Church could be the picture at the top or the one at the bottom; in a square with a fountain in the middle of downtown Wichita’s party scene blaring Jesus music, playing frisbee, talking to strangers, discussing life, and reading scripture. I could also experience church outside on the grass late at night or on my RA’s couch. To me, it’s beautiful that this whole campus is like a church. After all God shows up in more than a stained glass building! Matthew 18:20 says, “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” Now don’t get me wrong I believe God absolutely sees a congregation gathering to bring honor to His name on any given day! But as my pastor back home once eloquently stated, ” Sure you could go to church without members, you’d just end up saying ” Yeah, I went to building this morning.”.
In conclusion, I hope that this either opened your eyes to where or through who you could experience God. Never forget the way the church is talked about; the bride of Christ. And plus, why would Paul write letters to churches if they didn’t make a difference in life? As you go on with your busy day, take time to thank God for the gift of freedom, fellowship, and unfailing love he presents to us.
What do you do when you find out one of your professors is turning the big 6-0?
Bake cupcakes with your friends and break into his office to decorate, of course!
Okay, maybe we didn’t really break into his office, we had another professor meet us and open it before he got to school, but for the sake of the story, let’s call it breaking in.
Unfortunately we weren’t the only ones with the idea to decorate. Or maybe it was fortunate, because it adds to the element of surprise? We showed up and the door was covered in birthday wrapping paper, and there were helium filled balloons inside and out of his office. So what did we do?
Add to the chaos!
We filled 24 balloons and covered the floor, draped his desk/bookshelf/window with streamers, and left a plate of funfetti cupcakes on his desk numbered with the “60″ candles. A little surprise to add to the fun was a birthday boy ribbon we left on his desk for him to wear all day.
And yes, he wore it. But only after I went in and made sure he got the message.
So Professor Hamilton, thanks for all you do for us at school and for pushing us to be our best at all times. Hope the decorations didn’t take too long to clean up, and you’re welcome for deciding against the confetti. Happy 60th, here’s to 60 more to come!
Hey Guys!! What’s up? How’s your week going? I don’t know why I’m asking you questions, you can’t respond! Anyway, this week has been stressful for me. It’s all been work, work, work, sleep, work, work, eat, work, sleep, work. Sometimes I feel like there is no time to myself or to just get away and relax. But then there’s that time of week when my stress level goes down drastically. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are the three days a week that I just stop what I’m doing and have fellowship with some friends.
Fridays I have a small group bible study with a couple of my friends, Tuesday nights I have a small group for guys, and then Wednesdays I attend Kairos. These groups are a huge part of my week. I feel like I have a little taste of my Sabbath in every one of them. Are you involved in a small group of some sort? Yes? No? Well you should be! Small groups, or even big groups, are a vital part of fellowship and really help you grow through your faith. Why should we have only one Sabbath day a week dedicated to relaxing and just resting? Why not have Sabbath moments throughout the week as well?
I urge you guys to join a small group, whether it’s one of MNU’s organized small groups or even just a small group of friends getting together and studying God’s word. Groups like Kairos are also an excellent way to just have time together and fellowship. These are all an awesome part of my college experience. Whether you are already a student at MNU or even a future Pioneer looking into joining a small group is one easy step to developing a healthy college experience, and it’s a great way to further develop your relationship with God. So just ask around about small groups or even start one with your friends. I promise you won’t regret it.
This morning we had the privilege of listening to Cris Zimmermann speak about his ministry in Frankfurt, Germany. This young pastor began sharing with us a book he has been reading as of late called God is Not a Christian written by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. In this book the Archbishop shares of a crucifix he found in a church in which Jesus had no arms or legs. The meaning behind it was that, as the church, we are to be the hands and feet of Jesus in the world. That, as his disciples, we are to be the answer to the world’s begging question, “Where is God?”
As he began to speak he commanded my respect. He spoke with no words of eloquence or brilliance. He wasn’t beaming with charisma in which everyone was drawn to him. Nor did he command attention because of his long list of credentials or accomplishments. Rather, he commanded my respect because of his simple perusal of making this man on a cross relevant to our current world.
It all began with a group of 12 college students in Frankfurt. Together with Zimmermann, they began to brainstorm ideas on how they could be the hands and feet of Jesus in their own city. A specific pub was brought to their attention where a consistent community of people gathered regularly, not just to have a drink, but also to simply be together. Zimmermann and the students began to integrate themselves into this community, and after collaborating with the owner, began raising money with them to build a well in Africa. The pub family included, they began reaching out to the homeless community in the area as well and started establishing relationships with them. From there, other pubs began to get involved and the influence of the once small group began to grow and grow, involving people of all kinds.
It’s easy to look at the task ahead and be intimidated. To allow the fear that so easily creeps in to keep us from even taking a step. We become so taken back by our responsibility to be truth to the world that we can’t even be truth to the few people surrounding us. The fathers of the faith, the very apostles who walked on the ground that Jesus did, had to start somewhere. At some point, they had to acknowledge that they didn’t have what it takes to be his heirs to the kingdom. Yet, with the breath of Christ within us, we are given the means to be the truth, the salt, the light, that is so very necessary to this world. There is no better time than now to begin to get ourselves out of the way so that this purpose can be fulfilled in our lives. May we begin to allow Jesus take root in our daily interactions with people and may we find the courage to take the baby steps that are necessary for any sort of change to occur. As Dorothy Day puts it, “People say, ‘What is the sense of our small effort?’ They cannot see that we must lay one brick at a time, take one step at a time. A pebble cast into a pond causes ripples that spread in all directions. Each one of our thoughts, words, and deeds is like that. No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless. There’s too much work to do.”