|Students from all of our campuses at one of our Thursday Night Fellowships. God has been moving at these nights every week in some really cool ways!
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,
he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake."
"Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct,
rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction."
2 Timothy 4:2
I hated the summertime as a kid.
Well, hate may be a strong word, but I do remember sitting on the floor of my room, yearning for the excitement of the school year to return. I felt like I lost the ability to learn, to be creative, to grow as a person in the summer. Of course, by the time April and May rolled around, I was stressed out, barely able to wait long enough for summer to begin. The grass was always greener on the other side.
I also felt this way about my own spiritual growth in my first few years as a disciple (and my first couple of summers as a college student). I could grow a lot during the year, but the hours and hours of free time the summer gave me felt more like miles and miles of desert than anything else. The same applied to ministry. During the year, there were Bible studies to lead, mentors to learn from, and students to study the Bible with. Then all of a sudden, just me, a Bible, and way too much unused energy pushing me away from it.
What God's been teaching me is that since He is a God who loves to spiritually feed His children, He can direct me toward pastures that are green with opportunities to learn, to love, and to grow. At any season of life, God can provide me (and you) with spiritual growth and with people to minister to.
God has given me so many new ways to grow and people to learn from and minister to over the past month!
- I've begun meeting up with potential corefas for this year at UTD! (Just as a friendly reminder, "corefas" = core facilitators, cores = small groups) These interactions have been so encouraging- these guys are all so grateful for what God has done in their lives through their cores this past year, and they can't wait to point people to Jesus. Getting to lay foundations with them months in advance is a huge blessing.
- I've gotten to reconnect with old friends, be blessed by them, and (hopefully) bless them. Friends like Drew Cleveland (who's going to be apprenticing at UTD this year!), Joseph Hackenbracht (who I led core with my last semester at UTD!), and Joey Thurston (who was in my core as a freshman, but even at that point challenged me with how thoughtful, mature, and in love with Jesus he was).
- I've gotten to dip my toes into children's ministry some! I helped out at JaM Camp- which is a camp the DFW Metro Family of Churches does for children K-5. God has been widening my horizons and teaching me to be a disciple of Jesus in my interactions with people of all ages.
- I've gotten to have great conversations with past and potential future financial supporters. Getting to pray for and be prayed for by people who have so purposefully helped me out in the ministry God has called me to is very, very meaningful.
- I've gotten to build deeper relationships with family members. As a socialite who likes to be busy, I've been criminally bad at growing in my relationships with family over the past. God has been pointing out the selfishness and ickiness (that's a Biblical term) of this attitude and giving me opportunities to have conversations of depth with family members.
As I go through the process of fundraising again, I'm struck by how generous and thoughtful people really are. Thank you so much to everyone who has prayed for and given to FOCUS and to me specifically!