Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Psalms, Pstudents, and Psermons

A picture from one of the worship sessions at Winter Camp this year. Our students and staff did a phenomenal job preparing for worship, and it was so cool to see our students proclaim truths about God with so much engagement and energy!

"Endow the king with your justice, O God,
the royal son with your righteousness.
May he judge your people in righteousness,
your afflicted ones with justice."
Psalm 72:1-2 (NIV)

Instead of a single devotional thought at the beginning of my blog this month, I've interspersed some thoughts throughout my updates. I hope they're encouraging to you!


During the Advent season this year, I had the pleasure of getting to speak to my church's teen ministry about the story of Jesus' birth, and of getting to write a Sunday sermon on how we respond to the advent of Christ in our lives.

Winter Camp

We just finished our annual Winter Camp, and it was such a cool experience! For those of you who aren't familiar with FOCUS's winter camp, here's the general structure: 600 or so students from 12+ college campuses in the DFW area come together from Friday night to the Monday morning of MLK Day, and they worship together, learn together, and spend time with other believers. 

This year, our topic was the Psalms. Our goal was to help our students engage with this book in a way that helps them see it as a rich source of wisdom and direction for prayer, rather than a source of confusion. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9phNEaPrv8 for an awesome overview of the decisions that the Biblical authors made in compiling the Psalms!) The teaching sessions focused on:
  • Psalm 1's call to heed God's instruction in the path we choose for ourselves
  • Psalms of remembrance, and the importance of choosing to look at how God has acted in our lives in the past
  • Psalms of anger and lament, and how important it is for us to pour our hearts out to God in prayer
  • Messianic Psalms, and how they connect us to Israel's history, point us to Christ and urge us to pray hopefully for Christ's return
  • Psalm 119 and its example of what it looks like for a believer to love God's Word
I had the pleasure of getting to speak on the Messianic Psalms- a task that pushed me to learn so much more about the richness of that subgenre of Scripture than I had known in the past. The Bible shows God's faithfulness in SUCH rich and staggering ways!

Also, I got to see people embrace following Christ in some pretty concrete decisions for their personal lives at Winter Camp, which was so encouraging!

Spring Welcome Week

We had such a successful board game night and met so many students last week!

Although much of our outreach occurs during the first few weeks of the fall semester, we also make a concerted effort to meet students at the beginning of the spring semester. Transfer students and international students often find themselves stepping onto a campus where all of the friend groups have already solidified, and student life isn't doing anything to help them make new friends. On top of that, there are a lot of freshmen who have spent a semester without friends or in the wrong friend group and are ready to search for different people to go through life with and different decisions to make. This year, we've had a lot of success in meeting students and inviting them into our small groups!

  • Pray for wisdom as we look at potential students to invite to the Student Institute of Campus Ministry, a campus ministry leadership conference we participate in every year that's immensely important when it comes to giving our students a vision for building God's Kingdom while in school.
  • Pray for our cores (small groups) to grow in commitment to Christ and intimacy of fellowship with one another.
  • Pray for guidance as we enter a new sermon series on how to think like a Christian.

As always, thank you SO much to everyone who prays for me and supports me financially!

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