So far this year, God has been challenging my conception of what is "enough." He has been exposing the myriad of ways in which I seek to twist and stretch towards a life that is convenient, satisfying, and exciting. He is exposing the ways in which I feel like I "deserve" a certain kind of food or entertainment or appreciation after a long day or a hard week.
One of the biggest ways in which God challenged me was by giving me the opportunity to preach on a single line of the Lord's Prayer: "Give us today our daily bread." In short, He showed how when we learn to bypass our own pride-and-fear-driven desire for gain, we give space for God to show us that He is giving us what we need, and we are able to enter into the truly abundant life of sacrificial Kingdom-love that Jesus typifies and leads us in. If you're curious about this and would like to hear more, you can find this sermon here: https://www.thenortheastchurch.com/content.cfm?id=315&download_id=1443 (it starts at around the 20 minute mark in the audio).
Every year, FOCUS sends over a hundred students who have demonstrated faithfulness, availability, teachability, initiative, and a heart for God and people to a week-long leadership training conference called the Student Institute of Campus Ministry (SICM). This year, instead of sending students to Washington state for SICM (to a wonderful ministry near Seattle called Campus Christian Fellowship), we will be hosting our own version near San Antonio. SICM was influential and formative in my own development as a disciple when I was a student.
Showcase is the main way we help these students offset the cost of room, board, and travel so they can give God and one another their undivided attention over the course of a full week. It's going to be live-streamed THIS Saturday from 6:30-8:30 on anyfocus.org/showcase!
I've had the pleasure this year of writing two original songs that will be featured during Showcase, as well as being a part of the tech team. I think we've got something very special planned, so I would highly encourage you to join us.
|I had the chance to record a song for Showcase in an actual recording|
studio a couple of weeks ago! It will be "debuting" on Saturday.
I've had the enormous blessing and opportunity to begin online classes at Fuller Theological Seminary this week! I plan on working towards my Masters of Divinity with a focus in Biblical Theology over the next several years. I'm excited and grateful to see what I learn through the lectures, reading, discussions, and times of prayer that this will lead me through, and I trust that God will use it to grow me in knowledge and love for Him and His people.
|A student leader (and incoming FOCUS apprentice) named David and I line|
our faces up on a Zoom call to create this terrifying image.
We've had to get creative this whole year, but as more students receive the vaccine, we are finding that more opportunities are beginning to open up to spend time with students. While there are a lot of grave and deep conversations that happen in the course of discipleship, there is also a lot of laughter as we build friendships and enjoy the quirkiness and zest that college students bring to the people around them each year.
- This year brings a lot of life-transitions with it. I plan on getting married and moving to an apartment with my future wife Kaylee this summer, in addition to starting seminary and preparing for a year of more normalcy on campus. My body tends to react to transitions and stressors like this through anxiety and health problems, and I've noticed some of that lately. Please pray for me to find strength in God, to have wisdom to handle these transitions well, and to have a heart for others during this season. Also pray for the people around me to have patience on my bad days :)
- Please pray for continued protection for our students. But thank the Lord for how good He has been to us so far!
- Please pray for Showcase to be a success, and (more importantly) for SICM this year to be safe and impactful for our students.