"My heart says of You, 'Seek His face!'
Your face, Lord, I will seek."
Psalm 27:8 (NIV)
Song of the waters calling: come and drink.
Come, all you creatures, to the shadowy brink
in dark of night.
This spring of living water I desire,
here in the bread of life I see entire
in dark of night.
Song of the Soul by St. John of the Cross
(translated by John Frederick Nims)
There is a unique plight that a college pastor who is concerned with the spiritual health of the people under their care will always face: How do I foster spiritual health in this person that will outlast their time as a student? It's the teach-a-man-to-fish conundrum- only in regards to loving God. I think there can often be a problem in the Church in which pastors concern themselves with motivating people to pray, and churchgoers concern themselves with finding pastors who will motivate them to pray. What's interesting is that the material on prayer found in Scripture, as well as the material on prayer throughout Church history that has been deemed worthy to be passed down through the centuries is hardly concerned with motivating people to seek God.
Instead, the angle of approach seems in many ways to be one of showing the kind of precious, intimate, all-encompassing relationship with God that is possible. Rather than pushing prayer onto people the way a parent pushes their child to eat vegetables, these writers presume a thirst for prayer- seemingly operating on the assumption that the ache for more that we feel is not a problem to solve, but a blessed invitation. What if rather than searching ourselves for an energized motivation to pray, we searched ourselves for spiritual hunger pangs, seeing them as an invitation, rather than a problem?
A Smorgasbord of Pictures
A bunch of college students have started using the social media app BeReal over the last handful of months. Rather than providing users with a constantly generating feed of content, all it does is randomly ping you (and all of your friends) once a day at a random time, giving you two minutes to take a picture of what you're up to. It has proved invaluable in capturing both the candid moments of ministry and the horrifying faces I am capable of making. Enjoy.
|Talking through small group leadership with Stian (left) and Jonathan (right)|
|I try to play basketball with students once or twice a week.|
Pictured here is Jadon, in the worst-timed picture ever.
|Sometimes a 20-30 minute time alone with God in the afternoon|
helps to process the day so far and prepare for the rest of it.
|Eating breakfast with Drew, a Denton FOCUS pastor.|
We led a core together in 2015-16, and were both in each other's weddings!
|The Northeast Church retreat!|
|Teaching a preaching workshop for our apprentices!|
Pictured: Hannah and Stian
Not pictured: Katherine, Coral, Kevin, and Eileen
|Getting to study the Bible with Andrew, a TCU student!|
|Bonus content: |
My wife and I brought home a kitten (who we've named Winnie)
to be a little sister to our cat (named Captain).
- Pray for our students over the Thanksgiving break. Pray that they would be a light to their families, and that they would be able to come back refreshed.
- Pray for our one-on-one Bible studies, that God would use them to bring people closer to Him.