Happy December! November was full of laughs and learning for FOCUS and I can't wait to tell you all about it! First, thank you for praying for and supporting campus ministry. We couldn't do what we do without you. We started our big Keep FOCUS Growing fundraiser this past Giving Tuesday to keep our organization as a whole running and God provided in some big ways! We were able to match a team of donors with over $29,000, meaning we raised $56,000 in one day!!! WOW! Thank you again for your prayers and support! Now, on to the pretty pictures!
Life Long LearnersAt the beginning of the month, we had our Pizza Theology (see picture above)! Our whole ministry gets together every semester to spend 5 hours listening to a lecture and eating pizza. I know it can sound boring but our students really love getting a chance to explore a larger topic, like the story of the Bible that we talked about this year. Spoiler: that story is pretty long! But it really is a beautiful narrative about God and His relationship with His creation as he is redeeming it. Bill Watson, our speaker, did a great job walking us through the progression of events while making it come alive with themes and imagery. One thing that was particularly striking to me: Bill described the original sin, and really every sin after that as people reaching around God to grasp at something He hasn't given them yet. It's not that the thing itself is inherently/always harmful, it's that we try to get to it without trusting God's provision and timing and that's so harmful. I was just blown away by that!
|Two of our books we're reading this semester! Paul, the Spirit, and the People of God by Gordon Fee and More Ready Than You Realize by Brian McLaren.|
I mentioned a while back that as a part of this apprenticeship, I'm taking various classes on ministry, Scripture, and general discipleship/life skills. God has done so much these few months to work in my mind and heart so I have a fuller view of who He is. It's been such a crazy good experience to work through what Scripture says and what I believe and just come to terms with how much I don't understand about God!
The blue book by Gordon Fee above is for our Pneumatology class. (That's too big of a word so we call it our Holy Spirit class!) Thinking through the role of the Holy Spirit in Paul's writings has been so challenging! One thing I think the Lord has been showing me is that it's okay that I don't understand how He works. In fact, if I could understand Him, He would be pretty unimpressive! Instead, I'm learning to rest in His grace that is even able to cover my limitations and trust the Spirit to lead me how He wants.
The red book by Brian McLaren above is for our Evangelism class. Guys, this book is such a helpful read! He talks about spiritual friendships and giving people space to work through things for themselves. One of the really challenging things for me has been that everyone's journey to Jesus will be a little different. If you know me really at all you probably know that I love organizations, systems, rules, structure. However, I'm learning through these classes and practical ministry that people are messy and won't fit into my boxes but that that's okay! God is so faithful to work in them and through me.
Overall, God has really been doing so much to mature me in the power of His Spirit. I have loved get to learn to walk with Him and share in Him with the students I get to be around.
Photo DumpSpeaking of students, here's some random pictures of some real weirdos!
|3/4ths of my peer team hanging out at a coffee shop! Me, Alexcea, Jacy, and Taylor|
|Here's Alexcea and Taylor during our weekly time together. They were encouraging each other with ways they've seen the other grow in and it was so sweet to watch.|
|MEGA PEER TEAM! All the women corefas got together to spend quality time together and pray for our ministry. Such a sweet time!|
|Our Denton staff men are a bunch of weirdos and I'm pretty sure they color coordinated that night.|
|Crystal is a corefa at UNT and so sweet! I'm so glad she's on our team this year!|
Ways to PrayPray for our students as they finish up the semester. Pray that they can be purposeful with their time and lean into God while they have more time. Pray for those that have difficult relationships with their families. Pray that they come back refreshed and ready for the spring semester.
As always, I hope you all are well! Thank you for your time, prayers, and support. Feel free to reach out and let me know if there's anyway I can pray for you!