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Learning From the Wise

Dear Friends,

Thank you for taking the time to read this ministry update. This winter season has been particularly encouraging and I am excited to tell you about what is coming up soon!

The month of December began with a celebration. The school semester was coming to a close quickly so we threw our annual Focus Christmas party in the first week of the month. Talk about Christmas come early. The event was filled with sweet memories, worship, and funny skits put on by the various weekly core groups. Watching those skits is always a highlight of the year as everyone in the core often participates and everyone gets to see each others silly sides.
A couple of guys at the UTA Focus Christmas Party. In the bottom picture, one of the roommates couldn't make the event so the rest of the guys thoughtfully chose to find a way to include him in the picture, no matter what.
 Once the semester was over and the students went home for the holidays, I had a lot of time to read. Over the break I have worked my way through 3 books. The Contemplative Pastor, A Pilgrim's Progress, and The Problem of Pain.

I have learned to love to read again since beginning my role as a pastor. I love getting to be able to sit at the feet of the wise and just listen. Through these books, and through the words of the Authors, God taught me a lot about the key role of a pastor being to lead people to Jesus, not through simply giving Godly advice, although that is part of the job. But by leading them to pray, teaching them how to pray, and reminding them that God is the one who enacts change in their hearts or the hearts of others. I also learned or was reminded of the need for true friendship in the journey of being a jesus follower. Too often in our individualistic culture I think we can believe that in order to become a mature follower of Jesus we must become a completely independently holy person. But the Pilgrim's progress reminded me that even the greatest heros of faith, need others alongside them to encourage them and strengthen them, whenever the going gets tough. And lastly through the problem of pain, simply how God is still so faithful, even in the seemingly darkest of circumstances. I hope you got to read some recently. I would love to hear what God has been teaching you!

You can barely see him on the stage in this really large picture. But the man speaking up there is Brady Bobbink. Brady has been a campus pastor in Bellingham, Washington for over 50 years. He has faithfully served the campus there at WWU and discipled many young students and other campus pastors. I am so grateful for how God has used him, because if it weren't for the ministry that he has led up there, I would have never attended The Student Institute of Campus Ministry. And if I had never attended that conference, I may never have caught a vision for my role as a disciple maker, and I certainly would not have developed the passion for reaching the college campus that I now have. The rest of the staff and I got to spend 4 days with Brady and his wife Shirley at our recent winter staff retreat and it was just so great to spend time with them and listen to their reflections on life, and faith, and ministry. I feel so very blessed to get to learn from the wise. I hope to continue to grow in wisdom so that one day I might be a blessing to a young person such as myself and help to give them a vision of what a  life lived for God can really look like, 50 years on. Thank you for the opportunity you have given me to do so, I fully intend to pass along what I've learned to the next generation of college students and help point them more and more to a life lived following Jesus.

Prayer Requests
  • Winter Camp - This is only two weekends away, we currently have 55 students from UTA signed up, and over 450 across all of our campuses. Winter Camp is an incredibly impactful time for our students as they spend 4 days together worshiping God, playing games, and learning from the scriptures. Please pray that more students would be able to attend, and that God would move powerfully to win the hearts of college students for the rest of their lives. Also winter camp costs $160 per student. If you would like to help scholarship a student so that they can attend please don't hesitate to reach out!

  • New Semester - Pray for our staff and student leaders to be outreaching as the new semester starts. Many new students will be on campus and we want to be there to meet them and welcome them into Christian community.



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