Skip to main content

A Long Obedience In The Same Direction

 Hello Friends,

I hope that you had a sweet and restful Christmas season with your family and loved ones, and that reflecting on Jesus and all that he is doing in the world made you hopeful for the year to come. I know it did for me! In case you didn't know, the title of the blog is actually a quote from Frederick Nietzsche. But a pastor who I have enjoyed reading the work of, Eugene Peterson, repurposed that quote to describe his summation of the Christian life and specifically the life of a pastor. And it has really been encouraging to me recently. As I think about all that I would like to be able to do for God, I realize that all he asks of me is simply to pick up my cross daily and follow him, a long obedience in the same direction. 

But this task is not nothing. It is often painful and difficult, but it is also the only way to real life. But another thing I find beautiful about a long obedience in the same direction is that as a pastor friend of mine, Ronnie Worsham, always says... "You can't out give God." So as we all follow Jesus, he often blesses us with getting to see glimpses of his coming kingdom as a result of our obedience.



The top photo is of our UTA Christmas Party. Just part of the fruit of 6 and a half years on the campus. It was wonderful to see our students gathered together to celebrate Jesus and be friends to one another before heading home for the holidays. Here is a video of one of our newest students Jacob, who I get to study the bible with weekly, getting the crowd going with his rendition of Feliz Navidad. His duet partner is Graham Spencer, one of our FOCUS apprentices at UTA.

https://youtu.be/dr5ihIJTAng

I'm so thankful that just a little obedience, following after Jesus can lead to a community like this, where young people like Jacob can come and find Christ centered friendships who will care about them and celebrate them. I know Jacob will one day contribute to helping other students feel this same way as he also continues his long obedience to Jesus. And the implications of more and more students taking up that obedience to Jesus amazes me as I think about the impact just a few people really following Jesus can have on a campus over the decades.



As an example of this I got to attend a church leader conference recently. The conference hosted men and women from around DFW who in one way or another serves in our family of churches as leaders or ministers. I got to listen to Ronnie Worsham, a man now in his 70's, describe how in awe of God he was that when he came to Garland, Texas 30 years ago with a vision for churches that supported campus ministries that vision would result in a family of 6 churches and 12 college campuses. And how simply following Jesus, and discipling others, 30 years later led to a room full of 50 ministers of all different ages. I'm so excited to see what God does as you and I and hundreds of college students continue to follow him for the long haul. Thank you for your partnership in ministry, I would not have the opportunity to lead others to be followers of Jesus as often as I do without your partnership in this mission. Don't forget to check out the student testimony below!















Comments

Popular posts from this blog

SICM, Staff Retreat, and Start of the Semester

 Hello friends and partners in ministry, The summer is over! We are back into the full swing of things, and I got to tell you. God is good and I am so excited for what is to come in just the next few weeks of campus ministry. This last week we got to have our staff retreat in Bridgeport, Texas. The goal of staff retreat is to collectively as a team of ministers recenter ourselves on Jesus and his work in the world, reflect on why we do what we do, and spend time together relationally. Pictured below is our UTA Campus Missionary Team for 2021-2022.  From left to right we have Jalen, Graham, Myself, Bailey, Emily, Sophie, Taylor, Emily, and Sarah. Myself, Jalen, Taylor, Emily, and Sarah are our returning campus ministers, while Sophie, Graham, Emily, and Bailey are our apprentices for this school year. If you don't know what an apprentice is, these are recent graduates from the ministry who are either interested in vocational ministry long term or just want to spend a year learning a

Disciple Means Student

Two of the things that I have been most grateful for in the last month is the fact that God gifts us with so much fun in this life, and secondly, how God blesses us by giving us the ability to learn. At our online TNF's we have been hosting after events for our students where we try to do something that helps everyone feel connected. At one of our most recent after events we decided to host "show and tell" where everyone finds one or two objects that they are most proud of owning or they consider to be the most interesting thing they own. It was such a blast to see what the students loved and wanted to show off. In the bottom right Taylor Bass, one of our student leaders, was showing off the set of armor that he and some friends had crafted from cardboard. And 2 blocks above him Nathan Baugh, another one of our student leaders, shows off his autographed pictures of Ariana Grande that he got when he was in middle school. It was so sweet to laugh with those in attendance

End of an Era (Tons of Pictures)

 The school year will officially be over in just a few weeks and with that comes the end of an era. Our leader team will be different next year, and several of our seniors are graduating but God has always been faithful to us and he always will be. Pictured above is our UTA Leader Team. I am so proud of each of them. After 2 years of a pandemic these students volunteered this year to befriend their peers and commit to making Jesus known on the college campus and I have loved getting to work alongside them. Every week these students led small group bible discussions with the people in their core, and studied the bible one on one with those same people, and met with campus pastors weekly to receive coaching, feedback, and encouragement. It is a large commitment to be a corefa. But God is so good to bring us these students who are not only willing, but who are excited to get to have the opportunity. So much of what God is able to do in our community is through these students who have step