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Showing posts from 2023

One Week Until I Get To Be A Dad, and Christmas with College Students

  Mauricio rarely smiles in pictures but he's a joyous guy, and this last weekend was his birthday. A collection of people from FOCUS and our church got together to celebrate him and play soccer, his favorite game, at River Legacy Park. It was a perfect day, and I was so thankful Mauricio got to experience a community of people who love him like Jesus loves him. Isaac and Jacob up front are brothers and Isaac (who is holding Jacob) had just won a full scholarship to winter retreat because he had memorized scripture verses all throughout the semester and successfully recited them to me before every TNF. Every verse memorized was an entry into a raffle. I'm glad he won, because I know that God will use winter retreat to continue to help form him spiritually and become a better friend to others as he and interacts and learns and worships together with 400 + college students from all across the metroplex. From left to right: Austen, Luke, Blaine, Carson, Alan, and Garrett at our re

Matched Gifts on Giving Tuesday! (UT Arlington Testimony)

 Today is giving Tuesday and any gift you make towards focus today will be matched, up to a total of $50,000. Below is a testimony of a student named Josh that I've gotten to invest in for the last few months. Jesus is really working in this guy's life. He told me recently "I used to think social work was the most important way I could help people, but the more I learn about Jesus, the more I realize that the gospel is the thing that people need the most." Would you read his story and consider making a gift to help other students learn to place Jesus first as well?

Fall Camp 2023 and Baby Lucy Update!

  Fall Camp this year was incredible! We had over 100 college students come and spend a weekend together learning about Jesus and enjoying fellowship together. We went through selected teachings from Galatians asked our students to reflect on how they may believe false gospels, and to center themselves on the truth of the real gospel, which is the good news of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. I think a lot of our students came away with a greater sense of God's faithful love for them. I also enjoyed playing ultimate frisbee with a lot of the dudes. Thankful you let me be here to invest in all these young men. UTA Focus is going great. We moved into a larger room this semester which has more space for our students to congregate near the stage during worship. Our students have taken full advantage of being close to one another as we all worship God together. Notice the chain of guys locked arm in arm while singing about their devotion to Jesus! What a gift to have spiritua

Most Exciting Year of Ministry

 Wow, I have loved the school year so far. God is doing such great things in the lives of these college students. I can tangibly see signs of a generation seeking after Jesus, and it's only been the first month! Every Thursday Night students are gathering on campus to worship Jesus and to learn more together about his word. This year we've been going through the sermon on the mount during our teaching times and the students really seem to be responding. I'm excited about the prospect of a community of people living out the teachings of the sermon on the mount together and it seems our students are too. We've as part of this also had a scripture memorization challenge each week and it's been so exciting to hear students repeat the words of Jesus back to me as they learn to write his word on their heart and dwell on it throughout the week. I think that practice will end up having a positive effect on our community in ways that we can't even see yet, as students ar

Welcome Week 2023! (Lots of Pictures)

 Believe me when I tell  you that God is good! And he is so faithful to accomplish his work. This last week at UTA is what is called Maverick Stampede (Their UTA themed welcome week). As campus pastors we spend the whole time passing out waters, and popsicles, and fans, and maps of campus all in the hopes of getting the word out about FOCUS, we also spend a lot of time encouraging our student leaders to be faithful to meet and befriend their peers, for the sake of Jesus, in their classes and lunch halls. So in that week we probably interact with literally 1000's of students who are quite literally lost on campus, or who just need some relief from the heat. It's a tiring time, but it's also so fun to just get to bless people and help them to have a great first week of college. We also put on events almost every night of the week for students to come and get connected. We attend all of UTA's welcome week events as well and attempt to make it the most positive experience f

Bible Bootcamp, Bowling, and Baby Name

  Above is a picture of one of our Bible Bootcamp sessions. For a whole week students will come to one of two locations to read large chunks of scripture, on this particular evening we were reading the book of Acts. We had 3 students come together in Lewisville and about 6 more come to Richardson and they spent their whole Friday evening reading and discussing scripture. It was so encouraging for me to see these young people want to commit themselves to knowing God's word so much that instead of going to see a movie or do something else with their time they would get together with a college pastor like me to read God's word! From acts this time around I was struck by how the early church, where God's spirit was poured out, then functioned as the temple was supposed to function, with provision for the poor and widows! Several of the students were struck by the boldness of Paul and the other apostles in the face of persecution. Our church recently had a bowling night and seve

Family and Support Raising Update!

  In case you haven't yet heard. Hayli is pregnant, and we are having a girl! I just found out the news of the gender yesterday and I'm incredibly excited. Sure, there's some nerves. But I know God is going to help us all along the way, and I'm excited for the gift of a daughter that I get to love and to raise up to know the Lord. As a side note, I reread Luke 1-3 this morning. Lots of angels telling soon to be parents not to be afraid, and that they are blessed, and that their children will turn out just fine. Lol my baby won't be Jesus, but comforting words all the same! Another member of my family Caleb. Caleb is my 19 year old cousin and he made the decision to follow Jesus just a few months ago. Then this week he came to join us at our Summer TNF. It warmed my heart seeing him scan the QR code to "get more connected". I asked Caleb if he would have any interest in reading the bible together regularly over the summer and he said yes! We will meet tomor

WE ARE GOING TO BE PARENTS and Jesus Revolution

  Recently I got to watch the movie "Jesus Revolution" with our Focus staff and afterwards we had conversations about revivals, movements, and reaching young generations for Jesus. It was so neat to at the end of that day go and be a part of our summer focus and just see literally hundreds of college students, arms raised, ready to worship God and learn more about him. It may be too early to tell if the work that God is doing here will be as wide reaching as God's activity during the 1970's in California, but it's unmistakable to me that the same God is at work, and we have been praying that God's Spirit would move even more so here in DFW so that these students hearts would be so set on fire by God and the gospel would reach this generation in a similar or even greater way. How cool that our God has been working through young generations for a long long time. Thank you for partnering with us in this meaningful work.  Now for the big news! Hayli and I get to b

End of Year Formal (Video of Worship)

 Hello friends and loved ones, I'm thankful to all of you for your partnership in ministry. Last night we got to have our End of Year Formal. It was a time of reflecting on all that God had done in our community in the last year and sharing in a genuine love for one another. Here are some pics with the guys that I've spent the most time with this year. Jacob and Caleb are the two guys at the top. I got to study the bible with both of them one on one. But they're roommates and I got to watch how God impacted their whole house as they both grew in their relationship with God. Jacob and Nick are below them. They're our two leaders at TCC SE. I'm so thankful for their faithfulness at the community college. I know God will continue to use them to help build that campus up. Ben and Ben below are two of the most incredible young men you'll ever meet. It's unquestionable to me that they're both headed for key leadership positions wherever they land post college,

72 Hours of Prayer and Pizza Theology (Lots of Pictures)

 Wow, I get to tell you about two of my favorite events that we get to do with our students! After 3 years off due to COVID, 72 hours of prayer is back! Every year at UT Arlington all of the college ministries, FOCUS, BSM, Wesley, Cornerstone, Etc, Etc, all work together to set up a tent in the middle of campus and then we ask our students to come and pray for an hour each, for 72 hours straight, with an evening of worship every night for 3 days straight. Students pray for the persecuted, for their classmates, for their professors, for the nations, as well as any prayer requests that are given from people walking by. I'm so thankful that after 3 years off, we get to bring this event back. It's always a life changing experience for our students. It's a powerful testimony to christian untiy as it is a cooperative event, and I really believe that it is a world changing event as God answers our prayers. The above picture is our students getting together to read the book of Job,