Monday, November 6, 2017

November Update

For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. 

As I was thinking about how I wanted to start this blog, this verse came into my mind. It's so applicable right now. There have been some cool things that have happened this month, but there have also been some difficult, on-going situations that I've been thinking about a lot. Apparently there's this thing called "the October Blues" in ministry and I've definitely been feeling that. We've gotten down into the nitty-gritty of ministry. This month (whole semester, really) has been leaning on the more on the difficult side - many of the girls I'm meeting with have hard situations in their lives that cause extra stress...many students are dealing with depression and anxiety...people are so clearly broken, but refuse to choose Jesus...many loved ones are dealing with health problems...that list could just go on! And yet, God is good. His love is enduring and his faithfulness continues. I'm so thankful for that. Please keep me, my teammates and our student leaders in your prayers as we battle onward.

Baptisms

This month, I've seen God's hand in leading a couple of our students to be baptized! It's always encouraging to see someone choose to be obedient in this way! Here is Tabitha's testimony. She is one of the girls I have had the honor of studying the Bible with this last year. I've really loved getting to watch her grow. 

Sweet Tabitha!

Growing up, I didn’t really know what God or Christianity was. I knew people went to church on Sundays and they read this thing called the Bible, but outside of that I didn’t know what it was. As I started getting a little older, I began to realize how much I did want to know more about it. Everyone around me was in a small group or had this unwavering belief in something great, and the fact that I didn’t left me feeling very much like an outsider. It left me feeling like I didn’t deserve to know about God and all of this grace and love he had to offer the world. It instilled in me this fear that I would never be good enough to know.


Once high school came along, God began to use my sister as a tool to try to bring me closer to Him. She would insist on having me go to church with her, she would ask me my thoughts on it after every service, whether I wanted to talk about it or not. Even after she moved away, I had this conviction to keep going and so I would go to the service by myself. I couldn’t quite see the transformation that was happening, but it was there: I began to sing the songs during worship, I was taking notes on the sermons, I was intent on trying to learn more about this God of ours. His plan to bring me to him was a few years in the making, but it was working.


Once I got to college, I had this conviction to join a ministry and that’s how I find myself here today. With all of these people that were my age and were trying to figure out the same thing that I was, I truly craved that community and that understanding. I went to that first FNF alone, but came out of it with such a massive group of people that cared about me and wanted to help me learn about God and the Bible. The fact that these people were so intentional with me and cared so deeply about me was baffling. My small group leaders once described us all with a verse and mine was 1 John 4:19 “We love because he first loved us.” I didn’t understand at first, but they were showing me what loving like God was like. And even though these people did love and care for me I knew that this was only a small fraction of the magnitude of love that God has for all of us.

I recently decided to let the Lord have my heart and to lead me where he believes I should be. For so long, I believed I wasn’t worth it, I didn’t know the Bible and there were others who certainly had to be better Christians than me. Even after I started going to church I never thought that I was good enough, for God’s grace, His love, certainly not of being saved. No one is perfect, but God sees us as worthy enough to be saved.  And that is why he sent his only son to die for us, so that we can be saved.  After trying to control my path and falsely believing that I know what is best for me for so long, handing over the reign is the only thing I can do. God is intentional  with his timing and sometimes I wish he would have gotten to me sooner. Back before high school before I had that negative view of Christianity, but everything happens for a reason and even if we don’t understand his timing it is done by his will and is good. I’m ready for God, and he’s been waiting for me for so long. I’m ready to swing that door open.

  
Kassi getting baptized!
Opal (middle) got baptized!





All Church Retreat

The DFW Metro Family of Churches had it's 20th anniversary this year, which we celebrated by bringing back a tradition of All Church Retreat! This was such a fun weekend. All three of the churches that support FOCUS (located in Garland, Wylie and Denton) came together for three sessions focused on the past, the present and the future. It was a sweet encouragement to see how God has been working through these people to build up truly a family of churches that serve the surrounding areas, children, teens, college students, adults and seniors. I loved getting to see different friends and to catch up with them. I'm thankful to get to be part of this family of believers and I'm so excited to see what God does with the next twenty years!


Some Pics from Halloween

Each year, our students really enjoy dressing up for Halloween! It's a fun, less pressured night for them to invite their friends who might not come to a normal Friday Night Fellowship!  Here are some of my favorite costumes this year. 
Bob Ross and Painting

A Six Pack of Coca-Cola

The Wall from "Stranger Things"

Phineas & Ferb


Thank you guys for the ways you pray and minister to me! I'm so thankful for you!






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