Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May Update

We are now at the last two weeks of the semester.  I'd like to ask you to be in prayer over the things on our updates page.

When I think back over the year I see that God has taught the guys I've been mentoring quite a bit.  I remember one guy who was involved in the Bible study with David who had eventually asked to stop.  Originally I started the study, but then later it was taken over by James while I sat in for support.  That was his first time to lead a Bible study.  Another one of our student leaders started his first study with a guy and has learned a few lessons about confronting him about certain issues.  Often learning confrontation and being real with people is one of the more powerful lessons for students.  Following Christ requires boldness as we see in the apostles and Christ himself.  Another guy that I've put a good deal of time into this semester has been studying with a kid who seems to be emotionally unstable.  That has been a real growing experience for him especially considering he isn't naturally inclined to be very relational with people.  Lately he has been asking me questions about developing relationships with people especially when it feels unnatural.  It's neat to me to see that he is taking so much initiative in trying to change himself to be more effective for the kingdom.

My Bible studies with Greg and Preston are still going well.  We won't be finished by next week since it takes about 3 hours to get through a lesson with each of them and we generally only meet for half of that each week.  That's not a problem because we can just continue to meet over the summer.  Anyway Greg has been struggling with some things lately and I've been making sure to talk to him nearly every day to check in and help him keep his focus on God.  It's really made our friendship deeper by having that much interaction, even if it isn't much more than a text message asking how his day went.  I have been challenging Preston to continue to go deeper in examining himself while reading the word.  He grew up in church so I don't think he has ever really had to think deeply about his faith.  It's definitely a skill that needs to be developed!

In core we have wrapped up by talking about what we learned this year so that we could see how God has changed each of us and where he is leading us moving forward.  I think it's really important to help these guys see what God has done.  It's easy to miss, but when realized can be a great source of encouragement.  Just as important as that is giving them a vision of how they can continue to grow and the impact they can make on the kingdom.  Last week we had an encouragement time where we shared how we saw Christ in each other and spurred one another on toward increasing that trait.  Tonight will be our last official meeting for the semester as exams are next week.  We will be having a fun event which has commonly been called Core Prom.  The plan is to dress up then go out to eat and bowl.  We always have a lot of fun together so I'm sure tonight will be really enjoyable.

We had an event a couple of weeks ago called Help us Help the Homeless on campus.  Basically we took about one hundred cardboard boxes and built a fort outside the main entrance to the school to raise awareness of homelessness in Collin County.  We collected various donations for the only homeless shelter in the county, The Samaritan Inn (http://thesamaritaninn.org/).  Overnight some of the guys, including myself, slept in the fort!  It was pretty uncomfortable, but I think we made a good statement by doing so.




Recently, we have been going through Paul's letters in our intern Bible class.  It's a continuation of what we have been doing all year long: going through each book of the New Testament.  We just finished talking about 1 Thessalonians yesterday.  Reading each book with the mindset of understanding what Paul was trying to do, especially considering the big picture of his different missionary journeys, has made a huge impact on how I read scripture now.  Not only that, but I have majorly expanded my understanding of all sorts of topics like faith and grace by thinking deeply on what Paul explains.  He really is one of the most amazing writers, but he was undoubtedly inspired by the Holy Spirit.  Ronnie, the pastor at Northeast church and our teacher for this class, has always reminded us that our foundation should always be found in Christ's words rather than Paul's.  It's important to remember that Paul was just a man and Christ is our Lord.  Sometimes when I say that I have to take a few moments to really let what that means sink in.  Christ is our Lord...

Again I would like to ask for you to pray over our body of students as a whole and for the guys I have had the opportunity to spend time with directly.  I will still see most of them over the summer so please continue to pray for us.  Thank you again and again for all of the support you have provided me over the last nine months.  God has really blessed it.

Yours for the Campus,

Matt