Monday, December 1, 2014

December Digest

I hope you had a good Thanksgiving holiday! It's hard to believe that it's already December (even though we all say that every year, right?). Yesterday morning I accidentally wrote the date in my journal as 9/30/14 and didn't realize it until Sarah mentioned that it was November several minutes later. She, on the other hand, keeps accidentally writing the year as 2015 already. Time is complicated I guess. But there are more important things to talk about...

Coming Up

This is the last official week of classes and finals begin on Saturday at UNT and TWU. Unfortunately, we aren't allowed to meet on campus at our normal time this Friday because it is a "reading day." We typically have our Christmas party off campus in place of it. That will be our final time together as a ministry before the break.

We will also be having a prayer service project on Tuesday and Wednesday this week. Our group will disperse across the campus in order to pray and cheer people on for their finals next week. Hopefully we will have some small items (like pencils) with encouraging statements on them to give out!

Reflection

Yesterday morning at our Denton church meeting I was reminded of how thankful I am for the people God used in my life to draw me to Him.

I thought about when I was a brand new student at UTD. I had taken no initiative on my own to seek out a Christian community despite my upbringing in the Church. One night I was lost on campus after a late night event. The person I asked for help finding my apartment just happened to invite me to visit her ministry, called FOCUS. Despite my lack of effort the Lord sought me out.

With my roommate at the time I visited FOCUS. We sat in the back and made little effort to meet people, but I did fill out a card to join a core group. I didn't visit FOCUS again, but got a call from a guy to come to his core meeting. Even though I wasn't persuaded by my visit to FOCUS, the Lord kept pursuing me through a more personal approach.

The guy who invited me to his core eventually asked me to study the Bible with him. God used that friendship and study to challenge my faith. I learned to think deeper about my relationship with God and my understanding of who He is. I still had no idea what He was doing though.

During the following years I was asked to lead in various capacities, eventually finding myself in my current role. I would have never gone down this path on my own. It wouldn't have even been a consideration in my mind. God aggressively invited me onto this path. If he hadn't, I would have missed out on something amazing. If he hadn't, I would have surely led myself into a miserable place. I did nothing to earn it, yet the Lord continued to draw me and hasn't ever stopped.

It makes me wonder though. How many times did I miss hearing His voice before college? Was that simply His timing or was I that dense?

Regardless, I'm very thankful that God was persistent in drawing me to Him. I'm thankful that He used my parents and a few other people to develop me into someone who would eventually respond to Him. It's unbelievable how much He has done for me, but that's what we should expect from the Almighty Yahweh, right? God is good!

So what about you? How has the Lord brought you to where you are today? Who are the people He placed in your life to initiate with you? How have you responded to His attempts?

FOCUS 140

You may already know, but FOCUS has launched our first annual Keep FOCUS Growing Initiative. The goal is to raise one-time donations in order to financially sustain the growth of our ministry. The primary way we intend on growing in the new year is by planting campus ministries at UTA and possibly NCTC in the fall. Check out the FOCUS 140 video below and if you want to support the vision, you can donate here!


If you have any questions about the FOCUS 140 project, feel free to ask me about it!

Prayers


  • Pray for our prayer service project to be a successful way to serve the universities.
  • Pray that our students do well on their finals (Dec. 6-12) and have safe travels.
  • Please pray for our students over the winter break. Especially for newer disciples who have grown spiritually this semester it can be easy to revert to old habits while around family or old friends and disconnected from their Christian community. Our core facilitators will be making an effort to keep all of their group members connected in some way even it is just an occasional phone call.
  • Keep our core facilitators in your prayers: that their winter break would be restful so they are refreshed and ready for the new semester.
  • We also need lots of prayer for our students to come to Winter Camp (Jan. 16-19). It's a challenge to get college students to sign up for anything in advance. If that wasn't enough, our last large group meeting before Winter Camp is the Christmas party this Friday! Our leader team will have to contact people one-on-one, but we will do whatever it takes!
  • Pray for the FOCUS 140 project and for guidance in our efforts to plant new ministries.

Thank you for your support! I'm blown away by the ways God blesses me through His people.


Yours for the Campus,

Matt

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