Hello everyone, and welcome back to my ministry blog update!
March was a very exciting month filled with fun trips, my first community sermons, and even a student baptism!
I had the incredible opportunity to preach a couple of sermons to the SMU FOCUS community this past month. Our campus director, Laurence Glenesk, prayerfully creates the series plans at the beginning of each semester and shares topics with the other campus pastors. This semester I was given the topic of the third temptation of Jesus - the temptation to be powerful - and the intro sermon to the series “God Opposes the Proud”. Both topics seemed a bit daunting at first, but as I reflected on the things I’ve learned in Scripture over the years, and what our community is currently dealing with, I felt the Spirit guiding me towards what to say. Giving the sermons was an incredible experience. I was very nervous the hours leading up to it, but I was comforted by the fact that 1) God prepares each of us for what He has called us to do, 2) I wholeheartedly trust my community to love and support me even if I mess up, and 3) if it is the Spirit speaking through me, who am I to cower away from an opportunity He gives me to preach the gospel? I did realize something that I’ve experienced before while doing worship, but on a bigger scale it seemed while preaching a sermon - I was exhausted afterwards. Thankfully, the community went out to get some Velvet Taco afterwards, which was a perfect end to the day.
March is a favorite month for university students, only next to June and July. The idea of taking a week off while the weather is nice to plan a fun trip with friends and forget about school for a week creates a very exciting energy. When I was a student, I tended to stay in and sleep as much as I could, maybe get some work done on the side, and whatever else I felt like doing. I’m very grateful that my fellow apprentice, Siena Walter, is a pro trip planner because she successfully got a group of us girls together and said “We’re going to Austin ladies!” It was a trip I will likely never forget. We stayed at an AirBnB together, watching movies at night and visiting various Austin staples during the day. One particularly special moment was at Barton Springs, when we were
sitting at the edge of the freezing water, and a student - and one of my closest friends - suggested that since she’d only been baptized as an infant, she would be open to doing it with us in the spring. Since three of us present were pastors, we realized it was possible, so we jumped into the freezing cold water, read a passage of Scripture, and baptized her. It was an unforgettable, beautiful moment, and we spent the rest of our time worshipping and praising our Good Father for the incredible things He’d done and was doing in our friends life. I am greatly looking forward to continuing these rich friendships even after the apprenticeship ends.
I feel that as my time as a FOCUS apprentice is drawing to a close (only two months left - what??), I am becoming more and more passionate about my work, almost as if I’m realizing 10 months was not nearly as long as I would have liked it to be. Classes are continuously engaging those parts of me that long to learn as much about God as I possibly can, while leading me to realize that there is so little that I already know, which I find very exciting. With a New Testament professor that comes from a Pentecostal background (Rikk Watts), I’ve become deeply interested in the various ways the Spirit works in and through the Children of God. Learning about the different spiritual disciplines with Mandy (FOCUS staff) has been so impactful for how I intentionally set aside time to rest and be with my Savior amongst the business of life - a practice I hope to continue wherever I go. One-on-one ministry is still one of the aspects to this experience that have continually blown me away - getting to witness God work in the hearts of college women, transforming them as they passionately seek Him and His Truth, and then using their transformation to speak to my heart as well. There isn’t enough space in a blog post to describe it all in detail, but during one of these times, I was moved to share part of my story with a girl in my small group which in turn inspired her to be vulnerable with our entire group and to experience the incredible healing that comes from God’s Kingdom community.
Work in Progress
We are all works in progress. Like trees that dig their roots deep into the soil, we don’t ever stop growing, even if we have seasons of greater growth than others. As I experience this journey of what seems like a ton of growth, I know that it is only the beginning. God has so much in store for His Children, more than we could ever imagine. It’s a beautiful thing to get to trust Him with that growth and see where He takes us.
Thank you so much for your support - I look forward to sending you the next update!
Make sure to check out this month’s testimony!