Sunday, December 18, 2011

Merry Christmas, grateful for you

Teary eyed watching this and being reminded of all the Lord has accomplished this year...... beyond thankful for those who give and pray faithfully for me and my ministry in Dallas. THANK YOU, Merry Christmas :)
 Campus Crusade for Christ -- Christmas Thank You from Masterworks on Vimeo.

Monday, September 5, 2011

First few weeks on campus....

Every year we remember the statistic that freshman are more interested in the Gospel during their first 6 weeks on campus than any other time in their college careers. Because of this our team has been planning and praying hard for reaching out during these crucial first weeks on campus.

As our staff team prayed, I was reminded that it was 2 weeks BEFORE my first college class that I had found the group of people I would spend the next 2 years with. I jumped head first into the fraternity parties, sorority events, and got into a relationship that led me further from Christ than I had ever been. I would never have walked into a church or campus ministry on my own accord, but I would have responded if someone cared enough about me to get to know me and share how I could have hope outside of the typical college experience.

It is because of this that we are motivated to stand outside in the 110 degree heat passing out popsicles and getting into conversations with freshman. Here are some pics from our table at the Mean Green Fling, where hundreds of student organizations set up tables to tell freshman what their group is all about.

Mean Green Fling
You also know that I have a huge heart for sorority women, since I was in a sorority myself. We have started this semester by visiting each chapter and making announcements about our Cru events. These announcements are not meant to terminate on themselves. We want to make significant contacts with women in each house in hopes of getting in front of their freshman to share how to balance life in college and think deeply about the spiritual part of life. These freshman talks translate into one-on-one conversations where our staff women will get to know these women and have an opportunity to share where they can find their greatest satisfaction in college -- Jesus.

Here is a picture of the books we passed out as a give-away in each house. The book gives a real look at the Sex & The City lifestyle that so many young women aspire towards. The author, Marian Jordan, talks candidly of her life experience and how she was looking for love in all the wrong places... leaving her thirsty, drained, and even more empty, and how Jesus is the only one that truly satisfies the desires of our hearts. For more on Marian's ministry visit:

Sex & The City Uncovered books for sororities

This past Thursday we had our first Cru event called "The Big Something." We gathered outside a dorm in the middle of campus, played live music, gave away free sno-balls, and played some volleyball. All this in hopes of meeting some new students and inviting them to be a part of our community. One of our staff guys told us later he counted 85 students at this event -- praise God!  

Some students came because we handed them a flier at the Mean Green Fling, some came because their friend invited them, and some just came because they heard the music from their dorm. This was a great encouragement to us to see that students who had no idea what we were about took a risk to come to our event alone and get to know us. What a huge step for a freshman! We are having the same event next Thursday and are encouraged by the Lord that this was His will for us. We will be kicking off our regular weekly meeting (worship & bible study) on Sept. 15. 

Student Leaders at The Big Something
Here are some things to pray for:
  • That many freshman would walk by our 2nd The Big Something and that we would get into spiritual conversations with them 
  • We have tables doing spiritual surveys with students every day this week -- pray for divine appointments and for energy/perseverance through the heat and long days
  • That we would be able to develop relationships with sorority freshman
Student guys filling out spiritual surveys

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Staring Fear in the Face

The lies get worse as they stream though your mind. You do not wander as the adulterous woman (Proverbs 5:3-6). You are a new creation -- a daughter of the King who has clothed you with strength and dignity (Proverbs 31:25). You have no reason to feel ashamed -- because the blood of Christ has cleansed you from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9) Beauty is fleeting and should not be trusted in; seek after the fear of the Lord. All fear exists because at one point it was reality. Once you experience something as reality it is hard to forget. We need your grace to help us remember that another person's sin does not define us. Your own sin doesn't define you because you are in Christ -- He defines you and gives you worth. You will not crumble under it.
You are broken and fallen.
But God is victorious through Christ's death and resurrection (Isaiah 25:8)

You cannot put your trust in man. All others will fail you. God, insecurity need not be projected on another. We are tempted to lay it on the ground, but I rather surrender it to you. Father, fear shows the truth about who we are -- that we do not really trust you. We don't trust you are who you say you are -- we don't trust you have our best interest at heart and we do not really believe you love us. Confession to you is freedom. In that I can truly breathe.

And I have this foundation: there is nothing in my history that confirms you will leave me all alone. I cannot look back on my life and say there was a time you were not with me. You are faithful, and keeper of my soul. You define my worth in every way (Psalm 139:1). You have not left me alone as an orphan or abandoned me (John 14:18). You protect me and guide me. I can trust your voice. I can trust your Spirit will reveal truth to my soul and direct me by your powerful word (Romans 2:12).

Love is a risk. We have to be willing to risk to follow you. Lord, to revel in your outstanding, immeasurable love that overcomes all confusion, brokenness, and brutal missing of your perfect mark. We are but small beggars trying to get by. But you have given us power to conquer over fear (Romans 8:37).

The Spirit of truth that dwells and lives within me: You have given me light and life where I deserved death and darkness. Despite of who I am you did this. Despite my rebellious treason against your authority, you love. You fight for me. Help me drink in that grace. Because by the grace of God and sacrifice of Jesus in death and resurrection, claiming victory over death, you say I am. With all authority in Heaven and on Earth, you say I am chosen.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Lori's fun personality :)
Most of you know I lived in Branson, MO for most of the summer. There were about 35 students on the summer project we were hosting. One of those students is Lori. Lori is from Maryland, and is a student at UNT. I got to know Lori when I reported to campus in March. We met for coffee at Einstein Bagel on campus, and she shared her story with me. Lori is an open book, a woman who others naturally follow, and passionate about living a life intimately connected to Jesus.

Lori had the privilege of teaching the other student women on project on the subject of idols. Our church in Denton has been discussing this topic recently, and Lori has been learning a lot about this subject in her personal times with the Lord. I'll let Lori tell you about her talk to these women:

I talked about how we first have to identify what our idols are and then seek why we ultimately put those things before God. My main idol is relationships (with both boys and girls). Those are things God has given me, but when I make them absolute by going to them in troubled times over God they became more of a burden. My root idol goes back to approval and comfort though, so when I realized that's why I had been putting those things first, then I was able to find that in God. My favorite part of the night was the end where we all prayed. Everyone just said one word or a phrase that came to mind, whether it be something they want to give up, a fear, or what they're thankful for. My prayer was that the Spirit would be moving especially in that time and I think He was. I enjoyed speaking and I think it was a good learning experience for me.  Some of the girls were tearing up at the end of prayer, and they said they really enjoyed it and that it was different than anything they had ever done before!

This summer Lori discipled 3 staff kids -- here she is with Maloree

No other name.

I'm home from spending 10 days in beautiful Ft. Collins, CO for our US Staff Conference. About 5,000 staff from all over the United States came to be refreshed and encouraged by the leaders of our ministry as well as other well known Christian leaders. I felt challenged a lot over the past week and a half, and have been thinking a lot about how I live out my faith. Is Jesus really my life? Am I willing to do anything and go anywhere for the sake of people hearing about the scandalous love of Jesus? Over the past two years, the organization I work for has been asking themselves the same questions. Are we doing everything we can as a movement to connect people to the abundant life Jesus promises?

While I was in Colorado, it was announced that we will be changing our name from Campus Crusade for Christ to Cru. In speaking with people who do not know Christ but would be interested in hearing more about how they could begin a relationship with Him, 20% said they would no longer be interested in talking with us about Jesus if they knew our name was Campus Crusade for Christ. Most organizations would say 2% is considered a very high percentage of people to negatively respond toward a name. Wow. We are committed to doing anything we need to do in order for others to hear about the saving love and grace of Jesus. With overwhelming feedback from countless individuals that our name was actually hindering us from connecting with others about Christ, we have changed the name of our US ministry to Cru. I personally could not love the name more. I think it will draw people in to the organization, causing people to ask "What are you about?" We are passionate about connecting others to Jesus. Since the leadership of our organization has done such a great job at explaining the name change, I will let them speak instead of me repeating what they have already said so well. Below are two videos that explain more behind the heart of the name change.

It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth,
whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, 
that this man stands before you healed. 
Jesus is ‘the stone you builders rejected,
   which has become the cornerstone.’
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name
under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
Acts 4:10-12

Friday, March 25, 2011

90 minutes to 100% certain

Think of a diagram ranging from -10 to 0 to +10 could imagine that the numbers represent where a person is along their spiritual journey. -10 might represent someone who is a declared atheist, believing there is no God. -7 may represent someone who believes there is a God, but does not know who that is and how they relate to Him. -2 represents someone who agrees Jesus is the Son of God, but has not given their life over to Him. 0 represents the point where someone surrenders their life to Christ, and +1 and on signifies a life of growth and maturity in your faith.

During the evangelism training at Big Break, students were challenged to ask God for +1 experiences. This meant that our focus was on asking good questions, listening well and connecting the stories of others to the gospel and to their own personal stories of redemption. For some, hearing the gospel may move them from a -10 to -9. For others, these conversations on the beach transitioned them from a -10 to a +1 as they heard and understood the gospel, placing their trust in Christ.

Two of our students, Kelli and Cedrick, experienced this -10 to +1 scenario on the last day of our trip. We spread out along the beaches of La Vela, one of the craziest stretches in Panama City Beach, where MTV films, condoms advertise, and fraternities mark their party zone with flags. After being approached four different times by Campus Crusade members, a group of young men told Kelli and Cedrick they were atheists, and not interested in talking. Cedrick explains how the conversation unfolded after that: “I just sort of asked them if they would let me show how they could be 100% certain they were going to Heaven. He started out as an atheist and was held by the belief that basically everything was evolved from nothing. I turned his attention to one of the buildings in the background and explained how it was evident that whoever built the building had a design in place for it. You could tell that there was intelligence behind it which was the result of some architect. I then asked him that if it took intelligence to plan a building, how much more intelligence does it take to design the complexity of the earth, stars, moon, and all the life that comes with it. Then I talked to him about our God and how He revealed His truth through Jesus Christ... and proved it by resurrecting Him from the dead. One of the things God led me to say was how at the time Jesus was crucified, he was alone, all of his disciples had fled and one even denied Him. Jesus himself said he'd raise from the dead, and if this were not true, wouldn't He have been proven to be a liar? I asked him, ‘would you be persecuted, jailed, imprisoned, and crucified in the name of faith for a proven liar?’ That really got to him." 

What Cedrick explained struck a chord with them. They looked out at the vast ocean and admitted that it did make sense that there was a God who created it. Cedrick led them through the gospel, and two of them prayed and asked Christ in their life right there on the beach! Kelli shared in a separate conversation with the third guy, and he too accepted Christ!

UNT group heads out for our 15 hour roadtrip!!
 Karl, Cedrick and Moises
Lillian and I before the main meeting
 Proof that being Greek starts spiritual conversations! :)
 Students used picture surveys to begin spiritual conversations on the beach. Spring breakers were so interested to talk, they used their beer cans to keep the pictures from flying away
Lillian and Sam sharing

News story that followed two DFW students on the beach:

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Salt of the Earth

Big Break is a one-week mission experience that gathers students from colleges and universities from all over the country in Panama City Beach, Florida. Students spend the week growing in their walk with God, exploring biblical truths and learning how to talk to their friends about their faith. It will be a fun and faith stretching week as we seek to share Christ with people on the beach at the nations largest Spring Break spot. The Dallas team will be taking 6 students to PCB this year. Please pray for us:
  • As we engage others on the beach/bars with the love of Christ (Acts 8:4)
  • Against fear (Proverbs 29:25)
  • That we would seek to love and serve others and live by example (1 Timothy 4:12, Colossians 4:5)
Here is a little vision about our trip:

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Portraits of Home.

I guess when you go to college and move into the dorms you feel as though you are going away for 4 years..... I mean, you aren't going to make a permanent life in this place, it's just....your college town. Well, I never thought the Lord would have me "making a life" here in Denton, but He does have me here, and I am more in love with this city than I ever was as a student. Denton is the 11th largest city in the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex, growing constantly with over 45,000 students combined at both major universities. And I can't wait to serve here.

I wanted to show you some pictures of my city...... officially home :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Until you have it all.

These are just some thoughts......... I hope they make sense.
I have been looking for a place to live in Denton for when I start ministry in the next month or so. And this has led me to feel the most anxious I have felt in a long time. Let me give you some background -- my whole life I have struggled with anxiety and fear until a few years ago, and I am convinced God healed me. Jesus confronted that sin and has brought a ton of victory to that area. But I still feel anxious from time to time. This is the first time I have felt anxiety the way I used to feel it. Overcoming, crippling. I have so many desires for what I want out of my life in Denton, and some of them are non-negotiable, but some are just desires........ and not all of them can be met. I have this long list of considerations and feel like nothing is perfect or good enough. I am putting my desires ahead of God's desire for my life, and putting my own wants in front of my needs, the needs that God knows and is faithfully providing for.

This morning I prayed three simple requests: that God would find a place where I could live with another believer, be close to campus, and something long term. Later today I was talking to God while driving (I do this a lot), and thinking about all the different things I want in a living situation. My mind was racing, and God just intervened. He said to me: "At some point, you just have to die to yourself." 

It was pretty clear. I didn't know what to say. He is so right...... at some point, I need to just lay down my desires at the foot of the cross and just die to myself.

In my last post I talked about how God is so relentless in His pursuit of us. This weekend at church we sang a worship song that spoke directly to this subject..... here are some of the lyrics:

You won't relent until You have it all
My heart is Yours

As I sang these words I felt this deep joy that God had all of me, grateful that He doesn't relent until He has all of us. Today God revealed to me that He doesn't have all of me, because I am holding it back from Him!! Here I am, thinking that I have given every part of my life over in surrender to Christ when in reality I am clinging on to this idea of what I selfishly want my life to be. God gently reminded me of the day on the beach in Florida when I decided to come on staff with Campus Crusade. I didn't say "yes Jesus, you can have my life, but only if you make everything around me and all my circumstances comfortable and clean", I remember specifically crying out to God in overwhelming surrender of my life and saying "I will follow you, I will be obedient, I will do what you say regardless of the cost.

I'm so grateful He revealed this to me today in the car. Who am I to think He wont perfectly provide for me, even if it is not "comfortable and clean." He wants me to die to myself, lay down my own ideas, and just follow Him. I have an opportunity to do that today, to follow Him regardless of the cost, and I don't want to miss it.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Remind me.

More than ever I feel the weight of my circumstances pressing in on me, yet simultaneously I feel so covered by God's grace. I am overwhelmed by how many prayers He has been faithful to answer, even though His answer may not be what I wanted to hear. There is a sense of God's ultimate protection in the midst of consistent rejection -- and something about that is just comforting. 

In His kindness God called you to His eternal glory by means of Jesus Christ. After you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you and He will place you on a firm foundation. 
1 Peter 5:10

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
Psalm 46:1

God truly is my only refuge, my solid foundation. He knows me intimately, knows my desires, my fears and my hopes for the future. He knows them all and loves me relentlessly, with a jealous love that will not stop until He has my whole heart. God is crazy about me. And about you. The reality is this: the future will always be unknown, scary, unsure -- but God comforts in the midst of uncertainty. God calms the anxious heart and reminds me He has graciously called me from death to life. There is a fullness in this life that He already has prepared for me to experience and to walk through. I will tell you, this place that I'm in, it feels like a crawl. It feels like I am crawling through the mud and clinging so hard to Jesus so I don't sink. And it is so good. He is faithful to remind me that I have been called, justified, rescued from the fire, from the depths of my sinful nature. The Holy Spirit tapping on my heart convicting and calling me to repentance to refine me again. 

God's grace is amazing, because it's undeserved. So even in this moment when I feel myself sinking and I cry out to God for help -- the sheer fact that He hears and even cares to respond is remarkable. I don't deserve to be pulled out of the mud. Nothing in me deserves to be abundantly blessed by those who have little but love much. But this is the love of Jesus. We don't deserve it, yet because of His relentless pursuit of our hearts, He offers it -- free of charge to us, but at an incredible cost for Him. Has anyone ever saved you from drowning, throwing himself into the raging sea to drown on your behalf? On a larger scale, Jesus did that on the cross. He humbled Himself to come in front of us, bear our sin, let Himself be nailed to a cross, brutally killing Him, to take the full punishment for our sin. 

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 
2 Peter: 3-9

Jesus, remind me, you never give up -- your patience is unlimited. Your sacrifice was too costly, and you love us too much to even allow one sheep to stray away from you. You will not stop until we are yours.