Spring at UTA
|Our core at Formal (Minus Katy!)|
I hope the first full month of Spring has treated you well. It certainly was a sweet month at UTA. I had a hard time picking what to talk about and what to show you. As I reflect on this month I am struck with nothing less than profound gratitude for the kindness of God, and for you. My heart and passion is so bound up in this campus and in what God is doing in the lives and hearts of these young women. Your generous heart and commitment to the gospel reminds me of Jesus daily. Thank you for being a regular example of dedication, love, and servanthood in my life. As the end of another year comes to a close I pray the Spirit impresses upon you the significance of your role in this work. These young women and many others have been touched by you, I mean that with my whole heart!
This month I had the privilege of speaking at TNF about the book of Isaiah, and at my church over John 21. If you want to listen to either here are the links:
I have been thinking a lot about these two parts of scripture this month as I prepped for these sermons. I wanted to share something that has really stuck with me from a piece written by Charles Spurgeon about John 21. (Here is the link if you want to read it, I found it super impactful!) For context John 21 is the last chapter of the Gospel of John, Jesus has risen from the dead and appears to his disciples for the third time. He finds them early in the morning still fishing after catching nothing all night, he instructs them where to catch fish, then calls them in and cooks breakfast for them. After breakfast Jesus reinstates Peter after his denial before Jesus' death, then commissions him to lead the church.
"Again, dear friends, I think it was a very necessary thing that they should break their fast, for the Lord, Jesus Christ was going to search their hearts. “When they had dined”: notice that, not till then, Jesus questioned Peter. When they had breakfasted, “Jesus saith, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?” “When they had breakfasted,” not before. He would not deal with Peter, or any of them, while they had empty stomachs. I beg you to feed well this morning, because you will have to be overhauled before long, and it will be well to have heart to bear it. Truth will be preached to you another day which will blow quite through you, like a mighty wind— truth which will burn as an oven, and like a refiner’s fire. Get yourself in good order for cross-examination. Prepare your soul for the hour of trial, when the business of the hour will be to answer the question, “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?” Ah, dear friends! if heart-searching trials come upon us when we are lean and famished, they pull us down dreadfully, for we are out of condition; but the same measure of heart-searching administered to us when soundly nourished by communion with Christ, will do us good.
Though cares like a wild deluge come, And storms of sorrow fall;When I have fed with Christ at home, My soul defies them all.
He that is right with God can bear to be questioned. He that is nourished and built up with heavenly food, can bear to examine the grounds of his faith, and to test the foundations of his hope. Such a man can face the inquiry—
Do I love the Lord or no? Am I his, or am I not? "
I was so impacted by this perspective on John 21, the rest of this piece was equally as touching and insightful. However, the idea of only he who is right with God can face the question; do I love God or not, am I the His or am I not, has sat on my mind heavily as I have gone through out the weeks. I was so encouraged by the freedom and peace that is found simply by dining with Jesus. Only after I have spent time with my Lord could I ever hope to face my own sin and depths of my own brokenness with a clear mind, only after I have spent time with my Lord could I ever hope to "feed his sheep". This left me longing to be with Jesus and be built up and refreshed by him. I hope this encourages you, and reminds you of truth.
For our last outreach of the year we tried to do something a little more creative and offer to clean people's shoes for free! This was a way to serve people but also have an outward expression of imitating the way Jesus served by washing his disciples feet. A little out there, but it went so well! I was super encouraged by the conversations we got to have.
Loren and I got to finish out core this week by spending the evening writing out encouragements to everyone and then going out for dessert. It was a sweet way to celebrate the year, each of these girls are so special and God did big things in them this year! This month I finished out my one on one time with each of them and spent time thinking how to stay connecting to God and community over the summer. I put some more details in the captions of the pictures :)
|Us walking to go get dessert after core lol|
End of Year Formal:
|Mia! She is in my core, we have been reading the Gospel of Mark together this semester!|
|Sarah, one of the girls I met with this year.|
|Zoe, one of our student leaders.|
|Sarah, one of my friends and another one of our campus pastors.|
Until next time,