Thursday, January 7, 2021

December Update

The End of the Semester

December marked the end of a very tumultuous year that was challenging and difficult for most people, however, despite the difficulty this year brought, God was always on the move and it ended up pretty well. There were still opportunities for students to get to see one another in small group setting with a couple larger group settings as well, and the vast majority of our ministry had at least one person meeting with them regularly helping to disciple one another. In addition, my classes at the church proved worthwhile and challenging, and I learned how to write and present a sermon.

Holy Spirit Class

We wrapped up our discipleship classes for the semester as we began preparing for our sermons. We took a class over The Holy Spirit and learned more on the inter-workings that He plays in our lives. One thing that stood out to me most was the idea that we are living in the "already but not yet," which is to say we are living in a time where things still aren't right but are assured will be sanctified and are awaiting the return of Jesus to finish it. The Holy Spirit has always been a topic of discussion that I have stayed away from since it seemed so complicated a topic. After having more discussions about Him, however, I feel more engaged to think through this further. I'd encourage you to do the same!

Practice Sermons

In preparing for our end-of-semester sermon, all the interns wrote and practiced speaking one with a FOCUS minister (first on left) and a guest minister. Our guest minister was none other than Bill Watson (second from right), a seminary professor and local pastor. Bill provided feedback for me and two other interns which proved to be very beneficial. I learned about the significance about being in a right place with God before preaching. This means to repent of any ongoing sins before preaching to others, potentially about whatever sin is causing struggle as you preach.

Worship Night pt. 2

Our Collin Focus ministry decided to hold another worship night outside for students at the end of the semester. Just like last time, we played games beforehand and sang songs together and listened to a sermon. In addition, we set up a Christmas Card writing table for students to write cards for the elderly during the Christmas season to feel loved and appreciated.

Pictured to the left are students engaging in worship. God moved a lot this night and afterwards students went to hangout at different events to connect with one another. I personally attended a Christmas lights walk around in a neighborhood.

End of Semester Sermon

Like I said earlier, we had been preparing for our end of semester sermon where we talked about the gospel in terms of how our lives reflect God's hand. This was the first time I had preached in front of a crowd (wearing masks) since high school. I remember my youth pastor, Justin Jantz, giving me an opportunity to speak at youth group and remembered what a neat opportunity that was. So, I was humbled and honored to try again years later. Afterwards, I was provided feedback that will help better me not just as a speaker, but as a disciple as well.

Fun Stuff

Our staff team put on a Christmas movie night for students to attend outside in the chilly weather. We watch Home Alone and had some good laughs while spending quality time with one another.

Pictured above are the interns for this year with some significant others included on a trip to Six Flags! This was a great way for us to get to know each other more and have a little bit of fun away from the business of life.

I'm engaged! After 3 years, Clarissa and I decided it was time to take the next step together. Our plan is to be married this May and I'll be moving to Denton! Currently, she's a students at UNT and will be going to grad school there, so it makes since for me to join her there :)

What I've been Learning

God has taught me immensely this semester, let alone this year. I am constantly reminded of the grace that He has for me when I fall short and I am being reminded that I am His kid that He loves. I struggle with thinking of myself as inherently valuable to God and think that I always need to perform well or otherwise be discounted in the Kingdom. Thankfully, I have close friends and family to spur me on and encourage me to finish the race and lean more into God. When I was a freshman in high school, I attended a confirmation class for my church that my grandma so lovingly pushed me into and towards the end of the class, I was to come up with a verse that most spoke to me, so I googled one haha. However, this verse now stands out to me more than ever and I can only think that God was at the center of this, so here's the verse...

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze." (Isaiah 43:2)

Please pray for our campuses to continually experience Jesus! Now more than ever people need friends, and we need God to help us.

Student Testimony


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