Saturday, February 6, 2016

Season of Harvest

With the second semester well on its way, God has already been doing amazing things! 

Winter Camp

"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching." Hebrews 10:24-25

Every spring semester we start it off right with winter camp, our biggest event of the year. Every campus, some alumni, ministry friends up in Wichita Falls, and some high school students, come to celebrate and worship together. This year we had close to 550 come and enjoy community over this four-day event. But while big events are fun and great, the real work happens in our cores. Our small groups find so much time to bond together and also to reach out beyond their band of friends. My core this year has been so amazing, it's like they were made to be together in public. They sing, they clap, they start chants. These guys are crazy, and I love it. My co-leader, Dave, loved seeing our guys at the dance party. His favorite part was that they were dancing like it was nobody's business, so comfortable with each other that they didn't care what others thought because they had found acceptance in a group that mattered. And that was the story of the weekend. Everybody was showered with so much love, it was a time where the sole focus was a love for God and for others.

Staff Retreat

"For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others." Romans 12:4-5

For our staff, we also started the semester with a good retreat to bond together. As a leader team the pressure is on us to lead not just by words, but with example first and foremost. So in that example, we strive to be a close-knit team that is open and vulnerable with each other, that brings up the hard stuff, and deals with conflict admirably. It was so much fun to have time with my fellow interns, people I've grown to love so much. Under extreme pressure and long days and weeks we've grown so much individually and together. 

Keep FOCUS Growing

"If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" Matthew 7:11

Our annual fundraiser hit our $45,000 goal! Total God deal. And as we promised our students, we did a polar plunge: jumping into a freezing pool on campus to celebrate the great ways God works to provide for his children. See the video here!

Student Finances Class

"Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing and your vats will brim over with new wine." Proverbs 3:9-10

This month we started up a student finances class to help teach our students how to think about and treat money. Money and sex are two things that our culture has no problem throwing in our face, but talking seriously about? Not a chance. So we're going through Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University, a class I took early last semester. Over 20 students have dedicated two hours of the next four Saturdays to learn how to think about money now, instead of dealing with it later. So far, this class has honestly been so much fun to listen to the stories of our students and to share tips and tricks that have helped me be a good steward of my money. 

Thank You!

"I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers." Ephesians 1:16

Much of my desire to think and deal with my money extremely responsibly is because many of you support me financially. That's a very big deal to me, that you would trust me to manage your support well and that the work I do is worth it. So, thank you so much for placing your trust in me and in what God is doing here in Dallas. I love you all and am always so excited to share with you the amazing things happening here!