God is For Us

Luke 2:1-14 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

The Shepherds and the Angels

And in the same region, there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!

 

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Cave used as a stable in Israel

It may have been in a cave much like this one we visited in Israel where we would find Jesus laying in a manger.  Smelly, unclean and with the remnants of animal manure, caves such as this one were natural stables for shepherds.

I love to think on the birth of Jesus because it is a humbling reminder that Jesus was born as a human in the poorest of conditions.  So significant the announcement of his birth was made to the lowest of society… shepherds.  The Son of God born in the flesh.

It is in Matthew where we read about the visit of the Magi, wealthy outsiders.

As if God is saying “I am sending my only son to you, the lowest of society, the highest of society, the outsiders, and everyone in between.  He is a gift to all.

And he is human.

Jody mentioned in his sermon today that Jesus knew temptations, poverty, frustration, weariness, disappointment, rejection, sorrow, ridicule, loneliness, and pain.  We tend to think of Jesus as a superhuman, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but we forget he was as human as you or me.

Philippians 2:1-11 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

God is for us, he knows us, he knows the pains and the joys of being human.  Reflect on it today, as you begin the week and take comfort in a God who is for us all.


Tagged: Christmas, Luke 2, Manger

MY BLOG IN 2018: Week Four

And finally we wrap up my introduction to what is coming, starting in January. It’s only a few weeks away.

We’ve chatted about how we’ll be using the first week to review the top blog posts from the last five years. We’ve talked about how the second week will be a time to invite you into my life as a campus minister and as the President of Impact Campus Ministries. Last month, I introduced you to a little bit of the history behind ICM and our mission, vision, and values; we talked about the third week being dedicated to casting some vision around our common language and culture at ICM. So what is going to be the topic in week four?

Stories.

We all love good stories. Stories enable us to see a great idea in action. There is something unbelievably powerful about taking a concept and wrapping it in the flesh of human experience. And so, whatever idea we talked about that month (from the previous week), I’ll be finding a story to write about or share with you so we can see the idea with feet on it.

When we take time to talk about the process of discipleship, I want to find a story about someone who engaged in that process. What did discipleship look like to them? How did our definition find life in their experience? What pieces of advice would they give?

When we talk about our commitment to pursue (intimacy with God), what example can I find of someone who created space to pursue God passionately? What fruit was borne of that pursuit? What can we learn from those stories of success (and even failure)?

When we pull apart our value of excellence, who embodies our idea of excellence? How do they (and we) balance the tension between letting God bear the fruit and putting in an effort of excellence at all times? What does it mean to do our part and trust God to do His?

The fact of the matter is that we are surrounded by these stories every day. As campus ministers, we ought to be sharing the stories with others. The truest testimony to whether or not something works is just that: testimony. An idea is just an idea unless it becomes real in the life of another human being. A product is just a product unless it really proves itself useful to others. Nobody cares about whether a culture or belief system is right or wrong unless it becomes compelling to others through the lens of experience.

Stories.

Stories are the most powerful teaching tools we’ll ever have. God believed in the power of story; He worked through Elisha to tell Naaman to “go in peace,” armed only with his experience to change the world of Aram. Jesus believed in the power of story; he turned down an eager applicant for discipleship, telling him instead to go home and tell others his story. These are instances where people lacked any training in theology or management. They were not equipped with what the world might have called “conventional wisdom.” But they had their story.

Stories have changed the course of history more than once. Maybe we should put more stock in stories; maybe we should put more stock in our own stories.

Now, storytelling is something most of us have to get better at. It’s definitely something ICM is trying to get better at. Please don’t let me overhype what’s coming. We’re not expert storytellers, but we’d like to be better storytellers, so we’re going to try. Maybe we’ll struggle through and maybe it will be incredible. There’s only one way to find out.

So for week four, I’ll invite you to a new series: Pull Up a Chair.



MY BLOG IN 2018: Week Four

And finally we wrap up my introduction to what is coming, starting in January. It’s only a few weeks away.

We’ve chatted about how we’ll be using the first week to review the top blog posts from the last five years. We’ve talked about how the second week will be a time to invite you into my life as a campus minister and as the President of Impact Campus Ministries. Last month, I introduced you to a little bit of the history behind ICM and our mission, vision, and values; we talked about the third week being dedicated to casting some vision around our common language and culture at ICM. So what is going to be the topic in week four?

Stories.

We all love good stories. Stories enable us to see a great idea in action. There is something unbelievably powerful about taking a concept and wrapping it in the flesh of human experience. And so, whatever idea we talked about that month (from the previous week), I’ll be finding a story to write about or share with you so we can see the idea with feet on it.

When we take time to talk about the process of discipleship, I want to find a story about someone who engaged in that process. What did discipleship look like to them? How did our definition find life in their experience? What pieces of advice would they give?

When we talk about our commitment to pursue (intimacy with God), what example can I find of someone who created space to pursue God passionately? What fruit was borne of that pursuit? What can we learn from those stories of success (and even failure)?

When we pull apart our value of excellence, who embodies our idea of excellence? How do they (and we) balance the tension between letting God bear the fruit and putting in an effort of excellence at all times? What does it mean to do our part and trust God to do His?

The fact of the matter is that we are surrounded by these stories every day. As campus ministers, we ought to be sharing the stories with others. The truest testimony to whether or not something works is just that: testimony. An idea is just an idea unless it becomes real in the life of another human being. A product is just a product unless it really proves itself useful to others. Nobody cares about whether a culture or belief system is right or wrong unless it becomes compelling to others through the lens of experience.

Stories.

Stories are the most powerful teaching tools we’ll ever have. God believed in the power of story; He worked through Elisha to tell Naaman to “go in peace,” armed only with his experience to change the world of Aram. Jesus believed in the power of story; he turned down an eager applicant for discipleship, telling him instead to go home and tell others his story. These are instances where people lacked any training in theology or management. They were not equipped with what the world might have called “conventional wisdom.” But they had their story.

Stories have changed the course of history more than once. Maybe we should put more stock in stories; maybe we should put more stock in our own stories.

Now, storytelling is something most of us have to get better at. It’s definitely something ICM is trying to get better at. Please don’t let me overhype what’s coming. We’re not expert storytellers, but we’d like to be better storytellers, so we’re going to try. Maybe we’ll struggle through and maybe it will be incredible. There’s only one way to find out.

So for week four, I’ll invite you to a new series: Pull Up a Chair.



MY BLOG IN 2018: Week Three

We’ve now talked about my four-week rotation for every calendar month of 2018. We talked about how I’ll be using the first week of the rotations to talk about the Top 12 Blog Posts of Covered in His Dust. We’ve also spoken about how I’ll be using the second week to bring you a little series titled A Day in the Life. Now it’s time to talk about what we’ll be covering in the third week of our monthly rotations.

While I don’t think it’s a secret to my readers, my vocational calling is one where I serve as the President of Impact Campus Ministries. At ICM, we believe in the work of campus ministry because we believe that if we can impact the university campus, we can impact the world. We truly believe that tomorrow’s great leaders are studying on campuses all over this country; we believe there are students here that will be called to all kinds of international destinations and jobs to make an impact in their particular contexts. In fact, the largest growing demographic of students is the international student — what better chance to impact the world on the global scale than to shape tomorrow’s leaders on today’s campuses?

Here is a video we made that talks about all of that:


One of the reasons I love ICM so much is because of the culture and the vision of our organization. Some of that culture was built into Impact from its earliest years of ministry. Amazing people like Dean Trune planted a counter-intuitive belief in ICM that true success is developing intimacy with God. I love working for an organization that runs against the current of mainstream thought — thought that believes all we need is a little more hard work — and says that true success is a fruitfulness that comes from what God wants to do through us. And maybe it has to be “caught not taught,” but just listen to this definition of success that was written long before I ever worked for ICM:

Success is developing intimacy with God and community with each other through a living relationship with Jesus. We believe an individual, who is developing intimacy with God, in the context of Christian community, will make an impact for the Kingdom of God.

A team of individuals, who make an impact for the Kingdom of God, will have a fruitful ministry. Though we do not aim for “making an impact,” and we do not aim for “fruitful ministries,” we recognize that these two situations will supernaturally occur when individuals develop intimacy with God in Christian community.

Ministry is the product of our love for God, and an expression of a heart devoted to God. We must not allow “ministry for God” to crowd “intimacy with God” out of our lives. We cannot control “making an impact,” and we cannot control “fruitful ministries,” but we have absolute control over developing intimacy with God and being devoted to one another.

I love that!

Out of this core belief, those who came after Dean and before me created a mission that still excites me. We exist to pursue, model, and teach intimacy with God in Christian community on the American university campus. Out of this mission statement we built a “common language” that we believe, over time, helps foster a culture to make ICM great. ICM is indebted to the leadership of Bill Westfall for this guidance.

We created eight core terms we use to talk about the discipleship process; we also have a list of six values on which we build our organization. We wanted to have shared definitions of what these words mean to us as an organization because we believe words are powerful. We created short definitions for disciple and discipleship. We found it to be very beneficial to identify exactly what pursue, model, and teach mean as ideas. And we also decided it would be helpful to expound on the importance of message, mode, and milieu. All of this is built upon the foundation of our values: passion [for God], community, character, excellence, [the local] church, and compassion.

Now, it’s important for me to state that this is simply our culture at ICM. This is not some seminar on success or how you can follow our formula to greatness. We don’t travel around the country putting on conferences about these terms and why they’re so great — “and you can do it too!” In fact, the mentality of ICM runs against this big box, perform-and-impress idea about church.

No, this is simply a conversation that means a lot to us. To be honest, I’ll be using this third week to write about these ideas for my staff and those connected to our organization. If Dean Trune instilled a definition of success — the spirit and DNA of ICM — and if Bill Westfall helped create a vision and mission for the future, then my job is to help us take ground and continue becoming the organization these great leaders dreamed about. And that means we need to keep talking about these ideas and pushing into them. Every day, every year — moving forward.

But these conversations are not something we want to keep secret. We want to share them with you. I will be posting a monthly article on one of our core terms and casting a little vision of what it looks like to pursue these ideas. If they bless you and help you in some way, we are excited and thrilled to be a part of what God wants to do in your life. If they don’t, that’s fine too. We have no plans for world domination.

So for the third week of every month, I invite you into the conversation of Making an Impact.

MY BLOG IN 2018: Week Three

We’ve now talked about my four-week rotation for every calendar month of 2018. We talked about how I’ll be using the first week of the rotations to talk about the Top 12 Blog Posts of Covered in His Dust. We’ve also spoken about how I’ll be using the second week to bring you a little series titled A Day in the Life. Now it’s time to talk about what we’ll be covering in the third week of our monthly rotations.

While I don’t think it’s a secret to my readers, my vocational calling is one where I serve as the President of Impact Campus Ministries. At ICM, we believe in the work of campus ministry because we believe that if we can impact the university campus, we can impact the world. We truly believe that tomorrow’s great leaders are studying on campuses all over this country; we believe there are students here that will be called to all kinds of international destinations and jobs to make an impact in their particular contexts. In fact, the largest growing demographic of students is the international student — what better chance to impact the world on the global scale than to shape tomorrow’s leaders on today’s campuses?

Here is a video we made that talks about all of that:


One of the reasons I love ICM so much is because of the culture and the vision of our organization. Some of that culture was built into Impact from its earliest years of ministry. Amazing people like Dean Trune planted a counter-intuitive belief in ICM that true success is developing intimacy with God. I love working for an organization that runs against the current of mainstream thought — thought that believes all we need is a little more hard work — and says that true success is a fruitfulness that comes from what God wants to do through us. And maybe it has to be “caught not taught,” but just listen to this definition of success that was written long before I ever worked for ICM:

Success is developing intimacy with God and community with each other through a living relationship with Jesus. We believe an individual, who is developing intimacy with God, in the context of Christian community, will make an impact for the Kingdom of God.

A team of individuals, who make an impact for the Kingdom of God, will have a fruitful ministry. Though we do not aim for “making an impact,” and we do not aim for “fruitful ministries,” we recognize that these two situations will supernaturally occur when individuals develop intimacy with God in Christian community.

Ministry is the product of our love for God, and an expression of a heart devoted to God. We must not allow “ministry for God” to crowd “intimacy with God” out of our lives. We cannot control “making an impact,” and we cannot control “fruitful ministries,” but we have absolute control over developing intimacy with God and being devoted to one another.

I love that!

Out of this core belief, those who came after Dean and before me created a mission that still excites me. We exist to pursue, model, and teach intimacy with God in Christian community on the American university campus. Out of this mission statement we built a “common language” that we believe, over time, helps foster a culture to make ICM great. ICM is indebted to the leadership of Bill Westfall for this guidance.

We created eight core terms we use to talk about the discipleship process; we also have a list of six values on which we build our organization. We wanted to have shared definitions of what these words mean to us as an organization because we believe words are powerful. We created short definitions for disciple and discipleship. We found it to be very beneficial to identify exactly what pursue, model, and teach mean as ideas. And we also decided it would be helpful to expound on the importance of message, mode, and milieu. All of this is built upon the foundation of our values: passion [for God], community, character, excellence, [the local] church, and compassion.

Now, it’s important for me to state that this is simply our culture at ICM. This is not some seminar on success or how you can follow our formula to greatness. We don’t travel around the country putting on conferences about these terms and why they’re so great — “and you can do it too!” In fact, the mentality of ICM runs against this big box, perform-and-impress idea about church.

No, this is simply a conversation that means a lot to us. To be honest, I’ll be using this third week to write about these ideas for my staff and those connected to our organization. If Dean Trune instilled a definition of success — the spirit and DNA of ICM — and if Bill Westfall helped create a vision and mission for the future, then my job is to help us take ground and continue becoming the organization these great leaders dreamed about. And that means we need to keep talking about these ideas and pushing into them. Every day, every year — moving forward.

But these conversations are not something we want to keep secret. We want to share them with you. I will be posting a monthly article on one of our core terms and casting a little vision of what it looks like to pursue these ideas. If they bless you and help you in some way, we are excited and thrilled to be a part of what God wants to do in your life. If they don’t, that’s fine too. We have no plans for world domination.

So for the third week of every month, I invite you into the conversation of Making an Impact.

In Who Do We Trust?

Abraham is a giant of our faith and the father of the nation of Israel but even he has moments where he does not always make the right decisions.  We open the story up when God has made a covenant with Abram (later God changes it to Abraham).

Genesis 12:1 The Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.”

This is no small thing for Abram.  This is a typical patriarchal society where the family honors the father of the clan.  They worship his gods, they help provide security and help support the clan by working in the father’s calling.  If the father is a builder, many of the males in the family, sons, nephews, maybe younger brothers and cousins are all builders working for and with the head of the family.

To leave is a big deal and yet Abram does as God asks and in taking all of Lot’s family, he is now the patriarch of his own clan along with anyone he has brought in to be a part of the family including servants, hired hands and anyone else.  In this culture, anyone invited in to be a part of the family or mishpucha (Yiddish for family) was considered to be part of the clan and the patriarch became responsible for their well being.

Now comes trouble, there is a famine in the land and Abram makes the responsible decision to go to the only place where there are water and food, Egypt.  Perhaps this is his first mistake but an understandable one.  Abram doesn’t yet trust the story and takes it upon himself to provide for his mishpucha.

Now it is about to get dicey…

As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know what a beautiful woman you are. 12 When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will let you live. 13 Say you are my sister so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.”

Before we lay into Abraham about this, understand how the culture works.  Sarai was beautiful and Abram seeks to use this to their advantage.  By not claiming her as a wife, he presents her as eligible for betrothal, the patriarch is then given gifts and much wealth to win his favor.  At that point, I think they would leave Egypt with all of it… except for one small problem…

Pharaoh takes first then gives betrothal gifts.

Abram had not considered this possibility.  In the end, Pharaoh sends them away very wealthy and Abram has provided for his family but at a cost.  They now have so much wealth and livestock that he and Lot must separate.  From this point on Abraham and his descendants will turn to Egypt in times of famine, they turn to Egypt for their security, eventually, this will enslave them.

In who do I trust?  Do I look to my own abilities? Where does my security come from?  Where does my help come from? Do I look for it in God or do I look for it in Egypt/Empire? And at what cost?


Rebuilding Hope

I am very proud of our church and the volunteers that went to Texas for a week to help rebuild after Hurricane Harvey.  Their story is not mine to tell, but I can say that this is what it looks like to bring the kingdom of God to earth.  This trip was the church taking care of each other as they were able.  I am proud, not because we did this thing, I am proud because 14 people followed God’s call and as a church, we chose to pour our resources and our love into the lives of others.

In Acts, we get a picture of the early church.  The author (most likely Luke) writes “All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power, the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.” (4:32-35)

Christians taking care of Christians

The Christians had legitimate needs that the early church met and it not only brought the believers together in unity, but it also drew people to the gospel.  I love what our people did in Texas because it brought peace and hope.  It showed God’s love to people who so desperately needed to see it.  And I know this because of the responses my wife received from those that lived in the area.

And this makes me wonder how many people would think differently of Christians if this is what they saw of Christians as a general rule, not the exception.

We live in a post-Christian culture, not a non-Christian culture.  One of the significant differences is that many in the post-Christian culture are aware of what the Bible says, and they know about Jesus but aren’t buying it.  Many of them have attended church at one point in their life, and I think to myself, would they return if the modern church looked more like the early church?

Christians united as one, taking care of each other is part of what drew people.  It was a significant departure from the current Roman culture in which they lived. 

Paul writes in Philippians 2:2-4 “then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

Take some time to pray and ask God to show you where you can make a difference.  It may be hanging drywall; it may be changing someone’s oil, it may be providing food or other resources.  When we serve in the name of Christ, God gets the praise and glory.

Matthew 5:13-16 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.


Tagged: community

If I Make My Bed in Sheol, You are There

The following was written by one of our student leaders at Impact Campus Ministries, South Bend.  This blog post struck me because it speaks to the way God sees us, not how we see ourselves.  He is there in our darkest times because we are his, and that is enough!  Here is a link to Hannah’s blog Grace Upon Grace.

Hannah Stayton, nursing student at Indiana University South Bend

If I make my bed in Sheol, You are there

October 16, 2017

The most precious thing I have ever received is the grace of God.

He tells me over and over again that I am Hannah Grace, he shows me grace; grace upon grace. He did not just show me grace as a one-time act when he died a brutal death for me on a cross. Yet even if that was the only time he showed me grace, it would be enough for me to bow down on my face and worship him out of complete reverence & thanksgiving. The crazy thing is, his grace does not stop there. That is what baffles my mind. He gives me more grace. Every. Single. Day.

I love Psalm 139. David expresses how intricately the Lord knows us. David states, “You have searched me and known me!.. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it all together…”

The part of the psalm that really blows my mind is when David says, “If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!” When I read that, I think, boy! How many times have I literally made my bed in hell and camped out there for a while because I had a bad attitude, was being selfish, and totally not acting like a precious daughter of God. Way too many times. Instances come to my mind where I have pouted with where the Lord was leading me. Most recently, all semester I have pouted about how difficult nursing school is, & why the Lord did not lead me to a Christian college. I could go on about so many other moments where I have acted far from Christ-like, and by doing so, literally bathed in my sin, then made my bed in hell and slept there. I got comfortable relaxing in a place that is so far from God. For that, I am so sorry, Lord.

And yet, the scripture says, “If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.” Wait, what?

You mean to tell me that when I am a pouty, selfish, untrusting, unfaithful, little girl, the Lord follows me there too? He just is not with me when I am making him proud, but he is with me when I am “failing” miserably in trusting the Lord. That is grace.Praise the Lord that he pours out his grace upon his children each morning. I try so hard to follow him and fall short. Praise the Lord for his grace stacked upon grace that stacks up so high that it bridges the gap between me & my failures and the righteousness of God.

“For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” John 1:16


Tagged: Christianity, Faith, God, Grace, Psalm 139, Students

Seeking God’s Presence

Practicing the presence of God on an hourly basis is a difficult habit to attain at times.  We get so busy with our activities and thoughts that we often forget God’s presence.  One of my best friends, Jon, said it like this: seeing the sunset and taking a moment to thank God and acknowledge his hand in it, that’s practicing the presence of God.  Talking to God and saying “I don’t understand what you are doing here God, I trust you, but I don’t get the plan here, and I am not sure I like it,” that’s practicing the presence of God.

Brother Lawrence was a monk in the middle 1600’s who sought the presence of God even in the mundane daily chores.  As a practicing monk, they adhered to the hours of prayer every three hours, but he sought God’s presence even in the between times.  He sought God’s presence as he prepared meals and washed the dishes.  What it comes down to directly is forming good habits.

At our house, we have 2.5 acres to mow and many trees to work around.  It also gives me plenty of opportunities to practice the presence of God by looking around at the beauty of creation, looking at how many things I have to be thankful for, but I also can go through a chunk of my day without my mind turning to God… unless I am purposeful about it.

Paul writes in Philippians 4:8-9 “Finally brothers (and sisters) whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is any worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me–practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”

Paul set’s the example of how to keep his mind on the presence of God.  Think back to the numerous times he has been in prison.  What is he doing?  He writes to all of the churches about how to live the gospel of Christ in a world controlled by the Roman Empire.  Or let’s go to Acts 16:22-25The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.”

How often can we think about the things of God in the day?  Maybe it’s a short prayer for a friend or family member as their names come into your head.  Perhaps it is a quick “thank you God for the rains you sent but a huge thank you for the sunshine today.

Frank Laubach a Christian missionary wrote in one of his letters “Can I bring God back in my mind-flow every few seconds so that God shall always be in my mind as an after-image? I choose to make the rest of my life an experiment in answering this question.”

Take a few moments each hour and think on the things of God.  Maybe it is his love, his grace or his mercy, or say a short prayer for whatever happens to be on your mind.  Set an alarm on your phone to remind you to turn your thoughts to God, and see how this helps shape and mold your day… even if it is doing routine tasks like Brother Lawrence.

 


Tagged: Pursue

MY BLOG IN 2018: Week Two

I have been wanting to take some time each month this fall to share with you a little bit of what to expect on my blog in the coming year. Starting in January, I will begin a weekly rotation of blog themes that will drive the conversation in 2018. In the last post, I spoke of how I will be taking the first week of each month to share the Top 12 Blog Posts of Covered in His Dust. We’ll look back and see what posts have been used the most and I’ll enjoy speculating as to why they are the favorites.

The second week of my rotation will be dedicated to a series I’m going to call “A Day in the Life,” and it should be a collection of different things I do in my job each day. For many of my supporters, they have commented on how nice it’s been to see updates and the occasional video where they get to see what I do secondhand. It’s just one more way we can make our world a little smaller and I can invite you to see what it’s like to be a campus minister and/or President of Impact Campus Ministries.

Some examples of this might be the work I do with students or showing you some of the groups I teach here on the Palouse. I might do a post on discipleship and “take you on a walk” with one of my disciples. I might show you a meeting or two, such as those with the staff of ICM. I might introduce you to some of the staff at Real Life on the Palouse and talk about my partnership with the church there. And maybe I’ll even do a post on what I enjoy doing with my free time. There are so many things to invite you into!

None of these posts will be designed to be instructive or profound in any way — they’re just a fun trip into my day-to-day life where you get to see a little bit of things from my perspective. Of course, I’m sure there will be some cameo appearances from my family (they are who everyone really wants to see, I know) and we’ll have some fun.

So I look forward to inviting you into my life next year as we explore “A Day in the Life.”


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