"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." - Colossians 3:17
"I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High." - Psalm 9:1-2
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I wanted to use this opportunity to tell you guys about four things I am thankful for this month in hopes that you will join me in giving God praise for all of it!
1. Thirst for Biblical Literacy
Recently God has placed on our heart as a college ministry and family of churches the value of biblical literacy. As time progresses and we have more and more entertainment at our fingertips, we spend less and less time engaging with one of the primary means through which God has revealed himself to us. This is why we have undertaken steps as a ministry to help our students engage with Scripture on a macroscopic, rather than purely topical, level. One such step has been this year's Leadership Conference (pictured below), during which we discussed at length how to engage with Scripture and use it to minister to our friends. On the back end of this event, many of our students have expressed a desire to not only study the Bible for what it says on a given topic, but to read entire sections, if not books, in one sitting to see what God might want to say to us. Praise God for this renewed thirst!
2. Students who have Caught the Vision
I promised last month to get a snapshot of our outreach efforts at UTA and the one below really excites me. Of all the people engaging in spiritual conversation here, only one is a full-time staff person and the rest are students! Praise God that he has captured the hearts of students who are being pulled in every direction by their many responsibilities and yet have decided to use their college experience not to spend their time on themselves, but to bring Jesus to a campus that needs him!
3. LaughterOne of the things I am most thankful for is the culture of laughter that God has taught our community to foster. The world needs to see a church that is concerned with bringing life to the full and doesn't create a false dichotomy between "sacred" activities like Bible study and "secular" activities like laughing and dancing. Praise God that we are able to enjoy the goodness of his creation of laughter and give him glory for it! Speaking of laughter, this month we had our second annual "Bring Your Core to TNF" night. Below are some snapshots from that night with very little context. Enjoy!
4. A Support Team United under the Great CommissionYou guys - my team of supporters - don't all know each other, and given the breadth of your experiences, you probably don't all align perfectly with one another on every doctrinal issue. But praise God that he can bring a diverse group of people together under the good confession that Jesus is Lord and use us to make and mature disciples! Thank you for saying yes to seeing where God is working and joining him!
With love and gratitude,