GO12: Challenges

For over a year Chi Alpha at ATU has been preparing to travel beyond the borders of comfort and country to obediently pursue the commission to global evangelism we believe God has charged us with. Tomorrow morning that mission becomes a tangible reality for seventeen students and three staff members. We’ll be traveling to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic to work for nine days with two rural churches in the area.

There have been some awesome challenges in seeing a project of this scope come to fruition. Several years ago we began to move in this direction as a ministry and our first challenge was allowing God to prepare our hearts by cultivating a global mission mindset, which He has done. The next challenge we faced was having a staff member with the experience and capacity to organize and oversee such an undertaking; and WOW! God orchestrated a phenomenal addition to our team by blessing Chi Alpha with Jake and Ellen Tinnell, who have nearly a decade of experience leading missions teams all over the world.

Our next big challenge was finding a team willing and able to go. We needed students with the heart for global outreach, but we also needed students with the wherewithal and tenacity to work hard at consistently raising the large amount of money needed to make this trip happen. I’d be hard pressed to be more proud of our team. They have been faithful in their actions, creative in their thinking, and obedient in all things throughout this process.

This entire endeavor has been such an incredible challenge for all involved. So many hearts and lives have already been deeply impacted by this trip… and we haven’t even left yet. We depart tomorrow full of faith in a glorious God that has abundantly and exceedingly provided for us in the face of every challenge leading up to this moment, knowing full well that He has made the way and surely directs our every step.

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10 Things I Want To Do This Summer

Life usually doesn’t fit into nice neat little lists, but that doesn’t keep me from trying. Welcome to my Tuesday 10, where I try to fit the messiness of life into a list of ten.

Finals are over. Grades will post in the next twenty four hours. Summer is here.

Summer is always a mixed bag for me. I love it because it means more family time, more time to relax, and more time to indulge in my hobbies. The relaxed schedule just seems to make the days seem as though they have a little more openness to them. Of course, summer break also means separation from my students which is refreshing at the outset because it allows for a chance to relax and recharge, it is also heart wrenching because they are why I love my job.

It will be August before I see most of them again. Here are ten things I plan to do between now and then.

1. Read a lot of good books.

2. Finish Skyrim.

3. Spend a lot of time with my family.

4. Record my first studio album.

5. Travel to the Dominican Republic with an awesome group of student missionaries.

6. Make something with my hands.

7. Finish section two of the book.

8. Swim

9. Watch Avengers, Dark Knight Rises, and The Amazing Spider-Man (not in 3D).

10. Prayerfully brainstorm the 12-13 academic year.

Why God Cannot Lie

Can God lie? This is one of those types of questions which you might find yourself trying to answer were you to ever engage in a lengthy apologetic conversation with a skeptic. I have to admit, it’s not a question that I have ever given much thought, but just the same–the Bible provides us with a definitive answer, even if it is not an elaborate one.

Paul, a bond-servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen of God and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness, in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago, but at the proper time manifested, even His word, in the proclamation with which I was entrusted according to the commandment of God our Savior, To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior. (Titus 1:1-4 NASB, emphasis added)

Paul, in this brief introductory portion of his letter to Titus, states very plainly that God cannot lie, and as I mentioned before its not an elaborate answer. Neither is it a question that needs an elaborate answer, but I do feel like I might have some small understanding of why God cannot lie. Of course, to engage in this line of thought is to at the same time answer the question as to why God would ever need to lie–the answers to both are tied quite neatly together.

God cannot lie, nor does He need to, because any way that He chooses to communicate to His people is true. If He says it, it is. This is why when Moses asks God in the Book of Exodus, “who should I tell them sent me?” God simply refers to Himself as “I AM”. Moses, and us as well, are sorely incapable of really grasping what or who exactly God might be, at least in an easily definable way. So God makes it easy for Moses.

He exists. He is. He is the God that changes not. The Immortal I AM. The same yesterday, today, and forever. He is our Alpha and Omega, that is our entire existence is contained within His sovereign infinitude.

God cannot lie because there can be no truth apart from Him.

10 Ways to Be More Awesome

Life usually doesn’t fit into nice neat little lists, but that doesn’t keep me from trying. Welcome to my Tuesday 10, where I try to fit the messiness of life into a list of ten.

Late again this week, but who’s keeping track. We could all stand a little more awesomeness in our life. Here are ten ways to make it happen. Many of these are things I am trying to do, have done, or want to do soon. Thanks for reading and sharing.

1. Do something generous. Ex: buy a $30 Starbucks gift card and have the barista use it on as many consecutive orders as it will pay for. Watch and enjoy the kindness induced confusion from your seat as you enjoy your caramel late.

2. Learn something you don’t know how to do.

3. Teach it to someone else.

4. Stop overindulging.

5. Read a non fiction book.

6. Turn off the TV in your house for a week/month/forever.

7. Have regular meaningful conversations with the important people in your life.

8. Stop demonizing people you don’t agree with, even if they are idiots.

9. Stop thinking you’re awesome and especially stop trying to tell people how awesome you are.

10. Get in shape. Your body deserves it.