Friday, April 24, 2009

Greek life

So this week I experienced some firsts in my college career. Actually, make that this year. I attended my first ADPi crush dance back in February after being invited for the past 2 years, and this week, I went to my first Spring Sing and Tug for Greek Week. I loved every minute of it. People have told me they could see me being in a fraternity, but I never really saw myself in one. I could now. But I'm a senior...kinda late for that. Not that I didn't have an opportunity to join. I could have joined FIJI and helped them colonize back in the fall, but being BCM president, I really didn't think I would have time. While I could have made time and just managed everthing better, I think I made the right decision, looking back. It would have been a stressful year. But I digress.

Since my freshman year, I've been fascinated, you could say, by Greek life on campus. I've always had many friends in sororities and more recently fraternities. Homecoming and Greek Week always make Greek life so appealing, to me anyway. I just love the excitement they all have about competing with/against one another and the pride they have for their organizations. It's really fun to stand back and watch them. I've lived across the hall from sorority girls for the last 2 years and they are great girls. They're fun to be around and know how to make people laugh...I love em. And this year, I've loved getting to know other Greeks as well. A lot of freshmen who are a part of BCM have joined different frats and sororities this year. Through them and connections we've made in the past, we've been able to start Bible studies in certain organizations and allow some to use our building for different events. They are so much fun to minister to. When most Christian college students think of Greeks, they think of unreachable, stereotypical college kids who want to party all the time...not true at all. While it may be hard to initially reach out to them, once you've made that first connection, so many doors are opened. I think that BCM has really worked to change the perception that many Greeks have had of us in the past by getting out there, joining up with them, and supporting them in their different events and philantropies. And like I said, we've let at least 4 different Greek organizations use our building this year for initiations, weekly meetings, Spring Sing practices, etc. We've made ourselves available and open to them, and they are doing the same for us. It's awesome. I love the Greeks on our campus.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Feeling a little nostalgic...

I just used the word nostalgic. Ok, moving on. I've been thinking a lot lately and reflecting over what all has happened in college, what God has taught me, you know, all that jazz. I tend to dwell more on camp and just college in general, so here a few thoughts about them. And for those of you rolling your eyes because I mentioned camp and you've heard me talk about it over and over and over, its not what you think, so keep reading. :)

I keep up with the Centri-Kid blog just so I can feel like I still have a small part in camp world. I watched some videos that were posted on the blog, and it made me think of all the memories I made 2 summers ago when I worked. That was a great summer. And as much as I'd like to have even a small part of it this summer as an adult sponser or special teams, it's just not gonna happen. I know that God used camp to teach me and help me grow, and that's exactly what happened. I got depressed last summer when I had to back out of working for a second summer to take classes instead, but God knew what He was doing...He always does. That's why I'm not getting down about not working this summer when I hear people talk about camp. Camp served it's purpose in my life, and I'm just grateful God gave me the opportunity.

And then earlier tonight, someone asked me how I've liked my 4 years at WKU. The only thing I could tell him was that they have been awesome. Honestly, how else can you describe a time where you've experienced so much growth? I've grown so much spiritually, relationally, and in maturity. I've been blessed with so many different opportunities that have prepared me for different aspects of life. I've been blessed with close friends. I've been blessed to be a part of two great communities at BCM and Living Hope. I've been blessed with great mentors. God is so much more real to me than He was when I was 18. He's revealed so much of Himself to me. God is so good...that's why my last 4 years at WKU have been awesome.

Now, I wonder what does God have in store for me next?? :) (Kind of random, but hope you enjoyed.)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Ode to a gallbladder

Oh gallbladder, why do you still hurt me?
You haven't been with me since December last,
But the memory of you is still like a stitch in my side.

The pain is not as bad as when you were around,
But it's there none the less
And it makes me frown.

It's not even a constant bother,
Just a stab here and there.
But when it happens you make yourself known
And I clutch my side as if it will help.
I know you won't bother me all of my days,
And I still have 4 cool scars from when you died.
Looks like I got the better end of the deal.

Sorry if you find this post odd. But I guess that's typical of me, haha. My used-to-be-gallbladder still hurts me every once and a while, and it gets annoying.
I guess you would call it the phantom gallbladder. I feel tons better without, don't get me wrong. But the fact that it's not even there and it still hurts just irritates me a little. Oh well. People I've talked to have said it took theirs a year to feel normal...guess I'll just have to wait it out. :)

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Passion

It's become somewhat of a weekly thing to have Sunday movie nights at my apartment this semester, and last night was no different. However, this week instead of watching our usual fare of movies (comedies, musicals, Disney, name it) we decided to watch The Passion of the Christ.

If you've seen the movie, you're probably asking "Why??" about right now. Well first of all, yesterday was Easter so we thought it would be appropriate to watch a movie that details the reason we celebrate Easter in the first place. And to be honest, a few of us wanted to watch it because we hadn't seen it since it was in theaters a few years least I did. However I haven't had any desire to watch it recently because of the sheer bloodiness of the movie. I can handle war movies, but with Passion, the knowledge that Jesus went through all of that for me makes it harder to watch...or at least it did. (I'll explain in a minute.) It's just an emotional movie. Last night as I was watching, I kept saying over and over again to myself, "Jesus had to go through this because it's what I deserve." It comforted me, to be honest. I know that in reality, what Jesus suffered was much worse than they can show on a movie screen. But seeing the way it was done in the movie just makes it more real than just reading about it in the Gospels.

Now, you may still be wondering why we decided to watch it. "I mean, yeah, it's about the sacrifice our Savior made for us, but how does that make it any easier to watch?" I thought that too, even up until this weekend. There were still some people last night who didn't want to because "it's a sad movie". But the whole reason we celebrate Easter is because Jesus Christ conquered death and the grave and HE ROSE AGAIN. Plain and simple. Jesus is alive today, sitting beside our God in Heaven, after suffering through all of that pain and torture, and worst of all, being forsaken by His Father. He took all of our filthy sin on His shoulders, and carried it to the grave with Him, and then left it behind when He was resurrected. Knowing that He's alive today, I can't be sad about what I watched. Yes, it was horrible, but I should be the one going through that, and because He did it in my place, I don't have to. What about that isn't exciting!? My sins are paid for in full by His blood, and I should rejoice in His suffering because He overcame it and is ALIVE. That's why I was able to watch the Passion last night. Seeing it reenacted makes it that much more real to me, and I am that much more thankful that I serve a God who is willing to put it all on the line so I can spend eternity in His presence someday. Praise God!!!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

We're all in this together

Forgive me for the HSM reference in the title. This post has absolutely nothing at all to do with HSM...sorry if I got your hopes up, haha. :)

Tomorrow night, The Veritas Forum will be making its debut at WKU. For those who don't know, Veritas is basically a venue for college students to come and hear about God's truth and how it relates to today's current and hot-topic issues. Accomplished speakers are brought in to speak about how topics within their respective fields relate in different ways to God's truth. Tomorrow night, Dr. Fritz Schaefer, a chemist from UGA, is speaking on the topic "The Big Bang, Stephen Hawking, and God." Dr. Schaefer is one of the world's most cited chemists, has refuted a Nobel Prize through his research, and is thought to have been nominated for 5 Nobel Prizes. He's going to share how he as a non-believer, in the field of chemistry, came to know the truth of Jesus Christ through his research and how God changed his life with that.

Anyway, I say all of that to set up what I really wanted to write about tonight. So much prayer, preparation, and time has gone into making Veritas a reality at WKU. 8 local churches, 8 campus ministries, as well as Christian faculty of WKU are presenting this in a joint effort. As you can imagine, making this happen requires a LOT of publicity. We have flyers, ads on the school website and in the school paper, surveys, and posters all in hopes of getting the word out about this. And its working- people all over campus have been talking about it.

Anyway, for publicity purposes, tshirts were also made to help promote the event. From my understanding, about 500 shirts were ordered. They were passed out through the different churches and organizations involved so that their students could wear them the 2 days before the event to make this visible all over campus. The BCM has used tshirts before for publicity, but we used more like, 50 shirts. 500 shirts is a LOT of tshirts. But here's the coolest part...

All over campus today, and I mean EVERYWHERE, I saw people wearing Veritas shirts. People I had never seen before were wearing them out on the Hill. I saw people who I had no idea about their views on Christianity wearing the shirts. In a word, it was awesome. Being so involved in the BCM, it really is like I'm in a bubble. Sure there are other campus ministries. And sure there are other churches other than Living Hope. But in a way, I had never noticed, if that makes sense. Often, it seems like the BCM is the only organization that does anything out on campus and as proved today, that's the case at all. Sadly, this happens because we get so focused on what OUR ministry is doing, and we simply fail to notice or interact with others. Sure we work together on stuff like Homecoming, but that's about it. Today I saw so many more blue Veritas shirts than the BCM could have ever dreamed of passing out and using, and that was so encouraging and reassuring.

I think what this taught me, or reminded me I guess, is that God works through so many different people and so many different ways. He doesn't just choose one group of people to do His work. There are reasons that we are all involved in our respective ministries and churches. But we all have one common, unifying goal, and that is to do the work that God has set out before us. We are here to share the Gospel with our campus and show them that God loves each and every one of them, regardless of who they are. Seeing the shirts everywhere today made that so clear. Something that really encouraged me was that it really showed that we aren't alone, even when we feel like we are. Sometimes, we get so caught up in ministry that we feel like we're the only ones serving and working for God's Kingdom, but we aren't.
I got to talk to some students I had never met before about this very topic, all because of our matching shirts, and we all felt the same way. It's just refreshing to know that we aren't the only people out there on campus repping Jesus. We all lose sight of the people we're supposed to be working with. But we have Christian brothers and sisters out there working along side of us, and we have a God who will never leave our side. We are never alone when we do the work of Christ. Praise God!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

8th grade guys

Tonight I just wanted to write about how awesome God is. He has blessed me in so many ways and if I were to write about all of them, it would be a really, really, really long post, and we all know I can write some pretty long ones. (scroll down and see for yourself, haha) But I'm gonna try to keep this one relatively short. I just wanted to write about an opportunity He blessed me with this past year.

In August, I was able to start teaching an 8th grade guys Sunday school class at Living Hope. I had taught at camp and at VBS and thought it would be no big deal. I forgot what I was like in 8th grade though. In 8th grade, you're the king of the school because you're the oldest. Let's face it, 8th graders can be kind of cocky...we've all been there. As lame as it sounds, I was kind of intimidated by these guys. I was placed with 2 adult leaders at first, and we taught the group of 20-30 guys together. Since the group was so big, we split em in two. The 2 adults somehow ended up teaching together, and I was stuck with a group of 12-15 guys each week by myself.

They eventually found a co-leader, another college student, but he has since stopped helping to focus on ministering to his family and that's awesome. But luckily, over the last 8 months, I've really bonded with these guys. They always cut up with me just because I was a little more lax then I should have been, but I wanted them to see me as cool and sort of look up to me, as lame as that sounds. It was rough in the beginning, needless to say. But now, we're finally to the point where they feel completely fine opening up to me in class. They pay attention when I teach, they answer and ask questions, and when I've gotta go adult on 'em and make put something away or stop talking, they actually listen.
But we still find time to cut up and have a good time. I've even had a guy talk to me on Facebook about relationship advice, and giving that kind of advice to a13 year old guy is tougher than you think, haha.

But it really hit me today how God has used me to impact these guys when they started interrogating me about graduation and when I would be leaving. When I told them when I would probably have to stop teaching them, they all said they wanted to do something with me before I left. They wanna go on an overnight camping trip to Mammoth Cave with me and Ross, the middle school director. Whether it's gonna actually happen remains to be seen. But I'm a sentimental guy if you didn't know already, and that really got me. I didn't get emotional or anything, but that short conversation showed me how they've come to think of me as their friend and someone they look up to. Whether I've known it or not, God's been using me in small ways to impact the lives of these 8th grade guys, and I'm so grateful for the chance to do so. These guys have definitely had an impact on me, and it's gonna be hard to leave em in May when it's time to move on to Louisville. I've told em that I'm gonna visit them when I'm back in BG to visit friends, and they thought that was cool. But more importantly, I hope that they've seen Christ in my life and have really learned what it means to be a follower of Christ in today's world as a teenager.
And I hope they've learned as much from me as I have from them. If God can use my example to impact one of those guys, then that's awesome. They're a great bunch of guys and I thank God for the chance to hang out with them and lead them in Bible study this year...I've loved every minute of it.

Ok, so maybe this one wasn't as short as I thought it would be...oh well. :)

Friday, April 3, 2009

I read Ryan's blog for this??

For the last 15 minutes, I have been sitting at my computer, trying to think of something to write about. I tried to go the more serious route since my last post was anything but serious. And then I tried to think of something funny, but I just didn't feel like taking the time to think of a clever poem or anything else that might be even a little funny. So, basically, I'm writing to let you know that for a good while, I tried to think of something that would be worth your time to read. But I failed, so this is what you get. :)

Ok, there is one thing. Today in my histology lab, we looked at the cross section of a human appendix, and our teacher was like, "What's this structure in the middle?" People start throwing out answers like a cell, a gland, a parasite...typical biology answers. He laughed and said, "It's poop!" We all laughed pretty hard. But this is my only story...all you get!!