Starting the Year Off Right
Hello Friends. January feels a little bit short because of all the things packed into. I am so excited to be back. We have gotten back into the swing of things pretty fast with Welcome Week events the first week, Winter Camp the next and getting into out New Testament Class. I am honestly so excited to get back into the swing of things because even though I loved spending time with family over the break, I missed all my people in Dallas. I am even surprised to say that I missed the classes as well. I am excited to continue to dive deeper into the New Testament and pick up more things that I tend to skip over.
Winter Camp! Thank you for all the prayers. Winter Camp was such a great experience and God did more there than I could have imagined. My core got to know each other better as well as think through some theology together. John Stackhouse was the speaker at Winter Camp this year and he really ministered to our community. He is popular for his apologetics but he has a gift of condensing difficult topics into terms that are a bit more manageable. I have heard that it was challenging for some of our students but I have also heard a lot of positive things from them as well. I really appreciate that this community is committed to helping students grow in their faith as well as challenging them.
We started up our Tuesday Night Fellowship again this semester and we are going through Mark as a community. We are specifically focusing on Suffering and Sacrifice and Jesus' character in the gospel of Mark. It has been a really challenging and powerful series and I pray that the students can say the same thing. It is easy to get wrapped up in our culture of seeking comfort that we run at the first sign of inconvenience. I know this is a trap that is easy to fall into. But when we look at the life of Jesus, he paints a different picture of what life is supposed to look like. I got to give a homily(aka a shorter sermon) about Mark 4 & 5 and share a little bit of what suffering and sacrifice looks like in my own life and how it relates to those chapters. I think I am further than I would like to be in looking like Jesus in his sacrifice, but it is something I am trying to grow in.
I am really looking forward to what this semester holds. God is alive and working here at UTD. I pray that you see him working where you are.