God’s just been full of blessings to hand out this week. here are just a few of them that i’ve been able to truly appreciate.
first, being able to go back to church at new life.
new life has been a consistent blessing over the past two years. it’s provided solid teaching, encouraging community, and has served as a place where i truly feel accepted and loved, as well as challenged to continue growing in my relationship with the Lord. this past sunday they had a pizza lunch for all the college kids, and it was great to see everyone there.
new life is all about Jesus and gospel-centered teaching. i leave each week more in love with Jesus and more excited to be living a life that praises Him. the deeper my roots reach into this community, the more i’m realizing how much of a gift that kind of connection is, especially as a college student. new life and its people are not something i take for granted.
something else i love about new life is the way college kids are encouraged to get involved in serving the church. in the past two years i’ve been able to help with the awana ministry, through which i was able to hang out with elementary school kids at the church on wednesday nights and play games with them. nathan, my roommate from last year, and i had a blast, and because we were able to use our gifts to serve new life, which God had already been using to serve us, it didn’t feel like a church we were merely visiting while we were students at ball state. new life is my church, and i love it.
this year, through new life, i’m helping lead a bible study for the junior high guys. sunday was the official kick-off for the youth group, so we spent the evening playing crazy games (all baby-themed, in honor of jessie’s upcoming bundle of joy) like diapering random objects and spelling out complex words with alphabet soup and picking certain characteristics we think jessie would want her baby to have.
then we watched as a couple of the guys suited up, strapped an alka-seltzer tablet to their forehead, and tried to finish each other off with squirt guns. it was rather entertaining to watch. i’m so excited to see these new friendships develop, excited to be able to talk to these guys about Jesus and how awesome He is. some of the incoming sixth graders were in awana last year, so i get to hang out with them again and get to know them even more. i’m pumped to see where God takes this awesome group of junior- and senior-high kids.
the bible study i’m in this year is already a blessing. it has some guys i know really well, others that i’ve been wanting to know for a while, and a few that i just met two weeks ago. each guy in the study is passionate about loving Jesus and sharing that love, and i’m excited and encouraged with the community that’s already starting to develop. we’ve started out the year by just sharing our stories with each other, and it’s been so cool to feel like we’re starting out the year really knowing each other well.
this week we also took some suite family pictures. i’m not going to post any of the official ones before we’ve had a chance to edit all of them, but here are a few behind-the-scenes pics to whet your appetite:
this week i also skyped three of my favorite brazilians that God has ever created: gus, freddy, and hugo! i’m notoriously horrible at actually following through with the dreaded “yeah, sure, let’s skype sometime” comment, and so it was great to finally just see them and talk to them and see them some more. these people are some of the most precious to me, and i always feel God’s love through the love of other people, especially those that i know really well.
plus skyping them is always an adventure. this time i got to see some of the art that gus had been working on:
and i even learned some new portuguese to add to my ever-growing collection of verbage:
on that note, something else i’ve been blessed by is the random running across of camp pictures, some from this past summer and some from two summers ago. here are a few that just made me really happy:
okay, so maybe more than a few. but i love sharing the things that make me happy, and camp is a big part of that. so are my college friends, new life, the people i live with, and best friends that live on different continents. and that’s the best part. there are just so many blessings that the only natural reaction is an outpouring of gratitude, and a desire to share it all with other people.
what are some of the best things God’s put in your life?