Sunday, February 24, 2013


A few words that reflect much of this semester would be: Stressed. Anxiety. Overwhelmed.

The biggest attack that the enemy has used against me the last few months has been to make me stumble over schoolwork.  My grades have suddenly become much more of a big deal than they have usually been.  Normally, an upcoming exam would have me feeling a little overwhelmed; this semester, an upcoming exam has left me in utter panic.  Sleepless nights, days without eating because my appetite has been hindered by worry, evenings of anxious thoughts and trembling hands as I attempt to read and re-read textbooks and balance my hectic schedule.

Something I thought I had overcome long ago is something I need to remind myself of again: Grades are not eternal. 

Exams don't matter as much as professors pretend they do.  They certainly aren't worth spreading myself too thin.  They aren't worth placing my grades over my ministry.  They aren't worth the heavy weight of anxiety and stress.  I'm in college to learn and to achieve what I need to maintain the right career.  But the ministry God has given me in this time of my life is important too.

Today I was reminded of this when reading Deuteronomy 7:18-19.  In this passage, the Israelites have been asked by God to conquer the lands around them in order to enter the Promised Land that the Lord has delivered them into, but they're afraid.  The magnitude of the armies around them seem overwhelming and terrifying.  Moses told them, "But do not be afraid of them; remember well what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt.  You saw with your own eyes the great trials, the signs and wonders, the mighty hand and outstretched arm, with which the Lord your God brought you out."

When I'm stressed out about school, I tend to think that I can never overcome what is ahead.  My problems and tasks seem too big and too scary for me to ever conquer.  So I panic, even though panicking will do nothing about the situation.

All the while, the Lord is whispering to me, "You've seen with your own eyes the signs and wonders, the mighty hand and outstretched arm, how I have brought you out again and again when you've gone through the darkest of trials.  Why can't you trust me to bring you through this one?"

And so I will.  No more faltering under the heavy burdens of stress and fear about my schedule and studying and the tests looming over me.  God is faithful.  With His mighty hand and outstretched arm, He has brought me from the hardest places.  He can certainly bring me out of this semester of schoolwork with joy and fullness of peace.

My confidence should be in His love, not in my own ability (or lack thereof).

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Letters for Lavin: February

Before the month is over, I'll share with you my monthly letter to my sponsored daughter, Lavin. I sponsor her through Christian Relief Fund.

For those who don't know, one of the most read posts of all times on my blog is about ideas of things to write and send to your sponsored child. So many people have searched for what to write, at a loss of how to communicate with their sponsored child and relate to them in a way that will bring joy. Because of this, I decided to challenge myself in 2013 to write a letter to my sponsored daughter each month and share it with my dear friends and readers of this blog.

Here is the cover of the card I bought this month. I kept with the "love" theme of February.
"With you... is my very favorite place to be." Not too lovey-dovey.

Here is the inside of the card. You can read what I wrote if you click the photo and enlarge it.

Basically, in my letter, I split the conversation into a few different subjects:
  • I'm a big believer in giving small prayer requests to your sponsored child so they can feel like they are making a difference in your life as well, and that they will rely on the Lord even more than their own sponsor. I made sure to give an update about my prayer request, a continued request, and I also told Lavin that I was praying for her as well.
  • I talked about my week a little bit to help Lavin feel like she was part of my life.
  • I emphasized the importance of schoolwork and grades (I make sure to do this in every letter) and told Lavin I was proud of her.
  • I shared a passage of the Bible I felt would bless Lavin. 

This month, I sent Lavin:
  • Five pictures of me and my best friends. I was sure to write names and what we were doing in each picture on the backs.
  • Two bracelets: a flat, plastic, flowery bracelet and a Silly Band of a cat.
  • A few flower stickers.

See how everything fit nicely in the envelope? It wasn't very heavy, but the letter should be very entertaining and exciting for Lavin to receive.

Receiving a letter from you will truly brighten your sponsored child's month more than you could imagine.  They desire so much to hear from you.  I encourage you to take a few minutes and write to your child.  Even if it is only a handwritten note, the time you take to communicate with them will mean the world. 

I hope today's post gave you some ideas of things to write and send.  If you write a letter to your sponsored child and want to share it on your blog, send me the link to the post in the comments below and I will share it under today's post.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Too Bad for Grace

Anonymous asked: Can you ever be too bad for grace: if you cut yourself, or if you don't eat or if you look at porn, or if your actions might have made someone have a miscarriage or something really bad like that stuff are you too bad?

Your question tugged at my heart!  You can never be too bad or too broken for grace.  If you read my testimony, you’ll see that I’ve struggled with one of the issues you mentioned above (cutting) and more.  I have dealt with self injury, depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, not trusting God, doubting Him, denying Him, jealousy, anger, and so many more things that made me feel like it would be impossible for God to ever love someone as broken and sinful as me.

Thankfully, it’s not up to my own righteousness to earn God’s grace, or I would never measure up to His holiness.  Because I can’t word things well enough on my own, I’ll share with you some of what the Bible says that immediately comes to mind.

Ephesians 2:8,9 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith- and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast.”

Titus 3:5 says, “He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.”

Romans 11:6 says, “And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.”

Nothing you can do can be enough to make it into right standing with God.  Nothing you do can be enough to make God stop loving you.  NOTHING.  Remember some of the famous men and women in the Bible who were given grace?  Paul’s goal before he knew Jesus was to murder as many members of the Christian church as he possibly could.  David, a man after God’s own heart, committed murder and adultery.  Rahab was a prostitute.  Peter denied knowing Jesus three times.  All of these people were given grace because of God’s love for them and only because of God’s love for them.

Joel 2:32 says, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”  Romans 8:1 says, “Therefore, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

The only way to receive right standing with God is through faith in Him.  His grace is big enough to cover every sin.  And His love is so big that He longs to call you His own, to adopt you as His child.  He loves you.

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Potter's Workshop

Once upon a time, there was a Potter.  His father was King of the entire kingdom, but the Potter chose to move into the village with his people and live among them.  The Potter spent many hours at his kiln each day, shaping clay into all kinds of pottery.  Some of his handiwork was stunningly beautiful and fit for royalty; others were made quite simply.

It was well-known that the Potter's father proudly displayed his son's pieces throughout their fine mansion.  The entire kingdom was filled with the works of the Potter's hands.

One little pot sat on a shelf in the Potter's workshop as its clay dried.  It was small and painted with soft, plain colors.  The little pot could not help but admire the most elaborate of the Potter's creations.  They were placed in the front window of the shop, and many of the villagers would pass by and wonder at the intricacies and mastery of the Potter's skill.  "Ah, he is a magnificent artist.  The Potter creates beautiful things," they would agree.

The little pot grew bothered by its own simplicity compared with the beauty displayed in the window.  Why did you make me this way? it wondered.  Why am I not painted with bright colors and intricate art?  Why am I stout and sturdy, rather than delicate and lovely like the vases over there?

With pride, the Potter gazed around him at his workshop.  The shelves were lined with his creations.  Vases, crocks, cups, and bowls, each entirely unique and shaped by the Potter's own hands.

"All of these pieces I created with purpose," he said, motioning towards a lump of clay waiting on the kiln, "and my thoughts are full of many more, still yet to be formed.  Some will look like the vases in the window; others will have different uses."

And why wasn't I made for beauty and purpose?  How the little pot yearned for villagers to walk by and exclaim at its loveliness.  It wished they would see the Potter's craftsmanship through its own colors and shape.

"Why, there are many different kinds of beauty and purpose."  The Potter paused for a moment before lifting a tall vase from the shelf.  It was far more simple than even the little pot, with straight, smooth edges painted an earthy color of brown.  The little pot had often felt grateful that the Potter hadn't made it to look as homely as the vase.

With care, the Potter set his vase on the worktable before venturing outside.  He returned with a fistful of wildflowers.  They fit inside the vase perfectly and lit up the room with joy and color. 

The little pot was stunned.  Even the homeliest vase in the workshop is better off than me, it thought.  I am much too wide and small to ever hold wildflowers.  And it questioningly wondered again what the Potter was thinking when he created such a little, plain pot.

Just then, the door to the workshop flew open, and a small child tottered into the room.  He was quite young and still clinging to his mother's hand, but he gazed around the room with wide, eager eyes.  "Pretty," his mother said as she gazed at the expensive vases displayed in the window. 

The Potter smiled at the little pot with the love of a creator.  "I made you for a purpose far more special than you could ever know.  I made you to feed my children," he murmured and lifted his pot from the shelf.

With that, the Potter placed the little pot into into the hands of the young village boy, who exclaimed with delight, "Pretty!" 

Isaiah 64:8
Yet you, Lord, are our Father.
We are the clay, you are the potter;
we are all the work of your hand.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

February's Goals

Today I will share my goals for the month of February.  It's a bit late in the month, but I still have a few weeks to go.  At the end of the month, I will grade how well I've done.  For a while, I've been setting monthly goals for myself, but Kelli at She Learns As She Goes inspired me to share these goals on my blog. Hopefully this will encourage me to accomplish more goals I set for myself and perhaps you will be encouraged to make and follow through with goals as well.

In my opinion, setting goals in monthly intervals is more reachable than setting new year resolutions.  At the end of the month, I will share a little report card to show you how I did.  

My goals for February:

Write at least one blog post per week.  
Sometimes I blog multiple times per week; other times, it might be two or three weeks before I share something with you all.  I have been busy these last few months with my organizations, ministry, and studying for exams, but I love blogging and would like to post more regularly. 

Read at least one book.
Last year, I hardly read anything other than the Bible, school textbooks, and a few blogs.  This year, I want to read more, at least one per month.  Last month, I read The Last Sin Eater, The Horse and His Boy, and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.  Even though I beat my goal, I'd still like to read at least one book.

Make a B or above on every single one of my first exams.
My first exam of the month is tomorrow, I have three the next week, and one the week after that.  I'm not sure if it will be possible for one class, but I would like to try my very best to make decent grades on every single exam.

Go to bed earlier.
Lately I've been going to bed around two or three in the morning, every single night.  This month, I would like to challenge myself to try to be in bed before two every night of the week (I know, this is a pitiful goal, but I am going to start out in steps).

Get well.
This might seem like a funny goal, but over the last four weeks, I've been struggling hard to recover from a case of the flu.  I'm about 90% better by now, but I want to focus on completely regaining my health this month, whatever it takes.

If you would like to share your monthly goals on your blog, link to the post (not to the main page of your blog) in the comments below, along with your first name, and I'll share your link at the bottom of this post.  We can encourage each another.  Be sure to link to my blog somewhere in your post as well.

Monday, February 4, 2013

What does it mean to be saved?

This is my third and last post about Brother Jed's visit to my university campus this year.  Today I would like to share a little more about Jed's teachings and my arguments against them.  I blogged about this last year as well, if you would like to read that here.  I don't want to share the exact same verses again, so today's post will be a continuation of that one.

A smaller group surrounding Jed
After listening to Jed and speaking with him in a smaller group for a few hours over the last few days, his "Gospel" message seems to be an odd amalgamation of both truth and lies, which is often how the enemy works.

Brother Jed believes that Jesus died for our sins.  However, Jed also believes that after putting your faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior, you must never sin again.  If you do, he says you clearly weren't a Christian in the first place.  Many times, the "quotes" I share on this blog are paraphrases as close to truth as I can remember, but after being asked by a student, Jed said, and I quote word-for-word, "No, I don't sin."  Last year, he stated that he hadn't sinned since 1971.  This time around, he said he doesn't remember the last time he sinned, but that it has been a very, very long time.

A key difference between what I believe and what Jed believes is this: I believe that after putting my faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31), I am seen as pure and righteous in the eyes of God because of the sacrifice of His Son (Isaiah 1:18).  Jesus took the place for my sin (John 3:16).  However, I am still living in an earthly body (1 Corinthians 15:40-44) in a broken world (Romans 3:23), and I must strive daily to die to myself and live in obedience to the Lord.  I am now a child of God and an heir who has been given eternal life because of His grace.  I have been justified (Titus 3:7-8).

A girl in discussion about the Gospel. Click to enlarge.
Brother Jed says that after receiving salvation, we must live perfectly.  Paul the Apostle discusses the issue in Romans 7, saying, "I do not understand what I do.  For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. ... Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.  For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me."  And in this same chapter of the Bible, Paul rejoices in the Lord's salvation, saying, "Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!  So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin."

As long as we live on this earth, we will fight the war within ourselves, against the former master of sin and for a life of obedience and purity.  And sometimes we will make mistakes.  We will falter.  This is why grace is so necessary.

Brother Jed believes you must live a life of perfection on top of faith in order to achieve salvation.  I disagree. 

Titus 3:5
"He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy." 
Ephesians 2:8-9
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith- and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast." 

One student praying; others dressing up before protesting.
Salvation is not determined by righteous works.  Romans 9:16 says, "It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God's mercy."  To say that we are kept from hell because of our sinlessness is a mockery of the sacrifice Christ made for us on the cross.  We cannot achieve salvation from our own effort.  He gave us the opportunity to be made sinless through Him, but because we are still human and still live on this broken earth, we may still fall under temptation.

If we have been redeemed from the consequences of sin, why then don't we turn back to sin, simply because we can?  1 John 5:3 says, "This is love for God: to keep his commands."  We strive to live righteously because we love Him who first loved us, and we should want to be more like Him.  But even if we stumble and fall, we will not be condemned.  Romans 8:1 says, "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."

John 3:17
"For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him."

Students praying for our campus a small distance away.
To believe that anything other than the grace of God offers us salvation is purely arrogance.  Jesus Christ died for us, sinners, to make atonement for our sins, so that we might have salvation in Him through faith.  This, my friends, is the Gospel.

If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to comment below, as long as you are respectful.  And, as always, please keep my university (as well as Brother Jed) in your prayers.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Who deserves respect?

Yesterday I talked about my surprise at the return of Brother Jed, a false prophet who spent a week on my university campus last year, proclaiming condemnation and judgment over our students.

On Wednesday, I discovered that Jed, his wife Pat, and a third woman were back in full force, shouting at shockingly massive crowds of college students, holding up signs that said, "YOU DESERVE HELL," and drawing jeers and shouting from Christians and members of both the Atheist/Agnostic and GLBT clubs.

Basically, my university campus has been a madhouse this week.

Atheist Club Invitation
I actually don't see a lot from the atheist/agnostic club at my university, other than the occasional respectful and civil "Ask an Atheist" booth placed in central locations.  But when Brother Jed speaks, they come out in anger, holding up signs, chanting, jeering, and even taking "Donations for Damnation" from the surrounding crowds.  Many Christians don't do much better, as they engage Brother Jed directly in heated debates that often end up in shouting.

Brother Jed sometimes allows questions, but he often does not answer them.  In fact, if a question comes up that he is unable to answer, he goes off on something else entirely, and when a disagreeing student speaks to him, he disrespectfully stares at his shoes or looks off into the distance to show his lack of attention until they are finished- or he interrupts them and moves on.

In fact, Jed's purpose on our campus seems to be to rile students as much as possible, to draw shouts and jeers from them so that he can condemn them all the more, leave, and then say, "I tried to evangelize, but I was persecuted."

Students waving condoms and holding signs.
I spent about four hours total in the Academic Plaza over the last few days while Brother Jed has spoken, and I have been both encouraged and discouraged by what has gone on.  I've been encouraged by the believers who have stood on the sidelines and lovingly shared the true Gospel to those who have been willing to listen.  I've been discouraged by the rowdiness and chaos and judgment coming from so many people on my campus.

For some reason, this year, about 85% of what I heard coming from Brother Jed's mouth was tactless commentary on sex and fornication.  Last year, he spent much of his time talking about hell and sinlessness; this year seemed to have a brand new approach.  The names used by Jed and Pat were "whores" and "fornicators" and a few more that I'm uncomfortable typing.

I disagree with Brother Jed's message and his approach, and I'll go into that more tomorrow.  But I also disagree with the approach of many of my fellow students.

Protesting members from the GLBT Club.
Brother Jed is searching eagerly for responses of anger.  He is deceived.  Don't try to argue with him.  Don't shout and jeer at him.  Don't treat him with disrespect, even though he treats you with disrespect. Our university takes pride in the honorable and respectful behavior of our students.  In football games, we put so much effort into acting classy and respecting the often hateful members of the other team.

Brother Jed and Sister Pat are human beings.  Aggies, I challenge you to treat them with respect, no matter what undeserving things come from their lips.  When our students wave condoms in their faces, call them names, and join in shouting matches, we are not reflecting the values of our university.

Whether or not you are a Christian, I challenge you to treat every single person who enters our campus with honor and respect, no matter what names they call you, no matter what they say.  We are Aggies.

If you are a Christian, then I encourage you even more to act in love and avoid arguing with Jed and calling him names.  2 Timothy 2:23-25 says, "Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.  And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.  Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth."  Take these words to heart.  When unbelievers see Christians reacting in anger and unkindness to Brother Jed, they will not see Christ; they will only see division.  React in love, as hard as it can be. 

People like Brother Jed and the members of Westboro Baptist Church will always be around.  Instead of letting them win and fighting them, I encourage you to reach out to those they have hurt.  Love on the people being affected by their words.  Offer grace to the broken.  Share the Gospel.  And be sure to spend time in prayer for men and women like Brother Jed and Sister Pat.

Be sure to also remain in prayer for my university campus as well.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Brother Jed is back!

Some of you may remember the story of Brother Jed coming to my university campus last February.  If you don't remember, catch up on what I wrote:

Much to my surprise, I arrived on campus this last Wednesday afternoon to find Brother Jed and his wife, Sister Pat, drawing a massive crowd in the Academic Plaza.

One scowling woman from their group was holding a sign that said, "YOU DESERVE HELL."  Brother Jed was apparently resting, sitting in a chair, while his wife stood and shouted at the large group of college students gathered around.  The first words I heard from her lips were, "Ladies, you do not have to be whores!"  Immediately, my eyes filled with tears.

I have met multiple girls who have made mistakes and slept with more than one partner throughout the course of their college career.  They are so often filled with shame and humiliation.  The idea that someone could so callously use the word "whore" when talking to any person on this earth is outrageous.  A girl may have walked onto campus that day, aching from the hurt of rejection and shame, and seen someone condemn her so harshly.  She may have left the scene thinking, "Wow, the Christian Church clearly will never accept me because of the mistakes that I have made."  And this is what makes me cry.

Almost immediately, I stumbled across a friend of mine named Jack.  He updated me on the subject of conversation.  Apparently, Jed and Pat had been educating our campus about sexual sins for the last hour or so... and there had so far been no mention of the Gospel or grace or love.  Only judgment.

A young man soon approached us, asking, "Do you know what's going on?"  We told him a little bit about Brother Jed, and the young man explained that he was not religious, that he had actually never even thought about where he would turn up after he died.

In a calm and clear way, Jack began to share the Gospel with this young man, who listened attentively.  The conversation lasted about ten or fifteen minutes.  After it was over, I was filled with joy.  What a great reminder that Satan may try to use men like Jed and women like Pat to turn people away from the Church and from our faith, but God is more powerful.  The Lord brings Gospel-focused conversations that are filled with love and grace and His truth.  He is faithful.  And no matter what madness happens on my college campus, His love is bigger.

Girls holding signs: "Jesus loves you"
I stayed in the Academic Plaza for about two hours.  Someone new soon approached me with some questions.  He was a freshman and agnostic.  He was very interested in the difference between my beliefs and Brother Jed's beliefs.  We had a great conversation.

Another young man joined us; he said he'd been raised Mormon.  He said he now was an atheist and had many resentments built up against the Christian Church.  This young man began to question me very attentively about my faith, asking specific questions.  After I answered that I was a non-denominational protestant, he shook his head.  "Did you know that the non-denominational church stopped using the Christian Bible a few years ago?  You actually believe in New Age.  That's why you believe in love and grace.  I challenge you to take the time and read some of the Bible.  When you do, you'll see that the God in that Book is completely different from the one you say you believe in."

Baffled, I said, "I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree with you.  I've read the entire Bible, and what I saw throughout it was a just God who is loving and faithful and merciful."

The young man looked astonished.  "You've read the Bible and you still believe in God?" he asked incredulously.  "You've even read Leviticus?"

"Yes," I said.  He wanted to know why I didn't still follow the laws of the Old Testament, so I was given a wonderful opportunity to share the Gospel, explaining that we were once bound by an old covenant and living under a law that was a burden. When Jesus came to earth and died for our sins, He overcame the old covenant and broke our slavery under the law and under sin.  Now salvation doesn't come from trying to live under thousands of laws, but rather from faith in Jesus Christ.

 Atheist club: Bro Jed also believes in Manti Teo's girlfriend!
I'm a little shy at first, and I'm often intimidated by the idea of approaching complete strangers on campus and asking to share the Gospel with them.  However, God is faithful.  He knows my weaknesses and He is bigger than each of them.  Every single Gospel conversation I had this day was initiated by an unbeliever.  What a testament to God's glory.

Another interesting rabbit trail from this conversation was the atheistic young man asking if I believed homosexuality was alright since I didn't follow the Leviticus laws anymore.  "No, I still believe homosexuality is wrong," I said, "but the Bible talks about it in the New Testament too."

"No it doesn't," the boy said, clearly surprised.  "Where?  I don't believe you."

"Romans 1 and 1 Corinthians 6," I replied.

The boy still wouldn't believe me.  "Prove it," he demanded, thinking apparently that I had made up those passages off the top of my head.  I was happy to show him, as I had my Bible with me. 

Catholic students praying on the sidelines.
At this point, a young girl with short dark hair and a friendly smile joined our conversation.  "I am agnostic and I believe homosexuality isn't wrong," she said, "but I have some questions for you, Emily.  Do you think the Christian Church has persecuted homosexuals and judged them?  Doesn't your Bible say that all sins are equal to God?  Why do you treat pastors who have committed adultery with more grace than someone who is gay?"  She asked these questions with complete sincerity and gentleness.  There was no anger or accusations in her voice.  She simply wanted to know what I thought.

The way that the Church treats homosexual individuals has made a big impact on my heart in the last few years, so I was eager to respond.  "You're right.  The Christian Church has definitely made mistakes in the way we have treated homosexual people.  And it breaks my heart to see Christians turn homosexuals away.  I believe homosexuality is wrong, but for me to ever offer someone living in homosexuality something other than love and grace, then I am not living like my Jesus."

This girl beamed at me and said, "Thank you for answering.  I am so appreciative that some Christians aren't as judgmental as that man over there," and she pointed to where Brother Jed had begun to loudly preach.  The girl turned to the young man who was listening with increasing agitation.  She said pointedly to him, "I think homosexuality is fine, but it's okay that Emily doesn't.  She believes in the Bible and if it says that homosexuality is wrong, it's natural for her to believe that.  That's her moral code.  And as long as she isn't being hateful or judgmental, we need to be okay with that."  It astonished me that someone who did not agree with what I believed could turn and defend me.

After this conversation finished, I felt overwhelmed by the mighty love of the Lord.  Completely through Him, I was able to have a civil and loving conversation, share the Gospel, and leave respectfully.  Seeds were planted.

I'm reminded of one of my favorite passages in the Bible, 1 Peter 3:15, which says, "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.  But do this with gentleness and respect."

I have more to say about the last two days, particularly about the issue of Brother Jed on our campus, but considering the length of this blog post already, I'll continue tomorrow and the next day, breaking this into three parts.

I would appreciate your prayers for my university.  There is clearly a spiritual war taking place on my campus.  Hearts are being won for the Lord and hearts are being turned away from Him.  I know that God has the victory, but if you could pray for the boldness and love of the followers of Christ on my campus to outshine the anger and lies, I would be so thankful.