Wednesday, August 11, 2010


I had a brief conversation with a friend and partner today.  Usually, I struggle to put into words an answer to the question, "how are you?" but today had some success.  I thought I would share it in case you were wondering.
Friend:  How are you?
Me:  I am not really enjoying the rollercoaster that is life.  The undertone of my summer has been discouragement, so it has been rough some days.  I cannot wait for this season of life to be over.
Friend:  Still see Student Venture as the path the Lord is keeping you on?
Me:  Definitely.  It is just a hot fire of a process to get there - God is burning off impurities in my life, which is great, but as I am confronted with my vast wretchedness I struggle to thrive in His grace, and instead get stuck in my habit of guilt and same.

Sometimes I feel so far from experiencing the gospel in my daily life.  Please pray for the spiritual warfare that is going on for my heart and affections, for my mind and attitudes.  I long to experience God's waterfall of grace, yet I have a dam of guilt that keeps me as dry and weary as a desert.  Pray that God demolishes that dam of guilt for me.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

I feel like a parent

I went back to my youth group tonight.  It has been a while since I have gone to youth group back home.  It felt weird going into it, and the weirdness never really left.

Going into it felt weird, I guess, because I had not been there in a while.  One of my girls I knew would be off at college, and that was weird to me too.  After I got there, I found out that it is actually the last Sunday for a lot of the people that are headed off to college for the first time.  Last year I had one girl graduate high school and go off somewhere.  Next year I will have one or two graduate and go off to college.  But this year, four graduated and are headed off to college.  It is weird.  I cannot believe it has been four years since I began pouring into some of these girls.  I think I feel a fragment of what parents must feel when their children go off to college.

"Did I do a good job?" was the first question that ran through my mind.  But I remembered that it is not about me, so I thought about Jesus.  "Did I teach and train them well?  Was I faithful with those whom I was given?  Are they going to go off to college and their relationships with Jesus survive?"  For the first time I was realizing that I had only a limited amount of time to disciple these girls.  So many things ran through my mind that I wish I had thought of, or realized, years ago, when I was entrusted with these girls.  Lessons that I learned theoretically now became steeped in reality.  I feel like I finally realized practically, that my influence in many students lives will be short.  Looking ahead to whenever I start ministry with Student Venture, I will be able to go into it with a realization that I only have four, three, two years or less with these students, and then my time is up.  Discipleship is urgent!

I am glad I am learning this lesson now, instead of four years into my ministry with Student Venture.  I hope and pray that I always keep this in mind as more students are entrusted to my care and discipleship.

As for my girls that are now headed off to college, it is another lesson in faith to trust that God will keep them close.  It is difficult to let the birds fly from the nest, but it is time, and it is necessary.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Lift.10 wrap up

My trip to Ridgecrest, NC went well.  I got an alignment and a whole new set of tires for my car, so it ran well.  I spent less on gas than I thought I would.  :)  It was a long drive, but having somebody with me made the time pass more quickly.

Here are some highlights from the week:
  • Beautiful weather in the mountains; definitely not as hot as Florida.
  • Afternoon adventures hiking the mountain trails.  Rattlesnake Summit was my favorite!
  • Passionate messages from Student Venture's national director.  I always like hearing from him.  His messages encourage and challenge me.  I am proud to have him as my National Director.
  • Corporately praising our great God and Savior through song.
  • Joining together in prayer for ourselves, our teams and our students.
  • Having time to connect and pray with our city and department teams.
  • Deepening existing friendships and starting new ones.  Student Venture really feels like a family.  I feel so loved and cared for, and just enjoy being with the team.
  • Sharing a burden with a friend during the car trip.  We talked extensively about a difficulty I am facing, and more so than that, got to lift it up to God in prayer.  It was wonderful!
A Student Venture conference cannot be complete without silly games during the sessions - this is one of those games.
     Table friends (Kelly, me, Kar-Lai, and Sheridan) and table fun!  :)  (the sweat bands were for a game we played later that day)
      My favorite time of the conference was the city time. I got together with the six other staff members on the Orlando team.  We shared a little about how our summer was going.  We also shared about what God was speaking to us through the conference.  It was really encouraging to hear that I was not alone in the issue God pointed out to me.  In fact, it seemed as though the whole team was struggling with the same issue - some facet of pride.  In hearing others share about it, I felt the freedom to be honest with them about my own struggle.  It is nice to be known for who I am, shortcomings and all, yet still embraced as a much desired part of this team, this family.  We also got to talking about the coming semester and the unknown that stands before us.  Our previous directors have moved on to a difference aspect of SV, so some of our team members are the new directors.  God also seems to be calling one family, potentially, to an international SV ministry.  We are not sure what that looks like yet, but it could mean that our team would become even smaller.  A theme that God seemed to be speaking to us separately, yet all together, is prayer.  As we look to this coming school year, prayer seems to be our strategy.  It is very fitting, since we do have so much unknown in front of us.  Since prayer was such a large topic of our discussion, we stopped talking and just prayed.  We prayed probably for as long as we talked.  It is awesome to be part of a team that is (or will be) committed to prayer.  It is awesome to be part of a team that is okay with tears and emotion.  It is awesome to be a part of this SV Orlando family.  I cannot wait to join them on the field.

      Thank you for praying for this trip and conference.  Please continue to pray for our team and the unknown in front of us.  Please continue to also pray for new financial partners to join my team so that I can report to the field as soon as possible, to reach more teenagers with the love and truth of Jesus.