Rhema College Weekend

I knew it was time for a change and I prayed for six months with no clear direction as to what I needed to do.

My answer came in an email with this subject line:

It’s not too late to go to Rhema

And I remember thinking, “It’s not too late! Going to Rhema is something that I’ve wanted to do for 5 years…maybe the time is now.”

I told my dad and stepmom what the Father was laying on my heart and, of course, they both said, “Sounds great to me! You need to go check it out.”

My parents are both Rhema graduates, but they never once said a word to me about attending Rhema. It’s their desire for all of their children follow God and be led by Him.

My dad and I drove out for College Weekend and we prayed a big prayer:

Father, we’re believing I will have a place to live and/or a job by the end of this weekend.

I knew immediately Rhema was truly the next step for me.

From visiting classes to the session with Dean Tad to the current students I met at lunch—the entire weekend was awesome.

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We can’t wait to meet you!

And guess what? God answered my prayer!

I met the sweetest woman at church who offered me a place to live on the spot. It was a total God connection because she was a family friend who my parents hadn’t heard from in many years.

This was the first of many moments where God cleared the path for me to become a student.

If God will do it for me, I know He’ll do it for you!

I encourage you to make the trip out for College Weekend. If there’s a stirring in your heart to attend Rhema, you need to come.

Click here to sign up!

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Ordinary Hamburgers

 “This is just an ordinary hamburger. Is that okay with you?” 

I was invited to eat lunch with a few friends and they were bringing the food.

“Of course, I love ordinary hamburgers–I love all hamburgers!” 

And it’s true. I was not lying to my friends, blowing happiness and sunshine their way to be nice.

Ask anyone who knows me well: I’ve never met a hamburger that I haven’t liked. If I had to choose between a salad and a hamburger, a hamburger will win every time.

What got me thinking was the phrase “ordinary hamburger.”

My friends and I had a great conversation over ordinary hamburgers.

I loved every minute of it because I was secretly thrilled to be invited to eat an ordinary hamburger on an ordinary day for the sake of connecting with someone else.

I am a big fan of ordinary. 

If I had to choose between big, magical, once-in-a-lifetime moments and small, ordinary, yet repeatable moments, that choice is a no brainer to me. Ordinary wins every time.

Because 95% of life is ordinary. Chasing the extraordinary 5% is costing us big time. 

So, please, invite someone over for an ordinary experience, like coffee or dinner, and have some fun!

Gathering around the table

Happy Easter!

Did you have fun celebrating with your family and friends?

I know that I did!

A group of Rhema students and alumni–all of us from other states–gathered this afternoon to eat hot dogs and enjoy each other’s company.

After lunch, we played Apples to Apples and talked about Jesus.

Considering that Jesus ate breakfast with the disciples after His resurrection, I think He’s pleased when we gather together to celebrate.

There’s something powerful about fellowshipping around the dinner table because food is a connecting point.

Transplant life (a term my friend Carli coined) is a great way to create a habit of hospitality because you know what it’s like to be alone in a new town.

Make a menu, get everyone to chip in, and pick a location. This is all you need to host a party! It’s not as hard as you think.

Who doesn’t love to eat?

Of course, I missed my family and hiding eggs for my cousins, but I am glad that my friend Sheri invited me to the get together.

My first Easter in Tulsa was awesome!

I am so thankful for the hospitality of my Rhema friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fences versus Prisons

“I’m cool with whatever. You decide.”

My friend looked at me with gracious (and patient) eyes as I sidestepped her question.

“I wish you’d tell me what you’re really thinking.”

The comment took me aback.

I am terrible at telling people what’s really going on inside of my head.

Never giving your input isn’t the ultimate form of humility and self-sacrifice.

You’re really hiding by slamming the door of trust and connection in someone’s face.

And you’re driving the people you love crazy.

I don’t care.

It doesn’t matter to me.

If that’s what you want to do.

We say these things, but deep down we do care and it does matter and you have wants.

It’s impossible to not care about everything.

(Can all of the exasperated people on the receiving end of these comments say, “Amen!“?)

I’m the world’s worst person at being an overly passive, peace loving person….

This is a real struggle for me.

My (un)natural tendency is to keep things buried deep down inside.

Another friend recently told me that standoffish nature in college held me back in many ways–and it’s true.

I kept people at arm’s length.

She expressed her thankfulness when I became a more open person. The change opened a lot of doors of opportunity that remained shut in years past.

Let me be very clear:

We all need to have boundaries and to guard our hearts. Prison bars and barbed wire fences, though, are a bit much.

Now, I’m building a nice fence that looks less like a maximum security prison and more like a simple property marker.

My challenge to you is to honestly answer the next question asked of you.

Can I get your opinion?

What do you prefer?

Is this something you want to do?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heart language matters

I saw the importance of communication today.

For many years, Mr. and Mrs. Lee have rented a storage unit whenever they move.

Mrs. Lee is deaf.

I remember the first time I met them, which was the first month I started working at Storage Depot (before I started learning sign language). My boss had to write back and forth with Mrs. Lee about pricing and unit sizes.

heart languageFast forward to now, 11 months into my learning sign language. I was able to interpret for Mrs. Lee and she came to life! She talked and talked! It was so cool to see the power of communication in action.

Knowing someone’s heart language is important, especially when you’re on the mission field.

Each of us was born with an innate desire to be known and understood. Language barriers are the biggest deterrents to connection.

I’ve received a TON of help from the deaf community because week after week I show up and try. Even when I completely mess up, my friends kindly and gently encourage me and teach me the right way. Who could guess that my bumbling efforts would be so well received? I certainly didn’t expect it!

For many of my deaf friends, though, their own parents never made an effort to learn sign language. One of my friend’s mom started learning sign once my friend was grown. As my friend shared the story with me, there were tears in her eyes.

“This is what I’ve always wanted.”

Heart language matters. If you want to make an impact learn a culture’s heart language.

And this is true of any culture–not just deaf culture.

So, for all of my friends who feel drawn to a certain country or culture, take this advice from someone who has seen the difference: Language is key.