Thanksgiving Blessings

rbtc-sealThanksgiving is my favorite holiday.

It’s a great time to reflect on the blessings of being in Christ—He’s given us everything!—and to recall all the ways His hand is moving in our lives.

Did I mention that turkey and dressing is one of my most favorite meals?

There’s nothing like a good pan of dressing (or stuffing as it is known by my friends above the Mason-Dixon Line) to make the heart happy.

And while I am thrilled that my family is invading Broken Arrow to visit me, I was reminded that many of my fellow Rhema classmates will not be sitting around the dinner table with their natural family.

The good news, though, is that no one will be alone because the Rhema family is huge—and worldwide!

Many graduates add extra dinner plates to their tables.

Many current students bring a passel of people home with them for the week.

I’m reminded of the words of Jesus in Mark 10:29-30:

Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life.

I am so thankful for the friendships that are burgeoning this school year!

My more extroverted personality makes me a social butterfly, so leaving the place where my roots run deepest was a challenge for me.

Jesus’ promise, however, remains a source of constant comfort and encouragement.

I have sat around numerous tables with new friends, both students and alumni, since moving to Oklahoma. Every single person has told me the same thing:

If you ever need anything—and I mean anything—do not hesitate to call.

This one statement illustrates the Rhema family at its best. And it’s one of the many reasons I give thanks for Rhema Bible Training College.

Rockets Over Rhema

I went to Rockets Over Rhema for the first time tonight. 

It was great!

Here are the highlights:

  • Enjoyed some fair food 
  • Got some freebies at the various booths
  • Checked out the car show
  • Hung out with several of my friends
  • Saw one of the coolest firework displays I have ever seen

The weather wasn’t bad, either. We had a few run ins with a storm, but the weather held until after the fireworks. 

Now for a few pictures. 


The blue car was Brother Hagin’s transportation to all the crusades before they started flying him everywhere. 

Shifting my perspective

I can’t imagine receiving manna from heaven and complaining.

Lord, we’ve been eating manna FOREVER! Can we have some lunch meat, please? And send down a jar of mayo while you’re at it…this bread is so dry! 

Okay, so I’m paraphrasing the children of Israel, but you see the point. 

My thoughts go to impoverished countries where they literally eat the same thing every day and are thankful. Variety is not important to them; having food at all, no matter if it is the same thing, is what’s important.

A little bit of perspective goes a long way in our consumerist society.

Last night I ate a dinner that was entirely provided–minus the butter and onions–by friends who blessed me with fresh eggs, cheese, bread, and herbs.

Wow. Talk about being spoiled…

Each bite was a sweet reminder that God’s given me some great friends and friends who are generous at that.

It also reminded me of our brothers and sisters around the world who don’t have access to food as readily as I do. Some of those brothers and sisters live in my backyard.

They are the chronically homeless.

They are the families who live paycheck to paycheck.

They are recovering drug addicts.

They are down on their luck war veterans.

They are the disabled who just need some help.

I am hanging out with my neighbors each Thursday and my perspective changes as I see what true struggle looks like.

My friend, you and I are blessed.

And it’s not about having all the coolest toys or the latest and greatest clothes. It’s not even about making the most money. 

My perspective on what it means to be blessed is changing.

 

 

Nacho Social

The Nacho Social was awesome! It was nacho average social. 😛

Sorry…couldn’t resist the pun…

I enjoyed floating around and talking with different groups of folks. 

You can’t make it around the whole church auditorium during fellowship times but you can easily walk around the cafe!

Besides eating some yummy nachos (and drinking a Dr. Pepper and a Coke. No judgment, okay?) I had the opportunity to help clean up. 

It takes many hands to feed a big church–and many hands to help clean up, too. 

I met a really fun group of volunteers, which made clean up time go faster. 

This Sunday was busy with morning worship, nursing home ministry, serving as a camera op, and ending with the social. 

All in all, it was a great beginning to the week. 

Many members, one body

I love when a prayer is answered in an unexpected way. 

Tonight I stumbled upon a community of Christians who are living out the principles the Lord is asking me to more closely examine. 

Their hospitality is downright refreshing. 

I look forward to further connecting with this group and the larger ministry as a whole. 

And the coolest part is that they meet on Friday nights, so it doesn’t interfere with my involvement at Rhema Bible Church. 

The body of Christ at large is doing great things. 

I enjoy connecting with different churches and parachurch ministries because it broadens my perspective. 

A narrow viewpoint, to me, is one of the biggest killers of unity. 

Just like God’s plans are bigger than us, so is His body as a whole. The idea that I’m a small, yet vital, part of the body of Christ, His hands and feet on earth, truly humbles me. 

And to think there are many members of the body and God knows us all personally?

One more reason to add to my list of why God is awesome.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rhema Connections

I hung out with some new friends today.

 Arland and Barbara met my dad and stepmom several years ago when my dad officiated their vow renewal ceremony. 

They reached out to me after my dad saw they were here for Winter Bible on Facebook. (Thanks, Dad!)

We ate lunch together, along with one of Arland’s close friends who is also a fellow Rhema graduate. 

Talk about a great time!

After our time of fellowship, I was encouraged and excited. 

It’s always good to make new friends because friendship is designed for each person to add something to the other person’s life.