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.

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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!

Farewell to 25

Tomorrow marks the beginning of a new adventure–Year 26.

I’ve already shared my goals with you, so now I just want to recap what happened last year:

  • I was working as an office manager
  • Serving the deaf at 2 churches and a school
  • Making the decision to leave Alabama again to head out to Rhema
  • Falling in love with missions
  • Writing for this blog everyday
  • My heart was steadily being changed by this radical notion that following Jesus was never meant to be a Sunday only affair 

I am so blessed and humbled by everything that happened which brought me to right here, sitting on my couch, in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. 

25, you’ve been good to me. Now it’s time to start out on my next adventure. 

Momentary Challenges

I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to talk with my family and friends a bit more than I was during the school year. 

Technology makes it easy to stay in touch. Thanks to Facebook, email, text, and FaceTime living so far away is much more bearable. 

Honestly, I have struggled with a touch of homesickness the last week. 

I know that Rhema is where I’m supposed to be, but these feelings can creep up faster than you realize. 

Reminding myself what this season is all about–following the Holy Spirit–is why I chose to move away. 

This is something I needed and wanted to do. 

And while I do miss my family and friends, I know that they are supportive of my desire to follow God. 

I’ve come face to face with homesickness ( and I’m sure this won’t be the last time).

I’m also living in such a sweet season of blessing. 

The amount of stuff I’m learning at school and in ministry service is more than I ever imagined.

It makes these momentary challenges worth it. 

Reading and Hope

There’s a little girl who comes to Thursday Night Lights who has captured my heart. 

We’ve talked about Joan before (I’ve changed her name) but seeing her this week gave me an idea…

She’s out of school for the summer, so I know Joan spends most of her time alone. 

Several weeks ago, I was given some books by a friend who moved back to Shreveport, Louisiana. Many of them were young adult fiction books. 

I asked Joan if she likes to read and she does! Next Thursday I’m bringing her a few books. 

Joan’s 11, which is around the time my own love of reading took off. I bet Joan will have the same experience. 

No matter how bleak the circumstances, the settings of a good book draw you in.

 I’m not recommending reading as a method of escapism, but more as a method of seeing that there’s a world beyond your circumstances. 

Imagination is a powerful force. 

My hope for Joan is that she doesn’t look at her circumstances and think, “This is it.”

Obviously, a relationship with Jesus is what Joan really needs. And I plan on talking with her more about that. 

I just remember how much reading impacted my life as a child. 

If you live in the Tulsa area and have some books you’d like to see go to a good cause, I have some friends who would greatly appreciate your generosity. 

The Power of Jesus in Us

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

My friend, Pastor Gwen Dreger, of Celebration Life Church in Surrey, British Colombia, Canada is in Tulsa this week!

I saw her Facebook post earlier today and was able to go hear her preach at Higher Living Fellowship. 

She taught on the power of Jesus living and moving in and through His children. 

Jesus is the Word of God and because of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in every Christian, the Word–Jesus–becomes flesh in you and me. 

We are one with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit!

Christ in us is the hope of glory!

This reality is sometimes too much for me…

He adopted me as a daughter and commissioned me to work alongside of Him in this world and the world to come. 

All I can do is say thank you, Jesus!

I was so encouraged by Pastor Gwen. She prayed over me, my studies at Rhema, and the calling of God on my life to serve Him in missions and ministry. 

Another thing she prayed over me was the book inside of me that tells of all the mighty deeds God will perform through me…

Wow. What a testimony to the love of God and His redemptive work in my life.

I am thankful for Pastor Gwen and her friendship over the last several years. 

God is using her mightily in Canada and I look forward to what He has in store for Celebration Life Church this year!

 

Laundry Mat Fun

Hanging out at the laundry mat with my friend Brittany. 

So cool to be able to talk with the customers and get to know them. 

Working for a ministry is a great, but I miss being with the general public. There’s less chance of a facade in conversation. 

Oh! I’m doing great! Praise the Lord!

If this is really the case, that’s awesome.

Most Christians, though, are less likely to be real because looking spiritual is highly praised. 

For me, I don’t care about much about keeping up appearances. No one buys that balogna anyway. 

Back to the laundry mat…

It’s cool to see where Brittany works. She’s good at her job and the customers talk with her a lot. 

Plus, this is the nicest laundry mat I’ve ever seen! 

Anyway, it’s time for me to sign off and get back to hanging out!