Greetings, friends and family!
Many thanks to my cofa (co-small group facilitator) and friend, Kortny, who just texted me "motivation is in the quest" and gave me a blog title. I think it's suitable for *some* of my blog content. I'll let you decide as you read!
I apologize for a delayed update. October is a packed month every year between midterms and events. On top of that, weather is constantly jumping from nice and breezy 70s to freezing, rainy windchills. Around here, we call this season the "October Blues." Cores (small groups), student leader meetings, and staff meetings have been filled with discussions surrounding perseverance and gratitude. We so often fixate on challenges or negative things happening in our lives that we're blind to anything good. To be honest with you, I've had my fair share of negativity this last month. Of course, it's good to acknowledge hardships or struggles, but when I find myself wallowing in them or not surrendering control to God, I lose sight of how he's working in and around me. I've been encouraged by students and coworkers who have been seeking joy in all circumstances. Please pray for me and our entire community to continue striving for this.
In October, we had our second Preston Ridge TNF - separate from the full Collin College TNF. We had about 50 people show up, which means our community is growing! Pedro talked about the parable of the great banquet from Luke 14 to help students see how they've been influenced by God's kingdom as well as call them to consider what excuses they make when God presents them with opportunities. Pedro and I are having a great time getting to know all of these students in a smaller environment. Please continue to pray for us as we attempt to discern needs at Preston Ridge and how we should move forward in the coming semester.
Left to right: Erin, me, Kylie, Kellie, Austin, Adriana, Mark
|Left to right: Hannah, Ashley, Hanna, Maria, Kellie, Cort, Josh|
Here are two pictures that present all of the 2019-2020 apprentices...maybe one day we'll have one with all of us together! A dear friend and advisor to FOCUS, Kellie, offered to provide all of the apprentices with a preaching lab. The goal was to write and give a sermon from an assigned Old Testament text. We split up into two different groups and traveled to her church to preach. Each person spoke for 20 minutes, then had about 30 minutes for feedback. The entire process was a growing experience. Most of us had very little, if any, experience. But Kellie was quick to remind us that this is not for us to look good or perform, but for God to deliver a message through us. I really enjoyed hearing and learning from my friends. It's great to see the Lord use such a variety of people to share his word. Please pray for all of the apprentices as we transition into new classes and continue to learn about God and ourselves.
FOCUS was originally planted by a church in Garland, Northeast Church, which has planted more churches and more FOCUSes across the DFW. So our DFW Metro family of churches has a leadership conference every October. Our theme this year was innovation and creativity, which are two important concepts we want to embrace as the culture around us is radically different from when each individual campus began as it's always changing. One of my favorite quotes from the day is "the best idea is still out there." It was really neat to hear from a variety of leaders and engage with people all across the DFW. Each church and FOCUS has its own qualities and quirks, but we all believe Jesus is Lord. The conference was a sweet representation of both the diversity and unity of God. Please pray for all of our churches and staff as we navigate the changing culture. Pray that we'd remain open-minded to creativity and innovation, yet rooted in the Lord.
No October ends without Halloween! On the 31st, we hosted a fall festival on the Spring Creek Campus with free lunch for students and tons of yard games. We had so much fun meeting new students and providing them with something fun on a cold day when they probably wanted free, fun stuff to do. If you look closely at the picture, you might find some interesting costumes! A member from our staff team dressed up as Joy from Inside Out. You can spot her on the ground with a blue wig doing some choreographed dance. She really is a joy to work with!
Thank you for your generosity and prayers! I really do love my job and want to make the most of what you've provided me with.
Along with the prayer requests throughout, I have just a couple more:
- My husband, Alex, who is waiting to hear back about a job he's very interested in.
- Safe travels for Thanksgiving this month!
- On Giving Tuesday, December 3rd, we'll be kicking off our annual Keep FOCUS Growing campaign! These funds are for outreach activities and materials, administrative support, planting new campuses, health and retirement benefits, etc. Generous donors have agreed to match up to $36,000 in total donations!
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.