top 10 list for a woman of God in college

several years ago my wife wrote a top 10 list for women headed into their first year of college. being that it is coming into that time i thought it appropriate to share with the world . . .

Top 10 List for Woman of God in College

1. Seek Fellowship Immediately: If you think Christian fellowship is just going to appear out of nowhere you’re wrong. You have got to take initiative and find out what organizations have good fellowship. This is important to find the first week of school.

2. Check out more than one church: Don’t just settle for the first church you find. Ask around, meet new people and families and get to know the community. Find a church with a pastor that challenges you and pushes you to pursue God even more.

3. Spend time with God daily. Figure out what your schedule is going to be and with that set in stone when you are going to spend time with God. This is the first time in your life where you don’t have to be at school at 7am, so now you won’t be as rushed and can have a more leisure time to wake up. Be sure to pencil in your heavenly father as if it was a class you were taking. Search your campus for that secret place where only you and the Lord share time together and no one else knows about it.

4. Avoid boyfriends your first year at all costs. Well some may have a problem with this statement, but let me explain myself. For the first time in a while you are going to meet a plethora of good-looking guys that are “good” guys. Let them be just that, “good” guys that are your friends. The more the merrier, but the moment one of them becomes someone “special,” you begin to miss out on meeting so many other folks you would be meeting if you were single. Ladies, enjoy your singleness, it is more precious than silver or gold. Besides, if you get involved and it doesn’t work out, you have to realize that you are going to see that person over and over for the next four years of your life. Don’t burn any bridges so early in the game.

5. Be efficient with your time. It is easy to get distracted in college, particularly when your closest friends are all in walking distance and the internet is next to your bed. Be wise how you spend your time. If you have an hour in between classes, use that time to read and study, so that later in the afternoon you can have fun and not feel guilty about it.

6. Get involved with different activities; don’t spend all your time in the dorm. But in that same breath, don’t over commit yourself. Know when to say yes and know when to say no.

7. Don’t allow tension to build up with your roommate. It can sometimes be challenging living in such small quarters with another female. If something is going on that really bothers you, share it with her in love. Don’t allow the little things to build up into one huge mountain, that is how friendships are ruined. And realize that your roommate does not have to be your best friend, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t hit it off the first week.

8. Pray. Pray. Pray. You are in a position to impact your campus for Christ. Know that in every move you make and every word you speak people are watching you, particularly if you profess to be a follower of Christ. The only way you will be victorious on your campus is if you commit to being on your knees daily.

9. Call home. Be thankful that you are able to go to college. Be appreciative and love those who helped get you there. Enough said.

10. Don’t compromise your values. You may meet a lot of people who profess the name of Jesus, but don’t live it out in their actions. Don’t allow them to steer you off the narrow road. God never said that being a Christian would always be easy, but He did promise you life to the fullest. So even though others may compromise their values and beliefs, don’t allow that to affect you. Stay right smack in the will of God and you will not be let down, believe me.

You are about to step into a totally new adventure that God has for you and it is such an exciting time in your life. I am thrilled for you and in some ways envious. I guess what I wanted to leave with you to take were a few words of advice that if I had had an older sister I would have wanted her to share them with me. So that is exactly what you are to me, you are my little sister in Christ, whom I love very much and I am waiting and praying in expectation for the things God will bring to pass in your life. Hold fast to the Word of God because it will bring life to you wherever you are. If there is anytime where you need a familiar voice or someone to listen, I want you to know that I am here for you. I will stand with you for the things you are asking God for, just let me in on what they are. College is what you make of it. It is a choice, choose life my sister. It is a season of your life where you will be stretched, challenged, and thus sharpened. You will never be able to go back on these years so make the most of your days. All I have to give you is what the Lord has deposited in me, Jesus Christ, and with him all things are possible. Amen Sister. I love you!!!

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!


faith stuff

so i have this friend. i've known him for quite some time, has a very strong Christian heritage. grew up in a Christian family, school, etc. the whole deal.

he recently told me that he is now agnostic. not sure if God exists and if He does, not sure who He is.
wow. this floored me. my brain immediately started going a thousand miles an hour-coming up with all of these arguments and points to explore this "craziness" that my friend was getting himself into.

thankfully the filter on my brain stopped me from unloading on him a kazillion thoughts. but i began to ponder in my own life this faith stuff.

the questions of why does one change faith? how does that happen? what about his life or life circumstances affect his change of faith? was it real to begin with? if it was, then what could have possibly caused him to shift from that? and if he could do that . . . could i?

where is the line drawn from circumstances to determine our perspective faith and our faith determines our perspective on circumstances?

i know that faith is just that, faith - believing in that which is unseen and unknown, but there is an experiential side to our faith -- there is a tangibleness to the Christian walk.

we start out with faith--we hear the first of this crazy message that a God does exist. then we hear that He really loves us, a lot. but because we are all screwed up and He wants to be with us, He sends His Son, Jesus, to live a life as a human to live a "non-screwed" up life and yet gets the same punishment as us screwed up people--death. but what's different about this cat named Jesus is that while He's a human, He's also God. so He comes back to life and offers us this same opportunity (eternal life) after our screwed up selves finish our time on this earth.


so right from the start it takes a pretty major leap of faith to even believe in this faith stuff . . . yet then this rediculous thing happens . . . in some shape or fashion, this story - this faith stuff becomes real. like, for real for real.
we experience Him, His presence, His love, grace, mercy, etc. we see Him in dreams or visions, we have peace in a way that we cannot explain in a time when we should be freaking out. our dad's get healed of cancer (like mine), our parents marriages work out, we see people who were literally blind now able see (like i've seen).
so there's a direct correlation to this life experience and this faith stuff, it marries the two together.

but the problem is we can't always stay there. while we will have these God- experiences time and again, that isn't what solidifies our faith. because for as good as these God-experiences can be, we are screwed up people and we live in a jacked up world, and bad things can happen. this is when our faith is what it is--faith-belief in stuff that we can't see.

so when a grandparent dies (like mine have) when your heart is crushed (like mine has been) and when you've got bills out the wazoo (like mine are) and when life just sucks-you fall back not on just experiences, but on faith that says that crazy story is true. that these things that i have believed about God are true, His character is what He says it is.

and while it just doesn't make sense, life that is, I know that i know that i know that i know that i know that i know, that He is God.

and i cannot disregard my faith because for a season of life my experiences don't match up to what i thot life would be. cause its faith stuff.

delusional, convicted, weird. .. yeah maybe all of the above. but this is what i've found. if i continue to believe in this, faith stuff -- even when life doesn't match up-if i persevere through it . . . i've found my life experience to ALWAYS match the faith stuff.

its just takes some work sometimes to ignore my present heart-ache and to stand on that faith stuff. i hope my friend finds that journey back to the faith stuff. cause i can't imagine life is better off where he/she is now.

that's the thing about this faith stuff. we can leave it because life stuff happens, remember were screwed up people in a jacked up world, but life removed from the faith stuff seems to be much much more unsettling.