Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Harvest!

Family and Friends,
I'm excited to get to tell you that 2 students placed their faith in Jesus Christ in the past couple weeks!

Russell is a senior who transferred to AU before his junior year. God brought a couple students from ACF across his path and they began inviting him to our fellowship meetings. He began attending ManNight, our weekly guys-only Bible study and outreach time. Over the past few months he has become comfortable with the group of guys and had openly described his faith journey as still in the stages of discovering who God is. I brought that journey up with him yesterday as we met for lunch.

With the time bathed in prayer, we talked for over an hour. He needed to think on some things and we agreed to reconnect before our Bible study began later that night. As we met up again, he was ready to hear more and share more. When I asked him if there was any reason not give his life over to Jesus Christ, he said "no". We brought Binu, Russell's ManNight accountability partner and good friend, into the picture. They met together for 45 minutes and, upon returning to the group of guys, shared that he just trusted Christ as his Savior!

Welcome to the family, Russell. 3/29/2010

Jincy is a girl who attends Ashley's girl-only small group. I hadn't met her before she decided to go on the DC Urban Plunge over spring break. I knew nothing about her but was glad she stepped out of her comfort zone to join a small group of students--none of whom she knew. While in DC, her eyes were really opened to the varying forms of racism and poverty. Her heart was being softened. By this time (through a lengthy conversation with her) I was sure she didn't know Christ and had been relying on her works and religious upbringing. She realized that a couple days later and, during a set-aside time of individual prayer she accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior! However, not knowing that her new family would want to celebrate the good news with her, Jincy only shared that with me today!

Welcome to the family, Jincy. 3/17/2010

Lord, we celebrate the addition of 2 children to Your family. You are a gracious Father and Your mercies are new every day. Thank you for the bountiful provision of Jesus. Amen.

Monday, March 29, 2010


Psalm 45:11
The king is enthralled by your beauty;
honor him, for he is your lord.

The sleepover on Friday night was AMAZING. Praise the Lord!

Here is a short video to give you a little glimpse of what prompted a 3 HOUR conversation on Friday night!

The subject of beauty struck a chord with all of us. The concept of God, the King of the universe being enthralled with our beauty brought up a lot of thoughts and emotions. Several of the girls were so touched that they decided to buy the bible study and do it on their own!

Thank you so much for your prayers, they were answered above and beyond anything I could have asked or imagined!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

DC Urban Plunge

"Join us for the DC Urban Plunge. We'll learn about DC, serve in a variety of organizations, and engage questions of race, poverty, and justice through Scripture, discussion, and experiences."
Sounds interesting, right? Agreed. But with little additional information, I led 5 students to Washington DC for a week of service/learning. The students had no expectations because they had no information. I was given the week's agenda only a couple days prior with clear instructions not to tell the students what the week would look like. The leaders of the Plunge wanted us to exercise the discipline of living in the moment. We had no choice... and the team was thankful for that.

About 30 students assembled from colleges in DC, MD, MA, and PA for the Plunge. We met up with a couple of the groups in College Park, MD, home of the University of Maryland, and together took the Metro into the city. Part of the Plunge experience included getting familiar with the city's public transportation... a lengthy ride on the Metro, followed by a bus ride into the Anacostia region of DC were just the beginnings of our public transportation education. We met at a leader's home in Anacostia (we later learned from locals that the area we called home for the week was generally considered to be the ghetto of DC... their words). After some introductions and basic info, we were given $7 for lunch and a roundtrip bus fare. Groups of 2 or 3 were formed and were tasked with getting to an assigned neighborhood to walk around and learn about the area from the locals. This spirit of adventure and independence marked the entire week.

The 5 students I took were able to go on different "tracks" that included sleeping at a homeless shelter for a night, working with kids at an inner-city elementary school, tutoring adults for the GED, spending a day with day-laboring immigrants, and taking tours of the "forgotten" areas of DC that lie in the shadows of some of the most famous buildings in America, The evenings were spent interacting as a group on issues such as racial reconciliation, the varying faces of poverty, and urban development. Our students responded well to the conversations about race and our eyes-- including my own-- were opened wider to the lingering presence of racism. No blame was cast... just a healthy conversation about understanding. We all have additional insights that will help us more capably minister to students of color.

Thanks again for praying!

Friday, March 26, 2010

PJ Party Tonight!

Tonight it one of my favorite nights of the semester! It is the ACF girls PJ Party! I am particularly excited about tonight because of our theme. The question of the night is "Do you think I am beautiful?". I know this sound weird, but we are going off of a theme from a book (and bible study) by Angela Thomas by the same name.

This blurb about Do You Think I Am Beautiful? is taken from her website:
The question is uniquely feminine, and it resides in every woman's heart, in spite of her best efforts to ignore it. Although she aches to be adored and desired, she decides that it is good enough to be loyal, hard-working, strong, or steady. But there is Someone who finds her beautiful, who adores her and seeks to woo her to Himself. Best-selling writer and popular speaker, Angela explores the deep and life-changing implications for women who come to realize that. Practical Bible teaching and real-world advice help readers bridge the gap between the life a woman longs for, and the life she actually has.

Sounds awesome, right? ;)

Please pray for open hearts and a good time of discussion tonight.

Friday, March 19, 2010


I have a friend named Heather. I have never met her face to face. We have many of the same friends, are the same age, got married around the same time, and she has three little ones also.

Heather recently blogged about something that spoke to me. Feel free to check it out, I am sure many of you moms will relate.

It was all about perspective. I am the first to admit that my life can get very small. I do what I have to do to get from day to day. There is a never ending list of things to do, and not a whole lot of time for anything else. BUT when I do stop, my mind invariably goes to the pile of laundry that never got folded, or I start worrying about bills, or I wish I had more girlfriends I could call to have a coffee date. The more I think about those things the more I become dissatisfied with my life.

Heather challenged herself to make a new list. One with a change in perspective.

I love that idea.

There are many times when I miss our life in SC. We had a sweet little house with a great little back yard. We had a group of friends with young kids that did things together. I had girlfriends to have bible study and coffee with.

This morning I read another blog that gave me a NEW perspective.

John Piper's blog today was on David Livingstone.

Here is what Livingstone said to the Cambridge students about his “leaving” the benefits of England:

For my own part, I have never ceased to rejoice that God has appointed me to such an office. People talk of the sacrifice I have made in spending so much of my life in Africa. . . . Is that a sacrifice which brings its own blest reward in healthful activity, the consciousness of doing good, peace of mind, and a bright hope of a glorious destiny hereafter? Away with the word in such a view, and with such a thought! It is emphatically no sacrifice. Say rather it is a privilege. Anxiety, sickness, suffering, or danger, now and then, with a foregoing of the common conveniences and charities of this life, may make us pause, and cause the spirit to waver, and the soul to sink; but let this only be for a moment. All these are nothing when compared with the glory which shall be revealed in and for us. I never made a sacrifice.

I know that it is just plain silly to compare being in Africa in the 1800's to being in Philly in 2010, but bear with me.

When I adjust my point of view and look at all that the Lord has done (and is still doing) here in Philly, I can honestly say that all the things I wish for are NOTHING in comparison. Sacrifice? What sacrifice??

I am blessed beyond belief.

Monday, March 15, 2010


I just finished the bible study I have been doing on the Fruit of the Spirit.
P-O-W-E-R-F-U-L, let me just tell you!

Part of today's lesson centered on Gal 5:1

Gal 5:1
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Consider this verse in light of the fruit of the Spirit. Are you choosing to be chained rather than choosing to be free?

That's right, we have a choice. If you have become a new creation in Christ, he has broken the chains and we are free to live lives full of the Holy Spirit.

Full of:

Love that never fails, Joy the comes new every morning, Peace that rules, Kindness that tenders, Goodness that does, Faith that fights, Gentleness that bows, and Self Control that stops.

Did you notice how all of this fruit is active? It is not there just to look and smell pretty. Neither are you!

Choose Freedom.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Break for Change

Fresh on the heels of the President's visit to AU...

Tomorrow Greg and 5 students are making their way to Washington DC for spring break. They are taking part in a program that Intervarsity has put together called Urban Plunge.

The goal of the program is to "show students the needs of the urban poor, to let them experience the amazing strength, beauty and resilience of those who are oppressed, and to connect students to individuals, agencies and churches that are making a difference in the city. These projects are designed to help "seek the shalom of the city." Jer. 29:7."

Please pray for their safety in travel and open hearts as they become a part of what the Lord is doing in urban DC.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Obama at AU!

Friday afternoon the news spread like wildfire that Obama was coming to AU to give a speech on healthcare. As you can imagine, Obama Hysteria erupted! Tickets were given out at Saturday around 3:30, but students began to line up outside the Gym at 7pm Friday night!

Check them out:

All that waiting just to get this:

Some camped out again on Sunday night in order to get good seats on Monday!

A few students who are also in ACF were chosen to sing the national anthem!

Here are a couple pics from the speech:

There were secret service agents all around campus. There were even some stationed in the parking lot of our building as I came back from the store! And check out the heavy machinery:

There was also a tea party protest in front of the university, here is a segment from the local news coverage:

Greg was not planning on going, but he was on campus Monday morning when someone said there were extra standing room tickets if he wanted to go. He said it was a bit like a rock concert with people yelling and screaming "I LOVE YOU!" to the President! Politics aside, it was a fun experience.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Just Because

Warning, this will be a random assortment of thoughts.

It is a bright March morning and you can feel spring trying to break up the last few patches of snow. It feels like we are about to come out of hibernation, and we are SO ready! We all need to get outside and play! The kids are climbing the walls...see:

Next thought:

Last night in ACF large group we announced that it is time to start the application process for our leadership team for next year. This is a bittersweet time. The group of seniors that are graduating this year have been with us since the beginning of our time here at AU. They were there during the days when 8 people would show up for large group if we were lucky! (Last night there were 37! Praise the Lord!) They have seen the Lord so some amazing things on this campus and are very protective of this ministry they have taken care of for 3 or 4 years. Please pray for our team as we seek the Lord's will for the ACF servant-leadership team.

Here are the application and questions for anyone interested:
ACF Covenant and Leadership Application

Monday, March 1, 2010


Greg here.
The university hosts a dinner for graduating students each spring. It's called "87". That is, 87 days until graduation. Your guess is as good as mine as to why it isn't 88 or 41 or 99. I'm probably wrong but perhaps the class of 1987 started the tradition and it stuck.
Each student is permitted to invite a few favorite faculty/staff. It could be they hoped to get extra credit by inviting a prof or that they truly respected the character of an administrator. Perhaps meaningful conversations inspired the student and they wanted to show their appreciation. In any case, it is considered an honor to be invited by a student.
Last night one of my student leaders, Dana, told me a really cool conversation she had with another student, "Mike". Mike is a senior. He's well liked and well respected on campus. I've spent countless hours hanging out with Mike over the past 2.5 years. He doesn't have a relationship with Christ, though I continue to look for the opportunities to share. I really enjoy spending time with him and have shared Christ with him on several occasions. When it came time to tell the school which faculty/staff he wanted to invite to 87, my name was one of 4 on his list. Unfortunately, since I'm not employed by the school I'm (understandably) not able to attend the dinner. Nonetheless, I'm thankful for the encouragement that my relationship with him has meant something significant to him. Pray for "Mike" and more open doors for the Truth.