Saturday, September 26, 2009

USC Bible study

As i mentioned in the last post, UConn Students for Christ holds small "Connection Groups," or Bible studies, at various dorms around campus. I had the opportunity to attend one of these meetings on Wednesday night. It was a girls-only meeting, which I thought was good, because I think it encouraged us to open up more. I have known several of the girls there for awhile now, so it was very comfortable.
Our topic for today was forgiveness, and it was based out of Luke 7:36-50. This passage is the story of the prostitute who washes Jesus's feet with her tears and dries them with her hair. After she does this, she takes a bottle of expensive perfume and pours it out on His feet. There were pharisees there who scorned the woman and didn't understand why Jesus was letting her near Him. When they asked, Jesus told them a parable of two men who owed money to a moneylender. One man owed much more than the other, but neither had the money to pay the moneylender back. The moneylender canceled both of their debts, and at this point Jesus asked the Pharisees which of the men would love the moneylender more. They correctly answered "The one who had the bigger debt canceled" and Jesus compared this situation to that of the prostitute at His feet. She loves much because she was forgiven of many sins.
We discussed how this prostitute, in using her hair and expensive perfume, was actually laying down the instruments of her evil before Jesus. It was a very interesting conversation. Our memory verse for this week is "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9. I will try to keep posting Bible study/sermon topics and references for y'all. Bye for now! God bless!


Friday, September 25, 2009

Hi, I'm back!

Hey everyone! I know I havent blogged in a really reeeeeally long time. I was really busy with getting into/ready for college, but i'm now happily settled into UConn, and though my life is academically crazier than ever, I am going to try to get out a regular post.
College is...a very interesting experience, to say the least. College is, well, alot, in basically every way. Alot of people, food, walking, thinking, learning, well as liquor and all other manner of messing with one's body. Frankly the only two things i've found that is in shortage here among the general population are common sense and self-control. That pretty much sums up my college for you...granted, I love it here and am enjoying every minute of it. =)
So, since we're on the topic of college, and this is a faith blog, I suppose I will talk about facing life here as a Christian. Especially as a grade-school homeschooler who never set foot in a highschool classroom, jumping straight to college was a bit of a stretch. Despite a bit of nervousness, I was up for the challenge and excited for what lay ahead. Considering the stories I'd heard about UConn, I was concerned about consciously maintaining my faith and a godly lifestyle. It has been interesting, so I will tell you about what I've discovered thus far.
Living 24/7 among people who do not share my beliefs or even basic moral standards is stressful. No tiptoeing around it, it can be very stressful at times. Peer pressure is oddly powerful, even to someone like me who has very little interest in being just like everyone else. No getting around that one either, it is something that makes you have to constantly check yourself to make sure the people around you aren't rubbing off on you in a negative way. Many people in this world live so much differently than we do as Christians. This seems obvious, but it has never stuck out to me as much as it does now. To a remarkable number of people, I find that running high risks with potentially horrible outcomes is thought to be cool(as long as you don't lose), and that status is gained by losing the innocence that I fight to's often saddening just to watch these people live, especially as I've grown to love many of them, which makes it even harder to leave that R-rated movie party, or keep my vocabulary so distinctly different than theirs.
So, I knew needed to establish some regular fellowship with believers, or else I think I would have become mildly depressed within a couple of weeks. So I started by hunting for a church on campus. No such luck. Though there are many to choose from here, there doesn't seem to be one here I feel led to attend. There is one just off campus called Storrs Community Church, which seems to have potential. I am currently working on a carpooling system to get there. (By the way, I am not trying to appear snooty about choosing a church. I have had some experience with dysfunctional churches, and I am just...careful. I hope I do not offend anyone who attends a church here on campus) After not having much success with a church, I looked for a Christian student organization to join. I didn't really know where to look, until my absently wandering gaze snagged on a flyer in the dining hall about "UConn Students For Christ." I was curious, so I attended a meeting to see what they were all about. It turns out that USC is actually Campus Crusade for Christ, they just decided to change the name here. I was ecstatic to be there. It was as though all the Christians on campus had come out of hiding to join together in that room. It was a very blessed night. After a grossly long day of classes, I walked into the servive so exhausted I felt like I was going to slip into unconsciousness and faceplant at any second. I walked out later feeling revived, refreshed, and encouraged. I had prayed for the opportunity to join a powerfully connected body of believers, and God answered my prayer that night in an incredible way. I met many people very quickly, and was soon invited to their leadership committee, called Servant Team, as well as my dorm's "Connection Group" Bible study. I get to see these amazing fellow believers three times a week. Along with them, I have found some Christian "allies" in various places, who are also a tremendous blessing to me. God is always sure to give me a boost whenever i'm feeling spiritually alone. Praise be to our wonderful, caring, all-knowing Lord!
I should probably be getting to sleep soon, so I will leave you with what I've learned since being here: Don't be afraid of being different, so long as your difference is a notch above. And never pass up time with other Christians...fellowship truly is important. Goodnight all! God Bless!