How Joining A Campus Ministry Changed My Life

How Joining A Campus Ministry Changed My Life

"Alexa, play Chi Alpha Rap Anthem."

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"If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!"

-Matthew 7:11 (NIV)

God gives good gifts to His children. And when I first moved to college, I had no idea what was in store for me. I had prayed over finding community and creating good friendships but God delivered way more than I could have hoped for, as He often does.

The Lord not only gave me an amazing community but a lifelong family of Christians that have shown me an abundance of love and encouragement. From the moment I walked into a Chi Alpha large group gathering here at Missouri State, I knew it was where I belonged.

My plan was to visit all of the campus ministries and then decide on one, but I couldn't help myself. I decided on the spot that Chi Alpha was where I was meant to be and that that's where I was going to find the community and leadership I was looking for. Never have I ever felt more welcomed in such a huge group of people who were largely unknown to me.

I met so many loving people that first week of college, and it definitely set the tone for the rest of the weeks to come.

Before long, I felt like a seed that was finally sprouting. A seed can wait years to sprout and will wait in dormancy until the timing is just right and the odds are best for successful germination.

And like a seed who had been waiting years for the right time to sprout, I grew tremendously in my faith and began to bloom like never before. I am now in the second semester of my freshman year, and the community I have found through my campus ministry has helped me grow in crazy ways.

God placed me on the soil of this campus and showered me with the community I had been searching for since I became a Christian. I felt the warmth and sunlight of His grace and love, growing up and away from my small-town roots and reaching for His light. Through Chi Alpha, I have overcome many spiritual challenges and experienced the healing I needed after a rough time of spiritual depression.

I dove head-first into this ministry and gave it all I had. In return, God used it to transform me and totally restart my faith. The reward of completely immersing myself in Jesus and my campus ministry has been so indescribably beneficial to my life and spirituality. I try my best to make it to every event I possibly can and to invite as many people as I can as well so that I can share my passion for Chi Alpha with them.

I joined the Live Production team, where I get to help set up for service and run the projector slides, which helped me connect with even more people. I also joined a Community group and found a best friend in my group leader and am going on two mission trips this year.

I am leaving for Atlanta this March and going to the Dominican Republic in June. I am beyond excited for these trips and to see God continue to work in my life and in the lives of those around me.

Before Chi Alpha, I didn't have a great experience with large groups of girls and often avoided them because of past negative experiences. Joining Chi Alpha, I found a love for my fellow women that I never knew was there.

With every Chi Alpha woman I met, I felt more and more appreciation for the strength that could be found in girl groups. I didn't have lots of experience with Godly women and was not quite as accustomed to the love, grace, and kindness that was so freely given to me.

But I have now embraced these amazing women of strength, and have learned so much from them. I have found true friendship and discipleship, and I thank God every chance I get for the fact that He blessed me with such an outstanding ministry. I highly recommend joining a campus ministry to anyone who is about to start college or is already in school and is just seeking that sense of community.

Chi Alpha helped me to renew my faith and I can't imagine spending my years at college any other way.

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you". -Matthew 7:7 (NIV)

The Lord is a good father, and he knows how to give us good gifts. The Lord has blessed me beyond what words can describe, and my campus ministry is one of the greatest gifts I have ever received.

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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It's Okay To Be A Shattered Temple, God Doesn't Need You To Be A Perfect House

God wants to restore you because the scariest place for the enemy is the transformation from broken to healed.

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So right now it's 6:09 a.m., the house is so quiet I can hear it breathing. The wind slightly knocking against the walls like an unwelcome guest. The heat running through the pipes bringing warmth to each section of the house. The rain from the skies kissing the roofs and windows. I just thought how intricate and specific each role plays. How on its own it must feel inconsequential, but together completes its purpose.

In the Bible, a house/temple is referred to as a body often. We sing songs, "Lord, make me a house of prayer." But in some seasons, we doubt the very thing we asked God for as if it wasn't already designed for us.

Sometimes in our walks, we question our purpose. We don't see the grand scheme. On why we went through what we did, or why we currently are. We want explanations for everything because if our human minds can't comprehend it that means it was in vain. I have wrestled with this concept, the "Why me?" the "I didn't/don't deserve this" and lastly, "I just want the pain to end."

See, what they don't tell you when you sign up for this is that salvation is free but sanctification costs your life. They don't tell you that you have to change your words from "Why me?" to "Count it all joy." They don't put a disclaimer saying that the walk is free but the path is narrow. They don't tell you that you are a house.

A house can have broken parts but still be used. You can be broken and still be used by God. Because God isn't looking for perfect he's looking for posture. He's looking for an open house not foreclosed one. When something is broken within your house, you call someone with that specific training in that area. The very thing that you think qualifies you as broken can be the same that qualifies you as a healer! You looked at your situation as a test but God is trying to use you as a tool.

You don't call a plumber to fix a light. You don't call a perfect person to help an addict. You want someone who doesn't look down on you but says, "I can help, I know because I've been there and I know the pain, I know how you feel. Let's tackle this together." It's okay to be a broken house, a shattered temple — I have some creaks and leaks, too. God wants to restore you because the scariest place for the enemy is the transformation from broken to healed. Why? Because then you'll start setting others free. People don't care what you say, they care about what you do.

What you thought counted you out, God is counting on to help someone for their breakthrough.

They overcame by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. Let your house be open for not only God, but others. You may see yourself as a broken mirror, but others see a reflection. Your life is a testimony of not shame or embarrassment but of strength and grace. Your house may be missing things — a father, joy gone, love absent, peace may be missing — but God doesn't intend to keep you in lack, he is all-sufficient.

But he needed to withhold things from your house because one, you needed to know who really supplied it, and two, so you can show others how you overcame. But he is faithful He will fill those broken places and mend the broken hearts. He will be the light in your house. So that you may project your light to the world.

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill can not be hidden. Neither a man lights a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on the stand — and it shines unto all that are in the house. Even so, let your light shine before men; they may see your good works and Glorify your Father who is in heaven.

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