A Good End to the Semester
Happy 2019! I'm praying that this year will be a great one for you! As much as new years resolutions have become of a cliche in recent years, I still think it's a great time to review the past year, and look forward to the next with some goals in mind. For me, 2018 has been a huge year. It started off with Darby and I getting engaged, and then finding out that my brother and his wife would be having their first kid. In May I graduated college, then what felt like a very short few months later Darby and I got married on July 7th. On August 1st I started my new job as a full-time campus pastor, and then I became an uncle in November. The year finished off with our the other apprentices and I giving our first sermons (which went great). I'm so grateful for all that God did this last year, and I expect that He has more in store for 2019!
The UTD Christmas Party
December started off with our annual UTD FOCUS Christmas party, which the apprentices are in charge of throwing each year. This was our first big event we were in charge of, and it I learned that it is completely different on the other side of these events. I felt pretty overwhelmed and stressed out the whole time. I tend to be my own worst critic, so I was over analyzing every little thing about the party. While I thought the party was a flop, turns out the rest of the staff and all the students thought it was a great success! I heard that so many students had a great time and found it a suiting way to end the semester together. This party is a time where we all get to come together and celebrate Christmas like a family every year. The different Core's (small groups) put on little song performances which are always a great bonding experience for them, and really fun to watch for us! Overall it's always a highlight for the students each semester, and now being on staff I am so grateful for the opportunity to help put that on for them!
As a sort of final for the apprentices, at the end of each semester we all get to give a short 20 minute sermon to all the FOCUS staff. This is an experience that is both exciting and terrifying. Having never done any speaking on this magnitude really put me on edge, but the Lord really provided and worked everything out for good (as He always does). The prompt was "What is your Gospel" which basically equates to, what parts of the Gospel has Jesus really laid on your heart. It's a time where us apprentices get to share about our story and what the Lord has been doing in our lives. I was still a nervous wreak even though it was basically just talking about myself and Jesus, which I basically do every day. The staff was incredibly encouraging though and everything went great!
After our sermons the semester was pretty much wrapped up. I had my final meetings with my student leaders, and had an encouraging end to the semester with all those great guys. Then we had an amazing staff Christmas party to finish off the year. Having come back from winter break I feel rested, rejuvenated, and ready to hit the ground running with the upcoming semester. It's going to start off with our Winter Camp which is a highlight of every year and where God always does some big things! I ask that you pray for that as it comes up on the second weekend of January, and I ask that you pray for me as I decide whether or not to commit to staying on staff in the coming years.
Thank you for helping make this one of the best years of my life!