Living in the Light

Thank you so much for being part of doing ministry at UNT and TWU this year. I wish I could write a blog that was pages and pages long to tell you all about what is going on, but I know I could never fit it all in a single post. So I'll try to keep this blog concise, but that will be hard since so much has happened.

A blurry, but perfect picture of Winter Camp. One of our pastors spraying Febreeze during the dance party. A much needed service.

Winter Camp

I can not skip talking about winter camp. This is often an amazing and reshaping experience for so many of our students. Sometimes it is the content of the sermons, but often it is the relationships, bonding, and the worship that is so trans-formative. It is often at winter camp that students start to really catch the vision of what we are trying to accomplish. A vision of a Jesus loving community that lives out their faith in love. A community where nobody is excluded, and everyone feels like they belong. A community where you can have best friends that speak Jesus' life and truth to each other. Having been through my fair share of winter camps now, some of the excitement and newness has worn off for me, but what has not worn off is the joy in seeing people change and transform. Sometimes you can just watch it click with people. When they realize that their Core can be more than a typical small group or Bible study, but rather the group where they can truly express themselves and feel known, often for the first time in their lives. More than anything, being at a camp for an extended weekend just breaks down people's walls. The walls people put up between themselves and their friends and community, but also the walls they put up between them and God. I could go on, but I'll use some restraint. To sum it up, winter camp was amazing as always.

Our FOCUS community at Winter Camp

Living in the Light

The Lord has been moving in big ways up in Denton and on our other campuses in FOCUS lately. Specifically in the area of living in the light. Seeing the Lord use a particular verse or theme throughout the community has got to be one of my favorite experiences as a Christian. It is just so tangible, you can just see so clearly where God is moving sometimes. For example, I was meeting up with a guy a couple weeks ago, and he brought up 1 John 1:5-10 which goes

"5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all[a] sin. 8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us."

After that he confessed some pretty serious sin he had been living in, and had not confessed to anyone yet. That led to a great conversation and the ability for him to see the grace of God, and start the process of truly living in the light for the first time in his life. Fast forward about a week or so. I come down with some sort of flu and I'm just out of it. So I miss our leader meeting that week where guess what, that's right, they talk about 1 John 1:5-10 and living in the light. The next day I am still sick, but I'm preparing my sermon on Things Jesus Never Said: None ya Business. I, completely forgetting about my conversation with that student a week ago, and not knowing the topic of the leader meeting, choose to use 1 John 1:5-10 as the key verse for the sermon. Coincidence? I think not. I could go on with other examples of living in the light coming up throughout our community. The Lord seems to be really hammering this point home with us. 

Our UNT students at Winter Camp

Since all these events a ton of things are coming out into the light and it has been a very healing time for our community. It's tough, seeing all this sin that people have been trying to deal with on their own, but it is encouraging to see them finally bring it up and start healing. So please be praying for us as we go through this season of repentance and restoration.

I also want to note a couple parts of that verse that having been speaking to our community and might speak to you. Verse 7 is set up kind of like an if then statement. IF we walk in the light, THEN we have fellowship with one another. If we are not walking in the light, then we do not have true fellowship. It's what Brene Brown talks about in her TED talk on vulnerability. True belonging comes from being truly known. If you are holding something back, and think that someone won't love you if they know it, you are holding yourself back from feeling true fellowship and belonging. There is no feeling like having someone who knows the worst parts of you, yet still loves you. 

The second thing I want to point out is another sentence set up in if then fashion in verse 9. IF we confess our sins, THEN he will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If that statement seems somewhat extreme and makes you uncomfortable, I would encourage you to sit in it for awhile. Find some more verses that either confirm it or deny it. It is an uncomfortable statement, but I think that is the whole point. I hope you are ministered to through this verse just as our community has been.


Our annual benefit concert is just around the corner. If you're in town I highly recommend buying a ticket. This event helps us raise money to send students to a leadership training conference called SICM that is held each May. SICM has been highly influential on our ministry and preparing our students to be disciples that make disciples. On top of that we do our best to put on an amazing show with a lot of talented performers and artists from our community. So if you're going to be around consider coming out for a fun night! 

Prayer Requests:

Pray for Showcase, that we can raise tons of money to benefit our students

Pray for healing in our Denton Campuses as we go through a time of confession

Pray for our upcoming sermon series on orthodoxy and heresy

Pray for a student in my Core who is on the cusp of devoting his life to Christ


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