Saturday, February 25, 2012 20 comments

Christians on Campus: Fellowship, the Word of God, and Prayer

Every Christian has a story. Have I ever told you mine? 

In this post, I will focus on my experience as a Christian since I arrived in college at the University of Texas in Austin, in particular my experience with a club called Christians on Campus. If you want the full version, I would be happy to tell you in person!

I moved across half the country to attend UT. When I arrived in Austin, I knew virtually nobody. One of my priorities was to get connected with other Christians. Fortunately, one of the few people I did know helped me to find a group called Christians on Campus. The first week of school, I went to Freshmen Connect, a welcome event for new students. Since then, my experience with the group has been awesome; I’ve been learning to live a normal, daily Christian life.

Christian Fellowship

My freshman year at UT, I built the habit of having Christian fellowship with other believers on a daily basis. In high school, what I considered an adequate pursuit of the Lord consisted of a weekly church meeting, an uplifting retreat every few months, and the occasional reading of a Bible verse or two. But when I arrived at UT and started meeting with Christians on Campus, I quickly discovered that these people were much more serious than that! Their pursuit of the Lord was not occasional, not weekly, but daily. During the course of my freshmen year, I began meeting and having fellowship with other believers every day of the week in Bible studies and small groups. I started to see a glimpse of the church life as described in Acts 2:46 – “day by day” and “house to house.”

Reading the Word of God

My second year at UT, I built the habit of reading the Bible on a daily basis. Some other students from Christians on Campus were doing a 90 day New Testament reading schedule, and I decided to jump in. For me, reading the Bible had always been a chore, something I knew I should do but didn’t always enjoy. Many times, I had the all-too-common experience of starting in Genesis or Matthew, only to fizzle out before reaching Numbers or Acts. This time, however, I started reading with companions. Each day, we texted each other verses that we enjoyed. Mysteriously, I started to gain a real appetite for the Word of God. I can honestly say that reading the Bible is now something I look forward to every day.

A Habit of Prayer

My third year at UT has been a year of learning to pray with others. Building an atmosphere of prayer with close Christian friends is not easy, but I have been learning to pray with others on a daily basis. This matter is a little bit harder to explain in words, but I feel like Galatians 6:2 does a pretty good job: “Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ completely.” Both in scheduled times of prayer and spontaneous times of prayer, I am learning to let others bear my burdens by praying with them.

Fellowship, the Word of God, and prayer are three crucial elements of our Christian life. I am thankful to the Lord that through my experience with Christians on Campus at UT, He has built these habits into my daily life.

P.S. You can also read a more detailed testimony from this past fall semester.

Sunday, February 12, 2012 3 comments

Gazing into my Future

Over the past four days, I had the wonderful opportunity to spend time in six different homes of dear believers in the community here in Austin. In each home, I received care and shepherding in a unique way, as well as a unique portion of Christ. The sum result of all these experiences was that Christ was magnified to me (i.e., He became bigger and more real to me). What truly struck me, though, was that spending time in these homes was in reality taking a glimpse at my future over the next several decades as a believer living a normal, day-to-day Christian life.

The best place to find Christ: in the living rooms of experienced believers.
In one of the homes, I was with a brother who recently graduated college and currently attends Bible school, a brother getting Ph.D in engineering, and a young working couple who have been married for sixteen months.

In a different home, I was with a couple with two young children and a third on the way.

In a different home, I was with a middle-aged couple and their youngest son, a high schooler.

In a different home, I was with a couple whose children all recently graduated college and moved on in life.

In a different home, I was with a retired couple with a grown-up son and who are now helping to take care of a family of seven from Afghanistan.

In a different home, I was with a retired couple whose children are all grown up and already have grandchildren.

However, in each of these homes, something was exactly the same. I saw people for whom it was normal to live Christ and enjoy Christ. This is my future, and this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.