Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Beginning of School

These past two weeks have been pretty busy around the BCM. It all started with our international student furniture giveaway two weekends ago. We gave donated furniture to about 200 international students who are new to Virginia Tech and typically have nothing to sit, sleep, or write on. We had people sleeping on the sidewalk next to our building starting at 1:00am to wait in line for furniture, and didn't have enough to give everybody something. It was exciting to be a part of - having the chance to meet so many interesting people and help them out in a very practical and needed way. I hope that we'll continue to be in relationship with some of these students as the year progresses.

This past weekend, we had our leadership retreat with all of the student leaders at the BCM. We went down to Claytor Lake for a night to plan and prepare for the semester, hang out, and spend some time drawing close to God as a group. For April and me, it was a first chance to meet a lot of the student leaders. We are so excited about the group of Bible study leaders that we'll be working with - they are ready and excited to lead their groups and share God's love with the campus and community. This semester, we will be going through a study on the book of Acts and looking at how the church should look and God's plan to love the whole world.

We've also had a couple of events where we've met a lot of freshmen: helping with move-in, basketball, dodgeball, and an open house on Saturday night. Although it's a bit overwhelming for somebody like me who is naturally introverted and sometimes uncomfortable around lots of people, it was really cool to get to meet and talk to so many new people. I remember how intimidating the whole process was for me when I was a freshman, so I hope that we can be welcoming and helpful in any way we can for these new students.

Yesterday was the first day of classes for everybody here in Blacksburg except for April and me. It's a little odd to see all the students headed for the academic buildings, knowing that we have no class and no homework to worry about. Tonight is our first Tuesday night worship service of the year, and we are really hoping to see people come, feel welcomed, and connect to the community at the BCM.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

It's Official

One nice thing about working for a campus ministry at Virginia Tech is that you get the hook up from the university. A great example of this is the fact that we get Long-Term Visitor parking passes. This means we can park in any spot on campus - Resident, Commuter, or Faculty/Staff. And it's free. Living right across the street from campus makes this not as big of a deal for April and me, but I'm going to use the pass at least once just because I remember how difficult the parking situation could be when I was a student.

We also got these today:

Somehow, this seems to make everything that we're doing a little more official. It's just so obvious now that I work in Campus Ministry.

It's funny because I was thinking about this idea when I was reading my Bible this morning. I was reading a story where Jesus was hungry, so he approached a fig tree that looked from a distance like it should have had some figs on it. Unfortunately, when he reached it, he realized that it had no fruit. Jesus said to the tree, "May no one ever eat fruit from you again." Later, Jesus and the disciples walked back by the tree and it was withered and dead.

Getting my Campus Ministry ID card made me think about this again, because I fear being like that fig tree. It showed me a picture of somebody who looks like they're living the kind of life God would appreciate from a distance. However, I want my life to bear real fruit - the kind that stands up to Jesus' close inspection. The kind that remains when all of those external things are stripped away from me. I can flash my new ID all I want, but God is not impressed with such things; in fact, Jesus calls the people he runs into who do these sorts of things hypocrites.

So I asked myself, what is this fruit? I think there are a lot of answers to that question, but the ones that I thought of this morning were the "fruit of the spirit" (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control). I thought of a life that is lived in service to others. I thought of a life that shares the love of God freely and does not discriminate. I thought of a life that loves Jesus and is satisfied in him alone. I hope these are the things that Jesus sees when he gets close to my life.

Some Reasons To Love Blacksburg

When I lived in Philadelphia there were certain things I would rave about regarding the wonderful state of Virginia and the town known as Blacksburg. One of those simply put is that I believe Virginia to be "the earthly promised land." And with that in mind check out these pics below to prove it!

Mill Mountain, one of the local coffee shops-the best hot chocolate I've ever tasted

the Cascades-Nic & I hiked this past Saturday for two miles to see this beauty, with all the greenery it looked like a postcard

Friday, August 1, 2008

Last Stop on the Highway

It seems we've been on the road a lot lately, tonight we're in Atlanta to celebrate the wedding of our good friend Zack Reuter and his fiancee Meredith. We left Blacksburg this morning, stopped in Elkin, NC for lunch at Bojangles (where an old man who we couldn't understand very well preached the gospel to us in line) and with only a few stops in between made it here to Snellville just in time for the rehearsal.

I've decided that going to/ being in weddings has become one of my favorite pastimes. Not only do we get to share in our good friend's special days and be reminded of our own vows we made two years ago but it's a huge reunion of old friends. This wedding is especially exciting because it's an intersection of people from all parts of our lives (Nic's childhood/adolescence & both of our college years). It was really fun to listen to people share stories tonight about Meredith & Zack, both separately and as a couple, so congrats to the happy couple!