Monday, March 29, 2010

End of Big Break

We made it back safe and sound from Panama City Beach. Everyone is surely a bit sleep deprived, but also incredibly encouraged!

All of the vodcasts are up on our Cornell Campus Crusade youtube page. Check them out if you get the chance.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Big Break Day 2

Today the sun came out and it was absolutely amazing. We went out on the beach to engage people with the good news of Jesus! We talked to a few people including a student from Germany named Sven, and a student from Sweden named Robert. (I guess it was our day to meet some Europeans!) Our time with Robert went incredibly well as we discussed the futility of searching for joy and satisfaction in the idols of the world. We talked about how God desires to have a personal relationship with each of us, and how he sent his son Jesus to die on the cross to make a way for us to be reconciled to him! Robert goes to school at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. We got to exchange e-mail addresses, and we are going to help him hook up with the Campus Crusade movement out there.

Numerous students put their faith in Jesus today. Our Cornell group got to see a couple of people enter into relationship with God. We also got to pray with and for other students out on the beach.

Check out the vodcasts and videos below:

Monday, March 22, 2010

Stir Fry and Slim Jim's

This is day 2 of the Big Break mission trip in Panama City beach, Florida. Unfortunately, I was unable to bring the whole family down here, but I'm here with 11 students and The Brenner's (staff) and our intern Edgar Lei. Today was our first day on the beach talking to people about Jesus. The weather is pretty terrible, but other than that, things are going great!

One of my favorite parts of these trips is living in close community with the guys. The fellowship is both rich and ridiculous! There are 7 of us men living in one condo. We spend a lot of time talking, laughing, and praying together. And, we get to eat amazing food! Tonight the guys cooked an amazing feast of stir fry, with noodles and rice. And for a side dish we had Slim Jim's. Literally! We had the food nicely set out on the table, and one of the "dishes" was a baggy of Slim Jim beef sticks.

The students have been recording tons of video of most of the things we do. Below are some of the videos they've posted on youtube.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Third death in a month

The low hanging clouds and slight drizzle lend themselves to the dreary atmosphere on campus today, but tragic death is the real cause of such palpable gloom.

"Ithaca is Gorges" is the unofficial slogan of town, famous for it's beautiful gorges, but these days, no one is thinking about that beauty. Three male students have plunged to their death in less than a month here at Cornell. These students have taken their own lives by jumping off of bridges into the gorges that surround the campus. Why?

That is of course the question of the hour. It is, naturally surmised that these 3 men felt a sense of despair, that they were depressed, hopeless, hurt or scared. Most people blame the the intense academic rigor and competitive atmosphere of Cornell. And certainly that functions as a catalyst.

But of course, there are deeper issues anytime someone kills them self. It's very complex. The root cause of suicide is in a word -"sin". Personal sin. Corporate sin. Universal sin. What were the evil desires that were allowed to reign in these guys hearts? Was their nobody in their lives they could turn to? How can others be saved from such despair?

Campus Crusade for Christ works to "put the gospel within arms reach of every student" because we believe that Jesus is truly the answer, and relationship with him is what conquers hopelessness. We want "every student to know someone who truly follows Christ" because we want to be the hands and feet of Jesus in this lost and dying world -a powerful live-giving force of encouragement and help.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Bibles for porn?

I guess this story is almost two weeks old, but I just found it now. Apparently at UT San Antonio, an "Atheist" student group hosted an event on campus where they set up tables and offered pornographic magazines in exchange for Bibles or other 'holy books'. Their claim is that the Bible and other religious texts are "smut" and pornography is actually more beneficial to peoples lives.

This is all crazy of course, but it illustrates a couple of things that we talk about here all the time. First, contrary to common banter, Atheism is basically a religion. And secondly, it isn't only Christians who "evangelize". (Essentially everybody is an 'evangelist' of some sort. Everybody proclaims, or heralds or excitedly declares the things they regard as 'good' or cool, or right, or awesome......what are you an 'evangelist' for?) Here we have a group who hates Christianity formally proselytizing -proclaiming their beliefs and encouraging others to join them, to change their opinion, in essence to 'convert'. This unique "outreach" is a bold and blatant example of just what an ideological battleground the college campus is!

I find this story extremely sad, but honestly not shocking. This is a rather audacious and open exhibit, but the tragic truth that every campus minister in the world knows, is that college students have been silently exchanging their Bibles for porno for years now.

Please pray for those students at UT San Antonio, and pray for our students here!


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Preparing for Big Break 2

Yes, we do own a Honda Odyssey minivan that looks just like that, but this isn't mine and unfortunately, ours doesn't have those awesome RIMS! And that's a bummer because in Panama City Beach, it's all about the rims -in fact if you happen to drive a minivan like mine with stock rims, you can actually rent rims in Panama City just to look cool! That's right, not buy them, but merely rent rims by the day! Isn't that ridiculous?

We are continuing to get ready for our trip to PCB for Campus Crusade's "Big Break" mission trip. Today another girl signed up to go, so that is awesome! Please pray for us and our little team as we get ready. There are a few logistical things that we are still trying to work out like churches to sleep in on the way down, and vehicles to drive in.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Preparing for Big Break

In a couple of weeks, we're going to head out to Campus Crusade for Christ's "Big Break" mission trip in Panama City Beach, Florida. Big Break is a power packed combo of mission trip and awesome worship conference that takes place all month long in Panama City (PCB).

Throughout the month of March, as you know, students from all over America have spring break. Thousands converge upon the beach in places like the Florida panhandle for days of reckless and irresponsible debauchery. Campus Crusade heads out there for the sake of the Gospel to engage in reckless evangelism!

Our hope was to take our whole family down this year, but it doesn't appear financially possible at this point. That's a bummer, because I bribed Titus to let me give him a haircut by telling him I was going to take him to the beach! It's still possible that we'll all go down as a family, but most likely, I'll end up going with our students and the rest of the fam will stay up here.

This week, one of our students who is going on the trip sent out an e-mail exhorting everyone else to prepare adequately for the trip. Check out what she wrote:

Hello all!

As big-break approaches, I want to encourage each of you to prepare for panama city spiritually. In the last week, God has convicted me of this, and since I was so encouraged, I wanted to share this story.

Since registering, I've been going to the gym consistently (my mind was already at the beach, I guess), running at least 20 miles per week, and increasing my work out each time. Sometimes I would go to the gym twice a day. However, last Tuesday, as I was getting ready to go to the gym, God stopped me and asked, "How are you preparing for Panama City any differently? Who am I sending?" At that moment, I felt shakened and realized that those who don't know Christ are probably doing the same thing- going to the beach just to look good. That day I grabbed my Bible and read it even in the gym, and started to memorize scripture.

I hope that this reminds all of us that we are sent by God to proclaim His word as Christians. I encourage everyone to draw closer to God so others can see that we have been near Jesus. I'm thinking that before break, we could memorize scripture together so we can equip ourselves and look good for Jesus :) If anyone is interested, let me know! It would be good to keep each other accountable.

Monday, March 1, 2010


At the end of last week, the weather said we were gonna get a “flurricane” –some kind of crazy snowy, windy destructo storm! Thankfully it wasn’t too windy, but we did get a ton of snow! I took a yard stick out in my lawn and measured at a few different points and my readings were between 16” and 22”! And we got more snow last night, and it’s snowing right now!

It took Stephanie and me two and a half hours yesterday to shovel the driveway so we could get the minivan out of the garage. Our truck was practically buried in snow, and the kids were using the roof of it as a platform for jumping into the drifts!

We had a skinny little alley way shoveled up near the street. Just enough for the van to eek thru, scraping the wall of snow on both sides. Then this guy with a snow plow came by and asked if we wanted him to knock our pile down on either side of the drive way, so we didn’t have the thread the needle so carefully! He pushed snow in two minutes that would have taken us an hour to shovel by hand! We thanked him, and two thoughts came to my mind: One was “I wonder if that guy is a Christian?” and the other was “Maybe that guy was from Nebraska!” All I know is that he was a real blessing! (in my experience Christians and Nebraskan’s tend to be nice like that.)

Last Friday on campus there was an “epic snowball fight” on the arts quad. There were around 1,000 people there! (and I missed it!) But after our weekly meeting we had a midnight snowball fight with at least 100 people!

I thought I needed to add a picture of our little Ruby Girl, because she hasn't got much face time on this blog yet! She usually hangs out inside during the snow storms.