Thursday, April 24, 2008

Keep on keepin on! Wesley Foundation E-Letter (Methodist Campus Ministry)

Dear Friends,


Hey! Hey! Hey!  It’s Sami Wilson, the crazy campus minister in your life.  J  Hope you have had a chance to enjoy the good weather.  It’s been beautiful. 


Tonight is our big Guitar Hero extravaganza.  We are having it at the Wesley instead of South Lawn, because of impending rain.  But there will still be lots of food, lots of fun, and since we are having it here, more board games, Mr. Bucket, as well as Ping Pong.  Oh Yeah!  We will fire up the grill at 5pm and go until at least 10pm.


IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT!  Due to the One Campaign’s concert next Tuesday night, we will be having the Ladies Tea Party on Sunday, May 4th, at 6:30pm at my house.  Ladies, you are all invited.  Please let me know if you plan on attending, and how many guests you want to bring so I can have enough food.


Guy’s Cookout is the Tuesday of Finals week at my house at 6:30pm.  Just so you don’t feel left out guys, I’m planning on making BBQ ribs as well as gourmet burgers.  Let me know if you are going to be there.


Now For Sami’s Ramblings About Jesus:


This morning the scripture my devotional book offered was this: 


Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God.  And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.  Romans 5:1-5


As I read this and pondered it, several people dear and close to my heart came to mind.  One of them is a student who has faced many adversities through the years, both inner turmoil and outer obstacles.  So many times this young person was tempted to give up and quit.  Yet this student is still here.  Another person is a dear family member who is in an unfair and frustrating situation, yet continues to give excellence back, refusing to compromise character in retaliation.  Another I can name is a young person who has not always made the best choices, but now, even while living with the consequences of past mistakes, has been consistently seeking wise counsel and prayer help, calling out first to the Lord.  I believe that each of these individuals are God’s boast in Jesus Christ, because in a world that continually sets an example of bailing out of tough situations, these have instead decided to hang tough with God.  They are the living testaments to this scripture.  The suffering that they are enduring is producing character within them that will produce the hope that reveals God’s glory.


Two things.  First, God is looking for people through whom He can reveal His glory to our broken world.  What makes this kind of complicated is that we live in a culture that is all about stealing glory.  (Some examples that come to mind:  being on the job and taking credit for someone else’s work;  athletes who resort to unnatural resources to increase their athletic skill and prowess; students that feel enormous pressure to succeed and are daily tempted to plagiarize or use someone else’s ideas as their own.)  The other thing that makes this kind of complicated is that God chooses to reveal His glory through human beings, who, as we have seen, face great temptations to make themselves look better than they are.  Unless these vessels have deep character, the story of God’s glory gets misplaced, and the story of hope that a broken world needs to hear is lost.  Second, God wants to be absolutely sure that the glory He wants to reveal is recognized by our broken world as glorious, a real beacon of undeniable hope.  Again, our culture is powerfully incredulous.  We are taught to question everything and believe nothing.  When God moves, He wants His powerful imprint to be obvious, for onlookers to really be moved closer to a saving relationship with Him instead of standing back with arms folded, dubious of whether anything significant has really happened.


I guess the reason that God uses suffering (please note that I did not say causes!) as a tool in revealing His glory is because people of every persuasion can relate to it, and none of us can easily recover from it.  So when God takes someone’s suffering and turns it around, everybody takes notice!  And when an individual chooses to allow suffering to transform their character, they build credibility with a skeptical world.


So what’s the “So What?”  Many of you reading this have big needs right now:  You are preparing to take finals.  You are struggling with difficulties at home and at work.  The 9 percent tuition hike that Western’s Board of Regents is approving today is less than good news.  You are deeply concerned and affected by relationships that are in trouble and seem to have no easy answers.  You are feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, and completely at a loss for how to deal with the stuff going on in your lives.  What you need is hope.  Real hope that things will get better, that you are not alone in dealing with your problems, and that you will be okay at the end of the day.  The good news is that God is real, and the hope He offers you is real too.  You are not alone.  And if you let Him have everything and follow the guidance He provides, things will get better.  And at the end of the day, you will be okay.  What’s more is that God will take your turmoil and turn it into a testimony that reveals His glory.  Not just the kind we can expect when we get to Heaven, but the kind that we get to see here in this lifetime.  The kind that is so undeniably glorious that even the biggest scoffers will have nothing to scoff about.


So be encouraged my friends, my dear ones.  Hang tough with God.  He will not leave you nor forsake you.  And when you give your everything to Him, He turns it into incredible sources of joy and celebration.  Just don’t give up.  Endure.  And let His good work in your difficulties transform you into a reflection of His goodness for all the world to see.  I’m still—










Sami Wilson

Campus Minister/Director

WKU Wesley Foundation

United Methodist Campus Ministry



No comments: